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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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
Paranormal Activity 2 is a sequel that didn’t need to exist. But since it does, I’m glad it happens to be as good a sequel as anybody could’ve reasonably hoped for. I recognize there are those who find it far less scary than the first film, and though I can respect the reasoning from a pacing and build-up standpoint, I can’t quite fathom the logic behind it. Perhaps the problem is that I don’t have any fear of ghostly supernatural forces—especially not ones inclined to spookily open doors and occasionally thump on walls. In Paranormal Activity 2, the terror becomes real, because the family is being legitimately terrorized. And by subverting expectations of how these forces are most likely to strike, the novelty of the concept is more or less retained. Furthermore, the film manages to inventively complement the narrative of the first film by directly tying itself into it. This isn’t merely a rehash; the sequel actively enhances the mythology of the series. Then there’s the baby and dog—obvious additions, sure, but they also give the series its two most sympathetic characters, and provide the proceedings with some truly intense moments. As much as I appreciate the original’s ingenuity in the face of budgetary limitations, I think I actually like the second film more.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Theatrical and unrated cuts of the movie, and additional scenes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a digital copy of the film.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $15.99 N/A
Amazon – $15.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $23.99 $23.99
Amazon – $23.99

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You’ve probably seen Zach Galifianakis‘ awkward interview series Between Two Ferns on FunnyorDie. WFAA TV’s Gordon Keith decided to give Galifianakis a piece of his own medicine when interviewing the actor for his new indie dramedy It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Watch the interview embedded after the jump.

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Ep. 117 – Catfish (GUEST: Katey Rich from CinemaBlend)

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catfishThis week, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley discuss the relevance of the short list of directors to take on Superman, share thoughts on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Legend of the Guardians, and try to unravel the truth behind Catfish. Special guest Katey Rich joins us from Cinemablend.

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 (10/3) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review The Social Network.

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TIFF Movie Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Today at the Toronto International Film Festival I saw the big screen adaptation of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, the next movie from Half Nelson writer/directors Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck. I recorded a video blog reaction with my thoughts on the film with Steve from Collider. Watch it now after the jump.

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Movie Trailer: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Focus Features has released the first movie trailer for Half Nelson writer/directors Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck‘s new film It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

The comedy-drama has been adapted from Ned Vizzini’s 2006 novel of the same name; “16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist of United States of Tara), stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed – and finds himself stuck in the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of The Hangover), soon becomes both Craig’s mentor and protégé. Craig is also quickly drawn to another 16-year-old, Noelle (Emma Roberts). With a minimum five days’ stay imposed on him, Craig is sustained by friendships on both the inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the pressures of growing up. Academy Award nominee Viola Davis (Doubt) plays Dr. Minerva, the adult ward’s staff psychiatrist; Zoe Kravitz (The Brave One) portrays Nia, Craig’s longtime crush; Aasif Mandvi (The Proposal) is cast as Dr. Mahmoud, a hospital psychiatrist; and Lauren Graham (Parenthood) and Jim Gaffigan (of Focus’ Away We Go) play Craig’s parents, Lynn and George.

This definitely isn’t One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but it looks long a good indie dramedy, with an interesting cast and some talented filmmakers. The movie is the third feature from the filmmaking team of Boden and Fleck, following Half Nelson (2006), for which lead actor Ryan Gosling received an Academy Award nomination, and Sugar. Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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It's Kind of a Funny Story

Half Nelson writer/directors Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck‘s new film It’s Kind of a Funny Story begins production in New York City this week.

Keir Gilchrist, who stars as the title character’s son on the hit television series United States of Tara, has the film’s lead role. Costarring are Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Emma Roberts (of the upcoming Valentine’s Day), Academy Award nominee Viola Davis (Doubt), Zoe Kravitz (The Brave One), Aasif Mandvi (The Proposal), Lauren Graham (of this winter’s NBC series Parenthood), and Jim Gaffigan (of Focus’ Away We Go).

Focus Features sent out a press release to announce the start of production, which can be read after the jump.
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Focus Features Announces 2010 Release Dates

Eagle in the ninth

Focus Features today announced their 2010 release slate. Highlights include:

  • March 12th 2010: The Squid and the Whale writer/director Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg which stars Ben Stiller
  • April 16th 2010: Thomas BalmèsBabies, a documentary film which simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from birth to first steps.
  • Wednesday, September 1st 2010: Anton Corbijn‘s The American starring George Clooney as a retiring assassin
  • Third Quarter 2010: Kevin Macdonald‘s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth
  • November 2010: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck‘s (Half Nelson, Sugar) dramedy adaptation of Ned Vizzini‘s 2006 novel It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  • TBA 2010 (we assume in December for Award Season): Sofia Coppola‘s Somewhere starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning

After the jump you can read the full press release, which includes detailed plot synopsis for all of these films.

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funny_story_cover

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are the sort of creative team you can’t help but love. The duo have given us such recent gems as Half Nelson and Sugar, so you can bet I’ve been keeping a close eye on their next project, a dramedy entitled It’s Kind of a Funny Story, based on the novel of the same name. We’ve previously reported  the announcement of the project, as well as Zach Galifianakis’s involvement, and now we have the full cast list to share.

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