In our weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
What are you in the mood for? If you want to warm up with action, the heart-pounding cop drama "End of Watch" is for you. Feel like some female bonding and loads of dirty jokes? "For a Good Time, Call..." will ring your bell. Or keep it classy with the wonderful "Ivan's Childhood," which is being released by Criterion. Whatever you're in the mood for, there's something special just for you!
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn
Director: David Ayer
Studio: Universal Studios
Running Time: 109 min.
This gritty cop drama follows partners and best friends Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) as they make their rounds in one of the most dangerous precincts in Los Angeles. Taylor is also making a film about his job for a class he's taking, so Ayer makes great use of handheld shots and different POVs to give the film a documentary flavor. Taylor falls in love with a beautiful girl (Anna Kendrick), but when he and Zavala get into trouble with a notorious gang and violence breaks out, everyone's lives may be at stake.
Special features on this release include audio commentary with writer/director David Ayer, plenty of deleted scenes, making of featurettes and the ability to bookmark scenes.
This 2-disc release comes with both a Blu-ray as well as a DVD, plus an UltraViolet digital copy.
Starring: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, Nia Vardalos, Mimi Rogers
Director: Jamie Travis
Studio: Focus Features
Running Time: 85 min.
When Lauren (Lauren Miller) loses her boyfriend and her job prospects, she is forced to move in with her loud, brash college enemy Katie (Ari Graynor) after their mutual best friend (Justin Long) convinces them to give it a shot. As rent day looms, Lauren discovers Katie works as a phone sex operator and convinces her they should cut out the middleman and start their own business.
This release comes with both the unrated and R-rated versions of "For a Good Time, Call...," as well as audio commentary, deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. The Blu-ray also features BD-Live and the pocket BLU feature.
The 2-disc package also includes a DVD and an UltraViolet digital copy.
3. "Ivan's Childhood"
Starring: Nikolai Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Yevgeni Zharikov, Stepan Krylov, Nikolai Grinko, Irma Raush
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Studio: The Criterion Collection
Running Time: 95 min.
Rating: Not rated
Beloved director Andrei Tarkovsky created some of the most imaginative and vivid Russian films of all time, and this is his first film, now restored and rereleased by the impeccable Criterion Collection.
Ivan Bondarev (Nikolai Burlyaev) is a 12-year-old orphan who working tirelessly as a spy during WWII to avenge the deaths of his mother and sister. Dreamlike and poetic, "Ivan's Childhood" was ahead of its time as a subtle anti-war film.
Special features on this Criterion Collection release include interviews about the production of the film with film historians, an extensive interview with the lead actor Nikolai Burlyaev, an interview with the cinematographer, an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova, director Andrei Tarkovsky's essay on the film and a poem by the director's father, Arseny Tarkovsky.
Want more awesome DVD picks? Check in with Queue it Up over at NextMovie!