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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AVATAR
(Releases on Thursday, April 22)
Avatar’s crowning achievement is that it could not have been made at any time prior to right now. Put that into perspective: it took over 100 years of film history transpiring to allow for this movie’s existence. And in utilizing that century’s worth of technological progress, James Cameron managed to create one of cinema’s most awe-inspiring spectacles: the world of Pandora. Without Pandora, and without the visual effects that made Pandora possible, Avatar would be nothing. It is by far the most compelling character in the film. While the design of the creatures, botanical life and Na’vi may not be especially unique, it’s the vibrant, gorgeous rendering of these elements that makes the world feel so lush and alive. Avatar is an ‘experience’ movie, more successful at taking you on a journey filled with beauty, excitement and discovery than it is at telling an engrossing story. This is also the reason the film is bound to lose much of its appeal in the transition from IMAX 3D to home video. The plot and characters just aren’t that compelling, seriously lacking in both originality and emotional resonance. Viewers keep fixating on the similarities in plot to Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, Ferngully, The Last Samurai, and so on, but really, the familiarity of the story would not have been a problem had Cameron expanded or added onto the formula in any meaningful way, instead of stripping it down to its bare essence. Characters fare even worse, with central protagonist Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) doing his darndest to earn the title of cinema’s blandest hero, and the supporting cast leaving even less of an impression than him. All of the characters are relegated to embodying the most stereotypical traits of their societal roles, often feeling like a naïve 15-year-olds interpretation of what scientists, the military, and Native Americans act like (having apparently been learned from years of comic books and Saturday morning cartoons). The only two characters that inspire any sort of an emotional response are Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana) and Colonel Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang), and that’s due entirely to the engaging performances of the actors playing them, as even they’re not exempt from Cameron’s groan-worthy dialogue and simplistic characterizations. If it weren’t for the film being so damn pretty, I’d probably hate it.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – None. Blu-ray – Includes a copy of the DVD.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$15.99 $15.99 $15.97
Amazon – $15.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $22.99 $19.97
Amazon – $19.99

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Page 2

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

Speeder Dogs

Global Nerdy brings us the photo of the day: Speeder Dogs.

Charles Grodin will cameo in Jason Segel‘s new Muppet Movie. [mtv]

TorrentSpy already shut its doors earlier this year, and now they have been hit with a $110 million judgment against its parent company, Valence Media. The MPAA has won. [mashable]

Collider has a preview of their set report of G.I. Joe.

Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman have just completed a screenplay based on Mark Millar’s graphic comic book ‘Kick-Ass‘. [dailymail]

Ironman Jones Movie PosterHollywoodInk has a poster for this year’s Summer movie season (pictured left).

Rotten Tomatoes
has an exclusive video diary from the set of Quantum of Solace.

Vulture wonders what unsung comic book superheroes should star in The Avengers.

Ellen Page is set to play one of English literature’s most famous characters, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. [Variety]

Topless Robot counts down the 11 Best Songs from Geek-Movie Soundtracks.

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star in the Marc Webb-helmed romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer for Fox Searchlight, which centers on a man (Gordon-Levitt) who falls hopelessly in love with a woman (Deschanel) who doesn’t believe in love. [variety]

CineVegas has announced their line-up which includes: The Rocker, Dark Streets, Your Name Here, Beautiful Losers, Chelsea on the Rocks, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Choke, and Schoof [thecircuit]

The Sundance Channel has been acquired by New York-based Cablevision Systems for $496 million in stock and cash. [imdb]

Director Darren Lynn Bousman has officially been asked to direct the remake to Hellraiser. [bloody-disgusting]

Cloverfield Manga

io9 has the latest on the Cloverfield Managa.

SNL have announced Shia LeBoeuf will host May 10th with My Morning Jacket and Steve Carell will host season finale on May 17th with Usher. [collider]

The internet teaser trailer for Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno will hit the web next week. [newsaskew]

Moon Bloodgood as Det. Maya Sunee in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

The first production photo of Moon Bloodgood as Det. Maya Sunee in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li was released on the movie’s official blog.

Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and Josh Lucas are joining Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page in Michael Lander’s psychological thriller “Peacock.” [THR]

GuideSpot has a Google Maps guide of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Bay Area.

Tom Cruise has launched Tom Cruise.com.

Tom Hanks endorses Barack Obama.

My friend John Campea over on The Movie Blog listed five lesser known comic character movies he’d like to see

Wanted and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army will open and close the Los Angeles Film Festival.

FirstShowing takes a look at the Future of Iron Man: Alcoholic Tony Stark, War Machine, and Beyond!

The first trailer for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor will hit in June. [SciFi]

Maya Entertainment has acquired all U.S. rights to Alex Rivera’s Sundance award-winner Sleep Dealer. [THR]

another-role.jpg

“Yeah, like, why do so many of Slash Film’s readers wanna collect my bones and stuff?”

Comparable to blurting out a hat trick of her favorite indie bands outside a Cat Power concert, Ellen Page (Juno :) just booked her third film in a month’s time, following Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell and Drew Barrymore’s Whip It. She’ll star opposite the ever-androgynous Cillian Murphy (Breakfast on Pluto, Scarecrow) in Peacock, a high concept thriller in which Murphy will play a split-personality “who tricks a town into believing his alter egos are man and wife.” And, of course, Page will play a struggling young mother…who instigates a battle between Murphy’s bickering inner-couple.

The script was written by NKOTB Michael Landers and Ryan Roy, with Landers directing. In one of his parting shots today, Defamer editor Mark Lisanti called the script “brilliant.” Murphy seems to agree, saying, “Peacock stunned me as a script from start to finish.” Have any /Film readers seen the light? If so, let us know.

As for the peoples who want to burn every hamburger phone on eBay and march Diablo Cody into a flaming Wicker Pop Culture Reference, do you feel Ellen Page is forever typecast a la Macaulay Culkin? And if she starred in Lars and the Real Girl 2: Oscar Bound, would that make your tummy feel better?

Source Link: Variety / Slash Film Comments

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