While most of this week’s Blu-ray releases aren’t exactly demo material (or really great movies, to be completely honest), it’s still a solid collection of films – most of which at least deserve a rental. There’s also nothing great being released next week, so if you’re on the fence about one or more of the below titles, it might be worth taking the risk.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” (Fox)

Scott Derrickson’s update of the sci-fi classic isn’t going to win over fans of the 1951 original any time soon, but while the movie itself is mediocre itself, it also isn’t as band as many would lead you to believe. Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast as the alien diplomat Klaatu, the special effects are fantastic, and GORT’s re-design is about as spot-on as you could get. Additionally, the decision to change the point of view of the story from Klaatu to Helen was a smart one, as it makes more sense to view the end of the world from the eyes of one of its endangered humans. Sadly, the ending isn’t as great as it could be, but disaster flick enthusiasts will probably eat it up. The same goes for the bonus material, with only a few (including a making-of featurette and an in-depth look at the arduous task of designing GORT) truly worth checking out. Still, you have to commend the inclusion of the 1951 version, even if most fans probably already own the latest edition.

“Yes Man” (Warner Bros.)

Jim Carrey can no longer carry a movie like he used to, but in the case of “Yes Man,” the film’s success was completely deserved. Many have suggested that the movie is exactly like his 1999 hit “Liar, Liar,” and while they’re certainly similar in tone, “Yes Man” gives us a Carrey like we’ve never seen before: a more mature comic who isn’t afraid to go over the top, but can also land a joke without all the hyperactivity. The film’s Blu-ray release focuses more on the former, with behind-the-scenes features on the actor’s on-set antics and willingness to do his own stunts. The real highlight of the disc, however, has nothing to do with Carrey at all, but rather his co-star Zooey Deschanel. Along with a faux rockumentary on her character’s band, Munchausen by Proxy, all five musical performances have also been included in their entirety. The songs are a bit strange, but Deschanel’s voice is so intoxicating that you won’t even notice.

“Tale of Despereaux” (Universal)

It’s no “Ratatouille,” but Universal’s animated film based on the award-winning book of the same name is a fun little tale that features solid voice acting and excellent animation. In fact, while it would be difficult to hold the film up to anything Pixar has done, one of the best parts about “Tale of Despereaux” is the different styles of animation used throughout – namely in the fantasy sequences, which look like a cross between cubism and stop-motion. Just as cool as the animation are the extras themselves, including a full-length picture-in-picture track of animatics and a behind-the-scenes look at the various voice talent involved in the film. The latter is something that I’ve been very vocal about in the past, because while most animated movies tend to include brief snippets of the cast recording dialogue, it’s never as in-depth as this. Watching Kevin Kline and Stanley Tucci act out their parts alongside the finished product is exactly the kind of extras that more Blu-rays should strive to include, because it really enriches the overall experience.

Also Out This Week:

“Bedtime Stories” (Walt Disney)
“Doubt” (Miramax)
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax)