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This week in home entertainment features some gamers and game characters, a dynasty of sorts, a few under-the-radar indie films, and just in case you were having too much fun, the anniversary limited edition of one of the toughest WWII stories ever captured on film. Read on to learn about some of this week’s best releases, and maybe even a few that slipped under your radar.
Wreck It Ralph
Just a couple of weeks after its streaming digital release, Wreck it Ralph is getting a hard copy alternative, with a 3D Blu-ray combo pack that includes an impressive 3D cover. Wreck-It Ralph may be more enchanting to the average fanboy than the average child, but it’s still a great little animated film, filled with adventure and plenty of jokes from a PG-Rated Sarah Silverman. Directed by The Simpsons and Futurama’s Rich Moore, the film capably works on multiple levels, offering audiences of different ages equivalent enjoyment.
Wreck-It Ralph creates a magical underground video game world, where good guys and bad guys from every game can come together in “Game Central Station” to hang out and even discuss their problems. Ralph (John C. Reilly), a bad guy in a popular-but-aged video game, is having a bit of a mental breakdown. Hoping to catch a medal and be the good guy for once, he ends up embarking on an adventure and learning a few things about friendship and what it really means to be the good guy.
Best Special Feature: This feels like cheating, but the best Wreck-it Ralph bonus feature is the Oscar-winning “Paperman” short. If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to view the wordless love story short, you should buy Wreck-It Ralph, or find it via a streaming outlet, immediately.
Since that felt like cheating, the best actual bonus feature is “Disney Intermission: The Gamer’s Guide to Wreck-It Ralph.” Unfortunately, this feature only comes with the Blu-ray copies of the film. All you have to do is pause the movie and hang out and avid gamer, nerd and comedian Chris Hardwick will pop up on the screen to bring up some of the less obvious gaming moments we might have missed. Some of them are obvious, but things like hidden meanings in numbers and graffiti are pretty interesting.
Other Special Features:
“Bit By Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph”
Alternate & Deleted Scenes
Video game Commercials
Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition
Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List was critically acclaimed at the time of its release, earning a best picture win and 6 other Academy Awards, among a slew of other accolades. Twenty years later, the black and white frames of the film are often stunning and, in other moments, nothing short of horrifying. The true story of Oskar Schindler has been memorialized in a riveting picture that looks like it will live on through the ages.
There’s also been no better time to buy a copy of Schindler’s List. Not that the film ever looked bad, but for the 20th anniversary release, Spielberg actually sat down and supervised the film’s transition from the original 35 mm film negative to High Definition. Whatever the size of the television, the picture should be riveting.
Best Special Feature: The bonus features for the set are some of the same as those that came with earlier Schindler’s List releases, most notably the 2004 Collector’s Gift Set for the film. Both of the bonus features have historical value and are a nice watch, but annoyingly, the extras are only available on the DVD copy of the film (which is split between discs, old-school style) and are pretty frustrating in an otherwise-nice Blu-ray release. Since Spielberg was so invested in the restoration process, it would have been nice to see an extra looking into the process or other new extras, as well.
Other Special Features:
“Voices From The List” “USC Shoah Foundation Story With Steven Spielberg”
Other March 5 Releases
Duck Dynasty recently returned to huge ratings on A&E, with 8.6 million viewers tuning in for the Season 3 premiere. If you’ve missed the popular reality series, which follows a clan of bearded hunters who run a successful duck call business, you ain’t livin.’ While A&E doesn’t usually offer the greatest sets, generally choosing to split a season up into multiple volumes, at least the DVD set runs cheaply, pricing out at a whopping $10.98. Additionally, the Duck Dynasty: Season 2, Volume 1 set does come with a slew of deleted scenes.
Take a look at what else is popping on to shelves this week.
Duck Dynasty: Season 2, Volume 1
Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You
Gun Hill Road