November 11, 2009


Also this week: North by Northwest, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, In the Loop, Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series, Rocky: The Undisputed Collection

Highlight of the Week

Up (Disney) If not quite as groundbreaking as last year’s Wall-E, Pixar’s latest still ranks as yet another awe-inspiring achievement for the world’s leading animation studio. A loopy flight of imagination, Up’s most outstanding moments are actually in its pre-takeoff opening sequence, where we witness two children meet, grow up, fall in love, grow old and wither away. If those 10 minutes don’t get you reaching for the nearest tissue, you’re a heartless monster. Speaking of which, Monsters, Inc. arrives on Blu-ray in conjunction with Up’s release — grab them both for the family, or just for your own pure, innocent, probably stoned self. Extras: tonnes o’ shorts, games, docs and more.

Also Available 

North by Northwest: 50th Anniversary Edition (Warner) Hitchcock finally gets high-def’d. Though not his greatest work, NXNW is in many ways the ultimate Hitchcock experience. Featuring Cary Grant in his finest and final performance for the illustrious auteur, this adventure is also a must-see for its clever, hot-pursuit plotting, which now looks and sounds better than ever. Extras: commentary with late screenwriter Ernest Lehman, new hour-long retrospective on the director’s signature style, 90-minute PBS doc on Cary Grant, more featurettes, swanky digibook packaging.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount) If Transformers doesn’t float your boat, there’s always this equally panned toy-daptation. In fairness, G.I. Joe has a few things going for it and, for your money, is a fine vessel for showing off high-end sound systems. If you have to rent one schlock-buster this week, go with Joe. Extras: director’s commentary, making-of, FX featurette.

In the Loop (Alliance) One of the most hard-nosed politi-coms in recent memory, Armando Ianuci’s big-screen adaptation of his BBC series The Thick of It earned favourable reviews at this year’s Sundance, yet its brief theatrical run went largely unnoticed by North American audiences. The DVD lets us play catch-up on the movie’s dense, motor-mouthy skewering of the inept elite. Extras: just the cutesy trailer.

Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series (Warner) Something to fill those hunger pangs before the live-action Salvation arrives in stores next month. Tiding us over are six episodes of cyborg pandemonium, courtesy of cutting-edge videogame graphics. (Wait, you mean we can’t actually play this thing?) Extras: making-of, character profile.

Rocky: The Undisputed Collection (MGM) Get your sports drama on with what is, we hope, the complete collection of Rocky movies. The six films range from wonderful to wonderfully terrible. Extras: making-ofs, featurettes, interviews, trivia.