With this Tuesday’s Blu-ray and DVD releases, there’s a number of the most anticipated films of fall 2011′s slate available for home video consumption. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Muppets are coming out in multiple disc special editions. But for those who’ve followed it’s Japanese release, the big prize this week is an official domestic release of Battle Royale, which was too controversial to be released in America.
- Carnage: Roman Polanski‘s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s play never found the awards attention of the fall season, and though it is very much a stage play, there’s no one like Polanski to manage people in confined spaces. Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet make a fine quartet of adults wrestling with man’s baser natures.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: David Fincher‘s adaptation of the best selling novel may not have been the phenomenon that was hoped for, but it was one of our favorite movies of last year, and had a stellar performance by Rooney Mara. Daniel Craig co-stars with her as investigators trying to solve a forty year old murder. And even if you don’t like the film, the supplements on the special edition make this one to check out regardless – Fincher’s always been great about special features.
- Hop: An Easter movie, Hop tries to create a back-story to the Easter Bunny, and fill out ninety minutes with an innocuous enough story. James Marsden and Russell Brand star in this film which is relatively painless.
- The Muppets:At this point, your’e probably either dying to get this Blu-ray, or sick of hearing about the film, but the film is a charmer. Jason Segel stars with the Muppets in a story of getting the band back together.
- The Sitter: David Gordon Green was once considered the heir to Terrence Malick. 2011 may have ended that as he had two commercial failures. The Sitter was the one with Jonah Hill that disappeared from theaters a couple of days after release. Perhaps the success of 21 Jump Street will get some people to watch this. Doubtful.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: This masterful adaptation of the John Le Carre novel by Tomas Alfredson netted Gary Oldman his first Oscar nomination. Long time coming, that. This dense text is perfect for home video, and for rewatching. Can’t wait for this one.
- Battle Royale: The Complete Collection: Released in conjunction with The Hunger Games, Kinji Fukusaku’s delirious and brilliant film is about a group of students who are taken to an island and forced to kill each other until only one survives. The film came out amidst a number of school shootings in America, but where Hunger Games takes a more friendly and American approach to the material, Battle Royale is brutal, scary and funny about what it means to be young, and about social oppression. Quentin Tarantino called the film a masterpiece, and now Americans can check it out with having to import it. The special edition includes the sequel, which is in every way lesser.
- The War Room (Criterion Collection): Now that we’re in another election cycle, it’s worth revisiting The War Room, which showed how Clinton’s team of press team helped get him into office. A Fly-0n-the-wall documentary, the helped show a paradigm shift in how campaigns are run
What are you going to buy this week?