This Week on DVD/Blu-ray: 10 October 2011

Green Lantern

Last week set some kind of a record for releases, so this week eases it back a little bit. From existential explorations of suburbia and green-ringed superheroes, to ghost-face killers and lion kings and on to legendary race-car drivers this week has got it all. Can anybody afford it though?

It might just be us, but after a comfortable run, Blu-rays seem to have been going up in price again. Sometimes it is only the combo pack that’s available, and because there’s a DVD and 3D copy in there as well, one tends to pay premium price. At least that’s the story in Australia. The US is not much better, confusing the issue with multiple editions and covers.  Yes, first world problems they might be, but what else is a film blog for if not to whinge about home entertainment?

Region 1 (DVD) and Region A (Blu-ray) – US

Green Lantern Blu-ray CoverGreen Lantern (DVD/Blu-ray, Warner, 11 October) may not have set any critical lists on fire, but that doesn’t mean that its home release isn’t an event. There are no less than four editions of Green Lantern: Green Lantern (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (which is also toured as an ‘Extended Edition’ with 6 additional minutes), Green Lantern (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy), the Green Lantern DVD and the Green Lantern (Movie-Only Edition) [Blu-ray]. The two combo editions come with Maximum Movie Mode with PIP, The Universe According to Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern, a Justice League #1 Digital Comic, Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Access code for Sinestro Corp Batman Skin on the Warner Bros. Interactive video game Batman: Arkham City and BD-Live. The Movie Only Edition is presumably for those people that loved the film, but don’t want to know anything more about it. This won’t be out in Australia until December, and Warner is Region Free, so might be a good one to import!

The other film we want to really recommend that you buy this week is The Tree of Life (DVD/Blu-ray, Fox, 11 October), available as a Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital CopyMalick’s most challenging work to date may defy conventional description. Stunning and provoking, it is sure to divide audiences in its unabashedly pretentious examination of the meaning of existence. Beautiful and haunting, The Tree of Life is what cinema (and now Blu-ray) was created for. The Blu-ray comes with an exclusive 30-minute documentary on the making of the film, Exploring The Tree of Life, allows fans to dig even deeper into Malick’s visionary work and his cinematic legacy through interviews with his collaborators and cast members as well as with directors Christopher Nolan and David Fincher who share an appreciation for his work.

Region 2 (DVD) and Region B (Blu-ray) – UK

George Harrison - Living in the Material WorldOver in Blighty, there’s a few titles out this week that we want to mention to you for your viewing pleasure. The UK is not immune to Multiple Edition Syndrome™, with four very different editions of the critically acclaimed Senna (DVD/Blu-ray, Universal Pictures UK, 10 October) hitting shelves this week. In addition to the 2-Disc DVD and Triple Play Blu-ray, there is also a Collector’s Edition Digibook Edition. Of course, if you have a spare £270 ($420 US), you can pick up the Senna: Limited Collector’s Edition, presumably named as such for the limited number of collectors who can afford it. In addition to the feature commentary, additional interviews and home videos, this mega edition comes with a 1:12 F1 Lotus Model! Blimey!

Still in the documentary world, Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison – Living in the Material World (DVD/Blu-ray, Lions Gate Home Entertainment, 10 October). The documentary will interview Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr, Jackie Stewart and others, coupled with archival footage of the man himself. It’s also out as a DVD, a Blu-ray and a Deluxe Edition. The latter contains 2 DVDs, a Blu-ray, a CD of never-before-heard tracks (available exclusively in this edition) and a 96-page book to accompany the film, packaged within a collectable picture-frame box. This Deluxe Edition will set you back £75 ($116 US).

Senna: Limited Collector's Edition

Region 4 (DVD) and Region B (Blu-ray) – Australia

The Lion King Blu-ray 3DBack at home, it’s The Lion King (DVD/Blu-ray, Disney, 12 October) that gets the plethora of editions editions this week. Ok deep breath: there’s the DVD, the Diamond Edition (Blu-ray + DVD), the Diamond Edition (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD) and the 3-Disc Collection in both DVD and Blu-ray. As we did for the US last week, we’re going to recommend that serious fans pick up one of the 3D combo editions, which also contains the standard Blu-ray and DVD, and hold onto it until you upgrade. As you know, Disney films go into moratorium for a decade sometimes.  Otherwise import the The Lion King Trilogy (Eight-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) (it’s Region Free apparently!) if you haven’t already. It’s a nice looking box!

Still on animals, the Robert Pattinson film Water for Elephants (DVD/Blu-ray, Fox, 12 October), one of the surprisingly solid melodramas of the year. Last but not least is the Wes Craven sequel Scream 4 (DVD/Blu-ray, Roadshow, 13 October), aka Scre4m or Screfourm.

Come back next week when…avast! There be pirates ahead!