DVD/Blu-ray Releases — 10/4/2011

 New options for your home viewing this week:

Scream 4 works really hard to not seem the lazy rehash it actually is.  It has, perhaps, the best opening murder(s) of the series–a layered movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie-etc. string of slayings that is an actual variation on the theme that screenwriter Kevin Williamson has, at this point, pretty much done to death.  It’s intriguing to watch how enraptured this series has become, not with the horror genre, but with itself, and, no, like the trivial first movie, having characters simply state conventions does not actually serve as a clever commentary upon them.  My review is here.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Following the lives of a pride of lions and a cheetah family, African Cats anthropomorphizes its subjects to some rather silly levels.  Nature is rough, and Samuel L. Jackson’s narration undermines that reality at every possible turn.  There is some striking imagery here, and I never would have expected a cheetah to make that sound.  Available on DVD/Blu-ray Combo.


This series has come to mean nothing to me, because no matter how many cars it can speed down the street or crash, there is not a single character behind the wheel whose fate I care about.  I don’t think they care much about their own fates, either–as long as the car is OK.  Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) are back for one, last job after their previous one, last job failed.  There’s hardly even any internal logic to the plot, which climaxes in a ridiculous car chase that has no concept of physics.  My review is here.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Quentin Tarantino’s groundbreaking film is available for the first time time on Blu-ray.  After more repeated viewings than I care to count, personally, I’m thrilled to revisit this one in high-definition.  Interpret its story as much as you might like, Pulp Fiction is best left undefined.  Also being released on Blu-ray is Jackie Brown, which had staggering expectations upon its release (being Tarantino’s follow-up to Pulp Fiction), and it’s a great caper film with fully-rounded characters.

It’s had another lucrative run in theaters for the past few weeks, despite the fact that its high-definition home video debut was right around the corner.  Disney’s Shakespeare on the Serengeti tale of fratricide, a ghostly father, and eventual revenge should be another stunning transfer from the always reliable studio.  And the damn songs are already stuck in my head.  Available on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, if you’re so inclined.


About Mark Dujsik

Film critic since 2001. Writer/editor/publisher of Mark Reviews Movies, and contributor for RogerEbert.com and Magill's Cinema Annual. Member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society.
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