Media | DVD Releases | August 28, 2007: Welcome to this weeks US home video releases, prepared with the assistance of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

VsRobot | Posted August 26, 2007

Pick of the week

A foreign film from an Iranian director, Offside is about a group of Iranian women who want to watch Iran's national team in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match and so attempt to get in by disguising their gender. Offside is not a sports film; the film makers simply use the backdrop of a football game to explore gender politics and patriotism in modern day Iran. Think Bend it Like Beckham meets Yentl.

Also out this week

I've been waiting for this to come out for what seems like forever. I missed the first few episodes when it aired on television, and I decided that rather than jumping in late, I wanted to wait and gorge myself on the show all at once on home video. I only know a few things about the show, but I'm really looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.

Another disjointed, aimless comedy with a weak script, given to Will Ferrell and company to save through improvisation. It may have worked for Anchorman, but it's not quite as successful here.

Is there a more compelling argument for the vapidity of the "Myspace Generation" than the popularity of Dane Cook? As I understand it, he built up his fanbase almost solely due to the social networking website, and it's as good of an explanation as any, because his stand-up work is awful. I half expect him to do extended riffs on airline food every time I flip past a channel showing one of his interminable "specials". This DVD collects all of his failed TV pilots. Yay?

Hey, it's a different kind of football than our Pick of the Week! So, apparently being a high school football star is serious business, and this television drama explores a town's symbiotic relationship with it's local team, and the pressures it creates for the coach and the young men on the team. I'm no fan of gridiron football, but the show is almost universally praised by TV critics, so it seems like a solid choice if the premise appeals to you. It's also unique in that it's a weekly drama that was based on a movie that was based on a nonfiction book.

Hey, look! It's someone less funny than Dane Cook! Didn't he already make this movie and call it "Malibu's Most Wanted"?

Molly Shannon, a retiring wallflower? Believe it. A tale of grief and loss, Shannon's singleton character tries to expand her horizons into the outside world after the death of her beloved pet beagle. A gentle exploration of a painfully shy woman and the offbeat characters she interacts with on her journey into "normalcy".

Reissue Highlights

This 1957 western, about a small time rancher who agrees to hold a convict until his train arrives, has been remade into 2007 release starring Christian Bale. I'm not familiar with the original movie, and I'm going to wait to check it out until I see the newer version.

High-Def Alert: The World of Blu-Ray and HD DVD

Lots of HD DVD to chew over this week. The highlight is obviously Heroes, as the only other release that looks to take real advantage of the format's strengths is the lame remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Where's Blu-ray? MIA this week. Scheduled for release this week but canceled at the last minute was the Blu-ray version of Blades of Glory, however Paramount decided that taking $150 million in payola to go HD DVD exclusive was more important than releasing their films on both high-definition formats and serving the maximum number of customers. Their 18 month exclusivity deal will only prolong this insipid format war, and the longer it goes on the more likely it becomes that both formats will ultimately fail. I honestly don't care which format wins, and while this columnist is currently in the Blu-ray camp, I think it's in the best interest of all the studios to get behind a single, unified format to eliminate consumer confusion and really begin the transition to the high-definition era.

Discuss all the week's new releases on the forum!