New Releases on DVD & Blu-Ray

Greetings, fellow movie fans. Now that the Academy Awards are behind us and there are slim pickings for new releases at the theater, it is a good time for new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Here are some of my top picks.

Hugo (February 28 release)
Winner of five of this year’s Academy Awards, this film surprised me. I went into it thinking it was a simple kids’ movie, but Hugo is an absolutely wonderful film about an orphan boy who fixes clocks at the local train station. His only connection left with his father is an automaton that needs a heart shaped key. The boy discovers that a shop owner at the station has a history with the automaton, a history that will help him rediscover his long lost love of film making. Highly recommended: a must see for sure!

Plan 9 From Outer Space (March 6 release)
One could argue this is the worst movie ever made, but this Ed Wood film has quite the cult following by being a so-bad-it’s-good guilty pleasure.  It is known for its crazy mistakes and complete lack of attention to detail– in one scene, night becomes day, and then back to night (with no explanation), and the graveyard is made of plywood and cardboard. This is one fun train wreck of a movie, and one you can now see with a crystal clear picture and digital sound via its Blu-Ray release.

The Adventures of Tintin (March 13 release)
You can’t really go wrong with the combination of Steven Spielberg as director and Peter Jackson as producer. Tintin has just bought a model ship at the local market and becomes quite curious when Mr. Sakharine seems so insistent on buying it from him. For Tintin, the adventure is on, with his faithful dog Snowy. A great cast voices this one, including Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), Nick Frost and Edgar Wright (duo from Shaun of the Dead) and James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. A fun romp of a movie done with that Spielberg flare.

The Descendants (March 13 release)
OK, don’t let the trailers fool you, because I went into this film thinking it had some comedy to it — it is much more serious than that. However, it was a very well done and well acted film. It won the Oscar for Adapted Screen play a week ago, and of course it was up for Best Picture, with George Clooney up for Best Actor. This is one you have to be in the mood for, but I am looking forward to watching it again with a different mindset.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (March 20 release)
This is one of the best spy movies I have seen in a very long time. Gary Oldman gives a superb, understated performance, which earned him his first Best Actor nomination. This film takes place during the cold war and involves a plot in which one of their own is in fact a spy for the Russians as they discover and flush out the mole in their own organization. 

When you’re looking for movies on DVD or Blu-Ray, remember to check your local Half Price Books. And if you’re upgrading your DVDs to Blu-Ray, HPB will give you cash for your used movies. Or, if you’re a collector like me (or the HPB Adventure Ladies), check out the selection of Laser Discs and other treasures in the racks at HPB.

— Jim