[caption id="attachment_121591" align="alignleft" width="300"] Marvel Studios[/caption]
This week: The biggest blockbuster of the year, "The Avengers," is likely to become the best-selling home video of the year as fans can't seem to get enough of Marvel's Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America teaming up to battle Loki and an army of hostile aliens.
Also new this week is the hilariously twisted Danish comedy "Klown," the thriller "Barricade" starring Eric McCormack and a collection of all 22 James Bond films called, simply, "Bond 50."
[caption id="attachment_148586" align="alignright" width="220"] Marvel[/caption]
Box Office: $622 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to stop Thor's adoptive brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), from using the Tesseract to open a portal that will allow hostile extraterrestrials to obliterate the Earth. Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner return from the Phase 1 Marvel movies as Black Widow and Hawkeye, respectively, while Clark Gregg returns as Agent Phil Coulson, whose man-crush on Captain America is one of the funnier moments in this epic superhero team-up.
Extras! With a movie this enjoyable and massive you just want more, so dig into nine deleted and extended scenes on both the DVD and Blu-ray. (Watch one of the deleted scenes right here). To replicate the theatrical 3D experience, "The Avengers" can pop out of your TV screen with the Blu-ray 3D combo pack.
We Say: One could make a strong argument that this is the best superhero film in history. Critics loved it while audiences made it the biggest hit of the year and the third highest-grossing film of all time. The individual films of "Iron Man," "Iron Man 2," "Captain America: The First Avenger," "Thor" and "The Incredible Hulk" had us primed and ready, and director/co-writer Joss Whedon is a genius and geek champion for marrying all the elements from all those movies seamlessly. The biggest surprise is Ruffalo's Hulk, who steals scenes with his single-minded desire to "smash" everything, including taking cheap shots at Thor.
[caption id="attachment_148587" align="alignright" width="220"] Drafthouse[/caption]
Box Office: $68,559
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh
Storyline: Comedians Frank Hvam and Caspar Christensen play two clueless friends who embark on a canoe trip through the Danish countryside with the ultimate goal of arriving at an annual elitist brothel celebration in the middle of the wilderness. Hvam brings the young nephew of his pregnant girlfriend in order to prove to her that he has father potential while Christensen is only interested in having sex with as many people as possible.
Extras! Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain an episode of the "Klown" television series written by Lars von Trier.
We Say: This raunchy and ballsy R-rated Danish film crosses all kinds of lines and goes where no American comedy would dare. The prudish and politically correct should steer way clear but adventurous comedy fans that aren't allergic to subtitles are going to bust a gut watching what is probably the funniest movie of the year.
[caption id="attachment_148588" align="alignright" width="220"] WWE Films[/caption]
Box Office: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Storyline: Eric McCormack plays Terrance Shade, a recently widowed psychiatrist who tries to bond with his young children during a holiday in the mountains. A fun night in the cabin quickly turns into a harrowing fight for survival as a sinister presence forces Terrance to overcome his fears and face what it means to be a parent. This WWE Studios production is only the second movie to not feature a WWE wrestler in any role.
Extras! "Breaking Type: Eric McCormack" examines the actor's transition from humor to horror and is available on both the DVD and Blu-ray.
We Say: What could ever go wrong when you take a trip with friends or family to a remote cabin in the woods? Despite the straight-to-video supernatural thriller's well-worn setup, it's good to see the likable McCormack — who plays a neuroscientist who helps the Feds solve complex criminal cases on TV's "Perception" — continue to tackle heavier material after years on "Will & Grace."
'Bond 50' Blu-ray
[caption id="attachment_148589" align="alignright" width="300"] MGM[/caption]
Box Office: $4.91 billion worldwide
Rotten Tomatoes: 71% Fresh (Average of 22 Films)
Storyline: This massive box set celebrates the six actors (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig) who have played James Bond over the past 50 years. Twenty-two movies, from "Dr. No" to "Quantum of Solace," are included, many of which are making their Blu-ray debut in this set.
Extras! There are over 130 hours (yes, it would take you over five days to watch them all) of bonus content included in this collection, including the new special features "The World of Bond," "Being Bond" and "Skyfall" video blogs. "Bond 50" is also available on DVD, but … really? Bond begs for the royal Blu treatment.
We Say: This must-own collection featuring half a century of sleek cars, ingenious gadgets and sexy Bond Girls should render any 007 fan deeply shaken and thoroughly stirred. The films making their Blu-ray debut in this set, like "A View to a Kill," will eventually be available for purchase individually, but completists are going to want to just grab them all at once in this set.
Also New This Week:
"Damsels in Distress"
"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1"
"Resident Evil: Damnation"
"The American President" Blu-ray
"The Tall Man"
"Strippers vs. Werewolves"