This week: Matt Damon plays history’s biggest corporate whistleblower and Cameron Diaz plays with a dangerous box.
The Informant!: Nobody likes a snitch, but everyone seemed to like Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) until he exposed the company’s price-fixing tactics to the FBI. The funniest part about director Steven Soderbergh’s dark comedy based on real-life events is watching Damon squirm as he buries himself under lie after lie. Whitacre is so delusional that he thinks of himself as a champion for the common worker and envisions having the corner office at ADM when it’s all over instead of the jail cell he gets. Both the DVD and Blu-ray have deleted scenes, but the BD has an exclusive commentary track by Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns.
The Box: The premise of Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly’s latest is—let’s just say it—ludicrous. Based on a Richard Matheson short story by way of The Twilight Zone, The Box stars James Marsden and Cameron Diaz as a married couple struggling to make ends meet. On cue, Frank Langella shows up at the front door carrying a mysterious box and a choice for the couple: push the button and someone they don’t know will die but they’ll receive one million dollars, or choose not to push the button and take a $100 consolation prize and the box will be given to someone else. Both the DVD and Blu-ray have a brief interview with Matheson, but the rest of the extras have been relegated to the BD only, including commentary by director Kelly, “The Box: Grounded in Reality,” “Visual Effects Revealed” and “Music Video Prequels.”
Sorority Row: In yet another remake of an ‘80s slasher flick (this time it’s 1983’s The House on Sorority Row), five sorority girls inadvertently cause the death of their sister in a prank gone wrong and pledge never to talk about it again so they can move on with their lives. Someone always knows what you did last summer, however, and a hooded killer returns to even the score. Could it be the sister they thought was dead? This bitchy and surprisingly graphic little slasher flick is more fun than it has any right to be, especially with an extended cameo by Carrie Fisher as the ball-busting, shotgun-wielding house mother. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include stories from the set, “Killer 101,” “Kill Switch,” deleted scenes and outtakes.
The Crazies: Just before the remake opens in theaters comes the original infectious flick by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) on Blu-ray for the first time. The 1973 cult favorite is about the small town of Evans City that is plagued by the accidental release of a military biological weapon that turns ordinary folks into homicidal loonies. Extras include commentary by Romero, “The Cult Film Legacy of Lynn Lowry” and trailers.
Also new this week: Dead Snow, Nurse Jackie: Season One, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (BD).