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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FOUR LIONS
For at least half of its runtime, Four Lions is a relatively good-natured comedy, foremost because its characters seem like relatively good-natured people. This is obviously in spite of the film’s subject matter, which focuses on a group of young Muslim men aspiring to become Jihadi Islamist terrorists. Like 2009′s In the Loop, the film aims to highlight the absurdity of contentious political issues, making light of a dark topic with some smartly observed satire. But there are two major differences between In the Loop and Four Lions. The first is that Four Lions is a sillier film. Its committed to the realism of its semi-documentary style, but only as much as, say, This Is Spinal Tap. The second is that, with In the Loop, you never see the consequences of the character’s actions. That second difference is what vindicates the decision for the first. It marks the key turning point in the film, taking the happy-go-lucky movie world in which we’ve been resting comfortably and viciously thrusting against it the tragic horrors of the real world. Some may fail to see the humor in that. I found it bitterly hilarious.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Deleted scenes, and a “Lost Boys” featurette.

DVD PRICE
Amazon – $16.99

BLU-RAY PRICE
Amazon – $20.99

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‘The Next Three Days’ – What Did You Think?

Paul Haggis has directed two theatrical features since 2004: the divisive, Oscar-winning Crash, and the far less-seen In the Valley of Elah. This weekend he returns with The Next Three Days, which stars Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks in a remake of the French thriller Pour elle, aka Anything For Her.

When Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks), the wife of family man professor John Brennan (Russell Crowe) is arrested for murder, the family is shocked. Evidence damns Lara to a conviction, and as John struggles to raise the couple’s son (Ty Simpkins), he comes to a decision: he’ll break his wife out of prison. So, what are your thoughts on The Next Three Days? Is it an effective thriller, or a soggy, too-lengthy play on emotion? As usual with these posts, spoilers follow after the break. Read More »

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Paul Haggis has worked quite a lot since his Best Picture winning film Crash divided critics and audiences into rather strict love/hate camps. He directed the rather good In the Valley of Elah, and worked on scripts for two Bond films, two Clint Eastwood films and other projects.

But the spectre of Crash is still what defines his career. Does The Next Three Days have the power to change that? It has a notable cast (Liam Neeson, Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks and Olivia Wilde) and a not too challenging dramatic thriller plot. But watching this trailer, it’s rather difficult to tell. Read More »

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A bunch of new release dates were announced overnight, including the Ryan Reynolds one-man thriller Buried, the computer animated/live-action hybrid 3D film Smurfs, Jonah Hill‘s big screen adaptation of the television series 21 Jump Street, and Crash writer/director Paul Haggis‘ new film The Next Three Days. Details after the jump.

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It’s Monday morning, so the casting news is just starting for the week, but we’ve already got brief tidbits about a couple of marriages between talent and movies that you may (or may not) be excited to see.

Since he made Taken into a genuine hit, Liam Neeson has owned more cred than ever. But is he enough to get you into the seat for a Paul Haggis movie? The writer/director’s The Next Three Days, a remake of a French film, could be interesting. It has a husband (Russell Crowe) looking to break his wrongly imprisoned wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of jail. At least, she says she’s wrongly imprisoned. Now Liam Neeson will cameo as a guy who has escaped from prison a few times and advises Crowe’s character on his options. [THR]

After the break, news about Predators and Thor. Read More »

Paul Haggis Hires Three For His Pic The Next Three Days

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It’s difficult for me to get very excited for a new Paul Haggis directorial project. The stain of Crash stays with me. But The Next Three Days could be interesting. It’s a remake of a 2008 French film Pour Elle by Fred Cavaye about a couple that has some problems when the woman is imprisoned for a murder she says she didn’t commit. Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks are the headliners, but three more have just been added to the cast. Read More »

russell-crowe-insider-poster

We all love Paul Haggis around these parts (and by love, I mean mock and ridicule as much as possible), so we try our best to keep close tabs on his projects just to make sure we don’t miss a single thing. It looks like his next film is The Next Three Days, a remake of the 2008 French film Pour elle, and he’s tapped Russell Crowe to star. Crowe plays a high school teacher whose wife is falsely accused of murder, and he comes up with a plan to free her at all costs.

The original film starred Diane Kruger as the wife, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we catch wind of her joining this remake a la Vanilla Sky. Haggis, who is also writing the script, said he chose Crowe because of his tested ability to play the Everyman, in addition to his more traditionally heroic roles.

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