Disc Deals and Steals of the Week: Alien Anthology, BTTF, and More!!!

Here 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.

If you watched Paranormal Activity 2 over the weekend and feel that you were duped, lucky for you then that one of the titles I’m spotlighting this week includes one of the best horror films of all time. It is also one of the most profitable film series not named Star Wars. Of course I’m talking about Alien which sees its debut on Blu-ray this week as part of the Alien Anthology box set. This is just an awesome set that builds on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set released in 2003. Some will probably wait for the eventual releases of Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens, since those are the two best in the series. But I have a feeling that the individual releases won’t include all the extras for those films, since their making-of docs are included on a different Blu-ray Disc entirely. So even if you aren’t a fan of Alien3 (David Fincher’s film-making debut) or Alien: Resurrection (from Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet), purists who want all the extras for the first two films may want to purchase the box set anyway.

The set is overflowing with so much supplemental material that a weekend alone with the phone off the hook wouldn’t be enough time to watch it all. If you already own the Quadrilogy set, then most of the extras will seem familiar. The making-of documentaries for all four films have been ported over (residing on the fifth disc), plus there’s over 60 hours of extras including over 12,000 images! Those that have been holding on to the old DVD release of Alien, because it had a solo commentary track by director Ridley Scott as well as an isolated musical score from Jerry Goldsmith not found on the two-disc special edition, well those extras have been included in this Blu-ray release as well.

Ever heard of “The Feminine Mystique”? Well this series is all about “The Feminine Bad-Ass.” Before Sarah Conner, Hit Girl and The Bride, there was Ellen Ripley. Sigourney Weaver’s portrayal of Ripley, especially her transformation from the first and second film, is why we can take her seriously as a heroine. When she yells, “Get away from her, you bitch!” you can tell that’s not the PMS talking. She means business. Plus in Aliens you also got Vasquez, who was G.I. Jane way before Demi Moore.

Notable Extras: New content includes original screen tests of Sigourney Weaver prior to filming the original Alien, unseen deleted scenes, and the previously unseen original cut of “Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien3,” and the “MU-TH-UR Mode,” an interactive feature enabling easy access to all content on the discs.

Target – N/A
Best Buy – $94.99
Fry’s – $89.99

Amazon – $89.99

I haven’t met a person that doesn’t like Back to the Future. Growing up, it was in heavy rotation on my VHS player, along with The Goonies, The Princess Bride and The Monster Squad. Robert Zemeckis’ time-traveling trilogy is the reason why I purposefully use the phrase, “That’s about as funny as a screen door on a submarine.” It’s also the reason why Seth MacFarlane has a job. In fact, if one were to analyze the entire run of Family Guy thus far, you could probably reconstruct the first film in its entirety. As a kid, this was the first time I heard the names John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Klein, or pop culture references to TV’s The Honeymooners and drinks like Tab. After Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which I find to be Zemeckis’ best work as a filmmaker, Back to the Future is a probably his second-best effort behind the camera. That’s not to take anything away from Forrest Gump or Cast Away or even his computer-generated works, but as far as replayability they can’t compare to a flying DeLorean or a private detective trying to solve a murder involving cartoon characters.

Family Ties may have made Michael J. Fox a star on television, but it would his character Marty McFly that would define him. Much in the way that Matthew Broderick will always be Ferris Bueller or Mark Hamill will always be Luke Skywalker, Michael J. Fox will always be Marty McFly. The series also made Christopher Lloyd relevant again, two years after Taxi had its last customer. And of course, who could forget Crispin Glover, as Marty’s dad, George. An actor who I’ll always remember as the “Thin Man” in McG’s Charlie’s Angels, Crispin has a huge cult following and is always a topic of conversation whenever a comic-book movie is casting the latest villain.

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Back to the Future, Universal Pictures has produced a new box set for the trilogy. Five years ago the studio released the trilogy on DVD, but it didn’t quite do the film series justice. When writer/producer Bob Gale says the Blu-ray transfer is the best Back to the Future has looked, that should tell you something right there. But beyond the better quality in audio and video, film fans and snobs alike will enjoy the supplemental material included in this package. Universal has mega-sized the special features. We get all the features found on the original DVD trilogy release as well as “Back to the Future: The Ride” (that was found on a two-disc release of the first film), and plenty more.

Notable Extras: New six-part retrospective documentary, The Physics of Back to the Future featurette, the Nuclear Test Site Ending Storyboard Sequence (of the original proposed ending to BTTF), and BD exclusive extras like a Trivia Track and Storyboard Comparison.

Target – N/A
Best Buy – $29.99
Fry’s – N/A
Amazon – $34.99

Target – $49.99
Best Buy – $47.99
Fry’s – $49.99
Amazon – $47.99

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

The Girl Who Played with Fire – [DVD / BD]
Sex and the City 2 – [DVD / BD]
Winter’s Bone – [DVD / BD]
Paths of Glory: Criterion Collection – [DVD / BD]
House: Criterion Collection – [DVD / BD]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Two – [DVD / BD]
You Don’t Know Jack – [DVD]
WWE – Smackdown: The Best of 2009-2010 – [DVD]

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…

Santa Claus: The Movie
The Legend of the Black Scorpion
Slings and Arrows: The Complete Series
How the Earth Was Made: Complete Season 1
Earth & Space
World War II: 360

Retailer Specials

Shrek: The Whole Story
(BD) – $44.99 (Pre-Order, available 12/07/10)
The Godfather Collection (BD) – $44.99
Die Hard Collection (BD) – $29.99
Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge! (BD) – $18.49 ea. (Buy both and save $6)
Army of Darkness: Screwhead Edition – $13.49
Do the Right Thing (BD) – $10.49

New Releases (available: 10/26/10)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (DVD, $16.99 – BD, $19.99)
Sex and the City 2 (DVD, $17.99 – BD, $25.99)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Two (DVD, $32.99 – BD, $44.99)
The Venture Bros. (Season 4, Volume 1 – DVD) $17.99

$19.99 BDs: Splice, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Jonah Hex, Lost Boys: The Thirst

$12.99 BDs: The Wolfman, Paranormal Activity, Final Destination, The Unborn, The Strangers, Friday the 13th (2009), Daybreakers, The Stepfather (2009), Drag Me to Hell, Halloween II (2009)

$9.99 BDs: Orphan, Hostel, Saw VI, 30 Days of Night

$6.99 DVDs: Hocus Pocus, Daybreakers, The Unborn, The Stepfather (2010), Drag Me to Hell, A Perfect Getaway, Halloween II (2009),

$4.99 DVDs: Children of the Corn, 30 Days of Night, The Hills Have Eyes (Unrated, 2006), Saw VI, Orphan

Exclusive: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD release of Sex and the City 2. 50 Minutes of bonus content, including exclusive featurette and deluxe packaging.

New Releases (available: 10/26/10)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (DVD, $15.99 – BD, $19.99)
Sex and the City 2 (DVD, $16.99 – BD, $24.99)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Two (DVD, $32.99 – BD, $42.99)

Pandorum (DVD or BD) – $7.50
The Crazies (2010) – (DVD, $10 – BD, $13)
Predators – (DVD, $17.99 – BD, $24.99)*
Mirrors 2 – (DVD, $14.99 – BD, $19.99)*

*Buy both and save an extra $5

New Releases (available: 10/26/10)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (BD, $19.99)

$14.99 BD Two-Packs: Hancock/Ghost Rider, The Other Boleyn Girl/Across the Universe, The Water Horse/Surf’s Up, La Femme Nikita/Run Lola Run, Hitch/Jerry Maguire, Kung Fu Hustle/The One, Made of Honor/The Jane Austen Book Club, Groundhog Day/So I Married an Axe Murderer

House (Season 6, DVD) – $35.99
The Office (Season 6, DVD) – $29.99
The Hangover: Extreme Edition (BD) – $29.99
Parenthood (Season 1, DVD) – $24.99
The Karate Kid (BD, $19.97 – DVD, $16.97)
Ip Man (BD) – $13.99

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