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.

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 films 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.

Buy It

DOLLHOUSE (SEASON 1)
Initially, my expectations for this show were minimal. Based on the episodic nature of the underwhelming pilot episode, the most I was hoping for was an exercise in genre-bending, utilizing the alternating personality imprints of Eliza Dushku‘s character as a way to switch from action to drama to romance on a weekly basis. …That didn’t really happen. For the most part, the show sticks firmly to its sci-fi/action/thriller genre roots. What we got instead though, is something much more rewarding. As the show progresses and the story begins to unfold, it’s evident that Joss Whedon was finally allowed to tap into the potential of the premise. In many ways, the show becomes a study of the human condition, exploring the possibilities and limitations of the mind and what it is that defines who we are. The weak link, sadly, is Eliza Dushku, who isn’t even convincing as one character, let alone several. She holds back what’s otherwise a deeply compelling sci-fi series.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Commentary by Joss Whedon on 3 episodes, the never-before-seen standalone episode “Epitaph One”, the original unaired pilot “Echo,” deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes (“Making Dollhouse”, “Coming Back Home”, “Finding Echo”, “Designing the Perfect Dollhouse”, “A Private Engagement”).

BEST DVD PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$34.99$32.99$29.99
Amazon – $28.49

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$44.99$42.99
Amazon – $44.99

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dollhouse_impressions

Leave it to Joss Whedon to completely alter everything we’ve come to expect from a show within the course of a single episode. Dollhouse may have got off to a slow start, but if the ridiculously packed house at today’s Comic Con panel is any indication, I’m not the only one who thinks it eventually found its groove and developed into something great.

But nothing–and I mean nothing–could’ve prepared me for what I was about to see.

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dollhouse_cast

Despite being mostly tight-lipped when it came to revealing many of the story developments of the second season of Dollhouse, Joss Whedon did hint at it having “a couple of other faces you recognize.” As time wore on though, so did his penchant for secrecy. Whedon dropped two names: Alexis Denisof and Summer Glau. Now, any Buffy and Angel fans can attest to the greatness of Alexis Denisof, who played the bumbling “watcher” Wesley who was originally sent to look after Faith (played by Eliza Dushku). Whedon fans will surely enjoy that bit of TV synergy, but Summer Glau is naturally the real draw here.

Whedon made sure to clarify that, at this point, Glau is still a “maybe”. They’re still working out the details, but if everything goes as planned, she will indeed be on the show. I’m curious to see what part she ends up playing, because there’s a notable similarity between the blank-faced River (her character on Firefly) and the “dolls” (or “actives”) in Dollhouse. How interested would you guys be to see her play a “doll” on the show?

Comic-Con logo smallAs Comic Con approaches, we’ll be learning more and more about what we can expect at this year’s geek fest.

First up, I’ve learned that Derrick Comedy’s Mystery Team will not only have a booth on the convention floor, but will be holding a panel and a special sneak preview screening at the con. No word on the exact dates.  Writers/stars Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, producer Meggie McFadden, and director/editor Dan Eckman will be on hand at the panel debuting an all-new Mystery Team short film. On the convention floor:

Come bust kid criminals with Oakdale’s best eighteen-year-old kid detectives the Mystery Team in their storefront slash crime lab.  Meet the filmmakers, take pictures with actual setpieces, and submit a mystery of your own for solving.

Next up, Donnie Darko/Southland Tales director Richard Kelly says he will be making an appearance at the con to promote his upcoming sci-fi thriller The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella. The panel will take place on Friday, July 24th as part of the Warner Bros presentation. Cameron, James and Richard will be in attendance to present a first look at the trailer and “other cool stuff.”

More after the jump.

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chuck-cast

It looks like Chuck fans can rest easy. NBC has announced tonight that it will be renewing the show for a third season, though it will receive a shortened 13-episode season along with other possible budget reductions. Ausiello reports that the show may lose a cast member, and possibly two staff writers as well. Given that the series has many secondary characters, I’m thinking we could easily lose someone without affecting the core of the show at all. The writer cut also makes sense given the shortened season run.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fans unfortunately have less to celebrate. While I can’t find any other sources corroborating this, Ausiello has updated the show’s status on his fall tv cheat sheet to “officially cancelled.” Given that he already reported that the show was pretty much down for the count last month, the show’s fate is not all that surprising. As a person who appreciated the series, I’m saddened to see the show go.

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/FilmCast

Wolverine MilkIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley marvel at the new trailer for District 9, discuss the new batch of remakes that Hollywood is mulling over this week, reflect on the relative hopelessness of Eclipse, and spend 55 minutes conducting a review/therapy session over the fate of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Special guests Elisabeth Rappe from Cinematical and Neha Tiwari from DL.TV join us.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week as we review Star Trek (Date and time TBA).

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Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Dollhouse

It’s safe to say that Dollhouse has finally kicked it into high gear in the second half of this season. While the first crop of episodes were mostly episodic and felt strangely generic, all of the episodes after and including “True Believer” (the fifth, written by Angel and Firefly vet Tim Minear) have proven that Dollhouse is a bonafide Joss Whedon show. In the second half of the season we’ve seen the depth, humor, and excellent character work that we’ve come to expect from Whedon, but that rise in quality has unfortunately not been reflected in the show’s ratings.

In a recent conversation with Whedon, Sci Fi Wire reports that all may not be lost for the show. When asked if he’s heard anything about cancellation, Whedon responds:

They haven’t said anything about a number, and they haven’t said anything about a date. What they have said is “We get it. We get that the numbers are soft, but it’s not a Nielsen world. The DVR numbers are good, and the show’s getting better, and the demographic is good, and we all have a crush on [star and producer] Eliza [Dushku].” So they’re basically fans.

Obviously, there has to be a number we reach that is viable for them economically, or it would be senseless for them, unless they were insane fans like me. But they get it. They get the show, and they get what works. So they’re anxious for it to stay at a level where they can justify throwing down some more. Hopefully that’ll happen.

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/FilmCast

rachel-getting-married

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley geek out about the new Terminator Salvation trailer, ponder the fate of the Green Hornet project under Gondry’s direction, and get pessimistic about a Total Recall remake. Dave also chats with Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons about his inspirations behind the original graphic novel. Special guest Russ Fischer joins us from CHUD.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Watchmen.

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/FilmCast

frozen_river_posterIn this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss their interpretations of the ending of Contact, lament the length of the Funny People trailer, ponder the greatness of Chris Klein’s career, and discuss their Oscar reflections. Special guest Laremy Legel joins us from Film.com, and Myles McNutt drops by from Cultural Learnings to share his thoughts on the Oscars.

Join us next Tuesday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Rachel Getting Married.

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