RT on DVD: Exclusive Indiana Jones Concept Art, Quantum of Solace DVD News

Plus Halloween deals, cult classics, Certified Fresh new releases, and more!

by | October 13, 2008 | Comments

The time has come to take Indiana Jones home, as Paramount’s long-awaited sequel comes to DVD and Blu-ray this week. (For a sneak peek, we’ve got exclusive Kingdom of the Crystal Skull concept art for you!) We’ve also got a smidgen of Bond DVD news, a score of Tomatometer-approved new releases (Mongol, Stuck, Standard Operating Procedure), and some spooky suggested viewing for your Halloween movie marathons!

This week kicks off with a blast of adventure, as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull swings onto DVD and Blu-ray! After grossing over $738 million worldwide, Indy’s latest outing is poised for a huge home video release — and Paramount Home Video has loaded the title with tons of fan-centric goodies.

The two-disc DVD release includes hours of extras that take you behind the scenes as Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and his newfound son, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) travel the world circa 1950 in search of mysterious crystal skulls, fighting evil Russian scientist Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) and a former confidante (Ray Winstone) along the way with the help of a few old friends (John Hurt and Karen Allen).

Featurettes offer glimpses during filming as well as the cast and crew’s pre-production planning, plus in-depth looks at the props, make-up, sets and effects that helped create scenes ranging from the Area 51 warehouse to the Peruvian Temple of Akator. As the first Indiana Jones film released on Blu-ray, the title offers the same featurettes in HD, plus the ability to utilize interactive historical timelines.

You’ll also get access to a host of on-set photos and production stills, portraits, galleries of Stan Winston Studios’ creatures and pre-production art. Exclusive to Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve got a mini-gallery of pre-visualization concept art that offers a breathtaking look at how the filmmakers went from page to screen. (Click image below for our gallery of Indiana Jones concept art!)

Next: James Bond’s Quantum of Solace already headed to DVD?

2. Sony Sets DVD Date for Quantum of Solace

Dropping the biggest news of the week, Sony has found a way to simultaneously create buzz around the theatrical and home video releases of the fall’s most anticipated action film: Quantum of Solace.

How’d they do that? By getting Bond freaks excited about the DVD and Blu-ray release of Quantum of Solace even before the movie hits theaters next month! Speaking to James Bond fan site 007Spain.com (via IGN), Sony has confirmed that Quantum of Solace will hit DVD and Blu-ray in March of 2009; no additional product details or exact dates have been released. But aren’t you excited anyway?

The 22nd Bond adventure, which hits theaters November 14, catches up with the Blonde Bond (Daniel Craig) after the events of 2006’s Casino Royale, as he picks up the trail of a shady international organization in order to save the world and avenges the death of his beloved.

Next: Monster Deals for a Halloween Movie Marathon

3. Monster Deals at Amazon’s Halloween DVD Sale

In more festive news, we thought we’d point you to a great Halloween-themed sale over at Amazon.com. Check out tons of classic and cult horror flicks on sale for as little as $4.99, $6.99, and $9.99 or less; at these prices, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of Halloween movies!

Some titles that caught our eye: the original Prom Night (Jamie Lee Curtis in her scream queen heyday) for $3.99, Herschell Gordon Lewis’ The Wizard of Gore for $4.99, and Edgar Wright’s Certified Fresh spoof Shaun of the Dead for $6.99. Check out the sale and program your own home video Halloween marathon!

Next: Another Use for Your HD Set Up: HD Fish?

4. Great Moments in Technology: High Def Fish

Ever wonder if your PS3/Blu-ray player could be used for something a little more relaxing than playing movies in High Definition? Do you miss the days of the Yule Log? Well, the enterprising folks behind High Def Moods have got just the thing for you to lounge at home with: High Definition fish “swimming” around on your television set.

It’s a concept just crazy enough it might work; why not put your HD set up to use and set a certain mood at the same time? After all, viewers tuned in to watch a crackling, burning fireplace once a year from 1966 to 1990. Bring home the future of Yule Log-like simulated “entertainment” with an entire series of HD Moods DVDs this week, including Aquariums, Mountains, Tropical Beaches, and our favorite, Flowers. (Or wait until next month, when HD Moods Fireplace hits shelves, just in time for the holidays!)

Bonus factoid: the HD Moods series was supposedly shot using the groundbreaking Red One digital camera, which records over 4000 lines of resolution and has been used by the likes of Steven Soderbergh on his Che double feature and Neveldine + Taylor on their upcoming actioner Game.

Next: New on DVD: John Cusack in War, Inc.

5. New on DVD: John Cusack in War, Inc.

Ever wonder what happened to John Cusack’s existential hit man after 1997’s Grosse Point Blank? Cusack dons the black suit (and the self-loathing) of Martin Q. Blank in another black comedy about an assassin searching for love and struggling with his conscience. War, Inc. follows Brand Hauser (Cusack) under cover as a trade show organizer in the fictional Mideast country of Turaqistan — where corporations run the nation and war is sponsored by brand name products — as he prepares his latest hit while wrangling a seductive young pop star (Hilary Duff) and an intrepid journalist (Marisa Tomei).

The political satire here wears its agenda on its sleeve (liberal Cusack co-wrote the script), and shifts frantically in tone between violent war scenes, quirky character moments, and sly pop culture observations, but an all-star cast (including Sir Ben Kingsley and Joan Cusack) is on hand to keep things interesting. Thanks to its dismal in-theater run, an expected lack of effort has been given to War, Inc.‘s DVD release — only a trailer and previews of other films accompany the film.

Next: Certified Fresh selections of the week

5. Certified Fresh Selections of the Week: Mongol, Stuck, Standard Operating Procedure

A trio of Certified Fresh releases awaits you this week, whether your taste runs from foreign films to horror to the latest Iraq documentaries.

As the official foreign Oscar submission from the nation of Kazakhstan, Sergei Bodrov’s Mongol (88 percent, Certified Fresh) had to sweep aside more than a few Borat jokes when it earned a Best Foreign Film nomination last year. But the epic tale of the life of Genghis Khan earned critics’ praise for its sweeping, romantic, and bloody treatment of the legendary warlord, with a cast led by Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Ichi the Killer). Unfortunately, Mongol boasts few special features, but we bet it’s a fun ride on Blu-ray.

Fans of horror auteur Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) should check out his latest, Stuck (71%, Certified Fresh). Based partially on an incredible real-life occurrence, the grim comic thriller depicts one fateful night when a drunk driver (Mena Suvari) accidentally hits a homeless man (Stephen Rea), who then becomes stuck in her windshield. Fearing the repercussions, she decides to drive home and let him slowly die, while he attempts an agonizing escape. The DVD includes a commentary and three featurettes.

Lastly, the latest in a string of rousing political documentaries arrives on DVD and Blu-ray, in the form of the Abu Ghraib doc Standard Operating Procedure (78%). Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) turns his meticulous eye toward the 2004 Abu Ghraib prisoner torture and abuse that occurred at the hands of members of the U.S. Army. The standard DVD includes a commentary track and nine new scenes, but for an even more immersive experience check out the Blu-ray release, which boasts an additional two hours of interview footage, a Q&A, press conference, and panel discussion with Morris and other pundits.

Next: New on DVD: Young People F***ing

7. New on DVD: Young People F***ing (Y.P.F.)

The most attention-grabbing title of the year comes to DVD this week — but be warned, it’s not as raunchy as you’d expect. (So get your mind out of the gutter.) Young People F***ing (or as it’s more appropriately abbreviated, Y. P. F.) features a bunch of twentysomething Canadians getting down as an exploration of the nature of sexuality and monogamy, as experienced by five randy couples. Carly Pope and Diora Baird co-star.

Next: TV on DVD – New CSI, Sarah Silverman, Degrassi, more

8. New on DVD: CSI Season 8, The Unit Season 3, The Sarah Silverman Program Season Two Vol. 1, and a Degrassi Super Set

If you’re like us, you were always a faithful fan of the OG CSI series that started it all — because long before Horatio Caine mugged his way through Miami and Mac Taylor quirked it up in NYC, bug enthusiast Gil Grissom led the best crack team of forensic investigators in all of Las Vegas. Celebrate the upcoming ninth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (and William Petersen’s approaching departure from the show) by picking up CSI — Season 8 on DVD. (Also available in a Season 1-8 super set.)

Season 8 extras include all 17 episodes, the CSI-Without a Trace crossover episode, deleted scenes, and two episode commentaries, plus featurettes on the abrupt mid-season disappearance of Sara Sidle (thanks to actress Jorja Fox’s contract disputes with CBS) and the episode “Cockroaches” directed by horror filmmaker William Friedkin.

Also new this week: The Unit Season 3, The Sarah Silverman Program, Season 2 Vol. 1, and Degrassi: The Next Generation Ultimate Fan Set, which will set you back a whopping 200 smackeroos.

Next: Sam Raimi Recommends You Watch These Horror Films

9. Sam Raimi Recommends You Watch These Horror Films

With Halloween around the corner, who better to recommend horror flicks to watch than Evil Dead masterminds Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert? The duo release eight handpicked horror films under their Ghost House Underground label this week, available individually for $19.98 each or in a set for $159.98.

Titles under the Ghost House Underground collection offer a hit or miss variety of all stripes of horror: Brotherhood of Blood, a vampire tale starring Ken Foree and Sid Haig; Dark Floors, a Finnish horror pic about a father and daughter trapped in a hospital; The Last House in the Woods, an over-the-top Italian genre homage; Room 205, a collegiate ghost story from Denmark; The Substitute, about sixth graders who realize their teacher is an alien; Trackman, about a subway-trawling killer; No Man’s Land, director Dave Payne’s prequel to Reeker; and Dance of the Dead, a comic horror adventure about high school losers who become unlikely heroes when zombies attack the prom.

Next: A Cult Movie Revival Courtesy of Crown International Pictures

10. New on DVD: Eight Crown International Films in Drive-In Cult Classics Vol. 3

Lastly, we close this week’s RT on DVD with another treat for genre fans: Drive-In Cult Classics Vol. 3, a collection of eight Crown International classics that offers a cornucopia of the label’s B-movie films of the 1960s and ’70s!

Included in the four-disc set are California teen sex comedies like 1976’s The Pom Pom Girls, starring Robert Carradine and directed by Joseph Rubin before he went mainstream with Sleeping with the Enemy and The Good Son, and my personal favorite of the bunch, the drag-racing, fast-living American Graffiti wannabe Van Nuys Blvd.

Also look for cautionary tales like 1969’s The Babysitter and its sequel, 1971’s Weekend with the Babysitter (which should be considered precursors to the Alicia Silverstone 1995 sex thriller of the same name and the entire Poison Ivy series).

The Drive-In collection also includes the subversive biker flick The Pink Angels, a 1971 spoof about burly bikers with a penchant for cross-dressing, and 1968’s Single Room Furnished, which starred Jayne Mansfield in her last role as a woman on the path to ruin and was completed after her tragic death. What’s more, the release is available for only $12.98. So what are you waiting for?