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 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.

Buy It

In what I’d argue was one of the biggest snubs in Oscar history, the Academy Awards’ failure to nominate The Wrestler for Best Picture showed not only a lack of appreciation for director Darren Aronofsky’s emotionally devastating, richly affecting tale of a lonely man trying to fill the empty void in his life, but also a lack of foresight. While movies like The Reader and Frost/Nixon are likely to be forgotten in less than five years, I predict this is a movie that will only grow in appeal; Mickey Rourke’s heart-wrenchingly honest performance ensures it.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A ‘Within the Ring’ featurette, and a ‘The Wrestler’ music video by Bruce Springsteen.

TargetBest BuyFry’s
Amazon – $16.99

What? $5 Gift Card with purchase of DVD.
Where? Fry’s.

What? Save $5 when you buy both The Wrestler and Notorious.
Where? Best Buy.

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Are you way behind on your movie watching? The Oscars are approaching faster than you think. In case you hadn’t realized, they’re on this Sunday. Still haven’t seen Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Slumdog Millionaire? Not doing anything this Saturday? Well then, you’re in luck. If you have $30 bucks to spare, you can catch every single one of these films in a row, starting with Milk at 10:30am, all the way up to Frost/Nixon at 9:45pm. It boils down to almost 11 complete hours of film time, and AMC is tossing in a large popcorn with free refills all day to boot. Plus you’ll be able to come and go as you please… like during the last hour or so of Benjamin Button.

Over 97 different AMC theaters across the U.S. are participating in this showcase, and you can check on their website to see if this is happening near you. While it might not be all three Lord of the Rings movies in a row (which is almost as long with those extended editions), it’s still a pretty serious way to geek out on some quality movies. Just make sure you eat your weight in popcorn to really squeeze some extra value out of your thirty bucks. That’s what I’m planning on doing (I’ll be at the one in Anaheim), and now I just have to figure out how to smuggle in a tank full of soda.

There is a phenomenon known as “the Oscar bounce.” When a movie receives Academy Award nominations, especially one of the five coveted Best Picture slots, ticket-buyers generally follow. The Oscar seal of approval used to mean something to the rank-and-file moviegoer, but that seems to have changed.

Only one of this year’s Best Picture nominees has inspired any real passion from the broad public. The almost-certain Best Picture winner is Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), and its devotees, including critics and members of the Academy (not to mention yours truly), have made it a word-of-mouth smash hit. The Danny Boyle-directed feel-good Bollywood fusion movie made for a meager $14M added another $2.05M or so on Friday and is charting a 3-day course for about $7.25M. That will give the Slumdog a $77.2M take, and it could reach $90M-$95M before it’s through in American theatres.
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Yesterday, The Dark Knight grabbed Writers Guild and Producers Guild nominations, shocking some Hollywood insiders who don’t believe that the comic book movie has a chance at the Best Picture Academy Award. Today Christopher Nolan and the film have been nominated for the Director’s Guild of America Awards. Here is the list of nominees:

David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

I’m shocked that Darren Aronofsky didn’t make the list for The Wrestler, especially over Howard’s Ron Nixon.

The Dark Knight Grabs WGA and PGA Nominations

Both the Writers Guild of America (East and West) and the Producers Guild have nominated The Dark Knight as one of the best films of the year. This further solidifies The Dark Knight as a Best Picture contender, shocking some Hollywood insiders. Full list of nominations after the jump.

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In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam lament the removal of Stephen Chow from The Green Hornet, discuss whether or not a Schwarzenneger cameo would be a good idea for Terminator Salvation, and evaluate the early movie careers of Seth Gordon and Frank Miller. Special guests Erik Davis and William Goss join us from Cinematical.

Join us next Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as your favorite film podcast runs down their top films of 2008 and reviews The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Frost/Nixon on Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose’s one-hour indepth interview with Frost/Nixon director Ron Howard and star Frank Langella is now online. The second part is available after the jump.

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The American Film Institute has packed their Top 10 films of the year. Like any AFI list, the films are all over the map from indies to big Hollywood blockbusters, and I find myself a little bit angry after reading through the selections (although, not as much as I usually am). Why was Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire snubbed? I thought it was considered to be partly an American production? I am also surprised that they included two comic book films in the results (not that I disagree).

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frozen River
Gran Torino
Iron Man
Wendy and Lucy
The Wrestler

Also, the Boston Society of Film Critics have voted and declared WALL-E and Slumdog Millionaire both the Best Movies of the Year. And for those of you counting, this is the second critic association to give the Best Picture Award to WALL-E. Could this be a foreshadowing of what might be to come with the Academy Awards?

The Best Picture category was not the only tie, the BSFC awarded both Sean Penn (Milk) and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) Best Actor of the Year honors. The rest of the list follow:

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Director: Gus Van Sant for Milk and Paranoid Park
Best Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li for Paranoid Park
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Foreign-Language Film: Let the Right One In
Best Animated Film: WALL•E
Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire
Best New Filmmaker:
Martin McDonagh for In Bruges
Best Ensemble Cast: Tropic Thunder

via: In Contention

Early Buzz: Frost/Nixon Gets Mixed Response

Ron Howard‘s Frost/Nixon premiered at the London Film Festival to cold and mixed reviews. Lets take a look at the early buzz.

Variety’s Todd McCarthy: “Perhaps needlessly adopting a cinematic equivalent of the play’s direct-to-audience address, Howard “interviews” several of the characters, witness-style, about the events, which only serves to make the film feel somewhat choppy, half like a documentary at first. Approach also imposes an overly predictable editing style on the whole film, one in which the cuts come precisely on the expected beats, when a fleet, syncopated rhythm would have moved the exposition along with more flair. It might even be that the film could have done without the talking heads altogether.”

In Contention
: “It’s a tall order, and with Morgan’s script hewing closely to its source, Howard responds to it in the manner he knows best: with the most prosaic of visual aesthetics to hand, a doggedly linear approach to storytelling and the spotlight thrust squarely on a reliable pair of actors. The approach only gets him so far. Howard’s hands-off direction makes for an oddly bloodless viewing experience, with a lot of talk standing in for any fresh perspective (or frankly, much of a perspective at all) on the events.” … “Howard is left adrift, particularly in a sluggish first hour where, with the crucial interviews yet to begin, the historical context is painted in broad, CliffsNotes fashion, with a gallery of reconstructed talking-head interviews and distracting lookalike cameos (There’s Diane Sawyer! There’s Swifty Lazar!) in place of significant internal character development.”

Film Detail: “To the film’s great credit that director Ron Howard and Morgan (who wrote the screenplay) have not only preserved the insight and charm of the play but made it work in a different medium.” … “It is this surreal mix of the personal and political that lies at the heart of why the play and this film version work so well.”

Guardian: “But transferring this small-screen drama to the stage was a more interesting medium-shift than moving it to the big screen.”