New in Home Entertainment – November 2, 2010

New in Home Entertainment

November 2, 2010

The Pacific
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

It’s easy to describe The Pacific as Band of Brothers vs. the Japanese, but that comparison has also been a cause for unrealistic expectations.  After all, Band of Brothers is about a group of soldiers that for the most part knew each other and were close friends before going into battle.  Soldiers in the Pacific arena of WWII didn’t have that luxury and thus the stories became more about surviving with one’s humanity intact rather than fighting for the guy next to you.  That being said, when viewed without the expectations of Band of Brothers in Asia, the film is a deeper, more thought-provoking experience than its HBO predecessor.  The production is first rate, giving the audience the very uncomfortable experience of what it was like to be in the war.  Whether or not you have already seen the series, I highly recommend first watching the special feature Profiles of the Pacific in order to get a more in-depth perspective of the soldiers whose stories are being told.  Also recommended is the blu-ray exclusive Enhanced Viewing Mode which gives a picture-in-picture experience that will help you gain a stronger historical understanding of the war and the soldiers that fought there.  A

Toy Story 3
Rated G
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

It’s now November and I am not alone in the opinion that the two best films of the year so far are both animated.  While I hold How to Train Your Dragon in higher regard, Toy Story 3 ranks a close second.  In this third Toy Story tale, Andy is now going off to college and Woody and gang are mistakenly donated to a daycare.  While at first things look up for the old toys, events eventually turn south for them and Woody must find a way to help everyone escape.  So much talent and love went into this film that there is no wonder that it’s such a pleasure to watch.  I would suggest that you have some tissue handy for the ending which is sure to make you shed a tear or ten.  Also check out some of the features on the blu-ray including Cine-Explore which lends a greater appreciation for the behind-the-scenes of the movie, as well as some very entertaining short animated stories told by the crew.  A+

The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition
Rated G
Available on Blu-ray and Special Edition Collectors Blu-ray Set

Widely thought of as one of the greatest films of all time, The Sound of Music makes it Hi Def debut in style with this new 45th Anniversary Edition.    This new 3-disc set contains a breathtaking new remastered print with 7.1 DTS-HD sound and an immense archive of information on the making of the film as well as a deeper look into the actual events that inspired the story.  Check out the My Favorite Things mode which allows you to experience the film with picture-in-picture facts, trivia, production photos, and a sing-a-long.  My only complaint is that the blue menu for the Favorite Things mode doesn’t go away, but it’s a small price for such a great feature.  A

The Commish: The Complete Series
Available on DVD

Long before Michael Chiklis starred in The Shield, he was The Commish in this ABC dramedy about a former Brooklyn cop that becomes a police commissioner in a small town.  While the quality of the writing is a little inconsistent and sometimes a way too nice, the show still holds up as both entertaining and nostalgic.  Plus, it’s interesting to see Chiklis looking older in 1991 then he does now in 2010.  B-