DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: September 20, 2011

DVD Blu-ray Releases September 20 2011

After last week's heavy load of DVD and Blu-ray releases, home video fans have fewer to pick from this week. Still, there are some titles worth a look - with a nice dose of laughs.

Bridesmaids headlines a week full of laughs, including Modern Family and Mike and Molly. To an extent, one could put the Disney classic Dumbo in that category as well, though it provides much more. Dumbo is not the only classic available this week, as Breakfast at Tiffany's also reaches Blu-ray.

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


Bridesmaids DVD Blu-ray

Bridesmaids - The surprise hit of 2011 is on DVD and Blu-ray. It was a good summer for R-rated comedies and Bridesmaids led the pack with a $283 million worldwide take and a 4-star review from us. An unrated cut included in this release runs six minutes longer than the also included theatrical cut.

The colorful comedy shines on Blu-ray and the sound design fills out speakers nicely, although it's no auditory feast. As for the bonus features, this release comes loaded with comedic extras. It seems like there are hours of deleted scenes and a commentary well worth a listen if you like Bridesmaids in the least. This is one of Universal's better home video releases in the comedy genre in some time.

  • Feature Commentary with Director Paul Feig, Co-Writer Annie Mumolo and Cast Members Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Rama
  • Drunk-O-Rama
  • Made of Honor: Behind the Scenes of Bridesmaids
  • Blind Date With Dave
  • Dave-O-Rama
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended and Alternate Scenes
  • Roommates
  • Cholodecki's
  • Pep Talk
  • Annie vs. Helen
  • Hold On


Modern Family DVD Blu-ray

Modern Family - This week may as well be Modern Family week. The show dominates the Emmys, gets a DVD/Blu-ray release of season two and launches season three all within days of each other. If you are curious about the show after the awards ceremony, or just want your fix on home video, the second season is now available. It comes with a decent collection of extra material, including a number of deleted scenes.

Disc 1:

  • Deleted Family Interviews
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Strangers on a Treadmill - Table Read
  • Mitch's Flash Mob

Disc 2:

  • Deleted Family Interviews
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • “Imagine Me Naked” Music Video

Disc 3:

  • Deleted Family Interviews
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Gag-Reel
  • Modern Family Holidays
  • Waiting for Oprah
  • Chatting with Steve Levitan
  • At Home with Modern Family

VERDICT: Buy (with season one if you don't have it)

Mike and Molly DVD Blu-ray

Mike and Molly - While the show earned Melissa McCarthy an Emmy and garnered praise, this isn't a great home video release. It comes with only a couple of featurettes and with more seasons on the way, you may want to wait for a box set in a few years. In the meantime, the show airs again September 26th. If you want to catch up before the new season, you'll have just under a week to do so with this release.

  • Falling in Love With Mike & Molly
  • Mike & Molly Play Acts
  • An Interview with Jim
  • Gag Reel

VERDICT: Skip. (Rent if you need a refresher before season two)

The Kennedys DVD Blu-ray

The Kennedys - The mini-series had trouble finding a home on television and might continue those woes on home video. While it is officially hitting shelves this week, a lack of advertising and a low-profile television premiere may make it difficult for this DVD/Blu-ray to gain traction. But if you are interested in Greg Kinnear's portrayal of Jack Kennedy, this is a Blu-ray worth getting. It looks great and the sound is dynamic. There is only one bonus feature, but it is a nice 45-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.




Dumbo Blu-ray

Dumbo - 70 years after its release, Dumbo lives up to the pull quote on this anniversary Blu-ray release - "A film you will never forget." There are so many memorable moments that shine in Disney's illustrious history of animated classics. Disney has taken the advancements in Blu-ray to new heights lately with a number of 2D and 3D Blu-ray re-releases that remind us of the great family-friendly movies that helped make the studio the powerhouse it is today.

Dumbo looks glorious on Blu-ray. The color is outstanding and the animation is pristine. Even in 4x3, you have the option to fill those unsightly side bars with artwork designed specifically for the Blu-ray. This release is yet another reason to disregard any arguments that Blu-ray cannot enhance movies made long ago. The 1941 release is as good as ever and the messages it promotes are just as relevant today. The bonus materials showcase the admiration of modern animators and Pixar directors for the simplicity of Dumbo.

  • Picture-in-Picture with Pixar director Pete Docter, Disney historian Paula Sigman and Disney animator Andreas Deja
  • Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Celebrating Dumbo
  • The Magic of Dumbo: A Ride of Passage
  • Original Walt Disney TV Introduction
  • Sound Design Excerpt from "The Reluctant Dragon"
  • Bonus Shorts
  • Disney Family Play
  • Art Galleries


Breakfast at Tiffany's Blu-ray

Breakfast at Tiffany's - One of Audrey Hepburn's most memorable roles comes to Blu-ray on its 50th Anniversary. Paramount gave the film a truly golden anniversary present. With a gold cover and a stunning video transfer, this is a re-release well worth its weight in gold. It's about as good as restorations get, but that should also be credited to the original film, which enjoyed great use of color and light.

Many classics find it difficult to add high-definition extras to a Blu-ray release, especially since many of the featurettes were not made during the film's shooting time. But this release includes some great retrospective featurettes, including looks back at the party scene and Mr. Yunioshi.

  • Audio Commentary: Producer Richard Shepherd
  • A Golightly Gathering
  • Henry Mancini: More than Music
  • Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's: The Making of a Classic
  • It's So Audrey! A Style Icon
  • Behind the Gates: The Tour
  • Brilliance in a Blue Box
  • Audrey's Letter to Tiffany


The Others Blu-ray

The Others - Nicole Kidman's horror/thriller comes to Blu-ray with an improved sound experience that should enhance the overall film. Miramax has brought the film back with a decent 5.1 surround mix and a weak collection of bonus materials. It's disappointing when films come to Blu-ray (especially one that released 10 years ago) with limited featurettes. Unless the video or audio quality is significantly improved, it just seems like a waste. While the audio is a worthy improvement, it's not enough to make this a must own.

  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum: What Is It? The Story of a Family Dealing with the Disease
  • A Look Inside The Others
  • Visual Effects Piece
  • An Intimate Look at Director Alejandro Amenábar



More classics make their way to Blu-ray next week as Ben-Hur hits the format in a variety of boxed sets. Also releasing next week are the Director's Cut of Mimic, The Gamera Trilogy and Footloose. In addition to these re-releases, the Transformers trilogy reaches home video once and for all next Friday.

For more breakdowns, come back every Tuesday to find out the latest DVD and Blu-ray release info.

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