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

Some historical events function better as documentary subjects than they do movies. Admirable though the effort may be, Invictus is one of them. The film attempts to balance its weighty subject matter with the trifling appeal of an inspirational sports story, but in doing so, fails to satisfy in either regard. There’s nothing rousing about the way rugby is presented here—nothing exciting in the way that it’s played. Consequently, all of expected plot beats left me feeling like I was waiting out the clock until the inevitable, obligatory climactic final game. It’s apparent that director Clint Eastwood was more interested in expressing the passion of the fans, highlighting the way a common interest can bring opposing parties together. That’s fine and all, but if we don’t experience that passion ourselves, we’re no more than emotionless observers of other people’s enjoyment. Equally problematic is the innate awkwardness of trying to depict a nation that’s slowly being united, as it forces the movie to introduce numerous non-characters exclusively so it can rush them through their bland two-point arcs. It’s the sort of problem you can forgive because there aren’t a whole of other options available, but that justification doesn’t make those scenes any more cinematically rewarding. The movie does have a saving grace though, and that’s Morgan Freeman. With his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, Freeman lends a gravitas that helps maintain the illusion of substance, even as the film struggles to adequately explore the complexities of a post-apartheid world. He carries the movie.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A Matt Damon Plays Rugby featurette. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as additional featurettes (“Vision, Courage and Honor: Clint Eastwood and the Power of a True Story”, “Mandela Meets Morgan”, “The Eastwood Factor”), and a digital copy of the film.

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $17.99 $15.97
Amazon – $17.99

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $25.99 $19.97
Amazon – $24.99

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