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Today on Blu-ray - November 17th

Posted November 17, 2009 09:43 AM by Josh Dreuth

Show all Blu-ray releases this week

When George Lucas announced that he would be directing three new Star Wars films, fans young and old built a level of anticipation not seen since the original trilogy first graced theater screens - at least until they met Jar Jar. So when Paramount announced they would revisit Star Trek with Lost co-creator J. J. Abrams at the helm, no one could blame Trekkies for being a tad apprehensive about what direction he would take with their beloved space-based series. The results, however, not only met fan's lofty expectations, but also those of film critics and general moviegoers alike. Thanks to Abram's efforts, 'Star Trek' was both a critical and commercial success and - with today's Blu-ray release - is expected to be a home video success as well.

"With an impeccable cast; wonderful special effects; a dramatic, far- reaching, and emotional story that doesn't rely on action but rather integrates it perfectly into the film; infectious humor; and spot-on odes to the original stories and characters that define the "Star Trek" universe, 2009's Star Trek is a passionate rebirth, a resurrection for the ages, and it boldly and confidently goes where "Star Trek" must to endure," commented staff reviewer Martin Liebman in his review of the title. He continues, "Featuring impeccable picture and sound quality, not to mention a complete, thoroughly informative, and consistently entertaining supplemental package, Star Trek receives my highest recommendation."

After 'Fight Club' was released, the immense popularity of the film amongst teenagers (all at least 17 years of age or accompanied by an adult, I'm sure) saw an alarming number of youths participating in their own homegrown fight clubs. It is not a rare occurrence for viewers to be deeply affected by a film - even today people are stockpiling rifles and rations in response the release of '2012' - but these fight clubs are still popping up today, 10 years after the film's initial release. 'Fight Club' is not just a great film with superb acting from stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, it is testament to man's desire for freedom and individuality - in essence, a modern retelling of the birth of America! That may be a tad audacious, but the popularity of the film is no mistake. It is a must own Blu-ray title for any person who refuses to be defined by their khakis.

As staff reviewer Casey Broadwater stated in his review, "Fans who like to see a director's intentions honored will be knocked silly by this fantastic 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, which proves to be an appreciable upgrade from prior DVD releases, especially when it comes to overall clarity and color depth." He continues, "Rounding out the A/V package is an absolutely pulverizing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that will kick your home theater's ass and take its name... Highly recommended."

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of its initial release, Warner brings Blu- ray fans 'Gone with the Wind: Ultimate Collector's Edition' today. If the $45 price tag for the UCE is out of your range, you can find a slimmed down version of the release at Target. Either way, you can't go wrong by picking up this classic release.

Luc Besson is probably best known for 'The Fifth Element', but arguably his best accomplishment is 'Leon: The Professional', which gets released today on Blu-ray. The relationship between Jean Reno and Natalie Portman is genuine, and Gary Oldman is the ultimate bad guy. If the idea of a 12 year-old girl hitting on an older man makes you cringe, be sure to stick with the US theatrical presentation which was toned down for American audiences. The Blu-ray presentation of this film is simply astounding. The picture is sharp and highly detailed, and the soundtrack is sure to shake your system during the intense action sequences. There are few things more exciting than watching Jean Reno tear apart his enemies with a surgical-like skill in high definition. A must own Blu-ray.

Sasha Cohen has successfully used his characters to comically explore the insecurities and prejudices of the general public. When the olive-skinned Cohen dressed and spoke like a stereotypical black man, he used people's fear of racism and prejudice to exploit them for comedy's sake. I laughed. When he grew out his mustache and pretended to be a reporter for a foreign land, he again used people's insecurities against them. I laughed even harder. When he strapped on a skin-tight pair of lederhosen and acted obnoxious to the dismay of his victims, I didn't laugh so much. It wasn't that I had some moral objection to what he was doing - far from it - but it felt way too similar to Borat, a character that was so well developed that anything short - such as Bruno - would be a disappointment. For the Blu-ray release of 'Bruno', it once again feels a bit underdeveloped. I understand the source is limited, but video and audio both feel a bit restricted beyond what could have been present. Proceed with caution on this release.

I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith. I love that his films are a series of elongated conversations which lack the cuts typically used to combine several takes. I love the relationships he creates in his films that show deeper connection than what an actual couple could convey. And yes, I will laugh at every fart joke that he writes, because they are genius. Today, Disney brings us, what I believe to be, his best film 'Chasing Amy' along with the film that started it all 'Clerks'. Both these low-budget films are presented beautifully in high definition and audio, especially on 'Amy', is extremely detailed. My only reservation is that the heavy grain on 'Clerks' may scare some people away, which is a shame, because years of VHS and DVD viewing has skewed the preceived look of the film into a softened mess. The only film now missing from the collection is 'Mallrats' (true fans choose to ignore the existence of 'Jersey Girl'), a film that Universal will hopefully soon release. In the mean time, you can pick up 'Clerks: 15th Anniversary Edition' and 'Chasing Amy' today on Blu-ray, or as a three-pack with the previously released 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'.

Finally today, HBO is releasing 'Rome: The Complete Series' on Blu-ray. The 10-disc set features all 22 episodes of the show in stunning high definition that easily bests their original HD broadcasts. The series itself is an epic retelling of a pivotal time in the Roman Empire, with an abundance of sex, drama, and battles to keep viewers' interests secured to the screen. Indeed, the wife and I found ourselves watching five episodes straight this past weekend, only stopping to sooth the rumbling of our stomachs. It is disappointing that the series did not continue through the reign of Augustus, but to have the entire series on Blu-ray for the first time today is a treat we shall not soon forget.

For a complete listing of all the Blu-ray titles released today, click here.

Source: | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (38 comments)

  Nov 17, 2009
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Fight Club alone makes this a very special Blu-ray day for me.

Then you factor in Star Trek, Léon, AND It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas...I'm pumped!

  Nov 17, 2009
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Star trek, fight club, my sister's keeper, Bruno, and Rome are def buys. Might pick up scrubs also

Scooby Blu
  Nov 17, 2009
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Just picked up Star Trek at Target. It is a gloomy day outside so the disk will be spinning today for sure!!

  Nov 17, 2009
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i liked fight club and will pick it up, but a retelling of the birth of america? that's beyond a stretch IMO. i thought this was news, not commentary? I liked it as an action thriller, the philosophy was too packaged and forced, and blatantly contradictory to the cult club they signed up to. Still, like I said, great action and performances by Norton and Pitt, will definitely be grabbing it!

  Nov 17, 2009
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Why didnt I see this "Today on Blu Ray" last week when Monsters Inc and UP was released?

Top contributor
  Nov 17, 2009
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Picked up Star Trek & Fight Club last night at midnight at Best Buy.

I am a bit dissappointed in the crushed blacks that Fincher used in Fight Club, but I understand that it's the source and not the BD mastering.

I haven't see Star Trek yet. Not at the theater and not at home. I'm going to wait for D-BOX to provide motion codes before watching this one.

Top reviewer
  Nov 17, 2009
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Sigh...Star Trek gets two large paragraphs. Fight Club gets two paragraphs. Leon, Rome, Kevin Smith and even Sacha Cohen get big notices. But Gone With the Wind, one of the greatest films of all time, gets a mere mention, with a part of that saying if people don't like the price of the UCE, look for it cheaper at Target.
  Nov 17, 2009
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Not much that interests me this week.

  Nov 17, 2009
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A Very Sunny Christmas is out today also.

Top contributor
  Nov 17, 2009
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My bf and I went to our local Wal-Mart at midnight last night and I got Star Trek on Blu. I also
preordered (3 months ago) him the Amazon Exclusive with the replica ship. It shipped today!!!
Star Trek is an AMAZING film. Buy it. He also wants to get Gone With The Wind on Blu of course.

  Nov 17, 2009
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I haven't seen Star Trek yet, but I really want Chasing Amy more so if I buy anything it'll be Chasing Amy this week Star Trek latter when I goto buy the entire movie set.
  Nov 17, 2009
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No mention of Galaxy Quest and no review from you guys either; methinks you completely overlooked that one.
  Nov 17, 2009
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I watched Star Trek last night, brilliant film, and I want to watch it again tonight... Great blu ray too, although I do need a bigger screen to fully appreciate it...

  Nov 17, 2009
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Picked up Fight Club at Target.

  Nov 17, 2009
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I picked up Gone With the Wind at Target (Movie only) today, Star Trek, Fight Club, Leon, Chasing Amy, Clerks.
  Nov 17, 2009
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Definitely getting Star Trek. Will get GWTW if there's a good enough deal on a non-collector's edition. I'll probably ask for the Kevin Smith box for X-Mas.

Top reviewer
  Nov 17, 2009
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Going on a hunt for Fight Club, Gone With The Wind, Star Trek, Clerks and Galaxy Quest at lunch today. Already have Sex, Lies and Videotape on the way from Amazon.

Top reviewer
  Nov 17, 2009
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Star trek for sure, might pick up fight club, but that depends since i still have to pick up Monsters inc and up

what about Galaxy quest, wasn't that supposed to be out today too?

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Top contributor
  Nov 17, 2009
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surfdude12 - Sure, its a stretch, but there are distinct similarities. Our founding fathers had a beer club, so to speak, where they would discuss their discontent with British rule. The Boston Tea Party was an act of mayhem against the British rulers. Eventually, all these acts led to the downfall of British rule.

BLURAYSONYES - Events outside this website overcame my schedule, and I was unable to complete the post in a reasonable time. I have made adjustments to ensure that won't be a problem again.

  Nov 17, 2009
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Ordered Trek, and can't wait to watch it after reading the reviews for Pq and Aq. I wasn't expecting much when I saw it theatrically, but it ranks highly in my movies this year.

Ill be getting Fight Club and possibly Bruno down the line when I am not so broke.

I'd like to rent GWTW also, because I have never seen it and there's no better way to see it than on bella blu!

  Nov 17, 2009
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Leon and Tsubasa =]

  Nov 17, 2009
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Awesome day for Blus!

  Nov 17, 2009
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Beware Target GWTW is single disc only, for 35 bucks. Should have been two discs for that price (the second disc has just about all of the special features). Wait for price drop, or a two disc set to come out.

Top reviewer
  Nov 17, 2009
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By copy of Scrubs arrived today. I'll be out to pick up star trek and more tonight!

The Mr Safety
  Nov 17, 2009
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Picked up a copy of Star Trek at Wal-mart for 19.99. I think all the new releases are that price at wally world which isn't to shabby.
  Nov 17, 2009
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People aren't stockpiling weapons in response to 2012... I hope thats a joke.

  Nov 17, 2009
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GRREAT day for Blu-ray releases, picking up Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, Brüno and Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie...

  Nov 17, 2009
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I really want a happy medium between the excessive, trinket-filled Gone With the Wind boxset and the barebones Target exclusive. We got better options with Wizard of Oz. I want all the disc content (except I don't need When the Lion Roars since I got that in my Oz Target set) and I want in a standard BD case. Until this happens, I'm holding out on a purchase of GWTW, sadly enough.

I picked up Star Trek today. Fight Club and the two Kevin Smith films will be eventual purchases.

  Nov 17, 2009
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Well, if amazon UK is an option, they have a 2 disc set for Gone With The Wind... case itself likely is wide (like Criterion's BD cases, but blu-colored), but it's more or less a standard BD case otherwise.

  Nov 17, 2009
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UK Gone With The Wind Heat Fight Club Leon Stargate Star Trek Sex Lies and Videotape

  Nov 17, 2009
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Awesome day for movies. I picked up Fight Club.. Really need to get some money for that 3 pack and Trek.

  Nov 18, 2009
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picked up Star Trek, great movie at a great price ($19.99)
  Nov 18, 2009
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Watched Star Trek tonight, loved it like I did in theaters and cant wait til we get a sequal!

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  Nov 18, 2009
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bfellow - Its true. I head it on the news on the way into work yesterday.
  Nov 18, 2009
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People have been stockpiling weapons already. Those 2012ers are very late to the party.

Also, about mentioning George Lucas, its funny that R2-D2 is in Star Trek.

Top contributor
Lucy Diamond
  Nov 18, 2009
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Very big videogame week as well.

I picked up Assassin's Creed II, God of war collection and Lego Indy 2 as well as Leon and Star Trek.
  Nov 19, 2009
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Ok, got my Target bluray excl. model box. It has a cut out for the saucer. Will this work for the online webcam feature? I went to the url, and I either get an error #9 code box or internet explorer closes down on me.
I'm using windows vista. I loaded the active x fine.
Is there a patch I need?
THe extras I watched last night. Great ya can view them and branch or just vist the branches individually. I'll get to the commentary this weekend.
I'm very impressed w/ them, and the clever design of the model. Sturdy, light, easy access to discs. Love it! And thank goodness no firmware issues!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still can't watch my Snow White..thanks SHARP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Nov 23, 2009
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I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but this film was very good.

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