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, Circuit City, 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.

Rent It

CITY OF EMBER
If you listen to the /Filmcast, you’ve likely already heard me discuss how surprised I was by this film. It’s not amazing by any means, and it certainly has its problems (poor action sequences, unsatisfying climax, etc.), but thanks to the film’s unique and engaging story, appropriately clunky yet cool set design, and strong performances from its young leads, it manages to make for a genuinely entertaining old school adventure flick. It’s a real shame that it bombed at the box office as poorly as it did.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Absolutely nothing. Bummer.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor.
Where? Best Buy.

THE EXPRESS
If It weren’t for the positive reviews, I probably would’ve overlooked this movie completely, dismissing it as nothing more than an unnecessary Remember the Titans retread. Granted, I still believe this is true, but at least it appears to be well made and acted. For many, that will be enough.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary with director Gary Fleder, featurettes (Making of The Express, Making History: The Story of Ernie Davis, Inside the Playbook: Shooting the Football Games, From Hollywood to Syracuse: The Legacy of Ernie Davis), and deleted scenes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99
Amazon – $19.99

IGOR
This has been an unusual year for CGI films. For arguably the first time since 2001 (with Shrek), we actually have non-Pixar animated films nearing that studio’s standards. Among these films are Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and Horton Hears a Who. Igor, however, is not one of them. Despite an inventive premise that plays on classic monster movie tropes, the response to this movie has been very middling, and it didn’t even seem to last a week before being instantly forgotten following its release. I still intend on checking it out though, since I’m a sucker for animated films, and while it may not be one of the best of the year, it certainly doesn’t appear to be scraping the bottom of the barrel either (see: Space Chimps).
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers and a “Be An Igor” featurette.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor.
Where? Best Buy.

HENRY POOLE IS HERE
The more I read about this film, the more interested I become, and the more I think I’ll probably hate it. Those probably sound like two contrasting viewpoints, so allow me to explain: I’m an atheist. This movie is about faith. No, not faith. If what I’ve read is accurate, it seems this movie is about God, pure and simple. To elaborate, it’s about an atheist rejecting the notion of a miracle until eventually he is convinced otherwise by repeatedly being confronted with the undeniable presence of God. Now, I could be wrong, but I really can’t see this being handled in a way that’s anything other than ham-fisted and completely logic-defying. That said, I still intend on watching it with an open mind, and once I do, I’ll report back with my thoughts on the /Filmcast.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Director/writer commentary, a making of featurette, and 2 music videos (All Roads Lead Home, Henry Poole Is Here).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $14.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA
I have no expectations that this will be a good film in any respect, and yet, my curiosity is piqued enough by it to merit a rental. How the hell do you even describe this film? A dystopian cyberpunk horror/fantasy goth-rock opera? Odds are, this description is far more interesting than the actual film, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enticed. It’s even enough to convince me to ignore Paris Hilton’s presence in the film. It also helps that the film stars Anthony Head, who played Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Glad to see the guy’s getting work!
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Two audio commentaries and 2 featurettes (From Stage to Screen, Legal Assassin – A Repo Man).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $14.99 $11.99 $14.99
Amazon – $13.99

Skip It

MAX PAYNE
(Available as single-disc and Special Edition)
I had heard early word of mouth that this movie was bad, but I didn’t want to believe it. “Just because it’s based on a video game, that doesn’t mean it has to suck!” I repeated these words endlessly before the film’s release, right before referring to its badass trailer as proof of its potential. Of course, I did the very same thing prior to the release of Hitman… Apparently I still haven’t learned my lesson. Max Payne is the worst kind of bad movie: the boring kind. The only redeeming quality is its cinematography, which makes watching the film a bizarre viewing experience due to the strong contrast of the effective visual style against the terrible direction and acting.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc will include both rated and unrated cuts of the movie, and a commentary with director John Moore and crew. The special edition will include all of that, plus a Picture Production Featurette – Part 1, a Michelle Payne animated graphic novel, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $22.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

SAW V
(Available as rated edition, Unrated Director’s Cut and Unrated Collector’s Edition)
I’m going to use this paragraph as a placeholder for all future entries in the Saw series that need to be discussed for “This Week in DVD”, because hell if I’m going to bother wasting any energy writing something new for every movie when they clearly have no intention of paying audiences the same courtesy. This series has been on repeat since Saw II, simply throwing in a different batch of poorly developed characters to go along with a few familiar faces while they’re forced to engage in increasingly more ridiculous death-traps that usually end with something horribly gross and/or gory. And at the end of it all, we’re supposed to jump out and shout, “Holy shit, what a shocking twist!” regardless of the cheap storytelling mechanics involved and the massive lapses in logic/believability. If that wasn’t enough, you can experience the whole thing once again next Halloween (and sadly, a lot of people are apparently eager to). Talk about depressing.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Both unrated editions will include a director’s commentary, a producer’s commentary, and 5 featurettes (The Pendulum Trap, The Cube Trap, The Coffin Trap, The Fatal Five, Slicing the Cube: Editing the Cube Trap). Exclusive to the Collector’s Edition is a talking box, spinning blade, and collector’s booklet.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – N/A

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Target, $27.99 at Best Buy, and $28.99 at Fry’s. (Circuit City price N/A.)

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free Saw V flipbook keychain.
Where? Circuit City.

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Chris Rock: Kill the MessengerAmusementMoonlight (The Complete Series)The Powerpuff Girls (The Complete Series)The Notebook (Limited Edition Gift Set)El Norte (Criterion Collection)The Children of Huang Shi

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.


Exclusive: Exclusive Soundtrack with The Notebook (Collector’s Edition) ($22.99).

$12.99 – The Office (Season 1)
$18.99 – Family Guy (Vol. 1 – 6), Nip/Tuck (Seasons 1 – 4)


$19.99 – Firefly (Complete Series), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1 – 6), 24 (Seasons 1 – 5), The Unit (Seasons 1 – 2), Prison Break (Season 1), Burn Notice (Season 1)

$5.99 – Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Clerks, Equilibrium, Sling Blade, Good Will Hunting, Gangs of New York, and more…

.

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Page 2 for April 30th

Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!

WALL-E Muni

WALL-E has been spotted hanging on to the side of San Francisco’s MUNI Fast Rail public transit system. [flickr]

Phillip Noyce is in negotiations to direct The Art of Making Money, a DreamWorks project about a notorious counterfeiter who printed more than $10 million in fake bills. [thr]

Henry Poole is Here PosterMTV has the poster for Henry Poole is Here.

United Artists and Lakeshore Entertainment have hired 24 co-creator-executive producer Joel Surnow to develop a contemporary spy thriller that will be directed by Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell. [Variety]

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder
will arrive on DVD and Blu Ray on July 29th. [bloody-d]

Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody is now on Twitter. /Film is also on Twitter too!

Warner Bros will release movies for Apple TV the same day as dvd. [gizmodo]

FirstShowing takes a look at all the comic books you should read before seeing Iron Man.

Disneyland will be hosting Indiana Jones events starting on May 22nd: “Indiana Jones: Summer of Hidden Mysteries” will be made of 2 different street shows, one involves a female Archaeologist and the other features Indy fighting on rooftops. [theraider]

The Last House on the Left

ShockTillYouDrop has posted the first photos from Rogue’s The Last House on the Left remake.

Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann, the original kid stars of Disney’s 1970s “Witch Mountain” movies, are coming back for Race to Witch Mountain. [thr]

Watch the video for Scarlett Johansson‘s first single “Falling Down” which features David Bowie on backup vocals (but not in the video). [badandugly]

Avatar t-shirt

Our friends at MarketSaw have photos of a t-shirt made for James Cameron’s AVATAR from 1996 which Digital Domain was working on concepts. Jeeez, this film has been in development for some time.

Mark Ronson told the BBC that Amy Winhouse submitted a demo for the next James Bond film Quantum of Solace: “The demo sounds like a James Bond theme, hopefully. But I don’t know if it’ll get used.” [empire]

Ultimate WALL-EDisney will be releasing an Ultimate WALL-E programmable toy robot manufactured by Thinkway, which will retail for $189.99 USD. It will feature 10 motors for realistic movement, and also a “variety of sensors” to allow for voice activation, navigation, and detection of obstacles, among other capabilities. [pixarblog]

Spout wonders if Iron Man is Too Critically Acclaimed to be a hit?

Alamo Drafthouse had a special advanced screening of Iron Man where they had a guy in a jet pack dressed as Iron Man flying around the parking lot. How cool is that?

SFGate have put together a cool Google Maps mashup of famous movies shot in San Francisco. Now if only someone created a Google Map containing every movie shot in San Francisco. That would be cool.

Rob Zombie has posted a cryptic Dylan Thomas poem on his Tyrannosaurus Rex blog.

Henry Poole Is Here Movie Trailer

Henry Poole Is Here Movie Trailer

Lakeshore Entertainment has released the movie trailer for the upcoming Luke Wilson dramedy Henry Poole is Here. From Albert Torres, the screenwriter assigned to Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor, and from music video turned film director Mark Pellington (Arlington Road, U2 3D) comes “a modern day fable about the unexpected wonders of the everyday”. Luke Wilson stars as Henry Poole, a disillusioned man who attempts to hide from life in a rundown suburban tract home only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope. Check out the trailer below and tell me what you think in the comments.

Official Plot Synopsis:

Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) just wants to disappear. Shattered by circumstances beyond his control, he offers full price on a cookie cutter house in a drab, middle-class, L.A. neighborhood through his perky realtor Meg (Cheryl Hines). But just as he settles in to his indulgent isolation with a case of vodka and all the junk food he can eat, his neighbor, a well-meaning busybody named Esperanza (Adriana Barraza), drops by with a plate of homemade tamales and a whole lot of questions.

Despite his desire for solitude, Henry can’t help noticing Dawn (Radha Mitchell), the beautiful young divorcée next door and her daughter Millie (Morgan Lily), an eight-year-old amateur spy who hasn’t spoken a word since her parents’ break-up.

Henry’s self-imposed exile is shattered when Esperanza discovers a mysterious stain on Henry’s stucco wall that is seen to have miraculous powers. She begins leading pilgrimages to the “holy site” and invites church officials, including her pastor, Father Salizar (George Lopez), to inspect the apparition.

Although Henry remains skeptical, he finds himself gradually drawn back towards life, especially after his silent friendship with Millie brings him closer to Dawn. As news of the apparition spreads throughout the neighborhood and his feelings for Dawn grow, Henry realizes his plan to live out his days in quiet desperation is going to be much harder than he ever imagined.

Henry Poole is Here hits limited theaters on July 25th 2008, and will expands on August 1st 2008.

Discuss: What did you think of the Henry Poole is Here movie trailer?

Sundance 2008 Photo Preview: Part 1 – Premieres

Sundance 2008

The line-up for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I just got my hands on a boat load of photos from the films in this year’s festival. We actually have too many photos to feature in just one posting, so we have divided this feature into a few parts.

Our first segment in the series takes a look at the films in the Premiere category, which includes: Assassination of a High School President, Be Kind Rewind, CSNY Deja Vu, The Deal, Death In Love, Diminished Capacity, The Escapist, The Great Buck Howard, The Guitar, Henry Poole Is Here, In Bruges, Incendiary, The Merry Gentleman, A Raisin In The Sun, Savage Grace, Sleepwalking, Smart People, Towelhead, Transsiberian, U2 3D, The Visitor, What Just Happened?, The Year of Getting To Know Us, and The Yellow Handkerchief.

Also be sure to check out our Sundance 2008 Photo Previews for the Spectrum and U.S. Dramatic Competition.

Check out the photos after the jump. Click on the images to enlarge.

Read More »

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