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Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo' The Highlight Of New Blu-ray Releases


After taking home a bit of Oscar gold, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" hits Blu-ray and DVD this week looking to continue its momentum from a strong overall box office run. Outside of "Hugo," the release schedule is fairly light this week, though family audiences might turn to "Johnny English Reborn" for the latest spy movie spoof from British comedian Rowan Atkinson. Those looking for something a little off the beaten path can also check out acclaimed Mexican film "Miss Bala," which takes a scathing look at corruption and organized crime south of the border.

Though Martin Scorsese turning to 3D filmmaking at first seemed terrifying, leave it to him to crank out a movie like "Hugo," a loving homage to filmmaking pioneers that gathered nearly universal critical acclaim. Even if Scorsese lost out to "The Artist" in the major categories at the recent Oscars, "Hugo" still grabbed a bevy of well-deserving technical awards for its dazzling recreation of a timeless Paris.

With a PG rating and family-friendly story, "Hugo" should also end up being a big hit in the home market, where audiences won't have to pay inflated 3D prices. Though this will somewhat deplete the visual experience, larger families will at least get a chance to see "Hugo" without having to spend upwards of $100 or more to see it in 3D at the multiplex.

After trying his hand at making family films, Scorsese will now turn back to his roots for his next project "Silence," a historical drama about 17th century Christian missionaries in Japan. For Scorsese, "Silence" will be the first time he's tackled such material since he made "The Last Temptation of Christ," one of the most acclaimed and controversial movies of the 1980s. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro, "Silence" isn't expected to hit theaters until 2013, but you can expect the Oscar voters to be paying attention when it does.

Despite being very different material, comedy "Johnny English Reborn" will have some audience overlap with "Hugo" as it looks to scoop up family audiences. Though Rowan Atkinson's brand of humor has mostly failed to catch on in the United States, international audiences love his clueless spy Johnny English, helping making "Reborn" one of the biggest comedy hits of 2011. Even if U.S. audiences bailed completely, "Reborn" still made more worldwide than films like "Happy Feet 2," "The Muppets" and "Tower Heist."

While "Johnny English Reborn" promises some goofy, clean fun, those looking for a more intense movie experience can turn to searing drama "Miss Bala." Based loosely on a real incident from only a few years ago, "Miss Bala" follows the story of a beauty queen hopeful who gets swept up in the violent lives of a Mexican gang. "Miss Bala" was the official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Picture from Mexico, though it didn't actually make the final list and earn a nomination. Still, "Miss Bala" was a critical hit as soon as it screened at Cannes, making it a good target for the more serious moviegoer.

Though there were few new titles available this week on DVD, the release schedule will pick back up starting next week with the release of "The Muppets," "Immortals" and remake "Footloose." Adam Sandler's comedy "Jack and Jill" will also hit stores next week coming off of a solid box office run. "Game of Thrones" fans will be able to check out a few different special edition Blu-ray sets of the first season next week as well, with the eagerly anticipated second season set to air on HBO at the beginning of April.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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