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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Edge of Tomorrow, Million Dollar Arm, and More

by | October 6, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a well-received sci-fi actioner starring Tom Cruise, a feelgood sports drama starring Jon Hamm, and a western spoof starring Seth MacFarlane. Then, we’ve got loads of TV and number of noteworthy indie films, as well as a Disney classic fresh from the vault. Read on for details:

Live. Die. Repeat./Edge of Tomorrow

91%

Based on the popular Japanese novella All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow (or, alternately, Live. Die. Repeat.) was one of the early surprise hits of this summer. Tom Cruise stars as William Cage, a military PR man who finds himself thrown into the heat of battle in a suicide mission. Through a chance encounter on the battlefield, Cage discovers he can relive the day over and over each time he?s killed, and uses the opportunity to team up with a veteran soldier (Emily Blunt), train, and change the outcome of the war. Though the premise could have quickly worn out its welcome, critics found the film quite clever and surprisingly funny, and thanks to solid performances from Cruise, Blunt, and a strong supporting cast, Edge of Tomorrow thrilled its way to a Certified Fresh 90 percent on the Tomatometer. The DVD/Blu-ray combo pack includes three featurettes on the armor worn in the movie, the aliens, and the pivotal battle sequence; a short doc on the making of the film; and a handful of deleted scenes. (If you’re wondering why the title is listed that way, that’s pretty much how it’s written on the packaging.)

Million Dollar Arm

64%

Jon Hamm is certainly a charming fellow, so it makes sense to tap his font of likability for a feelgood based-on-true-events sports drama like Million Dollar Arm. Part underdog tale, part fish-out-of-water comedy, Arm follows struggling sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) as he travels to India to recruit the country?s best cricket bowlers as prospective pitchers in the MLB. He finds two potential winners and brings them back to the US in hopes of prepping them for the big leagues. The themes at play are familiar, and Million Dollar Arm hits all the right story beats of its genre; for some critics, this made the film too predictable to enjoy, but others were willing to overlook that for Hamm’s good guy charisma and the film’s overall pleasantness. The Blu-ray includes a look at the actors’ training sequence, a profile of the real events of the story, outtakes, deleted scenes, and more.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

33%

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane made his big screen directorial debut with Ted, a live action comedy that nevertheless found MacFarlane voicing the titular stuffed bear, and the result was a sizable hit. Earlier this year, MacFarlane directed himself in the flesh for the first time in the western spoof A Million Ways to Die in the West, and the result was less impressive. When a timid sheep farmer loses his girlfriend after he backs out of a duel, he befriends a beautiful newcomer (Charlize Theron) to the town who helps him discover his courage. The only problem is, said beautiful newcomer is the main squeeze of the most dastardly outlaw (Liam Neeson) around, and he don’t like nobody touchin’ his lady. Critics acknowledged the talented cast MacFarlane was able to assemble, but lamented its overlong, meandering plot and hit-or-miss juvenile gags, resulting in a disappointing 33 percent Tomatometer. Bonus features include an alternate opening and ending, alternate scenes, a gag reel, a commentary track, and a look behind the scenes.

Also available this week:

  • Disney is releasing a new Diamond Edition DVD and Blu-ray of Sleeping Beauty (92 percent), for those who may have missed it the last time it made its way out of the vault.
  • To Be Takei (90 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary profiling the charismatic Star Trek actor, political activist, and social media icon.
  • Obvious Child (88 percent), starring Jenny Slate in a Certified Fresh comedy about a young stand-up comic dealing with the loss of her job, a breakup, and a new pregnancy all at once.
  • Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (76 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary chronicling the career of the influential talent manager.
  • Sharknado 2: The Second One (56 percent), starring Ian Ziering and Tara Reid in the follow-up to the wildly popular Syfy shlock movie about a tornado full of sharks.
  • Season two of The History Channel’s first foray into fiction storytelling, the historical adventure series Vikings (92 percent) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Season two of A&E’s Psycho spinoff/prequel Bates Motel (86 percent) is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Season three of Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series American Horror Story (81 percent), subtitled “Coven” and focusing on witches, is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Season six of The Following (47 percent) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Psych: The Complete Series is available in a 31-disc DVD collection and comes with a ton of bonus features on every disc.

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