This week: A longer visit to Pandora, an alternative family drama, M. Night Shyamalan's latest misfire and more.
Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition: Avatar is already the highest-grossing film and the best-selling Blu-ray of all time, but now it's time for the inevitable double dip. This new DVD and Blu-ray edition contains three versions of the film—one a full 16 minutes longer than the theatrical cut—and plenty of making-of extras that were excluded from the original release. (Read the full review with extras info in Disc-y Business tomorrow.)
The Kids Are All Right: Two teenagers conceived by artificial insemination seek out their donor father much to the discomfort of their two mothers, played to perfection by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. Moore, who gives another fearless performance here and along with Bening will probably get an Oscar nomination for her efforts, becomes inexplicably attracted to the biological father (Mark Ruffalo) after a good 20 years with Bening's character. Director Lisa Cholodenko's kitchen-sink drama with a twist plays out like a rated-R Lifetime movie and will appeal most to those with a penchant for talky emotional dramas. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary by Cholodenko, "The Journey to Forming a Family," "The Making of The Kids Are All Right" and "The Writers' Process." Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
The Last Airbender: If you thought M. Night Shyamalan had plummeted to his nadir after his last flick with Mark Wahlberg and those deadly trees, check out this fantastical flop about the long-lost Avatar (Noah Ringer)—a spiritual figure who, like the title says, can control the wind and other elements. The pint-sized Buddha boy journeys off with a few CW-network-caliber actors into an almost completely CG-generated world to face off against the imperious Fire Nation, which is hell-bent on subjugating the other nations. The battles between the element benders are supposed to play out like a riveting ballet, but instead appear like actors vogueing in front of a green screen in this silly live-action adaptation of the animated series. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "Origins of the Avatar," deleted scenes and outtakes; the BD adds picture-in-picture annotations on select scenes, a nine-part documentary and an on-set visit with Nicola Peltz. A Blu-ray 3D version is also available exclusively at Best Buy. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Forget Me
A Christmas Carol: Jim Carrey plays eight (!) different characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge, in this latest incarnation of the classic holiday story that is filled with some amazing animation. This enjoyable romp co-stars Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman, Colin Forth and Cary Elwes and is available on DVD and a DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D/digital copy combo pack. Best extras: All versions contain "Capturing Dickens: A Novel Retelling," deleted scenes, an on-set visit with child actor Sammi Hanratty, "Behind the Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience and more. The Blu-ray 3D also includes the 3-D featurette "Mr. Scrooge's Wild Ride" and upcoming 3-D previews. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Also New This Week: 16 Wishes, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray 3D), Open Season (Blu-ray 3D), The Polar Express (Blu-ray 3D), The Twilight Zone: Season 2 (Blu-ray) and Children of the Corn (2009)