This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: February 17, 2009

There is PLENTY for you to browse through today as this week I have more than just new releases to preview as release dates have been set for Criterion’s Blu-ray release of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran and Paramount has announced the original Star Trek titles for Blu-ray as well. It’s all here in this week’s addition of On DVD and Blu-ray… Enjoy!

Body of Lies
Just yesterday I posted my Blu-ray review of Body of Lies, which is an impressive release in high definition on top of the fact I think it is also a good movie and definitely one to consider picking up this week and certainly the best new release in terms of non-catalog titles. I don’t have a copy of the DVD edition, but if you are a Blu-ray owner you could do a lot worse than this release.
Buy Body of Lies
Changeling
I also just posted my Blu-ray review of Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, a film I was never overly impressed with and again on Blu-ray, while the visuals are stellar, the film continues to disappoint.
Buy Changeling
Midnight Meat Train (Director’s Cut)
I just finished watching the director’s cut of this film and will be posting a review shortly (probably before most of you even read this article). I will tell you it is a decent horror film with several enjoyable moments and director Ryuhei Kitamura certainly brings a unique style of filmmaking to this one, but the ending just doesn’t lift the film up out of the levels of decent and perhaps into good.
Buy Midnight Meat Train (Director's Cut)
Choke
If made correctly this film would have been rated NC-17 and damn near unwatchable and something the MPAA wouldn’t even entertain giving an R-rating before you cut everything important out of the story. Clark Gregg’s R-rated version is a tame version of the Chuck Palahniuk novel the film is based on and while the casting of Sam Rockwell is perfect and the film isn’t all that bad it just isn’t all that good.
Buy Choke
How To Lose Friends and Alienate People
Keeping on the theme of movies that aren’t that good we have this up-and-down mess and as I said in my theatrical review it is a coming-of-age story, a raunchy sex comedy and a sweet romantic comedy, but none of these pieces fit into the same puzzle. This film has no idea what it wants to be and each scene simply seems to exist to service the moment as opposed to the story, of which there really is none. Too bad.
Buy How To Lose Friends and Alienate People
Flash of Genius
Ugh, another 2008 film that some actually had the nerve to call good, but if you take even a couple of moments to read up on the actual story the film is based on you will find that Robert Kearns was a crazy man that ruined his life and really came away with very little considering he was never satisfied with the outcome. I would tell you more, but it just doesn’t seem worth it. You can read my theatrical review right here if you need any more negativity.
Buy Flash of Genius
Quarantine
I really wanted to request this film for review, but I don’t want to watch it until after I have seen [REC], the film that inspired it. Word of mouth on this film is that it is actually quite good so one of these days I know I will be giving it a shot.
Buy Quarantine
Religulous
I have this one sitting off to the side and I only really want to watch it again because of the audio commentary with Bill Maher and director Larry Charles, primarily because I want to hear Charles’s take on what is going on. One thing I have been thinking about with this film is what would Maher feel he had accomplished if say everyone decided to dump their religious beliefs? Maybe he’ll give me a clue on the commentary.
Buy Religulous
High School Musical 3: Senior Year and then some…
I have no opinion on these. They just aren’t up my alley. I enjoy a musical, and would possibly even enjoy these I am just not going to subject myself to it because I have no desire to add any of these two films to my personal filmography. That’s why I had Sara do it. Mu hu ha ha haaaaa. She reviewed the Blu-ray editions of the original High School Musical and the latest High School Musical 3 and had relatively good things to say. You can get her review of both right here.
Buy High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The Passion of the Christ (The Definitive Edition)
I just received this today in what I can only interpret as a Blu-ray reviewer’s gift pack from Fox along with Raging Bull, The French Connection parts one and two, Boondock Saints and Donnie Darko. The thing is, I have never been a HUGE admirer of any of these films despite how each one holds a special place in the hearts of so many film lovers. Passion I think is a great movie, but not one I ever really wanted to see again, but will give it a spin now that this review copy has arrived. Boondock and Darko aren’t favorites of mine and I think both carry that stigma of “it’s cool to like these” more than I think there is really any kind of legitimate following. Raging Bull is a film I said last week I need to give another chance and French Connection is a good movie I have always wanted to see again to make a better assessment of since I have only seen it once, and I have actually never seen the sequel. In my opinion the best way to judge your true appreciation for most any film is how you feel after seeing it a second time. I plan on opening that door for this bunch.
Buy The Passion of the Christ (The Definitive Edition)
Gandhi
Really like this film and not sure why I didn’t request a review copy. Probably for the best though since I still have the three hour BD copy of Amadeus to watch and review. Only so much time in each day.
Buy Gandhi
Kramer vs. Kramer
This film is a classic, but in my opinion it’s just a’ight. It has some good performances, but overall it isn’t a film I am necessarily interested in seeing again and certainly don’t think it is a title necessary of upgrading to a high definition copy should you already own the DVD.
Buy Kramer vs. Kramer
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