August 20, 2012


We’re starting up a new weekly feature here on Collider.  Since we know many of you are Blu-ray collectors as well as moviegoers, we’ll be running down the major new releases to home video each week.  Here’s a brief glimpse at what August 21st has to offer.  Click on any title to buy it on Amazon:

Hit the jump for more details, and sound off in the comments with your thoughts on our latest feature.

The Dictator – BANNED & UNRATED Version (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)


Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy wasn’t exactly a box office juggernaut, but the film has its fans.  Cohen takes on the persona of a ruthless dictator who is trapped in New York City without his beard, and thus without his identity as Dictator.  The disc includes a “Banned & Unrated” cut of the film that wasn’t shown in theaters.

A Separation [Blu-ray]


This Iranian drama from writer/director Asghar Farhadi won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.  The story focuses on a middle-class couple who are trying to decide between moving to another country to improve the life of their child or staying in Iran to care after an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s disease.  The disc includes an audio commentary with Farhadi, a Q&A with the writer director, and a featurette focusing on Farhadi’s early career and what led him to A Separation.

Good Will Hunting: 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]


It’s not your fault—in HD!  Director Gus Van Sant’s 1997 drama that launched Matt Damon and Ben Affleck into superstardom (and netted them an Academy Award for screenwriting) is getting a Blu-ray upgrade for the film’s 15th anniversary.  The disc comes with all the special features found on the earlier Blu-ray release, as well as an all-new four-part retrospective documentary that features interviews with Van Sant, Damon, Affleck, Robin Williams, Kevin Smith, and producer Chris Moore.

The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition (The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under) (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)


Disney is releasing two double-packs this week, and first up is The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under.  For my money, Down Under takes the cake as the more enjoyable film of the two, but you can now own both films essentially for the price of one.  The disc includes a delete song from The Rescuers, a bird documentary that looks at the inspiration for The Rescuers’ Orville, a 1936 animated short entitled “Three Blind Mouseketeers”, a sing along to “Someone’s Waiting for You”, and a short making-of documentary.  The combo pack includes both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the films.

Pocahontas Two-Movie Special Edition (Pocahontas / Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World) (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)


The other two-pack from Disney this week is Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.  I find Pocahontas to be a minor entry in Disney’s “new golden age” of animated films in the 1990s, but fans of the film can now enjoy the story and its direct-to-DVD sequel in glorious HD.  The combo pack includes both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the films. 

Disneynature: Chimpanzee (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)


DisneyNature’s latest film is now headed to Blu-ray.  Chimpanzee follows Oscar, a baby chimpanzee who is tragically orphaned after a rival group of Chimpanzees destroys his entire family.  Alone, Oscar is surprisingly adopted by the Alpha Male of his group.  Tim Allen narrates this waterworks-inducing documentary.  The two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo includes an on-location documentary taking fans behind the scenes of how the filmmakers captured the action on camera, the “Rise” music video from McClain Sisters and more.

Wargames [Blu-ray]


Director John Badham’s 1983 computer-adventure pic finally comes to HD.  The film stars Matthew Broderick as a young wiz-kid who accidentally gains access to a top secret super-computer that has control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  Building off of the Cold War fears at the time, Broderick’s character gets roped into a game between America and Russia where the stakes are the possibility of launching World War III.

Bernie [Blu-ray]


Director Richard Linklater teamed up with Jack Black for this dark comedy earlier this year about a man who woos and then murders a cantankerous, affluent widow.  The supporting cast includes Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey.  The discs includes a few featurettes, including one that delves into how Linklater adapted the true story to film.

Weekend (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


Criterion is adding another recent release to its collection with director Andrew Haigh’s same-sex relationship drama Weekend.  Starring Tom Cullen and Chris New, the film takes place during one weekend and centers on a relationship between two men who at first meet up for a simple one-night stand, but soon develop something more special.  The disc features an interview with Haigh about the film’s sex scenes, interviews with the cast and crew, on-set video, audition videos, two short films from Haigh, a video essay on the film’s set photographers, and a booklet featuring an essay by Dennis Lim.

House, M.D.: Season Eight [Blu-ray]


The eighth and final season of Fox’s House, M.D. came to a close this past May, and now the full final season is available on Blu-ray.  Due to a certain actress declining to return to the series for the finale, I found the final season to be quite lacking.  A character that’s been so strong and intriguing for eight years essentially went out with a whimper.  Nevertheless, maybe some of the special features can provide some insight into how the series finale was shaped.  Included on the set is a 44-minute featurette called “House, M.D. Swan Song” (this aired on Fox right before the finale), a behind-the-scenes documentary called “The Doctor Directs” which focuses on Hugh Laurie’s directorial process in the episode “The C-Word”, and “Everybody Dies: A Postmortem”, a 19-minute look at the series finale with interviews from the cast and crew and their feelings on how the show ended.

Click here to purchase any of the Blu-rays we covered this week

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