Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
Blu-Ray Round-Up: ‘Amelie,’ ‘Chocolat,’ ‘Brazil,’ ‘Wake Wood,’ More
CHICAGO – Hot on the heels of the return of the DVD Round-Up, we’re back with its fraternal twin, the Blu-Ray Round-Up, a collection of recently-released HD titles that could easily go ignored while you deal with the heat wave blanketing the country. Get out to the store. Pick one of these up. Come back to your A/C. Enjoy.
The Blu-Ray Round-Up is primarily for informational purposes but two of these recent releases are two of our favorites — “Amelie” and “Brazil.” The latter is depressingly bare-bones, especially when compared to the hard-to-find Criterion DVD release. Criterion, get on this. Get the rights back and release a Blu-ray. Until then, pick up this edition just to own one of Terry Gilliam’s best.
“Wake Wood” was released on July 5th, 2011.
“Brazil” was released on July 12th, 2011.
“Amelie,” “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and “Chocolat” were released on July 19th, 2011.
Synopsis: “The City of Lights sparkles in this “delightful and original” (Boston Globe) quirky comedy that garnered 5 Academy Award® nominations. At a tiny Parisian café, the adorable yet painfully shy Amelie accidentally discovers a gift for helping others. Soon Amelie is spending her days as a Cupid, guardian angel and all-around do-gooder. But when she bumps into a handsome stranger, will she find the courage to become the star of her very own love story? Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code) shines in this “lighthearted fantasy” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) that stole the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide.”
“Amelie” stars Audrey Tautou, Yolande Moreau, Matthieu Kassovitz, and Dominique Pinon. It was written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It is rated R and runs 122 minutes. The film is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and accompanied by a French DTS-HD Master Audio track.
o Audio Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
o The Look of Amelie
o Fantasies of Audrey Tautou
o Screen Tests
o Q&A with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
o Q&A with Director and Cast
o Storyboard Comparison
o An Intimate Chat with Jean-Pierre Jeunet
o “Home Movies” - Inside the Making of Amelie
o Trailer and TV Spots
o The Amelie Scrapbook
“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”
Synopsis: “Based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the tale of curious 8 year-old Bruno. Bored in his new home, Bruno wanders off into the nearby woods where he discovers an unusual fence, behind which is a boy strangely dressed in “black- and-white pajamas.” Bruno embarks in a most unusual friendship with the boy, one that proves both ordinary and remarkable, both inspiring and tragic in this “unforgettable motion picture experience” (Pete Hammond, Hollywood.com).”
“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” stars David Thewliss, Vera Farmiga, and Rupert Friend. It was written and directed by Mark Herman. It is rated PG-13 and runs 94 minutes. The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English DTS-HD Master Audio track.
o Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Mark Herman and Author John Boyne
o Friendship Beyond The Fence Featurette
o Deleted Scenes
“Bridget Jones’s Diary”
Synopsis: “Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger (Best Supporting Actress, Cold Mountain, 2003; Chicago) and Hugh Grant (Love Actually, two Weeks Notice) star in a delightful comedy about the ups and downs of modern romance. Bridget (Zellweger), a busy career woman, decides to turn over a new page in her life by channeling her thoughts, opinions and insecurities into a journal that becomes a hilarious chronicle of her adventures. Soon she becomes the center of attention between a guy who’s too good to be true (Grant) and another who’s so wrong for her, he could be just right (Colin Firth - Love Actually)! Based on the best-selling book, Bridget Jones’s Diary is another acclaimed crowd-pleaser from the hitmakers of Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill.”
“Bridget Jones’s Diary” stars Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Jim Broadbent. It was directed by Sharon Maguire. It is rated R and runs 98 minutes. The film is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English DTS-HD Master Audio track.
o Audio Commentary by Director Sharon Maguire
o The Young and the Mateless (An Expert’s Guide to Being Single)
o The Bridget Phenomenon
o Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
o Portrait of the Make-Up Artist
o Deleted Scenes
o Domestic and International Spots
o A Guide to Bridget Britishisms
Synopsis: “Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp star in the “delicious” (Good Morning America) romantic comedy that swept audiences off their feet and earned 5 Oscar® nominations including Best Picture. When Vianne (Binoche) arrives into a sleepy, old-fashioned French village and opens a chocolate shop, she sends the townspeople into a flutter with her uniquely gifted treats. Before long the straitlaced villagers find themselves abandoning their reservations and succumbing to their deepest desires! But when the handsome stranger Roux (Depp) breezes into town, Vianne discovers that she too is susceptible to the charms of love in this sweet confection from the director of The Cider House Rules. ”
“Chocolat” stars Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Lena Olin, Judi Dench, and Alfred Molina. It was written by Robert Nelson Jacobs and directed by Lasse Hallstrom. It is rated PG-13 and runs 122 minutes. The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English DTS-HD Master Audio track.
o Audio Commentary with Director Lasse Hallstrom and Producers David Brown, Kit Golden, and Leslie Holleran
o The Making of Chocolat
o The Costumes of Chocolat
o Production Design Featurette
o Deleted Scenes
Synopsis: “Jonathan Pryce (Pirates Of The Caribbean), Robert De Niro (The Godfather) and Michael Palin (Monty Python And The Holy Grail) star in this landmark cult classic that dazzles and thrills with its Academy Award nominated groundbreaking art direction and sharply satirical original screenplay.
In a future world, a government clerk finds his life destroyed when he tries to correct an administrative error that caused a massive chain reaction of mistaken identity, Despite his efforts, he finds himself an enemy of the state. Hailed as a modern masterpiece, visionary director Terry Gilliam’s (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas) pitch-black comedy takes a highly imaginative and chilling look at a “perfect” future where technology reigns supreme and bureaucracy overrules love for the sake of efficiency.”
“Brazil” stars Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, Jonathan Pryce, Ian Holm, Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, and Bob Hoskins. It was directed by Terry Gilliam. It is rated R and runs 132 minutes. The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and accompanied by an English DTS-HD Master Audio track.
o Nothing but BD-Live and D-Box…sad…
Synopsis: “Still grieving the death of nine-year-old Alice - their only child - at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with Alice. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree terms with Arthur, the village’s leader, a far bigger question looms - what will they do when it’s time for Alice to go back? ”
“Wake Wood” stars Eva Birthistle, Aidan Gillen, and Timothy Spall. It was directed by David Keating. It is rated R and runs 90 minutes. The film is presented in widescreen and accompanied by an English 5.1 Dolby track.
o Deleted Scenes