This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: April 7, 2009

I have this Blu-ray sitting right here and plan on popping it in as soon as I get done with this column and will hopefully have a review up in the next day or so. Doubt is a solid film with fantastic performances and with cinematography from Roger Deakins I am sure it will look gorgeous in high-def (even though Deakins didn’t exactly bring his A-game to this one). The features, however, do look a bit on the weak side with four traditional featurettes and a commentary from writer/director John Patrick Shanley, but Shanley’s comments may prove to be solid enough for a recommendation. However, all likelihood is this one is best left as a rental as I don’t consider it a buy based on my one theatrical experience.
Buy Doubt
No Country for Old Men (Collector’s Edition)
Along with Doubt this second title from Miramax is next to find its way into the player, but this one is already a title I am hesitant to recommend and may not actually give a full review unless it gives me more to say than what I can say without even watching it. First off, this is a double-dip for both DVD and Blu-ray formats and all it appears to be bringing to the table are additional featurettes and made-for-TV features. No commentary really makes the upgrade almost worthless since you aren’t getting a picture upgrade in either instance and other than that the only “benefit” is a digital copy, but who actually uses those to the extent they become valuable? Click on the box art for a list of features, but I really don’t see why anyone would buy this unless they didn’t already own it and were currently planning on picking up a copy.
Buy No Country for Old Men (Collector's Edition)
The Day the Earth Stood Still
This remake wasn’t even good enough to request a review copy. However, I would like to give it a second viewing just to count how many times a CGI helicopter is featured in a scene. I swear, director Scott Derrickson must have some kind of serious infatuation with the helis. Perhaps he should consider adapting “Airwolf” for the big screen.
Buy The Day the Earth Stood Still
Yes Man
I was surprised how much I liked this film when I saw it in the theaters and I would bet it will play even better at home just as most dumb comedies do. Best part about it is how much Zooey Deschanel has continued to grow on me as an actress. She is adorable in this film and makes it that much easier to enjoy even if Jim Carrey does occasionally go a bit overboard with his “wild and crazy” antics.
Buy Yes Man
The Tale of Despereaux
I could have sworn this DVD and Blu-ray had already been released and I think I may have even had it on an On DVD Today column in the past, but yet here it is once again and I can tell you for certain it is out in stores today. However, is anyone really jumping at the chance to pick this up? To be perfectly honest I don’t even have any idea what it is about. A mouse that sword fights or something like that? I just never was able to get interested in this one, but perhaps I should give it a chance.
Buy The Tale of Despereaux
Bedtime Stories
Okay, this one actually hit shelves on Sunday, but I am including it in this announcement since I do these every Tuesday and not every time a studio gets a crazy idea to buck the system. Just like Despereaux, I have no interest in seeing this one either and with such bad reviews I am not sure I will ever give it a shot. The public certainly seemed to take to it though with it making over $110 million domestically. Go figure, general audiences liking something the critics panned. Always seems to work out that way doesn’t it.?
Buy Bedtime Stories
Pre-Code Hollywood Collection

The Cheat / Merrily We Go to Hell / Hot Saturday / Torch Singer / Murder at the Vanities / Search for Beauty
I have this DVD set sitting here and I simply have not had the time to crack it open, but I am anxious to give it a shot merely as a learning experience. The six films included star such names as Cary Grant, Fredric March and Claudette Colbert and are films made in the “pre-Code” era (1929 – mid-1934), a time in which censorship barely existed in Hollywood. The set comes with one bonus feature titled “Forbidden Film: The Production Code Era” and in a review at DVD Times it says, “There’s a dud (Murder at the Vanities) in the bunch and no major gems, but the combined strengths overall make the package a curiosity worth seeking out, especially given the generally excellent audio and video quality.” Like I said, I can’t wait for the chance to give it a watch.
Buy Pre-Code Hollywood Collection
Cleopatra (75th Anniversary Edition)
This one I actually started watching late one night, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to watch the whole thing despite how hard I was trying. By this I don’t mean it was boring, I mean it was something like 4 in the morning and I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. The film stars the lovely Claudette Colbert and is directed by Cecil B. DeMille and along with the film carries a group of featurettes which include the “Forbidden Film” featurette I mentioned just above. After watching about 60 minutes of the nearly two-hour long film I can say was enjoying it, but to say anymore would be impossible.
Buy Cleopatra (75th Anniversary Edition)
Not Easily Broken
I have heard some really negative things about some certain story decision in this film. Some twist in the middle or something, I can’t remember, but apparently it turns it from a potentially decent film into a bad one. Not sure what that is, but perhaps someone that has seen it can enlighten me all over again.
Buy Not Easily Broken



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