In an eclectic week for new DVD and Blu-ray releases, action-thriller "Safe" and romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" should be the top new titles to hit the home market as we move into a packed September release schedule. Also hitting stores this week will be "Piranha 3DD" and the latest seasons of TV shows "The Office" and HBO's "Bored to Death." Other titles getting new Blu-ray releases include Vittorio De Sica's classic "Umberto D" and Buster Keaton's silent comedy "The Navigator."
Hitting theaters in late April, R-rated "Safe" was mostly lost in the shuffle with a bevy of other movies getting launched just before the big summer releases. Backed by some mild critical support, "Safe" is a full-throttle action-thriller that tells the story of a young girl being pursued by the shadowy underworld of New York City. Also caught up in the mix is a talented ex-cage fighter (Jason Statham), who must brave the seedy criminal element to protect the innocent girl and her valuable secrets.
Even with Jason Statham's popularity in the action genre, "Safe" had a hard time competing with adult-geared films like "The Raven" and "The Cabin in the Woods," leading to a disappointing $17 million domestic intake for distributor Lionsgate. Though "The Five-Year Engagement" is also competing for adult audiences, "Safe" should be able to find more action fans than it did in theaters over the next few weeks.
Also getting its theatrical release at the end of April was "The Five-Year Engagement," an R-rated romantic comedy following in the footsteps of smash hit "Bridesmaids." But even with some positive critical buzz and popular stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, "The Five-Year Engagement" struggled to catch on with its intended audience and finished with a disappointing box office run.
In typical high-concept fashion, "The Five-Year Engagement" follows the tale of a couple struggling with taking the wedding plunge after a long, up-and-down relationship. "The Five-Year Engagement" received a fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating of 63% from critics, which could help it as it moves into the home market this week.
Aiming for a somewhat different audience this week will be "Piranha 3DD," the follow-up to the somewhat successful "Piranha 3D" from 2010. While audiences turned up for "Piranha 3D," the intended demographic was much more skeptical about the critically panned sequel, leading to a minimal theatrical release of just 86 total domestic venues at its widest point. "Piranha 3DD" at least doesn't have to compete with the blockbusters of June, as it did in theaters, but it's unlikely it will have much of an impact on DVD and Blu-ray either.
Offering a much different experience for movie lovers this week will be a couple of classics hitting the hi-def of Blu-ray in special edition sets. Though director Vittorio De Sica is mostly known for universally acclaimed masterpiece "Bicycle Thieves" (formerly mistranslated as "The Bicycle Thief"), his "Umberto D" was heralded as one of the best Italian films of the 1950s. Sticking with De Sica's themes of poverty in a devastated post-WWII Italy, "Umberto D" tells the story of an unlucky government worker on the brink of losing his home.
Film buffs might also turn to a new special edition Blu-ray set of "The Navigator," one of silent comic Buster Keaton's most noteworthy films. Released in 1924, "The Navigator" was noted for having some of the most daring stunts in cinematic history and would end up as Keaton's most commercially successful film, helping make him one of the most popular entertainers of the silent era.
As film buffs check out "Umberto D" and "The Navigator," TV fans can also find the latest seasons of shows like "The Office" and "Bored to Death." The eighth season of "The Office" lost a little steam due to the departure of star Steve Carell, though it remains one of the most successful comedies on network television. Also hitting stores this week will be the third and final season of HBO's "Bored to Death," which stars Jason Schwartzman as a neurotic freelance private eye getting caught up in a series of misadventures. Co-starring Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, "Bored to Death" had a niche fan following but was canceled after it failed to catch on with mainstream audiences.
Next week, a new special edition 3D Blu-ray set of James Cameron's Oscar-winner "Titanic" will reach stores alongside "Snow White and the Huntsman" and the latest season of Starz' popular series "Spartacus." Other prominent September releases later in the month include the highly anticipated Blu-ray set of the "Indiana Jones" series and smash hit "The Avengers."
by RTT Staff Writer
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