Hot Tips and Top Picks: DVDs and Blu-rays for November 1

New Releases:

Cars 2” (Disney) is the first Pixar feature directed by founder and chief creative officer John Lasseter since the original 2006 “Cars.” Overbusy but energetic, colorful and jammed with gags, the globetrotting race drama turned spy conspiracy puts Mater in the lead this time, the hick tow truck mistaken for a brilliant secret agent. The DVD and Blu-ray also include new Pixar shorts. Videodrone’s review here.

Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore star in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (Warner) a romantic comedy for grown-ups (reviewed on Videodrone here), and Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson star in the depression-era romantic drama “Water for Elephants” (Fox), based on the bestselling novel. Review and exclusive clip from the DVD/Blu-ray on Videodrone here.

Trespass” (Millennium), the home invasion thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, arrives on home video a mere 2 ½ weeks after opening in theaters (and pretty disappearing from site immediately). “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” (Fox), based on the novel by Lisa See, lasted longer in theaters but didn’t get much better reviews.

Tabloid” (IFC), the latest documentary from Errol Morris, supports the case that truth is stranger than fiction with this story of love, obsession and delusion that made tabloid headlines in the seventies. Other new documentaries this week include “Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for Kool Place” (Magnolia) and “Hot Coffee” (Docurama), which takes a fresh look at a notorious lawsuit that had for years been ridiculed.

Plus: Jessica Alba in “An Invisible Sign” (MPI) and Elle Fanning in “The Nutcracker: The Untold Story” (Universal), which was released to theaters in 3D last year.

Browse the complete New Release Rack here

TV on DVD:

His Way” (HBO) Douglas McGrath’s affectionate profile of Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub and his five-decade career, is not so much biography as a celebration of a way of life and kind of show business culture that thrived in the sixties. Videodrone’s review is here.

Brideshead Revisited: 30th Anniversary Collection” (Acorn) features a new HD edition of the classic 1981 BBC miniseries plus new commentary tracks for this edition. Videodrone revisits the show here.

The bad behavior continues on “Californication: The Fourth Season” (Paramount), the cable series starring David Duchovny as the least admirable father figure on TV, and the sixties classic “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father: The Complete First Season” (Warner Archive) arrives exclusively from the Warner Archive collection.

Flip through the TV on DVD Channel Guide here

Cool, Classic and Cult:

Pearl Jam Twenty” (Columbia), Cameron Crowe’s portrait of the Seattle band, had a limited release and a PBS screening before arriving on DVD, which includes bonus footage.

Identification of a Woman” (Criterion), Michelangelo Antonionni’s 1982 Italian feature, is arguably the final masterpiece from the master filmmaker. Betrand Blier’s “Going Places” (Kino Classics) made stars of Gerard Depardieu and Miou-Miou. Both reviewed on Videodrone here.

The Essential Daffy Duck” (Warner) collects the best of the Daffy classic cartoons along with revivals and TV specials.

All of the Cool, Classic and Cult here

Blu-ray Debuts:

The original “Phantom of the Opera” (Image), starring Lon Chaney in his most iconic role, is still considered the definitive version of the classic novel, thanks to Chaney’s committed performance and the magnificent sets and scale. It arrives on Blu-ray in multiple editions the day after Halloween. Videodrone’s review is here.

And shifting holidays, Bill Murray is “Scrooged” (Paramount) in the screwball take on the Dickens classic, learning the true spirit of Christmas from a screwy trio of Christmas spirits. Videodrone’s review is here.

Also new on Blu this week: “The Grateful Dead Movie” (Shout! Factory), the 1977 concert film co-directed by Jerry Garcia, the George Clooney-directed “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (Lionsgate) and “Cop Land” (Lionsgate) with Sylvester Stallone and Harvey Keitel.

Peruse all the new Blu-rays here

Continue reading on Videodrone

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website ( I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View ( I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly,, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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