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

Paranormal Activity 2 is a sequel that didn’t need to exist. But since it does, I’m glad it happens to be as good a sequel as anybody could’ve reasonably hoped for. I recognize there are those who find it far less scary than the first film, and though I can respect the reasoning from a pacing and build-up standpoint, I can’t quite fathom the logic behind it. Perhaps the problem is that I don’t have any fear of ghostly supernatural forces—especially not ones inclined to spookily open doors and occasionally thump on walls. In Paranormal Activity 2, the terror becomes real, because the family is being legitimately terrorized. And by subverting expectations of how these forces are most likely to strike, the novelty of the concept is more or less retained. Furthermore, the film manages to inventively complement the narrative of the first film by directly tying itself into it. This isn’t merely a rehash; the sequel actively enhances the mythology of the series. Then there’s the baby and dog—obvious additions, sure, but they also give the series its two most sympathetic characters, and provide the proceedings with some truly intense moments. As much as I appreciate the original’s ingenuity in the face of budgetary limitations, I think I actually like the second film more.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Theatrical and unrated cuts of the movie, and additional scenes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a digital copy of the film.

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $15.99 N/A
Amazon – $15.99

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $23.99 $23.99
Amazon – $23.99

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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