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DVD / Blu-ray New Releases: September 3, 2013: BLANCANIEVES, SHARKNADO

Morgan Freeman Now You See Me

Summit Entertainment is set to release the magical caper Now You See Me (2013) on DVD and Blu-ray today. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco play street musicians recruited and trained by a mysterious manager (Morgan Freeman) to join a show backed by a wealthy benefactor (Michael Caine). Their act is polished into a popular Vegas Strip-styled show reported to dump untold millions in cash upon the audience through Robin Hood-style magic. Their Robin Hood antics quickly attract the attention of  an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and a beautiful Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent) who trail them from one tour date to another in the hopes of catching them in the act—or at the very least catching them.

Extras include Audio Commentary with Producer Bobby Cohen and Director Louis Lettelier, Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scenes, A Brief History of Magic, and Now You See Me Revealed (interviews with cast and crew). The Blu-ray (SRP $39.99) contains both the theatrical version and the extended version of the film while the DVD (SRP $29.95) contains only the theatrical version and no extras.

A little black and white silent film called The Artist took the 2012 Academy Awards by storm. Director Pablo Berger had a similar concept with his black and white silent reimagining of Snow White, Blancanieves. The film opens with a very pregnant Carmen watching her champion toreador husband Antonio attempt to dispatch a series of bulls, when he is horrifically gored. At almost the same instant, she goes into labor. Carmen dies in childbirth while Antonio is left a quadriplegic widower. Unable to care for his infant daughter in his physical state and insurmountable grief, he leaves her with her grandmother.

Blancanieves has all the stock fairy tale elements—evil stepmother, child abuse and neglect, and a merry band of dwarves—while also melding magical motifs driven by an evocative and delightful score by Alfonso de Villalongo. The Blu-ray (SRP $44.98) comes with extras, including a Making of featurette, Trailer, Director’s Presentation, Preparing the Shoot, and Blancanieves in Concert; the DVD has a SRP of $29.98.

Asylum Home Entertainment’s sleeper hit Sharknado storms the shelves today. The movie, which was made for cable’s SyFy channel, has become somewhat of a pop cultural sensation with its improbable plot and ready-for-twitter-hashtag title. As the title would suggest (or maybe not…), in Sharknado, a hurricane sucks up a mixed school of sharks and drops them implausibly in the middle of a flooded Los Angeles. Sharks swim through the city and fly through the air ready to rip the typically jaded Los Angeleans to beautiful shreds. The project has become a cult hit for its continuity errors, thin, ridiculous plot, and terrible acting, so stay tuned for the inevitable sequel. The Blu-ray retails for $19.93.

Millennium Media brings Ariel Vromen’s dark drama The Iceman (2013) to home video today. The biopic follows the career of mob assassin Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) as he goes from porn producer to cold-blooded killer all while maintaining the façade of a devoted family man employed by Disney. Ray Liotta continues his impressive trail of mob roles as Kuklinski’s boss, while Winona Ryder makes a comeback of sorts as Kuklinski’s trusting wife. With only a one dollar difference between the SRPs of the Blu-ray and DVD, it is worth it to spring for the Blu-ray of this film, even with few extras.

Dwayne Johnson continues his impressive run of the theaters and television this year with Lionsgate’s release of Empire State on DVD and Blu-ray today. Based upon a real story, the film fictionalizes the events surrounding the heist of $8 million in cash from an armored car company by employees of the firm. The movie stars Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth, Emma Roberts, Nikki Reid, and James Ransone. The Blu-ray (SRP $24.99) and DVD (SRP $19.98) are both single-disc offerings packaged with an UltraViolet digital download.

Other Notable New Releases Include:

The English Teacher

Arthur Newman

Slightly Single in L.A.

The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray)

The Fugitive (20th Anniversary Edition)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 8

Revolution: The Complete First Season

The Office: Season Nine (Digipak)

Person of Interest: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

Sinbad: The Complete First Season

Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete First Season

Haven: The Complete Third Season

Spartacus: War of the Damned

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

The Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania 3D Live in NYC (Blu-ray)

Fun Size

Creepshow 2

Idle Hands

Cockneys vs. Zombies

Mulan: Rise of a Warrior

Verdi: Requiem

Jon Lord: Concerto for Group and Orchestra

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Romney J. Baldwin

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