DVDizzy.com: MARCH 16-31, 2011 NEWS ARCHIVES
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March 31, 2011 - Sony's press release for The Green Hornet lays out the contents of the three editions in which this recent superhero film will come to home video on May 3rd. Seth Rogen stars as a self-made crime fighter and Jay Chou is his intelligent sidekick in an action-comedy co-starring Cameron Diaz and Inglourious Basterds' Chistoph Waltz. Written by Rogen and his Pineapple Express, Superbad collaborator Evan Goldberg, this long-developed is directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's Michel Gondry. Read all about its forthcoming DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD combo pack debuts right here.
With an Oscar win, her first child, and five new movies, 2011 looks like the year of Natalie Portman. In a project much different from our latest review subject, Portman plays Ashton Kutcher's casual partner in the romantic comedy No Strings Attached. Directed by Ghostbusters' Ivan Reitman and co-starring Lake Bell, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Ludacris, Kevin Kline, and Cary Elwes, this $70 million-grossing film will come to DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on May 10th. Read the complete announcement.
True Grit, the Coen Brothers western nominated for Best Picture and nine other Academy Awards, will come to DVD and a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack from Paramount Home Entertainment on June 7th. Starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld and featuring Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, this new take on John Wayne's Oscar winner will be joined a variety of topical featurettes. We've posted the full press release and cover art.
We cover another one of this year's Best Picture Oscar nominees with a review of Black Swan. Directed by The Wrestler's Darren Aronofsky, this psychological drama takes us along on the harrowing journey of a disciplined New York City ballet dancer (Natalie Portman) cast to portray both sides of Swan Lake's Queen. Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder co-star in this acclaimed film which won Portman the Best Actress Academy Award and earned an additional four nominations. Now available, Fox's DVD includes the 3-part making-of documentary "Metamorphosis." Our review includes video of the life-sized music box at last weekend's Black Swan Experience in Los Angeles.
March 30, 2011 - Our newest review looks at The Ten Commandments. Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic was the highest-grossing film of its decade, earning the modern-day equivalent of over $1 billion domestically. In the role that established him as one of Hollywood's most authoritative leading men, Charlton Heston plays Moses, prince of Egypt and leader of Israel. In his mission to free Hebrew slaves, the prophet unleashes the power of God before unmoved Pharaoh Rameses (Yul Brynner), resulting in plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the creation of titular tablets. Paramount's new 2-disc DVD boasts a stunning new restoration, while retaining an audio commentary by Katherine Orrison, three trailers from over the years, and a newsreel short on the film's New York premiere. Our full review includes a video clip from one of the features exclusive to the concurrent limited edition 6-disc Blu-ray + DVD Gift Set.
March 28, 2011 - Just in time for the film's DVD and Blu-ray debut, read our interview with Tangled directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. They talk about taking over the long-in-development project, animating 70 feet of hair, appealing to audiences, and what it would take to make a sequel. Full article.
Made in Dagenham dramatizes an historic strike of women factory workers in 1968 England. Happy-Go-Lucky's Sally Hawkins stars as an employee who rises to lead her fellow laborers to demand pay equal to men from the Ford Motor Company. Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, and Rosamund Pike co-star in this acclaimed film directed by Calendar Girls' Nigel Cole. Available Tuesday, Sony's DVD includes a Cole audio commentary, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, and the trailer. Read our review.
March 26, 2011 - We take a look at Tangled, the hit CGI musical fairy tale that stands as the 50th animated feature in Disney's official studio canon. Unknowingly a princess, teenaged Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) spends her days inside a tower where her magical hair keeps protective Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) young. Along comes charming outlaw Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) who reluctantly takes Rapunzel to see the nearby kingdom's floating lights that mark her birthday every year. From the makers of Bolt with original songs by The Little Mermaid's Alan Menken, this acclaimed family comedy adventure comes to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday. We take a look at the Blu-ray + DVD, one of three editions widely released. Among its predominantly Blu-ray extras are deleted scenes and storybook openings, extended songs, a making-of featurette, and a countdown of Disney's 50 animated classics. Our review includes a video clip from a bonus feature.
March 24, 2011 - Yogi Bear gives Hanna-Barbera's animated television franchise a new feature film treatment, with computer-animated Yogi and Boo Boo (voiced by Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake) joining live-action Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh), Ranger Jones (T.J. Miller), and documentarian Rachel (Anna Faris) in an effort to save 100-year-old Jellystone Park from the reckless Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly). Now available, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes the new Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote Looney Tunes short Rabid Rider, the memory-testing game "Are You Smarter Than the Average Bear?", 14 making-of shorts spread around an interactive Jellystone Park, and a cartoon/movie mash-up featurette. Our full review.
March 23, 2011 - Raro Video's Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection gathers four 1970s movies from the Italian writer/director who collaborated with Sergio Leone on his trilogy of Clint Eastwood westerns. Cited as inspiration by Quentin Tarantino and John Woo, these violent tales of kingpins, hitmen, pimps, and dancers feature actors from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, including Henry Silva, Jack Palance, and Mario Adorf. Now available, the 4-disc DVD set includes a 2004 featurette on each movie plus a Di Leo career retrospective, photo galleries, and more. Read our full review.
March 22, 2011 - Today's new releases include the family comedy film Yogi Bear, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie's European action thriller The Tourist, James L. Brooks' costly romantic dramedy How Do You Know, low-budget alien invasion thriller Skyline. For more on these and the other new DVD and Blu-ray releases, check our March 22nd schedule entry.
March 21, 2011 - Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson star in How Do You Know, the new romantic comedy written, directed, and produced by James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets). Unexpectedly cut from the US national softball team, Witherspoon's athlete finds herself having to choose between a major league pitcher (Wilson) and a businessman being investigated for fraud (Rudd). Underloved and wildly unprofitable in theaters, the film comes to DVD tomorrow with feature-length and select scenes audio commentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers, and a making-of featurette. Read our review.
March 19, 2011 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Skyline, a low-budget sci-fi movie about an alien invasion from Los Angeles partiers' perspective. Directed by the brothers who made AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem and written by a pair of visual effects men, this PG-13 film stars Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Brittany Daniel, and Scottie Thompson. Universal's Blu-ray includes deleted, extended, and alternate scenes, pre-visualizations, and trailers, all with audio commentary plus two commentaries on the film itself. It's released next Tuesday, but you can read our review right now.
March 17, 2011 - Just posted: Upcoming Cover Art for the DVD and Blu-ray debuts of The Green Hornet, Gnomeo & Juliet, I Am Number Four, and Disney Channel's upcoming Lemonade Mouth. Check it out.
We stay in Europe with a review of The Tourist, the action-romance-sorta comedy-thriller starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Depp plays an unassuming American schoolteacher traveling abroad, Jolie is the British femme fatale that authorities (led by Paul Bettany) are watching closely. Together in Venice, they dodge bullets from Russian gangsters. From the writer/director of The Lives of Others and the writers of The Usual Suspects and Gosford Park, this Golden Globe-nominated domestic underperformer comes to DVD next Tuesday from Sony with outtakes, unused animated titles, two featurettes, and a director's commentary. Read on...
March 16, 2011 - Hereafter, the latest film directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the stories of a San Francisco man (Matt Damon) reluctant to use his gift as a psychic medium, a French journalist (Cιcile De France) changed by a near-death experience, and a young British boy with questions about the identical twin he's been separated from. Written by The Queen's Peter Morgan, this PG-13 drama was an unlikely Visual Effects nominee at last month's Oscar ceremony. It is now available to rent and own. Our review looks at Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack, which includes the full 88-minute cut of the documentary The Eastwood Factor on the actor/director's decades of work at the studio and nine making-of featurettes. See the trailer and sample Eastwood's score as part of our full review.
March 15, 2011 - The Switch stars Jason Bateman as a New Yorker who interferes with the artificial insemination of his best friend (played by Jennifer Aniston). Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, and Juliette Lewis also appear in this PG-13 comedy from the directors of Blades of Glory. The final Miramax Films release from Disney, the movie makes its overdue home video debut today from new Miramax partner Lionsgate. We look at the Blu-ray version, which includes a making-of featurette, bloopers, and a 25-minute section of deleted & alternate scenes. Our review includes a bonus feature clip.
The Switch is one of a number of today's new releases we have reviewed or will be soon. Others: the Oscar-winning drama The Fighter, Clint Eastwood's spiritual drama Hereafter, Roger Corman and Syfy's schlocky Sharktopus, NBC's celebrity genealogy series "Who Do You Think You Are?": Season 1, and, from Italy, the Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection.
March 14, 2011 - NBC's series "Who Do You Think You Are?" follows celebrities as they compile their genealogies, traveling around the world and consulting historians and public records. Available tomorrow, the widescreen 2-disc, 7-episode Season 1 DVD fleshes out the family trees of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow (one of the show's executive producers), Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee. Read our full review.
March 12, 2011 - We look at another of this year's Best Picture nominees in The Fighter. This drama tells the true story of working class boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his large Massachusetts family, including his drug-addled older brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) and his tough mother/manager (Melissa Leo). Bale and Leo won Oscars for their supporting performances, and Amy Adams (playing love interest Charlene) was nominated along with the screenplay and director David O. Russell. Releasing on Tuesday, Paramount's DVD includes a Russell audio commentary and a half-hour documentary on the acclaimed film's creation. Read on...
March 11, 2011 - The 2000 movie The Miracle Maker uses stop motion and 2-D animation to tell the story of Jesus Christ. Ralph Fiennes voices the Nazarene in this Welsh-Russian co-production that played theatrically in Europe but made its US debut airing Easter Sunday on ABC. Released this week, Lionsgate's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack includes a filmmakers' audio commentary, a half-hour making-of documentary, a storyboard-to-film comparison, a quiz, and a Gospel verses playback mode. Our review.
March 9, 2011 - From Syfy and legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman comes Sharktopus, a new movie about a genetically-engineered shark-octopus hybrid being cultivated into a military weapon. When the creature breaks loose, a scientist (Eric Roberts) sends his brainy daughter (Sara Malakul Lane) and a pricey ex-employee (Kerem Bursin) to retrieve it, but not before it starts feasting on the scantily-clad people of Mexico's Puerto Vallarta. Coming to DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday from Anchor Bay, the film is joined by an audio commentary by Corman and his wife Julie and a trailer. Read our full review.
March 8, 2011 - Director Danny Boyle's follow-up to 2008's Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours tells the remarkable true story of young canyoneer Aron Ralston (portrayed by James Franco) who fights to stay alive after his arm gets trapped by an 800-pound boulder. Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, this harrowing drama is now available on DVD with over a half-hour of deleted scenes (most notably, a 22-minute alternate ending) and an audio commentary by Boyle and two of his colleagues. Hang in there for our full review.
Our newest review covers "The Walking Dead": The Complete First Season. AMC's original series depicts life in a zombie apocalypse, with our focus remaining on a sheriff's deputy and other Southern survivors. Adapted from a comic book series and developed by The Shawshank Redemption's director Frank Darabont, the series will return in the fall, but today, the first six episodes debut on DVD and Blu-ray. The DVD includes making-of featurettes and behind-the-scenes shorts. Read our full review.
In addition to those walkers, today's other new releases include the TV news workplace comedy Morning Glory and the stand-up comedy shows Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts and Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group
March 5, 2011 - Morning Glory stars Rachel McAdams as a workaholic hired to help a long-running morning news show combat dwindling viewership. Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton play her clashing anchors, while Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum co-star as love interest and boss, respectively. This comedy is directed by Notting Hill's Roger Michell and written by The Devil Wears Prada's Aline Brosh McKenna. It comes to DVD from Paramount on Tuesday with an audio commentary and a deleted scene featuring "Modern Family"'s Ty Burrell. Full review.
March 4, 2011 - The debut American release of Italian boutique studio Raro Video, The Clowns (I Clowns) is a 1970 film written and directed by Federico Fellini. As much about Fellini and company's filmmaking adventures as the legendary old circus performers they're tracking down, this "docu-comedy" was produced both for theaters and Italian television. Raro's DVD includes a 50-page companion book, a new 42-minute video essay, and Marriage Agency, Fellini's segment for the 1953 omnibus feature Love in the City. Read on...
March 3, 2011 - Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group is a one-hour improvised comedy special from the "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" performers. Filmed in Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, this concert includes pantomime, puppeteering, sound effects, and other audience-enlisting activities. It's coming to DVD on Tuesday with two behind-the-scenes shorts with the stars. Watch a clip from the feature as part of our review.
March 2, 2011 - The new DVD "Wishbone" compiles four episodes of the 1990s public television series in which a Jack Russell Terrier imagines himself in classic stories paralelling the circumstances in the lives of his teenaged owner and his friends. Featured here are adaptations of Jules Verne and Victor Hugo plus the tales of Don Quixote and Robin Hood. Read our full review.
March 1, 2011 - Aaron Wallace reviews Bambi, Walt Disney's fifth animated film and now his namesake studio's third entry in the Diamond Edition line. Nearly seventy years after its debut, this mature and atmospheric story of a deer, adapted from Felix Salten's novel, continues to delight. Our exhaustive review fills you in on what's new, what's dropped, and how this 1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD combo pack compares to the film's 2005 Platinum Edition DVD. Our two-page review includes film and bonus feature clips. Read on...
Dwayne Johnson returns to action in the R-rated revenge thriller Faster. The former wrestler plays an ex-con who upon release from prison tracks down those who set him up and killed his brother. Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino, and Maggie Grace co-star. Available today, Sony's DVD includes an alternate ending and deleted scenes, introduced by director George Tillman, Jr. (Men of Honor). Read our review...
February 28, 2011 - In our first look at this week's new releases, we review Burlesque, a musical that stars Christina Aguilera as an Iowa waitress who tries to make it as a Los Angeles entertainer. Written and directed by Steven Antin, the film co-stars Cher, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming and Julianne Hough. Sony's DVD includes an Antin commentary, a blooper reel, six uncut song performances (including a deleted number), and an alternate opening. Full review.
February 25, 2011 - DreamWorks Animation's film Megamind centers on a bald blue alien supervillain (voiced by Will Ferrell) who gets his wish of conquering his nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt). This superhero satire co-stars Tina Fey and Jonah Hill as a news reporter and her cameraman, who are at the center of the change sweeping over Metro City. Released today, the Mega Double DVD Pack includes the all-new short film Megamind: The Button of Doom, a filmmakers' audio commentary, featurettes on the all-star voice cast and design, a drawing lesson, DVD-ROM printables, a video comic book, and a "spot the differences" activity. Read our review.
February 22, 2011 - In advance of next week's Blu-ray debut of Disney's Bambi, we've got a new interview with Donnie Dunagan, who voiced the young deer some seventy years ago. A live-action child star beforehand, Dunagan shares his memories of working with Walt Disney and the "drawing men", experiences he kept secret during a long, prolific career in the United States Marine Corps. Read the full interview conducted by Renata Olson and including video clips.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
I Spit On Your Grave (2010) - This remake remains true to the controversial original 1978 horror film, but with graphic Saw-style revenge to complement the rape brutality of its first half. Anchor Bay's DVD preserves the unrated cut given limited theatrical release and includes an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and marketing materials.
Unstoppable - This second consecutive Tony Scott-directed Denzel Washington action movie to center on a train casts Washington as a veteran engineer and Star Trek's Chris Pine as an inexperienced conductor who together are called to avoid the certain disaster facing a racing, highly explosive, unmanned locomotive. Fox's Blu-ray includes two audio commentaries, three featurettes, a trailer, BD-Live, and a digital copy.
Due Date - A road trip buddy comedy from The Hangover director Todd Phillips resembling John Hughes' Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Robert Downey Jr. plays an uptight architect who drives cross-country with a dim-witted stranger (Zach Galifianakis) in order to see the birth of his son. Warner's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes a gag reel, a "Two and a Half Men" scene, deleted scenes, mash-ups, and the usual digital copies.
Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts - In a San Francisco stand-up performance taped last summer, the "Tosh.0" host talks sports, religion, and race. Comedy Central's DVD offers the program in uncensored 58-minute and broadcast 42-minute cuts plus Tosh's encore, a "Day in the Life" of Tosh, and two warm-up acts.
The Last Unicorn (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack) - 1982 Rankin/Bass animated fantasy film adapts Peter S. Beagle's novel with an all-star voice cast and songs by America. Lionsgate's set adds extensive narrated galleries, a new featurette, and a new commentary to existing bonus features, while restoring the film's original theatrical soundtrack and speed.
Jack Goes Boating - Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut in this adaptation of an Off-Broadway play, also starring an odd New York City limo driver starting a new relationship with an equally awkward woman (Amy Ryan). Anchor Bay's DVD includes deleted scenes, two featurettes, and the trailer.
For Colored Girls - Tyler Perry adapts Ntozake Shange's Obie-winning 1970s play on the challenges of contemporary life for a number of African American women in New York, from teen pregnancy to domestic abuse. The drama's ensemble cast includes Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Phylicia Rashad, and Whoopi Goldberg. Lionsgate's DVD contains a documentary on the stage show in its various incarnations, readings of poems from the text, a making-of featurette, music video montages, and an archive of marketing materials.
Waiting for "Superman" - The acclaimed new documentary from An Inconvenient Truth's Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim takes a good look at America's public education system, profiling students exploring their options and considering some of the factors behind today's troubling statistics. On DVD, the movie is joined by an audio commentary, a making-of featurette on John Legend's closing song, over a half-hour of deleted scenes, a couple of promotional animated shorts, updates on the film's subjects, and a $25 DonorsChoose.org gift card.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - Woody Allen returns to London with this film about the complicated romantic relationships of three family members, played by Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, and Gemma Jones. Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Lucy Punch, and Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto co-star.
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