Disc Deals and Steals of the Week: Bored to Death, Robin Hood and More!

Columns, Top Story

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.

During Labor Day weekend I had the opportunity to lay back and relax with a few DVDs. One of the DVD sets I watched was Bored to Death, the HBO comedy starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson. I’ve always had a soft spot for detective yarns, especially those who are amateurs. And Schwartzman’s Jonathan Ames’ character is very amateurish. By day he is a struggling novelist. When he isn’t pouring over a computer monitor trying to type a sentence, he works for magazine editor George Christopher (Ted Danson). And if he isn’t doing any writing, he’s sleuthing. As someone who has grown tired of police procedurals and how they are constructed on network TV, a well-written character and a strong ensemble can elevate a series, going beyond the nuts and bolts of solving a case. Along for the ride is Jonathan’s best friend, Ray Hueston (Zach Galifianakis), a Brooklyn comic book artist. Him and girlfriend are going through some relationship growing pains, relating to bedroom lovemaking. Though the first season may be short – it’s only eight episodes – the laughs are aplenty with these three. Ted Danson is a total scene-stealer, sometimes acting like an inquisitive child when it comes to things. Other times you’re just grinning and shaking your head at what he says. Take for example this quip, “I’m very oral nowadays. I feel like I’m… half-man, half-infant.” If you have never seen an episode of Bored to Death and are a fan of amateurish detectives and comedies, definitely seek it out. Highlight episodes this season, for me at least, are “The Case of the Missing Screenplay” (featuring Jim Jaramusch as himself) and “The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer” with George and Ray working a stakeout. And for those long nights what better way to stay awake than some pot.

Notable Extras: On DVD & BD – Audio commentaries, Deleted scenes, “Jonathan Ames’s Brooklyn” featurette, and “The Making of Bored to Death” featurette

BEST DVD PRICE – The Complete First Season
Target – N/A
Best Buy – $29.99
Fry’s – $29.99
Amazon – $27.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE – The Complete First Season
Target – N/A
Best Buy – $34.99
Fry’s – $34.99
Amazon – $35.49

Robin Hood, the period actioneer that helped to kickstart the summer movie season, is now on DVD and Blu-ray. It was met with ho-hum approval in theaters (see my original review). And this is from the same team that gave us Gladiator a decade ago. I can recall when Universal acquired the script Nottingham, it was going to be a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, but from the point of view of the Sheriff of Nottingham. What sounded like an ingenious concept was dashed when director Scott was unhappy with the script. Filming was delayed so that it could be rewritten. Robin Hood would be an outlaw in the eyes of royalty and the Sheriff of Nottingham was almost written out entirely. (Yeah, Alan Rickman called and said he was going to cut your heart out with a spoon.) So when the film went from being a spin on the Robin Hood story to just a more traditional Robin Hood story, it suddenly became Gladiator but set in the 12th century. And the title is completely wrong for the film. This isn’t about a Robin Hood that robs from the rich and gives to the poor – the legend that everyone is familiar with – this is about Robin Longstride, the man who would become the legend. Well, nobody would go see a movie called Robin Longstride, however with a title like Robin Hood, I’m sure there were those who wanted to see his “adventures” and not a origin tale.

One of the hangups about the film in theaters was its length. Some found to film to be too long, and others found it to be too short. Similar to his Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott has produced a director’s cut of the film. However, Heaven was 45 minutes longer than its theatrical run time – and much superior; the director’s cut of Robin Hood is only 15 minutes longer. At least viewers are given the option on home video to see what is the better cut.

Robin Hood comes to DVD and Blu-ray in a couple of different options. There’s a single disc release that contains only the theatrical and director’s cut. A feature-laden two-disc release and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is also available.

Notable Extras: On DVD & BD – Deleted scenes, A three-part documentary on the making of Robin Hood; BD exclusive extras – Director’s notebook and The Art of Nottingham feature.

Target – N/A
Best Buy – $24.99
Fry’s – N/A
Amazon – $22.99

Target – $22.99
Best Buy – $25.99 – (Free $5 Cinemanow Gift Card with purchase)
Fry’s – $22.97
Amazon – $22.99

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

The Secret in Their Eyes [DVD / BD]
Spartacus: Blood and Sand – The Complete First Season [DVD / BD]
Modern Family: The Complete First Season [DVD / BD]
Human Target: The Complete First Season [DVD / BD]
The Experiment [DVD / BD]
The Secret of Moonacre [DVD / BD]
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue [DVD / BD]
Ondine [DVD / BD]
Stomp the Yard: Homecoming [DVD / BD]
How I Met Your Mother: Season Five [DVD]
Community: The Complete First Season [DVD]
Two and a Half Men: The Complete Seventh Season [DVD]
Castle: The Complete Second Season [DVD]
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Sixth Season [DVD]
30 Rock: Season 4 [DVD]
The Mentalist: The Complete Second Season [DVD]

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…

American Beauty (Sapphire Edition)
The Peacemaker
The Third Man
Kill Zone (Ultimate Edition)

Retailer Specials

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: Martin Scorsese Blu-ray Collection ($44.99) – The Departed, Goodfellas, The Aviator
Exclusive: Anchorman Blu-ray ($19.99)
Exclusive:The Score Blu-ray ($14.99), Deep Blue Sea Blu-ray ($14.99)
Exclusive: Wonderland Blu-ray ($7.99)
Save $5: On any Tinker Bell DVD or Nintendo DS game when you purchase Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue on DVD
$14.99 Blu-rays: Brooklyn’s Finest, The Crazies, Halloween II
$3.99 DVDs: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Silent Hill, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 8 Seconds, Swordfish

Exclusive: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue – Movie gift set with Blu-ray+DVD, jewelry box packaging, 5 rings and 5 hair clips ($26.99)
Exclusive: Robin Hood – Blu-ray Combo Pack with 30 minutes of bonus content
$14.99 Blu-rays: The Princess Bride, The Boondock Saints, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Heat
$10 DVDs: Monsters vs. Aliens, Mamma Mia!, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

3D Blu-rays: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($27.96), Monster House ($27.99)
$15 Blu-rays: 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, Solitary Man, The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth, Zombieland, Hatchet
$22.97 Blu-rays: Alice in Wonderland, Repo Men
$4.99 DVDs: Idiocracy, Fiddler on the Roof, Young Frankenstein, Grandma’s Boy, Death at a Funeral (2007), The Boondock Saints (original release), History of the World, Part I, Eddie and the Cruisers 1 & 2
Glee (Blu-ray) – $44.97
24 (Seasons 1-6) – $19.99 ea.
How I Met Your Mother (Seasons 1-4) – $17.99 ea.

The Ultimate Matrix Collection (BD) – Currently $58.99
Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 (BD) – Currently $45.99
X-Men Trilogy + X-Men Origins: Wolverine (BD) – $39.49 (Sale ends 09/25)
I Am Legend: Ultimate Collector’s Edition (BD) – Currently $24.99
Community: The Complete First Season (DVD) – Currently $17.99
Sunshine (BD) – Currently $11.49

Travis Leamons is one of the Inside Pulse Originals and currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Inside Pulse Movies. He's told that the position is his until he's dead or if "The Boss" can find somebody better. I expect the best and I give the best. Here's the beer. Here's the entertainment. Now have fun. That's an order!