Zack Snyder announces a second Watchmen movie (kinda) and Sly Stallone announces his director’s cut of Rambo — so should you pick up the theatrical cut on DVD this week? Find out more inside.


Who Watches the Watchmen Spin-off DVD?

Zack Snyder will direct a Watchmen spinoff DVD film based on the meta-story Tales of the Black Freighter, which will hit shelves the week after the comic adaptation is released in theaters next March. The story within a story, which appears in the original Watchmen comics, was originally planned as a 300-esque live-action movie, but will be shot as a more cost-effective animated film. According to the New York Times, the DVD, set for stores five days after Watchmen hits theaters, will also feature a character-focused “documentary-style film” — and even Snyder knows the movie, spinoff, and resulting multiple releases means big bucks (“The überfans of this property are going to go crazy for that”).

Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs

Special features and artwork have been released for the second Futurama DVD movie, The Beast with a Billion Backs. The feature length movie picks up after the events of Bender’s Big Score, when an interplanetary alien declares Fry the new Pope and seeks Leela for his bride. Will intergalactic snu-snu ensue? Britney Murphy, David Cross, and Stephen Hawking provide guest vocals; expect TONS of great bonus features like commentary tracks, “A Brief History of Deathball,” and a sneak peek at the next Futurama film, Bender’s Game.

The name is Rambo. John Rambo.

Sylvester Stallone‘s Rambo— the fourth onscreen bloodbath starring his iconic titular character — is out on DVD this week. But before you count your pennies and head to the video store, be warned; he’s already planning a director’s cut. He said as much to Jay Leno, so it must be true. We say give Rambo a rental, but wait to buy Sly’s cut (entitled John Rambo) from which all the proceeds might go to the people of Burma.

 

 

Click for this week’s new releases!

Rambo


Tomatometer: 33%

Wherever there is a need for ass kicking, there he shall be. Twenty years after ousting the Soviets from Afghanistan in Rambo III (the Taliban thanks you, John Rambo!) Sly Stallone’s best-known character finds himself in Burma. When American missionaries get captured by the bloodthirsty Burmese Army, a reluctant Rambo leaves peaceful retirement behind and goes back to his old ways — now, with an even higher body count (3.2 per minute)!

Bonus Features:

As if watching Rambo rip throats out with his bare hands in slo-mo wasn’t its own bonus feature, the two-disc release boasts tons of featurettes on the music, weapons, and making of Rambo’s fourth onscreen adventure. Stallone’s commentary track and a feature that contextualizes the real life political climate of Burma make it a well-rounded release.

Grace Is Gone



Tomatometer: 58%

This Sundance drama is unlike the glut of Iraq war films we’ve seen in the past year; instead of a soldier’s story, we see the tragedy of a fallen soldier’s family back home, as told through the heartbreaking eyes of a new widower and father of two (John Cusack).

Bonus Features:

A few sobering featurettes on the film and what inspired it, along with a profile of TAPS, a Tragedy Assistance Program for survivors of loved ones in the Armed Forces, accompany the film.


Cassandra’s Dream


Tomatometer: 50%

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. First the middling Melinda and Melinda. Then the Oscar-nominated Match Point. The abysmal Scoop followed shortly thereafter, and now we again have another stop on Woody Allen‘s roller coaster ride of a career. Cassandra’s Dream, about two brothers caught up in a tragic quandary of morality and greed, is out on DVD this week — will it be a breath of fresh air or strangely familiar territory from the man who keeps remaking his own Crimes and Misdemeanors?

Bonus Features:

No DVD extras? We’ll take that as an admission of mediocrity and cross our fingers for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.


The Walker

Tomatometer: 51%

Paul Schrader completes the “lonely man” trilogy he began with American Gigolo and Light Sleeper with this tale of a Washington, D.C. society escort (Woody Harrelson) embroiled in a murder scandal. Though the film came and went quickly in theaters, now may be a better chance for the character study/thriller to find an audience on DVD.

Bonus Features:

Well, you’re not going to buy this for the extras. Unless a single featurette and trailer floats your boat, the film alone is the main attraction on this release.


Phenomena

Tomatometer: 80%

Dario Argento fans have a lot to be excited about this week; in addition to a special edition of his horror classic Tenebre and a five-disc box set, Anchor Bay is releasing a special edition of Phenomena (also known as Creepers), Argento’s 1985 horror-thriller starring a young Jennifer Connelly as a bug-whispering schoolgirl on the hunt for a killer.

Bonus Features:

Feast your eyes on a commentary by Argento and his crewmembers, music videos by Bill Wyman and Claudio Simonetti, and more.


Come Drink With Me

Tomatometer: N/A

Also great for retro fans this week are all-new releases of a few of the most classic kung fu titles of all time. In addition to releasing Gordon Liu‘s Heroes of the East (AKA Shaolin Challenges Ninja), Dragon Dynasty bestows upon us the wonderment that is the digitally restored Come Drink With Me, the seminal 1966 Wuxia film starring Cheng Pei-pei as a lethal, cross-dressing heroine named Golden Swallow.

Bonus Features:

Interviews with stars Cheng and Man Yueh Hua, a commentary track with Cheng and scholar Bey Logan, featurettes and theatrical trailers make this a must-see for any fan of Shaw Brothers-era kung fu. Behold, the trailer:


‘Til next week, happy viewing!

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