DVDizzy.com: APRIL 1-15, 2014 NEWS ARCHIVES
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April 15, 2014 - The first hit film of 2014 hit home video today and we've got a review. Ride Along stars Kevin Hart as an aspiring cop who tags along with his girlfriend's brother, a hardened vice detective (Ice Cube), for a day they'll never forget. Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Barbershop, Think Like a Man) directs this blockbuster buddy comedy, which Universal's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack treats to an audio commentary, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and numerous making-of featurettes. Full review.
April 14, 2014 - Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress, Philomena hits home video tomorrow. This drama from director Stephen Frears (The Queen) tells the remarkable true story of an Irish mother's (Judi Dench) and British journalist's (Steve Coogan) search for the child she gave up to nuns fifty years ago. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes a Dench interview, a Coogan Q & A, a short on the real Philomena, an audio commentary by Coogan and co-writer Jeff Pope, and a code for Digital HD UltraViolet. Don't miss our review.
April 12, 2014 - Our newest review covers the upcoming Blu-ray release of Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed. Gaffigan's fourth stand-up special will premiere on Comedy Central on April 27th then hit home video in this substantially extended version two days later. Full review.
April 11, 2014 - Don't miss our new review of the recent remastered Blu-ray edition of Fargo. The Coen brothers' revered crime comedy stars an Oscar-winning Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police officer investigating a triple homicide that is part of a staged kidnapping plot by a desperate car dealer (William H. Macy). Co-starring Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, this 1996 film gets improved picture quality alongside an audio commentary by cinematographer Roger Deakins, the half-hour documentary "Minnesota Nice", a photo gallery, a cinematography article, and trailers. Full review.
April 10, 2014 - Our latest review covers the Blu-ray release of August: Osage County. Adapted from Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film reunites a large Oklahoma family for the first time in years following the death of its patriarch. Earning Academy Award nominations for Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, this ensemble dramedy also stars Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, and Abigail Breslin. Now available, Weinstein's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by director John Wells and his cinematographer, deleted scenes with commentary, a writing featurette, and a making-of featurette. Read more...
April 9, 2014 - Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone channel two of their more iconic roles in Grudge Match, a comedy about world light heavyweight boxing champions who agree to square off thirty years after a rematch was cancelled. Co-starring Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, Jon Bernthal, and LL Cool J, this Christmas Day comedy is now available to own. Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes over 45 minutes of bonus features, including alternate endings, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and interviews with heavyweight champions Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Larry Holmes. Get ready to rumble with our complete review.
April 8, 2014 - Our newest review looks at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This middle film in Peter Jackson's second epic Middle-Earth trilogy sends Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) looking for a stolen jewel and finding a giant dragon. The dwarves are back and taken prisoner by elves including Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Available today, Warner's 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack should satisfy those unwilling to wait for the inevitable Extended Edition. It includes over two hours of bonus features including production videos, trailers, and a 2013 live stream. Don't miss our full review.
One of the year's bigger Tuesdays to date, today sees the Blu-ray and DVD release of some of the first films of 2014 and the last ones of 2013. More on the five we're reviewing can be found on our April Schedule.
April 6, 2014 - Our coverage of this week's Blu-rays begins with a review of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. This spin-off to the lucrative low-budget horror franchise centers on two recent high school graduates whose lives become disturbed. Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack treats the film to theatrical and unrated cuts plus over 10 minutes of deleted scenes on Blu-ray. Don't miss our full review.
April 5, 2014 - The Invisible Woman tells the true story of a love affair between Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) and Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), a young actress. Fiennes directs a cast that also includes Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander. Available on April 15th, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack treats the Oscar-nominated drama to a commentary, festival panels, and additional Q & A sessions with Fiennes and Jones, plus the trailer. Our review.
April 4, 2014 - In theaters today, Captain America: The Winter Soldier adds to the continuing saga of Marvel's superhero. World War II supersoldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself in the middle of danger and conspiracy when attempts are made on the life of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Co-starring Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, and Robert Redford, this action-packed sequel is directed by "Community" producers and brothers Anthony and Joe Russo from another script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World). Don't miss our film review of this likely hit.
At Middleton stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga as parents accompanying their respective teenagers on a tour of Middleton College. Separated from the group, they form a connection. Now available, Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by Garcia and the filmmakers, an outtakes reel, and a slideshow music video for an original Garcia song. Our full review.
March 28, 2014 - The Jungle Book 2 picks up shortly after where its esteemed predecessor left over. Living in a village and missing the wild, Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) winds up back in the jungle with Baloo (John Goodman), where he is pursued by a vengeful Shere Khan (Tony Jay). Now available, Disney's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack includes two music videos, two deleted scenes, a recap of the original film, and a 15-minute making-of featurette. Go W-I-L-D with our review.
Delivery Man stars Vince Vaughn as a New Yorker who is surprised to learn that his sperm donations from twenty years ago have produced over 500 children, many of whom would like to know his identity. Co-starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders, this DreamWorks/Touchstone dramedy is now available on a Blu-ray, joined by a deleted scene, Vaughn improvisations, bloopers, and a making-of featurette. Our review.
March 27, 2014 - Three DVDizzy.com readers will win a copy of the recent Blu-ray release of Jeff Dunham's Achmed Saves America in our newest giveaway. The grand prize winner will have their copy of the hour-long animated movie signed by Dunham himself. Enter daily now through April 10th.
March 26, 2014 - Today's new review covers The Past, writer/director Asghar Farhadi's follow-up to his Oscar-winning Iranian film A Separation. This French language drama tells the story of a separated couple (The Artist's Bιrιnice Bejo and Ali Mosaffa) intending to finalize their divorce but whose intersecting families are weighed down by secrets and guilt. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes an audio commentary and Q&A session by Farhadi, a half-hour making-of documentary, and the film's US theatrical trailer. Our review.
March 25, 2014 - Fresh off its Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film, The Great Beauty hit home video today from The Criterion Collection. This Italian drama from Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place) tells the story of a longtime member of Rome's high society (Toni Servillo) who takes stock of his life following his 65th birthday. The 1 Blu-ray, 2 DVD Dual-Format Edition release includes interviews with Sorrentino, Servillo, and co-writer Umberto Contarello in addition to deleted scenes and the film's trailer. Our review.
On April 29th, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release to general retail the Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection, a deluxe 31-disc set holding all eight of the fantasy franchise's films on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet, plus over 45 hours of bonus features including the complete 8-part documentary "Creating the World of Harry Potter." Succeeding the sold out Wizards Collection at half the list price ($249.99 SRP), this set also includes the final two movies in Blu-ray 3D, and a bonus disc with over three hours of additional extras including "50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments (Definitive Version)" and Hagrid and Quidditch "Secrets Revealed" featurettes. You don't have to wait that long to get your hands on this set; it has been available at Amazon.com since February as an exclusive to the e-tailer.
March 24, 2014 - Take a look with us at Saving Mr. Banks. Disney's drama about the contentious making of Mary Poppins received good reviews but fewer accolades than expected. Starring Emma Thompson as author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, the film co-stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Ruth Wilson and Bradley Whitford. Now available, the Blu-ray + Digital HD Digital Copy set includes three deleted scenes, a look at Disney studio then and now, and a clip of Richard Sherman leading the cast and crew in song on the last day of filming. Don't miss our thorough review.
Cover art has been posted for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner, this latest outing of the Tom Clancy hero will arrive in stores on June 10th (just in time for Father's Day) with deleted scenes, Branagh audio commentary, and more. Click here to view it.
March 23, 2014 - Our newest review assesses Flicker Alley's recent Blu-ray debut of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This silent 1923 filming of Victor Hugo's novel stars Lon Chaney in the title role, the deformed outcast Quasimodo who makes his home in the titular Paris cathedral. The Blu-ray includes a 1915 short featuring Chaney playing a different hunchback, a short behind-the-scenes newsreel clip featuring Chaney, an audio commentary and essay by Chaney historian Michael F. Blake, and HD videos displaying production photos and the original souvenir program. Read more...
March 22, 2014 - Our newest review looks at next Tuesday's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet release of The Wolf of Wall Street. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Actor, this latest collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio tells the true story of a white collar criminal, who found wealth in stock fraud. Co-starring Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, and Rob Reiner, this 3-hour drama is joined by a 17-minute making-of featurette on Blu-ray. Our review.
March 21, 2014 - Spike Jonze's acclaimed comedy-romance Her will reach DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on May 13th, becoming the last of 2013's Oscar-winning features to hit home video. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a man of the future who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde co-star in this Original Screenplay winner, which will be joined by three extras on Blu-ray and one on DVD. Cover art, preorders, and complete details can be found in the press release.
Two major new movies open theatrically in wide release today and we've got reviews of each.
Divergent, adapted from the first book in Veronica Roth's best-selling young adult trilogy, tells the story of a teenaged girl (Shailene Woodley) in a dystopian future where people are divided into five factions. It's being groomed as the new Hunger Games, with Summit/Lionsgate even relying on that franchise's original timing. Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zoλ Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, and Kate Winslet co-star in this PG-13 sci-fi thriller that's expected to open #1 and be followed by sequels. Our review.
Those wanting intentional laughs may be better served by Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel to the franchise's warmly-received 2011 revival. In it, diabolical fugitive Constantine switches places with Kermit the Frog while the Muppets embark on a world tour in European locations near choice theft targets. Director James Bobin, screenwriter Nicholas Stoller, and Oscar-winning lyricist Bret McKenzie all return from the first film. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell lead a human cast that likely shatters the record for most cameos in a film. Read all about it.
March 20, 2014 - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom tells the extraordinary story of Nelson Mandela. Idris Elba plays the freedom-promoting South African leader who spent nearly 30 years in jail. Naomie Harris plays his social worker wife Winnie. From the director of The Other Boleyn Girl and Gladiator, Les Misιrables screenwriter William Nicholson comes this official biopic adapted from Mandela's autobiography. A Best Original Song Oscar nominee for U2's "Ordinary Love", this drama is now available to own in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack that includes director's audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a making-of featurette, and tributes from notable admirers including Dan Rather and Al Gore. Our review.
The horror comedy Buck Wild follows four young men on a Texas hunting trip where they run into a town of zombies. Released this week, Millennium Entertainment's Blu-ray includes the film's trailer and three deleted scenes. Our review.
March 17, 2014 - The independent drama Kill Your Darlings tells the true story about the shared young adulthood of Beat Generation icons Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), William Burroughs (Ben Foster), and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). Available tomorrow, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack includes an audio commentary by the cast and filmmakers, a Q & A with the filmmakers, comments from the Toronto Film Festival red carpet, and deleted scenes. Our review.
March 16, 2014 - Frozen hits stores this week on the heels of its extraordinary box office success and Academy Award wins for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Disney Animation Studios' 53rd feature, this musical adventure tells the story of two sisters, one with ice-producing powers that divide them. The Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack includes the Oscar-nominated new Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse!, four deleted scenes with intros from the directors, a featurette on Disney's historical attempts to adapt Hans Christian Andersen, and a making-of song performed by voice cast members. Don't miss our review.
Recent Film Reviews:
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Written and directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums), this stylish comedy centers on a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and his teenaged lobby boy (Tony Revolori) who find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery involving a wealthy dowager (Tilda Swinton) with a contested inheritance in 1932 Europe. The large cast also includes Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, and Edward Norton.
The Monuments Men - George Clooney directs, produces, writes, and stars in this drama that tells the true story of a group of soldiers assigned to protect and retrieve priceless art at the end of World War II. The distinguished cast also includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin.
Labor Day - Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) directs this romantic drama, which he adapts from Joyce Maynard's book. Set in 1987 New England, it tells the story of a divorced mother (Kate Winslet), her 13-year-old son (Gattlin Griffith), and the stranger (Josh Brolin) in need of a safe place to lay low. Tobey Maguire narrates and co-stars in this Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress in a Drama.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
American Hustle (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Based on the real Abscam operation of the 1970s, this Golden Globe-winning film from director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner as New Yorkers whose lives get mixed up in an FBI plot to expose corruption. Available Tuesday, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes over 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes plus a making-of featurette.
Achmed Saves America (Blu-ray) - Jeff Dunham, the most successful ventriloquist of all time, gets into animation with next week's release of This hour-long special finds Achmed, the skeletal terrorist of Dunham's stand-up comedy act, arriving in the middle of the United States and being mistaken for a French exchange student, while his views are challenged. In stores before the special airs on CMT, Comedy Central's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by Dunham and collaborators and a short making-of featurette.
George Washington (Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - The feature debut of Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green, this 2000 film spends a memorable summer with poor adolescents in a small southern town. The decorated film is joined by two of Green's shorts made in the 1990s as a North Carolina School of Arts student, a 1969 Clu Gulager short that inspired him, a deleted scene, the trailer, audio commentary, a cast reunion, Green's 2001 "Charlie Rose" interview, and a booklet with an Armond White essay.
Easy Money: Hard to Kill (Blu-ray) - International thriller stars Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing", RoboCop) as an ex-con who returns to his old criminal ways out of necessity. The follow-up to a Swedish hit, this film is adapted from the novels of Jens Lapidus and executive produced by Safe House director Daniel Espinosa.
"The Middle": Season 4 - ABC's long-running sitcom about an Indiana family of five (headed by "Everybody Loves Raymond"'s Patricia Heaton and "Scrubs"' Neil Flynn) treats us to road tests, two graduations, a new tic, a new job, and an assortment of holidays. Warner's three-disc DVD holds all 23 episodes including the double-length season premiere in addition to deleted scenes and a gag reel.
Inside Llewyn Davis - Among 2013's most acclaimed films, this Coen Brothers comedy-drama spends a winter 1961 week in the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a talented and completely unsuccessful New York City folk singer. Co-starring John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and F. Murray Abraham, this CBS Films release hits DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow with the 42-minute making-of documentary "Inside Inside Llewyn Davis" and UltraViolet.
Samson and Delilah (Blu-ray) - Before The Ten Commandments, producer-director Cecil B. DeMille made The 1949 Biblical epic stars Victor Mature as the extraordinary strong man of Dan and Hedy Lamarr as the Philistine who loves him. Also featuring George Sanders and Angela Lansbury, this winner of two technical Oscars hits Blu-ray on Tuesday, a year after finally showing up on DVD, joined by a theatrical reissue trailer.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - The second installment in the blockbuster franchise adapted from Suzanne Collins' novels returns Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) to survival challenge when past victors square off in the Third Quarter Quell Hunger Games. The gamemaker has changed and so has the competition, but the stakes remain life or death. Now available, Lionsgate's two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes an audio commentary, five minutes of deleted scenes, and a 2½-hour making-of documentary.
The Iran Job - Documentary follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard to Iran, where he is spending the 2008-09 season as a member of the expansion team A.S. Shiraz. Film Movement's DVD includes two interviews with the filmmakers, trailers, bios, and director Till Schauder's 1995 short film City Bomber.
The Grandmaster (Blu-ray) - Shortlisted for Foreign Language Film and nominated for Best Cinematography and Costume Design, this historical drama written and directed by Wong Kar Wai (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express) tells the true story of the Ip Man, the martial arts legend who trained Bruce Lee. Starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang, this Weinstein Company-imported Hong Kong film is joined by a Gina Carano-hosted American TV special, a nearly hour-long Chinese documentary, and interviews with Lee's daughter and rapper RZA.
"Above Suspicion": Set 3 - The fourth three-episode batch of the British mystery series finds detectives Travis (Flight's Kelly Reilly) and Langton (Ciarαn Hinds) investigating the murder of a troubled young film actress (Joanna Vanderham). Now available, Acorn's DVD includes interviews with the cast, crew, and author/screenwriter Lynda La Plante plus a photo gallery.
Under Capricorn - This 1980s miniseries adapts the Helen Simpson novel Alfred Hitchcock filmed in the 1940s, this British-Australian production tells the story of an Irishman (Peter Cousens) who comes to New South Wales and becomes privy to a marriage full of secrets and problems. Consisting of a pair of nearly two-hour installments, this series is now available on a two-disc DVD from Acorn Media.
Thor: The Dark World (Blu-ray) - This first sequel in the character's series finds the mighty superhero (Chris Hemsworth) on his home planet of Asgard where an ancient war is reignited over a discovery of Thor's mortal love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Available on its own and alongside a Blu-ray 3D, the Blu-ray includes the Marvel One-Shot short "All Hail the King", the half-hour featurette "A Brother's Journey: Thor & Loki", an audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel.
Gravity (Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack) - Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play American astronauts whose routine mission is complicated by debris from a satellite that cuts out communication, kills a colleague, and makes survival a challenge. Alfonso Cuarσn (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) directs this dazzling space adventure, which he also co-wrote with his son Jonαs. Available tomorrow, Warner's three-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes nearly three hours of bonus features including a nine-part making-of documentary, the Ed Harris-narrated documentary "Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space", shot breakdowns, and the companion short Aningaaq.
Nebraska (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Nominated for six Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, and Cinematography), this dramedy directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) tells the story of an old man (Bruce Dern) and his middle-aged son (Will Forte) taking a road trip to the father's hometown en route to collecting a $1 million prize that the son is convinced is a big misunderstanding. Co-starring June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach, this black and white film is joined by a half-hour making-of featurette on the Blu-ray of Paramount's combo pack.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (Blu-ray) - 1974 comedy thriller stars Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges as an unlikely new pair of fast friends who team up with men chasing them (George Kennedy, Geoffrey Lewis) to make a big heist. Written and directed by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), the film is joined by an isolated score, a new audio commentary by film historians, the original theatrical trailer, and an essay booklet.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) Wes Anderson's 2009 stop-motion-animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's novel tells the story of a family of foxes who are displaced after their patriarch returns to his thieving ways. The 3-disc set adds an Anderson commentary, an animatics version of the film, an hour-long BBC documentary on Dahl, galleries and more to making-of featurettes recycled from Fox's combo pack.
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