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Oct 8, 2013

DVD / Blu-ray News: October 8, 2013: THE HANGOVER PART III, STAR WARS

Bradley Cooper Zach Galafianakis Ed Helms The Hangover Part III

New home video releases this week include: The Hangover Part III, Blu-ray releases of the six Star Wars films, Europa Report (2013), Much Ado About Nothing (2012), Hello Herman (2011), Zombie Hunter (2013), and The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition.

The Wolfpack comes back for thirds in The Hangover Part III. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) learn the crime lord Chow (Ken Joeng) they met on their trip to Las Vegas four years ago has stolen $21 million in gold bars from Marshall (John Goodman) and escaped from a high security Hong Kong prison. Marshall needs their help to track him down. Their friend Doug (Justin Bartha) is taken hostage leaving the Wolfpack no choice but to cooperate. Can they save their friend, recover the gold, and outsmart the gangsters in time? The release contains eight bonus features including outtakes, extended scenes, a mashup of the action sequences, a three minute reflection by Galafianakis, a five minute focus on Chow and Joeng, a funny six-minute series of audition tapes of famous faces seeking to replace Galafianakis, “The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts,” and “Pushing the Limits” an examination of the difficulties and rewards of filming with children and animals.

Star Wars fans will rejoice over the high-def release of the two trilogies as Blu-ray combo packs. Set one includes: Star Wars I: The Phantom MenaceStar Wars II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith and set two includes: Star Wars IV: A New HopeStar Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe, you undoubtedly already own the films in various formats (VHS, DVD, maybe even laser disc), but seeing it in all its 1080p glory is not to be missed.

Sci-fi adventure Europa Report chronicles an astronaut expedition to one of Jupiter’s moons gone awry. It is told like a documentary spliced together by the CEO of the company in response to a sixteen-month inquiry into the failed mission. The director utilizes “found footage” and cameras recording throughout the space craft to convey a voyeuristic sense to the audience. The “documentary” is primarily narrated by Dr. Samantha Unger, CEO of Europa Adventures; it becomes clear early on, the company is on a mission of its own to put its own spin on what went wrong and why. We learn early on a crew member has perished on a mission to explore unexplained heat signatures; the crew, who must endure tremendous physical and psychological stresses during their journey, eventually find much more than they bargained for beneath Europa’s mysterious icy layers.

Director Joss Wheadon puts a modern spin on a classic Shakespearean tale, Much Ado About Nothing. Leonato, the Governor of Messina, receives a visit from his old friend Don Pedro. Don Pedro brings along his officers Benedick and Claudio. The two men quickly take a shine to Leonato’s daughter Hero and his niece Beatrice. Fate conspires to keep the two couples apart with comedic results. Much Ado About Nothing is available as a DVD (Amazon $12.86) or a Blu-ray with DVD and UltraViolet Copy (Amazon $19.99).

Fans of AMC‘s smash zombie hit The Walking Dead will recognize Norman Reedus as a controversial journalist in Hello Herman (2011). Lax Morales (a clever play on words) is disturbed when Herman mails him video clips of Herman gunning down his peers at school. In all, Herman shot 39 students, two teachers, and a police officer in an effort to be featured on his idol’s show. The film explores violence in our society and how something like this could possibly occur through the desensitizing of our youth coupled with bullying and apathy.

Character actor Danny Trejo stars as Father Jesus, leader of a band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world haunted by flesh-eating zombies. Father Jesus encounters Hunter (Martin Copping), a lone survivor who drinks to forget and to give himself liquid courage to hunt down zombies in his classic car. Hunter and Father Jesus hit the road with their bedraggled group in a search for a secure location to set up camp. With the fourth season of The Walking Dead debuting this Sunday, Zombie Hunter will make a for nice mid-week viewing to stave off the cravings.

With Halloween just around the corner, it seems a fitting time to celebrate one of the most beloved horror films of all time. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment streets Georgetown University alum William Peter Blatty‘s The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition today. The Blu-ray combo includes the film’s theatrical version, the extended director’s cut, an excerpt from director William Friedkin’s book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir, and two featurettes: “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist” and “Talk of the Devil.” The work stars Linda Blair in the role that made her a household name, along with Jason MillerEllen Burstyn, and Max Von Sydow and earned ten Academy Award nominations (two wins) and seven Golden Globe nominations (winning four).

Other notable new releases include:

Bones: The Complete Eighth Season

The Purge

Monster High: 13 Wishes

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Deluxe Edition)

Robot Chicken: Season 6

Stuck in Love (2012)

Resolution (2013)

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (30th Anniversary Edition)

After Earth

American Horror Story: Asylum

The Last House on the Left (2009) (Blu-ray)

Chucky: The Complete Collection

Leave your thoughts on this week’s New Releases below in the comments section. For more DVD / Blu-ray news, videos, and information, visit our Blu-ray News Page and our DVD News Page. Become notified when a new news column is published by subscribing to us by Email, “follow” us on TwitterTumblr, or “like” on Facebook.