This week: A runaway train, a mad-as-hell TV network, a documentary about our educational system and a journey to another dimension.
Unstoppable: What is it with Denzel Washington, director Tony Scott and trains? Washington teams up with his The Taking of Pelham 123 director for this off-the-rails thriller based on the "Crazy Eights" incident in Ohio during which an unmanned train sped out of control through small towns while towing an explosive payload. Star Trek's Chris Pine is on deck to help Washington try to bring the locomotive to a halt before it's too late. (Read the full review with extras info in Disc-y Business tomorrow.)
Network (Blu-ray): Director Sidney Lumet's prescient masterpiece was socially relevant when it came out in 1976 and resonates even more today. Faye Dunaway won an Oscar for her role as TV entertainment producer Diana Christensen who takes over the UBS Evening News after its despondent anchor, Howard Beale (Peter Finch), announces he is going to commit suicide on air. Diana turns the news into a three-ring circus, complete with fortune tellers and Howard at the center spouting his mad prophecies. His "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" rant inspires the nation and makes ratings go through the roof. As broadcasts go on and Howard begins to step over the line and anger upper management, however, a decision must be made: Kill the show or kill Howard. It's hard to watch this smarter-than-smart movie with an Oscar-winning screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky and not marvel at how predictive and powerful it remains some 35 years later…and how fantastic it looks for its high-definition debut. Best extras: Commentary by Lumet, a six-part making-of documentary, a vintage Chayefsky interview and an interview with the director. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Waiting for Superman: From An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim comes this acclaimed documentary about the current state of our public education system in America and how it is affecting our children. The director follows five unforgettable children as they struggle to improve their lives even though there are seemingly insurmountable obstacles for them to overcome in order to receive a great education. By the end credits, you realize that the superheroes that can save our schools are all around us…and might just be the same people watching this thought-provoking movie. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain include a bit updating changes in education since the film was made, a short on the challenges that students and teachers in the public school system face, a collection of deleted scenes, an interview with Guggenheim, and an audio commentary by Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
The Twilight Zone: Season 3 (Blu-ray): Image Entertainment's The Twilight Zone Blu-rays continue to be some of the finest TV programming available on the high-definition format. Season 3 contains all 37 episodes from the 1961-'62 season of Rod Serling's seminal series on five discs. Guest stars for this season include Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson, Jack Klugman, Peter Falk, Lee Marvin, Buster Keaton, Dean Stockwell, Robert Redford, Veronica Cartwright and even Carol Burnett. Best extras: 19 new audio commentaries, an interview with actor Edson Stroll, the original laugh track for "Cavender Is Coming," vintage audio interview with director of photography George T. Clemens, 19 radio dramas and isolated scores for all 37 episodes. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Also New This Week: Game of Death, Moonstruck (BD), Glorious 39, Rain Man (BD), Last Tango in Paris (BD), All the President's Men (BD), Chaplin (BD) and The Stranger (1946) (BD)