I don’t often spotlight new movies as my Pick of the Week, but then again, not many new movies are as delightfully odd as Gore Verbinski’s animated western Rango, out today on DVD and Blu-ray from Paramount. Johnny Depp voices the titular chameleon in this whimsical riff on Chinatown. Grownups may actually appreciate this one more than kids. The movie is peppered with clever references and the character design is more peculiar than cuddly. But the animation is absolutely gorgeous and the movie is fast-paced and funny enough to entertain the entire family.
Also new this week, the sleeper horror hit Insidious arrives on DVD and BD from Sony. Matthew McConaughey stars in the courtroom drama The Lincoln Lawyer (DVD/BD) from Lionsgate. Strand Releasing presents the critically acclaimed Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (DVD/BD). And on Friday, Warner Home Video releases Russell Brand’s ill-advised remake of Arthur (DVD/BD). I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t coming out today with the rest of the new releases. I just hope you Russell Brand fans can stand the wait.
Shout! Factory debuts two long-unavailable sci-fi cult favorites today. First up, Battle Beyond The Stars (DVD/BD), part of Shout’s fantastic Roger Corman’s Cult Classics collection. John Sayles scripted this outer space version of The Magnificent Seven, which probably doesn’t hold up as well as I remember but I can’t wait to find out. Also, the post-apocalyptic Damnation Alley (DVD/BD) starring '70s stalwart Jan-Michael Vincent. 20th Century Fox had high hopes for this big-budget epic but it quickly vanished into obscurity when it ran up against the studio’s other sci-fi project, a little movie called Star Wars.
The Criterion Collection gives Mike Leigh’s brilliant 1993 drama Naked a Blu-ray upgrade today, while Universal brings Terry Gilliam’s Brazil into high-def. Brazil is one of my favorite movies of all time, so it’s certainly tempting to upgrade to Blu-ray. But if you’re looking for bonus features, you might want to wait and see if Criterion eventually gives their stellar Brazil DVD the Blu-ray treatment. Universal’s disc offers no extras.
On the TV front, HBO brings Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season to DVD and BD. Sony presents Glenn Close in Damages: The Complete Third Season (DVD). Warner wraps up the saga of County General Hospital with ER: Season 15 (DVD). The BBC brings us MI-5: Volume 9 (DVD). And the Robot Chicken gang returns to a galaxy far, far away with Robot Chicken: Star Wars III (DVD/BD) from Warner.