DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: October 18th, 2011

DVD Blu-ray Releases Ocotober 17 2011

It's been a while since we've seen a large helping of new releases on DVD and Blu-ray. This week there are seven worthy titles and three solid re-release Blu-ray picks.

There's only one big budget blockbuster this week, but you may be interested in the smaller titles. Running on low profiles, they won the hearts of niche audiences and critics alike. Be sure to check out Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, Page One: Inside the New York Times and A Better Life for smaller productions.

With plenty of talk about a potential Crow remake, the original makes it mark again by reaching Blu-ray this week.  A film that has been referenced in many films since, but never remade, is Cape Fear. That reaches Blu-ray as well this week.

On a different note, those of you expecting Transformers: Dark of the Moon to release a more in-depth Blu-ray or the 3D release advertised in the bare bones DVD/Blu-ray will have to wait a little longer. It was recently announced that Japan will see the first copies of this release on January 20th, but there is still no release date set for the U.S.

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



Pirates of the Caribbean 4 3D Blu-ray 2D DVD Blu-ray

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides - One of 2011's three billion-dollar films rests at number eight at the all-time worldwide box office. Like it or not, this franchise has huge legs. That is likely to continue as it reaches DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray. If you didn't catch it in theaters, head over to our 2-star review of the film for our thoughts.

The video and audio quality are above average, with the typical bells and whistles of a mega-budget film. In 2D, the video quality is outstanding and it's not nearly as dark as the 3D cut would suggest. As for the sound design, that is the star of this installment. Between the sound design and Hans Zimmer's score, this is one hell of a soundscape.

But if it is bonus features you want, you'll have to get the 3D version. The 2D edition only comes with a few special features - while the 3D copy adds almost two hours of extras. The audio commentary is relatively boring, as they simply cascade down a list of actors they love and pat themselves on the back for the most part - although there's one extremely fun featurette that showcases the film's story in Lego form. The bloopers are pretty standard, but have some shining moments.

  • Disney Second Screen
  • Audio Commentary
  • Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Bloopers of the Caribbean

Verdict: Rent It. With more inevitably on the way, you won't see a box set yet.

Bad Teacher DVD Blu-ray

Bad Teacher - Cameron Diaz took her turn at R-rated comedy in what many could call the summer of dirty jokes. Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel joined in on the fun and audiences had a blast, coming through with a $214 million take at the box office. Our own Kofi Outlaw found it to be middle of the road with a 2.5-star review.

As is the case with most R-rated comedies, this one comes with an Unrated cut. Typically this menas a few extra MPAA-unapproved jokes sprinkled throughout the film. The comedy may be dark, but the video quality is bright and colorful. Bonus features come in with a mild tone, even though the film can get pretty hardcore. Plenty of deleted scenes, outtakes and a gag reel mix up the mistakes for your viewing pleasure.

  • Jams Yearbook -- Hidden Moments
  • Gag Reel
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scene
  • Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin
  • Raising More than Funds
  • A Very Odd Blacksmith Story
  • Swimming with the Dolphins
  • Good Teacher

Verdict: Rent It.

The Clone Wars season three DVD Blu-ray

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 3 - Fresh off news of the return of Darth Maul in 2012 and the Phantom Menace 3D trailer, the Star Wars legacy continues with season three on DVD and Blu-ray this week. The release doesn't come with much, but you'll get all the episodes and a pair of bonus features.

  • Creating Kamino, Hutts and the Underworld, Witches and Monsters, Secrets of Mortis, and Chewbacca Returns featurettes
  • Interactive Jedi Temple Archives presentation

Verdict: Buy it if you have the other two seasons.

Monte Carlo DVD Blu-ray

Monte Carlo - Selena Gomez stars in this travelling youth romantic comedy. It's for the girls and if you want to get this title you'll find a hell of a lot of featurettes along with it.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Meet Madame Valery
  • Pont Des Arts Bridge
  • Try on the Dior
  • Owen Plays Soccer
  • Owen at Sacre-Coeur
  • Alicia Confronts Cordelia
  • Cordelia's Fate
  • Monte Carlo Match Up
  • Ding-Dang Delicious: The Boys of Monte Carlo
  • Monte Carlo Couture
  • Jet Setter's Dream
  • Backstage Pass
  • Gossip with the Girls
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital Copy "How To"
  • Live Extras
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Live Lookup
  • Digital Copy

Verdict: Skip It.

A Better Life DVD Blu-ray

A Better Life - Summit brings this drama of an immigrant worker trying to take care of his son in America to DVD and Blu-ray. The release comes with two featurettes and an audio commentary.

  • Audio commentary with director Chris Weitz
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Jardinero" music video by Ozomatli

Verdict: Skip It.

Beats Rhymes Life Tribe Called Quest DVD Blu-ray

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest - This documentary came through with glowing reviews and most people agree that actor Michael Rapaport delivered a truly great musical documentary. Be sure to check out his audio commentary along with this release.

  • Commentary with director Michael Rapaport
  • Mike's Journey featurette
  • Bringing Beats to Life featurette
  • On the red carpet at the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere
  • Radio in NYC featurette
  • Group Dynamics featurette
  • Will A Tribe Called Quest Make More Music featurette
  • A message from Zulu Nation featuring Mike G of Jungle Brothers

Verdict: Rent It.

Page One Inside The New York Times DVD Blu-ray

Page One: Inside the New York Times - Another documentary hits shelves this week - but of a different breed. Both act as self-advertisements of some kind, but this one explores the way that technology has affected the newspaper industry and it's an engaging documentary that anybody who reads news in any form should see.

  • Filmmaker commentary
  • Extended interviews

Verdict: Rent It.

Batman Year One DVD Blu-ray

Batman: Year One See Kofi Outlaw's full and detailed review.

Verdict: Rent It.



The Crow Blu-ray

The Crow - Names continue to join and drop the impending remake of this film, but fans continue to promote the original. That original film finally reaches Blu-ray and the legend of Brandon Lee lives on in high definition. If you've been waiting for a high def release of this film, it looks gorgeous. At least, it looks great compared to the DVD. But with all Standard Definition bonus materials, this release lacks the polish we hope for with Blu-ray re-releases.

  • Feature Commentary by Director Alex Proyas
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • A Profile on James O'Barr
  • Extended Scenes
  • Deleted Footage Montage
  • Original Poster Concepts
  • Production Design Stills
  • Storyboards
  • Theatrical Trailer

Verdict: Buy it if your old copy is inevitably scratched to all hell.

Cape Fear Blu-ray

Cape Fear - One of Robert De Niro's most underrated performances headlines this Scorsese film that will stay with you for days. Considering its 20-year age, this looks great for any title on Blu-ray. Turn the volume up on this one and enjoy Bernard Herrmann's powerful score. There isn't much new to offer here, but that doesn't mean it isn't a title worth checking out at least once.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of Cape Fear
  • Behind the Scenes of the Fourth of July Parade
  • On the Set of the Houseboat
  • Photograph Montage
  • Matte Paintings
  • Opening Credits
  • Theatrical Trailer

Verdict: Rent It. Relive the fear.

The Guns of Navarone Blu-ray

The Guns of Navarone - Sony has brought one of the more well-known World War II classics to Blu-ray in a quality transfer that proves once again that any title can look great on Blu-ray given the right effort. Gregory Peck stars in the 60-year-old picture that takes a look at World War II - unlike many of the contemporary attempts that follow strictly American platoons. Fans of the film will be thrilled at the heavy extras involved.

  • The Resistance Dossier
  • Audio Commentary: Film Historian Stephen J. Rubin
  • Audio Commentary: Director J. Lee Thompson
  • Forging The Guns of Navarone: Notes from the Set
  • An Ironic Epic of Heroism
  • Memories of Navarone
  • Epic Restoration
  • A Heroic Score
  • Great Guns
  • No Visitors
  • Honeymoon on Rhodes
  • Two Girls on the Town
  • Narration-Free Prologue
  • Message from Carl Foreman

Verdict: Rent It.


Next week provides another huge opportunity for home video fans. Captain America launches on DVD and Blu-ray, while the Jurassic Park trilogy finally reaches Blu-ray. Attack the Block and Winnie The Pooh also reach home video, alongside the Blu-ray re-release of The Conversation.

Stay tuned every Tuesday for the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases and what you can expect from them in the weekly Breakdown.

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