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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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1
(Releases on Friday, April 15 — Blu-ray available as single-disc and Blu-ray+DVD+digital copy)
I’m still not convinced that the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise needed to be separated into two films, but perhaps that’s a discussion better reserved for Part 2. Is it fair to judge this as a standalone film, or should it be taken as only half of a whole (which in itself is only one seventh of an even greater whole)? Director David Yates seems to want it both ways, while also attempting to appease both hardcore fans of the books and more casual viewers of the movies. The effort is admirably ambitious, though not always successful, often servicing fans at the cost of narrative flow. I’ll hold off on casting any judgments on how the film fits into the grander story at play — something that could very easily make or break the film in retrospect — but as a continuation of what’s essentially evolved into a serialized big screen mini-series, this entry is as problematic as it is utterly compelling. As a devoted fan of the films, it’s fascinating to see how these characters (and actors) have grown and matured, and Yates does a tremendous job portraying the toll that these inherited responsibilities have taken on their relationships. Where the film falters is finding a satisfying way to properly set up and condense subplots from the book, leading to many awkward moments where characters and MacGuffins appear at random. I’m also terribly conflicted about the ending, because as much as I recognize the need to offer some sort of emotional climax, it doesn’t register as an organic progression, and is treated with such gravitas that it inadvertently undercuts a far more significant occurrence at the end of The Half-Blood Prince. Criticisms aside, I have to respect Yates for endeavoring a near impossible task and not losing sight of the characters and their journey amidst the commotion. There lies the strength of the film, and that’s exactly the way it should be.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Blu-ray – Includes a copy of the DVD and a digital copy of the film, as well as a sneak peek of an opening scene from the final film, a Maximum Movie Mode, Focus Points (“The Last Days of Privet Drive”, “Hagrid’s Motorbike”, “Amazing (or) Magical Tents!”, “Deatheaters attack Cafe”, “Creating Dobby and Kreacher”, “Godric’s Hollow”, “The Harry And Nagini Battle”, “The Frozen Lake”, “The Return of Griphook”), featurettes (“On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James”, “The Seven Harry’s”, “Dan, Rupert, and Emma’s Running Competition”, “Behind The Soundtrack”), and additional scenes.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$14.99 $13.99 N/A
Amazon – $14.99

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

*Does not include single disc edition, which costs $16.99 at Best Buy and Amazon.

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If you don’t recognize the name Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, you probably missed the recent story about him taking the spot vacated by Elvis Mitchell on the upcoming new show Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies. The 24-year-old movie blogger will be going toe to toe with Associated Press film critic Christy Lemire each and every week discussing the latest films to come out in theaters. And that will soon make him one of the most famous film critics in the world.

Vishnevetsky voice is still new to many of us, so we thought you might be interested to see his top ten films of 2010. [EDIT: This isn't actually his top ten, per se, but a ballot submitted as part of IndieWire's Anuual Critics Survey for 2010. We apologize for any confusion as this was originally presented.] It’s quite different from most of the regular top 10′s you’re used to seeing. No Social Network, no King’s Speech and, thankfully, no Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [EDIT: Because god-forbid someone likes that movie.] But everyone’s favorite Portugese film, Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, did just make the list. Check it out after the break. Read More »

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