This week's DVD and Blu-ray new releases present an Oscar-nominated film, an American playing one of England's favorite detectives, and talking chipmunks. We've also got a Disney re-release and two Blu-ray releases with a core of followers who will surely rush to the store.
Last week was filled with great releases, new and old, so take a look at your options this week. We've selected some standout releases, so if we leave out one you want to share, give it a shout out in the comments section.
Sherlock Holmes- This week's "definite buy" comes from Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey, Jr. While An Education made a minimal profit, it seemed the viewing public enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, as the movie's profits more than doubled its budget. We sure enjoyed it, and it's safe to say most of you did as well.
The Blu-ray release will also have a Digital copy and a DVD for on-the-go viewing. The Blu-ray will feature the increasingly popular Maximum Movie Mode, with picture-in-picture and BD-Live. Good old Warner Bros. sure knows how to release a movie.
An Education- Even with a Best Picture Oscar nomination, this well-crafted film barely made a profit. It's unfortunate because I've seen it four times in theaters now. Keep in mind that I do the multiple viewings thing quite a bit, but I still genuinely enjoyed An Education.
The unflinching period drama centers around a high school senior (Carey Mulligan) who falls in love with a charming older man and has to decide between the distinguished life of a college woman and the exciting new world this man offers. The Oscar nomination was well-deserved and Carey Mulligan deserved to win the Oscar for Best Actress, in my opinion. I highly recommend you at least rent the movie or even consider a blind buy.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel- For those of you who saw the sequel to the CGI/Live-action Chipmunks movie, I commend you for being a good parent. Otherwise, I'm not sure what you were doing there. The two-disc Blu-ray set for "The Squeakquel" will include a Digital copy and DVD copy. So, when you hit the road and your children have a sudden urge to see The Chipmunks, they can watch it on their laptop.
Alice in Wonderland (2-Disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition)- I'm pretty happy about this release. My favorite Disney animated movie is still The Sword In The Stone, but Alice in Wonderland comes in at close second. As the Tim Burton remake (which got a relatively favorable review from us) winds down its theatrical run, this is a great move by Disney. Personally, the original is handfuls better than Burton's, and the special features on this DVD will explore its creation. Most interesting is the behind-the-scenes featurette on the 20 years it took Walt Disney to get this project off the ground.
Collateral- One of Michael Mann's finest works is getting the Blu-ray treatment and it will be the first release in my hands this afternoon. Brilliant performances and a beautiful exploration of conflict in the middle of a sleeping city make Collateral a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Considering Mann's affinity for shooting digital, Blu-ray is the best format for his films, and Public Enemies looks beautiful on it. While Collateral isn't his prettiest work, it is one of his best stories and a great addition to any Blu-ray collection.
The Killer- Hopefully a handful of you that will appreciate this Blu-ray release. The John Woo film starring Chow Yun-Fat has one of the most memorable fight scenes out there. In typical Woo fashion, it is a collection of well-shot violence. While I'm not so sure how it will transfer to Blu-ray, there's a good enough market worldwide for this to move some units.
DEAL OF THE DAY:
Sherlock Holmes (TV Series)- Depending on your favorite television Sherlock Holmes, you have a choice of amazing deals. If Jeremy Brett is your guy, the 12-DVD set Complete Granada Television Series gives you 2,580 minutes of detective work for just under $100. That's FOUR CENTS per episode!
However, if Basil Rathbone is your favorite Sherlock, then go for the $60 Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection with 974 minutes of the piped crusader.
Both deals end at midnight tonight, so get going or they will be back to $230 and $130 respectively.
INTRIGUING RELEASE OF THE DAY:
Steven Seagal Lawman (Season 1)- I never did catch this show on A&E, but kept meaning to see it. The action star has been fighting crime on and off screen for two decades, and now a network has seen fit to capitalize on his persona. Have you seen this show? Is it worth the rental, or even a buy?
Looking forward to buying or renting any of these DVD/Blu-rays? Let us know in the comments section below.
Next Tuesday proves to be exciting, as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and some other classics make their Blu-ray debut.