This Week in Blu-ray: I Try To Be A Serious Man

We are back on schedule this week with yet another awesome round of This Week in Blu-ray. Did you miss having it show up on Tuesday morning? Of course you did. This week looks like a great week to catch up on a few winners that didn’t get very wide releases (Bronson, A Serious Man), as well as a great week to avoid absolute shit like The Stepfather and Couples Retreat. And as always, there are a few risks to be taken in the ‘rent’ category, including one movie from last year’s Sundance film festival that I happened to like. Overall, it shouldn’t be too expensive of a week, if you do the right thing and take my advice.

This week’s picks are below. Be sure to click over to Amazon and make purchases, as it helps feed my ever-growing addiction to multivitamins.



Perhaps one of the most intense cinematic experiences of the last year, Nicholas Winding Refn’s 70s-era tale of Britain’s most violent prisoner is as explosive as they come. The performance by Tom Hardy (RocknRolla) is jaw-dropping and the film is constantly 2-inches from the face of its audience. It is one of those brutally beautiful experiences that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. On Blu-ray, this release sports a decent assortment of extras, but nothing quite as mind-blowing as the film. However, there is a series of ‘Charles Bronson’ monologues, an audio recording of the real man set over production stills from the film. That’s 17-minutes of awesome right there. There are also interviews with Tom Hardy, Nicolas Winding Refn and Matt King, as well as three behind the scenes featurettes. Overall, its a solid buy that won’t make you regret shelling out a few dollars.

There are no Blu-ray exclusive extras listed for this title.

A Serious Man

I don’t care if the latest Coen Brothers movie doesn’t have a bunch of great Blu-ray exclusive crap on it. Once again, they’ve delivered a movie that is excellent, even if you don’t get all of the jokes. This one is about growing up in a Jewish household in the 1960s, something completely foreign to me. Yet it is still absolutely hilarious and unpredictable, and it strides along just as well as any previous Coen Bros. film. As well, the transfer on this disc is absolutely stunning. They do know how to make a good looking film. As for extras, there are a few behind the scenes featurettes, about 35 minutes worth. Not the greatest disc presentation, but one that gets the job done.

Blu-ray exclusive features include BD-Live.



When I reviewed this at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, I was charmed by this high school coming-of-age story starring the super cute Emmy Rossum and a few very talented young actors. It’s an honest story about sex, love and finding yourself that resonates well thanks to a balanced script from Davind Brind. Director David Salky shows a keen visual eye and a commitment to keeping it grounded, and the movie is in a sense, a sort of Glee-esque tale, sans song and dance. And a tad bit edgier. It has a few special features on it, including director/writer commentary and the original short film, and Emmy Rossum’s original audition. But nothing that is specific to the Blu-ray. It’s worth renting if you ask me. Which you did, so go rent this one.

There are no Blu-ray exclusive features listed for this title.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

This movie could have been much worse. That’s the bottom line. Making a movie about time travel is always a risky affair, but when it is done in a way that is relatively charming and focused on a half-decent relationship story, then you have something that is watchable. Not a bad option if you’re looking to spend an evening with a weepy lady, or something like that. The problem, of course, is the time travel elements of the movie — but that’s to be expected, I suppose. There’s an extra featurette that is only on the Blu-ray, and that’s not too bad. There is a relative dearth of special features overall, but the film is probably worth a rent. I say go for it, bring the lady and make her sob. Just be there to be her shoulder. See — dating tips, courtesy of This Week in Blu-ray.

Blu-ray exclusive features include one extra featurette.


The Stepfather

Here’s the problem. Painfully mediocre thrillers that fail to get the blood pumping and serve nothing more than a cheap way to put that kid from Gossip Girl on the big screen don’t make good disc releases. Even more so, when you only put movieIQ on the Blu-ray with some lame special features ported over from the DVD, you’re doing your film an even bigger disservice. According to Dr. Abaius’ review back in October, there’s nothing special about this movie. There’s even less special about this Blu-ray release. Skip it.

Blu-ray exclusive features include movieIQ.

Couples Retreat

Even worse than mediocre movies are downright bad movies. I cannot even begin to count how many ‘worst of 2009’ lists this star-studded vacation comedy was on, but I know the percentage of them that were correct. Sadly, this is one of the better extras collections in this week’s selection of films, complete with several featurettes — including one that goes behind the yoga scene. Behind the yoga scene people, with the dude in the Speedo. Come on people, that’s worth.. Alright, I give up. Avoid this movie like it killed your family.

There are no Blu-ray exclusive features listed for this title.

Also on Blu-ray this week:


Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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