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This Week on Blu-ray: September 25-October 2

Posted September 23, 2012 09:33 AM by Josh Katz

Show all Blu-ray releases this week

For the week beginning on September 25th, comic-book movies are the name of the game. Case in point: this Tuesday sees the Blu-ray release of box-office smash The Avengers, the adaptation of the beloved Marvel Comics property. The Avengers faced an uphill battle in the eyes of many comic-book fans; it had to satisfy the aims and objectives established in Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and two Iron Man entries while still working as a standalone picture. Propelled by writer/director Joss Whedon's lively, funny script and wonderful chemistry between the central heroes, The Avengers offers about as perfect a summer blockbuster as one could hope for - as Whedon recently said of his work, "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time."

In his Blu-ray review, Jeffrey Kauffman echoes that sentiment, how "The Avengers is a breathless and mostly elegantly structured entertainment that manages to let each of the superheroes (and their merely mortal helpers) have their moment in the sun while at the same time providing some fantastic set pieces...Is this a perfect superhero film? Probably not. That same final battle might last a little too long and I for one just couldn't warm to Ruffalo as Banner...But these are very minor quibbles in what has to be one of the most rousing action films of at least the past decade. Whedon expresses some surprise (consternation, really) that he was handed this property without having a large film oeuvre already under his belt, but The Avengers proves that he was an incredibly smart choice to man an incredibly entertaining film."

With The Avengers covering the Marvel front, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 takes care of the DC Comics branch. The animated feature represents a huge landmark for Warner Home Entertainment DC Animated department: it is the studio's first screen interpretation of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which has remained one of the most influential graphic novels ever written since its debut in 1986. As a cartoon adventure, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns mostly works - it's exciting and fast-paced and pleasantly reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series. As a representation of Miller's dark Batman tale, the film is less successful. It's a little too soft, a little too clean - the movie sports a PG-13 rating - and that sanitization robs Batman: The Dark Knight Returns of the satirical and visceral impact it had in print form. Still, it's an entertaining enough romp, and one hopes that Part Two might address some of the issues present in this first half.

Kenneth Brown's Blu-ray review sums up these concerns, that "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 isn't quite all that it could be and, in a few seemingly small but arguably fundamental ways, alters Frank Miller's original four-issue comic more than is necessary. But there's a lot to love in the first part of Warner Premiere's Dark Knight Returns adaptation and even more to suggest Part 2 will be even better. Diehard fans of the 1986 limited series will declare Part 1 a bittersweet success, casual fans will find the movie more than satisfactory, and newcomers will enjoy it far more than the other two camps."

Though it isn't explicitly based on a comic-book, the new Bond 50 box set certainly provides the same kind of over-the-top thrills inherent in both The Avengers and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The package bundles together every MGM James Bond released between 1962 and 2008 - minus the 1967 spoof Casino Royale - and it gives fans a great opportunity to compare the pros and cons of the past half-century's different 007s. Whether you prefer Sean Connery's wit, Roger Moore's dignity, or Daniel Craig's cool savagery (and that's not to neglect the qualities of Bonds Lazenby, Dalton, and Brosnan), Bond 50 has a lot to offer. The Blu-ray package is a veritable survey of action-movie filmmaking styles, and for that fact alone, it's a worthwhile endeavor.

Finally, we end the week with The Criterion Collection's twisty mind-bender The Game. The Game finds Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher out of prestige filmmaking mode (think The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or The Social Network) and trafficking in the kind of lurid, mildly disreputable thrills that made his Se7en and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so much fun; it's A Christmas Carol meets The Trial, as a miserable, greedy millionaire (Michael Douglas) finds his carefully manicured life uprooted by a shadowy organization that is either the most elaborate practical joke ever conceived or a dangerous criminal network intent on destroying everything he holds dear. The Game is fluff, but it's good fluff, with Fincher's seductive direction and Douglas' captivatingly unsympathetic lead performance giving the picture more layers than it might otherwise have.

In his Blu-ray review, Svet Atanasov praises the film, calling it "a pure, old-fashioned action thriller, the type Hollywood is no longer interested in making...Douglas carries the entire film on his shoulders. The range of different emotions he conveys is remarkable. Early on his character is an arrogant man who sees life as a series of deals that have to be made; he always has to be on top, regardless of the situation or circumstances, and there can be absolutely no compromises. But when he is suddenly placed in an environment where he is no longer in charge, he undergoes a remarkable character transformation. His view of the world and the people around him changes dramatically."











Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (33 comments)


TheShape31
 - Sep 23, 2012

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lDlisturb3d
 - Sep 23, 2012

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avengers of course Cant wait to hear how it sounds.

denger76
 - Sep 23, 2012

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Avengers 3D will be delivered to my door on Tuesday!

lilant2248
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers and maybe The Dark Knight Returns.

that70sguy92
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers and American Horror Story.

movieman1979
 - Sep 23, 2012

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Avengers Target Exclusive with the bonus blu ray will fit nicely in my Best Buy Steelbook ;-) Bond 50 is at the top of my Christmas Wishlist (right before the Universal Monster blu set)

EvilGamerX
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers, Steins;Gate and Bond 50 for me.

I'll get The Game during a Criterion sale.

Toasterlad
 - Sep 23, 2012

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Whedon's self-effacing opinion aside, Avengers is a GREAT movie, and very nearly a perfect one.

rollinwith26s
 - Sep 23, 2012

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Marciano315
 - Sep 23, 2012

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avengers, the game, bond.

Bluyoda
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers.

Mandalorian
 - Sep 23, 2012

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Big week. The Avengers, TDK Returns Part 1, Dave, The American President, Lupe Fiasco's Great American Rap...

JeremyBuh
 - Sep 23, 2012

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So excited this week is finally here!!

The Avengers, American Horror Story & Bond 50 for me this week!

PBateman87
 - Sep 23, 2012

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vabney84
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers and American Horror Story i will get Bond some other time but that $150 looks nice

DaikaijuTanuki
 - Sep 23, 2012

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The Avengers, Bond 50, and Gamera the Brave (if it actually comes out, I'm not holding my breath)

cmay13
 - Sep 24, 2012

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bond 50, avengers 3d pack, and the dark knight returns. I'm going to wait for the next criterion sale to get the game.

JMCurtis
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Bond 50 for me. Nice price at $149.99!!

Maybe Batman too.

coolkev1701
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Getting Avengers. Also having the Bond 50 set shipped to me from Amazon. Avengers. Will be picking up RE: Damnation if I can find it. Avengers. And, oh yeah, I'll be picking up Avengers.

Rainman208
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Just Avengers for me. I too can't wait to crank that bad boy up.

Septimus Prime
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Avengers and Batman for me.

middleman6573
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Avengers. The Game, Key & Peele, American Horror Story. (Mmm...Connie Britton.)

spanky87
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Damsels in Distress only.

wnicholas76
 - Sep 24, 2012

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The Target exclusive Blu-ray 3D combo pack of Marvel's The Avengers will be mine!!!! I'm as giddy as a little schoolboy right now!!! I will definitely be at my local Target store at 8:00 am sharp tomorrow!!!!

PBateman87
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Just got The Game with the flash sale the Criterion site is having right now...awesome!

lumanogin
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Crap I wish I saw that flash sale on the Criterion site earlier! They're OOS now. Deal only applies to in stock items.

In for Avengers, Batman, and The Game

spanky87
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Timothy Dalton is an underrated Bond.

themachine142
 - Sep 24, 2012

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Bond 50 and Avengers all the way!!!

vaderman
 - Sep 25, 2012

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The avengers 3D

andyshepard
 - Sep 25, 2012

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The Avengers 3D and Tall Man

I*heart*Criterion
 - Sep 25, 2012

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That "Avengers" movie sounds pretty good, anyone recommend it?

Mandalorian
 - Sep 26, 2012

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@I*heart*Criterion

Definitely not. I'm sure no one who has posted thus far would recommend it.

blufreak10
 - Sep 27, 2012

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It's been said that Goldeneye is DNR"d but my stand alone copy of Licence to Kill is DNR'd too, almost to the point that I can't watch it........................


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