The Best DVD and Blu-ray Releases of 2010

Here are my picks of the DVD and Blu-ray released in 2010, which include Dr. Strangelove, Pierrot Le Fou, The White Ribbon, Dr. Zhivago, The Last Emperor, A Prophet, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Psycho, The Third Man, Se7en, The Exorcist, Carlos and Inception.

Just click on the film title to read the original reviews and the links on the side to buy them.

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NOTABLE IMPORTS

N.B. As I’m based in the UK, all of these DVDs are UK titles (apart from the imports) but if you live in a different region of the world check out Play.com or your local Amazon site and they should have an equivalent version of the film.

> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
> Browse all the cinema releases of 2010
> The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 7th June 2010

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DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

A Prophet (Optimum Home Entertainment): One of the standout films of last year was this scintillating prison drama about a lowly Arab criminal named Malik (Tahar Rahim) who is drawn into the inner circle of a Corsican mafia group, led by the ruthless César Luciani (Niels Arestrup). After a tough initiation, Malik learns how to read and write, and starts to learn how power works inside and outside the prison.

Directed by Jacques Audiard, it features two outstanding lead performances from Rahim and Arestrup, and quickly established itself as an instant classic, scooping the Grand Prix at Cannes and topping many critic’s end of year polls. Audiard doesn’t shy away from the dark brutalities of prison life, but manages to construct a compelling portrait of how criminal empires are born. An absolute must see. [Blu-ray / DVD]

A Single Man (Icon Home Entertainment): Adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel, it explores a day in the life of a grieving English college professor (Colin Firth) during the early 1960s. A highly impressive directorial debut for fashion designer Tom Ford, it co-stars Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult.

The stand out element here is a wonderfully nuanced performance from Firth, who was desrvedly nominated for an Oscar, along with some excellent production and costume design. Regrettably, Ford and co-screenwriter David Scearce tinker too much with the source novel (making one major alteration) but there is still much to admire here, not least the fact that Ford largely funded the project himself, which is highly unusual even for the richest filmmakers in Hollywood. [Blu-ray / DVD]

Ponyo (Optimum Home Entertainment): The latest animated film from renowned director Hayao Miyazaki is a story of friendship between a five-year-old boy and a goldfish princess who wants to be human.

Featuring the voices of Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett and Tina Fey it loosely adapts Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid into a contemporary Japanese setting. Although not quite up to the standards of his finest work, this is still a delight. Stylistically, it is something of a departure with more sparse compositions but the positive vibes, reflected in the bright pastel colors and energy of the film make it a highly pleasurable introduction to Miyazaki’s work for newcomers. [Blu-ray + DVD]

Extras include:

  • Storyboards
  • The Five Genuises Who Created Ponyo – interviews
  • Japanese trailers and TV spots
  • Intro by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (3:19)
  • A Conversation with Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter (3:30)
  • Behind the Microphone: the Voices of Ponyo (6:01)
  • Creating Ponyo (3:55)
  • Ponyo and Fujimoto(2:56)
  • The Nursery (1:57)
  • Scoring Miyazaki (7:17)
  • The Producer’s Perspective: Telling the Story (2:25)
  • The Locations in Ponyo (9:39)
  • Hayao Miyazaki interview (14.00)
  • Toshio Suzuki interview (29:00)
  • Dubbing Session and interview with Japanese cast 25:00)
  • Music Video of the theme song (3:30)

Spaghetti Western Collection – A Fistful Of Dollars/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly/For A Few Dollars More (20th Century Fox Home Ent.): Sergio Leone’s iconic Western trilogy, which established Clint Eastwood as an international star, is re-released on Blu-ray as part of “Eastwood month”, celebrating his 80th birthday, and features A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

There has been a lot of debate about the transfer of these classic westerns to Blu-ray – with HD enthusiasts less than happy with the finished result – but the films are enduring enough to make a purchase worthwhile. The plentiful extras from the DVD versions are included with contributions from film historian Christopher Frayling and commentaries on all three films. The featurettes include Clint Eastwood looking back on the making of the trilogy, location comparisons and two solid pieces on Leone himself. [Blu-ray / DVD]

Food Inc. (Dogwoof): A disturbing but enlightening documentary from director Robert Kenner which explores the dark side of America’s food industry and the way in which deregulation has affected what people eat.

Featuring many eye opening sequences featuring chickens, pork chops, soybean seeds, and even tomatoes that won’t go bad, there is a lot here to chew on, both figuratively and literally. Featuring interviews with Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) and progressive social entrepreneurs like it is a compelling tale of how food gets to US tables. [DVD]

ALSO OUT

Absolute Power (Warner Home Video)
Bad Boys (Sony Pictures Home Ent.)
Brothers (Lionsgate UK)
Chris Ryan’s Strike Back (2 Entertain)
Doctor Who – The New Series: 5 – Volume 1 (2 Entertain)
Exam (Sony Pictures Home Ent.)
Heartbreak Ridge (Warner Home Video)
Home (Universal Pictures)
Kelly’s Heroes (Warner Home Video) 
Pacific – The True Stories (Revolver Entertainment)
RoboGeisha (Showbox Media Group)
The Rookie (Warner Home Video) 
The Story of Science (2 Entertain) 
The Wolfman (Universal Pictures) 
Tora! Tora! Tora! (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) 
Where Eagles Dare (Warner Home Video)

The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009
UK cinema releases for Friday 4th June including She’s Out of My League, 4,3,2,1 and Death at a Funeral

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 22nd January 2010

NATIONAL RELEASES

Ninja Assassin (Warner Bros.): A martial arts action-adventure film directed by James McTeigue and starring Rain as one of the world’s deadliest Special Forces Ninja assassins.

The film was produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers and judging from the negative reviews doesn’t appear to be in any danger of winning awards or reshaping the landscape of 21st century cinema. [Nationwide /18]

Armored (Sony): An action film about a guard for an armored truck company who is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $10 million.

Directed by Nimród Antal, it stars Matt DillonJean Reno and Laurence Fishburne and it would appear to be a genre film that Sony hope will appeal to undemanding audiences. [Nationwide / 12A]

Brothers (Lionsgate UK): An drama starring Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal as two brothers involved in a love triangle with one of their wives (Natalie Portman) after one of them returns from military service in Afghanistan.

Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film is based on Susanne Bier‘s 2004 Danish film Brothers (Brødre) which takes place in Afghanistan and Denmark. Both films take inspiration from Homer‘s epic poem The Odyssey. [Nationwide / 15]

The Boys Are Back (Walt Disney):  An adaptation of Simon Carr’s serio-comic novel “The Boys Are Back in Town” which sees Clive Owen play a sports writer becomes a single parent in tragic circumstances while struggling to raise his two sons.

Directed by Scott Hicks, tepid word of mouth mean that this is likely to come and go at cinemas very quickly. [Vue West End & Nationwide]

Toy Story 2 3D (Walt Disney): A reissues in 3D for the 2000 Pixar sequel to Toy Story, in anticipation of the third part which is out this summer. [Nationwide / U]

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ALSO OUT

A Prophet (Optimum): A scintillating French crime drama directed by Jacques Audiard about a young Arab prisoner (Tahar Rahim) who gradually learns how power inside works thanks to a crime boss (Niels Arestrup) who runs an empire from his cell.

Superbly written and directed, it contains two terrific lead performances and a raft of classic scenes which linger in the memory. Since premièring at Cannes back in May it has rightly attracted a wave of critical acclaim on the festival circuit and is probably one of the best films of its kind in years. [Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn., & Nationwide / 18]

Blur: No Distance Left To Run (Arts Alliance): A documentary about the British rock band Blur, which follows the band during their 2009 reunion and tour, and also includes unseen archive footage and interviews. [London & Nationwide]

Burlesque Undressed (More2Screen): A documentary about ‘the art’ of stripping produced by its subject, Kelly Fletcher, aka Immodesty Blaize. [Empire Leicester Square, Odeon Covent Garden & Key Cities / 15]

Veer (Eros): A Bollywood epic directed by Anil Sharma, set in 1825 when the British were ruling India, starring Salman KhanMithun ChakrabortySohail Khan and Jackie Shroff. [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave., Odeon G’wich & Nationwide]

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Check out all the UK cinema releases for January 2010
> DVD and Blu-ray Picks for Monday 18th January including Dr Strangelove and (500) Days of Summer
Get local cinema showtimes for your area via Google Movies

UK Cinema Releases: January 2010

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FRIDAY 1st JANUARY

Did You Hear About The Morgans? (PG) / Sony Pictures
Post Grad (12A) / 20th Century Fox
Spread (15) / Optimum
I’m Gonna Explode (15) / Artificial Eye
Tokyo Story (U) (R/I) / BFI

TUESDAY 5th JANUARY

It Might Get Loud (PG) / Blue Dolphin

FRIDAY 8th JANUARY

Daybreakers (15) / Lionsgate UK
Exam (15) / Hazeldine Films/Miracle
It’s Complicated (15) / Universal
Mugabe and the White African / Dogwoof
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (15) / Entertainment
The Road (15) / Icon

FRIDAY 15th JANUARY

44 Inch Chest (18) / Momentum Pictures
All About Steve (12A) / 20th Century Fox
Crude / Dogwoof
The Book of Eli (15) / Entertainment
Up In The Air (15) / Paramount
Still Walking (U) / New Wave Films

FRIDAY 22nd JANUARY

A Prophet (18) / Optimum
Armored (12A) / Sony
Brothers (15) / Lionsgate UK
The Boys Are Back (12A) / Walt Disney
Toy Story 2 3D (U) / Walt Disney
Blur: No Distance Left To Run / Arts Alliance
Burlesque Undressed (15) / More2Screen
Ninja Assassin (18) / Warner Bros.
Veer / Eros

FRIDAY 29th JANUARY

Adoration (15) / New Wave Films
Edge of Darkness / Icon
Precious: A Novel by Sapphire (15) / Icon
The Princess And The Frog (U) / Walt Disney
Breathless / Terracotta Distribution
Late Autumn (PG) / bfi Distribution

Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases with more detail on each film.

If you have any questions about this month’s cinema releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms