DVDizzy.com: MAY 1-15, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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May 15, 2013 - Two more Sony films have made their Blu-ray debut this week in a Mill Creek Double Feature. In the Cut stars Meg Ryan as an urban high school teacher who begins a relationship with an NYPD detective (Mark Ruffalo) investigating a string of grisly murders. Directed by Jane Campion (The Piano), the 2003 thriller is presented in an uncut director's edition. Trapped stars Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend as a wealthy couple whose asthmatic young daughter (Dakota Fanning) is kidnapped for ransom (by Kevin Bacon, Courtney, Love, and Pruitt Taylor Vince). The two films share a disc and an under $10 list price. Full review.
May 14, 2013 - A remake of the Indian film A Wednesday, the thriller A Common Man finds Ben Kingsley adding to the terror threats he delivers as The Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Kingsley stars in the title role as an average citizen who has distributed five bombs around a major city which he threatens to detonate if his demands are not met. Co-starring Chariots of Fire's Ben Cross, this Sri Lankan production hits Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday from Anchor Bay and you can read all about it right now.
Tomorrow You're Gone gets its day as we take a look at its Blu-ray, available today from RLJ Entertainment. Stephen Dorff plays a ex-convict released from jail with mental and criminal baggage. He meets up with Michelle Monaghan while trying to do right by his powerful friend, The Buddha (Willem Dafoe). Matthew F. Jones adapts his own novel for Down in the Valley director David Jacobson. Read our review.
May 13, 2013 - Our newest review covers Physical Evidence & The Anderson Tapes, one of this week's new crop of Mill Creek Entertainment Double Feature Blu-rays licensed from Sony. Anderson Tapes stars an in-between Bond movies Sean Connery as an ex-con who rounds up a gang to return to his thieving ways. Co-starring Dyan Cannon and introducing Christopher Walken, this 1971 New York thriller was directed by Sidney Lumet and adapted from a bestselling novel by his Oscar-winning Dog Day Afternoon screenwriter Frank Pierson. 1989's Physical Evidence stars Burt Reynolds as a suspended Boston cop accused of murder who is represented by an ambitious public defender (Theresa Russell). The two films fill up a dual-layered BD while starting at bargain bin pricing. Our review.
May 12, 2013 - Roman Coppola, son of Francis, brother of Sofia, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Moonrise Kingdom, writes, directs, and produces the independent comedy A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, our latest Blu-ray review subject. Charlie Sheen claims the title role, playing a graphic designer in 1970s California who uses fantasies to help him through a tough break-up. Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Katheryn Winnick, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star in this limited winter theatrical release. Available Tuesday, Lionsgate's Blu-ray includes a Coppola audio commentary, an interview with artist Charles White III, and a half-hour making-of documentary. Our review.
May 11, 2013 - "Fraggle Rock" has a new distributor in Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment and on Tuesday, it gets a new 21-disc 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition complete series DVD. It also gets Meet the Fraggles, a new 2½-hour compilation of six Season 1 and 2 episodes. Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Red, Boober, Doc, Sprocket, the Doozers, the Gorgs and Uncle Traveling Matt are all here with the music and laughter of Jim Henson's 1980s television series. Down at Fraggle Rock.
May 10, 2013 - Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen play a mother and son taking a cross-country road trip in the PG-13 comedy The Guilt Trip. From screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled, Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal), this December theatrical release is now available to own just in time for Mother's Day. Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes over an hour of bonus features on Blu-ray including deleted scenes, alternate openings and ending, and assorted behind-the-scenes featurettes. Our review.
Now in theaters, The Great Gatsby reunites director Baz Luhrmann with Romeo + Juliet leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. This lavish 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel casts Tobey Maguire as the narrative next-door neighbor of the mysterious titular millionaire (DiCaprio) in 1920s New York. Co-starring Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher, Warner Bros.' big budget drama opens to some critical scorn months after its planned Christmas release date. Read the review.
May 9, 2013 - Tom Cruise proves age and height are just numbers as he returns to action hero mode in Jack Reacher, a mystery adapted from Lee Child's best-selling detective novels. Elusive ex-military cop Reacher pops up to help a attorney (Rosamund Pike) defending an Iraqi veteran accused of the sniping murders of five random Pittsburgh citizens. Co-starring Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, and Werner Herzog, this PG-13 film was adapted and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning writer of The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie. Now available, Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy includes an audio commentary by Cruise and McQuarrie, a second commentary/isolated music track, three making-of featurettes, and UltraViolet. Watch a clip on Paramount's "Reach for Reacher" giveaway as part of our complete review.
May 7, 2013 - Christopher Plummer reprises the role that won him the Tony Award for Best Actor in Barrymore, a film adaptation of the Broadway stage show. Plummer portrays alcoholic screen and stage actor John Barrymore as he prepares for a Richard III audition he hopes will supply a comeback in 1942. After a limited big screen run, this is now available to own with an hour-long documentary that includes new interviews with Julie Andrews, Helen Mirren, and just about everyone associated with the production. Our Blu-ray review.
The 2000 Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson buddy comedy western adventure Shanghai Noon and its 2003 sequel Shanghai Knights come to Blu-ray today in a single-disc 2-Movie Collection. Chan plays Chon Wang, a member of China's Imperial Guard looking to save a princess in 1880s Carson City, Nevada. Wilson is easygoing bandit Roy O'Bannon, who reluctantly teams up and in the sequel heads to England to restore Chon's family's honor. The two Touchstone Pictures films are joined by most of their DVD bonus features, including three audio commentaries, eighteen deleted scenes, and an Uncle Kracker music video. Watch a clip from the original film as part of our complete review.
May 6, 2013 - Disney has announced an August 27th Blu-ray debut for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the studio's first Pooh film, originally released to theaters in 1977. Adapted from three featurette-length shorts from the 1960s and '70s, including the Oscar-winning Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the 22nd film in Disney Animation's canon will be joined by Disney Intermission, 5 new "Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" shorts, a new Pooh Play-Along, and classic DVD bonus features, including the 1983 short Winnie the Pooh and A Day for Eeyore in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. Full details, cover art, and site-supporting preorder links here.
May 5, 2013 - In honor of this week's Jack Reacher Blu-ray and DVD release, Paramount is giving fans the chance to win a classic 1971 Chevelle SS Clone like the one featured in the film's car chase. Carrying a retail value of $45,000, the cherry automobile (pictured below) can be yours, provided that you show up at Hollywood & Highland Center Monday morning, put your hand on the car, and keep it on longer than anyone else. For full details and to enter, click here.
May 3, 2013 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at the two-disc combo pack of Mama released next Tuesday. Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain stars as one of the guardians assigned to two young children missing for five years. Guillermo del Toro produced this hit horror film, which is joined by a filmmaker audio commentary, deleted scenes, the original Spanish short on which the movie is based, two making-of featurettes, a DVD, and digital copy and UltraViolet codes. Our review.
A year after teaming up with The Avengers, Tony Stark returns to his solo series in Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. steps back in and around the armored suit, as a terrorist (Ben Kingsley) declares war on America's president around Christmastime. In addition, War Machine (Don Cheadle) is rebranded the Iron Patriot, Tony befriends a kid in Tennessee, and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is charmed by a scientist on the rise (Guy Pearce). With the film now in theaters, don't miss our full review.
May 1, 2013 - The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernαndez, the final film of Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine's long career, is now on Blu-ray and DVD after a limited winter theatrical run. Borgnine stars as a failed actor still bitter he never got to be the hero in a western. He impresses the Latino staff of a nursing home with his brief encounter with the titular Mexican singer. Co-starring Barry Corbin and Tony Plana, this unrated dramedy is joined by a director's audio commentary, making-of featurette, and a trailer. Read our Blu-ray review.
Disney has officially announced a June 11th home video release for Oz the Great and Powerful. Bringing apparent change to Disney's strategy, the Sam Raimi-directed blockbuster fantasy will be available in four different editions, none of them containing the film in all its formats. The Blu-ray discs will include a Second Screen Experience with Mariah Carey music video, bloopers, the featurette "Walt Disney and the Road to Oz" and more. For full details, cover artwork, preorders, and a clip from the James Franco-directed bonus feature "My Journey in Oz", check out the full press release.
This week, Silver Linings Playbook became the penultimate of this year's Best Picture Oscar nominees to hit home video. Jennifer Lawrence became the second youngest Best Actress winner in Oscar history for her role as a widowed Philadelphian who trains for a dance competition with a troubled man (Bradley Cooper) just released from a psychiatric hospital. Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker co-star in this comedy-drama adapted and directed by The Fighter's David O. Russell. Anchor Bay's two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet combo pack includes over 90 minutes of bonus features, including deleted scenes, Q & A highlights, a making-of documentary, a dance tutorial, and behind-the-scenes shorts. Check out our review.
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.
Recent Film Reviews:
Jurassic Park 3D - We take a look at how twenty years have aged Steven Spielberg's smash hit adventure and how the public's perception of the film has changed.
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).
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Dragon - This Hong Kong action drama stars Donnie Yen (Hero, Ip Man) as a simple villager in 1917 China whose self-defense workplace slayings of two wanted fugitives draws the suspicions of a dedicated detective (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Weinstein/Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes an 8-part making-of featurette, a music video, and some English language interviews with Yen.
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (Blu-ray), 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.
Wings of Life (Blu-ray + DVD) - Disneynature alters an Earth Day tradition by skipping a theatrical release and bringing straight to video. 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.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (DVD + Blu-ray) - This Steven Spielberg-produced, Robert Zemeckis-directed 1988 blockbuster is credited with revitalizing animation. 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 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.
The Squid and the Whale & Running with Scissors (Double Feature Blu-ray) - 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.
"Family Ties": The Sixth Season - The penultimate outing for NBC's hit 1980s sitcom finally comes to DVD, over four years after CBS/Paramount's previous release. Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) dates a psychology grad student (Courteney Cox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and her artist boyfriend (Scott Valentine) try to build a nest egg, and the Keatons battle 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.
The Grifters (Blu-ray) - Nominated for four major Academy Awards, this 1990 neo-noir drama was 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. Echo Bridge's disc includes an audio commentary by Frears, Cusack, Huston, and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake and two featurettes.
Magic Journey to Africa (Blu-ray 3D/2D) - Made for IMAX but only exhibited in Europe and South Korea, 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.
A Monster in Paris (Blu-ray 3D/2D + DVD + Digital Copy) - From animation veteran Bibo Bergeron, this 2011 computer-animated film sets a monster with a golden voice loose in 1910 Paris amidst a cast of eccentrics.
Teaching Mrs. Tingle (Blu-ray) - This 1999 comedy-thriller 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.
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."
Red Dawn (2012) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - This PG-13 remake 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 Fox combo pack.
Hollow Man & Hollow Man II (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).
Lincoln (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy - 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.
Down the Shore (Blu-ray) - Independent drama 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.
Nanook of the North, The Wedding of Palo and Other Films of Arctic Life (Blu-ray) - The centerpiece of Flicker Alley's recent two-disc collection, 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.
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.
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