DVD & Blu-ray

The Best DVD and Blu-ray Releases of 2010

Here are my picks of the DVD and Blu-ray released in 2010, which include Dr. Strangelove, Pierrot Le Fou, The White Ribbon, Dr. Zhivago, The Last Emperor, A Prophet, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Psycho, The Third Man, Se7en, The Exorcist, Carlos and Inception.

Just click on the film title to read the original reviews and the links on the side to buy them.














N.B. As I’m based in the UK, all of these DVDs are UK titles (apart from the imports) but if you live in a different region of the world check out or your local Amazon site and they should have an equivalent version of the film.

> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
> Browse all the cinema releases of 2010
> The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009

DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 11th October 2010


The Exorcist (Warner Bros.): The classic 1973 horror about a young girl (Linda Blair) possessed by an evil spirit and the priests (Jason Miller and Max von Sydow) who try to exorcise the demon, at the request of her distraught mother (Ellen Burstyn).

Directed by William Friedkin, the new Blu-ray features the remastered Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut along with various featurettes and audio commentaries. [Read the full review here]

> The Exorcist at the IMDb
> Buy The Exorcist on Blu-ray from Amazon UK

The Evil Dead (18): Sam Raimi’s 1981 low budget horror debut is about a group of college kids who make an ill-fated trip to a remote mountain cabin where all hell breaks loose.

Controversial its day, the film still has a demented, raw energy and this Blu-ray features plenty of supplementary material and a brand new audio commentary from director Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell and producer Robert Tapert. [Read the full review here]

> The Evil Dead at the IMDb
> Buy The Evil Dead on Blu-ray from Amazon UK


30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Ben 10: Alien Swarm (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / with Digital Copy]
Bend It Like Beckham (Lionsgate UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Carlito’s Way (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
David Attenborough: Planet Earth – The Complete Series (2 Entertain) [Blu-ray / Special Edition Box Set]
Devil’s Playground (E1 Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Dollhouse: Complete Seasons 1 and 2 (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Box Set]
Goodnight Mister Tom (ITV DVD) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Hunt to Kill (Anchor Bay Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Jane Austen Collection (ITV DVD) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Lost in Space (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-6 (Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Special Edition Box Set]
MacGruber (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Monster House (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / 3D Edition]
Night of the Demons (Kaleidoscope Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Ong-Bak: 3 (Optimum Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Rush Hour (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Sharpe: Classic Collection (ITV DVD) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Losers (Optimum Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Rolling Stones: Ladies and Gentlemen – The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (Fabulous Films) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Take (ITV DVD) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Ultimate Gangster Collection (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Box Set]
Veer (Eros International) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Wild Target (EV) [Blu-ray / Normal]

> The Best DVD and Blu-rays of 2009
> UK Cinema Releases for Friday 8th October 2010 including Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray: The Exorcist

William Friedkin’s classic 1973 film finally gets the Blu-ray treatment from Warner Bros with a disc filled with features.

One of the truly great films of the 1970s, it was adapted by William Peter Blatty from his bestselling novel about a young girl (Linda Blair) in Washington D.C. possessed by an evil spirit.

When her distraught mother (Ellen Burstyn) can find no answers from the medical profession, she turns to a local catholic priest (Jason Miller) and an ageing exorcist (Max Von Sydow).

A box office sensation at the time, it scored several Oscar nominations and became something of a pop-culture phenomenon.

In the UK it has a special aura, as Warner Bros decided to stop releasing it on home video after the ‘video nasties’ scare of the mid-1980s and it only got a re-issued years later in 1999.

A further special edition followed in 2000, with 11 minutes of extra footage trimmed from the original theatrical release.

The film is a victim of its own success, as some modern audiences find certain effects (notably the pea soup vomit) dated and that it doesn’t quite live up to its considerable reputation.

However, The Exorcist is much more than just a horror film. A disturbing drama about the breakdown of a family, the loss of faith and the presence of evil, it taps in to deep, universal fears which even the very best horrors don’t even touch.

Coming off the Oscar winning success of The French Connection, Friedkin was at his creative peak and the realistic approach to the material made for a visceral and riveting experience.

The lead performances are uniformly excellent: Burstyn embodies parental anguish; Blair is remarkable as the possessed youngster; Miller gives a quiet dignity to a priest haunted by guilt; and Van Sydow has tremendous presence in the title role.

For the Blu-ray, Warner Bros have included both versions in a two disc set.

I prefer the original theatrical cut, which feels tighter and more polished, but the additional sequences are interesting to compare.

The image quality of the transfer is excellent and certain scenes looks stunning for a film that is thirty-seven years old.

Friedkin attracted some serious criticism for the Blu-ray of The French Connection, where he altered the colour of the film, even prompting cinematographer Owen Roizman to label it as ‘atrocious’.

Here they seem to have made up and in the liner notes Friedkin states that this Blu-ray was:

”color-timed by the cinematographer Owen Roizman and myself and represents the very best print ever made of ‘The Exorcist”.

Certain sequences have a pristine clarity to them and it is a great showcase for Roizman’s cinematography, which is filled with memorable compositions and images.

Warner Bros Home Entertainment has been forging a reputation as the best studio when it comes to re-releasing classic films and the extras on this disc are plentiful.

It includes all the material from previous DVD versions, such as the audio commentaries and 1998 documentary The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist.

The most notable addition is the a 3-part documentary on the film’s production and legacy, featuring on-set footage shot by Owen Roizman, along with as ‘personal message statement’ from Friedkin and a 40-page digi-book with photos and essays.

The full list of extras breaks down like this:

Disc 1: – Extended Director’s Cut (2000) plus Special Features

  • Commentary by William Friedkin
  • Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist – set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now – Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist – with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Trailers, TV spots & radio spots from the film’s 2000 release

Disc 2 – Theatrical Cut (1973) plus Special Features

  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • Commentaries: William Friedkin / William Peter Blatty with Special Sound Effects Tests
  • The Fear of God: 25 Years of The Exorcist [1998 BBC documentary]
  • Additional interviews with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty
  • The Original Cut
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • The Final Reckoning
  • Original ending
  • Sketches & storyboards
  • Trailers & TV spots from the 1973 version

The Exorcist is out on Blu-ray from Warner Bros Home Entertainment on Monday 11th October

> The Exorcist at the IMDb
> Buy The Exorcist on Blu-ray from Amazon UK


Variety Exorcist Fail

Variety Exorcist Fail

Industry bible Variety has a new feature on films that have caused religious controversy.

But why are they listing The Exorcist as a 1979 film? 

General knowledge or even a quick IMDb check shows that it came out in 1973. 

Has someone been possessed over at their offices on Wilshire Blvd

Or perhaps their fact checking is no longer boffo since Peter Bart ankled upstairs?

Speaking of the classic horror film, there is now some unlikely merchandise available:

Exorcist merchandise

It can be bought here.

> The Exorcist at IMDb
> More on the book at Wikipedia 
> Official Warner Bros site for the film

Interesting The Daily Video

The Daily Video: The Exorcist reunion from 1984

This Good Morning America interview from 1984 reunites Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller and writer William Peter Blatty for a discussion of The Exorcist, which had been released 10 years before this aired.

> The Exorcist at the IMDb
> Find out more about the film at Wikipedia
> Captain Howdy – Exorcist fansite