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

EDGE OF DARKNESS
Lest you be fooled by the trailer, Edge of Darkness is not an action thriller; it’s a drama thriller, with sporadic moments of action. Those moments also happen to be by far the best thing about it. The rest, meanwhile, doesn’t make much of an impression, leaving us with a collective total of 5-10 great minutes in an otherwise fairly middling 2 hours. Would the film have fared better had it delivered straight-up action all the way through? I doubt it. The action works as well as it does because of the way it punctuates the drama, with superbly orchestrated bursts of violence forcefully grabbing you by the throat during times of quiet dread. The problem with the movie is that its story is stuck in the ’80s, back when the original British TV serial first aired. 25 years later, the conspiracy at the core of Edge of Darkness is as arid and familiar as the political subtext that comes with it. The closer I came to the mystery being unraveled, the less I cared what the truth was. It’s lucky then, that the film has Mel Gibson’s brooding intensity to keep the proceedings engaging. I may not have had any interest in what sort of dastardly deeds Craven’s daughter had uncovered, but I was eager to see what Craven was going to do about it. The payoff did not disappoint.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Additional scenes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as 9 Focus Point video pods (“Scoring the Film”, “Revisiting the Edge of Darkness Mini-series”, “Edge of Your Seat”, “Making a Ghost Character Real”, “Adapting the Edge of Darkness Mini-series”, “Director Profile Martin Campbell”, “Boston as a Character”, “Mel’s Back”, “Craven’s War of Attrition”), a digital copy of the film, and a copy of the DVD.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $16.99 $15.97
Amazon – $16.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $24.99 $19.97
Amazon – $19.99

DAYBREAKERS
Half an hour into Daybreakers, I was fully prepared to love it. The way in which the film introduces audiences to its vampire-infested world and explores how society has evolved—while in many ways staying exactly the same—had me hopeful for a refreshingly unique twist on the traditional genre fare. Past the excellent set-up though, the film has nothing new or interesting to say, gracelessly devolving into a silly, sloppy exercise in half-baked allegories, trite plotting, and characters so devoid of personality you’re likely to forget they’re not background extras. For every moment of splattery goodness that Daybreakers has to offer, it counteracts with some absurd, clichéd plot device that undermines the most compelling aspects of the premise. Had the film more fully embraced its place as goofy, B-movie trash, this narrative fumbling may not have bothered me, but with its repeated attempts at also being a thoughtful, serious social commentary, the movie feels as though it’s constantly at odds with itself. It’s too silly to take seriously, and not silly enough to be fun.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Audio commentary with the directors and special effects creator Steve Boyle, a making-of featurette, and a poster gallery. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as an extended feature-length version of the making-of featurette, a short film from the directors (“The Big Picture”), a storyboard & animatics comparison, and a digital copy.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $15.97
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $24.99 $19.97
Amazon – $24.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Get a $5 Gift Card when you buy Daybreakers and Legion together on DVD or Blu-ray.
Where? Best Buy.

Skip It

LEGION
For a movie sold on the promise of angels with machine guns, Legion makes the inexplicable decision to have the only machine gun-toting angel cut off his wings during the first five minutes of the movie. Do you know what an angel without wings shooting a machine gun looks like? Surprise: He looks like a regular asshole shooting a machine gun. Without that one gimmick to potentially hook a B-movie-loving audience, Legion doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. Cut out the rambling, nonsensical dialogue about religion and prophecies—as well as the (admittedly cool) showdown with the metal-winged angel, Gabriel—and Legion is really nothing more than a lousy zombie movie. An hour of the movie is relegated to annoying characters huddled up in diner, essentially killing time while they fend off a variety of contorting drone-like weirdos. This doesn’t prevent them, mind you, from whinging on about their problems whenever an opportunity presents itself—and many do. Considering how little Legion has to offer in the way of story and characters, it sure has a lot of f**king talking.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – 3 featurettes (“Creating the Apocalypse – Behind the Physical Effects”, “Humanity’s Last Line of Defense – The Cast and Characters”, “From Pixels to Picture – A Look at the Visual Effects”). Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Bringing Angels To Earth: Picture-in-Picture extra.

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
$22.99 $22.99 $19.97
Amazon – $22.99

Not Screened

NORTH FACE
Even the ridiculously amateurish editing of the film’s trailer isn’t enough to obscure what looks to be a visually captivating tale of romance, politics and a death-defying venture up the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. An 82% on Rotten Tomatoes does little to persuade otherwise. And good news for Netflix users: the film is already available on Watch Instantly.
Available on Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Making-of featurette, and deleted scenes.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.49 $24.99 $19.99
Amazon – $26.99

DARIA (THE COMPLETE ANIMATED SERIES)
This set has been a long time coming, and the reason is no different than that of just about every other older TV series that’s struggled to find a DVD release: music licensing. Daria fans may be disheartened to find out that, in order to justify the cost of releasing this 8-disc set, 99% of the music had to be changed, meaning the popular MTV tunes they used in the background and during transitions has been switched out with generic music cues. All that remains is the theme and a couple of songs mentioned directly by the characters. With over 26 hours to sort through though (65 episodes from 5 seasons, and 2 TV movies), fans should get over it pretty quickly.
Available on Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: The Pilot – Sealed With a Kick, a Mystik Spiral Music Video “Freakin’ Friends”, Daria Day Intros, a Top Ten Video Countdown Hosted by Daria & Jane, Cast & Crew Interviews, and a Never Before-Seen Mystik Sprial spin-off script.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$49.99 $44.99 $46.99
Amazon – $44.99

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…
M (Criterion Collection)The Magnificent Seven CollectionThe Karate KidThe Karate Kid IIThe EdgeHang ‘Em High

The Specials
NOTES: Some deals may be in-store only. All deals are for DVDs unless otherwise noted.


$9.99 – Blu-ray sale: The Usual Suspects, The Transporter, Donnie Brasco, Edward Scissorhands, Gattaca, Dracula, Super Troopers

Exclusive: Get a coupon for a free 2-liter Coca-Cola product with purchase of specially marked DVDs…
$7.50 – Little Miss Sunshine, Death at a Funeral, Walk the Line, Flyboys, The Namesake, and more…


$17.99 – The Office (Season 1 – 4)

$4.99 – The Matrix, Starship Troopers, Aliens, AI: Artificial Intelligence

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