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

NINE
Beyond the beautifully orchestrated symbolism, and beyond the fanciful narrative, lies the inherent vitality of a struggling artist’s uncompromised vision. I speak not of Nine, but of Fellini’s 8½, the classic film that inspired the musical upon which Nine is based. 8½ is a masterpiece for many reasons, but it’s only capable of achieving what it does because Fellini allowed it to be so achingly personal. With Nine, that introspective quality is missing, leaving us a central protagonist that has plenty of self-perpetuating problems, but no sense of connection to the viewer. Why are we supposed to care about Guido and his narcissistic, womanizing ways? Because he’s played by Daniel Day-Lewis, apparently. Given the nature of the story at hand—a character-driven piece about one man and his relationships with the women around him—this single misstep costs the film the one element it requires most, and no amount of attractive A-list stars, gorgeous cinematography and sumptuous production design can make up for that. It would be bad enough if that were all that were wrong with Nine, but it even fumbles many of the musical numbers—its primary means of distinguishing itself from Fellini’s work. With the exception of a passionate segment featuring Marion Cotillard, the musical sequences (enjoyable though they may be) feel strangely disengaged from the rest of the film, and do little to drive the narrative forward, emotionally or otherwise. As irreparable as these flaws are though, Nine remains watchable; the cast is too good and the technical merits too strong for it not to be. It’s arguably worth renting for the aesthetic appeal alone.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca, 8 Featurettes, and 3 music videos. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Sophia Loren Remembers Cinecitta Studios featurette, and a Screen Actors Guild Q&A.

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 $25.99 $19.97
Amazon – $22.99

TOKYO SONATA
It must be the cynic in me. There’s something about movies that deconstruct and satirize social norms by portraying them in the most depressingly comical manner possible that I always find so affecting, especially when it’s handled as perfectly as it is in Tokyo Sonata. The film—which depicts the gradual deterioration of an ordinary Japanese family—derives much of its drama and humor from reflecting on modern culture in Japan, but it does so by touching on truths that are universal to our time, culminating in a beautifully realized (and entirely musical) appeal to creativity. If you need further convincing, head over to Rotten Tomatoes, where it currently holds a 94% rating amongst critics.
Available on Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A making-of featurette, Cannes festival footage, a panel discussion, and interviews.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.79 $24.99 $18.00
Amazon – $24.49

Not Screened

TETRO
If somebody can provide any insight as to what the hell is going on with Francis Ford Coppola, I’d love to hear it. The only film he’s made in the past ten years is Youth Without Youth, which you’d be forgiven for not knowing about since it didn’t make any money and almost nobody liked it, critics included. Now he’s back with Tetro, his first original screenplay since The Conversation. The film premiered at Cannes last year, and the response was less than enthusiastic. Once the film made it to its limited theatrical run, the critical response warmed up quite a bit, but there’s still been a surprising lack of buzz surrounding the film. As usual, comments from those that have seen the film are encouraged; because as of right now, Tetro has proven to be about as inexplicable as Coppola’s recent career trajectory.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Commentary with Francis Ford Coppola and actor Alden Ehrenreich, featurettes (“The Rehearsal Process”, “Mihai Malaimare, Jr: The Cinematography”, “The Ballet”, “Osvaldo Golijov: Music Born from the Film”, “La Colifata: Siempre Fui Loco”), and Fausta: A Drama in Verse – an extended version of the play featured within the movie.

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

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$28.79 $29.99 N/A
Amazon – $29.99

THE TOOTH FAIRY
There was a time when I thought Dwayne Johnson had it in him to become the next great action star. Then he starred in The Game Plan. What the hell, Johnson? The rule is, you’re not supposed to have your Jingle All the Way moment until after you’ve had your Terminator. Hell, even Vin Diesel had Riddick before doing The Pacifier. But having now seen the poster for The Tooth Fairy, featuring Johnson doing the trademark ‘Rock’ glare whilst wearing ice skates and fairy wings, so much irreparable damage has been done to his image that even if he were to take on a badass action role, I don’t think I’d be able to accept him in it. I’d spend the whole movie waiting for him to make goofily annoyed faces at children, followed by him getting caught up in some outrageously wacky shenanigans that eventually teach him to open his heart and, more importantly, not be such a grumpy-pants.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A “Train to be a Tooth Fairy” interactive feature, and a Fairy-oke. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes (“Behind the Scenes with Lem and Jake”, “Lem and Jake Talk About VFX: Before and After”, “1st Assignment with Storyboards”, “Wings and Fairy Things – Costume Design”, “Flights, Tights and Fairy FX – How The Magic Was Brought To Life”, “Creating Fairyland – Production Design”), a gag reel, a digital copy, and a copy of the DVD.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $17.99 $15.97
Amazon – $16.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $25.99 $26.99
Amazon – $24.99

LEAP YEAR
I love Amy Adams, but I don’t love her enough to subject myself to this. To complain that the film’s trailer spoils the entire film would deceitfully suggest you couldn’t already predict every scene in it. In one scene, the lead guy and gal—neither of whom are fond of one another—are forced to act like they’re an item while staying at an elderly couple’s home. One of the seniors asks to see a kiss. They oblige with casual indifference. “Let’s see a real kiss!” This time, they do it for realzies, and it’s hot and passionate and they even slip in a little tongue. Afterwards, their eyes linger, revealing—if only for a moment—their true feelings for one another. Now, I can see why this appeals to women. It’s sexy and romantic, and there’s visceral element of escapist fantasy there that speaks specifically to females. My problem though, is that we’ve seen it all before. And by that I mean, we have literally seen it all before. Half a year ago. The exact same scene was in The Proposal. Both films showed those bits in the trailer. Rom-coms may be notorious for recycling the same formula, but this is a new low. Matthew Goode seems to be aware of this though, confessing as much during an interview following the film’s release. “It’s turgid. I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010.” At least he’s honest.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Deleted scenes.

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 $24.99 $19.97
Amazon – $24.49

Other noteworthy DVD (and Blu-ray) releases this week…
Dirty Dancing (Limited Keepsake Edition) [DVD / Blu-ray] – Art & Copy: Inside Advertising’s Creative RevolutionIron Man (The Complete Animated Series)X-Men (Vol. 5)

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…
Saving Private RyanDoctor ZhivagoK-19: The WidowmakerEscape from L.A.The Notebook

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


$12 – Sherlock Holmes
$12.99 – Blu-ray sale: The Princess Bride


$9.99 – Blu-ray sale: Dracula, Creepshow, House of Wax, Righteous Kill
$14.99 – Blu-ray sale: 12 Monkeys, Army of Darkness, Doomsday, Van Helsing

$4.99 – The Devil Wears Prada, Baby Mama, and more…
$9.99 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Julie & Julia, Mammia Mia!, and more…

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