DVDizzy.com: JUNE 1-15, 2014 NEWS ARCHIVES
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June 14, 2014 - With its sequel now in theaters, we take a look at the original How to Train Your Dragon in Paramount's recent Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack. DreamWorks Animation's acclaimed 2010 hit tells the story of a young Viking named Hiccup who discovers a new way to deal with the dragons that have long been plaguing his tough island community. The new two-disc edition includes $7.50 movie cash towards the sequel, a Season 2 episode of the Cartoon Network series "Dragons: Defenders of Berk", the shorts Book of Dragons and Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon, audio commentary, a picture-in-picture viewing mode, a trivia track, and more. Our thorough review.
June 12, 2014 - Today's new review looks at Pompeii. Set in 79 AD, this disaster movie from director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) pits a love story involving a Celtic gladiator ("Game of Thrones"' Kit Harington) and the noble daughter of Pompeii's ruler (Emily Browning) against the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Co-starring Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, and Carrie-Anne Moss, this February flop is now available in a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray set that includes 20 deleted/alternate scenes, audio commentary, and over an hour of making-of featurettes. Read more...
June 11, 2014 - Chris Pine headlines another Paramount Pictures franchise reboot in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Tackling a role previously filled by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Pine plays a young Ryan, a Marine who joins the CIA while working as a financial analyst. When he heads to Moscow to investigate some suspicious banking activity, Ryan has to reinvent himself. Co-starring Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs), this box office disappointment is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack that includes audio commentary, deleted/extended scenes, and four making-of featurettes. Our review.
June 10, 2014 - We take an early look at the DVD release of Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla, a 90-minute special to premiere on Comedy Central this coming Saturday. The mononymous entertainer, one of the '90s most popular comics, delivers a 90-minute special that jokes about race, relationships, vegetarianism, Detroit, and church music. Our review.
June 9, 2014 - Our newest review covers this week's Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD release of All That Heaven Allows. Douglas Sirk's celebrated 1955 melodrama, an inspiration for Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, tells the story of a middle-aged widow (Jane Wyman) whose relationship with a much younger gardener (Rock Hudson) invites disapproval and gossip. Criterion's loaded three-disc set includes an audio commentary, essay booklet, multiple TV interviews of Sirk, and the 1992 documentary Rock Hudson's Home Movies. Don't miss our review.
June 6, 2014 - Devil's Knot provides our first dramatization of the West Memphis Three story. In May of 1993, three 8-year-old boys are found dead, a heinous crime with which three teenaged misfits are quickly charged. Starring Reese Witherspoon as a victim's mother and Colin Firth as a private eye volunteering his services to the defendants, this Atom Egoyan drama hits stores Tuesday in a Blu-ray + DVD that includes two making-of featurettes and two deleted scenes. Our combo pack review.
Our newest film review covers Edge of Tomorrow, which opens today in 3,490 theaters. Adapted from a Japanese graphic novel, this sci-fi action flick is set in a future in which an Army PR guy (Tom Cruise) discovers he has the opportunity to relive the same day, a gift he uses to aid in the military's war against alien creatures. Directed by The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman, the film co-stars Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton. Read the review.
June 5, 2014 - Our coverage of this week's discs concludes with a review of "Workaholics": Season Four. The thirteen recently-aired episodes of Comedy Central's hit series fill a two-disc set, joined by deleted and alternate scenes, outtakes, and Season 4 promos. Our review.
June 3, 2014 - Acclaimed drama, box office hit, and technical Oscar nominee Lone Survivor reached home video today. Peter Berg (Hancock, Friday Night Lights) adapts and directs the true story of four Navy SEALs (Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster) who run into grave danger on a mission in Afghanistan. Universal's combo pack includes behind-the-scenes featurettes, a documentary focusing on the real survivor Marcus Luttrell, and celebrations of his fallen brothers. Our review.
Warner will release Transcendence to Blu-ray combo pack and DVD on July 22nd. Johnny Depp stars as a researcher whose quest to create threatens to destroy mankind. Co-starring Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman, this sci-fi thriller marks the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan's Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. For cover art and extras, see the full press release.
June 2, 2014 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers McLintock!. The 1963 western comedy stars John Wayne as a cattle baron whose estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) returns to town. Paramount's recent Authentic Collector's Edition restores a host of bonus features including audio commentary, interviews with leading ladies O'Hara and Stefanie Powers, a documentary on producer Michael Wayne, featurettes on corsets and stunts, a photo gallery, and the original trailer. Our review.
Parts Per Billion stars Penn Badgely, Teresa Palmer, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson, Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands as three American couples whose relationships are tested by a cataclysmic airborne virus born out of war in the Middle East. This apocalyptic romance drama hits Blu-ray this week and we've got a review.
May 31, 2014 - The 1972 film Tomorrow stars Robert Duvall as a cotton farmer whose winter taking care of a sawmill gets an unexpected pregnant visitor. Adapted from William Faulkner's short story and a play by Horton Foote, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, this acclaimed drama is now available to own in a Blu-ray + DVD combo from B2MP, Inc. Our complete review.
May 30, 2014 - Marvel will release Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD editions of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on September 9th. The blockbuster sequel, which this weekend will become the top-grossing film of 2014, will be joined by a making-of featurette and deleted scene on DVD plus more on Blu-ray. Two weeks earlier, the film will get digital release via Disney Movies Anywhere and other downloadable formats. For cover art and more information, see the press release.
Now in theaters, Disney's Maleficent puts a new spin of the studio's classic animated Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie holds the title role of the horned fairy, who it's revealed to be is less malicious than misunderstood. From the screenwriter and producer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this big-budget live-action fantasy marks the directorial debut for Oscar-winning visual effects and production design veteran Robert Stromberg. It also features Elle Fanning as Aurora and Sharlto Copley as King Stefan. Our review.
May 29, 2014 - Our newest review covers this week's Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The ambitious fourth film written and directed by Wes Anderson, this film follows famed ocean documentarian Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew as they go on a mission to find the jaguar shark that killed his best friend. Criterion's Blu-ray is loaded with extras including an hour-long making-of documentary, Seu Jorge's Portuguese covers of ten full David Bowie songs, deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach, the duo's appearance on the Italian talk show "Mondo Monda", galleries, interviews, and more. Full review.
May 27, 2014 - Paramount has scheduled a July 29th Blu-ray and DVD release for Noah, the epic big budget feature film adaptation of the Book of Genesis story. Russell Crowe holds the title role of the man who built an ark to save civilization from storm and flood. Directed by Black Swan's Darren Aronofsky and also featuring Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, this spring theatrical release will be joined by over an hour of making-of featurettes. For cover art, preorders, and full details, see the press release.
After Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder directed and co-wrote Ace in the Hole. This 1951 drama stars Kirk Douglas as a jaded veteran journalist in New Mexico hungry for a big break that will return him to the big leagues of the East Coast. He finds it in the case of a local man trapped in an old Indian cave and tomb, turning the human interest story into a media spectacle that captures the public's attention. Now available, The Criterion Collection's Dual-Format Edition serves up a wealth of extras on two DVDs and one Blu-ray, including an audio commentary, 1980s interviews of Wilder and Douglas, an afterword by Spike Lee, a photo gallery, the trailer, and an essay booklet styled like a newspaper. Don't miss our full review.
May 24, 2014 - Our newest DVD review looks at JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, DC Comics' original animated movie released nationwide this week after four months of Target exclusivity. The one-hour film opens in the present day with the Justice League doing battle with the Legion of Doom. Meanwhile, 31st century superheroes-in-training Karate Kid and Dawnstar accidently unfreeze Lex Luthor and follow him back to the 21st century as he plans to use the Time Trapper to prevent the Kents' adoption of Superman and erase the JLA from existence. Warner's DVD includes a pair of relevant Super Friends episodes from 1977 and 1980. Full review.
A moderate success in very limited theatrical release earlier this year, The Jewish Cardinal has now reached DVD. This French film tells the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, who converted to Catholicism and rose the ranks to papal advisor while continuing to identify himself as Jewish. Lustiger's big moment comes when he get involved in the Church's convent built at Auschwitz, the concentration camp that took his mother's life. The film is joined by biographies, a trailer, and the short film Kosher. Our review.
May 23, 2014 - In theaters today, X-Men: Days of Future Past passes the consciousness of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in a dystopian robot-policed near-future back to his 1973 body, where he's got to reunite the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a scientist (Peter Dinklage) who intends to use mutant DNA against them. Putting Bryan Singer back in the director's chair, this crossover/sequel is sure to be one of summer's biggest and best-reviewed hits. Don't miss our film review.
Guy Pearce reprises the title role in "Jack Irish": Set 2. In the series' third movie, Dead Point (2014), the widowed Australian lawyer tries to help his father-in-law (Barry Humphries) triumph over blackmailers following the mysterious death of a young drug smuggler. Available Tuesday, Acorn's Blu-ray + DVD includes three behind-the-scenes shorts and a photo gallery. Full review.
May 22, 2014 - Written by the Coen brothers, the comedy Gambit stars Colin Firth as a broke London art curator who hires an American cowgirl (Cameron Diaz) to help him swindle his pompous boss (Alan Rickman) with art forgery. Also featuring Tom Courtenay and Stanley Tucci, this loose remake of a 1966 Michael Caine-Shirley MacLaine flick finally hits the US next Tuesday in Sony DVD and Blu-ray editions. Our review.
May 21, 2014 - Today's new review covers About Last Night. This contemporary comedy remake of the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore film, which in turn was adapted from a David Mamet Off-Broadway play, stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, and Joy Bryant as four Los Angeles singles who enter romantic relationships casually and with complications. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray includes four featurettes plus Digital HD UltraViolet. Review.
Adapted from Richelle Mead's young adult novels, Vampire Academy tells the story of two different types of teenage vampires (Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry) whose friendship is tested upon returning to their boarding school where mysteries demand unraveling. A flop in theaters last winter, this comedy from Mean Girls director Mark Waters and his brother, Heathers screenwriter Daniel, hits Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet today from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay, joined by deleted scenes, an alternate opening, and an interview of the author. Review.
May 19, 2014 - In our latest review, we look at the recent Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack release of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, DreamWorks Animation's Academy Award-nominated 2002 film. It tells the story of a horse (narrated by Matt Damon) around to witness the Old West. The two-disc combo pack includes audio commentary, storyboards with commentary, a drawing tutorial by Spirit's supervising animator James Baxter, a number of making-of featurettes, plus production notes, biographies, and set top games on DVD. Our review.
May 18, 2014 - Our newest review covers The Women, a product of Hollywood's renowned 1939 class. Remade in 1956 and 2008, this film adapted from the popular Broadway play features an all-female cast headed by Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, and Joan Fontaine. A mother and wife (Shearer) learns from a gossipy manicurist that her husband has been cheating on her. Now available just in time for the film's 75th anniversary, Warner's Blu-ray includes the MGM animated short One Mother's Family, a pair of "Another Romance of Celluloid" promotional shorts, vintage trailers, nearly 40 minutes of score, and an alternate version of the film's Technicolor fashion show sequence. Don't miss our full review.
May 16, 2014 - Adding to their late summer cornucopia of discs, Disney has announced Muppets Most Wanted will hit DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on August 12th. The Unnecessarily Extended Edition Blu-ray will present the film in its original theatrical cut and two other edits alongside "The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History", "Rizzo's Biggest Fan", and a Bret McKenzie music video. See the announcement for cover art, preorders, and complete details.
Disney and Pixar have set an August 19th Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD release date for Toy Story of Terror!. The half-hour ABC Halloween special will be joined by three theatrical Toy Story Toons, audio commentaries, deleted scenes with introductions, and vintage toy commercial parodies. See the press release for cover art and complete details.
We look at today's biggest new theatrical release, Godzilla. This latest incarnation of the Japanese movie monster sees him summoned to fight "Mutos." From Monsters director Gareth Edwards, this film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, and Ken Watanabe. Don't miss our film review.
Long anticipated to compete at the Oscars, The Monuments Men was delayed to February for suspect reasons. Directed, co-written, and co-produced by George Clooney, this war dramedy stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, and John Goodman. It tells the story of a military unit comprised of art historians and admirers who set out to rescue priceless works of art at the end of World War II. Hitting stores in time for Memorial Day, the DVD includes two making-of featurettes. Full review.
May 15, 2014 - Our newest review covers Tanta Agua, a Uruguyan film about a divorced father and his two children's one-week vacation marked by heavy rain and boredom. Debuting last November through Film Movement's Film-of-the-Month Club, the DVD reached general retail this week joined by a trailer, a biography of the directors, and the BAFTA-nominated 2002 short Home Road Movies. Our review.
May 14, 2014 - Our coverage of this week's new discs continues with a review of Paramount's "Crocodile" Dundee & "Crocodile" Dundee II Double Feature Blu-ray. These two hit 1980s comedies star Paul Hogan as an Australian outdoorsman who comes to New York City with a reporter (Linda Kozlowski) he falls for. Also written by Hogan, the films get their own discs, joined by trailers and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Full review.
May 12, 2014 - For the first time, The Godfather Part III, the final installment of Francis Ford Coppola's esteemed trilogy, gets released to Blu-ray on its own tomorrow. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, this 1990 drama finds Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) struggling to keep his family business legitimate while finding a successor. Paramount's Blu-ray retains an audio commentary recorded by director/screenwriter Coppola back in 2001. Our review.
May 9, 2014 - Disney has formally announced the Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition Blu-ray combo pack for release on October 7th. The first Disney animated classic revisited on Blu-ray, this 1959 film will be joined by three never-before-seen deleted scenes, a "Once Upon a Dream" "Beauty-oke" lyrics video, a new @DisneyAnimation featurette, and more. For cover art and thorough release details, see the official press release.
Warner has announced a June 24th Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release for 300: Rise of an Empire. A side sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit, this stylized action epic grossed over $330 million worldwide in the spring. Its combo packs and two-disc Special Edition DVD will include a number of making-of featurettes. For cover art and complete details, see the press release.
Disney animation fans have a number of reasons to be excited today. The company just announced an August 12, 2014 Blu-ray debut for The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The 1949 classic, consisting of half-hour adaptations of The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be available in a new DVD, a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack, and a 3-disc edition that also includes the 1947 anthology classic Fun and Fancy Free. The same day will bring the long-awaited Blu-ray debuts of Hercules, Tarzan, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, each also available in Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo packs ($29.99 SRP each). Finally, that day will also bring a 10th Anniversary Edition combo pack of the direct-to-video adventure Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. Click the thumbnails below for larger views of the cover art:
Recent Film Reviews:
• Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 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).
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
• Her - Written and directed by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are), this Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner is set in a future where a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Also featuring Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Rooney Mara, this highly acclaimed romantic comedy is joined by three unusual bonus features on the first disc of Warner's combo pack.
• The Terminal (Blu-ray) - Directed by Steven Spielberg, this 2004 comedy tells the story of Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), an Eastern European traveler who finds himself legally unable to leave JFK International Airport. Co-starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci, it is joined by over an hour of bonus features on Paramount's just-released Blu-ray.
• The Art of the Steal (Blu-ray) - This Canadian action comedy stars Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel, Kenneth Welch, and Chris Diamantopoulos as a team of art thieves/forgers reluctantly reuniting for one big heist. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray of this Radius-TWC release includes filmmakers audio commentary, a half-hour making-of featurette, and a featurette on one sequence's visual effects.
• Veronica Mars (Blu-ray) - Revives the three-season UPN/CW drama in feature film form. Largely funded by 91,585 fan donations, this mystery returns the titular heroine (played by Kristen Bell) to her hometown of Neptune, California and her old calling of private investigator. Veronica's estranged ex (Jason Dohring) reaches out to her when he becomes suspected of murdering his girlfriend, a pop star who attended high school with them. Following a limited theatrical release in March, this Rob Thomas-directed outing is now available on Blu-ray, joined by an hour-long documentary, a half-hour of additional material including deleted scenes, a gag reel, and behind-the-scenes shorts, and Digital HD UltraViolet.
• Used Cars (Blu-ray) - Before teaming up to make Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis, writer Bob Gale, and executive producer Steven Spielberg made this 1980 comedy about rival car dealerships owned by twin brothers (both played by Jack Warden). When one owner dies, his staff rallies to keep the business afloat and out of the hands of the evil twin responsible for his death. Kurt Russell, Gerrit Graham, Frank McRae, and Deborah Harmon also star. Now available, Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series Blu-ray includes two isolated soundtracks, a Russell-Zemeckis-Gale audio commentary, vintage radio ads, a trailer, photo galleries, and a TV spot.
• Son of Batman (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - The 20th entry in the DC Comics Universe's series of direct-to-video animated movies, this PG-13 film tells of Damian Wayne, Batman's illegitimate son with Talia al Ghul. Trained by the League of Assassins, the fearless, precocious youth witnesses the murder of his grandfather and then meets his father. Available next Tuesday, Warner's combo pack includes making-of featurettes, a preview at the series' next movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, and four episodes from three past Batman animated television series.
• Devil's Due (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - This found footage horror film centers on a newlywed couple whose unexpected pregnancy takes their live in surprising directions. From two of the directors of V/H/S, this January opening is now available in a Fox combo pack that includes deleted scenes, audio commentary, a photo gallery, a making-of featurette, short films, and more.
• Amistad (Blu-ray) - Steven Spielberg's 1997 drama, the second film released by DreamWorks Pictures, tells the true story of an 1839 ship of African slaves who mutiny and wind up being tried in American courts. Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Djimon Hounsou and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this film penned by Gladiator screenwriter David Franzoni. The Blu-ray includes the film's trailer and a half-hour making-of featurette.
• Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (Blu-ray) - Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O'Hara play a married couple who take a month-long beachside vacation with their children and grandchildren. From the author of Father of the Bride, the director of Harvey and the screenwriterof The Grapes of Wrath, this 1962 family comedy is now on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series. It's joined by its trailer, a newsreel, an essay booklet, and an isolated score soundtrack.
• Million Dollar Baby (10th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Directed by Clint Eastwood and adapted by Paul Haggis (Crash), this 2004 Best Picture winner tells the story of a dedicated female boxer (Hilary Swank) striving for success under the reluctant training of an aging veteran (Eastwood). Warner's new Blu-ray adds a new half-hour retrospective and an audio commentary by producer Albert Ruddy to a number of making-of featurettes plus a James Lipton interview of the three leads.
• All the King's Men (Blu-ray) - The 1949 winner of the Best Picture Academy Award, this drama adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren tells the story of a small town idealist (Broderick Crawford) who evolves into a powerful and corrupt state governor before the eyes of a journalist turned staffer (John Ireland). From The Hustler director Robert Rossen, this three Oscar-winner is treated to an isolated music track, its theatrical trailer, and an essay booklet in a Twilight Time disc limited to 3,000 copies.
• Labor Day (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno) directs and adapts this drama from Joyce Maynard's novel. In early September 1987, an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) lays low at the house of a shut-in single mother (Kate Winslet) and her teenage son (Gattlin Griffith). A Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress in a Drama and theatrical underperformer, this film hits stores ina combo pack that includes filmmakers' audio commentary, ten minutes of deleted scenes, and a half-hour making-of featurette.
• Broadway Danny Rose (Blu-ray) - Woody Allen's 1984 comedy tells the story of a personal manager who represents unpopular acts who move on at the first sign of success. Danny Rose (Allen) goes above and beyond when he agrees to pose as the beard of a Mob widow (Mia Farrow) who is the mistress of a lounge singer (Nick Apollo Forte) he represents. Available now but probably not for long, Twilight Time's Blu-ray is limited to a print run of just 3,000 copies.
• Riot in Cell Block 11 - Heavily based on a real 1952 Jackson, Michigan incident, this 1954 drama from Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz director Don Siegel has prisoners rioting and demanding improvements in the penal system. Criterion's Dual-Format Edition includes excerpts from Siegel's autobiography and biography, an hour-long NBC radio program on the real riot, an audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein, and an essay booklet.
• "You, Me & Them": Series 1 - This new British sitcom stars Anthony Head ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Eve Myles as a couple whose life is complicated by the crazy relatives united by their May-December romance. Available next week, the two-disc DVD includes the show's first six episodes plus bloopers, cast interviews, and a set tour.
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