This Week In DVD: Hellboy II, Kung Fu Panda, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, And More

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry's.

Please don't take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they're meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. In regards to movies and shows the author hasn't seen, the DVD release is placed in its respective category based on critic and audience response. Those who find that approach questionable are welcome to leave a comment stating their thoughts, and we'll be happy to ignore it.

Buy ItHELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY(Available as single-disc and 3-Disc Special Editions)

As much as critics may have loved Hellboy II, I felt strangely alone when proclaiming amongst fellow movie geeks that it was one of my favorite releases of 2008. Nobody was claiming it was a bad movie, but audiences just weren't all that enthusiastic about it. This is a shame since, much like the first film, this sequel managed to flawlessly combine creative and visually stunning action sequences (with a strong focus on practical effects over CGI), cool characters, and a well-told storyline that wouldn't have been nearly as interesting in another filmmaker's hands. The difference, though, is that all these things are handled even better the second time around. Hopefully it'll build a stronger following on DVD.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: The single disc includes an audio commentary (with director Guillermo del Toro), another audio commentary (with cast members Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair & Luke Gross), Set Visits, Troll Market Tour with Guillermo del Toro, Zinco Epilogue Animated Comic, and deleted scenes. The 3-disc DVD includes both the single disc extras and Hellboy: In Service of the Demon, Prologue, Production Workshop, Pre-Production Vault, Marketing Campaign, Script, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE* Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $16.99 $15.99 Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 3-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (excluding Amazon, where it costs $17.99).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? Exclusive comic.Where? Target.EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? Free collectible interactive CD game card with purchase of 3-Disc DVD ($22.99).Where? Circuit City.

Also available is the Collector's Set ($39.99) of the DVD...

KUNG FU PANDA(Available as single-disc and 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five)

I don't think anyone could've predicted such a silly-looking movie being as incredibly entertaining and, dare I say it, intelligent as this. Cleverly parodying the kung fu film genre, Kung Fu Panda manages to provide an easy-to-understand storyline for kids that also plays on the clichés older audiences are accustomed to seeing with such a predictable storyline. It's the rare non-Pixar film that finds the perfect balance for children and adults, complete with surprisingly badass action sequences.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: The single disc includes an audio commentary and featurettes ('Meet The Cast', 'The Tech of Kung Fu Panda', 'The World of Panda: Conservational International Piece'). The 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five includes both the single disc extras and more featurettes ('Secrets of the Furious Five', 'The Tech of Kung Fu Panda', 'Learn To Draw', 'Sound Design', 'Learn the Panda Dance', 'Do You Kung Fu?', 'Mr. Ping's Noodle Factory', 'Chopsticks', 'Inside the Chinese Zodiac', 'Animals of Kung Fu Panda', 'What Fighting Styles are you?', 'A Day in the Life: Shaolin Monks in Training', 'KFP Shuffle').

BEST PRICE* Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $15.99 $14.99 Amazon – $15.99

*With the exception of Best Buy (where the price remains the same – $15.99), these prices do not include the 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? 3-disc pack ($22.99) includes Secrets of the Furious Five and Activision PC game.Where? Target.EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? Free Kung Fu Panda figurine.Where? Best Buy.EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? Free ultimate sticker book with purchase of double-feature edition (which includes Secrets of the Furious Five) ($22.99).Where? Circuit City.Rent ItSUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO

I always feel like I should like Takashi Miike's films more than I actually do. With Sukiyaki Western Django, I found myself struggling through the borderline incomprehensible storyline and unapologetically self-referential attempts to pay homage to the western film genre, while also enjoying the hell out of the beautiful cinematography and supremely epic shoot outs and battle sequences. And yet, even after saying "holy shit that was awesome" to myself for about the fifteenth time, I somehow still found myself occasionally getting bored.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: Deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.

BEST PRICE Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $19.99 $14.99 N/A $14.99 Amazon – $19.99


Obviously I'm not the target audience for this film (read: I'm white), but as a fan of Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba (who plays Stringer Bell on The Wire), I may just end up checking it out anyway. If you're in a holiday mood and are looking for a good movie to watch with the family (and don't mind dealing with the expected genre clichés), this looks like it could make for a heartwarmingly pleasant rental.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: Audio Commentary, deleted/extended scenes, and a making-of featurette.

BEST PRICE Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $19.99 $17.99 $19.99 Amazon – $19.99

Skip ItSTAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)

I would love to bitch-slap George Lucas. His eagerness to destroy the legacies of the franchises fans hold so dear to their hearts is sickening. This has never been more evident than with The Clone Wars, a CGI precursor to a Cartoon Network TV show that was originally meant to air on television. Now, I haven't yet seen the film (the horrible reviews haven't offered a whole lot of incentive), but only a real douchebag would take something that's clearly suited specifically for TV and force it into theatres, thus fooling unaware audience members into emptying their pockets for what they're assuming is a legitimate theatrical release.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: The single disc includes only an audio commentary, while the two-disc includes that as well as featurettes ('The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories', 'The Voices of The Clone Wars', ' The New Score', 'Webdocs'), deleted scenes, concept/production art gallery, a Hologram Memory Challenge, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE* Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $16.99 $15.99 $17.99 $15.99 Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? 2-Disc Deluxe ($22.99) and Blu-ray ($26.99) include exclusive Red Clone packaging and Shipyards of Doom 96-pg. graphic novel.Where? Target.EXCLUSIVE DEAL:What? Exclusive Steelbook for 2-Disc Edition ($22.99).Where? Best Buy.THE PERFECT HOLIDAY

Whereas This Christmas represents a respectable effort geared towards urban audiences, The Perfect Holiday shows us the exact opposite. I caught about fifteen minutes of the film in theaters while waiting for another movie to start, and was appalled by just how bland, unfunny and poorly made it was. Movies like this are the reason films featuring primarily African American casts struggle to get any respect in the film world. Tyler Perry isn't helping either.

Blu-ray? Yes.Notable Extras: Filmmakers' commentary, a featurette ('Wish List: A Perfect Holiday in the Making'), and video diaries ('7 Days on the Set of Perfect Holiday').

BEST PRICE Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry's $19.99 $17.99 $19.99 Amazon – $19.99

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week...The Sopranos (The Complete Series)Beer for My HorsesJFK – Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)Scrubs (Season 7)Little House on the Prairie (The Complete Television Series)The Cosby Show (25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)Sabrina (The Centennial Collection)The Boys in the BandMind of Mencia (Season 4)Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?The SpecialsNOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.Exclusive: Free $5 Target GiftCard with purchase of any 2 of the following...$14.99 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Speed Racer, Sex and the City: The Movie, Baby Mama, Journey to the Center of the Earth, What Happens in Vegas, and more...Exclusive: Free $5 Target GiftCard with purchase of any 2 of the following...$12.99 – The Polar Express 3-D, Elf, A Christmas Story, Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and more...$19.99 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (2-Disc Collector's Edition)$17.99 – Dexter (Seasons 1 – 2)$19.99 – Pushing Daisies (Season 1)$22.99 – South Park (Seasons 10 – 11)$9.99 – The Bank Job (2-Disc Special Edition), The Mist (2-Disc Collector's Edition), Mr. & Mrs. Smith – Unrated (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), I Robot (All-Access Collector's Edition), Walk the Line (Extended Cut), Napoleon Dynamite (Like, The Best Special Edition Ever!), Ice Age (Super-Cool Edition), and more...$6.99 – Children of Men, Smoking Aces, Miami Vice, Jaws (Collector's Edition), King Kong, Serenity, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, The Fast and the Furious (Tricked-Out Edition), Doom, and more...