New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'The Dark Knight Rises,' 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'The Dark Knight Rises,' 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

Dec 04, 2012

New Releases

The Dark Knight Rises - Warner Bros. - Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date: Jul 20, 2012
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian BaleAnne HathawayTom HardyMarion CotillardJoseph Gordon-LevittFull cast + crew

From our full review of The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray:

We already know that Warner Bros. is planning an ultimate collector's edition for the entire Dark Knight trilogy for this time next year, but if you like The Dark Knight Rises enough to own it, there's no reason you should wait that long. This is a nice, worthwhile Blu-ray set. It'd be extra nice if the special features had a "play all" button, but there's plenty of worthwhile material there to make all three hours of it worth watching. And then there's the movie itself, which looks pretty great (though it fails to top Prometheus as the best-looking Blu-ray transfer of the year) and sounds truly incredible (it may actually take that crown). Sure, Warner Bros. may have an even more feature-packed set down the line, but you'll still get your money's worth here, that's for sure.

Special Features: The Batmobile, a 58-minute special dedicated entirely to the various Batmobiles over the past several decades; production featurettes, 68 minutes in total, that look at the logistics of making the movie happen; character featurettes, 28 minutes in total, that look at Batman, Bane and Catwoman, but not Josesph Gordon-Levitt's character; "Reflections" featurette, 15 minutes in total, looking back at what the trilogy meant to those who made it.

Note: There are a bunch of different packages available for TDKR, for those who want collectibles with their discs.

 

Everything Else


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Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of the big -- perhaps the biggest -- festival darlings of the year, and it's easy to see why. It's got an immense visual palette and is dripping with feel-good sentiments thanks to a story about a little girl who still sees the world as a magical, wondrous place. Unfortunately, none of those sentiments really connected with me. Beasts comes across as very... positioned; every little quirk carefully calculated to pull on the right heartstring. It's easy to see why it was a Sundance breakout, and just as easy to see why it also never turned into a mainstream breakout.

If you've got little ones, you may want to brace them a bit before pressing play on The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It may be a Disney movie, but it's not quite a completely jovial kids film. It's closer in tone and spirit to Bridge to Terabithia than, say, The Muppets, so just know that your kids may have a few questions (or tears) afterward. 

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a movie I haven't seen, but am quite eager to check out considering our Doc Talk expert Christopher Campbell raved about it earlier this year. But if films about the power of a Chinese dissident aren't your thing, perhaps check out the comedy Butter, which has a pretty incredible cast and a really lame cover, or Hope Springs, which is about old people rekindling their marriage.


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If genre films are more your speed, do check out V/H/S, a horror anthology with a unique spin on found footage. Not all of the segments are grand slams, but it's a pretty clever experiment and the chunks that do work (particularly the last one) make up for those that don't. Then there's Silent Night, a remake of the '80s Christmas-themed slasher that, judging from the trailer, looks like a worthwhile update.

And if none of the above pique your fancy, perhaps one of these three will: Wu Dang, Titanic: Blood & Steel or Thunderstruck.

 

Catalog Releases


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Now that 3D is catching on at home, Disney is going through its catalog and releasing some of Pixar's past animated films in 3D. Finding Nemo and Up are two of Pixar's best-looking films, and while these discs don't have a heaping of new special features, if you don't already own them, they're certainly the sets to own. Even if you don't have a 3D TV set right now, the 2D versions are included here as well.

Last week Lionsgate put out a pretty great Quentin Tarantino box set, and this week they've got another set from a brilliant filmmaker: Francis Ford Coppola. This box set hasn't been given quite the lavish treatment that Tarantino's was, but the films themselves are hard to argue with: Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux, The Conversation, Tetro and One from the Heart

There's also a pair of very, very different but equally unique sci-fi films hitting Blu-ray this week: Terry Gilliam's Brazil and David Cronenberg's eXistenZ. I'm sure I'm in the minority in saying that I think eXistenZ is the better of the two, but there ya have it.


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Steven Spielberg's smaller character pieces tend to get overshadowed by his larger scale films, but Catch Me If You Can may actually feature my favorite Tom Hanks performance in any of Spielberg's movies. It's a smart, funny, simple film with a good story and a great cast to bring it to life.

After that, the week is filled out with a handful of catalog Blu-ray releases that'll certainly interest preexisting fans: Ninja Scroll (one of the coolest animes ever made), The Adventures of Mark Train, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (What a great title), The Blue Angel, Oklahoma (the Hugh Jackman version), Purple Noon (gettijng the Criterion treatment), and Suddenly.


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Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.

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