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blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 22nd February 2010

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DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

Wings of Desire (Axiom): One of the classic European films of the 1980s is Wim Wenders‘ classic tale of a guardian angel (Bruno Ganz) listening to the thoughts of mortals living in West Berlin only to find himself entranced by a trapeze artist (Solveig Dommartin) who makes him yearn to be human. Co-written with Peter Handke and beautifully shot in monochrome and colour by Henri Alekan, it won Wenders the Best Director prize at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and remains his most celebrated film. This is the first time it has been available on Blu-ray in the UK and has a newly restored picture and sound mix supervised by the director. [Read the full review here]

M (Eureka/MOC): Fritz Lang’s classic early talkie is a crime drama set in 1930s Berlin which involves an elusive serial killer (Peter Lorre) who preys on children – based on the real life Düsseldorf killings – and the efforts of the police and the criminal underworld to catch him. Filmed in Germany, M established Fritz Lang’s reputation in America and was massively influential on other films with its innovative use of sound and visuals.

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ALSO OUT

9 (Universal) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
City Girl (Eureka/MOC) [Buy it on Blu-ray]
Jennifer’s Body (Fox) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
Just Like the Son (Eureka) [Buy it on DVD]
Katalin Varga (Artificial Eye) [Buy it on DVD]
Law & Order: UK – Series 2 (Universal Playback) [Buy it on DVD]
Lucky Bastard (Eureka) [Buy it on DVD]
Michael Jackson’s This Is It (Sony) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
Open Graves (Icon) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
Rob Zombie Presents….The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (Anchor Bay) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
Sons of Anarchy Season 1 (Fox) [Buy it on DVD]
Taking Woodstock (Universal) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
The Beaches of Agnes (Artificial Eye) [Buy it on DVD]
The Day of the Triffids (2009) (Showbox) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
The Shinjuku Incident (Cine Asia) [Buy it on DVD | Buy it on Blu-ray]
There’s Always Tomorrow (Eureka/MOC) [Buy it on DVD]

 

 

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blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray: The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker succeeds brilliantly where many films about the Iraq War have failed by examining the tense details of life in a bomb disposal unit.

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a script by journalist Mark Boal (based on his experiences as a reporter embedded with troops), it portrays a group of soldiers who have to disarm IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in the heat of combat.

The story begins with a new sergeant (Jeremy Renner) taking over a highly trained disposal team and the tension that arises with his two subordinates, Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) as they fear his fearless attitude is endangering their lives.

Unlike the half-hearted hand-wringing that has characterised some of the films dealing with the war on terror, this plunges us deep into the anxiety and chaos of warfare.

But the clever twist of The Hurt Locker is that it steers clear of war movie clichés: the enemy is often hidden and faceless; sequences are agonisingly teased out; death is lurking everywhere; combat is a powerful drug that affects soldiers in different ways.

Bigelow wisely recruited cinematographer Barry Ackroyd to give the film a captivating, hand-held look which is reminiscent of his work on Paul Greengrass’ United 93.

As a director it is a welcome return to form and combines the energy and thrills of her best work with an attention to detail that pays of handsomely in several memorable sequences.

Since premièring at the Venice film festival back in 2008 it has deservedly reaped rave reviews and will be a leading contender at the upcoming Oscars.

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc come with the following extras:

  • Behind the Scenes (12mins)
  • Interviews with cast and crew (12mins)
  • BD Exclusive: Photo Gallery
  • BD Exclusive: Backstage (13mins)

> Buy The Hurt Locker on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon
> Listen to my interview with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal about the film

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blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Tuesday 28th December 2009

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

District 9 (Sony): A sci-fi drama about aliens landing in South Africa  featuring no stars and an unknown  director became one of the surprise hits of the year with a clever mix of action, politics and dazzling SFX. [Click here for the full review]

The Hurt Locker (Lionsgate/Optimum): One of the most acclaimed films of the decade was this tense drama about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a script by journalist Mark Boal. [Click here for the full review]

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ALSO OUT

1941 (Universal) [Buy on DVD]
A Dangerous Man (Optimum) [Buy on DVD]
Darker Than Black Vols 5 & 6 (Manga) [Buy on DVD]
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside (Fox) [Buy on Import DVD]
Kitaro and the Millennium Curse (Manga) [Buy on DVD]
Kitaro Movie (Manga) [Buy on DVD]
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Season 4 (Universal Playback)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 10 (Universal Playback)
Life Season 2 (Universal Playback) [Buy on DVD]
Misfits Series 1 (4DVD) [Buy on DVD]
The Final Destination (EIV) [Buy on DVD / Buy on Blu-ray]
The Gold Diggers (BFI) [Buy on DVD]

> The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009
> UK cinema releases for 2009

Categories
blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray Lists

The Best DVD & Blu-ray Releases of 2009

Best of DVD and Blu-ray 2009

DVD and Blu-ray releases have effectively gone on holiday until the last week of the month so here is my list of the best UK releases of 2009.

*N.B. Some of these titles were already available on DVD but got a Blu-ray release this year *

JANUARY

DVD and Blu-ray Picks January 2009

Standard Operating Procedure (Sony) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Recount (HBO) [Buy on DVD]
Ashes of Time Redux (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Fall (Momentum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Wong Kar-wai Collection (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD]

FEBRUARY

DVD and Blu-ray February 2009

Gomorrah (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
I’ve Loved You So Long (Lionsgate) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
7-49UP (Network) [Buy on DVD]
Amadeus – Director’s Cut (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Being There (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Hunger (Pathe) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray Import]
The Visitor
(Unanimous Pictures) [Buy on DVD]

MARCH

DVD and Blu-ray March 2009

A History of Violence (EIV) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
L.A. Confidential – Special Edition (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Not Quite Hollywood (Optimum) [Buy on DVD]
Waltz with Bashir (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

APRIL

DVD Blu-ray April 2009

The Bela Tarr Collection (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD]
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Red Riding Trilogy (Optimum) [Buy on DVD]
Dean Spanley (Icon) [Buy on DVD]

MAY

DVD and Blu-ray May 2009

Fargo (MGM) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Silence of the Lambs (MGM) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Mad Men Season 1 (Lionsgate) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Frost/Nixon (Universal) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

JUNE

DVD and Blu-ray June 2009

Slumdog Millionaire (Pathe) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
A Christmas Tale (New Wave Films) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray Import]
Milk (Momentum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Universal) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Blackadder Remastered – Ultimate Edition (2 Entertain) [Buy on DVD]
Bolt (Disney) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Class (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray Import]
Woodstock 3 Days of Peace & Music (Warner Bros) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Che (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Gran Torino (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

JULY

DVD and Blu-ray July 2009

Mad Men Season 2 (Lionsgate) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Religulous (Momentum) [Buy on DVD]
Brick (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Elephant (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Pianist (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Il Divo (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray Import]

AUGUST

DVD and Blu-ray August 2009

Children of Men (Universal) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Winstanley (BFI) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Two Lovers (Lionsgate) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
La Haine (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
In The Loop (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Encounters at the End of the World (Revolver) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Battle of Algiers – Special Edition (Argent Films) [Buy on DVD]

SEPTEMBER

DVD and Blu-ray September 2009

This Is Spinal Tap – Up To 11 Edition (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Beyond the Clouds (Second Sight) [Buy on DVD]
In This World (ICA) [Buy on DVD]
An American Werewolf in London (Universal) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Belle De Jour (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Ran (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Sunrise (Eureka!) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Deer Hunter (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Elephant Man (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The New World – Extended Cut (EIV) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Prisoner: The Complete Series (Network) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

OCTOBER

DVD and Blu-ray October 2009

Synecdoche, New York (Revolver) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Dawn of the Dead (Arrow) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Frozen River (Axiom Films) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray Import]
The Complete Friz Lang Mabuse Boxset (Eureka!) [Buy on DVD]
The Essential Michael Haneke (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD]
Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (2 Entertain) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

NOVEMBER

DVD and Blu-ray November 2009

Gone with the Wind – 70th Anniversary Edition (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Heat (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Fanny and Alexander (Palisades Tartan) [Buy on DVD]
For All Mankind (Eureka/Masters of Cinema) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Moon (Sony) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
North by Northwest – 50th Anniversary Edition (Warner) [Buy on Blu-ray]
The Terence Davies Collection (BFI) [Buy on DVD]
Fight Club – 10th Anniversary Edition (Fox) [Buy on Blu-ray]
The Wizard of Oz – 70th Anniversary Edition (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Jacques Tati Collection (BFI) [Buy on DVD]

DECEMBER

DVD and Blu-ray December 2009

Inglourious Basterds (Universal) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
Mid-August Lunch (Artificial Eye) [Buy on DVD]
The Hangover (Warner) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
1941 (Universal) [Buy on DVD]
District 9 (Sony) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]
The Hurt Locker (Optimum) [Buy on DVD or Blu-ray]

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N.B. As I’m based in the UK, all of these DVDs are UK titles 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
> The Bestselling DVDs of 2009 at Amazon UK
> Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
> Browse all the Cinema releases of 2009

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blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

DVD & Blu-ray: The Hangover

The Hangover DVDOne if the surprise hits of the summer was The Hangover (Warner Bros.), a comedy from director Todd Phillips about a bachelor party gone wrong in Las Vegas.

When three groomsmen (Bradley CooperEd Helms and Zach Galifianakis) lose their about-to-be-wed buddy (Justin Bartha) after a riotous night of partying, they have to retrace their steps in order to find him.

Along the way, they encounter a tiger belonging to Mike Tyson, a stripper (Heather Graham), a naked man in the trunk of their car and numerous other troubles.

Although on the surface this looks like another goofy mainstream Hollywood comedy, it rises well above the norm due to a clever central concept (the bachelor party itself is cleverly hidden from the audience) and some killer lines and scenes.

Made for a relatively small production budget of $35 million, it proved insanely profitable after grossing over $459 million worldwide.

The DVD version includes the theatrical version of the film with the following features:

  • 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English and Italian DD5.1
  • English Audio Description
  • English HOH, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian and Italian HOH subtitles
  • “Map of Destruction” – Retrace each step the guys took during their fate-filled evening and see the real locations, learn about Las Vegas lore and see the filming that took place there
  • “Three Best Friends Song” – Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis “freestyle” their own song
  • Gag Reel

Click here to buy The Hangover on Blu-rayThe Blu-ray Disc includes the theatrical and extended cuts of the film with the following features (extras are all in HD):

  • 1080P 2.40:1 Widescreen
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • French and German DD5.1 (Theatrical Version only)
  • English Audio Description (Theatrical Version only)
  • Subtitles (Film): English HOH, French, German, German HOH, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Swedish subtitles
  • Subtitles (Extras except PIP): English, French, German, Dutch
  • Picture in Picture Commentary (Theatrical Version only, no subtitles) featuring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Todd Phillips
  • “Map of Destruction” (16:27mins) – Retrace each step the guys took during their fate-filled evening and see the real locations, learn about Las Vegas lore and see the filming that took place there
  • “The Madness of Ken Jeong” (7:56mins)– Ken Jeong’s nonstop hilarious improve
  • “Action Mash-Up” (35secs)– Compilation of the physical comedy from the film
  • “Three Best Friends Song” (1:23mins) – Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis “freestyle” their own song
  • “The Dan Band!” (1:08mins) – The Dan Band performs “Fame”
  • Gag Reel (8:16mins)
  • More Pictures from the Missing Camera – More photos exposing the events from the night of mayhem
  • BD-Live

> Buy The Hangover on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon UK
> The Hangover at the IMDb