This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Rent It

CITY OF EMBER
If you listen to the /Filmcast, you’ve likely already heard me discuss how surprised I was by this film. It’s not amazing by any means, and it certainly has its problems (poor action sequences, unsatisfying climax, etc.), but thanks to the film’s unique and engaging story, appropriately clunky yet cool set design, and strong performances from its young leads, it manages to make for a genuinely entertaining old school adventure flick. It’s a real shame that it bombed at the box office as poorly as it did.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Absolutely nothing. Bummer.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor.
Where? Best Buy.

THE EXPRESS
If It weren’t for the positive reviews, I probably would’ve overlooked this movie completely, dismissing it as nothing more than an unnecessary Remember the Titans retread. Granted, I still believe this is true, but at least it appears to be well made and acted. For many, that will be enough.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary with director Gary Fleder, featurettes (Making of The Express, Making History: The Story of Ernie Davis, Inside the Playbook: Shooting the Football Games, From Hollywood to Syracuse: The Legacy of Ernie Davis), and deleted scenes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99
Amazon – $19.99

IGOR
This has been an unusual year for CGI films. For arguably the first time since 2001 (with Shrek), we actually have non-Pixar animated films nearing that studio’s standards. Among these films are Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and Horton Hears a Who. Igor, however, is not one of them. Despite an inventive premise that plays on classic monster movie tropes, the response to this movie has been very middling, and it didn’t even seem to last a week before being instantly forgotten following its release. I still intend on checking it out though, since I’m a sucker for animated films, and while it may not be one of the best of the year, it certainly doesn’t appear to be scraping the bottom of the barrel either (see: Space Chimps).
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers and a “Be An Igor” featurette.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor.
Where? Best Buy.

HENRY POOLE IS HERE
The more I read about this film, the more interested I become, and the more I think I’ll probably hate it. Those probably sound like two contrasting viewpoints, so allow me to explain: I’m an atheist. This movie is about faith. No, not faith. If what I’ve read is accurate, it seems this movie is about God, pure and simple. To elaborate, it’s about an atheist rejecting the notion of a miracle until eventually he is convinced otherwise by repeatedly being confronted with the undeniable presence of God. Now, I could be wrong, but I really can’t see this being handled in a way that’s anything other than ham-fisted and completely logic-defying. That said, I still intend on watching it with an open mind, and once I do, I’ll report back with my thoughts on the /Filmcast.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Director/writer commentary, a making of featurette, and 2 music videos (All Roads Lead Home, Henry Poole Is Here).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $14.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA
I have no expectations that this will be a good film in any respect, and yet, my curiosity is piqued enough by it to merit a rental. How the hell do you even describe this film? A dystopian cyberpunk horror/fantasy goth-rock opera? Odds are, this description is far more interesting than the actual film, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enticed. It’s even enough to convince me to ignore Paris Hilton’s presence in the film. It also helps that the film stars Anthony Head, who played Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Glad to see the guy’s getting work!
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Two audio commentaries and 2 featurettes (From Stage to Screen, Legal Assassin – A Repo Man).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $14.99 $11.99 $14.99
Amazon – $13.99

Skip It

MAX PAYNE
(Available as single-disc and Special Edition)
I had heard early word of mouth that this movie was bad, but I didn’t want to believe it. “Just because it’s based on a video game, that doesn’t mean it has to suck!” I repeated these words endlessly before the film’s release, right before referring to its badass trailer as proof of its potential. Of course, I did the very same thing prior to the release of Hitman… Apparently I still haven’t learned my lesson. Max Payne is the worst kind of bad movie: the boring kind. The only redeeming quality is its cinematography, which makes watching the film a bizarre viewing experience due to the strong contrast of the effective visual style against the terrible direction and acting.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc will include both rated and unrated cuts of the movie, and a commentary with director John Moore and crew. The special edition will include all of that, plus a Picture Production Featurette – Part 1, a Michelle Payne animated graphic novel, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $22.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

SAW V
(Available as rated edition, Unrated Director’s Cut and Unrated Collector’s Edition)
I’m going to use this paragraph as a placeholder for all future entries in the Saw series that need to be discussed for “This Week in DVD”, because hell if I’m going to bother wasting any energy writing something new for every movie when they clearly have no intention of paying audiences the same courtesy. This series has been on repeat since Saw II, simply throwing in a different batch of poorly developed characters to go along with a few familiar faces while they’re forced to engage in increasingly more ridiculous death-traps that usually end with something horribly gross and/or gory. And at the end of it all, we’re supposed to jump out and shout, “Holy shit, what a shocking twist!” regardless of the cheap storytelling mechanics involved and the massive lapses in logic/believability. If that wasn’t enough, you can experience the whole thing once again next Halloween (and sadly, a lot of people are apparently eager to). Talk about depressing.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Both unrated editions will include a director’s commentary, a producer’s commentary, and 5 featurettes (The Pendulum Trap, The Cube Trap, The Coffin Trap, The Fatal Five, Slicing the Cube: Editing the Cube Trap). Exclusive to the Collector’s Edition is a talking box, spinning blade, and collector’s booklet.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – N/A

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Target, $27.99 at Best Buy, and $28.99 at Fry’s. (Circuit City price N/A.)

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free Saw V flipbook keychain.
Where? Circuit City.

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Chris Rock: Kill the MessengerAmusementMoonlight (The Complete Series)The Powerpuff Girls (The Complete Series)The Notebook (Limited Edition Gift Set)El Norte (Criterion Collection)The Children of Huang Shi

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.


Exclusive: Exclusive Soundtrack with The Notebook (Collector’s Edition) ($22.99).

$12.99 – The Office (Season 1)
$18.99 – Family Guy (Vol. 1 – 6), Nip/Tuck (Seasons 1 – 4)


$19.99 – Firefly (Complete Series), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1 – 6), 24 (Seasons 1 – 5), The Unit (Seasons 1 – 2), Prison Break (Season 1), Burn Notice (Season 1)

$5.99 – Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Clerks, Equilibrium, Sling Blade, Good Will Hunting, Gangs of New York, and more…

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

In this episode of the /Filmcast, David, Devindra, and Adam rejoice in Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi, debate the potential Jonah Hex and Green Lantern casting choices, wonder about Seth Rogen’s career trajectory, and turn an about-face on Scott in their review of Body of Lies. Kevin Buist joins us from the FilmCouch podcast and Alex Billington joins us from Firstshowing.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Oliver Stone’s W.

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Journey to the Center of the City of Ember Poster

Is it just me or does the latest City of Ember poster look very Journey to the Center of the Earth-ish?

City of Ember Movie Trailer

City of Ember

The latest fantasy novel adaption from Fox Walden is City of Ember. Based on the 2003 novel by Jeanne Duprau, Ember follows two kids, Lina and Doon, who live in the City of Ember, where the sky is always dark. As Ember’s power source begins to fail and the lamps start to flicker, they search for clues that will unlock ancient mysteries about the city and save the people of Ember. The film stars Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Toby Jones, Martin Landau, Mackenzie Crook, Mary Kay Place, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

I’ve been waiting for a really long time for a good children’s fantasy film like the stuff from my childhood (Henson’s Labyrinth anyone?). My theory is that most of the recent films, Narnia and the recent Potter films included, have forgotten the ingredient that makes these type of stories worth watching – that being the fun. But the whole point of being in a fantasy world is to enjoy some of it’s magic and wonder. And while story is very important, too much story can lead to too few of these fun and wondrous moments I’m talking about. And while this teaser trailer is only a minute and a half in length, not nearly enough to give a full indication of the film, I can see that the almost steam-punkish production design could easily lend itself to the fun and wonder that I was previously referring to. But tell me what you think in the comments after watching the trailer below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/cityofemberteaser.flv 470 270]

City of Ember hits theaters on October 10th 2008.

Discuss: What do you think of the City of Ember movie trailer?

Page 2

Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!

I Love You Philip Morris billboard

Cinematical has a photo of the I Love You Philip Morris billboard at Cannes.

Adam Brody talks to IGN about his preparation for the now defunct Justice League movie.

National Lampoon’s Homo Erectus
looks horrible. Check out the red band movie trailer on Trailer Addict, if you dare!

Temple of Doom Icon Set

IconFactory has released their Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Icon Set.

Uwe Boll told RT what his five favorite films are – and, considering he’s the man who cast Tara Reid as a brilliant archaeologist and made such clunkers as BloodRayne and Dungeon Siege, his picks are kind of surprising. (Apocalypse Now, Dances With Wolves, Clockwork Orange, Citizen Kane, and The Searchers.)

Killdroid: A Mechanical Love Affair

io9 has a first look at Killdroid: A Mechanical Love Affair.

Defamer counts down the Top Five Most Cringeworthy Facial Hair Moments in Cinematic History.

The Strangers Movie PosterThe new poster for The Strangers is kinda creepy. [bloody-disgusting]

AICN has the first test screening review of Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The reviewer says “it’s similar to “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” – it’s a raunchy sex comedy that also wants to have a sweet romance at its center” and claims the hillarious dialogue is “some of the strongest stuff I’ve heard from Smith in years”, but says “the heart of the movie doesn’t really fly”. Sounds to me like something that might be fixed in editing. It’s also revealed that Justin Long makes a cameo.

Lucasfilm has announced that “Star Wars Weekends” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will give a sneak peek at Star Wars: The Clone Wars , coming to theaters on August 15th. [ComingSoon]

FirstShowing takes a look at the 10 Best and Worst Rappers Turned Movie Actors.

Before you watch the documentary on the new special edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark, beware that a certain character’s identity, which may or may not be a spoiler from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is revealed on screen. [filmchat]


The Movie Blog
lists Five Ways Iron Man was better than Batman Begins.

Friday the 13th

Bloody-Disgusting has the first photo from Platinum Dunes remake of Friday the 13th.

Lance Henriksen (Near Dark, Pumpkinhead) has completed a cameo for Jennifer’s Body. [Shock]

City of Ember Movie PosterCinematical has the teaser poster for City of Ember. Meanwhile Fox Walden has launched the official teaser website at CityofEmber.com.

CinemaBlend has details on the 25th anniversary dvd release of WarGames.

Rotten Tomatoes Names Harrison Ford‘s Ten Best Film Characters.

ABC News lists Five Science Fiction Movies That Get the Science Right.

Diablo Cody will be the next guest programer at Hollywood’s New Beverly Cinema: “To me, the movie night I keep hyping, because I’m so excited about it, is Little Shop of Horrors, the ’86 version, and Labyrinth. And I’m going to do Nightmare on Elm Street 3 with Fright Night. Midnight Madness with Wet Hot American Summer. I’m gonna try and get both Reitman’s in and do an Ivan and Jason double-bill.” [shock]

Zap2It has script reivews of Fox’s two new shows – JJ Abrams’ Fringe and Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.

WarMachine

Rejects has this fan art showing what the movie version of War Machine might look like in the Iron Man sequel.

Arcade Fire will be scoring Richard Kelly’s The Box. [playlist]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will be released into IMAX® theatres worldwide on November 7, 2008. [CS]

Audrina Patridge, one of the stars of MTV’s The Hills, will make her feature debut opposite Chris Carmack and Laura Vandervoort in the Charles Winkler-directed Into the Blue 2. [THR]

Jessica Alba as Charlie Chaplin

Jessica Alba does her best impersonation of the iconic Charlie Chaplin in the June 2008 issue of Allure. [justjared]

The CW has given a 13-episode midseason renewal to Reaper. [variety]

Andras Hamori’s H20 Motion Pictures has greenlit The Gate — 20 Years Later, a sequel to the 1987 horror film that terrified me as a child. [bloody-disgusting]

eboy los angeles

eBoy‘s latest poster takes on Los Angeles.

The Mythbusters will take on Indiana Jones.

Rotten Tomatoes takes a look at New Line’s 40 years of independence (before getting gobbled up by WB), 25 movies to celebrate their legacy.

First Look: Hell Ride, City of Ember, The Bank Job, Australia, Fighting

I hate to do another compilation post, but I have a lot of first look production photos to show you.

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