This is a very special week for Blu-ray. After all, it's not every week that Disney opens up the vault. This time, the House of Mouse is delivering another classic in one of the company's coveted Diamond Editions.
This week, Peter Pan is getting his high-def due and it's our spotlight of the week. It's not exactly an easy spot to claim this week either, considering Denzel Washington's Oscar-nominated drama Flight is also getting released. (Spoiler alert: He's good!)
Besides those two, we have a pair of music-filled classics, Tyler Perry's attempt at action-hero status, Kevin James going a few rounds in the ring and with Salma Hayek, and a sweet indie comedy.
Did we miss one of your favorites for the week? Have something to say about one of this week's new releases? Sound off in the comments below. Otherwise, all of these titles are out as of February 5, 2013, except where noted. Enjoy!
Disney is slowly putting its classics out on Blu-ray. It takes some effort to make a Diamond Edition, people! The latest to get the sparkly royal treatment is Peter Pan. This classic has spawned toys and games, a TV show, a spin-off Tinker Bell franchise, and even a bit of controversy for its portrayal of Native Americans. It's still classic Disney, though, and it deserves to be part of your collection.
That's because this brand new Blu-ray has both a lovely 1.33:1 aspect ratio and an equally wonderful DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. There's also plenty of not-so-buried treasure in the special features section, including deleted songs and scenes, Roy Disney commentary, a short about Disney's animators, sing-alongs, and more. [Disney]
It's a longshot, but Denzel Washington could be weeks away from his third Oscar for his portrayal in this intense drama. He stars as William "Whip" Whitaker, an alcoholic airline pilot, who seems to function better on the job when he has his vices. However, a fatal crash makes it hard for him to handle life on the ground. Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly, and John Goodman also star in Robert Zemeckis' second air disaster-based drama.
This was a biggie for Paramount and they certainly did the film justice, with a stellar 2.39:1 image and a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. The extras are surprisingly thin for this blockbuster title, but the "Anatomy of a Plane Crash" short is an absolute must-see. [Paramount]
Take away Tyler Perry's director, writing and producing credits, and what do you have? Tyler Perry, action hero? That's the idea in this flick, which is the first to plant Perry firmly in front of the camera. He overacts in the title role, which is based on James Patterson's gumshoe. However, he's not alone, since there are equally bad performances turned in by Matthew Fox, Edward Burns and Jean Reno.
The film may leave you wincing, but the Blu-ray isn't as painful. Summit Entertainment has given this release a nice 2.40:1 transfer and an explosive (literally) DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. The special features aren't quite as killer though, with a few deleted scenes, director commentary, and a short about the character. The single-disc release also comes with options for the Digital Copy and the UltraViolet Digital Copy. [Summit Entertainment]
It's hard to believe that a musical set right in the middle of Berlin during the rise of the Nazi Party would be one of the most celebrated musicals of all time. However, Bob Fosse's 1972 classic went on to snag eight Academy Awards, including Best Director (Fosse), Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey). It lost out on the top honor to The Godfather. Not such a bad way to go out, no?
What's even more amazing is that this title has yet to receive a Blu-ray release. Warner Bros. is fixing that little issue this week, with this Blu-ray book. The single-disc set includes a restored 1.85:1 image, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and several featurettes. Those extras include an audio commentary, four behind-the-scenes shorts, and the film's trailer -- which all packaged up in a 40-page book.
Here Comes the Boom
Kevin James certainly has a pummeling coming to him after 2011's Zookeeper. He sort of gets it here, as a teacher who goes into the MMA to raise money for his school's music program. In case you're keeping a scorecard, this is James' seventh time working with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company. The movie also stars Salma Hayek and Sandler regular/former Fonz Henry Winkler.
It shouldn't be too surprising that the film didn't do well with critics. However, it should do well with Blu-ray fans, with its 1.85:1 image, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and an UltraViolet Digital Copy. Also, there are a ton of punchy extras, including deleted scenes, a piece about the cast, something on the real MMA, a gag reel, "Disco Street Fighting," and more. [Sony]
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Andy Samberg has had a bit of a rough post-SNL career. However, he hits gold with Rashida Jones and this sweet little indie. The two star as married high-school sweethearts, who grow apart around the age of 30. However, staying friends and moving on doesn't turn out to be as easy as the two had hoped. Jones co-wrote the script on this surprise hit, which also stars Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen, Elijah Wood, and Emma Roberts.
The single-disc release gets a 2.40:1 image, a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track, and a decent amount of extras. Besides the deleted scenes, the trailer and "Chris Pine Outtakes," the release has a Q&A with the cast and crew, a making-of short, and a pair of commentaries -- both of which include Rashida Jones. [Sony]
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