The non-humans have our attention this week with the new releases on DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand. Steven Spielberg’s latest war epic War Horse premieres after its Best Picture Oscar-nominated run, Matt Damon and Cameron Crowe combine on We Bought a Zoo and a stellar documentary goes behind the scenes with the man behind Elmo.
War Horse: Jeremy Irvine stars as a young man who bonds with a wild horse he tames to farm his rock-laden landscape in pre-World War I Britain. When war breaks out, his horse is pulled into service and the boy must watch his beloved companion and co-worker head off to war. The film follows his story, as well as the animals as it deals with the first few years of the First World War. Eventually Irvine is old enough to enlist and his war story parallels his horse until a fateful ending. The Blu-Ray extras are highlighted by a documentary called A Filmmaking Journey where the award-winning helmer takes viewers inside the making of War Horse. Also of note is the rare look at an acting extra who provides a unique take on the making of a movie from the standpoint of someone normally placed in the background.
We Bought a Zoo: Cameron Crowe triumphed with his return to directing in We Bought a Zoo. He got a pretty stellar cast for his true story of a widower who buys a Southern California zoo to try to save his family after his wife’s tragic death. Matt Damon leads, while Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church turn in great supporting roles. Extras abound, but the best has to be the commentary provided by Crowe. There are three behind-the-scenes featurettes that are sure to dazzle -- and an astonishing list of deleted or extended scenes are also included. Seriously, there are twenty!
Being Elmo: The man behind Elmo, Kevin Clash, gets a close-up in this amazing documentary. Everyone knows Elmo, but few know the man behind the magic. The film follows a man and his dream to work for Jim Henson. Not only did he get that chance, but he created the character that could arguably be Henson Studios’ most popular.