Now Available to Own: Birdman, Game of Thrones, The Theory of Everything, and More

'Birdman' Leads Nominees in 21st Annual SAG Awards

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of February 17, 2015. Each week we run down new movie, television, and video game releases that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, as well as some slick deals that can save you some coin. On shelves this week you can find Birdman, Game of Thrones, The Theory of Everything, The Interview, The Order: 1886, and more. Check out the complete list after the jump.

Movies on Blu-Ray

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu) Rated R [119 min] – A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory. Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, and Andrea Riseborough

From the incredible cinematography to the magnificent, swingin’ score to the outstanding performances, simply put, Birdman is a fantastic little film. Although its depth is fairly shallow and the themes are pretty much spelled out, as a whole, Birdman is a widely enjoyable ride that takes your breath away every step of the way. Special features included are:

  • Birdman: All-Access
  • Gallery: Chivo’s On-Set Photos
  • A Conversation with Michael Keaton and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Blu-ray Exclusive)

The Theory of Everything (James Marsh) Rated PG-13  – [123 min] – A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. Starring Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson, and Charlie Cox

Redmayne and Jones fulfill their roles as Stephen and Jane Hawking remarkably well, but other than that, there isn’t much to The Theory of Everything. It’s a very flat movie that doesn’t know which perspective it would like to focus on, Jane’s or Stephen’s. It’s a pretty film, but once you get past the gloss of this average biopic, there isn’t much to take away form it. Special features included are:

  • Feature Commentary with Director James Marsh
  • Becoming the Hawkings
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director James Marsh

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata) Rated PG [137 min] – Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and James Marsden

Now The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is one of the most gorgeously drawn animated films in quite some time. Charcoal and water color people. If you look back at one of the first teaser trailers, you’ll catch a glimpse of the beauty that is to be had here. The story may not be entirely accessible for all, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Special features included are:

  • Announcement of the Completion of the Film
  • Isao Takahata and His Tale of The Princess Kaguya
  • Japanese Trailers and TV Spots
  • US Trailers

Dumb and Dumber To (Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly) Rated PG-13 [110 min] – 20 years after the dimwits set out on their first adventure, they head out in search of one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney. Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Angela Kerecz, and Laurie Holden

We’ve got to put an end to studios making sequels to comedies years past their due date. Anchorman tried and failed and now Dumb and Dumber. It only lessens the original work. Trying to duplicate the magic that worked 20 years ago is impossible based on how much society has changed and how far comedy has evolved. The same shtick that captured audiences will not work. Special features included are:

  • Alternate Opening (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Gag Reel (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • What’s so Smart about Dumb and Dumber To? (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • That’s Awesome! – The Story Of Dumb And Dumber To

The Interview (Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) Rated R [112 min] – Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, and Randall Park

Putting aside all of the controversy and shenanigans of 2014, The Interview is a subpar comedy that has little substance to back up its bigger themes. And it’s not even that funny. I may have laughed a good hearty laugh twice. It’s not a terribly made film, it’s just pretty standard. You can watch it on Netflix right now though! Special features included are:

  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Ramas
  • Directors of This Movie
  • Spies Among Us
  • Randall Park Audition Tape
  • Getting into Character
  • Dating a Dictator
  • Puppy Power
  • Here Kitty Kitty
  • Joking Around
  • Naked & Afraid

St. Vincent (Theodore Melfi) Rated PG-13 [112 min]A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door. Starring Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O’Dowd

I don’t really believe in all the hype that this movie has acquired. Melissa McCarthy is the only actor of the bunch who puts on a heartfelt performance. Bill Murray kind of sleepwalks through the entire thing and it’s hard to tell what Naomi Watts was going for here. We’ve seen enough young kids taken in by a foul-mouthed mentor who in the end remembers humanity, and this is nothing new or refreshing. Special features included are:

  • Deleted scenes from the film
  • Q&A with the one and only Bill Murray, the patron saint of comedy

V/H/S: Viral (Many Directors) Rated R [82 min] – Follows fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation. Starring Many Actors

Sadly, after two outstanding anthologies from team Bloody Disgusting, Viral is a huge hiccup in resources. Let’s say the first V/H/S films took two big steps forward and Viral took them back at least ten. The short stories are hardly interesting and the violence is practically just for violence sake. Nacho Vigalando’s short is the only glimmer of hope found in this found footage sequel and even then it’s hardly anything to talk about. Special features included are:

  • Gorgeous Vortex – A Short Film by Todd Lincoln
  • Audio Commentary with Directors
  • Bonestorm: Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • FX Storyboards
  • Galleries
  • Dante the Great: Behind The Magic of Dante The Great
  • Photo Gallery
  • Director Interviews
  • AXS TV: A Look at V/H/S: Viral

Life Itself (Steve James) Rated R [120 min] – The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert. Starring Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, and Gene Siskel

For anyone fascinated by the world of film criticism or just movies in general, Life Itself is a fascinating look at Roger Ebert’s life. Touching at every moment, watching Ebert come to terms with his last remaining moments of mortality is a visceral experience to take in. But it’s not sad in the way that you feel sorry for him, it’s just one of those kind of existential moments where we come to realize we have to face the same fate at some point in our lives. Life Itself makes for a strong documentary and is a compelling watch. Special features included are:

  • Interview with Director Steve James
  • AXS TV: A look at Life Itself
  • Deleted Scenes

The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones) Rated R [122 min] – Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, and Grace Gummer

As Tommy Lee Jones’ second directorial feature, you can see the actor-director has matured in every sense of the job. Swank and Jones have a terrific chemistry that makes Homesman feel more fresh than this dry western would have you believe. It can feel like a slog in most cases, but it’s an interesting story nonetheless if you can find the patience. Special features included are:

  • “Story to Script” featurette
  • “Shooting the Film” featurette
  • “19th Century Life” featurette

Continue reading for TV Shows, Video Game and Blu-ray deals –>>

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