It’s a huge week on the home video front with new Blu-Rays and DVDs from the three main genres of film: Action, comedy and animation. Brave from Disney/Pixar lands with a waving mane of red hair, The Watch finds Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill trying to save the world and Oliver Stone returns to the drama-thriller mold with the drug smuggling actioner Savages.
Oh, and Clueless director Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone reunite for Vamps!
Brave: Pixar does it again as this time out, they head to medieval Scotland to tell the story of Merida (Kelly MacDonald), a princess who would rather ride her horse Angus and shoot her beloved bow and arrow than be set up for a royal marriage. But, it is that time of her life and she must do what her mother (Emma Thompson) and father (Billy Connolly) say. The film is a treasure and a lock for a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination, but it is the Blu-Ray DVD combo pack Movie Fanatic received that is the true prize.
Extras abound including priceless deleted scenes and the stellar short film that was previously unreleased, The Legend of Mor’du, as well as the brilliant short film La Luna that was featured prior to Brave’s opening credits.
Also a joy is watching the Pixar team explore Scotland in Brave Old World, as it takes viewers into the painstaking work a film team endures before creating a single animated cell. There’s also an alternative opening and a closer look at how they created the astounding specimen that is Merida’s horse Angus.
Savages: Stone returns to form in a film that split critics upon its theatrical release. Although Movie Fanatic’s Savages review appreciated what the director was going for, it’s actually even more of a delight to witness the auteur’s work on the small screen. With all the bonus features and with its unrated edition Blu-Ray, you can see how Stone really wanted audiences to witness his return to violent individuals and the world they inhabit.
As such the Stone commentary is a fascinating opportunity to get into the head of one of modern cinema’s masters. Of particular interest is the audio commentary given by the book’s author, Don Winslow. The in-depth five-part documentary Stone Cold Savages takes viewers inside the world Stone and Winslow created, leaving you wanting to go back to the film itself with increased knowledge about the entire process.
The Watch: Stiller, Vaughn and Hill are joined by U.K. comic Richard Ayoade for a comic romp that might not be what you expected it to be. Sure, the guys get together to form a neighborhood watch when a resident of their community is murdered. Except, there’s one thing: They realize it’s part of a larger alien invasion and it’s not just their neighborhood they must protect. The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack Movie Fanatic received features the “Ruder, Cruder and Lewder” version of the film and yes, it is funnier than the theatrical version. As is typical with most comedy releases, there is a The Watch gag reel. But, in the hands of comic vets Stiller, Vaughn and Hill… it feels fresh and reminds us why we adore gag reels in the first place.
Vamps: Fifteen years ago Heckerling made a star out of Silverstone in Clueless and with the filmmaker’s Vamps, they’re back together making movie magic. Silverstone is joined by TV’s Krysten Ritter in the story of two female vampires having a biting ball in the big city when both come to the realization that there is more to life than romantic conquests and the innocent slaughter of humans. When one of them falls in love with a vampire hunter, things get complicated. Another Clueless veteran Wallace Shawn joins the cast, as do the always awesome Kristen Johnston and Sigourney Weaver. Enjoy a clip below from the film, entitled Meet the Van Helsings!