Is nothing sacred?!? How can we trust anything, if we can’t trust reruns of How I Met Your Mother?
A couple of eagle-eyed viewers have noticed that episodes of the show from several years back have been digitally altered in reruns to feature ads for Sony, Columbia or Screen Gems films. At least two instances of Zookeeper ads have been screencapped, and there’s a Country Strong ad inserted into another episode. Check ’em out and add your own laugh track after the break. Read More »
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1
(Releases on Friday, April 15 — Blu-ray available as single-disc and Blu-ray+DVD+digital copy)
I’m still not convinced that the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise needed to be separated into two films, but perhaps that’s a discussion better reserved for Part 2. Is it fair to judge this as a standalone film, or should it be taken as only half of a whole (which in itself is only one seventh of an even greater whole)? Director David Yates seems to want it both ways, while also attempting to appease both hardcore fans of the books and more casual viewers of the movies. The effort is admirably ambitious, though not always successful, often servicing fans at the cost of narrative flow. I’ll hold off on casting any judgments on how the film fits into the grander story at play — something that could very easily make or break the film in retrospect — but as a continuation of what’s essentially evolved into a serialized big screen mini-series, this entry is as problematic as it is utterly compelling. As a devoted fan of the films, it’s fascinating to see how these characters (and actors) have grown and matured, and Yates does a tremendous job portraying the toll that these inherited responsibilities have taken on their relationships. Where the film falters is finding a satisfying way to properly set up and condense subplots from the book, leading to many awkward moments where characters and MacGuffins appear at random. I’m also terribly conflicted about the ending, because as much as I recognize the need to offer some sort of emotional climax, it doesn’t register as an organic progression, and is treated with such gravitas that it inadvertently undercuts a far more significant occurrence at the end of The Half-Blood Prince. Criticisms aside, I have to respect Yates for endeavoring a near impossible task and not losing sight of the characters and their journey amidst the commotion. There lies the strength of the film, and that’s exactly the way it should be.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Blu-ray – Includes a copy of the DVD and a digital copy of the film, as well as a sneak peek of an opening scene from the final film, a Maximum Movie Mode, Focus Points (“The Last Days of Privet Drive”, “Hagrid’s Motorbike”, “Amazing (or) Magical Tents!”, “Deatheaters attack Cafe”, “Creating Dobby and Kreacher”, “Godric’s Hollow”, “The Harry And Nagini Battle”, “The Frozen Lake”, “The Return of Griphook”), featurettes (“On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James”, “The Seven Harry’s”, “Dan, Rupert, and Emma’s Running Competition”, “Behind The Soundtrack”), and additional scenes.
|BEST DVD PRICE|
|Amazon – $14.99|
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE*|
|Amazon – $22.99|
*Does not include single disc edition, which costs $16.99 at Best Buy and Amazon.
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Here’s something a little different from Screen Gems, which is far better known for mid-budget genre fare like Resident Evil and Priest than a movie about a country singer trying to get her career back on track.
But looking at this trailer for Country Strong, you might make the argument that this movie is courting a genre audience in exactly the same way that Resident Evil courts its fanbase: by giving people what they want in a stripped-down, not too challenging scenario. See what you think when Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester take the stage to get crazy (heart), after the break. Read More »