March kicks off with a healthy list of DVD and Blu-ray releases. A combination of memorable hits both old and new hit shelves in what should be a good week for retailers.
One of the greatest animated classics of all-time returns to home video on Blu-ray as Disney breaks Bambi out of the vault for another release. Meanwhile, one of Jim Carrey’s most underrated comedies finds itself on the Blu-ray format as well.
As for new releases, each genre is accounted for with everything from animated blockbusters like Megamind to the Oscar-nominated 127 Hours to Dwayne Johnson’s return to action in Faster. Every movie fan should find something to their liking this week.
The following titles can be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
Megamind – DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster film had enough laughs to generate a huge box office return on its massive $130 million budget. The movie earned a solid $319 million worldwide, but only earned a 3-star review from us. Vic Holtreman wrote that it was “mildly amusing, but [felt like] it could have been much better.”
The 2D release has a ton of special features. It’s been a while since a home video release has provided ample supplements to indulge in.
- The Animators’ Corner
- Trivia Track
- Comic Creator
- Behind the Mind
- Meet the Cast of Megamind
- Deleted Scene
- Inside Megamind’s Lair
- You Can Draw Megamind
- Mega Rap
- The Reign of Megamind — Video Comic Book
- Spot the Difference
- Filmmakers’ Commentary: Director Tom McGrath, Producers Lara Breay and Denise Nolan Cascino, and Writers Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons
- World of DreamWorks Animation
- Megamind: The Button of Doom An all-new animated short feature starring characters from the film.
127 Hours – The latest Oscar-nominated film to hit DVD and Blu-ray is the one that might force some viewers to use the fast-forward button. In our 4.5-star review, Ben Kendrick called 127 Hours a “gripping, real-life account.” The film may not have made a ton of money at the box office ($43 million worldwide), but it earned its place at the top of critically-acclaimed movies in 2010.
It is exciting to finally see the making of 127 Hours. It is a film that had very little production details other than what might have been released as an online featurette. We know most of the production was shot on location with minimal equipment, but the special features provide a great opportunity to witness the behind-the-scenes action of Danny Boyle’s latest hit.
- Commentary with Danny Boyle, Christian Colson & Simon Beaufoy
- Search & Rescue
- 127 Hours: An Extraordinary View
- Deleted Scenes
- God of Love: short film by Luke Matheny (BD-exclusive)
Love & Other Drugs – Love & Other Drugs hits the shelves today. A major departure for director Edward Zwick, this romantic dramedy stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a pharmaceutical salesman and Anne Hathaway as a woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It received mixed reviews and just barely made $100 million worldwide at the box office. The film has a great cast and the performances are very well done, yet the film still feels unbalanced. At times it wants to be a romantic comedy, but at others attacks the pharmaceutical corporate world. Fan of the two lead actors will have no problem with the film and should definitely rent it.
The special features are minimal, but really open up the audience to the exploration of character. Both Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are given opportunities to discuss the onscreen characters as they relate to the story. It is interesting to finally see a featurette pay attention to this side of a production, instead of the physical creation of a movie.
- Extended deleted scenes
- An Actor’s Discussion: Relationship between Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway
- Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway describes Maggie
- Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal is Jamie
- Selling Love & Other Drugs
Faster – Dwayne Johnson’s return to action wasn’t a triumph. It may take the former wrestling superstar a film or two to get back on track, but Faster barely managed to surpass its production budget with a $25.7 million worldwide box office gross. In our 3.5-star review, Vic Holtreman was “pleasantly surprised” by the film that could have just been another brainless action romp.
With five featurettes averaging around 12 minutes in length each, the home video isn’t extensive but provides enough to capture the film’s production. It definitely seems to be missing an interview with Johnson to discuss his return to the action genre.
- Alternate Ending
- Deleted Scenes
- Criminals and Cops: The Cast of Faster
- Weapons and Wheels: The Guns, Cars, and Stunts of Faster
Burlesque – One of the few musicals of 2010 hits DVD and Blu-ray with a flashy look all around. From cover to small screen, it is a visual feast that lacks any real nutritional value whatsoever. It rests as one of those rare films that earns both a Razzie (Worst Supporting Actress, Cher) and Oscar nomination (Best Original Song).
A solid audio commentary track headlines a handful of special features that give any fan of the film a true look at its production. Sony Pictures assembled much of the cast and crew to discuss nearly everything from stage design to musical numbers.
- Audio Commentary: Writer/Director Steven Antin
- The Burlesque Jukebox
- Alternate Opening
- Blooper Reel
- Burlesque is Back!
- The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque
- Setting the Stage: Production Design & Photography
- Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look
- The Set List: The Music & Choreography of Burlesque
Bambi Diamond Edition – Yet another Disney film has been released from the vault and it is another home run for Disney Home Video. They know how to give their prized films the best treatment and Bambi is no exception. In fact, it is no surprise that Walt Disney’s favorite film is finally making it to Blu-ray.
The artwork displayed in Bambi still holds up today, even amidst the constantly evolving digital animation revolution. It is a pleasure to see hand-drawn animation onscreen in its finest form yet. Those contemporary children who accept nothing less than Blu-ray will be pleased with the Blu-ray transfer, which looks and sounds gorgeous.
The supplemental material isn’t overwhelmingly detailed, but there is a good number of featurettes that open up the story behind Bambi. Many of the minds behind the film get an opportunity to share thoughts on it, but it tends to stay near the surface compared to previous home video releases. This Diamond Edition is more about enhancing the visual and audio component, but does open up the archives just a little more than we may be used to with Disney.
- Bambi: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings
- The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born
- Interactive Galleries
- Deleted Scenes
- Deleted Song
- Inside the Disney Archives
- Disney Second Screen
- Disney’s Big Book of Knowledge
- Tricks of the Trade
- The Old Mill
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Disney View
- Sneak Peeks at 2011 releases
The Cable Guy – One of Jim Carrey’s most underrated films doesn’t get a lot of love from the critics. Yet, over the last 15 years it has earned an established group of dedicated fans. The dark comedy is the source of a number of quotable lines and memorable scenes, but the Blu-ray anniversary release is a pleasant addition to an already stacked week.
Home viewers will get a collection of supplemental packaging that makes this a must-buy, even if you are skeptical about the film itself. A brand new audio commentary features Jim Carrey, director Ben Stiller and producer Judd Apatow in a hilarious track that perfectly accompanies the movie. Those with a chance to hear it in advance argue it is one of the best non-Criterion-Collection commentaries in years.
- Audio Commentary: Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow, and Jim Carrey
- Gag Reel
- Deleted & Extended Scenes
- HBO First Look
- Comedy Central Canned Ham Presents: The Cable Guy
- Nightmare Camera Test
- Leslie Mann Audition
- “Leave Me Alone” Music Video
- Original Theatrical Trailer
Out of Sight – Another relic from the HD DVD failure has made it onto Blu-ray. Steven Soderbergh’s crime thriller tends to get undervalued by film enthusiasts, but few who watch it walk away unimpressed and the new Blu-ray transfer should add a few more fans to the constantly expanding list. 13 years after its release, the film has aged well and should continue to do so.
The special features aren’t too exciting, but fans of the movie will get enough to keep them interested. This home video release is more about adding a film to your Blu-ray collection than getting an overwhelming home video experience.
- Feature commentary with director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Frank
- Inside Out of Sight
- Deleted scenes
- Music highlights
- Production photographs
- Theatrical trailer
March should prove to be a great month for DVD and Blu-ray. The first week of releases is a good example of what’s to come. The month includes a number of must-buy Blu-ray re-releases and a handful of intriguing new releases.
Those disappointed by Exit Through The Gift Shop‘s Best Documentary Oscars loss will find solace in its DVD and Blu-ray release next week. The Next Three Days gives action fans a taste and Walking Dead finally becomes available on home video. Stay tuned for more on the releases next Tuesday.