This Week On DVD/BD: The Lion King Roars On To Blu-ray

Plus Fast Five, Tarantino Goes Blu, Planet Earth and The Legend of Sarah Palin

By , Columnist

DON’T MISS

The Lion King (Disney) - A few weeks ago, The Lion King 3D surprised everyone by topping the U.S. box office, proving that Simba and the gang are as popular as ever. The movie is still in theaters but now you can bring it home on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. A limited edition set is also available that includes the direct-to-video sequels but it also includes an actual drum, so you may want to think long and hard before you get that version for the kids.

NEW RELEASES

Fast Five (Universal) - The gasoline and testosterone fueled franchise is back, reuniting pretty much everybody who’s ever appeared in one of these movies and adding a healthy dose of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for good measure.

Scream 4 (Dimension/Anchor Bay) - Old Ghostface is back, along with director Wes Craven, screenwriter Kevin Williamson, and stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox. The new potential victims include Anna Paquin, Hayden Panettiere, Kristen Bell, Emma Roberts, and others.

Submarine (Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay) - Ben Stiller executive produces this quirky British comedy starring Craig Roberts as an alienated teenager who erroneously believes he’s extraordinarily popular.

African Cats (Disney) - Samuel L. Jackson narrates this DisneyNature documentary about…well, African cats, obviously.

Buck (IFC) - Nature documentary week continues with this profile of Buck Brannaman, the real-life inspiration for The Horse Whisperer.

BLU DEBUTS

Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown (Miramax/Lionsgate) - Two of Quentin Tarantino’s best arrive in high-def with sterling new transfers supervised by the director himself, new bonus features, and all of the original extras from their previous DVD incarnations.

Lionsgate is also releasing several other gems from the Miramax library today, including Cinema Paradiso, Life Is Beautiful, and The Cider House Rules.

Dead Alive (Lionsgate) - Peter Jackson’s 1992 splatter comedy has a reputation as being one of the goriest movies ever made. In other words, this is exactly what your Blu-ray player was made for.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Warner Home Video) - Tim Burton’s feature film debut is one of the best, funniest, and most imaginative movies of the '80s. No, seriously. His adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic isn’t at that level but got a bad rap and is worth checking out.

TV

Planet Earth: Special Edition (BBC/Warner Home Video) - If you have a Blu-ray player, you absolutely must own this extraordinary BBC documentary. The new special edition comes packed with new bonus features and is also available in the cool globe-shaped limited edition pictured above.

Prohibition (PBS) - Ken Burns’ latest documentary epic takes a sobering look at the 18th Amendment. I apologize for the pun but I couldn’t resist.

Friday Night Lights: The Complete Series (Universal) - The acclaimed football drama is collected in one massive 19-disc box set.

In Treatment: Season Three (HBO) - Gabriel Byrne’s therapy drama returns for possibly its final season with new patients including Debra Winger.

Lie To Me: The Complete Final Season (20th Century Fox) - It’s the end of the road for Tim Roth’s human lie detector.

The League: The Complete Second Season (20th Century Fox) - FX’s fantasy football comedy returns complete with all-new unrated bonus features.

Bored To Death: The Complete Second Season (HBO) - Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis are back for another season of one of TV’s strangest comedies.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season - Special Edition (Anchor Bay) - Yes, the zombie show has already been released on DVD and Blu-ray but only this version has all-new bonus features.

The Bionic Woman: Season 3 (Universal) - Jamie Summers is back for one more season of bionic 70s adventures.

WTF?

Sarah Palin: The Undefeated (Arc Entertainment) - OK, maybe I’m being a little confrontational by putting this in the WTF? category, but come on. This is one of the most nakedly self-mythologizing movies to be produced…well, ever. It’s less about her wanting to become President than simply perpetuating her brand name. 

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Adam Jahnke has been writing about film since age 13, when he began foisting a self-published newsletter on friends and family (copies of which are now mercifully lost to the ages). In 2000, he joined the staff of the highly respected DVD website The Digital Bits, where he continues to serve as columnist…

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