This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: November 3, 2009


Before we get into this week’s releases I thought I would alert you to an upcoming 50% off Criterion Collection titles at Barnes and Nobles beginning on November 10 and running for two weeks. The full details, and a $5 off coupon, can be found in the DVD Talk forums.

Wings of Desire (Criterion Collection)
This is a huge week for major title releases on Blu-ray as Criterion’s release of Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire is just the first of three titles I reviewed and most likely blew my word count for the next two weeks trying to get all of my thoughts squared away.

As for this title specifically, it was my first time seeing it and as it played on and on I began to enjoy it more and more. However, if you read my lengthy review, you will see I sort of made up additional meanings for the film that started to intrigue me and keep me guessing as Wenders slow plays this one from the start. It’s not a film for everyone, that’s for sure, but should you already like this film, Criterion does not disappoint. And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out my review and if it piques your interest give it a rent and see if it’s one you think you would return to.

Buy Wings of Desire (Criterion Collection)
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition)
The second major title I reviewed this week is the first Alfred Hitchcock film to hit Blu-ray here in the States and Warner Home Video has set the bar impressively high for Hitch’s high-def debut. I have detailed much of the specifics in my review, but suffice to say, this is a must buy for damn near any film fan.
Buy North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition)
Howards End (Criterion Collection)
And finally, major title number three is the second Criterion Blu-ray release of the week and another title I just published my review of. This was my first time seeing this film and I went in with plenty of caution considering my only previous experience with Merchant/Ivory was A Room with a View and it did very little to excite me. Luckily, Howards End is both a visual marvel as much as it is an entertaining period piece taking a look at class divisions in Edwardian England.
Buy Howards End (Criterion Collection)
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1
The Big Heat / 5 Against the House / The Lineup / Murder by Contract / The Sniper
For anyone that reads my Sunday morning What I Watched pieces you have already read up on my thoughts on this collection as I commented on two of the film’s a week ago and three more this past Sunday. Of the collection, I would say it’s got three bona fide winners (The Big Heat, The Lineup, The Sniper), one decent film (Murder by Contract) and one I didn’t particularly like (5 Against the House). The collection runs $45 at Amazon and includes brief interviews with Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Christopher Nolan as well as a commentary on The Lineup by James Ellroy and Eddie Mueller and another on The Sniper by Mueller alone. It’s a solid collection of films and if noir is your thing you really can’t go wrong.
Buy Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1
Love Actually
Oh man, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this film and to finally have it on Blu-ray is a blessing. Love Actually is, without a doubt, my personal favorite when it comes to romantic comedies. Outside of the Laura Linney storyline in this film I think it nails it up and down and recommend you buy this Blu-ray immediately.
Buy Love Actually
Forrest Gump
After seeing Peter Sellers’s Being There I don’t have any desire to ever see Forrest Gump again. Being There did it first and it did it much better. On top of that, you can buy the Blu-ray of Being There for $13 cheaper.
Buy Forrest Gump
It’s a Wonderful Life
I already own the DVD version of this and don’t really see the huge benefit in a Blu-ray copy, although I am going to take a peek around and see if there are any reviews of this one to change my mind.
Buy It's a Wonderful Life
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I saw a website out there championing this as a “HUGE” and “MAJOR” release this week. I can only laugh at such a notion. Ha!
Buy G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The Taking of Pelham 123
I planned on getting a review of this one up this week as well, but the three other reviews I wrote dominated my entire weekend of movie watching. Many apologies. I came down on this one sort of hard in my theatrical review and I am anxious to see if I came down too hard as I suspect this one will play nicely at home.
Buy The Taking of Pelham 123
Aliens in the Attic
It’s always weird when I am putting these round-ups together and a title such as this pops up. It was released just over three months ago and I think I forgot about it almost six months ago and after today I don’t expect I will ever mention it again.
Buy Aliens in the Attic
I Love You, Beth Cooper
Ugh, never watch this film. Here are all my reasons why.
Buy I Love You, Beth Cooper
Food, Inc.
I was interested in seeing this, but I was also told by watching it I would never want to eat food again. I can’t figure out if I want to remain blissfully unaware or fully aware and terrified, although I have my leanings.
Buy Food, Inc.
The Shield – The Complete Series
Fantastic television series although I have still yet to see the final season. I need to get on that.
Buy The Shield - The Complete Series
Heat / The Negotiator / Logan’s Run
Warner Home Video Blu-ray
I received these three Blu-rays only last Friday and have not yet had a chance to watch any of them. I have never seen Logan’s Run so I am interested in checking that out and Michael Mann has tweaked Heat a bit cutting it down by two minutes if I am understanding things correctly. And I don’t know about you, but I think The Negotiator is a great film, even if it is a little on the longish side of things.
Buy Heat / The Negotiator / Logan's Run
Rocky – The Undisputed Collection (Blu-ray)
The complete Rocky collection goes Blu and Amazon has it for $54.99. You biting?
Buy Rocky - The Undisputed Collection
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)
What a classic holiday comedy, not sure if I need a big ol’ tin to remind me of how much I liked it, but I guess that’s what Christmas wish lists are for.
Buy National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Ultimate Collector's Edition)