Wes Anderson‘s unique aesthetic may be more in vogue than ever, but since real life doesn’t come with production designers and cinematographers it can be rather difficult to duplicate the look at home. Until now!

As part of their Blu-ray release of The Royal Tenenbaums, the Criterion Collection has unveiled the covers of various book and magazine covers featured in the film. All you need now is a high-quality photo printer at home, and you can replace the embarrassing covers of your Fifty Shades of Grey collection with these stylish designs. (Or, you know, you can just look at them for fun.) In any case, check ’em out after the jump.

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The Criterion Collection Hits iTunes

You can already access the Criterion Collection on DVD, on Blu-ray, or through Hulu — and now, as of this month, you can also get some of its titles through iTunes. With very little hype, the Criterion Collection has quietly started to appear on the iTunes movie page, as you can see in the image above. The initial offering is comprised of just a few dozen of the hundreds of films from their library, but it’s a decent start. Besides, I’d imagine that enough consumers seem interested, the selection will begin to expand. More details after the jump.

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Fans of monster movies and/or the Criterion Collection probably recall that a couple of months back, rumors began surfacing of a Criterion Collection release of Godzilla — an unusual, though not unprecedented, pick by a video distributor that generally favors artsy pictures over genre flicks. So today’s news won’t come as a surprise, but rather a welcome update. Criterion has officially confirmed a January release for their Godzilla Blu-ray/DVD, and has unveiled a list of the special features we can look forward to. More details after the jump.

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Charismatic and talented film director Guillermo del Toro is seemingly everywhere these days. Whether he’s interviewing Edgar Wright, producing movies, or creating new TV series’, it seems the jolly man behind Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone and the Hellboy films has his nose in everything. Yet del Toro knows none of his more recent work would be possible without his feature film debut Cronos. That masterful 1993 film is finally hitting the Criterion Collection on December 7 and del Toro will not only be signing copies of the disc at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, those who get it signed can join the director for a very special screening immediately after. If you read about the recent Scott Pilgrim signing at Amoeba, you know these things are awesome. Hit the jump for more info. Read More »

Criterion Adds Thirty-Five Films to Stream via Netflix


For years, the Criterion Collection has been around to provide one of the best film educations a casual viewer can receive. Just by checking out any chunk of the now-massive collection, you’ll be exposed to an incredible array of films that cover every spectrum of entertaining and artistic filmmaking. And now it just got a whole lot more accessible, as Criterion has added thirty-five more films to stream via the Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ service. Now you have no excuse to miss some of the best films ever made. Read More »

The Criterion Collection’s New Website

The Criterion Collection is making a big push into digital distribution. Their new website — The Criterion Online Cinematheque, which launched this week, introduces $5 one-week movie rentals. If you decide to buy the movie on DVD or Blu-ray, Criterion.com will discount the rental price from your purchase.

The site also has a ton of new content, including some of the essays included with some of their DVD releases. For example, you can read Martin Scorsese’s thoughts on Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket or learn what Rian Johnson’s top 10 Criterion films are. Also, Each month they will be programing online film festivals, which will be advertising supported. Check out the video on the main page.

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.

The Good

Finally being made available in the US, the 14-episode long UK sitcom Spaced proves what hilarious characters and writing can do with even the simplest of premises. The show comes from the minds of the hilarious star-director duo Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (and let’s not forget Nick Frost, who has a supporting role here), who later went on to make the instant classic hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If that isn’t enough to convince you this is a must buy, you must not have seen those films.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: New audio commentary By Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody, the original commentaries included on the VCI release, deleted scenes, raw footage, a Spaced On Stage reunion Q&A, a feature length documentary, outtakes, and a Homage-O-Meter.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$34.99 $39.99 $59.98 $44.99

Beating out Family Guy’s Star Wars special (entitled “Blue Harvest”) to the punch by a few months, Robot Chicken’s special is just now getting the treatment it deserves. Some people may not find much incentive to pick this set up, being that it’s only one 23-minute episode and you can already watch it online for free at AdultSwim.com. More diehard fans of Robot Chicken/Star Wars, however, will find justification for the splurge courtesy of the extensive amount of special features and the very low price.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Seven audio commentaries, video commentary, an animation meeting, a behind the scenes featurette, a production design featurette, deleted scenes, a panel presentation, time lapse sequences, alternate audio recordings, and on-air bumps.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$8.99 $9.99 $8.99 $7.99

From Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, this two-act 1963 police procedural (based on a detective novel by Ed McBain) insightfully explores and comments on Japanese society through the tale of a wealthy industrialist who learns his son has been kidnapped. High and Low may not be one of Kurosawa’s most popular works, but quality-wise it’s definitely up there.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a retrospective documentary with Akira Kurosawa, two interviews, a trailer gallery, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

An excellent movie for art-lovers and those interested in filmmaking, Vampyr is a 1932 French-German picture that tells a nightmarish tale about a young student of the occult who visits a strange castle and starts to experience haunting dreams and supernatural visions. It doesn’t have much dialogue or plot, but is heavily admired for its innovative use of light and shadows.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by film historian Tony Rayns, a documentary about the director’s life and work, a ‘visual essay’ featurette, a 46-page booklet which features essays about the film and director Carl Theodor Dreyer, and a 200+ page book which features Dreyer’s script and the story Carmilla.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

The Bad

(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Deluxe Editions)
While not exactly terrible, the wholly generic Hollywood fluff flick 21 falls flat due to its incessant need to remove anything that could’ve made the film even remotely original or interesting. This includes, among other things, getting rid of the important cultural aspects from the true story on which the film is inspired (they were primarily Asian males), focusing far too much energy on making everything look flashy and cool instead of actually informing the audience what it is that’s happening on the blackjack table (I still have no idea what the hell counting cards entails), and spending so little time developing the lead character’s transformation that it barely even registers as an arc (there goes any hope for a compelling character study). In the end, the only thing that resonates in the slightest is the kickass soundtrack.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A filmmaker commentary and 3 featurettes. In addition, the 2-disc set includes a digital copy of the film.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99

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

What? Deluxe Edition includes The Basics of Winning Blackjack book.
Where? Target

What? Deck of 21-themed cards.
Where? Best Buy

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Picture This! – The Last Winter – Bird (2-Disc Special Edition) – L.A. Ink (Season 1) – Las Vegas (Season 5) – Masters of Horror (Season 2 Box Set) – Kiss of the Spider Woman (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [Amazon.com Exclusive]

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.

Exclusive: Free E-Movie Cash (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, plus a Sneak Peek disc, with any of the following $5.99 DVDs.
$5.99 – Miami Vice, Children of Men, The Scorpion King, Serenity, Alpha Dog, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Unrated Director’s Cut), Tremors, Land of the Dead, Cape Fear, Billy Madison, and more…

$14.99 – Robot Chicken (Season 1-2), Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Season 1-4), The Venture Bros. (Season 1-2), Metalocalypse (Season 1)

$19.99 – Dexter (Season 1), The Tudors (Season 1)
$24.99 – Jericho (Season 1), The L Word (Season 3-4)
$27.99 – Lost (Season 3), Dirt (Season 1), Desperate Housewives (Season 3)

$5.99 – Rounders, Swingers, Gangs of New York, Equilibrium, Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Grosse Point Blank, From Dusk Till Dawn, and more…

Exclusive: Free movie money (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with any of the following $9.99 and $6.99 DVDs.
$9.99 – The Mummy (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), The Mummy Returns (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), Fearless (Director’s Cut)
$6.99 – Miami Vice, Smokin’ Aces, Children of Men, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and more…

$4.99 – The Island, The Warriors (Ultimate Director’s Cut), Lucky Number Slevin, Minority Report, The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition), and more…