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.

Buy It

PARTY DOWN (SEASON 2)
Last time I wrote of the brilliance of this series, I begged people to watch and support it. My pleas were in vain, it would appear, as the show was canceled due to its low ratings failing to pick up over the course of its second season. Truthfully, I’m stunned it even made it past its first season, and for that alone I am grateful. Season 2 continues some time after the first left off, and a lot has changed since then. The new character dynamic takes a few episodes to find its footing, but once it does, it results in some of the funniest scenes the show has to offer. (The final moment of this scene in particular makes me bust up laughing every time I think about it.) While it’s sad to see such a biting, cynical satire vanish from the air, the series provided us with two knockout seasons, a perfect note to close the show on, and one of the few honest (read: depressing) portrayals of the costs of trying to lead an unorthodox lifestyle in modern society. It is, for my money, one of the best comedies to have ever been on television. Before I begged you to watch it; now I’m begging you to buy it.
Available on Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A gag reel.

DVD PRICE
Amazon – $21.49

GET HIM TO THE GREEK
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Collector’s Edition)
For a film that seems to want to be the cruder, more outlandish and gag-oriented step-cousin to the surprisingly sweet-hearted Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek ends up being surprisingly sweet in its own right. Even amidst all the silly, wild alcohol/drug-induced binges, featuring characters and conflicts that lack the relatability of Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s, the film still manages to hone in on the humanity of these people and provide them relationships worth caring about. The jokes would’ve been funny either way, but they’re made funnier by having a writer/director that actually cares about the characters, and takes advantage of those few key semi-dramatic moments in the film to bring a believability and emotionality to their roles. Add to that a hilariously farcical portrayal of the LA scene, complete with Russell Brand’s Aldous Snow performing credible yet absurdly lyricized tunes, and you get yourself a film that, while perhaps not as good as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, may actually be funnier.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Single-disc DVD – Includes unrated & theatrical edition. 2-disc DVD – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as a commentary with director Nicholas Stoller, cast members Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss and producer Rodney Rothman, 3 documentaries (“Getting To Get Him to The Greek”, “Getting In Tune With The Greek”, “The Making Of “African Child”), 5 Music Videos featuring Aldous Snow, Infant Sorrow and Jackie Q, Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes including an Alternate Intro and Ending, Musical Performances from Infant Sorrow’s triumphant 1999 Greek Theater Concert and 2009 Comeback Concert, a gag reel, and a digital copy of the film. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the 2-disc DVD, as well as additional extended scenes, Musical performances from The Today Show and VH-1 Storytellers, and a Karaoke feature.

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $17.99 N/A
Amazon – $17.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Target and Amazon.

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $26.99 $24.97
Amazon – $24.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray 2-Pack ($29.99).
Where? Best Buy.

Rent It

IRON MAN 2
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Edition, Blu-ray available as single-disc and 3-Disc Edition)
You know that saying about missing the forest for the trees? Well, with Iron Man 2, that may be for the better. Judging the film on a scene-to-scene basis, it’s plenty entertaining, kept engaging by way of amusing character interactions and some fun (albeit limited) action set pieces. As a whole, however, it’s a convoluted, disjointed mess that fails on nearly every level. There’s so much attention to all these ancillary details—the awkward setting up of characters and subplots for future Marvel properties being the primary offender—that the film loses sight of its own storyline, and each of the film’s many subplots suffer as a result. Sam Rockwell is a lot of fun as a smarmy, fake-tanned Justin Hammer, but his relationship and rivalry with Tony Stark is treated like a non-issue, rendering the conflict meaningless. Likewise, Mickey Rourke has some nice moments as Whiplash, but feels tacked on for the sake of having a villain with a cool costume & gadgets to show off in the trailers. Then there’s the plotline involving Stark being poisoned by the arc reactor in his chest, the resolution of which—featuring an elemental discovery by Stark that exempts him from any growth whatsoever—is nothing short of asinine. The stand-out failure of the film though, is the Stark and Rhodey relationship. Gone is the natural camaraderie between Robert Downey, Jr. and Terrence Howard that so many took for granted. In its place: a stoic, impersonal Don Cheadle acting out abruptly and thoughtlessly for poorly established reasons, mostly in a bald-faced attempt to get him in the War Machine suit. In all of these subplots, the emotional motivations and character arcs are forced at best and absent at worst, leaving the film hollow and forgettable. If this is a sign of how we can expect Marvel to treat the remainder of the prerequisite Avengers films (i.e., rushed and sloppy), then I’m not sure what point there is in getting excited about them.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Single-disc DVD – Commentary by Jon Favreau. 2-disc DVD – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Opening, Featurettes (Creating Stark Expo, Practical Meets Digital), and a Digital Copy. Single-disc Blu-ray – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. Data Vault and Previsualization and Animatics. 3-disc Blu-ray – Includes everything on the 2-disc DVD and single-disc Blu-ray, as well as Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of Iron Man 2 (4-part documentary), Illustrated Origins: Nick Fury, Black Widow, War Machine, Working with DJ AM, Concept Art Gallery, and a copy of the DVD.

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $19.99 N/A
Amazon – $16.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Best Buy and Amazon.

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $22.99 N/A
Amazon – $17.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $21.97 at Fry’s, $24.99 at Best Buy and Amazon, and $29.99 at Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 3-disc Blu-ray with collectible metal case ($36.99).
Where? Target.

THE KILLER INSIDE ME
Elegantly visualized and utterly compelling throughout, The Killer Inside Me is a movie that I wanted to love, but was dismayingly left without a reason to do so by the film’s end. I kept waiting for some sort of discernable complexity to arise from underneath the surface of this emotionless, murderous figure, around whom the whole film is based, but director Michael Winterbottom instead spends his time on lengthy sequences of women being savagely beaten. Despite Casey Affleck’s cold, mumbling performance feeling deliberate in intent, his character is so disconnected from the viewer that Winterbottom’s attempts at crafting a psychological character study quickly prove to be misguided. Still, the noir mood alone justifies the rental.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – 3 featurettes (“Making of with Casey Affleck”, “Making of with Jessica Alba”, “Making of with Kate Hudson”).

DVD PRICE
Amazon – $13.99

BLU-RAY PRICE
Amazon – $19.99

FROZEN
It’s easy to laugh off the premise of Frozen, which finds three friends trapped on a ski lift with no way to get down, but with it, writer/director Adam Green presents an eerily effective man-vs.-nature horror-thriller that, like all movies of this sort (Open Water, 127 Hours), urges the question: What would you do? The problem with asking that question to an audience is they usually have an answer that you won’t find depicted on screen, and while Frozen does a serviceable job of covering most of its bases, there’s at least one obvious option—climbing down using your clothes as a rope—that is never even discussed. Assuming you can get over that oversight in logic, the film introduces some other elements to the mix that, while ridiculous from a realism standpoint, help to keep the film cinematically interesting. It also features solid performances from its three young leads, and attempts at characterizations that don’t ring false—two things that are pretty rare for this genre. The film has its problems, but it’s an admirable effort, and probably better than it should be.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Commentary with writer/director Adam Green and actors Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers and Emma Bell, featurettes (Catching Frostbite: The Origins of Frozen, Three Below Zero, Shooting Through It, Beating the Mountain: Surviving Frozen), and Deleted scenes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a second commentary with writer/director Adam Green, cinematographer Will Barratt and editor Ed Marx.

DVD PRICE
Amazon – $19.99

BLU-RAY PRICE
Amazon – $24.99

Other noteworthy DVD (and Blu-ray) releases this week…
Babies [DVD / Blu-ray] – Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [DVD / Blu-ray] – Good [DVD / Blu-ray] – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse [Single-disc DVD / 2-disc DVD / Blu-ray] – Perrier’s BountyLegend of the Seeker (Season 2)The Cleveland Show (Season 1) – The Thin Red Line (Criterion Collection) [DVD / Blu-ray] – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Criterion Collection) [DVD / Blu-ray]

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…
King Kong (1933)

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


Exclusive: Superman figurine included with Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.

$17.99 – Blu-ray sale: Sherlock Holmes, Where the Wild Things Are, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

2 for $20:
$19.99 – Blu-ray sale: The Incredible Hulk, Casino, Waterworld
$14.99 – Blu-ray sale: Dracula, Resident Evil, The Waterboy, Scary Movie
$9.99 – Blu-ray sale: Major League


$18.99 – Blu-ray or DVD sale: Mad Men (Season 1 – 3)

$4.99 – Back to the Future, The Big Lebowski: 10 Year Anniversary, Inglourious Basterds, To Kill a Mockingbird, 9, It’s Complicated, The Land Before Time

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