DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: September 27, 2011

DVD Blu-ray Releases September 27

There are not a lot of titles to pick from this week, but this year's mega-blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon goes up against history's blockbuster Ben Hur on DVD and Blu-ray.

Of course, with every new remake we seem to get a Blu-ray release of the original film. As the new Footloose approaches theaters in a few weeks, Paramount is bringing their dance classic to the small screen first.

In previous monster-related features on Screen Rant, we've noticed a huge passion for Gamera among our readers. Those same readers will be happy today as the trilogy hits Blu-ray in one set. All three Blu-rays are already available in some capacity, but now they can all be purchased together.

The following titles can be found on DVD and Blu-ray.




Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Friday) - A billion-dollar feat at the box office and an improvement upon the second installment in Michael Bay's robot franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon gives audiences at home everything they need for an immersive home theater experience. We are fully aware of the film's (and franchise's) weak points, but as far as audio and video work goes, this is one of the best all around.

The colors explode off the screen just like Michael Bay intended and the sound mix is among the best you'll get. If you have a surround sound system, now is the time to pump it full of volume. That is, if Star Wars hasn't busted it yet. Be sure and grab this title, but if you have a 3DTV hold out for the unscheduled release of that edition. Unfortunately, all special features are on hold until that future release. So this is a tricky home video to call.

VERDICT: Rent until more in-depth release late this year.


Hung DVD Blu-ray

Hung - HBO brings season two to DVD and Blu-ray for this unconventional tale of a man seeking financial stability in his own unique way. The racy concept comes to home video on a relatively bare bones release.

  • Inside the Series
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 5 audio commentaries: with Creators/Executive Producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin, Co-Executive Producer/Writer Angela Robinson, and Writers Brett C. Leonard, Julia Brownell and Kyle Peck.

VERDICT: Skip unless you own season one.


How to Make it in America DVD Blu-ray

How To Make It In America - The inaugural season of HBO's fashion-centric NYC dramedy hits home video just a few days prior to its October 2nd premiere of season two. All eight episodes are accompanied by a decent selection of bonus features. It's not extensive, but compared to some recent television series releases, it's solid.

  • 8 audio commentaries - Featuring cast members Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk, Lake Bell, & Luis Guzman, creator/executive producer Ian Edelman, and executive producers Rob Weiss and Julian Farino
  • The Get By - Making it on the streets of NYC
  • The Legend of Wilfredo Gomez featurette
  • Hustle Stories featurette
  • Deleted Scenes

VERDICT: Skip unless you need to catch up to season two.



Ben-Hur Blu-ray

Ben-Hur - One of MGM's biggest movies tripled its production budget and became a true blockbuster. On its 50th anniversary, the film reaches Blu-ray and gets a great-looking transfer. To put it simply, this is one of the best all-around Blu-ray releases of the year. If it didn't come so soon after Star Wars, we might call this one the best this year. A 5.1-surround mix is outstanding and the video quality is as good as it gets 50 years later.

The three-disc set comes with a heaping pile of extras. Regardless sof your devotion to Ben-Hur, this is a true look at classical filmmaking. In fact, current Hollywood executives should take a long, hard look at this release.

  • Commentary by Film Historian T. Gene Hatcher with Charlton Heston
  • Music Only Track Showcasing Mikos Rózsa's Award-Winning Score
  • Charlton Heston and Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey
  • Ben-Hur 1925 Silent Version
  • Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema
  • Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic
  • Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures
  • Screen Tests
  • Highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards Telecast
  • Newsreels
  • Production Art Book
  • Replica of Charlton Heston's on-set journal



Mimic Blu-ray

Mimic - Guillermo del Toro announces on this Blu-ray that it is as close as we will ever get to a true Director's Cut. Considering the litany of classic films getting director revisions of late, we can't say Mimic belongs in the same class of picture. but one thing is sure, it is one of the most memorable horror films of the 1990s.

Say what you will about the film, but this is a good Blu-ray release. It's not great. It's arguably not even a must-buy. But if you enjoy the film and do not own the DVD, this is a release you should own. Aside from the video and audio improvements, the bonus features are not a vast improvement. Instead, the real kicker here is its label as a director's cut.

  • Video Prologue With Director Guillermo del Toro
  • Audio Commentary with Director Guillermo del Toro
  • Reclaiming Mimic
  • A Leap in Evolution
  • Back Into the Tunnels
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Storyboard Animatics
  • Gag Reel

VERDICT: Tough call. Rent if you just want to see the Director's Cut. Buy if you need this on home video.


Footloose Blu-ray

Footloose - The 2011 remake has been met with much debate, but there is no question the original is an iconic film. Kevin Bacon stars in 1984 dance-centric movie that fuses music, dance and drama into a memorable 80s classic - who doesn't love to watch Kevin Bacon punch-dance?

Unfortunately, this seems like a rushed release. The original quality of the film is actually worsened by the video transfer. It seems those behind the Blu-ray release were more focused on audio, with a 6.1-surround mix of the film that at least deserves that much. There is quite a bit of extra material here to enjoy that should even add to your experience should you see the 2011 remake.

  • 2 Audio Commentaries
  • Kevin Bacon on Footloose
  • From Bomont to the Big Apple: An Interview with Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Remembering Willard
  • Kevin Bacon's Screen Test
  • Kevin Bacon Costume Montage
  • Footloose: A Modern Musical
  • Footloose: Songs That Tell a Story


Check back every Tuesday for the latest DVD and Blu-ray breakdowns.

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