Disc Deals and Steals of the Week: Seven, Glee and Much More TV on DVD

In a new feature at Inside Pulse Movies, we compile all the best deals on new DVD and Blu-ray releases, as well as report on some that are so good they’re criminal. Brick-and-mortar stores include Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Fry’s Electronics. Amazon deals are also in the mix.

Alien 3 may have put David Fincher on the map as a filmmaker, but it was his murder/thriller Seven (sometimes stylized as “Se7en”) that commanded the attention of Hollywood. Here, Fincher didn’t have to worry about his film being compared to those by Ridley Scott or James Cameron. The film arrived four years after Brad Pitt made women go who is that hunk? as they licked their lips while watching Thelma & Louise, and by this point he was in the early stages of his matinee idol status, having shared the screen with Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire and getting a great response for his role in Legends of the Fall. But it is Seven followed by Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (where he got his first Oscar nomination) where Pitt started to hit his stride as an actor. In Seven he is paired with Morgan Freeman, who plays a detective a few days away from retirement. With less than a week to go, Det. William Somerset (Freeman) and the short-tempered David Mills (Pitt) become involved in a case involving a series of sadistic murders. More often then not mysteries and thrillers rely on audience participation. Give us a scenario and a cast of likely culprits and see if we can solve it before the heroes can. However, Fincher’s film deviates from the plan and has the serial killer willingly give himself up to police after being narrowly caught by Mills and Somerset. This would lead to an ending that had people milling around the watercooler discussing for quite some time.

Fifteen years after its theatrical release, Seven‘s dark subject matter still astounds, and the grittiness of the urban sprawl that Mills, Somerset and the killer inhabit is every bit as stylish – though on a bleaker scale – as Los Angeles circa 2019 in Blade Runner.

Coinciding with the release of The Social Network, the Blu-ray hopes to be just as amazing as the original two-disc release was when it came out in December 2000. Both that release and the Fight Club two-disc DVD were/are considered two of the best the medium has produced.

Notable Extras: Four audio commentaries (Stars, Story, Picture, Sound); Additional/extended scenes; Alternate endings; “Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence”; Production Design and Still Photographs; with commentaries; The Notebooks: Full Motion Video details “John Doe’s” Writings; Theatrical trailer (HD)

Target – N/A
Best Buy – $24.99
Fry’s – N/A
Amazon – $24.99

The TV phenomenon of the 2009-2010 season has arrived in its entirety, and that is sure to make the “gleeks” happy. Glee‘s first season may not have walked away with many Emmys this year, but its DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases are sure to be devoured by millions of fans. I guess I would have to be considered a gleek since I’ve got a few of the compilation CDs (yes, I still listen to CDs) and I have the individual pilot episode and the Road to Sectionals DVD. However, I’m not a die-hard supporter of Glee. The first season was a bit convoluted with how relationships played out and acquaintances were handled. Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester character and Olivia Newton-John perform an update of the music video for “Physical” in one episode, yet when they cross paths in the finale there’s no “remember me?” moment. The Glee Club’s star performer, Rachel Berry, seemingly has a relationship or crush with everyone this first season except Kurt and Artie. I’m still waiting for cheerleader Brittany to show everyone up and prove how smart she really is – so we can put “the dolphins are just gay sharks” statement to bed.

The show’s musical performances, which have accounted for more than seven million copies purchased digitally, is the series bread and butter. The cast has covered everything from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” (which was certified gold last November) to Madonna and Lady Gaga to Men Without Hats. Personal fave is the musical mash-up of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and Gary Puckett and The Union Gap’s “Young Girl.” They should experiment more with different musical styles and mash them up. Let the “Elephant Love Medley” play on a loop in the background during writing sessions and see what happens.

Notable Extras: On DVD & BD – Extended episodes; Sing-along karaoke; Behind-the-scenes look at “The Power of Madonna” episode; Glee Makeovers, never-before-seen “Sue’s Corners” and a Dance tutorial titled “Staying in Step with Glee.”

BEST DVD PRICE – Season 1 Volume 2 Release
Target – N/A
Best Buy – $26.99
Fry’s – $25.99
Amazon – $25.99

BEST DVD PRICE – The Complete First Season
Target – $37.99
Best Buy – $34.99 (Save $10 on Glee: Showstoppers Deluxe CD with the purchase of the complete first season)
Fry’s – $35.49
Amazon – $34.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE – The Complete First Season
Target – $47.99
Best Buy – $44.99 (Save $10 on Glee: Showstoppers Deluxe CD with the purchase of the complete first season)
Fry’s – $54.99
Amazon – $41.99

When Joe Corey reviewed the second season of The Big Bang Theory on DVD he said it was a “landmark in nerd humor and Sheldon is a geek god.” He would also add that “Jim Parsons’ ability to play Sheldon with such sincerity makes him the finest comic actor on TV.” Looks like the Emmy voters this year read all the highlighted text I sent them regarding Jim Parsons. The Big Bang Theory is a cornucopia of nerd humor. It is one of the last remaining situational comedies that is filmed before a studio audience and it has gone from being a Monday night staple to show that it is ready to compete on Thursday nights. Oftentimes you’ll see a movie or show where science is an integral component, but the science is all wrong. To prove that Sheldon is as smart as they come, a UCLA professor pours over the scripts, checking them for accuracy and adds dialogue where needed and comes up with math problems and diagrams for background problems. Forget Good Will Hunting, I’ll take Good Sheldon Cooper. Notwithstanding Jim Parsons as Sheldon, the rest of The Big Bang Theory cast more than hold their own. Can’t get enough of Kunal Nayyar as Raj. He reminds me so much of me, except for the fact that I’m not Indian. And Kaley Cuoco is a nice piece of eye candy that can bring the funny. I’m having a Billy Madison flashback: “Oh [Kaley Cuoco] so hot. Want to touch hiney. Arrroooooooo!” Those getting into The Big Bang Theory in preparation of the fourth season premiere, don’t miss “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary” with Sheldon trying to get his revenge against Wil Wheaton in a card tournament. Honestly, Sheldon, just go Toy Soldiers on his ass and get it over with.

Notable Extras: On DVD & BD – Big Bang Set Tour featurette with Simon and Kunal; Take-Out with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory featurette; Gag Reel

Target – $29.99
Best Buy – $29.99
Fry’s – N/A
Amazon – $28.99

Target – $39.99
Best Buy – $36.99
Fry’s – N/A
Amazon – $36.99

Other noteworthy DVD (and Blu-ray) releases this week…

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: CE [DVD / BD] – America: The Story of Us [DVD / BD] – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Five [DVD / BD] – The League: The Complete First Season [DVD / BD] – Just Wright [DVD / BD] – Casino Jack and the United States of Money [DVD / BD] – The Good Wife (The First Season) – The Black Cauldron (25th Anniversary Special Edition) – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time [DVD / BD / DVD+BD Combo] – Grey’s Anatomy (The Complete Sixth Season) – Private Practice (The Complete Third Season) – Fringe: The Complete Second Season [DVD / BD] – Letters to Juliet [DVD / BD+DVD]

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…

The Twilight Zone: Season 1The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingCharadeBreathlessUnleashedMandingoMercury RisingThe Order

Retailer Specials

Exclusive: Glee (Season 1) – Includes Q&A with Glee creators and cast at PaleyFest 2010
Exclusive: The Big Bang Theory (Season 3) – Includes 2009 Comic-Con panel Q&A

Exclusive: Free limited-edition collectible ironpack case w/pre-order of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – Diamond Edition Combo Pack (avail. 10/05)
Exclusive: The Big Bang Theory (Season 3) – Includes exclusive Bazinga T-shirt
Exclusive: SummerSlam 2010 Blu-ray ($19.99)
Save $10: Purchase Prince of Persia on Blu-ray and save $10 on select Jerry Bruckheimer movies
$7.99 Blu-rays: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Eraser, Swordfish, Bullet, Gothika, Trick r Treat, The Number 23, Collateral Damage
$19.99 TV on DVD: Smallville (Seasons 1-8), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1-4), 30 Rock (Seasons 2-3), Castle (Season 1), Desperate Housewives (Seasons 3-5), How I Met Your Mother (Seasons 1-4), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Seasons 8-10), Two and a Half Men (Seasons 1-6)

$11 Blu-rays: Hancock, Ghostbusters, Urban Legend, Starship Troopers, Seven Pounds, Secret Window, Underworld, Superbad
$22.97 Blu-rays: The Book of Eli, Clash of the Titans (2010), Marmaduke, Date Night, From Paris with Love, James and the Giant Peach
The Bourne Trilogy (Blu-ray) – $34.99
M*A*S*H (Seasons 1-10) – $14.99 ea.
Arrested Development (Seasons 1-3) – $14.99 ea.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1-4) – $17.99 ea.
Psych (Season 4) – $27.99

PRE-ORDER ALERT! Iron Man 2 (Blu-ray + Standard DVD + Digital Copy Combo Release) for $15 (avail. 09/28)
$15 Blu-rays: The Blind Side, Sherlock Holmes, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Where the Wild Things Are

Dexter: Seasons 1-3 (BD) – Currently $69.99
Resident Evil: The High Definition Trilogy (BD) – $25.00 (Sale ends 09/18)
Chasing Amy (BD) – Currently $15.49
Rock & Rule: 25th Anniversary (BD) – Currently $10.99
The Dark Knight (BD) – Currently $8.99

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