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.

Buy It

FUNNY PEOPLE
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Unrated Edition)
Funny People is the type of film that can only be made on the studio’s dime once the director has already proven themselves as a profitable entity. There’s no way Judd Apatow would’ve been able to get a green light on this film in its current state if it weren’t for the countless successful comedies he’s produced, as well as the two critically-acclaimed, $100+ million grossing efforts he’s written and directed. As the third entry in his directorial filmography, Funny People was met with a lukewarm critical response and didn’t even earn back its budget. That’s a shame. This movie deserves to find an audience. I’d even argue that it’s a superior film to either The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up (which I also adore, mind you). Granted, it’s also a much different film. Whereas those films took the more familiar Hollywood formula route and injected it with enough heart and hilarity to overcome whatever potential issues might’ve stemmed from their predictable nature, Funny People disregards the formula (almost) entirely and opts for a more personal, honest approach. There are funny moments to be sure, but at its core, this is a character study about a famous comedian and the choices he’s made, contrasted against an up-and-coming comedian and the choices he has yet to make. Understandably, not everyone will find themselves able to relate to the plight of a man who has more money than we will ever know. There have also been complaints made about the film’s lengthy running time and lack of a consistent conflict—both of which become readily apparent in the third act. These are only some of the reasons for which I admire the film. It doesn’t feel the need to adhere to some derivative narrative structure when there’s a much more interesting emotional struggle already at play, and it’s willing to acknowledge that not everything in life plays out in a comfortable three-act format. By far his most mature and truthful work to date, Judd Apatow’s Funny People finds the perfect balance between dramatic and funny, and is guaranteed to find a spot on my Top 10 of ’09 list.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: 2-disc DVD – Theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, deleted/extended scenes, an extended gag reel, actual home videos of Adam Sandler’s prank phone calls, and a Line-O-Rama. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as U-Control (“Behind the Scenes Picture in Picture Commentary”).

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $15.77
Amazon – $15.99

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

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$25.99 $25.99 $24.77
Amazon – $23.99

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Warner Bros Announces Comic-Con Line-Up

comic con ad

Warner Bros has officially announced the panels they will be presenting at the 2009 SAn Diego Comic-Con International. Films include The Final Destination, Where The Wild Things Are, The Book Of Eli, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Box, Jonah Hex, Sherlock Holmes, and Shorts. Full information after the jump.

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Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts Movie Trailer #2

Shorts

Warner Bros has released a new movie trailer and poster for Robert Rodriguez‘s PG-rated kids film Shorts. I understand I’m not the target audience for this type of film but I can’t even imagine being interested in this if I were a 10-year-old. I mean, sure, the concept of wish fulfillment is fun, especially if you’re young… but the special effects seem extremely cheesy.

As I mentioned in the post for the previous trailer, I’m even bothered by the overly colorful miniature alien ships. They look like they were animated by someone at DreamWorks and composited into the scenes. What happened to the days when things looked fantastical but also realistic? The film Batteries Not Included comes to mind. Watch the trailer after the jump and tell me what you think in the comments below.
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Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts Movie Trailer

Want to see the movie trailer for Robert Rodriguez‘s new movie? Are you sure? Warner Bros has released the teaser trailer for Rodriguez’s PG-rated Kids film Shorts. I’m usually up for seeing anything Rodriguez does, even the Spy Kids movies, and especially if there is a commentary track on the DVD. He’s like the old movie magic magicians from my childhood.  But Shorts looks really stupid to me.

I understand I’m not the target audience for this type of film but I can’t even imagine being interested in this if I were a 10-year-old. I’m even bothered by the overly colorful miniature alien ships. They look like they were animated by someone at DreamWorks and composited into the scenes. What happened to the days when things looked fantastical but also realistic? The film Batteries Not Included comes to mind. Watch the trailer after the jump and tell me what you think in the comments below.
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First Look: Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts

Warner Bros has finally released full details and the first photos from Robert Rodriguez‘s next film, a kids adventure film called Shorts. The official plot synopsis follows:

“Set in the suburb of Black Falls, where all the houses look the same and everyone works for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, whose Mr. Black’s Black Box is the ultimate communication and do-it-all gadget that’s sweeping the nation. Other than keeping his parents employed, however, Mr. Black’s Black Box has done nothing for 11- year-old Toe Thompson, who just wants to make a few friends… until a mysterious rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky, hits him in the head and changes everything. The Rainbow Rock does Mr. Black’s Black Box one better: it grants wishes to anyone who holds it. Before long, wishes-gone-wrong have left the neighborhood swarming with tiny spaceships, crocodile armies, giant boogers… and outrageous magical mayhem around every corner. But it’s not until the grown-ups get their hands on the Rock that the trouble really starts. Now Toe and his new found friends must join forces to save their town from itself, discovering along the way that what you wish for is not always what you want.”

I’m usually up for seeing anything Rodriguez does, especially if there is a commentary on the DVD. He’s like the old movie magic magicians from my childhood. And even when the kiddish plot isn’t particularly interesting, its always fun to find out how he accomplished some of the things he has on screen. I’ve always said he’s one of a handful of directors that I love to hear talk, but I don’t put much value in their actual filmography. But is it just me, or does the mysterious rainbow-colored rock thing look like something out of a direct to dvd or made for tv movie?

The film stars Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, James Spader, Jimmy Bennett, Kat Dennings, Trevor Gagnon, Leo Howard, Devon Gearhart, Rebel Rodriguez, Jake Short, and Jolie Vanier.

Robert Rodriguez‘s Shorts is expected to hit theaters on August 7th 2009.

Who is in Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez always has like five projects going at the same time. He’s been hard at work “developing” Barbarella (or trying to convince the studio to give him the money to make it with his future wife Rose McGowan in the lead) and just announced a TV show called Women In Chains (also starring Rose McGowan), which he’s pitching to various networks, but his next feature film to go into production will be… drumroll please…

Shorts is a family comedy adventure that follows an 11-year-old boy who is hit in the head with a rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes to anyone who holds it. Chaos erupts in this small suburb where “all the houses look the same and everyone works for Black Box, manufacturer of the ultimate communication and do-it-all gadget.” Sounds more Spy Kids or The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D than Grindhouse or Sin City. Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann and James Spader have signed on to star. I’m surprised Rodriguez didn’t try to squese McGowan into this project as well. Rodriguez, always a one-man show, will direct based on his own screenplay, and serve as producer, director of photography, editor, visual effects supervisor and, who knows, he might even provide the score (not yet confirmed). But what else is new?

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