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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Let Me In, Monsters, and Others On DVD This Week

I do my best to post these entries on Mondays, and sometimes on Tuesdays if Mondays do not permit.

But, I had to work at 4am yesterday, and I woke up about two hours ago. So, ... the DVD's this week have been released, whether or not I blog about them. Let's take a look at what came out, yeah?

Let Me In, Monsters, Conviction, and Welcome to the Rileys were released yesterday. I warmly enjoyed the first three, and have yet to see Welcome to the Rileys. But, now that it's on DVD, I can pick it up and get to it. I love Kristen Stewart, especially her indie work, and the combo of Melissa Leo and James Gandolfini is bound to be intense.

Outside of that, though, which is worth your money? My money will be spent on probably either Monsters or Let Me In, but I want to talk about each.

More after the cut --

Last week, RED and Saw 3D took aim at the DVD shelves, and did quite well. I don't have the exact numbers yet, but most everyone I know who frequently goes DVD shopping picked up RED. Doesn't mean anything, except that my friends have bad-ass taste.

Go, my friends. Go. This week, however, picking one might prove to be tough.

Let Me In is a surprisingly beautiful take on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel and screenplay (for the 2008 Tomas Alfredson film Lat den ratte komma in. It's a quaint, yet effective story about two lonely children, one is a young beaten boy and the other is a 12 year old vampire, who are in desperate need of a friend. Matt Reeves' film makes excellent use of Lindqvist's source material, and he manages to leave enough creative room to stretch his directorial muscles. In terms of the DVD release, however, there are loads of special features that make the purchase more worthwhile.

From the film's Amazon page:

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of LET ME IN
The Art of Special Effects, Crash Sequence Step-by-Step
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Matt Reeves
Trailer Gallery, Poster & Still Gallery 

Also on DVD, is Gareth Edwards' $500,000 sci-fi masterpiece Monsters. The film examines what exactly it means to be a monster, and is an allusion to the border crisis between American and Mexico. But, at base, it's a road movie where a man is sent to rescue a woman and transport her home in the middle of an alien invasion. It also serves as proof that most bigger sci-fi films are lazy when it comes to their visual effects.

In 1993, we made dinosaurs look disturbingly real. In 2008, those effects have been matched. By a film edited in the director's basement. It's a true labor of love, and it shows.

The special features on the DVD are as follows, from the film's Amazon page -

  • "Production on Set" featurette
  • "Editing" featurette
  • "Visual Effects" featurette
  • "HDNet: A Look at Monsters" featurette
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Extended interviews
  • New York Comic Con with Gareth Edwards feature
  • "Factory Farmed" short film with intro from Gareth Edwards
  • Digital copy of the film

Also on DVD this week - 

Conviction - The incredible true story of Betty Anne Waters, and her life's work to free her brother Kenny from a life sentence in prison. Wrongfully (?) convicted of murder, she sets out to conquer law school, the BAR exam, and still raise two kids while working to free him. She's the reason DNA is acceptable in court, and she has freed hundreds of wrongfully convicted inmates. For a full review, click here.

Welcome to the Rileys - James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo are struggling in their marriage. In an effort to breathe easy for a bit, Gandolfini takes refuge in a vacation home away from his wife. There, he meets a young and troubled Kristen Stewart, and the three rediscover what love truly is. The DVD is unfortunately, pretty much featureless, but I'm terribly excited to see the film itself. Look for a review soon. 

What will you be picking up this week? Let Me In and Monsters, for me. Welcome to the Rileys is a rental, so I'll watch it over the next couple of days.