DVDizzy.com: APRIL 16-30, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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April 29, 2013 - Our latest review looks at Strictly Ballroom. The first film of Baz Luhrmann, the visionary writer/director of Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet, becomes the last of his to hit Blu-ray, arriving just ahead of The Great Gatsby's theatrical release. This PG-rated 1992 Australian comedy centers on an unlikely pairing for a championship ballroom competition. Lionsgate brings this Miramax sleeper to high definition with a making-of retrospective, a 1986 Australian TV documentary on dancers, a deleted scene, a Luhrmann-narrated gallery, and a filmmakers' audio commentary. Waltz on over to our detailed review.
The first of today's two new reviews covers tomorrow's Amazon.com-exclusive Blu-ray debut of Funny Girl. Adapted from the Broadway musical, this 1968 Columbia Pictures film directed by Roman Holiday's William Wyler tells the true rags-to-riches story of comedienne Fanny Brice. In her film debut, Barbra Streisand won the Best Actress Oscar, one of eight Academy Awards for which this hit film was nominated. Co-starring Doctor Zhivago's Omar Sharif, the film sports a stunning 4K restoration and is joined by two vintage featurettes. Our review.
April 27, 2013 - The 2007 Miramax drama The Hoax made the leap to Blu-ray earlier this year as a Best Buy exclusive. On May 7th, that bargain disc from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment hits general retail and we've got a review. Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving, a man who in the early 1970s claimed to have been asked by reclusive, eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes to help him write his exclusive autobiography. Lasse Hallstrφm (The Cider House Rules) directs a cast that includes Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, Julie Delpy, Stanley Tucci, and Eli Wallach. The Blu-ray adds twenty minutes of never-before-seen footage, but drops a number of features from the film's original DVD. Get the full scoop in our detailed review.
April 25, 2013 - Today's new review details another one of Mill Creek's recent Double Feature Blu-rays: Ship of Fools & Lilith. These two black and white Columbia Pictures dramas from mid-1960s adapt popular contemporary novels. Produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, Ship follows a German ocean liner on its return voyage from Mexico in 1933. Nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture and winning wto, its ensemble cast includes Vivien Leigh, Lee Marvin, Oskar Werner, and Jose Ferrer. Lilith, from writer-director Robert Rossen (The Hustler, All the King's Men stars a young Warren Beatty as an Army veteran who starts working at an insane asylum, where he takes special interest in the title character (Jean Seberg). The movie includes some of the first film appearances from Gene Hackman, Jessica Walter, and Peter Fonda. Our review.
April 24, 2013 - Our newest review looks at Gangster Squad. This action drama tells the somewhat true story of an undercover team assembled by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1949 to take down the powerful mobster Mickey Cohen. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, and Emma Stone star in this R-rated film directed by Zombieland's Reuben Fleischer. Now available, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack includes an audio commentary, a picture-in-picture viewing mode, deleted scenes, an hour-long documentary on the real Mickey Cohen, and nearly an hour of making-of featurettes. Don't miss our review.
The independent dark comedy The Details stars Tobey Maguire as a Seattle obstetrician whose marriage and life begin unraveling starting with a raccoon problem. Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert, Kerry Washington, and Ray Liotta co-star in this 2012 limited Weinstein Company release that hits Blu-ray next Tuesday with an alternate beginning and an alternate ending. Review.
April 22, 2013 - Today's new review covers tomorrow's Blu-ray release of The Impossible. This drama tells the true story of one family's experience in the 2004 tsunami. While spending Christmas in Thailand, Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor), and their three sons are divided by the disastrous giant waves of the Indian Ocean. An Academy Award nominee for Best Actress, this English-language Spanish drama hits Blu-ray from Summit/Lionsgate with an audio commentary from the inspiration for Watts' heroine, two making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, a trailer, and UltraViolet. Do not miss our review.
April 21, 2013 - The indie comedy Family Weekend stars High School Musical's Olesya Rulin as a teenaged competitive jump roper who takes drastic measures to teach her parents (Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Modine) a lesson. It hits DVD this week with a making-of featurette and some odds and ends. Check out our review.
April 20, 2013 - Our newest review looks at The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. Long out of print, Aviva Kempner's 2000 documentary on Major League Baseball's first Jewish superstar resurfaces next week in a new two-disc DVD edition wielding an audio commentary, over two hours of additional scenes, trailers, biographies, and more. The winner of many honors, the film recalls the anti-Semitic environment overcome by the two-time American League MVP, who came close to toppling Babe Ruth's record 60 home run season in 1938, joined the Army during World War II, and return to baseball to win a second World Series and home run crown. Our review.
April 19, 2013 - Warner has scheduled a June 18th Blu-ray and DVD release date for Jack the Giant Slayer. Directed by Bryan Singer, this big-budget fantasy family adventure finds a young farmhand (Nicholas Hoult, X-Men: First Class, Warm Bodies, About a Boy) unknowingly reigniting an ancient war between humans and giants. Extras will include deleted scenes, a gag reel, UltraViolet, and the Blu-ray-exclusive interactive experience "Become a Giant Slayer." For cover art and full details, click here.
Disney has cemented The Little Mermaid as its next Diamond Edition release. The beloved 1989 animated musical will return to stores on October 1st in four different editions, all of them including 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD. Premium versions add a Blu-ray 3D, a downloadable digital copy, and some kind of music. Check out cover art and the list of planned bonus features, plus place a preorder at Amazon to support this site: The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD Press Release.
April 18, 2013 - The Norwegian horror fantasy Thale sees two crime scene cleaners discovering a strange wild woman in an underground laboratory. A year after its theatrical debut and less after making a number of festival screenings, the film hits DVD on Tuesday in its original language and a laughable English dub, joined by a trailer. Review.
David Chase, creator and showrunner of "The Sopranos", makes his feature writing, directing, and producing debut on Not Fade Away. This coming-of-age dramedy centers on a group of New Jersey youths who form a band modeled after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. James Gandolfini plays the protagonist's disapproving father. After making little noise in limited theatrical release, this 2012 film hits Blu-ray on April 30th with deleted scenes, four making-of featurettes, a digital copy, and UltraViolet. Read our review.
April 17, 2013 - The thiller Pawn centers on the armed robbery of a 24-hour Connecticut diner affecting dirty cops, mobsters, a reformed criminal, a negotiator, and kitchen staff. Michael Chiklis adopts a Cockney accent as the perpetrator. He also produced the film, which co-stars Forest Whitaker, Common, Ray Liotta, Stephen Lang, and Sean Faris. Anchor Bay Entertainment brings this to home video next Tuesday in a DVD + Blu-ray Combo Pack that includes a 23-minute making-of featurette. Our review.
April 16, 2013 - Today's new review covers Disney's recent 2 Movie Collection of Brother Bear & Brother Bear 2. The 2003 film, an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, hit theaters during a time of change and doubt for Disney Animation. It features song by Phil Collins and tells the story of a young man (voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) who is transformed into a bear. The 2006 direct-to-video sequel follows up with him (now voiced by Patrick Dempsey) and an old childhood friend (voiced by Mandy Moore). The 3 Disc Special Edition combo pack preserves the first disc of the original movie's two-disc DVD and carries over everything but games from both films to the shared Blu-ray. Our complete review.
April 14, 2013 - The Hong Kong film Dragon is void of fire-breathing creatures, but delivers plenty of martial arts action. Donnie Yen (Hero, Ip Man) plays a simple villager in 1917 China whose self-defense workplace slayings of two wanted fugitives draws the suspicions of a dedicated detective (Takeshi Kaneshiro). After a limited U.S. theatrical run, this action drama hits Blu-ray on Tuesday from Weinstein/Anchor Bay with an 8-part making-of featurette, a music video, and some English language interviews with Donnie Yen. Our review.
Today is your last chance to enter our two active giveaways. Even if you've already entered, you can quickly improve your odds by picking up additional chances: Mill Creek Blu-ray & DVD Giveaway, Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore DVD Giveaway.
April 12, 2013 - Today's new review looks at Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, a new anime film from Marvel and Japan's Madhouse. In it, Iron Man teams up with The Punisher to track a threat with powerful new technology, to the concerns of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Black Widow. In stores Tuesday, Sony's Blu-ray includes two making-of featurettes, UltraViolet, and an exclusive conceptual art gallery. Our review.
April 11, 2013 - Next week, Disneynature alters an Earth Day tradition by skipping a theatrical release and bringing Wings of Life straight to Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. This documentary from director Louie Schwartzberg (America's Heart & Soul) looks at plants and the bees, bats, and butterflies that pollinate them. Meryl Streep provides a flower's narration in this G-rated film, whose only accompaniment advertises the line's planned return to theaters for next spring. Buzz on over to our review.
April 10, 2013 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Steven Spielberg-produced, Robert Zemeckis-directed 1988 blockbuster credited with revitalizing animation, is our newest Blu-ray review subject. Set in 1947 Hollywood, the film follows a private eye (Bob Hoskins) investigating the murder of a cartoon studio head believed to have been performed by a rival studio's star. Full of cameos from the likes of Looney Tunes, Disney, and beyond, this film won four Academy Awards including a special achievement honor. Disney's recent Blu-ray + DVD combo pack treats the three spin-off short films to HD transfers and retains a hearty slate of bonus features including an audio commentary, a deleted scene, a retrospective documentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a trivia track, and an art gallery. Check out our full review.
April 9, 2013 - We look at another one of Mill Creek's recent Double Feature Blu-rays in our review of The Squid and the Whale & Running with Scissors. Set in 1986 Brooklyn, Squid looks at the dissolution of a 17-year marriage (Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney) and how it affects the development of their two sons (Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline). Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, this acclaimed comedy was nominated for an Oscar and three Golden Globes. Scissors, adapted and directed by Ryan Murphy ("Glee", "American Horror Story"), looks at how a family's divorce affects a teenaged boy (Joseph Cross), who winds up living in the crazy mansion of his mother's (Annette Bening) bizarre shrink (Brian Cox). The two mid-noughties indies share a low-priced disc that leaves no room for their previously assembled extras. Our review.
Today, over four years after releasing Season 5, CBS/Paramount issues "Family Ties": The Sixth Season on DVD. The penultimate outing for NBC's 1980s sitcom, 1987-88 finds Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) dating a psychology grad student (Courteney Cox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and her artist boyfriend (Scott Valentine) trying to build a nest egg, and the Keatons battling Jennifer's high school's board over book report censorship. The four-disc, 26-episode set includes two-parters, clip shows, two episodes curiously held over from past seasons, and guest appearances by the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Dan Hedaya, and a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. What would we do, baby, without our review? Sha-la-la-la.
April 8, 2013 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at The Grifters, a 1990 neo-noir drama produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Queen). John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Bening star as small-time con artists whose paths cross in deadly ways. Nominated for four major Academy Awards, this Miramax film hits Blu-ray from Echo Bridge in a disc that's now available at Best Buy and will hit general retail next month. Extras include an audio commentary by Frears, Cusack, Huston, and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake and two featurettes. Full review.
April 6, 2013 - Oz the Great and Powerful, the top grossing film of 2013 so far, is now up for preorder on Amazon in the following four combinations: a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy ($44.99 SRP), a DVD + Digital Copy ($29.99 SRP), a Blu-ray + Digital Copy ($39.99 SRP), and a Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy ($44.99 SRP). Check out cover art and our film review if you missed it. Meanwhile, look for a release date and details to be announced on May 1st.
April 5, 2013 - Made for IMAX but only exhibited in Europe and South Korea, Magic Journey to Africa comes to Blu-ray and DVD later this month from Image Entertainment. This 49-minute film follows a girl into Africa, where she talks to animals, fire spirits, and an owl man. Offering an unadvertised 3D presentation, the Blu-ray also includes two substantial making-of featurettes and trailers for seven other large format films. Read our magic review.
The 2011 computer-animated French film A Monster in Paris makes its way to America later this month in a two-disc Blu-ray 3D/2D + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. From animation veteran Bibo Bergeron, this film sets a monster with a golden voice loose in 1910 Paris amidst a cast of eccentrics. Watch a clip from its English language version as part of our complete review.
In honor of its 20th anniversary, Jurassic Park returns to theaters today in a wide release 3D conversion. We take a look at how two decades have aged Steven Spielberg's smash hit adventure and how the public's perception of the film has changed. Don't miss our film review.
April 4, 2013 - The 1999 film Teaching Mrs. Tingle marked the directorial debut of Scream writer and "Dawson's Creek" creator Kevin Williamson. Helen Mirren plays a nasty high school history teacher who gets tied up by three seniors (Katie Holmes, Barry Watson, and Marisa Coughlan) looking to graduate on time.Currently a Best Buy exclusive, Echo Bridge's Blu-ray hits general retail on May 7th and we've got a review.
Our newest DVD review covers Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore. Shortly after premiering on Comedy Central to some confusion, this hour-long special hits DVD extended and uncensored, featuring jokes, monologues, music, and performance art from the "Flight of the Conchords" and Toy Story 3 actress. The special is joined by Schaal's "Comedy Central Presents" episode, her performance on "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show", and three of her appearances as senior women's issues correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Read our review and US and Canadian readers can win the DVD in our new giveaway.
April 3, 2013 - Last year's Red Dawn remake is the subject of our latest review. This PG-13 flick relocates the action to Spokane, Washington and makes North Koreans the villains. Otherwise, it plays out like the 1984 version, pitting resilient American teenagers against well-armed foreign invaders. Thor's Chris Hemsworth, The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson, and "Drake & Josh"'s Josh Peck star. Its drubbed, unprofitable fall theatrical engagement behind it, the film is now available to own in an oddly barren two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack from Fox. Our review.
Mill Creek Entertainment lets the 2000 film Hollow Man and its direct-to-video 2006 sequel Hollow Man II share a low-priced Double Feature Blu-ray. Directed by RoboCop's Paul Verhoeven and co-written by "Castle" creator Andrew W. Marlowe, the original film stars Kevin Bacon as a gifted scientist indefinitely resigned to invisibility and determined to complicate the life of his colleagues (including Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin). The sequel stars Peter Facinelli and Laura Reagan as a detective and scientist on the run from the military and an invisible man (Christian Slater). Our review.
April 1, 2013 - Our newest review looks at Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's acclaimed drama about the passage of the 13th amendment. For his portrayal of the United States' 16th president, Daniel Day-Lewis became the first person to win a third Best Actor Oscar. That was one of twelve Academy Award nominations earned by this box office hit, whose ensemble cast includes Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Now available, Disney/DreamWorks' four-disc combo pack includes over an hour of bonus features on an exclusive bonus Blu-ray plus a DVD and a digital copy. Read our review.
March 31, 2013 - The independent drama Down the Shore stars James Gandolfini and Famke Janssen as depressive New Jersey residents whose existence is shaken up by the arrival of a European with a heretofore unknown tie to one of them and a claim to half their house. After years on a shelf, the film is slated to be exhibited in a few theaters on Friday, before hitting stores the following Tuesday. Take an early look at Anchor Bay's Blu-ray here.
March 30, 2013 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Nanook of the North, The Wedding of Palo and Other Films of Arctic Life, Flicker Alley's recent two-disc collection. The centerpiece of this set, Nanook profiles a Canadian Arctic Inuit hunter and his family. Considered the first feature documentary, it was an influential hit upon its 1922 release and was among the first films chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress. The Wedding of Palo takes us to East Greenland for a love triangle, hunting, and more culture. Those two are joined by six additional films stretching from a 1913 filmed notebook on Alaska to a 1988 French television documentary returning to the much-changed site of Nanook for reflection. Don't miss our thorough review.
Disney has just scheduled three more animated features for 2 Movie Collection Blu-ray debuts. On June 11th, the studio will release 1 Blu-ray, 2 DVD combo packs for The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Lilo & Stitch. Each film will be joined by a direct-to-video follow-up: Kronk's New Groove, Atlantis: Milo's Return and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. Each three-disc set will carry a $29.99 SRP, ten dollars below comparable recent 2 Movie Collections. Click here or the thumbnails below for large cover art and site-supporting Amazon preorders.
Recent Film Reviews:
Admission - This comedy stars Tina Fey as a Princeton University admissions officer who takes special personal interest in one brilliant but eccentric applicant to whom she might be related. Paul Rudd, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn, and Michael Sheen co-star in this film directed by About a Boy's Paul Weitz and adapted from Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel by Karen Croner (One True Thing).
Oz the Great and Powerful - Serves as a prequel to one of the most beloved films of all time. Directed by Spider-Man's Sam Raimi, this big budget fantasy sends a carnival magician (James Franco) from 1905 Kansas to the magical world of Oz, where he is greeted by witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams) as the wizard who will fulfill a prophecy. Expected to be the first big hit of 2013, the film opens in the same off-season time of year in which Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland soared and John Carter flopped.
Beautiful Creatures - Adapting the first in a young adult novel series, this PG-13 supernatural teen romance pairs South Carolina insomniac bookphile Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena (Alice Englert), the new-in-town niece of a famous recluse (Jeremy Irons). Co-starring Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, and Emmy Rossum, this Twilight-esque film is primed to do some strong Valentine's Day business.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out - This Cartoon Network animated special sends up George Lucas' space saga with LEGO renderings of characters from both blockbuster trilogies. In it, Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Darth Maul build a new Death Star; Princess Leia and Han Solo head to Naboo; and Luke Skywalker tries to dodge swooning admirers. The half-hour program hits DVD with an exclusive Vader mini figure.
Border Run (Blu-ray) - This drama stars Sharon Stone as an Arizona reporter who gets a taste of what illegal immigrants face to cross over from Mexico to the United States.
"Dirk Gently" - Based on books by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), this British comic mystery TV series centers on a "holistic" detective (Stephen Mangan) who solves mysteries with a belief that all things are somehow interconnected. Acorn Media brings the complete series, consisting of a pilot and three hour-long episodes, to DVD in the US in a two-disc set.
To the Arctic - Meryl Streep narrates this IMAX 3D documentary that explores the Arctic lives of polar bears, walruses, and caribou amidst rapid climate change. From the director of Everest and featuring the songs of Paul McCartney, the film is joined by six making-of featurettes and a trailer on the hybrid first disc of Warner's combo pack.
Adventures in Zambezia (Blu-ray + DVD) - In South Africa's first 3D animated film, an adventurous adolescent falcon travels to the titular city of birds. Featuring the voices of Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Samuel L. Jackson, Sony's combo pack includes four making-of featurettes and a sing-along music video.
Killing Them Softly (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Brad Pitt reunites with his The Assassination of Jesse James writer/director Andrew Dominik in this crime drama adapted from a 1970s novel. In it, a contract hitman settles the heist of a mob card game. Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and Argo's Scoot McNairy co-star. Weinstein/Anchor Bay's combo pack includes deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and codes for an iTunes download and UltraViolet.
Badlands (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - Terrence Malick's 1973 directorial debut stars Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as young lovers who inadvertently find themselves on a Great Plains killing spree in the late-1950s. Respecting the director's reclusive reputation, the Blu-ray includes a new documentary with interviews of Sheen, Spacek, and art director Jack Fisk; interviews with two other crew members; the original trailer; and a 1993 episode of A&E's "American Justice" on the real criminals who inspired the film.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) - Launching another Peter Jackson-directed epic fantasy trilogy based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, this first adventure from the beloved novel places simple homebody Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in the company of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen eccentric dwarves on a mission fraught with peril. Warner's combo pack includes over two hours of video blogs, nine trailers, and a featurette on New Zealand on a bonus Blu-ray Disc.
"Veep": The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - In her third Emmy-winning role, "Seinfeld" alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer in this political satire that's big on fast, sharp, and profane dialogue. From the Oscar-nominated writer of In the Loop, the series co-stars Matt Walsh (Ted), Tony Hale ("Arrested Development"), and Anna Chlumsky (My Girl). HBO's combo pack serves up eight episodes on two Blu-rays and a double-sided DVD along with twelve audio commentaries, a half-hour of deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, speeches and outtakes, episode previews, and downloadable UltraViolet digital copies.
Stand Off - Brendan Fraser heads to Belfast, where his cousin's antiques shop becomes the site of a hostage situation involving a desperate young man with a special connection to him. Colm Meaney and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1's David O'Hara co-star in this Irish film directed and co-written by Hotel Rwanda's Terry George.
Rust and Bone (Blu-ray) - This French romantic drama competed for two Golden Globe Awards earlier this year in the Best Actress - Drama and Best Foreign Language Film categories. From the writer and director of A Prophet, the film stars Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as an orca trainer who endures a workplace tragedy and Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) as a broke single father and former kickboxer trying to get back on his feet. Sony's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, an hour-long making-of documentary, deleted scenes, visual effects demonstrations, a Toronto International Film Festival red carpet featurette, and the trailer.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - The popular, prosperous Las Vegas franchise samples its current shows around a narrative involving a young woman's search for an aerialist who has fallen into a dream world. Written and directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) and executive produced by James Cameron, the film is joined by "A Day in the Life with Erica Linz" (the lead actress), a making-of short, a commercial for Las Vegas shows, a coupon for 20% off select US and Canada shows, and UltraViolet.
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