January 17, 2008 - Our latest DVD review looks at Wedding Daze, a new romantic comedy that makes its overdue American premiere today on DVD from MGM. Comedian Michael Ian Black makes his feature-length writing-directing debut in the story of a guy (Jason Biggs, American Pie) whose haphazard marriage proposal to an unknown waitress (Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers) is accepted, thrusting the strangers into a serious relationship. Read the full review.
Be sure to check out DVDizzy.com DVD Schedule for a look at all of today's noteworthy new DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray releases.
Among other things, today sees two highly regarded romances getting revisited on DVD by Fox/MGM well in time for Valentine's Day. We've just posted reviews of each...
First, Aaron Wallace looks at An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition, a two-disc reissue of the 1957 Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr drama that gained renewed interest after Sleepless in Seattle paid homage to it at length. Director Leo McCarey's famous remake of his 1939 film Love Affair tells of two individuals who fall in love with one another while away from their newly betrothed. The DVD includes an audio commentary, profiles of the stars and two filmmakers, a piece on the film's CinemaScope sensibilities, an episode of AMC's "Backstory", the trailer, a newsreel, two galleries, and in-package lobby cards. More...
Then, Kelvin Cedeno covers When Harry Met Sally...: Collector's Edition. Considered a landmark romantic comedy, the Nora Ephron-scripted, Rob Reiner-directed 1989 film stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as opposites who become friends and tread a fine line to a relationship. MGM's single-disc reissue delivers a new commentary by Reiner, Ephron, and Crystal in addition to over an hour of new featurettes, but it loses a few things from the earlier Special Edition. Read on...
January 14, 2008 - Sixty-four Disney DVD titles, most from the Walt Disney Pictures division, have been scheduled to undergo temporary or permanent price reductions over the first four months of 2008. Check out our Disney Price Reductions Thread for the complete list, with links to our reviews and to purchase at the lower prices.
January 12, 2008 - This information wasn't supposed to be made public until next Wednesday, but seeing as how multiple sites have already let it slip, we've decided to join the fun... Disney will release Enchanted on DVD and Blu-ray on March 18th, just in time for Easter. On DVD, the fairy tale comedy will arrive in separate 2.35:1 widescreen and fullscreen editions, each containing deleted scenes, bloopers, 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes, the Pop-Up Adventure "Pip's Predicament" (which sounds like a short film), and a rare DTS track. Priced 5 dollars higher, the widescreen-only Blu-ray will offer an uncompressed Dolby 5.1 track, all DVD extras, and the exclusive challenge "The D-Files" on hidden references to classic Disney films. Large cover art has been added to our Upcoming Cover Art.
Our Disney Channel Original Movies page has been updated to reflect that 21 DCOMs are now available to download from iTunes, including four never released to VHS or DVD.
January 11, 2008 - Our newest review looks at Sunshine, released to DVD this week from Fox. The writer (Alex Garland), director (Danny Boyle), and star (Cillian Murphy) of the critically-acclaimed horror film 28 Days Later reunite for this science fiction thriller about a mission to reignite the dying sun to save the Earth. Resembling such genre classics as Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey, this well-made film deserves attention after getting overlooked in a limited summer theatrical release. The DVD includes two audio commentaries, 19 minutes of deleted scenes, 47 minutes of production diary shorts, and the trailer. Read the full review.
January 10, 2008 - Our daily articles continue with Aaron Wallace's DVD review of "The Tudors": The Complete First Season. Showtime's hour-long drama series recreates the eventful reign of King Henry VIII, the 16th century English monarch. After a bumpy start, the show and its large cast improve enough to provide an involving and (mostly) historically accurate experience. Like most contemporary TV series, "The Tudors" is treated to a cinematic presentation of 16x9 widescreen and 5.1 sound. Bonus features on the 4-disc, 10-episode set include three featurettes, cast bios, a photo gallery, and sample episodes from three other Showtime series. More...
January 9, 2008 - Our latest DVDizzy.com DVD review critiques Mr. Bean's Holiday. Universal's G-rated comedy marks the second visit of Rowan Atkinson's mostly silent character to cinemas. Better received than its 1997 predecessor, this one was dealt the same fate, becoming a huge worldwide hit but making a little splash in the US. The film explores the possibilities of Bean on a prize vacation to Cannes, on which he encounters a lost boy, a French actress, and a pretentious American film director. The DVD includes 24 minutes of deleted scenes plus three featurettes. Read on...
As always, don't forget to consult our DVD Schedule for a look at all of this week's major new releases in standard and high definition.
January 8, 2008 - Another of today's new releases gets covered with our DVD review of Eagle vs Shark. This little comedy from New Zealand shares a writer-director and star with the HBO sitcom "Flight of the Conchords", but it's Napoleon Dynamite that's closest in spirit; Eagle applies its quirky sensibilities to a romance between two adult social misfits and delivers plenty amusement in the process. Miramax's DVD includes deleted scenes, an audio commentary, outtakes, and a music video by The Phoenix Foundation. More...
Our newest writer, Christopher Disher, makes his debut with his DVD review of Death Sentence, covering last year's gritty action film from James Wan (director of Saw) that pits a vengeful father (Kevin Bacon) against the criminals responsible for his son's death. Available today, Fox's disc includes both the R-rated theatrical cut and a new extended "unrated" cut, plus two Fox Movie Channel pieces and ten Webisodes. Read the full review.
January 7, 2008 - Our coverage of last year's Disney CDs comes to a close with our Holidays Disney CD Roundup / 2007: Year in Review. The first part of the article serves up new reviews of Enchanted: Soundtrack, Disney Channel Holiday, Disney's Karaoke Series: High School Musical 2, Disney's Karaoke Series: Girlz Rock, and the CD singles Ready, Set, Don't Go (by Billy Ray Cyrus and "Hannah Montana"/real-life daughter Miley) and Bet on It (from High School Musical 2). The second part looks back at the entire year, culminating with a countdown of the year's best albums and also granting some special attention to other highs and lows. Read the entire article.
January 3, 2008 - Another two-platter Paramount title is the subject of our newest DVD review: Zodiac: 2-Disc Director's Cut. In stores next week, this rerelease addresses the movie's previous lack of extras with two audio commentaries and a host of documentaries and featurettes on both the film and the true unsolved Zodiac Killer mystery that inspired it. Exploring the case of the Northern California serial killer who sent various ciphers to newspapers, David Fincher's taut, gripping drama stands as one of 2007's best. More...
Our first DVD review of the new year covers Braveheart: Special Collector's Edition. Aaron Wallace looks at Mel Gibson's sophomore directorial effort, the epic 1995 drama about Scottish patriot William Wallace that won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Paramount's recent two-disc rerelease grants the film a wealth of new bonus features, plus enhanced picture and sound. Read the full review.
We've updated our Upcoming Disney Movies page with looks at three new films that are in the works: next month's atypical one-week-only Disney Digital 3D Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, the father/daughter comedy College Road Trip starring Raven-Symone and Martin Lawrence, and 2009's computer-animated A Christmas Carol directed by Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) and starring Jim Carrey. Click here for all the updates.
December 31, 2007 - Tomorrow marks not only the start of a New Year, but the first day of 2008 DVD releases. Our DVDizzy.com DVD Schedule has been updated to provide you with a week-by-week look at all studios' output for January, February, and March. As always, past months' schedules are archived and easily accessible, if you should need to look back at the closing year's customarily jam-packed final weeks. More...
December 27, 2007 - Aaron Wallace covers Rush Hour 3 in our latest DVD review. He declares this summer's addition to Brett Ratner's series of buddy cop action-comedies a worthy follow-up. Once again coasting more on the charms of the jovial central odd couple than a plot of international intrigue, the film entertains much like its blockbuster predecessors. This review looks at New Line's 2-Disc Platinum Series which serves up substantial supplements in the way of an audio commentary, an hour-long production diary, and a 90-minute making-of documentary. It also supplies bloopers, deleted scenes, the trailer and some more short goodies. Read the full review.
Recent Disney DVD and Disney-Related Movie Reviews:
• Cinderella II: Dreams Come True - Special Edition - Disney's 2002 direct-to-video sequel makes use of three episodes from an unrealized TV series to provide one of the studio's foulest follow-ups. Its return to print is short-lived; it will disappear at the end of January. Not an upgrade, the only thing the disc does is update sneak peeks and add a game to the original release's meager extras slate.
• National Treasure: 2-Disc Collector's Edition - The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced, Jon Turteltaub-directed, Nicolas Cage-headlined, PG-rated 2004 blockbuster adventure returns to DVD in time for its sequel's theatrical release, but is not given a certifiable upgrade. Priced well above than the fine still-available disc, this set reproduces that as Disc 1, adds the 27 minutes of content from the Best Buy-exclusive bonus disc, and gives us a single 12-minute piece in the way of brand new material.
• Walt Disney Treasures: The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - In between the Alice comedies and Mickey Mouse's colossal stardom, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created this character and his shorts for distribution at the Universal studio. Joining the Disney family after nearly 80 years away, these 13 surviving cartoons bear strong resemblance to the early Mickey Mouse ones to the point where a number of specific gags will be familiar. The set includes a 14-minute featurette on Oswald's return, 6 audio commentaries, a gallery, the feature-length 1999 documentary The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story, and six representative Iwerks shorts.
• Underdog - Adapted from the 1964-73 TV cartoon, this feeble live-action comedy tells the story of a canine who inherits special powers and becomes a superhero to Capitol City. The DVD offers both widescreen and fullscreen presentations plus deleted scenes, bloopers, a Kyle Massey rap music video, a featurette with excursions, and the first episode of the original animated series.
• High School Musical 2: Extended Edition - Though the Disney Channel phenomenon continues to set various records, the hastily-produced follow-up is deemed a creative disappointment, with story-stalling songs, bland leads, hammy performances, and an outrageous tone that makes it most entertaining in unintended ways. The DVD adds 7 minutes to the broadcast version, including a new song. The DVD frustratingly presents the movie in unbecoming fullscreen with curious artifacts. The light menu of extras delivers 3 music videos, a blooper reel, and 35 minutes of rehearsals, making it nigh certain a better release is down the road. [Related Article: Red Carpet Report from the High School Musical 2 DVD Premiere in Hollywood]
• Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 - The latest two-disc set in Disney's limited collectible annual series serves up 30 shorts from 1947 to 1950, which shake things up by introducing Chip 'n Dale and other petite foils to the popular short-tempered Donald Duck. The DVD also includes Leonard Maltin intros, two featurettes, extensive art galleries, and, scattered about, Donald's varying gong antics in ten variations of the "Mickey Mouse Club" opening theme.
Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• The Heartbreak Kid - Ben Stiller reunites with the Farrelly Brothers (There's Something About Mary) for this R-rated remake of a 1972 Charles Grodin/Cybill Shepherd comedy about a newlywed drawn to another woman on his honeymoon. The laughs cancel out the missteps to deliver an average experience. The quickly-arriving DVD delivers a commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, a featurette on the writer-director-producer siblings, and a few looks at production fun.
• Eastern Promises - David Cronenberg's occasionally graphic drama about a Russian crime family in London stars Naomi Watts as a midwife trying to identify a dead teenager for her newborn baby's sake and Viggo Mortensen as a quiet driver with secrets. Technically sound and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture (Drama), the flick arrives with just a making-of featurette and one on Mortensen's character's tattoos.
• Balls of Fury - Writers Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant ("Reno 911!", Night at the Museum) deliver a ping-pong comedy with the flavor of kung fu, with Broadway's Dan Fogler starring as a former table tennis prodigy enlisted by an FBI agent (George Lopez) to help bring down an elusive criminal (Christopher Walken). Half the film is set at an elite tournament where "sudden death" is no mere expression. The entertaining movie is joined by a light slate of extras: weak deleted scenes and an alternate ending, a good making-of, and a joke featurette on "ball wrangler" Irina Voronina.
• Stardust - This underperforming PG-13 summer release gets practically everything right in adapting Neil Gaiman's recent fantasy novel. It readily entertains us with thrills, laughs, a strong eclectic cast and an engaging multi-angle plot involving a falling star (Claire Danes) and the various people seeking her. The disc delivers fine picture/sound, a very good half-hour featurette, plus bloopers, deleted scenes, and the trailer.
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