Prepare your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available To Own for the week of March 18, 2014. 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. On shelves this week, you can find titles such as Frozen, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and more. Check out the complete list of new releases and see if you should buy, rent, or pass ’em after the jump.
Movies on Blu-Ray
Frozen (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee) Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. Starring Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff
I’m not so sure what the big fuss is all about when it comes to Frozen. There are enough problems to choke a reindeer despite its beautiful animation. Sure the soundtrack is catchy and it has an unconventional ending, but the characters, villains, and plot are just too empty to care about. RENT IT! BUY IT IF YOU CAN FIND IT FOR $15 OR LESS SOMEWHERE. There are an over abundance of great special features though:
- The Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
- D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Anderson to Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
- Breaking The Ice – The Real Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
- 4 Deleted Scenes with introduction by Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
- Original Theatrical Short – “Get A Horse” (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
- “Let It Go” Music Videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel & Marsha Milan Londoh (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
- Frozen Teaser Trailer (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
American Hustle (David O. Russell) A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence
David O. Russell is on a hot streak that many directors would lob one of their feet off to obtain. The man single-handedly escaped from Hollywood jail to work with some of the best cast of actors to create some of the most interesting narrative and character driven films of the past three years. American Hustle is a little bit of a step down from his previous films – The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook – due to sloppy editing and loose storytelling, but the cast is still incredible. RENT IT! Special features on this disc included are:
- Deleted and extended scenes
- The making of American Hustle
Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock) Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen. Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, and Colin Farrell
About as cookie cutter Disney as you could get, but with a dark subplot of angst and revelation. Though the performances are fairly strong, the details of the story seem too glossed over to make it feel like there were actual truths depicted on screen. What I’m trying to say here is that Saving Mr. Banks doesn’t feel very genuine. NETFLIX IT! Special features included are:
- “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” – cast and crew break out in a rousing, heartfelt tribute to composer Richard Sherman on the last day of filming
- Deleted scenes
- The Walt Disney studios: from Poppins to the present – join director John Lee Hancock on a tour of the Disney Studios lot, reflect on studio life during the making of Mary Poppins, and discover how Walt’s creative spirit still flourishes today
Kill Your Darlings (John Krokidas) A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Michael C. Hall
Some really decent performances here by the main cast, especially Dane DeHaan, but there just wasn’t enough substance or clarity to really give two hoots about the plot. The characters are contrived and their actions and consequences have little value or meaning. SKIP IT! Special features included are:
- Commentary with Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, John Krokidas and Austin Bunn
- Deleted scenes
- Q&A with John Krokidas and Austin Bunn
- In conversation with Daniel Radcliffe and Dan DeHaan
- On the Red Carpet at the Toronto Film Festival
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick) A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Starring Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Terry Pheto, and Robert Hobbs
You’re better off watching a documentary about Mandela’s life and reading about all of the good deeds he has done than waste your time through this boring and phoned in biopic of his life. Idris Elba does a fine job, but it’s a forgettable film at the end of the day that presents no real emotional impact to his incredible journey through life. SKIP IT! Special features included are:
- Mandela: The Leader You Know, The Man You Didn’t
- Feature Commentary With Director Justin Chadwick
- Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
- Tribute Video Gallery
Here Comes the Devil (Adrián García Bogliano) A married couple loses their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they used to be, that something terrifying has changed them. Starring Laura Caro, Francisco Barreiro, and Michele Garcia
What feels like was shot over a weekend and edited in a day, Here Comes the Devil is a poorly executed indie horror with a wasted concept. The actors are OK, but there is not enough that happens to make you feel invested into strange happenings that begin to occur. There is some decent tension that gets drowned out by mismanaged direction cheap writing. It’s sad to say that there is little to enjoy here when the idea behind the film has so much potential. SKIP IT! Special features included are:
- Extended nightmare scene
- Behind the scenes comparisons
- Behind the scenes photo gallery
- AXS TV: a look at Here Comes the Devil
- Commentary with director Adrián García Bogliano
Television on Blu-Ray
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One) Set in 1975, sometime after the events of Peace Walker, players control returning protagonist Big Boss/Snake (Kiefer Sutherland) as he works with Militaires Sans Frontières to infiltrate an American black site on Cuban soil called Camp Omega.
I’m a die hard fan of the MGS series. Though I haven’t played Ground Zeroes because I would rather wait until I own a PS4 and have the time to play it – after I get through the 20 other games I recently bought and haven’t unwrapped yet – from what I heard it is an incredible experience leading up to something grander. Thus may be the reason that this appetizer boasts a $29.99 price tag than the regular $59.99 newer games typically receive. In this new installment, gamers can find the following new features:
- THE POWER OF FOX ENGINE – Ground Zeroes showcases Kojima Productions’ stunning FOX Engine, a true next-generation game engine which revolutionizes the Metal Gear Solid experience.
- INTRODUCTION TO OPEN WORLD DESIGN – The first Metal Gear Solid title to offer open world gameplay. Ground Zeroes offers total freedom of play: how missions are undertaken is entirely down to the user.
- UNRESTRICTED STEALTH – Imagine classic Metal Gear gameplay but with no restrictions or boundaries. Players use intelligence and cerebral strategy to sneak their way through entire missions, or go in all guns blazing. Each will have different effects on game consequences and advancement.
- MULTIPLE MISSIONS AND TASKS – Ground Zeroes boasts a central story mode and Side-Ops missions ranging from tactical action, aerial assaults and “covert” missions that will be sure to surprise.
- REDESIGNED INTERFACE – Ground Zeroes users will benefit from a clean in-game HUD that shows the minimal amount of on-screen data to give a more intense gaming experience.
- TRUE NEXT GENERATION GAMING – Available simultaneously with the current generation of gaming consoles, Ground Zeroes will give PS4 and Xbox One consumers the chance to showcase the power of their new machines.
Final Fantasy X HD Remaster / Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster (PlayStation 3 and PSVita) Final Faantasy X has to be one of the defining moments in my development as a flourishing gamer. I played until my thumbs bled and my eyes dried of all moisture. There are many incredible enhancements from the original PS2 versions of both games, such as improved maps and character textures, redesigned character models, higher quality cutscenes, trophy support, improved audio, remastered music tracks, and more.
There are two versions of this special release: a standard edition that comes with both games and a limited edition, which includes a hardcover art book, a 6-hour Final Fantasy X HD Remaster original soundtrack blu-ray music disc, and five lithographs of art from both games. I definitely wouldn’t say no to revisiting this classic, X-2 is just an added incentive.
Blu-Ray Deals and Steals
- Sixteen Candles – $7.50
- Short Term 12 – $9.99
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl – $5.99
- Kick-Ass – $4.99
- LOTR Extended Edition Trilogy – $44.96
- The Impossible – $11.98
- Ocean’s Collection (Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen) – $18.96
- Veronica Mars: The Movie – $14.99
- The Descent – $7.42
All prices come from Amazon.com and sometime Best Buy. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match with Amazon now if you do not want to order online.
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.
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