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.

Buy It

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
(Available as single-disc DVD, 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, and 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray)
“You know somethin’? I think this might just be my masterpiece.” That’s a mighty audacious claim that Tarantino not-so-subtly injects in Inglourious Basterds, his self-proclaimed World War II spaghetti western, but he earns the hell out of it. The film plays like a masterfully calibrated collection of short films, with each lengthy, deliberately paced scene—usually featuring nothing more than a number of characters sitting around a table talking—building up with excruciating intensity until finally reaching a breaking point, resulting in a delirious climax that repeatedly left me an exhausted mess. Together, these sequences add up to an endlessly thrilling viewing experience, with the overall narrative providing one of the more fascinating tales from the past decade. Everything there is to love about Tarantino is on full display here, from his ruthlessly clever dialogue to his brilliantly realized characters to his eclectic soundtrack selection and so on. Even though the movie is undeniably an exploitation film, there’s also a brain behind the madness. Instead of merely reveling in the slaughtering of Nazis (although there’s plenty of that too), Tarantino presents an interesting moral balance between all of the characters, including the comedically shameless Basterds and several almost (almost) sympathetic Nazi victims. Acting as somewhat of an examination of good and evil—or more specifically, what it means to be an evil person—Inglourious Basterds constantly plays on audience expectations for what its characters are capable of, using Hans Landa as its reference point for the true face of evil. This aspect is thankfully not pronounced aggressively enough to detract from the film for those that hope to appreciate it on a purely superficial level, but like the film’s obscure, carefully placed movie references, it’s there to be observed for those interested in looking. Two more things: Christoph Waltz’s performance is astounding, and the film’s ending is a stroke of pure, unbridled genius. Rock on, Tarantino. You made the best damn movie of the year.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Single-disc DVD – Extended and alternate scenes, and the Nation’s Pride film. 2-disc DVD & Blu-ray – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as a Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and film historian/critic Elvis Mitchell, featurettes (“Making of Nation’s Pride”, “The Original Inglorious Bastards”, “Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitters – the Australian Beer”, “Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel”), a conversation with actor Rod Taylor, a gag reel, a Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitch, and a digital copy.

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $15.77
Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $21.49 at Amazon, $22.99 at Best Buy, and $24.99 at Target (see below).

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $22.99 $19.95
Amazon – $17.99

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Alice In Wonderland

Walt Disney Pictures will be showing off their upcoming films at Comic-Con later this week, but audiences around the country will be seeing some new footage, in the form of 3D movie trailers, on the big screen this Friday. Which trailers? The teaser trailer for Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland and the 3D double feature release of Pixar’s Toy Story 1 & 2 will be attached to G-Force. The Alice in Wonderland trailer will premiere on Facebook on Thursday at 4pm pdt.

The Loyal Subjects of the Red Queen, the Loyal Subjects of the White Queen, and the Disloyal Subjects of the Mad Hatter are all building armies on Facebook. The fan page with the biggest army at 4PM PDT on Thursday, July 24 will get to see an exclusive new trailer from Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND before anyone else. So be sure to log onto Facebook and choose a side.

Disney has also provided us with four new high resolution photos which premiered in Vanity Fair last week, which you can check out below. Don’t want to wait until Thursday/Friday to find out what’s in the trailers? /Film reader Michael H has screened the trailers in 3D, and offers his description of the footage after the jump.
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up3

Yesterday, CBS News aired a segment on an “ongoing blogger debate” over the representation of black people and negative stereotypes in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Of course, after previous and longer segments on the failing economy and Air France, even the way in which Katie Couric mentioned “bloggers” carried a decidedly trivial tone connoting birds-on-a-wire. Snob. However, given that hardly anyone has seen a near-complete version of the fourth-quarter film, I have to agree that any “chirped” anger, feigned or genuine, is premature. Also: the world is mad, get over it.

But heated discussions about Disney’s movies, especially in this case, do have precedent: clips from the studio’s infamous 1946 film, Song of the South, are forever available to support and fan the issues of political correctness. Moreover, theories about sociological, hidden and subliminal messages in Disney films and characters are so prevailing that I have enjoyed intriguing classes on the very subject in junior high (for free) and at university (for a repossessed Porsche).

Which brings me to Disney’s Pixar, where animated films are made to awe kids and—and arguably more-so—adults. Feted, beloved, and at times “progressive” as it may be, Pixar is not immune to similarly “bloggy” issues regarding political correctness; a debate over the absence of female lead characters in their films began earlier this year and remains a valid and popular talking point.

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Academy Award’s 2009 Movie Preview

sherlock holmes oscars

During the credits of the 81st Academy Awards, video clips were shown for many of the films that will hit theaters in 2009. You might have turned off the television after Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture and missed everything. Or maybe you just want to see the awesome Terminator Salvation footage or the first look at Public Enemiess again. If so, don’t worry, we have the whole 3-minute clip embedded after the jump.

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Let’s have a vote. I’ll give you three film titles and you decide which one you’re looking forward to most: G-Force, the Guinea pig action comedy; Prince of Persia, the videogame adaptation; Confessions of a Shopaholic, the chick-lit-turned-chick-flick.

I voted for Confessions of a Shopaholic, because I’m quite a fan of PJ Hogan but something tells me Prince of Persia came out in front in our little vote there (and at time of writing it hasn’t even happened yet). I think that film might be fine, sure. I like Jake Gyllenhaal, I like Gemma Arterton, and Mike Newell’s never really upset me.

So, regarding our vote. Those three films are produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and he’s apparently cooked up a little bit of marketing synergy to give each of them a push from another. According to the MTV movie blog team, a Times Square scene about half way through Shopaholic is going to feature plugs for G-Force, Prince and other, as yet unidentified, Bruckheimer products. Look carefully at the billboards (presumably CGed) into the background and you’ll not only get to see fluffy-wuffy secret agent-wagents, but the world premiere of official Prince of Persia marketing imagery.

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Monsters vs. Aliens

There have been a bunch of new release date changes announced in the last 24 hours, let’s take a look.

DreamWorks has announced that they are moving Monsters vs. Aliens 3D from May 15th 2009 to March 27th 2009. The monster film was originally scheduled to go head to head with James Cameron’s Avatar in what was being called the first head to head 3D battle. Now that the film is opening a while 2 months earlier that Cameron’s epic sci-fi tale, both films might have a chance at finding an audience, and filling up more of the available 3D digital screen space. Monsters vs. Aliens, which reinvents the classic ’50s monster movie
into an irreverent modern day action comedy.

Disney has decided to push back The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from May 1, 2009 to May 7, 2010. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced live-action/CGI family film G-Force will now play on the original date.

Universal has moved Mark Romanek’s The Wolfman, which stars Benicio Del toro, from November 12, 2008 to a new to be announced date in the spring of 2009.

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