PICKS OF THE WEEK: 300 and HOT FUZZ
"300" (Warner Bros.)
Fanboy expectations were high for "Dawn of the Dead" director Zack Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "300," but the film's massive box office success still took Hollywood by surprise. The visuals are dazzling, the talented Gerard Butler has a great star-making role at last and the story is...well, the visuals are dazzling.
Expect that to be more than enough to make "300" one of the most popular DVDs of the year. The question for most fans will be which format to pick up: the single-disc standard DVD or a bonus-features-heavy two-disc special edition. The latter contains an audio commentary from Snyder, deleted scenes, a mini-documentary on the real life battle that inspired the story and multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes. It's probably the best bet for serious Spartan lovers. (Of course the film is also available on HD-DVD and Blu-ray for those who prefer their bloody battle scenes in high definition.)
If you want a little more wit with your action this week also sees the DVD release of "Hot Fuzz," a smart, funny and exciting action comedy from the team behind cult favorite "Shaun of the Dead" (which, not coincidentally, also makes its HD-DVD debut this week). Tackling numerous buddy cop movie clichés head on, the movie breaths new life into a stale genre. It's also one of the prime examples of why 2007 has been such a strong year for comedies. The DVD features a commentary with director Edgar Wright and star Simon Pegg, a featurette on the film's American press tour and a few other fun bonuses. One word of warning for fans: the U.K. DVD release contained substantially more bonus features, which may find their way to a future DVD release stateside.
"Hot Fuzz" is also available on HD-DVD.
"Hot Fuzz" (Rogue)
"The Darwin Awards"
"Everything's Gone Green (Unrated)"
"Roving Mars" (IMAX)
"Starter for 10"
"Whole New Thing"
Older titles and special editions:
"20 Million Miles to Earth (50th Anniv. Edition)"
"Kung Fu Hustle (Axe-Kickin' Edition)"
TV on DVD:
"The Archie Show - Complete Series"
"Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales"
"Dallas - Season 7"
"Hawaii Five-O - Season 2"
"History Channel: Last Stand of the 300 - The Legendary Battle at Thermopylae"
"John Wayne's Tribute to America"
"Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)"
"Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater"
"Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Vol. 1"
"Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Season 2"
"Blue Planet" (IMAX) (Blu-ray and HD-DVD)
"Roving Mars" (Blu-ray)
"Sea of Love" (HD-DVD)
"Shooter" (Blu-ray and HD-DVD)