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jennifer's body posterIn this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the sad state of Disney’s live action brand, assess Tomas Alfredson’s proclivities for gender-bending storylines, offer up some unabashed praise for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and report back on the first week of the fall TV season. Special guest Adam Kempenaar joins us from the Filmspotting podcast.

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 at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Surrogates.

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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

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (SEASON 4)
There’s no getting around it: this was easily the show’s most hit-or-miss season thus far. With episodes like “Who Pooped the Bed?”, the joke behind which is already summed up by the title and never extends beyond that for the entire duration, and “The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell”, which takes place in the 1700′s and is exactly as tired a sitcom premise as it seems, this is the first time where I’ve disliked some of the series’ episodes enough that I literally have zero interest in revisiting them. It’s odd then, that this season also features a number of the show’s best episodes. “The Nightman Cometh”, in which Charlie extends his Nightman song into a full-fledged rock opera, is just as hilarious as the musical number that inspired it. “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” features one of the most hilarious moments of television I’ve ever seen, with a cowboy-hat wearing Charlie yelling “Wildcard, bitches!” and leaping out the back of a van. The real winner though is this season’s two-parter, “Mac & Charlie Die”, which might just be the best thing that’s come out of the show to date. It’s worth noting that both this episode and “The Nightman Cometh” were scripted solely by the show’s original creators: Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, and Glenn Howerton (who, for those few who don’t know, are also the show’s three male leads). The weak episodes, meanwhile, were scripted primarily by the show’s more recently introduced writers, who came on board at the start of Season 3. I doubt the decline in quality since then is just a coincidence. Regardless, even with a slightly weaker season overall, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia remains one of the funniest shows on TV, and I feel no hesitance in adding this latest DVD set to my collection.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: The Nightman Cometh Live!, Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life, and a blooper reel.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$26.99 $24.99 N/A
Amazon – $25.99

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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.

The Good

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPLHIA (SEASON 3)
This may just be one of the most profane, crass, disgusting, and downright twisted shows to ever air on television. Those are just a few of its praise-worthy traits. It’s also gut-achingly hilarious. A live action equivalent of an R-rated cartoon, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia follows five ignorant, self-centered, arrogant douchebags who own a bar but rarely work in it, opting instead to find tasteless new hijinks to engage in on a daily basis. At the start of the show, each episode would tackle a different hot button issue (like racism or teenage drinking), but now the creators have gotten into a rhythm of outright insanity regardless of if they’re playing with a taboo. Some people haven’t taken kindly to this change, claiming that the utter ridiculousness of Season 3 detracts from what made previous seasons entertaining. Personally, even though I believe Season 1 featured the series’ greatest episodes by far, I also think this is the bar the show needs to remain at for seasons to come. Season 3 features 15 episodes.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Two episode commentaries (with creators/stars Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glen Howerton), a behind-the-scenes featurette (‘Sunny Side Up: Volume 2′), a gag reel, and two comical featurettes (‘Meet the McPoyles’, ‘Dancing Guy’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $29.99 $27.99
Amazon – $25.99

THE BIG LEBOWSKI (10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
The Big Lebowski is one of my top ten favorite movies of all-time, but it wasn’t always that high on the list. This is a movie you come to appreciate the more times you watch it, as the subtle details of the characters/plot and instantly quotable dialogue make return visits that much sweeter. Instead of getting tiresome, the comedy only gets funnier and more rewarding, as does Jeff Bridge’s outstanding performance playing “The Dude” and of course John Goodman’s as Walter Sobchak. After a lackluster Collector’s Edition release, this 10th Anniversary Edition DVD should really tie the room together.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A video introduction and a bunch of featurettes (‘The Dude’s Life’, ‘The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later’, ‘Making of The Big Lebowski’, ‘The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story’, ‘Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of the Dude’, ‘Jeff Bridges Photo Book’).

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

*Does not include Limited Edition bowling ball set, which costs $23.99 at Amazon, $26.99 at Best Buy, and $29.99 at Circuit City and Fry’s.

Here’s the Limited Edition bowling ball set…

BABY MAMA
Despite my love of Tina Fey, the trailers for this movie didn’t do much for me so I passed on it in theaters. But according to the mostly positive critical and audience response, this lightweight and predictable comedy has a strong enough dynamic between Fey and Amy Poehler to make for an entertaining rental. So if you’re looking for something to watch with a certain significant other where you don’t have to pay much attention (hint, hint), Baby Mama seems like a solid choice.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary (with Fey and Poehler, among others), deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a couple featurettes (‘Saturday Night Live: Legacy of Laughter’, ‘From Conception to Delivery: The Making of Baby Mama’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $17.99

UGLY BETTY (SEASON 2)
Ugly Betty revolves around the life of a sweet, not-so-gorgeous, not-so-thin girl named Betty Suarez, working as best she can amongst the beautiful models that surround her at the offices of the high-fashion magazine Mode. I still haven’t gotten around to watching Ugly Betty, unfortunately, but I’ve heard nothing but positive things about it. If you watch it, how about offering me some incentive to check it out in the comments?
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and a bunch of featurettes (‘On Set with the Besties’, ‘The Suarez Tour’, ‘Wilhemina Slater: Love to Hate Her’, ‘Las Pasiones de Telenovelas’, ‘I Heart Betty’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$36.99 $39.99 $37.99 $35.99
Amazon – $37.49

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free $10 Target GiftCard with purchase of both Grey’s Anatomy (Season 4) ($36.99) and Ugly Betty (Season 2).
Where? Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Buy both Grey’s Anatomy (Season 4) ($36.99) and Ugly Betty (Season 2) and save $10.
Where? Best Buy, Circuit City.

THE FALL
Directed and written by Tarsem Singh (making his first movie since The Cell came out eight years ago), The Fall has been accused of suffering similar problems to his previous film, focusing more on visuals than on story and oftentimes feeling self-indulgent because of it. But even if it doesn’t succeed as a movie, it does succeed as a work of art, offering a “visually sumptuous fantasy world of exotic bandits, evil tyrants, dream-like palaces and breathtaking landscapes.” [Rotten Tomatoes] The film currently holds an 8.2 out of 10 on IMDB.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Two commentary tracks (one with the co-writer/director Tarsem Singh, one with star Lee Pace, co-writer/producer Nico Soultanakis and co-writer Dan Gilroy), deleted scenes, and 2 featurettes that take an artistic look at the film’s production.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$18.99 $19.99
Amazon – $18.99

The Bad

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions + Digital Copy)
I’m normally sympathetic to audience/critic responses to movies when placing DVDs in The Good or The Bad sections, but regardless of this film’s 64% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.0 rating on IMDB, I cannot in good conscious label The Forbidden Kingdom as good. This is a bad movie, no question about it. Entertaining? Maybe… For some. But between the godawful dialogue, clichéd and predictable storyline, frustratingly artificial style, and overall raping of the Asian culture, it was hard for me to feel anything other than a combination of boredom and pain while watching it. As the first Hollywood pairing of martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li, this movie could not have been more disappointing.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Extras on the 2-disc include a commentary (with director Rob Minkoff and writer John Fusco), deleted scenes, a bunch of featurettes (‘The Kung Fu Dream Team’, ‘Dangerous Beauty’, ‘Discovering China’, ‘Filming in Chinawood’, ‘Monkey King and the Eight Immortals’), a Previsualization featurette with commentary by Rob Minkoff, and a blooper reel.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $17.99

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

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
How the West Was Won (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)Cool Hand Luke (Deluxe Edition)Smallville (Season 7)Grey’s Anatomy (Season 4)Child’s Play (Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition)Pumpkinhead (Collector’s Edition)Pet Sematary (Special Collector’s Edition)HecklerC.S.I. Miami (Season 6)Medium (Season 4)Wings (Season 7)

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

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


Exclusive: Free $5 Target GiftCard with purchase of Smallville (Season 7) ($39.99).

$7.50 – The Princess Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Remember the Titans, and We Are Marshall.


Exclusive: Free exclusive Visions comic book included with purchase of Smallville (Season 7) ($37.99).

$19.99 – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1 & 2), Arrested Development (Seasons 1 – 3), My Name is Earl (Seasons 1 – 2), How I Met Your Mother (Seasons 1 – 2), American Dad (Seasons 1 – 3), and The Riches (Season 1).

$29.99 – The Simpsons (Seasons 1 – 10).

$7.50 – Hot Fuzz, Eastern Promises, Borat, Fracture, The Number 23, Legend (Ultimate Edition), Crank, O Brother Where Are Thou?, Invincible, Talladega Nights, and more…


$6.99 – Snatch, The Mask of Zorro, Hitch, Spanglish, A Knight’s Tale, Click, Tears of the Sun, Stranger than Fiction, Desperado, Marie Antoinette, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Silent Hill, Ali, Rudy, Meatballs (Special Edition), and more…

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