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.

Rent It

INVICTUS
Some historical events function better as documentary subjects than they do movies. Admirable though the effort may be, Invictus is one of them. The film attempts to balance its weighty subject matter with the trifling appeal of an inspirational sports story, but in doing so, fails to satisfy in either regard. There’s nothing rousing about the way rugby is presented here—nothing exciting in the way that it’s played. Consequently, all of expected plot beats left me feeling like I was waiting out the clock until the inevitable, obligatory climactic final game. It’s apparent that director Clint Eastwood was more interested in expressing the passion of the fans, highlighting the way a common interest can bring opposing parties together. That’s fine and all, but if we don’t experience that passion ourselves, we’re no more than emotionless observers of other people’s enjoyment. Equally problematic is the innate awkwardness of trying to depict a nation that’s slowly being united, as it forces the movie to introduce numerous non-characters exclusively so it can rush them through their bland two-point arcs. It’s the sort of problem you can forgive because there aren’t a whole of other options available, but that justification doesn’t make those scenes any more cinematically rewarding. The movie does have a saving grace though, and that’s Morgan Freeman. With his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, Freeman lends a gravitas that helps maintain the illusion of substance, even as the film struggles to adequately explore the complexities of a post-apartheid world. He carries the movie.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A Matt Damon Plays Rugby featurette. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as additional featurettes (“Vision, Courage and Honor: Clint Eastwood and the Power of a True Story”, “Mandela Meets Morgan”, “The Eastwood Factor”), and a digital copy of the film.

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
$24.99 $25.99 $19.97
Amazon – $24.99

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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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82nd Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced

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The nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards have been released, and there are a few small and pleasant surprises in the list. The list of ten films nominated for Best Picture is causing some sensation, as District 9 is among the group. Lest that make you too hopeful, The Blind Side also got a Best Picture nod, though after the success of that film in the past two months that isn’t much of a surprise. Audible cheers went up among the media audience when that and Sandra Bullock‘s Best Actress nomination were announced.

There are some good small surprises: Woody Harrelson got a Best Supporting Actor nod for his excellent work in The Messenger; Joel and Ethan Coen got a Best Original Screenplay nod for A Serious Man and their film is up for Best Picture; and Jeremy Renner got a Best Actor nod for The Hurt Locker. As expected, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow both have Best Director Nominations, and their films Avatar and The Hurt Locker are competing for Best Picture. The full list of noms is after the break. Read More »

AFI’s Top 10 Movies and TV Series of 2009

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The American Film Institute have announced the official selections for the 2009 AFI Awards, nominations which include the “10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures and TV Programs of the Year”. You can find out the top tv in both tv and movies after the jump, included in the official press release.

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