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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THE KING’S SPEECH
Approaching a story of monumental scope with charm and intimacy, The King’s Speech is a finely crafted crowd-pleaser that plays fast and loose with history but does so to convey a decidedly more human tale of finding one’s inner strength in order to be heard. There’s not a single surprising moment in the whole thing, as every element of the limply conventional narrative has been depicted in film on countless occasions — the movie of the week disorder, the reluctant leader, the unorthodox therapist/psychiatrist, etc. — but rarely have these humdrum plot mechanics been handled with such authority and wit. The acting is superb across the board, with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush marvelously portraying the “unexpected” friendship that blossoms between royalty and commoner. Their command of the screen brings a much welcome vitality to the film’s rather safe theatrics. Tom Hooper, meanwhile, refines his visually sumptuous period drama by presenting the material as accessibly as possible, employing any number of off-kilter camera angles, behind-the-back steadicam shots and fish-eye lenses to find that delicate balance between vulnerable and frigidly dignified. I wouldn’t say I was wowed by the film as many others seem to have been — and I’m a tad resentful that it won Best Picture over far superior efforts such as The Social Network, Black Swan and 127 Hours — but if you’re looking for a nice film to watch with the family, it’s a pretty good bet that The King’s Speech will comfortably satisfy that need.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Audio Commentary, Making Of Featurette, Deleted Scenes.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 N/A
Amazon – $14.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$22.99 $19.99 $17.99
Amazon – $19.99

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Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

As the year comes to an end, anybody and everybody are posting their best of the year lists. Most of these lists contain variations of the same 15 or 20 films. To break the mold, some are even posting lists of the best films of the year that you probably haven’t seen. I find that even these lists are filled with the same movies. And if you’re a film geek reading a site like /Film, chances are you know about most of the movies on these lists.

I wanted to do something different and compile a list of the best films of the year that you’ve never heard of. The selections should be movies that (for the most part) none of your family or friends have heard of, and you might even have to do some extra legwork to get your hands on.

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Don’t expect to see Winter’s Bone, King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Never Let Me Go, and How to Train Your Dragon nominated for the WGA Awards. The Writers Guild of America have revealed the list of eligible films, and none of the previously mentioned highly acclaimed movies/screenplays are on the ballot. Before you get up in arms, you must realize that the guild’s rules restrict nominations to productions aren’t produced by WGA members or under WGA guidelines.
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It’s award season, and The Hollywood Reporter has begun posting their series of roundtable discussions with the contenders. Last month they posted:

  • The Screenwriters Roundtable between: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), John Wells (The Company Men), Todd Phillips (Due Date) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole)
  • The Animators roundtable discussion between Bonnie Arnold (producer, How to Train Your Dragon), Roy Conli (producer, Tangled), Bob Last (producer, The Illusionist), Tom McGrath (director, Megamind), Chris Meledandri (producer, Despicable Me) and Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3)
  • The Actors Roundtable between James Franco (127 Hours), Duvall (Get Low), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right).

Today they have posted the directors roundtable, which features David O. Russell (The Fighter), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), Peter Weir (The Way Back), and Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) debating “maintaining their vision, fighting with actors and what to do about the MPAA.” It’s great to watch these brilliant filmmakers talk with each other about their craft. You can watch the entire one-hour long roundtable after the jump.

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Movie Trailer #2: ‘The Way Back’

In the past few weeks we’ve started to see footage from The Way Back, which marks the return of great Australian director Peter Weir. Our last look at the film (besides the poster) was a UK trailer that was a good introduction to the story of escapees from a Siberian gulag trying to make their way to safety. Now Newmarket films has released a US trailer for the film, which will get an Oscar-qualifying run in December before opening for real on January 21. Read More »

Two good-looking posters recently hit for a couple of the fall’s more promising arthouse pictures. Both The Way Back and Rabbit Hole have some great early reviews out of festivals and screenings. Now each has a poster to call its own, and you can see both after the break. Read More »

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Peter Weir has been making stunning films for forty years. Part of the Australian New Wave, he turned out landmarks Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave (get thee to Criterion if you haven’ t seen those!) as early features before segueing into ambitious mainstream movies like The Truman Show and Master and Commander.

The latter stood as his last film for the past six years, but now Peter Weir is back with the epic prison escape movie The Way Back, starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Saoirse Ronan. The film will get an Academy qualifying run this December. Watch the new UK trailer below. Read More »

Stills From Peter Weir’s The Way Back

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I’ve got no doubt that Peter Weir is one of the greatest of great filmmakers working today and every one of his too-rare films is a real event for me. While I’m waiting for his next picture The Way Back every little scrap of information is valuable, so I’m doing cartwheels at the first set of stills. You can see them all after the break.

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis, which really should have been worded in a less blurby-cheesy fashion:

Six-time Academy Award Nominee Peter Weir Directing. Based on the novel The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz. Award Winning A-List cast; Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan.

When they escape a Siberian labor camp in 1940 seven courageous multi-national prisoners discover the true meaning of friendship as their epic journey takes them across thousands of miles of hostile terrain en-route to India and their freedom.

The true meaning of friendship? Ick.

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