5.24.2011: What To Watch – DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Picture this…afterschool…friends…snacks…tv…and the TRANSFORMERS…more than meets the eye!  Which of the Autobots did you want to grow up to be?  I’m thinking most will say Optimus Prime.  Or were you a devil of a child who loved the Decepticons?  Post your answer on our Facebook wall (TheFright Channel) or tweet it on our Twitter page (@FrightChannel).

I Am Number Four (2011) on DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy

Adapted from the young adult science fiction book of the same name by Pittacus Lore (writers James Frey and Jobie Hughes), the action/sci-fi/thriller grossed $144.411 million worldwide to its $60 million budget.  A sequel is unlikely.  As for the book, part of a proposed six-book series, was #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list under the children’s chapter for seven straight weeks.

Starring Alex Pettyfer (Beastly), Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Justified [tv]), Teresa Palmer (The Grudge 2), Dianna Agron (Glee [tv]), Callan McAuliffe and Kevin Durand (Legion, X-Men Origins: Wolverine).  Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye).  Produced by Michael Bay (The Hitcher, Transformers).  Screenplay by Alfred Gough (Smallville [tv]), Miles Millar (Smallville [tv]) and Marti Noxon (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Synopsis:  Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him.  Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past.  In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.  courtesy of Dreamworks

Solaris: The Criterion Collection (1972) on DVD, Blu-ray

Starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis and Jüri Järvet.  Directed by Andrey Tarkovskiy.

From legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, Solyaris (the original title) is the first of two films (loosely) based on Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 Polish science fiction novel Solaris.  Tarkovsky wanted to adapt the book to film as he idolized Lem’s work, and he needed the money and the work after failing with his previous film and screenplay.  Solaris focuses on human relationships, not astrobiology theories and in 1972, it won the Grand Prix award (second place in the feature films competition behind the Palme d’Or) at the 25th episode of the Cannes Film Festival.  The 2002 film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and starred George Clooney.

Synopsis:  Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station.  When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin (Banionis) is dispatched to investigate, he experiences the same strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his consciousness.  courtesy of Criterion

Transformers: The Complete Original Series (1984-87) on DVD

The 15-disc box set of the original animated series includes 98 episodes from seasons one to four and special features.

Synopsis:  Four million years after crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet, sentient robots with the ability to disguise themselves as common vehicles awaken on present-day Earth.  Engaged in a crucial race to find a new energy source for their home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots must defend the innocent people of Earth against their archnemeses: Megatron and the power-hungry Decepticons!

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