DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: September 6, 2011

DVD Blu-ray Releases September 6

The highlight of this week's home video slate is the release of X-Men: First Class on DVD and Blu-ray. While it does not come out until Friday, you'll have some other worthy options on Tuesday.

Everything Must Go and Hanna both provide home audiences with indie film choices. On one hand you've got the latest Will Ferrell dramedy, and on the other is a unique thriller unlike any other this year.

In addition to the high profile new releases, one of the most polarizing classics of all time hits Blu-ray. Scarface is a film that people seem to either love or hate. Either way, Universal Studios has provided it with a special edition Steelbook release.

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



Hanna DVD Blu-ray

Hanna - Saoirse Ronan stars alongside Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett in the unconventional thriller that plays off fairy tale concepts in an non-traditional fashion. While it didn't blow up the box office, the film did earn double its production budget with a $63 million take. It also garnered a 4-star review from us.

The home video is a stunning one. It looks great, but even better is the sound mix. One of the best 5.1-surround sound mixes we've heard all year. It deserves such a mix considering the masterful Chemical Brothers score. A basic list of special features don't bring much new to the table of supplemental material, but it has everything you need.

  • Audio Commentary: Director Joe Wright
  • Adapt or Die
  • Central Intelligence Allegory
  • Chemical Reaction
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Escape from Camp G
  • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending
  • The Wide World of Hanna


Everything Must Go DVD Blu-ray

Everything Must Go - When Will Ferrell steps into a dramatic role, great things happen - not Oscar-worthy great things, but he just has a capability to bring charisma to roles of personal pain. The film did not do very well at the box office, but it released in small doses as an indie treat.

On DVD and Blu-ray, Everything Must Go looks crisp and colorful mostly thanks to solid camerawork by cinematographer Michael Barrett. Unfortunately, this release has a weakness that makes it a rental instead of a purchase - the special features are thin. If you enjoy the film, be sure to check out the 13 minutes of deleted scenes, which actually expand on the characters a bit.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Dan Rush and Actor Michael Peña
  • In Character With Will Ferrell
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes


Fringe Season 3 DVD Blu-ray

Fringe - The third season of Fringe is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. As season four approaches, fans will get the opportunity to catch up on the first three with this release. This four-disc release isn't going to give you much, but if you want your 1,000+ minutes of mind-bending episodes, you'll get just that.

Of course, this DVD and Blu-ray release does have some special features. Two audio commentaries and a spin-off of the Maximum Movie Mode feature you've seen on numerous movie discs highlight the short list of features on this set.

  • 2 Audio Commentaries
  • Maximum Episode Mode: Glimmer to the Other Side
  • Duality of Worlds
  • Constructing an Extra-Sensory Soundscape
  • Secrets of Fringe: The First People
  • Gag Reel
  • Animating "The Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"

VERDICT: Rent (Buy if you have seasons 1-2)

The Office Season 7 DVD Blu-ray

The Office - Also known as Steve Carell's last season, the seventh season of The Office continues to power on. The cluttered menu screens made to look like busy bulletin boards are loaded with options. Pick one of the 26 episodes or head over to the special features. If anything, a full 26-minute cut of Threat Level Midnight makes this a must-own for any Office fan.

  • Five Audio Commentaries
  • 110 Minutes of Deleted Scenes
  • Threat Level Midnight
  • Webisodes
  • Bloopers

VERDICT: Rent (Buy if you have seasons 1-6)

Last Night DVD Blu-ray

Last Night - The dialogue-driven exploration of the sanctity of marriage flew under the radar when it hit theaters. It earned over $7 million internationally, but couldn't break $1 million stateside. The Tribeca Films-distributed title is worth a look if you like movies that are heavy on the dialogue and romantic controversy. Considering the number of movies about infidelity this year, you may be tired of it. Currently no information has been released regarding the DVD and Blu-ray details.


X-Men First Class DVD Blu-ray

X-Men: First Class (Friday release) - Some were surprised by this installment of the X-Men franchise, while others knew it was time for a solid movie about our favorite mutants. Fox has been pushing this DVD/Blu-ray release with additional interviews, like ours with VFX supervisor John Dykstra. The film itself earned $352 million at the worldwide box office and earned a 3.5-star review from our own Kofi Outlaw.

The special features are not extensive, but do provide a decent look inside production. More specifically, an eight-part behind-the-scenes section should provide everything a fan would need. It will explore the visual effects, costumes and production details that ended up in a well-received X-Men film.

  • Children of the Atom
  • Cerebro Mutant Tracker
  • "X" Marks the Spot
  • Extended and Deleted Scenes
  • Isolated Score




Scarface Blu-ray

Scarface - To many, Scarface is a gangster film as legendary as any other. To others, it is an overrated genre film that overstays its welcome. Nevertheless, it has become a cultural icon and finally reaches the Blu-ray format as a Steelbook Limited Edition release. With a 7.1-surround mix and a gorgeous remastered look, this is another example of the power of Blu-ray - though the old look of the movie would look good with even the slightest touch up.

The limited edition truly seems worthy of its label. Along with the nearly 3-hour long Scarface, the 2-disc set includes the 1932 classic of the same name. Universal also adds a picture-in-picture commentary to help viewers enjoy the film. There is plenty more to enjoy on this release, including a number of retrospective featurettes.

  • Scarface (1932)
  • Picture in Picture Experience
  • Scarface Scoreboard
  • The Scarface Phenomenon
  • The World of Tony Montana
  • The Creating
  • The Rebirth
  • The Acting
  • Scarface: The TV Version
  • The Making of Scarface: The World Is Yours
  • Deleted Scenes


Straw Dogs Blu-ray

Straw Dogs - As the 2011 Straw Dogs remake readies for its theatrical release, MGM brings the original Dustin Hoffman film to Blu-ray. The 1971 thriller hopes to hold up its fear factor today and one can imagine it does so on home video. Home invasion movies have to be difficult to watch at home. Fans of the film might be happy to see the Unrated Cut available on this Blu-ray title.



Next week provides two superb options on home video. The new releases are led by Thor, and one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane, makes its way to the Blu-ray format. Other notable titles include Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Hesher, Glee, Spartacus and O Brother Where Art Thou.

Stay tuned every Tuesday for the latest breakdowns of DVD and Blu-ray releases.


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