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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray (01-15-13)

January 15, 2013
This week’s releases are filled with recent movies that the Academy has passed by and one that many felt should have received a nomination as well as previous Oscar winners new to Blu-ray. “The Possession”, a 2012 American horror film released at the end of last summer,  understandably relied heavily on the “produced by Sam Raimi” marketing when it came out. It’s actually pretty good and shouldn’t be confused with the abysmal “The Apparition” which came out around that time. Liam Neeson returns as the man with “a certain set of skills” in the predictable “Taken 2”, the inevitable sequel to the movie that solidified the Irish actor as an action star.  Some felt the French dramedy “The Intouchables” was overlooked by Oscar this year, but there’s only so much room in the Best Foreign Language category.
“Won’t Back Down” is a recent release starring Oscar-winner Viola Davis and Maggie Gllyenhaal – no, it has nothing to do with the song by Eminem! The film is inspired by the events surrounding the use of the Parent Trigger Law in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles, California  back in 2010, where several parents attempted to take over a handful of failing public schools. The movie also stars Holly Hunter and Oscar Isaacs. It’s a movie that gained controversy when  Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), attacked the film, claiming it had  “the most blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen-even worse than in Waiting for Superman“, another film attacked as “anti-teacher union”. And so it goes….
Another odd assortment of titles make the move to the glorious Blu-ray format once again. Upon further examination, it looks like some of them have Oscars in common.1941’s “How Green Was My Valley” won for Best Picture winner and 1947’s “Gentleman’s Agreement” won three Oscars, Best Supporting Actress (Celeste Holm), Best Director (Elia Kazan) and Best Picture. There’s also the German film from 1979 “The Tin Drum”, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and is now getting a Criterion update. Another film getting some Criterion love is Hitchcock’s 1956 thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Little”, which received a Best Original Song Oscar for Doris Day’s “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”.
Woody Allen’s latest “To Rome With Love” is now out, as are two fan-favorites of his which are getting released on Blu-ray for the first time. 1973’s “Sleeper” a sci-fi comedy and 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” which earned three Oscars, for Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine) and Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest).
That’s it for this week. Any previous reviews will be highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown….
    • 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with The Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Being Human: Season 4 (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) (DVD)
    • The Bishop’s Wife (1947) (DVD)
    • Branded (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Counterpunch (DVD)
    • Farewell, My Queen (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Gentleman’s Agreement (Blu-ray)
    • Guys and Dolls (DVD)
    • Hannah and Her Sisters (Blu-ray)
    • The House of Cards Trilogy: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
    • The House of Cards Trilogy: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
    • How Green Was My Valley (1941) (Blu-ray)
    • The Intouchables (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Jackie Chan: Crime Story / The Protector (Blu-ray)
    • King: A Filmed Record… From Montgomery to Memphis (DVD)
    • Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997 (DVD)
    • The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • The Notebook: Ultimate Collector’s Edition Gift Set (Blu-ray)
    • Perry Mason: The Eighth Season – Volume Two (DVD)
    • The Possession (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Power Rangers Samurai: A Team Divided – Volume 3 (DVD)
    • Power Rangers Super Samurai: Rise of the BullZooka – Volume 3 (DVD)
    • The Pride of the Yankees (1942) (DVD)
    • Sleeper (1973) (Blu-ray)
    • Surviving the Cut Season 2 (DVD)
    • Taken 2 (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • The Tin Drum (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • To Rome With Love (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Wake in Fright (1971) (DVD/Blu-ray)
    • Wild River (1960) (Blu-ray)
    • Won’t Back Down (DVD/Blu-ray)









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