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 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 DVDs 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

TAKEN
(Available as single-disc Extended Cut and 2-Disc Extended Cut)
They just don’t make movies like Taken anymore. It’s as straight-forward a thriller as they come: bad guys kidnap girl, dad isn’t happy about it, dad f**ks up the bad guys. But as this film proves, simplicity isn’t always a bad thing. There aren’t many things more rewarding in life than watching the always awesome Liam Neeson laying the smackdown on an endless array of evildoers. Combine that winning formula with director Pierre Morel’s raw, visceral style and co-writer Luc Besson’s to-the-point and totally badass screenplay, and you have yourself one of the most satisfying 90 minutes of ass-kicking goodness to come out in quite some time.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc includes an extended cut of the film and no extra material. The 2-disc includes the extended cut, commentary with director Pierre Morel, writer Robert Mark Kamen, and cinematographers Michel Abramowicz and Michel Julienne, a making of featurette, an Avant Premiere feature, and a Inside Action: Side by Side Comparisons feature which looks at 6 different sequences.

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

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

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Sundance Movie Trailer: Taking Chance

As January nears, we begin to focus on the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A new trailer has hit the web for Ross Katz‘s Taking Chance. Katz, who started in Hollywood as a grip on Reservoir Dogs, served as producer on films like In The Bedroom and Lost in Translation, both of which earned him Academy Award nominations. Chance is his directorial debut.

The film is based on true events. Actually, its based on an actual letter written by a volunteer military escort officer (which you can read online here). The film recounts the story of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl, a marine who volunteers to escort the remains of a 19-year-old killed in Iraq, back to his family in a small Wyoming town.

In the last couple years, Sundance has been overrun with films which focus on or use the Iraq war as a backdrop. But Taking Chance is one of the only such films in this years line-up. Sundance programer Geoffrey Gilmore says that “Taking Chance is without question one of the most powerful and vital films ever made about Iraq — or, for that matter, the military — and yet its potency comes not from melodramatic or political statements but simply from its reality and execution.” The film stars Kevin Bacon and Blanche Baker.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/takingchance.flv 400 226]

Taking Chance will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 16th 2009, and will air on HBO in February 2009.

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