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.

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FOUR LIONS
For at least half of its runtime, Four Lions is a relatively good-natured comedy, foremost because its characters seem like relatively good-natured people. This is obviously in spite of the film’s subject matter, which focuses on a group of young Muslim men aspiring to become Jihadi Islamist terrorists. Like 2009′s In the Loop, the film aims to highlight the absurdity of contentious political issues, making light of a dark topic with some smartly observed satire. But there are two major differences between In the Loop and Four Lions. The first is that Four Lions is a sillier film. Its committed to the realism of its semi-documentary style, but only as much as, say, This Is Spinal Tap. The second is that, with In the Loop, you never see the consequences of the character’s actions. That second difference is what vindicates the decision for the first. It marks the key turning point in the film, taking the happy-go-lucky movie world in which we’ve been resting comfortably and viciously thrusting against it the tragic horrors of the real world. Some may fail to see the humor in that. I found it bitterly hilarious.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Deleted scenes, and a “Lost Boys” featurette.

DVD PRICE
Amazon – $16.99

BLU-RAY PRICE
Amazon – $20.99

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For an awards show that purports to honor outstanding achievements in film, the Academy Awards seem oddly drawn to the familiar. The movies with the most nominations at this year’s Oscar race, for example, are The King’s Speech and True Grit — two films with a great deal of critical acclaim backing them, but ones that are decidely lacking in any grand ambition beyond presenting a traditional, accessible story. The Oscars, it would appear, favor the classically good to the unconventionally good, leaving the latter out to be forgotten in a sea of mediocrity and predictability. This isn’t a shocking revelation; the Academy Awards have always favored films that adhere to a certain standard of genre filmmaking. A heart-rending, war-based drama about one man’s uplifting struggle against adversity will always win out over the truly innovative, progressive, subversive films of our times. Read More »

Tonight the award ceremony took place in London to honor recipients of the British Academy Film Awards, in a show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The BAFTA winners won’t have any particular effect on the Oscar race, but the lineup for winners looks very much like that which has been ratified many times over by various film awards in the US over the past few months, and which is likely to be set in stone by the Oscars.

The basic breakdown is that The King’s Speech was the big winner with seven awards in total, taking the Best Film and Outstanding British Film categories as well as acting nods for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush. David Fincher won Best Director for The Social Network, and Inception took quite a few technical awards. All the details are after the break. Read More »

As the year comes to a close, more Top 10 lists are being published. Last week, British filmmaker Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Hott Fuzz) filed his annual listing of the top five movies of 2010. Hit the jump to find out what movies made Wright’s list this year.

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This week, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley dwell on the execrable It’s Pat, ponder the ethics of “gay” jokes, and evince ambivalent feelings towards artificial scarcity in the home video market. Special guest Laremy Legel joins us from film.com.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us on Sunday (11/14) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Skyline.

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One of the most audacious films to come out of Sundance this year was Chris Morris’ Four Lions. A comedic genius who hails from the UK, Morris has previously skewered the nightly newscast and the investigative documentary in the TV series The Day Today and Brass Eye, respectively. In Four Lions, Morris turns his satirical eye towards a group of would-be terrorists from Sheffield, England. While their desire for jihad is strong, they are far from the sharpest knives in the drawer. The result is a film that’s both hilarious and dark, farcical yet true-to-life.

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave speaks with Morris about Four Lions (his first feature film). Chris discusses why terrorists really can sometimes be hilarious, how we aren’t getting the full story from the media, his appreciation of the documentary film format, and why he chose to shoot part of his film using night vision. Four Lions is out in limited release today. Thanks to Brattle Theater and BUFF for helping me put this interview together!

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us on Sunday (11/7) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Due Date.

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What Is It Like To Start a Film Distribution Company?

Not too long ago, we learned that the superlative Alamo Drafthouse theaters would be launching a film distribution arm. This evening, Drafthouse founder Tim League was in Boston, along with director Chris Morris, to promote Drafthouse Films’ first movie, Four Lions. My extensive interview with Morris will go live on the site on Friday, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a conversation I had with League about his new distribution business. We discuss what motivated him to start distributing films in the first place and what his biggest challenges have been so far. Feel free to check out the website for Drafthouse Films and follow Tim on Twitter. Four Lions opens on Friday, November 5th in limited release.

Hit the jump for the audio of our conversation. Note: This was a completely impromptu interview, so the audio quality is not great and we were interrupted halfway through by an urgent cell phone message. Still, I hope you’ll derive some value from it.
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See that large blank spot on your wall? This week is a great time to fill it with a limited edition movie themed print. Mondo has a few posters for movies that haven’t been interpreted much like Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and Chris Morris’ Four Lions (which we exclusively premiered here). Then, several of the prints we highlighted from the Wes Anderson themed Bad Dads show at the Lopo Gallery in San Francisco are either on sale now or going on sale later this week, including full sets by Kevin Tong and Tim Doyle. More details after the jump. Read More »

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