DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: August 30, 2011

DVD Blu-ray Releases August 30 2011

This week on DVD and Blu-ray the television series dominate. Two weak new movie releases are overshadowed by four popular television shows hitting home video. The highlight of the week is a great crop of re-releases on Blu-ray, including four Coen Brothers movies, Top Gun, Good Will Hunting and the 3D Blu-ray for The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Coen Brothers Collection may be the best title of the week, but technically it's a lackluster collection. Of course, it depends on your taste in their films, but of the more memorable ones are left out. The Big Lebowski hit Blu-ray just recently, yet it is not in this collection. Instead the collection focuses on their earlier works like Fargo, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and Blood Simple.

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



Sons of Anarchy DVD Blu-ray

Sons of Anarchy - As September nears, FX gets back in the picture with new home video releases and new seasons hitting the tube. Season 3 hits Blu-ray on a 3-disc set that includes a healthy array of bonus features. Check out the supplemental materials below.

  • Episode Commentary on "SO" featuring Kurt Sutter, Dave Erickson, Chris Collins, Regina Corrado, Katey Sagal and Marco Ramirez
  • Episode Commentary on "Firinne" featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff
  • Episode Commentary on "NS" featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Mark Boone Jr., Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagn, Theo Rossi and Dayton Callie
  • Extended Episodes: "Bainne" and "June Wedding"
  • Season 3 Bridge Pieces
  • Writers Roundtable
  • Bike Customizer
  • Directing the Finale with Kurt Sutter
  • "NS" Table read with Cast
  • Gag-Reel
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents World Premiere: Sons of Anarchy Season 3

The Vampire Diaries DVD Blu-ray

The Vampire Diaries - Capitalizing on the vampire hype in season one, the CW series taps into the werewolf craze in season two. Now available on DVD and Blu-ray, this four-disc set includes all 22 episodes and a moderate collection of special features. See what the DVD and Blu-ray releases have to offer, below.

  • Pages of the Wolf featurettes – The Myth & The Mystery (Werewolf Lore), Building the Beasts (Working with Actual and Mechanical Wolves), and Howling at the Moon (Michael Trevino's Transformative Makeup Process)
  • Her Own Worst Enemy…Elena, Catherine, and Nina featurette on Nina Dobrev's two roles
  • The Perfect Love Triangle: Vampires, Werewolves, Witches featurette on the character relationships for the first two seasons
  • Unaired scenes
  • Audio commentary on "Masquerade" with executive producers Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec
  • Second Bite Gag Reel

House DVD Blu-ray

House - Season seven of the hospital-based series includes over 1,000 minutes of House and a mediocre array of special features. With a 5.1-surround track and a solid video transfer, this is a decent home video that serves the show well.

  • A Beginner's Guide to Diagnostic Medicine
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Meet Martha Masters
  • Huddy Dissected
  • Anatomy of an Episode
  • Thirteen Returns

Nikita DVD Blu-ray

Nikita - Maggie Q revitalized the franchise in its 22-episode television debut. Inspired by Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita, the show hits home video on four discs with a strong 1080p video transfer and a surround sound mix. The bonus features are not especially great, but are entertaining enough.

  • Inside Division, Part 1: The New Nikita
  • Inside Division, Part 2: Executing an Episode
  • Profiling Nikita, Alex, Percy & Michael
  • Division Tracker
  • Commentary of Two Episodes
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes

Prom DVD Blu-ray

Prom - Disney brings their generic romantic comedy to your door with a lackluster DVD and Blu-ray. The film barely broke its production budget with a $10.1 million domestic gross. While it has a sleek look, the sound design is relatively dull and leaves much to be desired for home video fanatics. On top of this, the special features are a bore. The only extra worth watching is a short film essentially made of deleted scenes.

  • Putting on Prom featurette
  • Bloopers
  • "Last Chance Lloyd"
  • Deleted scenes
  • Music Videos



Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray

The Coen Brothers Collection - A small collection of Coen Brothers films offers some titles that have been missing from the Blu-ray format, including Fargo, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and Blood Simple. While some of the films are from earlier in their combined career, the movies still look great on Blu-ray. Raising Arizona is especially great on the new disc and its intriguing color palette definitely pops. Still, Fargo is not only the most popular of the bunch, but also the best looking on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, Blood Simple and Raising Arizona have practically no special features. The others have small offerings.

  • Blood Simple - Commentary w/ Kenneth Loring
  • Miller's Crossing - Shooting Miller's Crossing
  • Miller's Crossing -Interview Soundbites
  • Fargo - Commentary w/ Roger Deakins
  • Fargo -Minnesota Nice Documentary

Good Will Hunting Blu-ray

Good Will Hunting - This beloved drama earned nine Academy Award nominations and now finally earns a home on Blu-ray shelves. Even with its indie vibe, it comes to the format with a gorgeous transfer that truly enhances the visual aesthetic of the film. Danny Elfman's score has gone relatively unnoticed until the new surround sound mix really let it overwhelm us during moments of sincere emotion. While the Blu-ray looks and sounds great, it doesn't offer a lot in the supplemental category that we haven't already seen.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Gus Van Sant, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Gus Van Sant, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Production Featurette
  • Academy Awards Best Picture Montage
  • "Miss Misery" Music Video


3D Blu-ray Review

Nightmare Before Christmas 3D Blu-ray

The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D - If you own a 3D TV, you know how difficult it can be to find a great 3D title. There is plenty of format-focused content, but not a lot of solid films in 3D. With one of the most legendary animated films of all time finally arriving on 3D Blu-ray, many 3D TV owners are hoping for something good - however, on the small screen, the 3D comes off as a disappointing addition to a great film. It just isn't as engaging as one would like.


Next week is a relatively exciting one. Scarface finally reaches Blu-ray. Also hitting home video next week are The Office: Season Seven, Hanna, Everything Must Go and Last Night. Come back every Tuesday for more breakdowns of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.

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