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'Immortals,' 'Game Of Thrones' Highlight New Blu-ray Releases This Week


Following in the footsteps of mega-hit "300," action-fantasy film "Immortals" will be looking to scoop up action audiences this week as it hits DVD and Blu-ray, which shouldn't be too hard after a very nice box office run. Other titles reaching stores this week include the recent remake "Footloose," director Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" and a Blu-ray edition of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Catch a Thief." "Jack and Jill" is another title getting launched this week after a fairly strong box office run for star Adam Sandler. HBO will also release the first season of its massively popular series "Game of Thrones" on Blu-ray as the pay-cable station gets set to air the highly anticipated second season.

With a similar visual scheme as "300," "Immortals" launched last November hoping to pack theaters with those looking for the type of fantasy action that made "300" one of the biggest hits of the previous decade. "Immortals" tells the story of Theseus (Henry Cavill), a human who teams with Zeus to save mankind against a vicious king out to destroy the world. Even though "Immortals" couldn't quite recapture the massive appeal of "300," it still ended up racking up more than $200 million worldwide, making it a solid commercial success for distributor Relativity.

For star Henry Cavill, previously known mostly as a standout in Showtime's "The Tudors" series, "Immortals" was his first wide exposure before he picks up the cape to play Superman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel," which hits theaters in the summer of 2013. After acclaimed but not widely seen films like "The Cell" and "The Fall," director Tarsem Singh found his first box office success with "Immortals" and he'll follow it up with "Mirror, Mirror," a new version of the Snow White tale that hits theaters at the end of March.

Also finding its audience fairly easily was comedy "Jack and Jill," starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino. Even though "Jack and Jill" was shredded by critics, it still ended up as an overall commercial success, racking up $142 million worldwide and confirming that Sandler remains as popular as ever. "Jack and Jill" is up for a plethora of Razzie Awards, the counterpoint to the Oscars that celebrates the worst movies of the year, but that probably won't dissuade Sandler fans from checking out "Jack and Jill" on DVD and Blu-ray over the next couple of weeks.

Aiming at a much different audience this week will be "The Skin I Live In," the latest from the director behind acclaimed films like "Volver," "All About My Mother" and "Bad Education." Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" follows the story of a gifted plastic surgeon (played by Antonio Banderas) who sets out to design a type of synthetic skin that will resist trauma and aging. Though not as respected as some of Almodovar's most popular films, "The Skin I Live In" still should have a niche art house audience to appeal to as it hits stores this week.

Another option for movie watchers this week is the remake of "Footloose," starring Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough. With a strong 70% freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes, "Footloose" was mostly applauded as a fun and whimsical trip down memory lane, though that only translated to "Footloose" being a minor success in theaters. But even though "Footloose" didn't completely catch on at the box office, it doesn't have much similar competition this week on DVD and Blu-ray, which should help it find its target demographic on the small screen.

As "Footloose" looks to appeal to music lovers of all ages, romantic drama "Like Crazy" hits stores hoping to find the same audience that made it an indie hit in 2011. "Like Crazy" follows the story of a British woman (Felicity Jones) who falls in love with an American man (Anton Yelchin), only to face complications when she outstays her traveling visa. Star Felicity Jones was showered with praise for her performance, leading to being awarded the Breakthrough Performer of 2011 by the National Board of Review, an honor she shared with Rooney Mara from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

Those looking for an older film to check out on Blu-ray this week might turn to Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief," a 1955 thriller starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Though not one of Hitchcock's most acclaimed films, "To Catch a Thief" still stands as one of his best collaborations with Grant and Kelly, two of the biggest stars of the 1950s.

Also hitting Blu-ray this week is a special edition set of HBO's "Game of Thrones," based on the popular fantasy book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin. "Game of Thrones" became somewhat of a phenomenon in 2011 during its highly acclaimed first season, which should translate to an enormous season two premiere on April 1st. For "Game of Thrones" fans that can't wait that long, HBO is launching season one in a variety of sets, including "House Targaryen" and "House Starks" editions loaded with extras.

Next week, Steven Spielberg's animated adventure "The Adventures of Tintin" will be among the top DVD releases, followed by Alexander Payne's Oscar winner "The Descendants." Satirical comedy "Young Adult," starring Charlize Theron, is another title hitting the home market next week alongside indie favorite "My Week with Marilyn" and Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia."

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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