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New On DVD - December 22, 2009

District 9 (Blu-ray) CityNews.ca Pick of the Week – Aliens meets 28 Days Later meets The Office, with a little bit of the video game Gears of War thrown in for good measure, is the best way to describe District 9. Half of it is over-the-top violent while the other half is an imaginative look at a race divide in Johannesburg. There’s lots to like and, as far as science-fiction horror is concerned, it’s one of the best (it’s also one of my top film picks of the year). The Blu-ray release looks and sounds awesome and includes director commentary, a three-part documentary on the making of the film, deleted scenes, interactive map of the world of District 9, a digital copy of the film, and more. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

Check out an interview CityNews.ca did with District 9 director Neil Blomkamp and lead actor Shalto Copley

It Might Get Loud (Blu-ray)
– A documentary on the history of the electric guitar featuring U2’s The Edge, Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, and Jack White of The White Stripes. The film is a great piece if you’re a fan of one or all the musicians or a musician yourself, but admittedly can drag a little if you’re not. The Blu-ray release includes deleted scenes, an interactive playlist, and footage from the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival press conference. Film **** Blu-ray *** (out of 5 stars).

Adrift in Tokyo – A college student who owes loan sharks money agrees to walk across Tokyo with a debt collector in order to clear his name. A funny journey ensues in this wacky film that will delight your senses. The DVD comes packaged in a very nice cardboard case and includes a booklet with an interview with director Satoshi Miki, as well as a making-of featurette on the disc. Japanese with English subtitles. Film **** DVD **** (out of 5 stars).

(500) Days of Summer (Blu-ray) – A relentless anti-rom-com for the hipster crowd that could also be called the saddest feel-good movie of the year. Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a young, single thirty-something who writes greeting cards for a living. When Summer (Zooey Deschanel) starts working in his office, he’s immediately taken by her (she’s young, beautiful, has a creative fashion sense, and likes The Smiths). After weeks of failed attempts trying to ask her on a date, Tom finally tells her how he feels during a night of drunken karaoke. The viewer is warned at the beginning that this is not a love story but rather a story about love. Special features on the Blu-ray release include commentary with director Marc Webb and actor Gordon-Levitt, a making-of featurette, Webb’s short film Bank Dance, audition tapes, deleted and extended scenes, a digital copy of the film, and more. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day – The second film to come out of the television show Trailer Park Boys won’t win over any new fans but will delight the base it already serves. The boys are out of prison and back in the park which, to their surprise, has changed since they’ve been gone. Not as good as Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (which is packaged along with Countdown to Liquor Day), but it is pretty funny if watched as a pair. Special features include audio commentary, deleted scenes, alternate ending, a making-of featurette, plus more. Film *** DVD *** (out of 5 stars).

The Other Man – Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, and Antonia Banderas star in this drama about a man who suspects his wife is cheating on him and makes it his mission to find the other man. A little long and dry, but if it can hold your interest, it’s well worth a viewing for the performances alone. Special features include audio commentary with director Richard Eyre, and cast and crew interviews. Film *** DVD ** (out of 5 stars).

More new DVD releases this week: All About Steve, American Pie: Book of Love, Fermat’s Room, Extract


Top image: A scene from District 9. Courtesy Sony Pictures.