Blu-ray Highlights for 11/29/11 – Oh, Smurf It

We have quite an eclectic mix of movies coming out on Blu-ray this week. One of the big titles of the week stars an annoying singing gnome… and another stars the Smurfs. Ouch.

Here’s a look at the release slate, from now through Saturday:

Poor Justin Timberlake. 2011 was supposed to be the singer’s breakout year as a movie star. Sadly, his silly sci-fi dud ‘In Time’ was laughed off theater screens, and his romantic comedy ‘Friends with Benefits‘ was overshadowed by the year’s earlier “sex buddies” rom-com ‘No Strings Attached’, which had virtually the exact same plot. ‘Benefits’ received some fairly favorable reviews, at least. Luke thought it was pretty good, and the movie scored a respectable 71% aggregate rating according to Rotten Tomatoes. While this clearly wasn’t the sort of thing that many people felt a compelling need to see in theaters, it may be worth a rental on video.

Anne Hathaway had an even bigger disappointment this year with the romantic drama ‘One Day‘. This one flopped big time with both critics and audiences. I don’t foresee a lot of interest in this, even as a rental. Your mileage may vary.

Speaking of movies that underperformed, the caper comedy ‘30 Minutes or Less‘ failed to deliver the box office bucks expected of it. The movie reunites the director and the star of ‘Zombieland’, which perks my interest. But it also co-stars the gratingly unfunny Danny McBride, which puts me off it right away.

If you can believe it, the only movie arriving this week that was actually a box office hit in theaters is ‘The Smurfs‘, which somehow pulled in over $550 million worldwide. This makes me a little sad for humanity. Sony offers up the movie on Friday in your choice of 2D or 3D Blu-ray options. Don’t your children deserve better than this?

Things look a little more interesting on the indie front, where we have the existential sci-fi drama ‘Another Earth‘, the quirky comedy ‘Our Idiot Brother‘, and Werner Herzog’s fascinating documentary ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams‘. The latter is one of the few films to use 3D in an artistically meaningful way.

Finally, the goofy horror comedy ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil‘ was practically abandoned by its distributor, despite great reviews and a lot of buzz on the festival circuit. It’s expected to become a cult item on video. You can find out for yourself by entering our contest to win a copy.


  1. Drew

    ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ and ‘Another Earth’ for me.

    If someone tells me that ‘The Smurfs’ will make a good babysitter, I’ll probably pick that up too.

    ‘Friends with Benefits’ is infinitely better than ‘No Strings’. I’ll be picking it up on Friday.

      • Drew

        HAHA! Yes! Lot’s of nudity for my little boy. Very appropriate.

        I guess ‘The Smufs’ must not be a very good babysitter.

        I haven’t heard anybody tell me that it would make for one.

        How did a movie that didn’t even make adults want to take their kids to it, and certainly didn’t make adults want to see it themselves, make over $500 million worldwide?!?

        • JM

          ‘The Smurfs’ made $560M worldwide, but only $140M in the US.

          This proves the theory of American exceptionalism.

          All your babies are belong to us.

  2. Barsoom Bob

    I can say a few words about “Another Earth” as I saw it in a special preview with the leading actress, director and a real science guy in a discusion/Q & A. It is not really a science fiction film, that is just the framing device, it is a touching story of guilt, redemption and second chances. A little confusing in the first 10 minutes but then settles in to tell it’s tale. Has a terrific atmospheric score by Fall on Your Sword.

    Saw this at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria which is just ten minutes out of Manhattan on the subway. This place is just terrific if you love films and film making. If you are ever in NYC, check this place out, it is the most fun you can have for $10 in NYC.

  3. Random Commenter

    Nothing very interesting this week for me other than Another Earth. It’s a blind-buy, though, so I will wait for a better price. I hear it was shot on a 720p camera, so the video is going to be meh.