This week's DVDs and Blu-rays are thin in number, but varied in taste. No major blockbusters hit home video this week, but there is one movie and one television show that should easily make their way into collections everywhere.
Look for one of Ryan Reynolds' most daring performances in the claustrophobic thriller Buried. Meanwhile, Timothy Olyphant starred as one of television's best new characters, Raylan Givens, in the first season of Justified.
The following titles can now be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
Buried - Ryan Reynolds starred in a film that took quite a risk by pinning the actor in a coffin for the entirety of the movie. The story is relentless and stays inside the coffin the entire time. Buried ended up as one of our Favorite Films of 2010. Our 4-star review was favorable as well, calling it "one of the most ambitious concept films of the year."
Claustrophobia is put on full display with this thriller that grossed a mere $18 million, but it's safe to assume the production budget was low as well. Either way, Buried was a success and definitely worth a rental.
Considering how much praise I gave Buried, you may be wondering why I only call it a rental. Well, the movie is great, but the home video is not. All that comes with it is a single 18-minute special feature documenting the making of Buried. Then again, what do you expect from a movie that takes place in a coffin?
Takers - Some movies come along and sweep you off your feet with non-stop action and engaging characters - Takers is not that movie. Instead, Takers is a generic movie whose only strength is its excessive use of color tones. We were unimpressed in our 2-star review of the action heist film.
Takers just missed our list of The 10 Worst Movies of 2010. While some fans think it deserved a spot on the list, it had some nice action sequences and certain scenes tried very hard to be good. It also found a way to double its production budget with a $68 million worldwide box office - chalk that up to the ensemble cast.
The special features are better than Buried, but lack enough of a behind-the-scenes punch to really make this home video worth your money.
- Filmmaker and cast commentary
- Executing the Heist: The Making of Takers
- Take Action!
- Music Video: T.I., "Yeah Ya Know (Takers)"
Justified: The First Season - After giving a drug lord 24 hours to get out of Miami, the television viewing audience was introduced to the best new character on television, Raylan Givens. As Givens makes his way to a sit-down with said drug-dealer, there are 30 seconds left in that 24-hr time-limit. With Givens’ promise to shoot him dead when time runs out, audiences were left in suspense as this U.S. Marshall readied his gun.
With a couple of quick-draw gun shots the promise was fulfilled and the character of Raylan Givens became engrained in the minds of all those watching. It is with Givens’ intriguing temperament, combined with the terrific storytelling, that brought this iconic Elmore Leonard character to life in Justified and, once again, continues FX’s status as one of the top cable networks.
The home video release of the complete first season includes all 13 episodes and a pile of extra features.
- Commentaries: "Fire in the Hole" with executive producer Graham Yost, actor Nick Searcy, Elmore Leonard expert Gregg Sutter and director Michael Dinner... "Blowback" with Graham Yost and writer Ben Cavell... "Hatless" with actors Tim Olyphant and Natalie Zea, and writer Dave Andron... "Bulletville" with Graham Yost and writer/producer Fred Golan
- What Would Elmore Do?
- The Story of Justified
- Justified: Meet the Characters
- Shooting for Kentucky
- The Marshals
- Music video: "Long Hard Times to Come"
- Season Two: A Look Ahead
Animal Kingdom - This Australian film is making all kinds of noise this awards season. It got off to a fantastic start when it won the Award for World Cinema at The Sundance Film Festival. Star Jacki Weaver was recently nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actress. In limited release few saw it, but the movie is filled with powerful performances.
If the Oscars come around and you still haven't seen Animal Kingdom, you have only one person to blame - yourself. Give it a chance and rent it, or go for the blind buy. Either way, you might be thoroughly impressed by one of this year's better foreign films.
The special features give a taste of the creation of Animal Kingdom, but save most of its secrets. The supplements are a quick look inside the movie.
- Audio commentary with director David Michôd
- Creating Animal Kingdom
- Q&A with director David Michôd and actors Jacki Weaver and James Frecheville
This week was relatively disappointing for home video enthusiasts, but next week looks much brighter. A few major releases from 2010 and some overdue titles release in Blu-ray format hit shelves on January 25th.
Check back next week for details of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases. There are sure to be more winners in the next batch.