From comedic flops to award-winning classics, this week’s choices range across the entire spectrum of entertainment. If you didn’t spend all your money last week, you may even find it in you to spend a little extra on the Superman Anthology Blu-ray release.
The third season of Breaking Bad hits home video just over a month before the fourth season kicks off on AMC. That should give fans plenty of time to re-watch the previous season with audio commentaries and deleted scenes on nearly every disc.
Indie fans will notice the cult hit Rubber on shelves this week as well. We don’t typically cover indie films on this site, but Rubber had us intrigued from its first insane trailer. The story of a telekinetic tire with a penchant for murder does not come along very often, and this is definitely a movie worth watching on your home screen.
The following titles can be found on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
True Grit – For a relatively low $38 million budget, the Coen Bros. delivered a box office and critical hit with True Grit. The movie grossed nearly $250 million worldwide and earned a solid 4.5-star review from us. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin headline the Western, but young star Hailee Steinfeld stood toe-to-toe with the leading men in every scene.
The DVD and Blu-ray release comes with a nearly perfect transfer on all fronts. The Oscar-nominated cinematography didn’t hurt, but the video quality is pristine and is coupled with an equally fantastic 5.1 audio mix. It may not be an action epic, but True Grit is one of the best films of the last few years and it will be one of your best-looking Blu-rays too.
The only disappointment here is the lack of extensive bonus features. There is no audio commentary or making-of featurette. Instead, there is an assortment of historical featurettes and an intriguing mini-documentary on author Charles Portis.
- Mattie’s True Grit
- From Bustles to Buckskin — Dressing for the 1880s
- Colts, Winchesters & Remingtons: The Guns of a Post-Civil War Western
- Re-Creating Fort Smith
- The Cast
- Charles Portis — The Greatest Writer You’ve Never Heard Of…
Sanctum – While this movie was shot in 3D and does have a 3D home video release, we know few of you carry 3D televisions. The real question is whether this movie is even worth watching in 2D. In few words, it is not. Our review of the 3D theatrical release was an average 3-star rating, but in 2D there is little to get excited about as the cinematography and story lends itself almost entirely to the three-dimensional cameras used. Moments originally intended for 3D just come off as awkward in 2D, but I guess that’s just another reason to get a 3D television.
The listed budget for Sanctum is $30 million, though it sure seems like a low number. Either way, its $79 million worldwide box office was a relative failure compared to most 3D movies. With James Cameron’s name as its main selling point, it just didn’t make waves with audiences around the globe. Instead, it will need a strong home video performance to really show its worth as quality entertainment.
With almost 90 minutes of featurette material and an audio commentary, the only thing missing is the presence of James Cameron. In the meantime, enjoy an audio commentary that goes through the motions, but never really opens it up to truly engaging detail.
- Audio Commentary: Director Alister Grierson, co-writer/producer Andrew Wight and actor Rhys Wakefield
- Sanctum: The Real Story
- Nullarbor Dreaming
- Deleted Scenes
Just Go With It – Adam Sandler’s latest was arguably one of the worst movies of early 2011 and earned its “dead zone” release date. Unfortunately it did well at the box office, as most of Adam Sandler’s movies do, with a $214 million worldwide take. Still, it shouldn’t take $80 million to make a movie like this.
As is the case with most romantic comedies, the colors are bright and the characters are colorful. The movie does look good on Blu-ray, but does not bring much to the table otherwise apart from a basic audio mix that brings the dialogue right to the front of your speakers.
There are only two reasons to grab this off the shelf of your nearby movie store. Either you want to watch the large library of bonus features or you are doing the world a favor and preventing others from buying the movie.
- Commentary with Adam Sandler, Nick Swarsdon and The Filmmakers
- Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan
- Laughter is Contagious
- Dolph-Not The One From Rocky IV
- The Perfect Couple: Jen and Adam
- Shooting Hawaii
- Grand Wailea Promo
- Adon: Living Plastic
- Along Came a Prop Guy
- Decker’s Got Gas
- Kevin Nealon: The Plastic Man
- What’s A Dugan?
- Look Who Else Is In The Movie
- The Not So Perfect Couple
- Decker’s First Role
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights – Warner Bros. tries to rectify its poorly-received The Dark Knight animated tie-in, Gotham Knight, with a new installment that coincides with the upcoming release of the Green Lantern movie. Our own Kofi Outlaw had a chance to review Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and ranked it above Batman: Gotham Knight. But that doesn’t mean it is a rousing success. The animated title should hold over Green Lantern fans for a while, but might not make any footprints in the character’s legacy.
The home video release features a good portion of bonus features, including a commentary from Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns that should get any DC Comics fan’s blood flowing. If you need any kind of background on Green Lantern lore, this is the place to get it in one sitting.
- Audio Commentary: Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio
- Only the Bravest: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps
- Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns
- From Comicbook to Screen
- Bruce Timm’s Picks
- Batman: Year One Sneak Peek
- All-Star Superman Sneak Peek
- Virtual Comic Book
The Superman Anthology – Like many anthologies of the past, some titles have already reached the Blu-ray format and others have not been so lucky. Now, fans of the Man of Steel can get every major motion picture featuring Superman in one place. The anthology includes the first Blu-ray releases of Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. It even includes both cuts of Superman II for those who know that no true Superman collection is complete without The Richard Dinner Cut.
As Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel approaches its initial production dates, any anxious fans who need their 2011 fix can get it with this extensive Blu-ray release. The only downfall of this box set is the lack of improvement to certain, previously released Blu-rays, like the ugly transfer of Superman Returns.
There are over 20 hours of special features to get lost in across the 8-disc collection. The eighth disc is entirely dedicated to supplemental materials that includes a feature-length documentary on the Superman legacy and an entertaining National Geographic study of the Science of Superman. The Disc 8 features can be seen below:
- Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman
- You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of Superman
- The Science of Superman
- The Mythology of Superman
- The Heart of a Hero: A Tribute to Christopher Reeve
- The Adventures of Superpup
61* – HBO has always provided quality original entertainment, but one of its best accomplishments in my opinion is the Billy Crystal-directed 61*. It’s release in 2001 came at the perfect time when baseball was once again America’s most cherished sport and home runs were flying out of ballparks like never before. But as a movie, it featured brilliant performances by Thomas Jane (Mickey Mantle) and Barry Pepper (Roger Maris). The two completely embodied their characters in a way few actors have ever portrayed athletes before.
As far as made-for-television visual effects go, 61* has held up quite well as its re-creation of the many stadiums of the early 60s looks extremely solid. The movie just goes to show that a director who loves what he is making (Crystal is a huge baseball fan) goes a long way. The visual component deserves a Blu-ray release and the muted colors fit well into the overal look of the film.
While I was hoping for a set a of retrospective interviews, the three additional features on this home video will have to be enough as an audio commentary and hour-long making-of provide a clear window into the production.
- Audio Commentary: Executive producer/director Billy Crystal
- The Greatest Summer of My Life: Billy Crystal and the Making of 61*
- Bios and Hitting/Fielding Stats
Next week brings back the action with Battle: Los Angeles and a classic hits Blu-ray with the latest release of The Cincinnati Kid. Oh, and Hall Pass comes out as well. Stay tuned for more details of upcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases every Tuesday here at Screen Rant.