UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: March 16-31, 2010: News Archives
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April 1, 2010 -
March 30, 2010 - Our newest review subject is Gentlemen Broncos, the latest comedy from Napoleon Dynamite's Jared and Jerusha Hess. A fantasy story by an aspiring young writer (Sky High's Michael Angarano) attracts the attention of both an unscrupulous best-selling author (Jemaine Clement "Flight of the Conchords") and local filmmakers (Hector Jimenez, Halley Feiffer). Sam Rockwell co-stars as the hero of the story in excerpts of the text come to life. Now available, Fox's DVD includes an audio commentary by the Hesses, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a making-of featurette. Read the full review.
Take a look at today's new releases.
March 29, 2010 - Today's new review covers Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies. This hour-long 1977 television special revisits classic shorts from a number of the colorful personalities that make up the Looney Tunes gang. With the Easter Bunny ill and Bugs Bunny busy, who will Granny find to distribute the eggs? Now available, Warner's disc includes puzzles and bonus Bugs short His Hare Raising Tale. More...
March 28, 2010 - Our newest review looks at Fantastic Mr. Fox. Adapted from the Roald Dahl story, Wes Anderson's latest film takes him into a new terrain of stop-motion animation. But the offbeat writer/director stays true to form in this comedy about a father fox whose thieving draws the wrath of three unpleasant farmers. George Clooney and Meryl Streep head a voice cast that includes Anderson regulars Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Now available, Fox's combo pack includes a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy disc, with a number of making-of featurettes and a beginner's guide to "Whack-Bat." Full review.
March 27, 2010 - The Men Who Stare at Goats, our latest review subject, provides a comedic look at the U.S. military's surprisingly true research into psychic superpowers. George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey star in this film adapted from Jon Ronson's nonfiction book. Now available, Anchor Bay's DVD includes commentaries from Ronson and director Grant Heslov, deleted scenes, two featurettes, character promos, and the trailer. Read the full review.
March 26, 2010 - We've updated our page on Disney Release Types with information on Disney's Diamond Edition Blu-rays. In related news, Disney has told retailers to expect Beauty and the Beast's Blu-ray combo first on October 5, 2010. Following a model employed a year earlier on Snow White, Disney will issue the second 3-disc Diamond Edition (2 Blu-rays, 1 DVD) in both "Blu-ray + DVD" and "DVD + Blu-ray" packaging. Beauty's 2-Disc DVD will street on November 23rd. Tentative combo cover art has been posted here.
March 25, 2010 - Our new DVD review covers First Easter Rabbit. One of the lesser-known Rankin/Bass specials, this traditionally-animated 1976 cartoon mixes elements of The Velveteen Rabbit with the company's hallmark character humor to tell an origin story of a stuffed doll who becomes a holiday symbol. Jolly Burl Ives narrates and sings. Now available, Warner's Remastered Deluxe Edition accompanies the 25-minute program with some virtual puzzles. Read on...
Our Disney Blu-ray page has been updated with information on all the recent members of that class along with revised ETAs for anticipated 2010 high-def releases.
We've just posted cover art for Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. The third movie in Disney's strong-selling computer-animated direct-to-video series will arrive a month ahead of schedule, on September 21st in DVD ($29.99 SRP) and Blu-ray + DVD ($39.99 SRP) versions. Both editions will contain deleted scenes, a Fairy Field Guide builder, and "Design a Fairy House" (which includes an online contest with a winning design to be built at Walt Disney World's Epcot). Cover...
March 24, 2010 - Aaron Wallace covers the Blu-ray + DVD of Toy Story 2. Like its predecessor, Disney/Pixar's acclaimed 1999 sequel gains and loses some bonus material in its latest home video incarnation (its first in high-def). Among the additions are a look at Toy Story 3's characters, a tribute to late story man Joe Ranft, a code for attending TS3, and a short feature on the zoetrope seen at Disney Parks. Don't miss out on our full review.
We've posted photos from Disney's celebration of the Toy Story & Toy Story 2 Blu-ray releases. Yesterday in Los Angeles, children from the Hollywood Boys & Girls Club joined a master builder and Toy Story 3's story supervisor to construct the final piece of a six-part Toy Story mural made of LEGO bricks. Click here.
According to Disney's official website, Beauty and the Beast is heading to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on November 23rd. The first animated film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, this hit 1991 musical is expected to become the second entry in Disney's line of Diamond Edition Blu-rays. Oddly, this would precede the film's 3D theatrical engagement scheduled for 2011.
March 23, 2010 - Get the scoop on today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Kelvin Cedeno brings us a review of today's high-definition debut for Toy Story, the 1995 film that changed the way animated movies are made. Pixar's first feature film comes to Blu-ray with its 10th Anniversary Edition DVD extras intact plus a number of new featurettes, Toy Story 3 movie cash, and the new standard DVD that won't be available on its own until May 11th. Read the full review.
March 22, 2010 - Our May & Beyond DVD & Blu-ray Schedule has been filling up with new release dates and details for winter's theatrical releases. Among the latest additions are the musical Nine, the Dwayne Johnson family comedy Tooth Fairy, Mel Gibson's on-camera return Edge of Darkness, the Oscar-nominated Nelson Mandela/rugby drama Invictus, and, adapted from a Cormac McCarthy novel, The Road. More on these and other spring-summer releases.
March 20, 2010 - Kelvin Cedeno tells us all about the latest goings-on at Cyprus-Rhodes University, with his review of "Greek": Chapter Four. ABC Family's fraternity and sorority dramedy series ditches the hazing to focus on developing romantic tanglements and new students. Now available, the 3-disc, 12-episode set includes audio commentaries, bloopers, a recap, a featurette, and a music video by recurring guest Jesse McCartney. Pledge now to read this...
March 19, 2010 - We've got an early review of An Education, a drama that received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Set in 1961 London, the film tells the story of a studious schoolgirl (Carey Mulligan) whose life becomes more exciting with a charming, wealthy, older man (Peter Sarsgaard) in it. Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, and Emma Thompson co-star in a film written for the screen by About a Boy novelist Nick Hornby. Sony's DVD includes sixteen minutes of deleted scenes, two featurettes, and an audio commentary by Danish director Lone Scherfig, Sarsgaard, and Mulligan. Read the full review.
March 17, 2010 - While we're still at least two weeks away from bringing you coverage of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, we've just posted a review of a concurrent DVD release inspired by it. Alvin and the Chipettes: Cinderella, Cinderella supplies three episodes of the Chipmunks' 1980s animated TV series. The titular one casts Brittany as the mistreated girl magically spruced up for a ball (hosted by Prince Alvin), while the other two episodes pay homage to "Charlie's Angels" and The Breakfast Club. Read the full review.
March 16, 2010 - Fox has confirmed an April 22nd DVD and Blu-ray debut for Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all-time. The rare Thursday street date coincides with the fortieth celebration of Earth Day, reflecting the environmental themes of James Cameron's blockbuster. The Blu-ray Disc will joined by a DVD of the film, both presenting the film in the standard two dimensions. Reportedly, neither will contain any extras (not even trailers or menus), so that every available bit can go to the feature presentation. Fuller editions are anticipated for November.
Get informed about all of today's new releases right here.
March 15, 2010 - Making a quick trip from theaters to video, Did You Hear About the Morgans? hits stores tomorrow and we have a review of the DVD tonight. Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker star as the titular couple, separated Manhattanites who get relocated to Wyoming after witnessing a murder. Hosting them in the heartland are Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen, while Wilford Brimley also makes a rare appearance. Surprisingly packed with extras, the DVD includes an audio commentary by the stars with writer/director Marc Lawrence, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a host of making-of featurettes. Hear much more about the Morgans.
March 14, 2010 - Our latest review looks at "Breaking Bad": The Complete Second Season. This AMC drama series stars Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle") as an Albuquerque chemistry professor secretly cooking and selling methamphetamine on the side. In stores this week, Sony's 4-disc DVD includes audio commentaries, deleted scenes, an "Inside 'Breaking Bad'" short on every episode, behind-the-scenes featurettes, webisodes, and more. Check out our full review for more on this Emmy-winning show.
March 13, 2010 - Upcoming Disney Movies has been updated with a write-up on Mars Needs Moms!, which is now scheduled to be the final release from Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers Digital motion-capture studio. Read on.
March 12, 2010 - Our The Princess and the Frog review has been updated with coverage of the Blu-ray components, including a work-in-progress version of the film, an octet of exclusive featurettes, and extensive art galleries. More...
March 11, 2010 - It seems like every studio out there is releasing a rendition of Alice in Wonderland to home video this month to coincide with Tim Burton's 3-D behemoth. Kelvin Cedeno reviews a recent one from Lionsgate: Alice is cable network Syfy's take on Lewis Carroll's fantasy stories. First broadcast last December, this miniseries "reimagining" in the vein of Tin Man is now on Blu-ray with an audio commentary by director Nick Willing and star Caterina Scorsone. Full review.
Just posted: our The Princess and the Frog DVD review. Disney's 49th animated feature returns the studio to the traditional hand-drawn methods they're best known for in this musical fairy tale set in 1920s New Orleans. A waitress kisses a frog claiming to be a prince only to find herself likewise transformed into an amphibian. Out next week, the DVD includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a game, and a music video of Ne-Yo's end credits song. Read the review -- Blu-ray parts coming soon.
Our Princess and the Frog coverage continues in an interview with Ron Clements and John Musker, the film's writers and directors whose past Disney credits include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and Treasure Planet. They talk about returning to the animated fairy tale, their New Orleans inspirations, and some hidden references they snuck in. Full Musker & Clements Interview.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• My Neighbor Totoro - Miyazaki's beloved 1988 film centers on two sisters who befriend magical forest spirits in their new neighborhood. Dakota Fanning and her younger sister Elle voice the girls in Disney's 2006 English dub. The new 2-disc DVD presents major gains and one minor loss in the bonus features department.
• Castle in the Sky - Hayao Miyazaki's 1986 fantasy tells the story of a girl whose enchanted crystal pendant makes her a target of military forces and air pirates alike. This new two-disc DVD supplies both Japanese and English language presentations, the latter enlisting Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Mark Hamill, and Cloris Leachman. Among the mix of new and old bonus features are the entire film in storyboards, interviews (with Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and composer Joe Hisaishi), trailers, a personality quiz, and a dub voice cast featurette.
• Planet 51 - This 2009 computer animated comedy focuses on an alien invasion, with a twist: the residents are green and the invader is an American astronaut. Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, and John Cleese lend their voices to this film, the first from Madrid's Ilion Animation Studios. Sony's DVD includes extended scenes, featurettes, a game, and animation progression reels.
• Where the Wild Things Are - Based on the famous Maurice Sendak picture book, this Spike Jonze-directed film follows a boy named Max to an island inhabited by monsters, who crown him king. Now available, Warner's DVD includes four short behind-the-scenes featurettes.
• "Hannah Montana": Miley Says Goodbye? - The sixth and latest episode compilation devoted entirely to Disney Channel's top-rated series improves upon the established design with a disc filled to capacity. Among the six featured episodes are an hour-long show and both parts of the Season 3 finale. The DVD includes an alternate ending to Miley's confounding love triangle, a fact track presentation of an episode, and a behind-the-scenes tour hosted by Miley's sister Brandi Cyrus.
• Old Dogs (Blu-ray & DVD) - John Travolta and Robin Williams star as a couple of New York businessmen into whose lives a pair of unknown 7-year-old twins come. The family comedy co-stars Travolta's wife Kelly Preston and daughter Ella Bleu and also features Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Justin Long and Bernie Mac. The film is joined by bloopers, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary featuring the two writers, a producer, and Wild Hogs director Walt Becker.
• Kiki's Delivery Service - Adapted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this 1989 film tells the story of a 13-year-old witch who sets off with her talking cat Jiji for a year abroad. Disney's first English dub for Studio Ghibli, debuted in 1998, features Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, and Janeane Garofalo. The new 2-disc set mildly but significantly revises that English presentation and adds a number of new bonus materials, including recent interviews with Miyazaki and composer Joe Hisaishi, a documentary that takes us to the Swedish sites that inspired the film's settings, a personality quiz, a lithograph, and an interactive map of Studio Ghibli universes.
• Ponyo (Blu-ray & DVD) - Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, the latest film from legendary Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki tells the story of a young boy and the somewhat magical goldfish he rescues who, against her wizard father's wishes, turns herself human.
• "Little Einsteins": Animal Expedition - In the tenth and latest DVD deriving from the culturally-enriching Playhouse Disney series, four animal-centric episodes are supplemented by a game and an unannounced bonus episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse."
• "FlashForward": Part One, Season One - ABC's sci-fi action drama series opens with everyone in the world blacking out for 2 minutes. From that disaster come questions and an investigation led by the Los Angeles FBI. The ensemble series stars Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), John Cho (Star Trek), Dominic Monaghan ("Lost"), and Courtney B. Vance. Arriving in the season's approximately halfway hiatus, the 2-disc set holds the 10 episodes that have aired, a preview of what's coming next, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the pilot, and a rebate for a set that may render this worthless.
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