New to Blu-ray: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, BADLANDS Criterion, ZERO DARK THIRTY, and More

     March 19, 2013

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Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Hit the jump for details on the extras included on all the aforementioned releases.

Badlands (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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Writer/director Terrence Malick’s brilliant first film gets the Criterion treatment, and as usual the disc comes complete with some fascinating extras.  The disc includes the original trailer for the film, a new 42-minute documentary that chronicles the making of the film and includes new interviews with Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, and production designer Jack Fisk, a video interview with producer Edward Pressman, a video interview with associate editor Billy Weber discussing the film’s unique narrative, a 1993 episode of the TV series American Justice that focuses on the true crime story of the people who inspired the plot of Badlands, and an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)

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This initial Blu-ray release of director Peter Jackson’s adaptation is actually a tad disappointing by way of extras (read our full Blu-ray review here), as the bulk of the bonus features is made up of the 10 production video blogs that Jackson shared online throughout the making of the film.  It amounts to over two hours of behind-the-scenes footage, but it’s stuff we’ve already seen before.  The other extras includes a 7-minute featurette focusing on the film’s New Zealand locations, trailers, game trailers, and an access code to get a sneak peek at The Desolation of Smaug on March 24th.  One imagines a more in-depth extended edition Blu-ray of An Unexpected Journey will be hitting shelves in the future.

Les Misérables (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

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The Blu-ray for director Tom Hooper’s musical adaptation comes complete with some fascinating extras, including a feature commentary by Hooper, an hourlong behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, an 11-minute featurette focusing on Victor Hugo’s source novel, and some BD Live features.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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This Criterion is also packed with bonus features, including a 14-minute introduction by Martin Scorsese, a 24-minute documentary profiling the film, a short featurette focusing on the film’s restoration with Scorsese, another featurette with editor Thelma Schoonmaker, a gallery of stills, a history of the Colonel Blimp cartoon, audio commentary by Scorsese and Michael Powell, and an essay by critic Molly Haskell.

Rust and Bone [Blu-ray]

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The Blu-ray for this 2012 awards contender includes an audio commentary by director Jacques Audiard, writer Thomas Bidegain, and journalist Arnaud Calistri, an hourlong making-of documentary, a short look at the pic’s visual effects, interviews on the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival, a collection of deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

This Is 40 (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

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The Blu-ray for writer/director Judd Apatow’s latest film comes complete with both the theatrical (134 minutes) and unrated (137 minutes) cuts of the film, an audio commentary by Apatow, nearly an hour of deleted, alternate, and extended scenes, a 50-minute making-of documentary, Apatow’s complete interview on Fresh Air, a 12-minute featurette focusing on Apatow directing his daughters in the film, an 18-minute featurette for the Graham Parker and the Rumor reunion, 36-minutes of musical performances from the film, an 11-minute featurette focusing on Albert Brooks, Line-O-Rama & Brooks-O-Rama, gag reels, and a couple of Robert Smigel bits including an appearance by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

Zero Dark Thirty (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

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Undoubtedly one of the best films of 2012, director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama gets a disappointingly thin Blu-ray release.  The extras include only four short featurettes focusing on the making of the film, the Abbottabad compound sequence, the authenticity of the portrayal of the Navy SEALs, and Jessica Chastain’s performance.  Here’s hoping a more extensive release comes along in the future, possibly by way of Criterion?

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