May 15, 2007 - Hot off the presses comes the announcement for "Darkwing Duck" Volume 2, which lists the 27 episodes the August 7th box set will contain. With this second release, the early '90s crime-fighter cartoon (a product of both The Disney Afternoon and ABC's Saturday morning lineup) will have 54 of its 91 episodes available on DVD. More...
Like last summer's "vs. Season 1" release, this August's "The Tick" vs. Season 2 will provide only 92%, i.e. 12 out of 13 episodes, of its billed season. Disney's newly-issued press release reveals which of the 1995-96 season's shows will be missing (though not "why") and announces that the dozen featured episodes will be accompanied only by new original box art and a collectible lithograph from "Tick" creator Ben Edlund.
Disney has issued a press release for the June 19th home video debut of Bridge to Terabithia. The falsely-marketed, $81-million grossing family drama will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray bolstered by two cast and crew audio commentaries, an AnnaSophia Robb music video, and two featurettes.
May 12, 2007 - Our latest DVD review looks at "Home Improvement": The Complete Sixth Season. The long-running Touchstone family sitcom gets treated to another 3-disc box set that's light on extras (serving up, once again, only a season-specific blooper reel) but still heavy on fun. Season 6 delivers some classic episodes along with some forgettable ones, as the Taylor boys grow up and get more plotlines, Jill does more than keep everyone grounded, and Tim even shows some depth and sensibility. Guest stars include the Beach Boys, the Andrettis, Drew Carey, the Unsers, and Janeane Garofalo. Nearly half the episodes exhibit some strange visual qualities and the 3-D episode is presented without glasses and originally broadcast effects. Still, the substantially-lowered list price, which guarantees you'll pay well under a dollar an episode, helps justify checking out the Tim Allen comedy's last great season. Read the full, screencap-filled review.
May 11, 2007 - Because there just weren't enough TV show DVDs scheduled for August 7th, Buena Vista has chalked in "8 Simple Rules (for Dating My Teenage Daughter)": The Complete First Season and "Home Improvement": The Complete Seventh Season for release that very day. Each ABC family sitcom will be presented in a 3-disc set, accompanied by a blooper reel and carrying a low $23.99 SRP. UPDATE: Cover art has been posted for both DVDs here.
May 8, 2007 - Disney has issued press releases for "The Muppet Show": Season 2 and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition.
August 7th's robust Disney DVD slate is now up for preorder at Amazon.com with customary 30% discounts: "The Muppet Show": Season 2, "Darkwing Duck": Volume 2, "The Tick" vs. Season 2, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody": Sweet Suite Victory, and "Cory in the House": All-Star Edition. Tentative cover art for all has been posted here.
May 7, 2007 - In our newest DVD review, Aaron Wallace looks at Dreamgirls: 2-Disc Showstopper Edition. Adapted from an early '80s Tony winner, DreamWorks' PG-13-rated musical won raves and awards while reviving its floundering genre. This tale of a 1960s girl group's rise and betrayals boasts terrific acting, music, and production values. The DVD offers a standout two-hour chronological production documentary, extended/alternate scenes, a Beyoncι Knowles music video, auditions, art galleries, and pre-visualization sequences. We tackle them all in our detailed review.
May 6, 2007 - Big, the 1988 comedy that made Tom Hanks a superstar, gets re-released in an Extended Edition DVD this week from Fox and we've got a detailed review. Nearly twenty years later, this blockbuster holds up extremely well, thanks to its decorated lead performance, a spirited script which blends fantasy and reality, steady direction by Penny Marshall, and a fine supporting cast. Laughs are a-plenty, but so is heart as a 12-year-old boy's wish to be big gets granted overnight. The two-disc set offers 16x9 enhancement to the theatrical cut and a new version seamlessly running 26 minutes longer. Extras include a unique audio commentary, five featurettes, an assortment of trailers, select deleted scenes, and an Easter Egg. Read the full review.
May 4, 2007 - Disney has once again loaded up the month of August with TV show DVD releases. The long-awaited "The Muppet Show": Season 2 (SRP: $39.99) will arrive on August 7th in a 4-disc set with all 24 episodes from the 1977-78 season, plus "The Muppet Valentine Special", "The Muppets on The Muppets", "Weezer & The Muppets", and collectible Miss Piggy packaging. The same day brings more '90s superhero cartoons via "Darkwing Duck": Volume 2, a 3-disc set holding 27 episodes, and "The Tick" vs. Season 2, each carrying a $34.99 list price. Also on August 7, Disney Channel's "Cory in the House" will make its format debut in All-Star Edition ($19.99 SRP), a 4-episode compilation centering on "all-star houseguests." It will include separate behind-the-scenes featurettes with guests The Rock and Raven. Finally, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" returns in Sweet Suite Victory ($19.99), a 4-episode disc with bonus gag reel and a Brenda Song-hosted "Sweet Lift Challenge" trivia game. Cover art has been posted for "Muppet Show", "Suite Life", "Cory", "Darkwing", and Roving Mars. Click here to view.
April 27, 2007 - Our latest DVD review critiques Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons. This 4-disc set holds the early '90s Disney comedy's final 36 episodes, totaling just under 14 hours of content. The DVD includes two episode commentaries, two featurettes, and five Easter Eggs. The set offers some solid episodes of the family sitcom, which is at its best when its not using its prehistoric cast to make social or political commentary. Click here for the full, 2-page review.
Our Upcoming DVD Price Cuts thread has been updated to reflect more than twenty Disney and Buena Vista DVDs that will undergo permanent price reductions this August. Click for the complete list.
April 20, 2007 - UltimateDisney.com is developing a spin-off DVD news/reviews website to provide coverage of high-profile releases from other major studios. While UD will continue to cover all things Disney, the expansion will bring the type of comprehensive critiques and schedules you've come to expect to other significant movies and TV shows from outside the Walt Disney Company. Once this general DVD site launches, it will co-exist with UD. Until then, we'll be supplementing our coverage of Buena Vista's slow spring slate with looks at some exciting new DVDs, beginning with the forthcoming two-disc sets of Fox's Night at the Museum and DreamWorks' Dreamgirls. Keep visiting UD, as there a number of exciting articles afoot and one major site launch in the works.
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
White Fang - Disney's loose but winning 1991 adaptation of Jack London's famous novel stars Ethan Hawke as a young man joining the Klondike Gold Rush to explore his late father's mine. The 2002 DVD release is a bust, with a fullscreen-only presentation, poor picture quality, and no extras, but the movie deserves a look.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins - This 2000 direct-to-video movie launched Disney's outer space comedy cartoon with a single-narrative pilot. An uninspired spin-off to Pixar's blockbusters, it drops most Toy Story characters to focus on the intergalactic space ranger that spawned the action figure. Not an utter mess, but occasionally on-target humor can't trump formulaic storytelling and subpar animation. The DVD serves up an erroneously matted, non-enhanced widescreen transfer and three largely disposable bonuses.
Jump In! - This recent TV movie is one of the Disney Channel's better productions, grounding its formulas and familiar message in a realistic, relatable world. The Freestyle Edition DVD includes two brief but informative featurettes and two music videos.
Meet the Robinsons - The 46th entry to Disney's long line of Feature Animation, this G-rated comedy-adventure impresses both visually and as a story, overcoming a confusing structure and a weak, wacky center to be both enjoyable and refreshingly different.
Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
Night at the Museum - Ben Stiller headlines Fox's blockbuster as a watchman at the center of the Manhattan museum where all exhibits come to life at night. Slightly flawed but very fun, this PG-rated comedy/adventure gets good mileage of its interesting premise and boasts an accomplished cast that includes Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, and Owen Wilson. The loaded two-disc Special Edition DVD includes two commentaries, 17 minutes of deleted scenes, 7 featurettes, three TV episodes, trailers, and a DVD-ROM game.
The Queen - Miramax's highly-decorated drama stars Oscar-winner Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, two very different leaders with opposite responses to Princess Diana's 1997 death. Involving human drama, a clever script, and convincing realism all contribute to a film with merits well beyond its excellent leading lady. The disc includes an interview-based featurette and separate filmmaker and historian commentaries.
Deja Vu - Denzel Washington stars as a New Orleans AFT agent investigation a Naval ferry explosion and woman's murder which might be related. This involving but standard crime drama assumes a sci-fi bent in its second half, yielding a clever, compelling time-travel tale which surpasses expectations for a Jerry Bruckheimer/Tony Scott flick. The sufficient DVD serves up batches of deleted and extended scenes plus an audio commentary sprinkled with ten featurettes.
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