This week is pretty thin in terms of home video releases, but there are two re-releases worth noting. The two new releases are not for everybody, but a select crowd will dish out the money for the latest movie.
The summer action movies are making their way to home video now and Prince of Persia is leading the charge. Right behind it is the romantic Letters to Juliet.
However, it’s the two re-releases that have me on the starting blocks and ready to sprint to my nearest store. One of David Fincher’s masterpieces and a mind-bending film starring Tim Robbins make their way to your Blu-ray collection this week.
The following can be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – In what I consider a generous review, our own Vic Holtreman gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars. He was right on, though, when he called it “mildly entertaining and immediately forgettable.” The plot twist at the end of the film makes the rest of it almost irrelevant. Rent this at your own risk.
If you are a fan of the video game the Jake Gyllenhaal film is based on, you may want to give it a chance. After all, the film did rake in $335 million worldwide – not everybody thought it was mediocre.
The special features are minimal, but there is something unique there called CineExplore. You’ll have to buy the Three-Disc Special Edition to find that feature, though.
- Deleted Scene (BD-exclusive)
- An Unseen World: Making Prince of Persia
- CineExplore: The Sands of Time – Take control of the dagger and use it to unlock secrets behind your favorite scenes. Turn back time and uncover over 40 segments – including “Walking Up Walls,” “Filming in Morocco”, and “Ostrich Jockey Tryouts”
Letters to Juliet - If you need a romantic film to fill that void, there’s one option this week. Letters to Juliet follows Amanda Seyfried as she journeys to Italy to take part in a legendary superstition involving romantic desires and the fictional location of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The film more than doubled its production budget, but suffered mixed reviews. The new release DVD and Blu-ray will expand the production slightly with a commentary and behind-the-scenes featurette. You’ll also find deleted scenes and an extra feature on the famous courtyard.
- Audio commentary with director and cast
- Deleted and extended scenes
- The Making of Letters to Juliet: in Italia
- A Courtyard in Verona
Se7en - With a near perfect Blu-ray review, the Se7en Digibook is one of the best treatments for a deserving film. David Fincher’s brilliant crime thriller brings out the best in its actors (Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman), while also presenting an intense mystery with an unforgettable twist. The film is so fantastic it would be just as enjoyable on a 2-inch monitor with fuzzy footage. Now, with a Blu-ray transfer, it looks better than ever.
The new edition presents a fantastic collection of behind-the-scenes footage and gives the most in-depth perspective on one of Fincher’s best films. Between four commentary tracks and notebooks written by the film’s serial killer, there is plenty more to enjoy in the special features.
- Stars commentary, with director David Fincher and actors Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman
- Story commentary, with Fincher, author Richard Dyer, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce and New Line president of production Michael De Luca
- Picture commentary, with Fincher, director of photography Darius Khondji, production designer Arthur Max, editor Richard Francis-Bruce and author Richard Dyer
- Sound commentary, with Fincher, sound designer Ren Klyce, composer Howard Shore and author Richard Dyer
- Additional/extended scenes
- Alternate endings
- Exploration of the opening title sequence from multiple video angles with various audio mixes and two commentary tracks
- Production design and still photographs with commentaries
- The Notebooks: Full motion video details “John Doe´s” writings
- Theatrical trailer
Jacob’s Ladder – The hallucinatory journey of Tim Robbins in Jacob’s Ladder is not for everyone. It is an intense experience that progressively expands the boundary between real and imagined. If one thing is certain, Jacob’s Ladder is a damn fine film.
In the right atmosphere, the film can become too much to handle. While it may not be the most atmospheric film, a Blu-ray transfer will do the movie justice. Pump up the volume and let the movie take control.
The special features are nothing to write home about, but do give an extended look at the film. Most important is the engaging film at the core of this re-release, but check out the special features on the Blu-ray.
- Audio commentary with the director
- Deleted scenes
- Making-of featurette
- Theatrical trailer
Let us know what DVDs or Blu-rays you plan on purchasing this week.
Come back next week for a few more great releases. I should warn you that the last week in September is looking mighty fine for home video releases, so save up some money if necessary.