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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NINE
Beyond the beautifully orchestrated symbolism, and beyond the fanciful narrative, lies the inherent vitality of a struggling artist’s uncompromised vision. I speak not of Nine, but of Fellini’s 8½, the classic film that inspired the musical upon which Nine is based. 8½ is a masterpiece for many reasons, but it’s only capable of achieving what it does because Fellini allowed it to be so achingly personal. With Nine, that introspective quality is missing, leaving us a central protagonist that has plenty of self-perpetuating problems, but no sense of connection to the viewer. Why are we supposed to care about Guido and his narcissistic, womanizing ways? Because he’s played by Daniel Day-Lewis, apparently. Given the nature of the story at hand—a character-driven piece about one man and his relationships with the women around him—this single misstep costs the film the one element it requires most, and no amount of attractive A-list stars, gorgeous cinematography and sumptuous production design can make up for that. It would be bad enough if that were all that were wrong with Nine, but it even fumbles many of the musical numbers—its primary means of distinguishing itself from Fellini’s work. With the exception of a passionate segment featuring Marion Cotillard, the musical sequences (enjoyable though they may be) feel strangely disengaged from the rest of the film, and do little to drive the narrative forward, emotionally or otherwise. As irreparable as these flaws are though, Nine remains watchable; the cast is too good and the technical merits too strong for it not to be. It’s arguably worth renting for the aesthetic appeal alone.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca, 8 Featurettes, and 3 music videos. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Sophia Loren Remembers Cinecitta Studios featurette, and a Screen Actors Guild Q&A.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $17.99 $15.97
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$22.99 $25.99 $19.97
Amazon – $22.99

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VOTD: 50 Movie Spoilers of 2009 in 4 Minutes

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The Fine Brothers love to spoil everything, In past years, we’ve featured their popular videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes and Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History. After seeing all of the big movies of 2009, the brothers are back once again.  Their latest video spoils 50 movies released last year (including all ten best picture nominees) in one take, in under 4 minutes. Watch the video now, after the jump.

And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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Nine

UPDATE: Now The Weintein Company says they won’t be cutting theatres from Nine‘s release. A rep insists that it will remain on 1400 screens this week. Let’s see what happens next week… Original article follows.

When it comes to year-end releases, Harvey Weinstein likes to bet on awards contenders. This year his horse was Nine, the Rob Marshall-directed adaptation of the stage musical. There was a lot of pedigree to back his pick: Marshall’s previous musical, Chicago, did well with critics, audiences and award balloting. The stage version of Nine won awards. And there’s the cast: Daniel Day-Lewis and a bevy of notable women: Kate Hudson, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Marion Cotillard and Penélope Cruz. (And Fergie who, ironically, turned out to be the selling point.)

But Nine‘s reviews have been dismal and the business worse. When it went wide last week it was only the eighth-highest earner, with a $5.5m tally against a budget over $60m; the film has made about $9m globally. If the Weinstein Company was hoping the film would offset the studio’s widely-reported financial woes, then this has been a season of disappointment. The film is already scaling back from the wide 1,400 theatre release. But Harvey has a plan to keep going into 2010. Read More »

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley have some harsh words for Rob Marshall’s Nine, discuss the greatness of Terminator 2 on Blu-Ray, praise the works of David Cronenberg, and try to muster some excitement for Ridley Scott’s rendition of Robin Hood. Special guest Dan Trachtenberg joins us from The Totally Rad Show.

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 Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air.

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nine

What are the pleasures of musicals?

Musicals require from their performers the daunting task of simultaneously acting and singing, often while executing choreographed dance. That’s a significant part of the reason we go pay to see live performances: to witness incredibly talented people perform these remarkable feats in real time. Musicals thrive on the tension between consummate professionalism and unpredictability. They also require the perception of continuity of motion in order to be fully enjoyed. When you fashion a musical into a film, you necessarily lose some of those elements.

But you don’t have to lose all of them.

As an audience, we understand on some level that the audio is recorded separately, that the dances probably required dozens of takes to produce the final version that we see on screen. So we make a bargain with the filmmaker: We will try to forget these inexorable truths about the filmmaking process if you do your best replicate the magic of musicals using a screen, a projector, and a few speakers. Rob Marshall’s Nine takes us up on this arrangement, only Marshall fails spectacularly at living up to his side of the bargain.
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Rob Marshall’s Nine Movie Trailer #3

Nine

The Weinstein Co have released a third movie trailer for Rob Marshall‘s new musical Nine.

Rob Marshall, who directed Chicago – winner of six Academy Awards including Best Picture, returns to the big screen with another classic Broadway production. The musical tells the story of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he prepares his latest picture and balances the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), a producer, a mistress (Penelope Cruz), a film star muse (Nicole Kidman), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Fergie), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), and his deceased mother (Sophia Loren).

If you missed the previous trailers, you can watch the first andsecond trailers linked. Watch the new trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Rob Marshall’s Nine Movie Trailer #2

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The new trailer for Rob Marshall’s Nine is here, and while the visuals certainly don’t disappoint, I’m sad to report that it doesn’t work quite as well as the lusciously dark first trailer. The big problem this time around is the featured song, “Cinema Italiano”, and Kate Hudson’s performance. The song just isn’t that great, and Hudson’s performance leaves much to be desired. Compare this to the first trailer’s use of “Be Italian”, and it simply doesn’t hold up. This new song was apparently written specifically for Hudson’s character, and wasn’t a part of the original stage production.

And yet, despite the weaker song, the sheer power of the visuals is still getting me amped up for this film.

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nine_women

This is an interesting development. The Weinsteins famously broke off from Disney several years ago when they left Miramax to found The Weinstein Company. But their new outfit has been struggling financially, and they’ve turned back to Disney (via ABC) to cross-promote the Rob Marshall musical Nine. But this isn’t just some run of the mill deal where Disney coughs up some cash and takes some profit. It’s a plan that will either make Nine the film with some of the highest awareness ratings of the fall, or will make everyone sick of it before it even has a chance. Read More »

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