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MARCH 1-15, 2008: NEWS ARCHIVES


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Enchanted DVD Review
March 15, 2008 - Our latest DVD review looks at the drama In the Valley of Elah, Paul Haggis' directorial follow-up to his 2005 Oscar winner Crash. Tommy Lee Jones stars as a Vietnam vet joining police and military in a search for answers to his Iraq veteran son's disappearance.
Fellow Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon head a cast of familiar faces, but Jones carries the film with his nominated performance. Warner's DVD supplies a deleted subplot and a solid 43-minute documentary which interviews cast members and the family whose real story inspired the film. Read the full review.

Disney has announced a trio of new DVDs for release on June 17th. Most exciting is The Sword in the Stone: 45th Anniversary Edition, which will grant the film a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby 5.1 remix. The light slate of bonus features will include Disney Song Selection, a new Merlin's Magic Academy game, "Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers" (carried over from the original DVD), "bonus movie shorts" and "much more." UPDATE: Cover art has been posted here. The theatrically-released 2003 sequel The Jungle Book 2 will resurface in a Special Edition that offers Song Selection, Mowgli's Jungle Ruins Maze game, "The Legacy of The Jungle Book", 2 music videos, and the new Mowgli's Story Time Adventure game. Finally, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody": Lip Synchin' in the rain is another compilation of the Disney Channel comedy. It will contain the High School Musical audition episode and 3 others plus a gag reel and the featurette "Twin-Tastic."

Almost a year since Season 7's DVD release, Disney has finally announced The Complete Eighth Season DVD for Tim Allen's "Home Improvement." The family sitcom's final season will arrive in stores on June 10th, just in time for Father's Day, carrying one more disc than each of the first 7 sets but still checking in at the low list price of $23.99.
The extra disc will accommodate the 90-minute series finale and "Backstage Pass" special which the studio is counting as 28 episodes altogether. In addition to the usual season blooper reel, the set will also include "Tim Allen Presents a User's Guide to 'Home Improvement'", the hour-long 2003 primetime retrospective.

March 13, 2008 - Christopher Disher takes a look at Things We Lost in the Fire, Danish director Susanne Bier's first English film. Despite an accomplished cast headed by Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, and David Duchovny, this drama failed to make much noise in theaters and was shut out of all major awards. Berry plays a strong-willed woman who reaches out to a troubled friend after her husband dies. DreamWorks' DVD includes a 20-minute featurette, 7 deleted scenes, and the trailer. More...

As promised, our newest contest is a giveaway of Disney's recently-released 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition DVD. Two lucky entrants will receive both that and a specially-created Anita/Cruella print signed by Lisa Davis (voice/model for Anita) and Alice Davis (wife of Cruella's animator Marc Davis and a Disney Legend herself). This one will only stay open until Saturday night, so act fast! For more information and to enter, click here...

March 12, 2008 - Finished sooner than expected is our DVD review of Bee Movie, the latest DreamWorks computer-animated comedy. Making a return to the entertainment scene, Jerry Seinfeld wrote and produced the film. He also stars as Barry B. Benson, a talking honey bee who has trouble picking a job after graduating college. He befriends a New York City woman (voiced by Renee Zellweger) and decides to sue humans for selling honey. Though a clear product of the studio known for pop culture references, celebrity voice casting, and adult-oriented humor, Bee is witty and fun. Our review covers the film's Very Jerry 2-Disc Edition, which delivers some exciting things absent on the standard single-disc release -- including deleted scenes, alternate endings, an audio commentary, and the TV Juniors interstitials that dominated NBC last fall -- but will set you back a few dollars more. Read on...

March 11, 2008 - Available today, the PG-13 rated dramedy Dan in Real Life is the subject of our latest DVD review. Steve Carell stars as a widower, advice columnist, and father of three who begins falling for a woman (Juliette Binoche) he soon learns is dating his brother (Dane Cook). The suppressed love triangle breeds frustration and tension at a big family gathering in New England. Touchstone's DVD includes an audio commentary by writer-director Peter Hedges, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, bloopers, and two featurettes. Read the full review.

Per DreamWorks Animation's policy, review copies of Bee Movie weren't received until today, the street date, which means you'll have to give us a few days before posting our coverage of the Very Jerry 2-Disc Edition. But the studio found another ways to promote the DVD's release yesterday; in midtown Manhattan, 100 human-sized bees "swarmed" through New York City on a decorated double-decker bus, hitting such sites as Central Park and Times Square. Click here to view a 35-second time-lapse video of the publicity event.

Check out DVDizzy.com's Schedule for an overview of all today's new releases on DVD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD.

Visitors to this site have probably sent more e-mail inquiring about the 1989 made-for-TV movie Polly and its 1990 sequel Polly: Comin' Home than anything else in Disney's catalog.
Get 3 Disney Movies for $1.99 Each, Free Shipping!
Musical adaptations of Pollyanna starring Keshia Knight Pulliam as Polly and her "Cosby Show" mom Phylicia Rashad as Aunt Polly, both were recently released to DVD. But you can't buy them in stores and online you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $45-$75 (Polly, Comin' Home). Why? Because the two made their way to DVD in the same way that most live-action Disney fare has in the past few years, as Disney Movie Club exclusives. Existing members can buy the titles for $19.95 each plus shipping. Non-members can now enroll in the club with a 3 movies for $1.99 each deal . Explore our full list of Disney Movie Club Exclusives (with links to buy from Amazon or see the exclusives at Disney Movie Club while you consider joining.

March 10, 2008 - Our latest DVD review looks at No Country for Old Men, the new drama from Joel and Ethan Coen which recently won four Oscars, including Best Picture. Set in 1980 West Texas, the film provides three perspectives on one chase; after a simple welder (Josh Brolin) picks up a big bundle of cash from a drug deal gone wrong, a ruthless assassin (Oscar winner Javier Bardem) and a calloused sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) both take interest in his moves. In stores tomorrow, Miramax's DVD supplies only a trio of featurettes, the best of which takes a thorough 24-minute look at various facets of production. More...

Christopher Disher gives a 5-star review of In the Shadow of the Moon, the documentary on the Apollo manned lunar missions that was recently released to DVD by THINKfilm. The film revisits the wonder of the space journeys with intimate new interviews of ten astronauts and a wide variety of archival NASA video. The DVD includes an audio commentary, an hour of deleted interview footage, 2 featurettes, and the trailer. Read the full review.

March 9, 2008 - We've just granted a much-needed update to our Upcoming Disney Movies page, with new capsule previews of 2008 releases Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Roy Disney's Morning Light; 2009 releases Race to Witch Mountain,
Old Dogs, The Hannah Montana Movie, and G-Force; and Tim Burton's 3-D Alice in Wonderland and Frankenweenie. In addition, all other movie previews have been revised to reflect production updates, release date changes, and new information. Check it all out at Upcoming Disney Movies.

March 8, 2008 - We have an early DVD review for you today of Enchanted, the succcessful fantasy-comedy that leans heavily on Disney's long tradition of animated fairy tales. Opening with ten minutes of 2D animation, this PG-rated film transports princess-to-be Giselle (Amy Adams) into present-day New York City, where she is taken in by a divorce lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) and his young daughter. Both playing with and adhering to convention, this witty, imaginative movie offers enough fun to consider it one of last year's best. Among the many things found in this winning production are songs from '90s Renaissance composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz,
a wicked villain (Susan Sarandon's Queen Narissa), an amusing prince (James Marsden), allusions to classic Disney, cameos by Disney Princess voices, and a clever clash of fantasy and reality. The DVD scores high marks for picture and sound (there's even a DTS track), but is less worthy of praise in the supplements department. You definitely will want to read our full review for a thorough critique, information on Easter Eggs, and more than a dozen film and bonus screencaps.

March 7, 2008 - Our latest DVD review looks at Mrs. Doubtfire: Behind-the-Seams Edition, a two-disc set from Fox which reaches store after a year's delay. This 1993 comedy blockbuster still heartily entertains today with its sharp story of a divorced father (Robin Williams) who goes to extreme lengths to be able to spend time with his three kids. Williams makes the most of the material and he's aided by a fine supporting cast which includes Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan. This new edition adds 16x9 enhancement to the feature and over a half-hour of deleted scenes. It loses one major bonus from the film's original 1999 DVD, but adds many, including production-time featurettes, a new retrospective with Williams and director Chris Columbus, make-up test footage, alternate improvised takes, three photo galleries, and an Easter Egg. The DVD checks in at a low price and you'll save even more if you intend to use the movie ticket for Horton Hears a Who!. Read the full review.

March 6, 2008 - Our 101 Dalmatians coverage goes on with a very special report from Christopher Disher, who recently represented UltimateDisney.com on a 3-day press tour held at Disney's Burbank studio and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. This first in a series of articles covers presentations given in conjunction with the studio's newest Platinum Edition DVD and time spent at the parks. Among the highlights are a cel-painting class at the Ink and Paint building, a demonstration of the revolutionary xerographic technique, and discussions of the film with Alice Davis and Andreas Deja. Future articles will cover a tour of Disneyland's Dream Suite and a look at the upcoming Disney Fairies movie series launching later this year with Tinker Bell. Read Part 1 of the report.

March 5, 2008 - In another exclusive interview connected to this week's 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition DVD, Amy Braun speaks with Alice Davis. Davis discusses the career of her late husband Marc, who single-handedly animated Dalmatians' Cruella De Vil (among other famous Disney cartoon women), and her own work as a costume designer for films and such popular Disneyland attractions as It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. There are plenty of stories to hear about this couple of Disney Legends, so be sure to read our Alice Davis Interview.

March 4, 2008 - Our coverage of 101 Dalmatians continues with Amy Braun's exclusive interview of Lisa Davis, the voice and reference model for human lead Anita Radcliff. The English actress first came to America to play another Disney heroine, none other than Alice of Wonderland fame, before Walt Disney nixed his idea to mix live-action with animation.




Browse more movie posters, photos, and memorabilia
Davis was then to play Dalmatians villain Cruella De Vil before she suggested to Walt he had cast the part wrong. Davis, who has also performed in an assortment of live-action television and film, discusses her experiences on the movie, working with Walt, the parts that never were, and her family and dogs. Don't miss our Lisa Davis Interview.

March 3, 2008 - Our latest Disney DVD review looks at 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition. The 1961 canine comedy is much more down to earth than its Silver Age brethren, but that doesn't prevent it from being one of the studio's all-time great animated features. The tale of dozens of stolen puppies still excites with gentle humor, an appealing story, and the wretched villain Cruella De Vil. The two-disc set merits much praise for the fine picture and sound afforded this nearly 50-year-old film and though the bonus features are light for the movie having been out of print for nearly a decade, they include some fine inclusions such as two informative fact tracks, a host of trailers from over the years, a half-hour of deleted songs and demos, the obligatory Virtual Dalmatian activity, and three solid featurettes. Read our full 2-page review for a complete assessment and look for much more 101 Dalmatians coverage in the hours and days ahead!

For an overview of all of today's new DVDs, Blu-rays, and HD DVDs, check out our DVDizzy.com Release Schedule for March 4th.

Another new DVD review examines The Darjeeling Limited, the fifth and latest feature film from offbeat writer-director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums). Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman play estranged brothers who unite to take a train ride across India as a spiritual journey. Despite leaving Touchstone for Fox Searchlight, Anderson's distinct, quirky style remains intact and the R-rated comedy/drama hits most of its marks. Full review.

March 2, 2008 - This week, 101 Dalmatians becomes the 11th animated Disney film treated to a two-disc Platinum Edition DVD. We will be bringing you an exciting bundle of items related to this release, including interviews, a report, a giveaway, and, of course, our typically thorough DVD review. Be sure to check back soon because there's a wealth of content you won't want to miss in the days ahead. For now, you can learn more on the DVD by taking a look at the press release.

Kelvin Cedeno covers this week's new Playhouse Disney DVD with a review of "My Friends Tigger & Pooh": Friendly Tails. The studio's latest TV series starring the Hundred Acre Wood gang puts them in computer animation alongside Darby, a girl who leads efforts to solve mysteries. The disc serves up 3 episodes of the series (including an unaired one), and a three-stage set-top game. More...

Our latest DVD review looks at Warner's recently-released The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town: Deluxe Edition. One of Rankin/Bass's less famous stop-motion works, this 1977 TV special follows the pattern set by Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, complete with Fred Astaire as singer/storyteller, to explain how the holiday's traditions came to be. It tells of two communities on opposite sides of Big Rock Mountain, Kidville and Town, and the affect that Sunny the Easter Bunny has on each. Read the full review.

Recent Disney DVD and CD Reviews:
"Little Einsteins": Race for Space - Misleadingly titled, there's little space in this 3-episode compilation, the sixth DVD release devoted to the Playhouse Disney series. Bonus features include a pair of "Lou and Lou: Safety Patrol" shorts and a "Rocket Around-the-World" set-top game.
The Aristocats: Special Edition - Neither the definitive release fans hoped for nor the two-disc set originally announced, this lightweight reissue still easily surpasses the now-discontinued Gold Collection DVD with a 16x9 transfer, new 5.1 remix, and a small collection of bonuses. It's the charming film, not one of the studio's best but among their better, that's the main attraction.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection - The 3-disc set holds 41 Oscar-nominated shorts (including 15 winners), including those starring Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Tweety & Sylvester, Popeye, and Superman. The cartoons are joined by 14 commentaries, 6 music-only tracks, a relevant bonus short (Bugs Bunny at the Oscars), and a fantastic new hour-long documentary on the animated short's history. In spite of a few shortcomings, this fine set provides hours of enjoyment and some medium milestones.
Across the Universe - Visually imaginative musical from director Julie Taymor (Broadway's The Lion King) employs more than 30 Beatles songs in telling of a group of young people in New York City during the social upheaval of the 1960s. Sony treats the acclaimed but modestly attended film to a 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD, which includes an audio commentary, extended musical performances, a host of featurettes, and deleted footage.
"Smurfs": Season One, Volume One - The beloved 1980s cartoon series makes it long-awaited American DVD debut in this 2-disc, 19-episode set. The likable lot of kind-hearted blue forest creatures, more easily distinguished by personality than appearance, enrage the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael. The DVD includes the primetime Smurf Springtime Special and a short theme song music video.
Margot at the Wedding - Noah Baumbach follows up The Squid and the Whale with another R-rated dysfunctional family tale which blends drama, comedy, and personal experience. This one stars Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black.
Beowulf: Director's Cut - Though the motion capture visuals are hit and miss, Robert Zemeckis' CG-animated adaptation of the Old English epic poem succeeds with a playful tone and a creative weaving. The unrated and more loaded of Paramount's DVD delivers impeccable picture and sound and collection of extras that are generally brief but enlightening.
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown: Remastered Deluxe Edition - Warner serves up Peanuts gang's fun 1974 TV special plus 1976's It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown with improved picture quality, snazzy packaging, and a brand new 15-minute featurette.
"COPS": 20th Anniversary Edition - The long-running Fox docudrama series is treated to a terrific two-disc set which serves up a trio of hour-long shows (two with commentary), a standout segment from each of the first 20 seasons, and a number of fantastic featurettes (from a behind-the-scenes look to a collection of movie and TV spoofs).

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101 Dalmatians Contest
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DVD REVIEWS
Latest Reviews (rated):
In the Valley of Elah
Things We Lost in the Fire
Bee Movie
Dan in Real Life
No Country for Old Men
In the Shadow of the Moon
Enchanted
Mrs. Doubtfire: B-T-S Edition
101 Dalmatians: Platinum Ed.
The Darjeeling Limited
Tigger & Pooh: Friendly Tails
Easter Bunny is Comin': DE
Warner Bros. Academy Awards Animation Collection
Across the Universe
Little Einsteins: Race for...
Smurfs: Season 1, Vol. 1
Margot at the Wedding
Beowulf: Director's Cut
It's Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown: Deluxe Edition
No Country for Old Men DVD Review
COPS: 20th Anniversary Ed.
Becoming Jane
Gone Baby Gone
Martian Child
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The Apartment: Collector's
Blind Dating
Snow Buddies
The Aristocats: Special Ed.
Saving Sarah Cain
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Lake Placid 2 (Unrated)
The Comebacks (Unrated)
Hannah Montana: 1... Million
The Game Plan
The Odd Couple: Season 3
Sabrina, Teenage Witch: S3
Joshua
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101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition DVD Review
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
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Count down the best of Disney's villains!
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Alice Davis, legendary Disney costume designer
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Dominic Scott Kay, star of Snow Buddies
Tony Baxter, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering
Gore Verbinski, Director of Pirates of the Caribbean
Margaret Kerry, the Model for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan
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Vince Papale, Inspiration for Invincible
Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Pirates of the Caribbean
Jim Kammerud, Director of The Fox and the Hound 2
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