This Week in DVD is a new column on /Film compiling all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

NOTE: If you watch a lot of TV, be sure to check out some of the amazing sales Best Buy is having on a number of Fox and HBO sets (located under “The Specials” section of the column).

The Good

Depicting the societal changes during the 1960s, this critically acclaimed new drama series explores the life of a high-level advertising executive with wit, style, and cynicism. In addition to it winning the Golden Globe for Best Television Series (Drama), it’s also been heavily praised for its character-driven storyline, top notch writing, and slick and detailed recreation of its ‘60s setting. The DVD includes all episodes from the show’s first season, and comes with limited edition lighter packaging.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Several commentary tracks and documentaries on the advertising industry.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$34.99 $32.99 $34.99 $34.99

What? $5 GiftCard.
Where? Target.

A film version of the popular TV series of the same name (which in itself was a spin-off of a movie I consider to be one of the best of all-time, City of God), this brutal and unflinching tale of two friends who become unwittingly caught up in a vicious gang war further explores the horrors of Brazil’s favela life. It may not be up to the level of City of God, but critics and audiences are in agreement, it does as good a job as you could possibly hope for.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A featurette.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $19.99 $19.99 $19.99

What? Buy with City of God for $25.
Where? Best Buy.

The Bad

(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Deluxe Editions)
Good premises can only take a movie so far, and unfortunately, this film gets lost before it even begins. The whole concept underlying the film is ultimately undermined by its inconsistent execution, constantly cheating by preventing the audiences from seeing what other characters see (which is the whole point of the film) and then eventually abandoning that concept entirely. What could’ve amounted to a high-octane, twist-filled thriller instead devolves into a mess of poor screenwriting and laughable attempts at integrating the “Rashomon effect.” What a shame.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Found only on the 2-Disc set, there’s an audio commentary, an interview with screenwriter Barry Levy, deleted scenes, and interviews with the cast/crew.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $16.99 $13.99 $13.99

*Fry’s pricing DOES include 2-Disc Edition, but the other listed stores do not ($22.99).

(Available as single-disc and Extended Survival Editions)
This movie has a number of things going for it, such as the charms of its lead, Owen Wilson, and the strong performances of its two teenage actors, but the script makes it feel like a hodgepodge of a less raunchy, less funny Superbad and recycled material from half a dozen ‘80s teen comedies (like My Bodyguard). This makes sense, seeing as how it’s based on an idea by John Hughes, and the script was co-written by Seth Rogen and produced by Judd Apatow, but disappointingly, the quality normally associated with those names does not shine through here.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A commentary track (no Apatow or Rogen), deleted scenes, Apatow’s patented “Line-O-Rama” feature, a gag reel, and an interview with Rogen and other co-writer Kristofor Brown. The “Extended Survival Edition” comes with an additional five featurettes on the making of the film.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $16.99 $19.99 $16.99

*Pricing DOES include Extended Survival Edition.

Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones joins an all-star supporting cast including Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, and David Strathairn for the English-language debut of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s visually captivating but contrived and half-baked compilation of artsy nothingness. The bland, overly-chatty storyline involves a woman who takes a cross-country trip across America to get over a break-up.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A Q&A session with the director, deleted scenes, and a short making-of featurette.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $17.99 $14.99 $14.99

(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)
What is there really left to say about Tyler Perry’s films? He’s a sloppy director and a painfully melodramatic storyteller, but his loyal fanbase continues to support his work regardless. At this point, it’s probably best just to shrug these movies off until audiences finally lose interest.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Four featurettes.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $16.99 $13.99 $13.99

*Fry’s pricing DOES include 2-Disc Edition, but the other listed stores do not ($22.99).

What? Free address book.
Where? Circuit City.

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Heathers (Special Edition) – Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control – The Closer (Season 3) – Batman: The Movie (Special Edition) – Sex and Death 101 – 30 Days (Season 2) – Shotgun Stories

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

The Specials

Exclusive: Free movie cash (up to $7) to see Get Smart with purchase of Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control.

$7.50 – Batman Begins, The Goonies, Gremlins, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Grandma’s Boy

$17.99 – Sex and the City (Seasons 1-6), Friday Night Lights (Season 2)

Exclusive: 2-Disc Special Edition for Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control ($22.99). Includes first 2 episodes of the Get Smart TV series.

$16.99 – Futurama (Season 1-4), The Simpsons (Season 1-10), Arrested Development (Season 1-3), King of the Hill (Season 1-6), 24 (Season 1-6), Prison Break (Season 1-2), The Riches (Season 1), Family Guy (Season 1-5), American Dad (Season 1-3), That ‘70s Show (Season 1-8), The OC (Season 1-4), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 1-7), Angel (Season 1-5), Dark Angel (Season 1-2)

$19.99 – Six Feet Under (Season 1-5)

$39.99 – The Wire (Season 1-4), John Adams, The Sopranos (Season 1-6), Rome (Season 1-2), Deadwood (Season 1-3)

$44.99 – Band of Brothers

$14.99 – South Park (Season 1-5)

$24.99 – South Park (Season 6-10)

Exclusive: Free movie cash (up to $7) to see Get Smart with purchase of Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control.

$16.99 – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1 & 2)

$19.99 – My Name is Earl (Season 1-2)

$4.99 – The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition), Goodfellas, Platoon, Raging Bull, Airplane, Lucky Number Slevin, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Million Dollar Baby, The Right Stuff, Deliverance, and more…

$6.99 – Made, Jacob’s Ladder, Total Recall, Way of the Gun, First Blood, and more…

$3.99 – The Ice Storm, Kung Pow

$6.99 – The Boondock Saints, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, I, Robot, Cast Away, Man on Fire, There’s Something About Mary, Die Hard, and more…

What if I told you that the hottest comedy producer in Hollywood today, Judd Apatow, was making a movie written by 80’s pop-directing legend John Hughes and Seth Rogen? I’d say it’s in theaters, and you didn’t even care to go see it.

Drillbit Taylor actually began as a story from John Hughes. You know, the guy who was responsible for most of our favorite films from the 1980’s – National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, European Vacation, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone. Hughes dropped out of filmmaking in 1991, but continued to do some work for hire script work under the pseudonym Edmond Dantès (a reference to the main character in Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo). And even then, he’s not had a credit in the last six years.

After the success of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Judd Apatow was approached by Paramount to develop Drillbit Taylor, based on a treatment Hughes had turned in years ago, but never turned into a script. SuperBad co-screenwriter/star Seth Rogen teamed up with Beavis and Butt-Head scribe Kristofor Brown on the feature length screenplay. This might explain why the film features three kids with similar character traits to those featured in Rogen’s SuperBad.

In fact, the characters were modeled after Rogen and his high school friends. When I got a chance to talk to SuperBad stars Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, they told me how Seth’s friend, who was the basis of the Fogell/McLovin character, actual thought of himself of somewhat of a badass, and use to have Samurai Swords on his walls. It’s probably no coincidence that the Bully from Drillbit Taylor also has a love for Japanese Swords.

There is so much of Rogen in this script, that I’m actually quite curious how much of the story is actually attributed to Hughes. That said, the story feels like the type of story Hughes might have written. Maybe Rogen just fleshed it out and contributed the characters? And in that sense, the script is so much better than the film itself, probably due to the involvement of hack comedy director Steven Brill, who Apatow must owe for getting him his first feature length gig or something (Brill directed Apatow’s first feature length script, Heavy Weights in 1995).

And you might notice that the Wisconsin-based J.D. Salinger-like reclusive filmmaker/screenwriter is not credited on the final film, but instead is given story credit under his pseudonym Edmond Dantès.

Discuss: Did You See Drillbit Taylor? If So, What did you think? And Do you think John Hughes will ever return to Hollywood to pen a classic teen movie for the next generation?

Posters: Drillbit Taylor and Hancock

Posters: Drillbit Taylor and Hancock

Check out the new posters for Hancock and Drillbit Taylor after the jump.

Read More »

Paramount Pictures Comic-Con Details Revealed

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures has announced a detailed scheduling for the planned Thursday, July 26th 1:30pm Comic-Con panel. Here is the rundown thanks to ROS:

  • Transformers – taped message from Michael Bay
  • Hot Rod – Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone present
  • Stardust – Neil Gaiman present
  • Beowulf – Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary present
  • Sweeney Todd – mini poster reveal
  • Spiderwick Chronicles – Mark Waters, Holly Black, Phil Tippet and Tony Tetzelli present. Page to screen presentation.
  • Drillbit Taylor – taped message from Judd Apatow intro of new trailer
  • Iron Man – taped greeting and throw to Marvel panel on Saturday
  • Indiana Jones 4 – satellite from set
  • Star Trek 11 – JJ Abrams, Damon Lindeloff, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Looks like there will be some fun stuff is in store for those in attendance. I’m most looking forward to the Drillbit Taylor trailer, Indiana Jones 4 satallite segment, and the Star Trek presentation. I’m sure JJ will be forced to field a bunch of questions regarding Cloverfield, even though it’s not on the schedule. And before you ask, Paramount and Universal have set up a Saturday panel to focus on Iron Man and Incredible Hulk.