After last week's jam-packed release schedule led by "G.I. Joe," we're given an opportunity to breath today with only two new theatrical titles coming to market, along with an assortment of action-filled catalog offerings making their way to Blu-ray. This is your DVD Report for Tuesday, November 9.
Disney's Pixar was flying high after the critically and commercially acclaimed "Wall-E," so naturally they looked to the skies for their next animated outing, "Up." The film focuses on Carl Fredricksen, an elderly shut-in who aims to pay homage to his late wife by relocating to the top of a South American paradise the couple had always dreamed of visiting. Equipping his home with hundreds of helium balloons, the house lifts off its foundation and floats away, inadvertently taking with it a young wilderness scout who grows attached to the grumpy septuagenarian at the start of a grand adventure.
Like most Pixar films, the best way to experience "Up" is on Blu-ray. The colorful film has never looked sharper, or more vivid than it does in high-def, and the little details in the animation are revealed with all the clarity they can muster. Ditto with the audio -- every whoosh and raindrop is pushed through the DTS-HD 5.1 track. But you can't have a complete package without bonus features, and here we get two discs full of them. Headlined by a picture-in-picture filmmaker commentary, we also get more than an hour of documentaries and featurettes about the animation process, character design, musical score, voice acting and more. Pixar also includes two original shorts, including one that's new to this release. Mark this down as another triumph for the Pixar team.
But "Up" isn't the only new Pixar release this week. The 2001 hit "Monsters, Inc." comes to Blu-ray as a four-disc collectors edition (which includes DVD and digital versions). While most of the extras are ported over from a previous standard-def release, we do get some new bonus content including a filmmaker roundtable and deleted scenes. The big thing here, though, is the HD transfer, and like "Up" the visual side of this is stunning.
Comic fans might want to check out "Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut," which weaves the "Tales from the Black Freighter" animated feature into the live-action film, resulting in a three hour-plus expanded vision. The four-disc edition also includes the motion comic (originally offered on iTunes) and a digital copy of the movie.
Also out is Ashton Kutcher's "Spread," which originally screened at Sundance and features the one-time "'70s Show" actor as a man-slut who leeches off women in exchange for sex. Needless to say, critics weren't too impressed.
Everything else this week are catalog titles coming to Blu-ray. Those include, "Heat," "Godzilla" (the Roland Emmerich version), "Red Heat," "The Negotiator," "Near Dark" and "Logan's Run."
DVD & BLU-RAY NEWS
Megan Fox's sultry horror turn in "Jennifer's Body" hits December 29. The animated "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" rains down January 5, while Sam Rockwell's mindbending sci-fi flick "Moon" lands a week later on January 12. One week after that, Kiera Knightley's "Pride & Prejudice" drops January 26.
All roads lead to "Star Trek," with J.J. Abrams' sci-fi reboot probably being one of the biggest home video releases of the year. We also have Brüno, which will be no slouch either. Other titles on deck include a ton of Blu-ray specials, including the Kevin Smith Collection ("Clerks," "Chasing Amy" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"), "Fight Club," "Galaxy Quest," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas," and season two of HBO's "Rome."