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

DISTRICT 9
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Edition)
Socially conscious though it may be, District 9 is not the piercing, thought-provoking apartheid allegory and complex examination of race relations that so many people seem to want it to be. But that’s okay; it isn’t trying to be. District 9 is a straight-up action film, and it makes that fact very clear after about the twentieth soldier that is gruesomely exploded by the aliens’ seemingly lightning-infused weaponry. Its creative implementation of the mockumentary format is used foremost as a means of instilling a sense of reality to the proceedings, using socially relevant issues to set the stage for a much simpler, more cinematically spectacular transformation/aliens-vs-humans tale—not unlike last year’s Oscar-winning sleeper Slumdog Millionaire, with the end result in that case being a classic tale of love and destiny. Though the basic plot elements are familiar, borrowing from movies like The Fly and Alien Nation, it’s the way in which Neill Blomkamp tells this story that makes it so compelling. By playing with the archetypal protagonist introduction, and in doing so ditching the need for big name actors, Blomkamp provides the film with a sense of disorienting glee as the story unfolds and reveals its true intentions. At a certain point, he outright abandons the mockumentary set-up, and from that moment onward the movie propels itself through one dizzying, splatter-filled action sequence to the next. For some, this will be the point that the movie loses them. For me, it didn’t matter, because the movie already had me. My eyes were hooked to the screen, unable to be pried away for even a second. It’s by far one of the most exhilarating moviegoing experiences I’ve had this year, and a guaranteed contender for my Top 5 of ’09.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Single-disc DVD – A director’s commentary, a 3-part documentary (“The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker’s Log”), and a Koobus Big Gun feature. 2-disc DVD & Blu-ray – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as additional featurettes (“Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Wikus”, “Innovation: Acting and Improvisation”, “Conception and Design: Creating the World of District 9”, “Alien Generation: Visual Effects”).

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $15.77
Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $20.77 at Fry’s, and $22.99 at each of the other listed stores (including Amazon).

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $19.99 N/A
Amazon – $17.99

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joe_and_zoo

500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb has already completed his third collaboration with stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt (the second has already graced these pages in full).

Of course, they haven’t had time to make another feature but instead, what they’ve cooked up is a music video for the She & Him track Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? (The She in this case is Ms. Deschanel, the Him M. Ward).

The video is currently available exclusively at USA Today though it is set to spread to other venues – ie. those dusty corners of MTV where music videos still play – pretty soon. This cross-promotion takes me back to the days when a Bryan Adams video would have done the world of good for a Kevin Costner movie at the box office, and said Costner movie would have done Adams bank balance just as big a favour.

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slashfilmcast550

funny people posterIn this week’s episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley assess their conflicting feelings on new trailers for A Serious Man and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, get excited for Spielberg’s next film, praise the third season of Dexter, and wonder if there’s any value to the works of Gregg Araki. Special guest C. Robert Cargill from Aint It Cool News joins us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Tuesday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review G.I. Joe.

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slashfilmcast550

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

marcwebbIn this special episode of the /Filmcast, Director Marc Webb joins David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley for their review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. They also praise Paper Heart, Moon, In The Loop, and chat about Futurama’s precious voice actors, as well as the wisdom of a potential Aquaman film. 500 Days of Summer is out in select cities now and will expand wider in the weeks to come.

There will be no /Filmcast next week, but follow everyone on Twitter (Dave, Devindra, and Adam) to keep up with all the happenings at Comic Con this week!

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500 Days of Summer Release Schedule

500 Days of Summer

If you read the site regularly, than you know that we fell in love with this film at Sundance called 500 Days of Summer. It’s a wonderful indie comedy about falling in love and breaking up. It’s a Fox Searchlight release, which means they are doing their patented platform roll-out, which means that it may not hit your neck of the woods the same time that it hits some of the larger cities. I thought I’d pass along this release schedule for those interested, which gives you a good idea of when 500 Days might be hitting a screen near you.

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500 days of summer

One of the many reasons I loved 500 Days of Summer is the clever screenwriting. And by clever writing I don’t mean overwritten dialogue ala Diablo Cody, but fantastic story beats that take full advantage of the film medium. Fox Searchlight has released a new clip which perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about. As you might already know, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a hapless greeting card copywriter and hopeless romantic, who is blindsided after his girlfriend Summer (Zooey Deschanel) dumps him (this is how the movie begins), he shifts back and forth through various periods of their 500 days “together” (hence the title) to try to figure out where things went wrong.

The video clip after the jump takes place after Tom and Summer reconnect after the breakup, and Tom is invited to a party at his ex-girlfriend’s house. Tom, of course, thinks this is an opportunity to rekindle their relationship, but as you might expect, expectations and reality diverge. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber have expertly crafted a scene that I believe is so brilliant, that it makes you wonder why no one had come up with this concept prior. Everyone has encountered this situation at one point in their life, and everyone knows how it feels – yet I’ve never seen a movie portray the feeling so accurately, visually, without employing a ton of exposition before hand. The scene in the movie goes on a bit longer, and has more of a dramatic effect on the story (as you might expect, reality gets worse). The sequence works better in the context of the film, but you’ll get the point. Watch the clip embedded after the jump.

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International Trailer For 500 Days of Summer

500 days of summer

Orange UK has released an international trailer for 500 Days of Summer, which presents the movie as a much more traditional romantic comedy about a couple falling in love. And I’m not saying that the film isn’t a love story, it is, but if anything it isn’t traditional.

The movie is told in flashbacks and flash forwards, the film begins with Summer and Tom’s break up, and the story is also largely about Tom trying to figure out what went wrong, trying to reestablish a connection, trying to get over the break-up…etc. And that story seems to be completely absent from this new trailer. That said, its not a bad trailer, its just a bit misleading. Fox Searchlight is releasing the film in the US starting on July 17th, I highly recommend it! Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Free Advance Screenings of 500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer 550

Fox Searchlight will be holding a bunch of advance word of mouth promo screenings for (500) Days of Summer. This is the film I really fell in love with this year at Sundance. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a hapless greeting card copywriter and hopeless romantic, who is blindsided after his girlfriend Summer (Zooey Deschanel) dumps him, he shifts back and forth through various periods of their 500 days “together” to try to figure out where things went wrong.

Searchlight is holding screenings in New Orleans, Memphis, Denver, Houston, Austin, Kansas City, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Seattle, San Antonio, Minneapolis and Chicago. Head on over to FoxSearchlight.com to RSVP. And remember, an RSVP is not as good as a normal ticket. You need to show up early to ensure you get in.

500 Days of Summer Clip: IKEA Trip

500 days of summer

Fox Searchlight has released a new clip from 500 Days of Summer. This is the film I really fell in love with this year at Sundance. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a hapless greeting card copywriter and hopeless romantic, who is blindsided after his girlfriend Summer (Zooey Deschanel) dumps him, he shifts back and forth through various periods of their 500 days “together” to try to figure out where things went wrong.  This clip is from a sequence early on in their relationship as they visit an IKEA furniture store. Watch the clip after the jump.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Steve from Collider is a good friend of mine. At least a few times a week we talk about upcoming movies, TV shows, what gossip each of us have heard, and anything else we might find exciting. Since a number of our conversations cover things you also might find interesting, we’ve decided to start recording certain conversations as video blogs. Past video blogs have included The Future of the Batman Film Franchise, The Box Office Prospects of Watchmen and thoughts on the first 46 Minutes of Pixar’s Up.

We were recently talking about some of the movies coming out this summer and realized we should do some video blogs about the 2009 Summer Movie season. We were a little too ambitious, and thought we could squeeze two months worth of films into one blog, but as usually happens, we ran out of time. So the first two parts of our Summer movie preview were posted last week (you can watch part one here and part two here). In part 3, we take a look at the movies of July 2009: Public Enemies, Bruno, I Love You Beth Cooper, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Funny People, 500 Days of Summer. Please leave your thoughts on the movies of July 2009 in the comments below.

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