This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: July 14, 2009

It’s a mixed bag this week with a few you may want to check out and others you will probably want to avoid. However, the most notable item in this release is in the new release date section at the bottom as Paramount has announced the Centennial Edition of Chinatown, which will include an audio commentary with Robert Towne and special guest David Fincher. Yeah, you are interested in that one aren’t yah? Look for it on October 6!

Now for the releases…

This one is at the top of my Netflix queue and already is listed with a “Short Wait” note as many folks are wanting to get a chance to see it for the first time. I have heard nothing but good things about this film and I will finally be able to check it out for myself and decide if the hype is warranted. Oh, and then I can also watch Quarantine, which I have also heard is pretty good. Can’t wait.
Mad Men – The Complete Second Season
Lionsgate sent me the first season of “Mad Men” last July and after four episodes I had given up on the show despite the first few truly intriguing me. The show went from being about marketing guys and their struggles to becoming a period set soap opera that felt like every other TV drama. Of course, like everyone else, I thought Jon Hamm was a talent, but I have yet to return to the first season to see if it gets any better. To say I haven’t watched a single episode of the second season is a no-brainer, but who knows… maybe someone can convince me in the comments this show becomes about something more than who is sleeping with who and actually provides some real drama.
The Haunting in Connecticut (Extended Cut)
I was surprised to look and see The Haunting in Connecticut has an 18% rating at RottenTomatoes, but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since I gave the film a “C” when I reviewed it, which shows up as “rotten” on the review collecting site. However, I think this is a good example of how RT isn’t always a reliable determiner of a film’s quality. Sure, this may be a C-worthy effort and not worth your money in the theaters, but an average horror in the theaters can easily become an above average at-home experience.

The Haunting in Connecticut is a decent thriller, that while it has its problems, should be a worthy rental. Lionsgate did send over the new “unrated” cut, but I haven’t given it a peek yet although I plan to. The unrated cut has 10 additional minutes of footage, and while the film was a PG-13 ghost story rather than some kind of a gorefest, I am sure those that have seen it realize there are some opportunities to up the stakes.

The Blu-ray comes with both the unrated and theatrical version, an audio commentary on the unrated cut with the director, cast and producers and also includes interviews with the actual people from which the story was based. Fans of ghost stories may want to give this one some serious consideration.

For All Mankind (Criterion Collection)
I just reviewed the Blu-ray version of this 1989 documentary, which you can read right here. In the review I point out how I am not a person who would ever buy a documentary, but I do enjoy the good ones and this one stands out as just that. If you are a doc fan definitely give it a peek, as the presentation is great and the features are fantastic. However, I still wouldn’t buy it as I couldn’t imagine myself watching it more than once and if I wanted to I would just rent it.
The Towering Inferno
I have never seen this movie, primarily because I have never heard anyone say anything all that great about it. However, it does star both Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, which is the reason it is in my Netflix queue. Anyone out there like this film and excited about it hitting Blu-ray?
The Edge of Love
This one snuck in-and-out of theaters back in March and for good reason, it’s not that good. Despite starring Kiera Knightley, Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy the film just doesn’t really work as it should have either been tightened up or turned into a three-hour epic. As it stands it just has too many bumps along the way. You can read my theatrical review right here.
Lionsgate is running things this week just like Summit dominated last week. Horsemen is a film I actually plan on checking out simply because the premise interests me. Could be a good rental, here’s the synopsis:

Aidan Breslin (Dennis Quaid) is a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons following the untimely death of his devoted wife. While investigating a series of murders of rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between himself and the suspects in a chain of murders that seem to be based on the Biblical prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.