‘The Guard’ and ‘Contagion’ Lead the Week’s New DVD and Blu-ray Releases


Before we look at the new titles hitting shelves this week, Warner Home Video is releasing several Blu-ray Triple Feature packages, a couple of which look particularly intriguing. First there’s a pack that includes The Searchers, Wild Bunch and How the West Was Won and then a second includes a trio comic fans may be interested in with V for Vendetta and Watchmen and Constantine. Each pack is only $22.49, which means you’re getting each title for about $7.49.

here’s also a pack for Steven Seagal fans and unfortunately I don’t know if the pack with Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St and Freddy vs. Jason includes the remakes or the original features so I’d probably stay away from that one if I were you.

Blu-ray Triple Features for $22.49 each
I’ve placed an * next to suggested titles

Now for this week’s new releases along with all the latest release date announcements…

The Guard
The Guard
I mentioned this one on Sunday. Starring Brendan Gleeson, The Guard centers on an Irish cop (Gleeson) that teams with an FBI agent played by Don Cheadle to track down a group of drug traffickers believed to be in the area. The film was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, the older brother to Martin McDonagh who wrote and directed In Bruges, and the siblings show a particular talent for quick wit comedies mixed with satisfying doses of violence.

In Bruges remains the far superior film, but The Guard is definitely worth a watch and for many of you may be a film you want to buy. You can read my theatrical review right here.



I respect Contagion more than I like it. Had the second half of Marion Cotillard’s story not gone the direction it went I would certainly like this film more. I also thought Jude Law’s character took a rather dramatic nose dive, but that one at least made sense. One thing I absolutely love about this film is Cliff Martinez’s score, which I would actually suggest you buy instead of the film. As a matter of fact, you can buy the complete soundtrack on .MP3 right now at Amazon for only $4.99, just [amazon asin=”B005KODG20″ text=”click here”] to buy it.

Buy Contagion


I watched this just last night and it’s decent, but nothing to get overly excited about. If you’re interested in a “based on a true story” feature of a functioning drug addict lawyer who decides to take on the healthcare industry over their decision to not use safety needles that would help prevent thousands of hospital accidents then give it a watch, but it’s not the legal thriller I was hoping for. The pacing is a bit wonky and while it’s a story worth telling, it’s not very well told.



Mildred Pierce
I actually reviewed this one before it played on HBO back in March. This is a rather dark tale that takes place from 1931-1940 and centers on the title character and, for the most part, her eldest daughter Veda (played in her later years by Evan Rachel Wood).

In my March review I referred to it as occasionally repetitive and the overall motive of the piece seems to be incredibly sinister, but it is very well made and is certainly worth a look.

I’d also like to reiterate that it contains, what I consider to be, one of the few instances ever where on camera nudity actually elevates the narrative rather than just serving as flesh to be observed. Kudos to Evan Rachel Wood for being the one to pull it off.

Buy Mildred Pierce


Shark Night
I am shocked this isn’t an unrated release. I think we were all rightly baffled to learn this was being released as a PG-13 feature. Who in the world wants to see a PG-13-rated movie about killer sharks?

Buy Shark Night


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
This was a truly disappointing film especially after early buzz insisted the film had received an R-rating merely due to how scary it was. Well, all I can say is the R-rating was hardly deserved (though there was at least one gruesome moment I can remember) and the film on a whole sort of stunk. I even considered adding it to my right here.

Buy Don't Be Afraid of the Dark


I Don’t Know How She Does It
I never saw this film, but I believe everyone that did has added it to their worst of 2011 lists. However, the 17% rating at RottenTomatoes tells me 18 of the 106 people that reviewed it over there liked it, which includes David Edelstein of New York Magazine, though I’m not sure I will ever understand his tastes.

Buy I Don't Know How She Does It