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This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Birdman, The Theory of Everything...

02.16.2015

This week: A big week includes Oscar contenders Birdman and The Theory of Everything, a rollicking fourth season of Game of Thrones, and the little movie that might have changed everything - The Interview.

► Will there be any naysayers if the magnificent BIRDMAN cleans house at the Oscars Sunday? Alejandro G. Inarritu’s surreal comedy is blissful moviemaking, an acting showcase, and a technical marvel from the very first frame. Michael Keaton has already collected plenty of awards as a former big screen superhero attempting to validate himself artistically with a production of a Raymond Carver play on Broadway. Into an already volatile situation comes an arrogant method actor (Edward Norton), who threatens to ruin the show. The supporting cast, including Zach Galifianakis as Keaton’s lawyer and Emma Stone as his recovering addict daughter are perfect. A fascinating, instant classic.

► If you’re expecting James Marsh’s THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING to be a bummer, you’ll be surprised how optimistic and charming it is. Much like its subject, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, it emerges through some pretty dark moments with genuine light and a sense of awe. Hawking should be dead. We’re told that early on when he’s diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and given two years to live. Instead, he gets married, has three kids, writes a classic book and became world-renowned with his theories on black holes. Marsh puts the focus on Hawking and his first wife Jane, getting a pair of incredible Oscar-nominated performances out of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Extras include commentary by Marsh and a look at the physical transformation Redmayne goes through to become Hawking.

► There’s going to be a fascinating documentary about the THE INTERVIEW some day. It’s mind boggling the ripple effects we’ll be seeing for years caused by this dopey media satire about two junk news journalists (Seth Rogan and James Franco) who score an interview with North Korea’s Kim Jung-un, then are tasked by the U.S. government to assassinate him. Death threats and a massive Sony hack followed, and now you can watch from the safety of your living room (though it’s already on Netflix). ‘Freedom Edition’ includes 90 minutes of extra footage, and commentary from Rogan and co-director Evan Goldberg.

► Bill Murray buys into his grumpy old man phase with ST. VINCENT, playing a Vietnam War vet with a drinking problem who doesn’t like his neighbour (Melissa McCarthy). Cue the curmudgeonly comedy when he ends up babysitting her kid while she works. No surprise Jack Nicholson was once attached to the role, though he did much the same thing in ‘As Good As It Gets.’ Naomi Watts plays Murray’s pregnant Russian friend.

► With Season 4, GAME OF THRONES became HBO’s biggest show ever. And it did so with one whopper after another, dropping big moments and surprise deaths in most every episode. From Joffrey’s awful wedding to Tyrion’s day in court to the Neil Marshall-directed epic ‘The Watchers on the Wall,’ this is one of the most grandiose seasons of television ever. So many cast members are dispatched, they get their own ‘Fallen’ roundtable in the bonus features. There’s also a 30-minute look at how the battle at Castle Black was done.

► The difference between a ‘Dumb and Dumber’ sequel released 15 years ago and one today? Probably about $100 million at the box office. By the time Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels got around to DUMB AND DUMBER TO, it felt more like ‘90s nostalgia which missed its cue. The guys embark on a mission to get Lloyd a life-saving kidney, which somehow involves Harry falling in love with the daughter Lloyd never knew he had.

► Only right that director Steve James – whose documentary ‘Hoop Dreams’ was championed by critic Roger Ebert – directs the documentary LIFE ITSELF on the man himself. Based on Ebert’s 2011 memoir, it recounts the final moments of his life in 2013. While his body was failing him, Ebert’s writing broadened dramatically, encompassing so much more than just film reviews. The old footage is a kick here as well, especially Ebert sparring with Gene Siskel and the duo’s many talk show appearances together. A fitting movie for a man who instilled the love of movies in so many of us.

► For the third film of the franchise, V/H/S: VIRAL offers a Mexican death cult, a doorway into a parallel world, a psycho illusionist who obtains a killer cape, and an organization tracking a serial killer. A fifth segment, directed by Todd Lincoln will be included with the Blu-ray/DVD. Nothing here as great as ‘Safe Haven’ from last time.

Also out this week:

 

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LISTING OF ALL THE COOLEST DVD RELEASES OF THIS WEEK!

SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!

Source: JoBlo.com

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