This week features some worthy DVD and Blu-ray releases, but no re-releases of note. One of the biggest television events of the year hits home video alongside a pair of Oscar-nominated documentaries.
One of this week's most intriguing items is Jackass 3, which will not be released as a 3D home video. Considering its power as a 3D release in theaters, it's surprising to see it only hit shelves as a 2D release, so fans with an expensive 3D television will be disappointed, to say the least.
Morning Glory and The Next Three Days rest on opposite sides of the genre pool, but might share weak sales as home video releases amidst the more well-known competition. Those that saw both films in theaters might head to stores right away, but both disappointed at the box office and might be hard-pressed to find a second life as DVDs and Blu-rays.
The following titles can now be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
The Walking Dead - One of the best new shows to hit the airwaves finally arrives. The brilliant and bloody zombie show from legendary filmmaker Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) is based on an ongoing comic book series by Robert Kirkman. Even though the first season only had six episodes, it held its audience captive.
Those six episodes questioned the cyclical trends of television with gruesome zombie kills and truly disturbing imagery. The Walking Dead rarely reminds us we are watching television, apart from some character-specific storylines. Though the first season was brief, the show sets up audiences for a highly-anticipated second season.
Although we explored the details of this Season 1 box set in January, the official details and reviews are in. On the special features side of things, The Walking Dead is sadly lacking any audio commentaries, but a dozen featurettes will keep any interested fan busy for a couple of hours.
- The Making of The Walking Dead
- Inside The Walking Dead
- A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman
- Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips
- Convention Panel with Producers
- The Walking Dead Trailer
- Zombie School
- Bicycle Girl
- On Set with Robert Kirkman
- Hanging with Steven Yeun
- Inside Dale's RV
- On Set with Andrew Lincoln
The Next Three Days - Director Paul Haggis brings his weak box office pull to a story that should have done more in theaters. The Next Three Days is an action-packed jailbreak thriller that just never caught on with audiences, despite bright star-power and intense trailers.
If the film has a strength, it is the chase scene that is mostly showcased in the trailers. The film has its moments, but generally lacks the punch it needed. It tries to thrive on the anticipated twist reveal of whether or not Elizabeth Banks' character is guilty or innocent. You'll have to rent or buy the home video to find out.
If you are more interested in the making of The Next Three Days, you are in luck - relatively speaking. There is a worthy audio commentary and a mediocre behind-the-scenes featurette in the special features. Beyond those two, the remaining featurettes are worth a watch, but won't entertain the hungry viewer.
- Feature Commentary by Haggis, co-producer Michael Nozik and editor Jo Francis
- Making The Next Three Days
- The Men of The Next Three Days
- True Escapes for Love
- Cast Moments
- Deleted Scenes
- Extended Scenes
Jackass 3 - Odds are, if you like Jackass, you don't care what the DVD or Blu-ray looks like - you just want more stunts and gags. The home video release is everything a Jackass fan needs and more. The videophiles can rest assured the video transfer looks great and the outdoor scenes are crisp thanks to the high-quality digital cameras.
The big issue here is the lack of a 3D release. Thanks to jacked-up 3D prices, the film brought in $169 million on a $20 million shooting budget, yet there will only be a 2D home video release. Clearly this film was created to capitalize (and bastardize) on the 3D trend. Without a 3D home video viewing option, Paramount dropped the ball on this release.
A 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, 16 minutes of deleted scenes and nearly 30 minutes of outtakes should keep plenty of fans happy. If you are willing to wait for the 3D home release, go ahead, but the stunts will still be just as crazy as when you saw them before. Jackass 3.5 is also on the way to showcase even more shenanigans.
- The Making of Jackass 3D
- Deleted Scenes
- Jackass 3D Theatrical Trailer
Morning Glory - Bad Robot Productions' star-studded romantic comedy actually turns out to be more enjoyable than most. Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams headline a film that explores the cutthroat world of broadcast television by merging the narrative power of a classic like Network with the contemporary romance of any romantic comedy of the last decade.
While it falls into predictable territory at times, Morning Glory succeeds where others like it don't - it actually has charm. We care about these characters enough to listen to what they say instead of just waiting for the next montage. While the film didn't strike a chord with audiences, barely surpassing its $40 million budget, it is worth a rental during a cold evening.
Unfortunately, as a home video release, Morning Glory offers little to get excited about. It only holds two special features, an audio commentary and a single deleted scene. Then again, this kind of weak special features packaging is typical of romantic comedies. The least they could have done is compiled a blooper reel, right?
Inside Job - The Oscar-winning documentary hits shelves shortly after it win at the 83rd Academy Awards. We happen to agree with the Academy, as our 4.5-star review dishes out glowing praise for a film that sheds a spotlight on our government's financial woes. In his review, Kofi Outlaw called it "a documentary that every American should watch."
The documentary shies away from flashy cinematography and lets the topic and subjects do the talking. Subtle backdrops create a plain atmosphere that forces the audience to listen to what each interviewee has to say and their overall intensity and passion grabs the viewer.
There isn't too much to expect from this kind of documentary on the special features front, but an audio commentary with Director Charles Ferguson and Producer Audrey Marrs sounds intriguing enough for a listen.
- Audio Commentary
- The Making of Inside Job
- Deleted Scenes
- Inside Job Theatrical Trailer
Exit Through The Gift Shop - One of the most talked-about documentaries of the year hits home video this week. While the world still wonders what Banksy really looks like, this documentary brings the underground world of street art to life in a charismatic and entertaining way. If you missed this in theaters, it's not surprise - the movie only banked $5.2 million worldwide.
But with a Best Documentary Feature nomination at the Academy Awards, Exit Through The Gift Shop proved its worth as a film, even amidst curiosity about its validity. It is still unknown whether the film is a hoax or not, but it really becomes irrelevant once the story grabs you and takes you for a ride.
With 40 minutes of bonus features, the DVD/Blu-ray release is full of goodies rarely seen in documentary home videos. There is still no revelation of Banksy's true identity, but these supplements should shed some light on the making of this documentary.
- A Star is Born
- More Brainwashing
- Life Remote Control
- B Movie
The Blu-ray re-releases this week don't interest us too much and next week looks just as dull. Look for a pair of Oscar nominees next week as The Fighter and Hereafter hit shelves alongside The Switch.
Looking ahead, this month is relatively weak until the final week of March when Black Swan, Mad Men Season 4, Tangled and Teen Wolf hit DVD and Blu-ray. Stay tuned for more updates every Tuesday for the latest on DVD and Blu-ray releases.