Home Entertainment Release Recap for Jan 18th, 2011

While there are some fine releases here, JUSTIFIED is my pick of the week. It took a few episodes for me to get into it, but ended up being one of my favorite shows and is well worth the price.

BURIED(2010) Ryan Reynolds, Samantha Mathis, Robert Paterson, Blu-ray/DVD combo: $29.95 Extras: “Unearthing Buried” making-of featurette. (Lionsgate).

Paul Conroy is not ready to die. But when he wakes up six feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time; fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only ninety minutes to be rescued before his worst nightmare comes true.

JUSTIFIED: The Complete First Season (2010) Tim Olyphant, Natalie Zea,  Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy DVD: $39.95 Blu-ray:  $49.95. Extras: Cast and crew commentaries featuring Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea and executive producer Graham Yost; “What Would Elmore Do?” featurette; “The Story of Justified”; “Justified: Meet the Characters”; “Long Hard Times to Come” Shooting for Kentucky music video; “The Marshals”; “Season 2: A Look Back”; “The Story of Justified.” Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Sony).

“JUSTIFIED is a modern day gun slinging police drama that blends high noon tension with themes of justice and crime because it brings the satirical taut writing of Elmore Leonard to life starring DEADWOOD S Timothy Olyphant as a flawed US Marshall.”

MARVEL KNIGHTS ANIMATION: BLACK PANTHER (2009) Djimon Hounsou, Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott, Stephen Stanton  $14.97 Extras: “Looking Back at Black Panther With Reginald Hudlin” featurette, music video. (Shout! Factory).

Deep in the heart of Africa lies Wakanda, an advanced and unconquerable civilization. A family of warrior kings possessing superior speed, strength and agility has governed this mysterious nation as long as time itself. The latest in this famed line is young King T’Challa, the great hero known worldwide as the Black Panther.

Now, outsiders once again threaten to invade and plunder Wakanda. Leading this brutal assault is Klaw, a deadly assassin with the blood of T’Challa’s murdered father on his hands, who brings with him a strong army of super-powered mercenaries. Even with Wakanda’s might and his own superhuman skills, can the Black Panther prevail against this deadly invading force?

From respected filmmaker/producer Reginald Hudlin and legendary comic book artist John Romita, Jr., comes the epic Black Panther story for which comic fans have waited 25 years. Starring Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) and Alfre Woodard (True Blood, Star Trek: First Contact).

MERLIN: The Complete Second Season (2009)  Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Angel Coulby $49.98. Extras: Commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo gallery, more. (BBC/Warner).

Merlin is back with even more magic, adventure and romance as the young wizard struggles to protect Prince Arthur in the perilous world of Camelot. While battling deadly assassins, mystical monsters and the most powerful sorcerers Camelot has ever seen, Merlin must work harder than ever to conceal his unique abilities, as King Uther redoubles his war against magic. And Merlin isn’t the only one whose destiny calls—Lady Morgana , Uther’s ward, discovers dangerous secrets she dare not reveal; Lancelot returns, changing everything for both Gwen and Arthur; and King Uther falls in love, little knowing that the charming Lady Catrina is secretly a hideous troll. And as Arthur continues on his path from arrogant prince to the noble and just King Arthur of legend, we see the return of the one prophesied to kill him—the mysterious druid boy, Mordred. Featuring exciting new villains, white-knuckle stunt sequences, and spectacular CGI monsters, Merlin: Season Two is more thrilling than ever.

STONE (2010) Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich. DVD: $29.98 . Blu-ray: $39.99  Extras: “The Making of Stone” featurette. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Anchor Bay Entertainment).

Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Oscar® nominee Edward Norton deliver powerful performances as a seasoned corrections official and a scheming inmate whose lives become dangerously intertwined in this “gritty and engrossing thriller” (Steve O’Brien, WCBS-FM). Jack Mabry (De Niro), a parole officer days away from retirement, is asked to review the case of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), in prison for arson. Now eligible for early release, Stone needs to convince Jack he has reformed, but his attempts to influence the older man’s decision with his wife Lucetta (Milla Jovovich) have profound and unexpected effects on them both. This tale of passion, betrayal and corruption skillfully weaves together the parallel journeys of two men grappling with dark impulses, as the line between lawman and lawbreaker becomes precariously thin.

TAKERS (2010) Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Chris Brown, Michael Ealy, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Hayden Christensen, Jay Hernandez. DVD: $28.95 , Blu-ray: $34.95  Extras: Commentary by director John Luessenhop, producer Will Packer, producer Jason Geter and Tip “T.I.” Harris; “Yeah Ya Know (Takers)” music promo by T.I.  Blu-ray adds “Executing the Heist: The Making of Takers,” “Take Action!” stunts featurette, movieIQ+sync and BD-Live. (Sony).

This high-stakes action thriller stars Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy and Tip “T.I.” Harris. After pulling off a spectacular series of brilliantly planned bank robberies, a notorious team of professional criminals attempts one last heist, a once-in-a-lifetime job with a $25 million payoff. And all that stands in their way is a cop hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to solve the case and bring the Takers down. Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen costar in an adrenaline-rushed thrill ride packed with twists and turns.