Empty your wallets and check your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available To Own for the week of December 3, 2013. Each week we run down new releases in movies, television series, and video games that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Not only that, we provide insights on some of the best deals on the Internets to keep your credit card from crying. On shelves this week, you can find titles such as The Wolverine, Drinking Buddies, The Smurfs 2, and more. Check out the complete list of new releases after the jump.
The Wolverine (James Mangold) – When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.
Flying far under the radar this past summer, amongst the chaotic blockbusters, was The Wolverine. There have been one too many superhero flicks these past years that all have had to do with saving humanity and the planet. The Wolverine is a breath of fresh air with how small in scale it is. It’s nice not having to see the world saved yet again and rather a man trying to find his humanity. Hugh Jackman does a wonderful job grounding out hero back to his roots. Special features include:
- The Wolverine in high definition
- The Wolverine second screen app
- X-Men: Days of Future Past set tour
- The Path of a Ronin
- Inspiration: a Ronin’s journey
- Design: mastering the arc
- Execution: a killer team
- Hugh Jackman: the man behind the mutant
- Reflections: the evolution of Wolverine
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg) – Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Speaking of under the radar, Drinking Buddies is one of the most under appreciated and unattended comedies of the year. With the dialogue completely unscripted, this phenomenal cast of actors (Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston) works wonders together with Joe Swanberg’s plot outline. It is a very real and honest look at relationships with not only our significant others but with those we value as friends as well.
I loved every unpredictable minute of this film. Drinking Buddies is highly relatabe to most twenty-thirty somethings and makes for one of the best modern relationship movies of our time. It’s a very honest and raw love story that tests the unspoken bonds of friendship to a whole different level.
I am very curious as to how much footage was shot, as the whole film was improvised. I can only imagine the fun these actors had with how much freedom they were given to expand their acting abilities. Swanberg couldn’t have asked for a more raw talent than Kendrick and Johnson to team up with acting vets Wilde and Livingston. Special features includes:
- AXS TV: a look at Drinking Buddies
- All things drinking with writer/director Joe Swanberg and “Drinking Made Easy” host Zane Lamprey
- Behind the scenes at Revolutionary Brewing
- Commentary with writer/director Joe Swanberg, producer Andrea Roa and producer Alicia Van Couvering
- Deleted scenes/outtakes – with optional writer/director commentary
- Interview with Anna Kendrick
- Interview with Jake Johnson
- Interview with Olivia Wilde
- Interview with Ron Livingston
The Smurfs 2 (Raja Gosnell) – The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation – creatures called the Naughties – into real Smurfs.
After sitting through the end credits I was shocked at how miserable I wasn’t. It’s not a completely terrible film, but it far from good. It’s a shlocky kids movie that has a decent message, but really stupid moments that doesn’t work well for adults who have to take their kids. Luckily with a home video version you can pop it in and leave the room. The 3D was a huge waste. Special features includes:
- Daddy’s little girl: the journey of Smurfette
- Animating Azrael
- Deleted scenes
- Evolution of the naughties
- The puurrfect companion: Azrael’s tail
- The naughties! the tale of Hackus and Vexy
- Smurf-O-Vision 2 App:
- play Smurftastic activities with your favorite Smurfs and sync with your Blu-Ray to unlock more fun!
- Includes The Smurfs mini-movie “The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow” G
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Harald Zwart) – When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.
Speaking of waste, this young adult series, The Mortal Instruments, is just that. The dialogue is practically horrendous, the plot overly convoluted, and the characters unlikeable and weak. Just another studio attempt to cash in on some tween fantasy. Special features includes:
- Bringing them to life – filmmakers and cast discuss the characters of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
- Descendants of the cup – a look at the stunts and the cast’s transformation into shadowhunters
- Deleted scenes
- Music video: “Almost Never Enough” by Ariana Grande ft. Nathan Sykes
- Interactive lineage tracker
- Deadly attraction – Lily Collins & Jamie Campbell Bower on their roles as Clary Fray & Jace Wayland
- Entering the shadow world – creating the extraordinary creatures of the shadow world
- Into the shadows: from book to screen
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (Jonathan Levine) – A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously.
I saw All the Boys Love Mandy Lane quite a while ago before it finally released in limited theaters this year. It’s been the talk of horror fans everywhere, but I just never got that into it. Amber Heard is great in anything she touches, and maybe I need to give this film another shot, but from what I recall it was just meh. I’d check it out if the trailer piques your fancy. Only one special feature:
- Feature Commentary with Director Jonathan Levine
Television on Blu-Ray
Lilyhammer: The Complete First Season – For those not familiar with this show, like myself, Lilyhammer is the story of a New York mobster gone into hiding in rural Lillehammer in Norway after testifying against his former associates. I haven’t heard much about this show. That’s all I have to say about that. Special features included are:
- Concept Art
- The Making of the Theme
The Simpsons: The Complete Sixteenth Season – Running from November 2004 to July 2005, the sixteenth season of The Simpsons includes such episodes as “Treehouse of Horros XV,” “There’s Something About Marrying,” “Mommie Beerest,” “On a Claer Day I Can’t See My Sister,” and “Goo Goo Gai Pan.” Special features included are:
- Animation Showcase – Future-Drama ACT 1
- Audio Commentaries on all Episodes
- Bonus Episode: Holidays of Future Passed
- Bonus Episode: Season 11, Bart to the Future (Blu-ray exclusive)
- Bonus Episode: Season 6, Lisa’s Wedding (Blu-ray exclusive)
- Deleted Scenes
- Deleted Scenes Gallery with Commentary
- Easter Eggs
- Greetings, Junior Scienteers!
- Live! It’s The Simpsons – Table Read Featurette for Thank God, It’s Doomsday
- Living in the Moment
- Sketch Gallery I
- Sketch Gallery II
- Special Language Feature (Pranksta Rap)
No new releases this week.
Deals and Steals
Cyber Monday Week is going on at Best Buy, Target, and on Amazon. Tons of Blu-rays for $5 and up.
What will you be taking home this week, tell us in the comments section below?
Check out previous installments of Now Available To Own to see what you’ve been missing.
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus
All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com