The venerable “Final Destination” franchise had already gone through three films by 2006, and understandably the producers wanted to shake things up for the next volume. They did that by entering the world of 3-D. The film series, which finds young folks having premonitions of death that come true for people around them, is known for concocting outlandish death scenes (roller coaster accident, a race car careening into the crowd, etc.). So it was only natural to take it to the next level by literally throwing these bizarre tragedies into audience’s faces with 3-D.
“The Final Destination” comes to Blu-ray and DVD equipped with those red-and-blue glasses, but therein lies the problem for all 3-D films when they hit home video. While electronics manufacturers will be releasing natively 3-D television sets this year, with current televisions the effects are less than stellar when compared to the big screen. The effects do transfer in some fashion, but the visceral thrill of being completely immersed in action-packed 3-D scenes is lessened when you’re slouched on the couch with pieces of cardboard around your head. But this isn’t an individual knock against “The Final Destination” release, which also includes a 2-D version of the film. A few extras are also packaged, including two alternate endings, and a look at the key death scenes throughout the film. Fans of the film will probably enjoy this release no matter which format they choose to view it in, but we’re left hoping the technology-advanced 3-D sets of the future can do what those of the past simply cannot.
The other new film to hit DVD is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” an animated comedy featuring a voice roster that bridges the world of entertainment to include everyone from Anna Faris and Bill Hader to Al Roker and Mr. T. The home video release contains a wealth of bonus content starting from a director’s commentary to faux-PSAs, making-of featurettes, extended scenes, sing-a-longs and more.
In the world of television, “Battlestar Galactica” gets its first season released on Blu-ray while NBC’s “Chuck” premieres its second.
The rest of the week’s releases belong to catalog titles, including a 10th anniversary edition of Heath Ledger’s “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and the surfing doc “Riding Giants.”
DVD & BLU-RAY NEWS:
The apocalyptic mega-hit “2012” arrives March 2, while Jamie Foxx and John Cusack’s crime thriller “Law Abiding Citizen” comes February 16. One week earlier, the Coen Brothers’ acclaimed indie hit “A Serious Man” will drop February 9.
“Moon,” “The Hurt Locker,” Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II,” MGM’s new “Fame” remake and assorted catalog titles including “Cliffhanger” and “Last Action Hero.”
Which titles did you pick up this week? Chime in with your personal selections below.