This week: Jake Gyllenhaal does the time warp again, Superman becomes a sleuth for supernaturals and Paul Giamatti gets the royal treatment.
Moon director Duncan Jones—the unsurprisingly talented son of David Bowie—is two for two with this thinking-man's sci-fi thriller about a soldier named Colter Stephens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is transported over and over again into the consciousness of a teacher on a Chicago commuter train that is speeding towards disaster. A bomb has been planted onboard the train by a terrorist, and Colter must relive the same eight minutes via a new technology called "Source Code" in order to investigate the passengers and ID the bomber before he strikes again in the real world. Colter is as in the dark about his mission as the audience, which keeps you guessing until the end credits of this tense mindbender that features great supporting performances by Michelle Monaghan as Colter's love interest and Vera Farmiga as the woman assigned to get answers from Colter.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain an audio commentary with Jones, writer Ben Ripley and Gyllenhaal; the Blu-ray adds an interactive picture-in-picture track that features interviews with the cast and crew, experts' commentary on time travel, trivia, animated documentary shorts and more.
Verdict: Buy Me
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Brandon Routh plays Dylan Dog—a seasoned detective who specialized in supernatural cases. It seems New Orleans is crawling with vampires, werewolves and zombies, and the supernatural citizens entrust one human to handle their affairs when one crosses the line. Dylan is hired by a Garden District beauty (Anita Briem) to investigate the bizarre murder of her father and discovers a plot to resurrect a demonic guardian of hell. With the help of his recently zombified assistant (Sam Huntington), Dylan will have to come out of retirement for the sake of the planet. If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is kind of like an extended episode on steroids. Fun drinking game: Throw one back every time Routh is thrown through the air by a supernatural being—he flies more here than he did in Superman Returns.
Best extras: Dylan Dog didn't exactly have bite at the box office due in part to poor marketing, so it not surprising that the only extra is a bookmark feature on the Blu-ray version.
Verdict: Rent Me
Ironclad is reportedly the largest independent production to ever have been filmed in Wales, so it's somewhat surprising that on disc is the first time most of us will see this bloody good historical epic set in 13th century England. Paul Giamatti plays power-mad King John, who has just signed the Magna Carta treaty only to figuratively wipe his royal bottom with it. A ragtag group of knights and rebels barricade themselves in Rochester Castle and try to defend it from the relentless assault of John's army, and watching John's frustration escalate as the small group constantly one-ups his forces is priceless. Torn from the pages of history, the battle scenes might remind you a little of the battle for Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers except that Ironclad revels in bloody, brutal R-rated action, which is not necessarily a bad thing for those who want to go full medieval.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary by director Jonathan English.
Verdict: Rent Me
Also New This Week: Trust, The Blues Brothers (BD), Dante's Peak (BD), Donnie Darko: 10th Anniversary Edition (BD), National Lampoon's Animal House (BD), Jersey Shore: Season Three, Red Planet (BD) and Soldier (BD)