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New Releases: 'Prometheus' is a stunning-looking B-movie

'E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,' 'A Cat in Paris,' '28 Hotel Rooms' on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD.

October 04, 2012|By Noel Murray
  • Elliot (Henry Thomas) and E.T. spend a memorable Halloween together in "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial."
Elliot (Henry Thomas) and E.T. spend a memorable Halloween together in… (Universal Pictures )

Prometheus

20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99/$49.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 11

The dopiest and most awe-inspiring blockbuster of this past summer, director Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is both a prequel to and remake of Scott's sci-fi/horror classic "Alien," following a new group of space explorers as they encounter a malevolent force threatening all humankind. Noomi Rapace plays a scientist who thinks she's discovered the planet where all life began, and travels there with a crew more interested in getting paid than finding "God." What happens next is largely nonsense, but the movie nevertheless has a fun '50s B-movie vibe, and features a great performance by Michael Fassbender as a sometimes-too-helpful android. Plus, the film's visions of alien worlds and creatures are stunning — some of the best in sci-fi movie history. The DVD and Blu-ray goes in-depth on how those images came to be, via a Scott commentary and more than two hours of featurettes.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: 30th Anniversary Edition

Universal, $19.98; Blu-ray $34.98

Intended as a small, sweet family movie after the massive productions of "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "1941" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," director Steven Spielberg's 1982 smash "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" ended up defining '80s cinema: from its unabashedly heartwarming story of a young boy who befriends a lost alien, to its blend of sunny suburbia and special effects. The movie hasn't lost any of its power to move or thrill some 30 years later; and the new Blu-ray edition is sterling as well, highlighted by the new hourlong documentary "The E.T. Journals," which consists of footage of Spielberg and his young cast making a classic.

A Cat in Paris

New Group, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 9

The French cartoon "A Cat in Paris" joined "Chico & Rita" last year as one of the few foreign films to receive an Oscar nomination in the animated feature category. At only 65 minutes, "A Cat in Paris" packs in a lot of story, following a mute girl and her pet as they roam the city streets and stumble on a mystery involving a gangster, a burglar, a valuable artifact and the girl's family secrets. Despite its colorful, childlike art, "A Cat in Paris" is more for older kids and adults, due to its pervasive melancholy and threats of violence. But it's a vibrant, original film — a must for animation fans. The DVD and Blu-ray include both the original French and English-language audio tracks, plus a funny three-minute short about a prehistoric cat.

28 Hotel Rooms

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 9

Writer-director Matt Ross' bittersweet romance "28 Hotel Rooms" stars Marin Ireland as a young married professional who meets a handsome bestselling author played by Chris Messina in a hotel bar, and then keeps hooking up with him off-and-on for the next several years. Ross' update of the old "Same Time Next Year" premise takes place over a shorter period, with shorter scenes — roughly 28, in just more than 80 minutes — but it deals with the same kinds of issues as that play, showing how even an adulterous relationship goes through changes, as outside troubles and compatibility issues intrude on what's supposed to be a no-strings-attached, sex-only fling. And throughout, Ireland and Messina are remarkable, conveying the at-first-clumsy then later easy intimacy of two people learning about each other in bed.

And…

The Raven

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 9

Rock of Ages

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 9

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Warner Bros., $14.96; Blu-ray, $34.99

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