DVD Triage: Week of October 11

Some very good stuff out this week in nearly every category, from my favorite film of the year to classic Criterion to a chunk of very good TV shows on Instant Watch. There’s not a lot TOTAL out this week, but what’s there is fairly solid.

New Release Picks of the Week

The Tree of Life
Malick’s newest film is still sitting squarely as my favorite film of the year, and will likely be the first 2011 film I spring for on Blu-ray. Because it will look gorgeous on Blu-ray.
2011 USA. Director: Terrence Malick. Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain.
Amazon DVD/Blu-ray | Netflix

The Trip
A mostly-improvised road trip film with Coogan and Brydon playing loose versions of themselves, musing on the accents of Michael Caine, the foibles of an actor’s life, and the finery of English dining. A very funny if insubstantial film.
2010 UK. Director: Michael Winterbottom. Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon.
Amazon DVD | Netflix

Beautiful Boy
A rather unusual look at school shootings, taking place entirely AFTER the shooting and focusing on the shooter’s parents dealing with the aftermath. See Andrew’s review.
2010 USA. Director: Shawn Ku. Starring: Maria Bello, Michael Sheen.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

Green Lantern (2011 USA, dir Martin Campbell, stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Horrible Bosses (2011 USA, dir Seth Gordon, stars Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer (2011 USA, dir John Schultz, stars Heather Graham, Jordana Beatty; Blu-ray/Netflix)
The Princess of Montpensier (2010 France, dir Bertrand Tavernier, stars Mélanie Thierry; Netflix)
Terri (2011 USA, dir Azazel Jacobs, stars Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Zookeeper (2011 USA, dir Frank Coraci, stars Kevin James, Rosario Dawson; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Arena (2011 USA, dir Jonah Loop, stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kellan Lutz; Netflix)
Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010 USA, dir Michael Scott, stars Jewel Staite, Lauren Holly; Netflix)

Classic Picks of the Week

The Four Feathers: Criterion Collection
It’s been ages since I’ve seen this classic British adventure film, but its reputation precedes it, marking it as a premier example of British-in-India action.
1939 UK, dir Zoltan Korda, stars John Clements, Ralph Richardson.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

Casper the Friendly Ghost: The Complete Collection (1945 USA, dir Izzy Sparber, stars Cecil Roy)

Blu-Ray Picks of the Week

The Bad Seed
A classic of the “evil child” subgenre of horror, with a perfect American wife realizing her “perfect” daughter may be anything but. I haven’t seen this, but it’s actually on my list to watch this month if I can.
1956 USA. Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Starring: Patty McCormack, Nancy Kelly, Henry Jones.
Amazon Blu-ray | Amazon DVD

For whatever reason, a bunch of Christmas movies (mostly direct-to-DVD) are coming out this week, but this musical version of A Christmas Carol seems to be the most worthwhile. If you’re into getting your Christmas on REALLY early.
1970 USA. Director: Ronald Neame. Starring: Kenneth More, Albert Finney, Alec Guinness.
Amazon Blu-ray | Amazon DVD

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981 USA, dir Frank DeFelitta, stars Larry Drake, Charles Durning; DVD)
The Family Man (2000 USA, dir Brett Ratner, stars Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni; DVD)
Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989 USA, dir Uli Edel, stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stephan Lang; DVD)
Maniac Cop (1987 USA, dir William Lustig, stars Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins; DVD)

Television Picks of the Week

Doctor Who: The David Tennant Years
A box set of David Tennant’s three seasons on Doctor Who, a solid chunk of television for sure. Right now Amazon has it for just over $100, which is a significant savings on the individual seasons; at full price, it’s not much of a deal.
2007-2009 UK. Showrunner: Russell T. Davies. Starring: David Tennant, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate.
Amazon DVD | Netflix

Bones: Season 6
Who would’ve guessed that of all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alums, David Boreanaz would be the one to land on his feet career-wise? But that’s pretty much what happened, as forensic science procedural Bones remains one of the more entertaining shows on television.
2010 USA. Creator: Hart Hanson. Starring: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

Chuck: Season 4 (2010 USA, creator Josh Schwartz, stars Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Bonanza: Season 2, Vol. 2 (1960 USA, creator David Dortort, stars Michael Landon, Bill Clark; Netflix)
Gunsmoke: Season 5, Vol. 1 (1960 USA, stars James Arness, Milburn Stone; Netflix)

Instant Watch Picks of the Week

The Walking Dead
AMC’s take on the zombie survival comic book got varied reviews last year, but it definitely had enough interest to be worth catching up with on Instant.
2010 USA. Creator: Frank Darabont. Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Collins.

The Others
One of my favorite modern quiet horror films, with a unique and effective twist on the haunted house concept.
2001 USA. Director: Alejandro Amenabar. Starring: Nicole Kidman, Alakina Mann.

I wasn’t that big a fan of Happy-Go-Lucky, but I’m in the minority, as most people think very highly of Mike Leigh’s film and above all Sally Hawkins’ performance as the unendingly optimistic main character.
2008 UK. Director: Mike Leigh. Starring: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan.

The spinoff/prequel to Battlestar Galactica focuses on the creation of the Cylons and a virtual reality world that foreshadows the ethical concerns of BSG. It had promise, but meandered a bit much and got canceled.
2009 USA. Creator: Ronald D. Moore. Starring: Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales.

Torchwood: Miracle Day
The latest season of Torchwood moved to the United States (and to Starz!), and doesn’t really feel like Torchwood, but it does have its moments.
2011 USA. Creator: Russell T. Davies. Starring: John Barrowman, Eve Myles.

About Schmidt (2002 USA, dir Alexander Payne, stars Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis)
Downloading Nancy (2008 USA, dir Johan Renck, stars Maria Bello, Jason Patric)
The Last Exorcism (2010 USA, dir Daniel Stamm, stars Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell)
Lie to Me: Season 3 (2010 USA, creator Samuel Baum, stars Tim Roth, Kelli Williams)
The Mask (1994 USA, dir Charles Russell, stars Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz)
Mouth to Mouth (2005 Canada, dir Alison Murray, stars Ellen Page, Eric Thal)
Peter and Vandy (2008 USA, dir Jay DiPietro, stars Jason Ritter, Jess Weixler)
Reversal of Fortune (1990 USA, dir Barbet Schroeder, stars Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons)

See all new and upcoming titles.

Instant Watch Expiring Picks

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009 USA, dir Peter Cornwell, stars Virginia Madsen) [10/14]
Bad Boys (1983 USA, dir Rick Rosenthal, stars Sean Penn, Esai Morales) [10/24]
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010 USA, dir Brandon Vietti, stars Jensen Ackles) [10/25]
K-9 (1989 USA, dir Rod Daniel, stars James Belushi, Kevin Tighe) [10/25]
Montana Belle (1952 USA, dir Allan Dwan, stars Jane Russell, George Brent) [10/25]
Point of No Return (1993 USA, dir John Badham, stars Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne) [10/25]

See all expiring titles.


  • Amazon links use my affiliate account, and will kick a small percentage of your purchase back to me. You pay the same price you would anyway.
  • Not all new releases are available on Netflix immediately. Some studio films have a 30-day release window before Netflix can rent them, and some smaller releases are not picked up by Netflix immediately. Add them to your “saved” queue if you’re interested; that tells Netflix there is demand for the disc.
  • Not all new Blu-ray releases are available on Netflix – Netflix usually buys both DVD and Blu-ray editions of new releases, but if a DVD has already been released, they don’t always get the Blu-ray when it comes out later.
  • Instant Watch releases are not always 100% accurate – often the data from the API is not fully accurate until the actual day of release. I always check on release day to make sure things actually do hit Instant Watch, but for things that come out later than Tuesday when I publish this post, I won’t be able to tell.
  • Instant Watch expirations are not always 100% accurate – sometimes they don’t expire after all, sometimes things expire with little advance warning. I always check to make sure the data is accurate to the best of my knowledge when I publish the post, but things could still change, especially since I’m giving expiration warnings up to two weeks in advance.
  • I rely on Box Office Mojo and InstantWatcher for the majority of the data for these posts, so thank you to them for the work they do.