A good day to you, fine citizen. Here be a round-up of some of the biggest/most important/galactically awesome DVDs and Blu-ray discs out this week. As ever, I’ll let you know whether I’d recommend buying, renting or steering clear of each of the titles listed, while I’ll also tell you what bonus features you can expect from each disc.
On to the goodies!
The Kids Are All Right
I have a good reason for sticking this one right at the top of this week’s column. Simply, it’s one of the absolute best films of the year and all three leads should be up for Oscars come March.
Hilarious, sweet and heartfelt, this is absolutely a must-buy.
Lesbian couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have been together for almost 20 years and have two teenage offspring named Joni and Laser, who were conceived via artificial insemination. Unbeknown to their mothers, Joni and Laser seek out their biological father, a restaurateur named Paul (Mark Ruffalo) . Complications arise when the teens bond with Paul and invite him into their lives.
- Feature commentary with director/co-writer Lisa Cholodenko
- The Journey to Forming a Family: director/co-writer Lisa Cholodenko reveals how her five-year long journey to write and bring the film to the screen was motivated by her desire to put down roots and create a family of her own.
- The Making of The Kids Are All Right
- The Writers’ Process: Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg discuss their writing process
If you have one of those new-fangled 3D TVs, this one is a necessary addition to your collection. I mean, it isn’t the biggest movie of all time because it’s a weepy drama set on a boat, right?
As you might expect, there are an absolute ton of bonus materials on this one for you to plough through. I’d definitely pick this one up. Can’t wait to get it myself and return to the lush but deadly vegetation of Pandora
Avatar takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery, as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.
- Original Theatrical Version
- Special Edition Re-Release
- Collector’s Extended Cut – 16 more minutes and exclusive alternate opening
- Family Audio Track (all objectionable language removed)
- Original Theatrical Release
- Special Edition Re-release
- “Capturing Avatar” An in-depth feature length documentary with James Cameron, Jon Landau and cast and crew
- Deleted Scenes – including over 45 minutes of new never-before-seen deleted scenes
- Production Materials
- Open Pandora’s Box and go deeper into the filmmaker process
- Interactive Scene Deconstruction: Explore the various stages of production through 3 different viewing modes
- Production Shorts: 17 featurettes covering performance capture, scoring the film, 3D fusion camera, stunts and much more
- Avatar Archives including original scriptment, 300 page screenplay and the extensive Pandorapedia
- BD-live Portal with additional bonus materials
A Christmas Carol
I’m a big fan of Robert Zemeckis. The dude gave us both the Back To The Future trilogy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, so he’ll always have a great deal of goodwill in my eyes.
However, it’s Jim Carrey’s impressive motion-capture performance that makes this really worth a rental.
A Christmas Carol, a multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking 3D motion picture event. Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye—opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late.
- Capturing Dickens: A Novel Retelling
- Countdown to Christmas Interactive Calendar
- On Set with Sammi Hanratty
- Deleted Scenes
The Last Airbender
You should probably avoid this one. It’s a disaster in pretty much every sense of the word and provides further proof, as if any were needed, that M. Night Shyamalan maybe doesn’t have what it takes to be a consistently impressive director. Even the synopsis is complete nonsense.
Still, at least it wasn’t as bad as The Village, eh?
Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
- Avatar Annotations (Picture-in-picture on select scenes) – Insights with cast and crew
- Discovering The Last Airbender: (nine-part documentary)
- Siege of the North: Get transported to the frozen realm of the Northern Water Tribe and the largest indoor film set ever built on the U.S. east coast
- Origins of the Avatar: Birth of the mythology from the original co-creators of the animated show, Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Concept art from the popular series provides further perspective into how the story would eventually reincarnate into an epic feature film
- Katara for a Day: Spend a day on the set with Nicola Peltz
- Deleted scenes