DVDizzy.com: JULY 16-31, 2011 NEWS ARCHIVES
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July 30, 2011 - Our newest review looks at Last Night. This R-rated romance drama stars Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington as a young English married couple living in New York City. Separated by an overnight business trip, the spouses are tempted to stray (by Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet). Left in limbo by Disney's Miramax sale, this follows its limited Tribeca Film May theatrical run with Tuesday's digital copy-wielding DVD from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. Read the review and don't forget to enter our giveaway to win the DVD and/or an autographed movie poster.
July 29, 2011 - The medieval adventure film Season of the Witch stars Nicolas Cage and Hellboy's Ron Perlman as a couple of knights who desert the Crusades and are assigned to relieve a town of its grave plague by transporting the young witch believed responsible to a distant monastery. Written by the creator of CBS' "Threshold" and directed by Gone in 60 Seconds' Dominic Sena, this long-delayed PG-13 Relativity Media yarn is now available to rent or own with deleted scenes, an alternate ending, two making-of featurettes, a trailer, and digital copy. Read our review of Fox's Blu-ray.
July 28, 2011 - Soul Surfer tells the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton, a Hawaii teenager who lost her arm to a shark but didn't lose her drive to succeed in competitive surfing. Bridge to Terabithia's AnnaSophia Robb plays the lead role, while Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt play her parents. In stores next Tuesday, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack holds making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, Hamilton surf footage, and the half-hour documentary "Heart of a Soul Surfer." Full review.
July 27, 2011 - Our summer giveaway blitz continues with Last Night. After a limited theatrical release, this romance drama starring Keira Knightley and Avatar's Sam Worthington comes to DVD (with digital copy) next week and we're giving you the chance to win it along with one or two posters signed by Knightley, co-star Eva Mendes, and writer/director Massy Tadjedin. Enter in one of three easy ways.
Adapted from a popular Italian comic book series, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night centers on a New Orleans private investigator (Brandon Routh) who deals with vampires, werewolves, and zombies (the latter of which include Dylan's assistant, played by Routh's Superman Returns co-star Sam Huntington). The two friends help a young woman (Journey to the Center of the Earth's Anita Briem) whose father was mysteriously murdered. After a short, disastrous theatrical release, this PG-13 horror comedy came to disc yesterday. We review Fox's Blu-ray.
July 26, 2011 - We're giving away two copies of "Hey Dude": Season 1 in our newest giveaway. Nickelodeon's first original live action series is now available in a 2-disc, 13-episode DVD from Shout! Factory. Watch some video clips, learn about the show, and enter in one to three simple ways: "Hey Dude": Season 1 DVD Giveaway.
The Best of "California Dreams" gathers ten standout episodes from the first three seasons of the mid-'90s TNBC sitcom from the makers of "Saved by the Bell." Now available from Mill Creek Entertainment, this low-priced disc includes the series' first episode (which introduced it as a family sitcom) and nine others looking at high school life for best friends and band mates. Though there are no extras on this collection, check out our review for a look at last year's cast reunion on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
July 25, 2011 - You can win the movie Barney's Version and the Mordecai Richler novel it's based on in our latest redbox giveaway. Co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike, and Twilight's Rachelle Lefevre, this Canadian film won Paul Giamatti the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical. Enter in up to three simple ways to win Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and the 1997 bestseller from which it was adapted. Watch a clip from the film, learn more, and enter right here.
We've added a trailer to the X-Men: First Class Blu-ray & DVD press release.
Aaron Wallace looks at "Leverage": The 3rd Season. Timothy Hutton and friends return for another year of TNT's action comedy series about a team of criminal do-gooders. Paramount's 4-disc DVD includes deleted scenes, outtakes, some short making-of featurettes, and an audio commentary on all 16 episodes. Full review.
July 23, 2011 - The documentary film Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good looks at the goodwill work actor Gary Sinise has done for America's troops, including playing bass in the group named after his Forrest Gump character. Sinise began making USO tours in the wake of September 11th and hasn't stopped, boosting morale and sharing music all over the world. Directed by Jonathan Flora and featuring various celebrities, this film pays tribute both to Sinise and to the heroes he honors. It will be released next Friday exclusively at Amazon.com as a made-to-order DVD-R. Read our review.
July 22, 2011 - As an alternative to the Shout! Factory complete season sets, Mill Creek Entertainment has released "Punky Brewster": Turn Your World Around, a single-disc release holding over four hours of episodes from the 1980s NBC sitcom's first season. In her signature role, Soleil Moon Frye plays the colorfully-fashioned abandoned young girl who becomes foster daughter to an old widower (George Gaynes). Included here are three two-parters: Christmas' "Yes, Punky, There is a Santa Claus", spin-off-intending "Fenster Hall" (guest starring T.K. Carter and a young James LeGros), and the romance rekindling "Henry Falls in Love". This barebones, low-priced compilation elicits some concerns over quality and aspect ratio. Read our full review.
July 20, 2011 - The Australian thriller The Reef tells the story of a party of five whose capsized boat leaves them with two choices: stay on the slowly-sinking vessel hoping for help or swimming for hours through deadly shark-infested waters in hopes of reaching land. Four out of five choose the latter option, which makes for an exciting and harrowing adventure "based on a true story." It's now available on DVD and Blu-ray, with a making-of featurette. Full review.
Universal has announced a September 20th DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack release for Bridesmaids, one of the year's biggest and best-reviewed comedies. "Saturday Night Live"'s Kristen Wiig co-wrote and stars in this tale of a down-on-her-luck woman asked to be maid of honor at the wedding of her best friend (Maya Rudolph). Hijinks ensue from a threatening new friend (Rose Byrne) to some bad Brazilian food. Produced by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and directed by "Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig, this raunchy yet sweet film will be presented in theatrical and unrated cuts and loaded with extras, most of them exclusive to Blu-ray. See the press release for full details.
Our newest review covers this week's new Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of Beauty and the Beast. The first feature filming of the familiar fairy tale, Jean Cocteau's artistic 1946 movie is still hailed as a masterpiece today. The story of a young woman (Josette Day) who becomes the guest of a feared beast (Jean Marais) was a strong influence on Disney's Oscar-winning 1991 animated musical. The single-disc Blu-ray retains almost all of the bonus features from the film's in-print DVD including Philip Glass' synchronized opera (in 5.1 DTS-HD master audio), two historian audio commentaries, two trailers, a retrospective documentary, an interview with the cinematographer, a vintage TV show on the makeup artist, a short piece on the film's 1995 restoration, a photo gallery, and a rich booklet. Be our guest at our full review.
July 19, 2011 - Fox has announced that X-Men: First Class will come to DVD and Blu-ray on Friday, September 9th. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and starring a wealth of accomplished young actors including James McAvoy (Wanted), Michael Fassbender (Inglourius Basterds), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), January Jones ("Mad Men") and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids), this critically-acclaimed prequel to the studio's most popular superhero franchise looks at life in the 1960s for the future Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Emma Frost, and other mutant superheroes. The Blu-ray will include 10 X-Men digital comics, an interactive Cerebro Mutant Tracker, an 8-part behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted/extended scenes, and an isolated score. See the full press release for much more information and a look at two available covers.
July 17, 2011 - Thirty years ago today, the original Arthur opened in theaters, beginning its long blockbuster run. Today, we review the remake. Russell Brand assumes Dudley Moore's Oscar-nominated role as the titular rich, alcoholic playboy who treats New York City like his own personal playground. Helen Mirren is his nanny Hobson (the part that won John Gielgud a supporting actor Oscar). Arthur's mother threatens to cut him off from the family fortune unless he marries a high-powered executive (Jennifer Garner). Then, Arthur meets and falls for a girl from Queens (Greta Gerwig). Released on Friday, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes a gag reel, unused improvisations, and deleted/extended scenes. When you get caught between the moon and New York City, the best that you can do is read this review.
July 16, 2011 - Set in the 1980s and full of period culture, Take Me Home Tonight stars Topher Grace as a recent MIT graduate and current Suncoast video store employee whose path crosses with his high school crush (Teresa Palmer) one eventful day. Anna Faris plays Grace's sister and Dan Fogler is his friend in this R-rated comedy, written by "That '70s Show" scribes Jeff and Jackie Filgo. The movie, which also gives Grace a story and executive producer credit, was shot back in early 2007, then shelved over Universal's concerns of its drug depictions. It found a home at Relativity Media, where it flopped big this spring amidst chilly reviews. We look at the Blu-ray Disc, available Tuesday from Fox, which includes Atomic Tom's "Don't You Want Me" music video (distinguished by the cast's fun iconic '80s movie scene recreations), a Music Boombox guide to the film's '80 tunes, deleted scenes, a cast reunion, a trailer, two TV spots, and a digital copy. Full Blu-ray review.
July 15, 2011 - Amazon.com has made Cars 2 available for preorder in a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD ($39.99 SRP, also available in DVD packaging), a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack ($49.99 SRP), and an 11-disc Cars: Director's Edition box set ($119.00) with Blu-rays, DVDs, and digital copies of Cars, Cars 2, and Mater's Tall Tales, plus a bonus Blu-ray disc and Blu-ray 3D of Cars 2 and a car. Furthermore, for a limited time, you can save $7 with a coupon on the 5-disc and 11-disc sets (scroll down to "Movies & TV"). Cars 2, Pixar's 12th and least acclaimed film, is expected to hit disc in early November.
Our latest review covers Rango. Johnny Depp reteams with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, voicing a chameleon who is stranded in the desert and becomes sheriff of a drought-plagued small town called Dirt. This Nickelodeon Movies western comedy is the first animated feature made by Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic and has become the early frontrunner for next winter's Best Animated Feature Oscar. Paramount's two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes theatrical and extended cuts of the film, the reinserted deletions on their own, an audio commentary, a storyboard picture-in-picture mode, a featurette on the real creatures depicted in the film, and a 48-minute making-of documentary. Don't miss our full review.
July 14, 2011 - Disney has announced an October 18th home video debut for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In this fourth movie in the blockbuster adventure franchise, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past looking for the Fountain of Youth (Penιlope Cruz) and the feared pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Making the fastest trip from theaters to stores, the series' lowest grossing entry domestically and highest grossing entry overseas will not be released in a standalone DVD. Instead, you can choose from 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo ($39.99 SRP, in Blu-ray or DVD packaging), a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + 2 Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy set ($49.99 SRP), and an epic 15-disc Four Movie Collection ($169.99 SRP). Read all about them and watch a clip from a bonus feature on the making of the popular mermaids sequence as part of the full press release. UPDATE: Disney has clarified to Home Media Magazine that single-disc DVD-only release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will be released in November 15th, a month after its Blu-ray combo packs debut.
July 13, 2011 - In expectation of the new CGI/live-action Smurfs movie opening in theaters soon, Warner is releasing "The Smurfs": A Magical Smurf Adventure to DVD next week. This 2-disc, 10-episode collection gathers a mix of quarter-hour and half-hour Season 2 episodes, three of which team the Smurfs up with young medieval adventurers Johan and Peewit (Peewee), whose Peyo comic introduced the gang in 1958. See what kind of shenanigans Brainy, Lazy, Greedy, Tracker, Smurfette, and Papa Smurf get into here. Extras include a lesson on speaking Smurf and a countdown of the set's ten best moments. Our full review includes a video clip.
Fuzz Bucket, the hour-long 1986 Wonderful World of Disney special (a pilot for an unsold series), is the latest release in the manufactured on demand Disney Generations Collection. In this tale from Hocus Pocus writer Mick Garris, Phil Fondacaro (Troll, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch") stars as the eponymous tiny creature who befriends the only 12-year-old boy (The Last Starfighter's Chris Hebert) who can see him. Amazon.com is one of just two places currently selling the DVD-R.
Miral, director Julian Schnabel's narrative follow-up to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, runs through fifty years of Israeli-Palestinian tensions from the perspective of Palestinian author/screenwriter Rula Jebreal. Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto plays the title character, a teenager studying and teaching through a girls' school founded in the 1940s by the charitable Hind Husseini (The Visitor's Hiam Abbass). Now available, Anchor Bay's DVD of this controversial Weinstein Company drama is joined by an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, a half-hour Chicago Palestine Film Festival Q & A session, and Schnabel's tour of his art studio. Our full review.
July 12, 2011 - Paramount Home Entertainment has announced a September 13th DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D debut for Thor, the year's top-grossing non-sequel and the latest film built around a Marvel Comics superhero. Chris Hemsworth plays the Norse god who finds himself on our planet in the present-day. The cast also includes Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgεrd, Idris Elba, and Kat Dennings. With the hammer-swinging Thor already set to return in next year's dream team pic The Avengers and the recently-announced sequel in 2013 (both distributed by Marvel owner Disney), this origin film will be joined by over 80 minutes of extras including an Avengers sneak peek. See the full press release for more details and decide which edition to preorder. Cover art here.
July 11, 2011 - Our latest review looks at the horror film Insidious. It tells the story of a family (headed by Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) who believes their haunted house may be responsible for their son's coma-like state. Made for just $1.5 million, this debut release by Film District became 2011's most profitable film by cost-to-gross ratio. The film was written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan (both of the original Saw) and was produced by the team behind Paranormal Activity. We cover the Blu-ray, which Sony releases tomorrow with three making-of featurettes. Read the full review and if you've already seen the movie, check out tonight's live streaming Q & A with Wan and Whannell.
Five more classic Disney shorts get remastered and made over in Have a Laugh! Volume 4. Goofy goes swimming and surfing, Pluto does battle with a boomerang and a turtle, Chip 'n Dale invade Donald's mobile home, and Mickey Mouse ticks off an Australian emu. One of those and two others get the obnoxious BLAM! treatment, plus the Jonas Brothers' "Play My Music" from Camp Rock is set to Mickey's Barnyard Broadcast. Check out our full review.
Insidious, from the producers of Paranormal Activity, comes to DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow. To mark the occasion, horror magazine Fangoria is hosting a special free 7:30 screening of the film tonight at Los Angeles' Silent Movie Theater. After that, around 9 PM Pacific, fans nationwide can watch the live stream of a Q & A session with director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell, both from the original Saw. Submit your questions via Facebook and Twitter and find out more on the official Insidious Facebook fan page.
July 10, 2011 - Legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman and actor David Carradine come together one last time in Dinocroc vs. Supergator, a Syfy original movie about two giant, killer reptiles on the loose in Kauai, Hawaii. Carradine plays the rich man whose lab genetically engineered the monsters and wants to minimize damage. A conservation officer, a government agent, and master reptile killer "The Cajun" team up to combat the creatures. Hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week, the movie is equipped with an audio commentary by Corman and writer/director Jim Wynorski plus the trailer you can watch as part of our review.
July 8, 2011 - Hopefully worth the wait, we've just posted our review of The Incredibles' recent Blu-ray debut and it is as thorough as any. We take an entirely new look at Pixar's Oscar-winning 2004 hit. Written and directed by Brad Bird, it tells the story of a family of superheroes forced to hide their powers in anonymity. The loaded 4-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack is analyzed in detail, comparing the old DVD to the new one and both to the Blu-ray. We tell you what is gained and what one small item is lost. We even have video clips from the movie and bonus features. Don't miss our 2-page review and don't miss Amazon.com's current deal, by which you can get the set for under $20. The set includes 125 Disney Movie Rewards points and a movie ticket up to $8.50 to see Cars 2 in theaters by early August.
July 6, 2011 - Aaron Wallace gives a less than glowing review to Jackass 3.5, the recent, unrated, direct-to-video movie comprised of hijinks unused in Jackass 3D. Doling out more pain and humiliation to the willing team of fearless men, the feature is accompanied by an hour-long 10th anniversary tribute to the MTV series, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a "European Tour" short. Prepare to cringe as you read our review.
July 5, 2011 - Anchor Bay has announced an October 4th home video debut for Dimension Films' Scream 4. The underperforming latest and probably final installment of the Wes Craven-directed slasher franchise welcomes back original writer Kevin Williamson and cast members Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox, while adding Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere to the fray. The movie will be released on DVD ($29.98 SRP) and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy ($39.98 SRP) with a making-of featurette, an alternate opening, an extended ending, deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel. Preorder from Amazon.com. Click below for a closer look at the cover art...
July 3, 2011 - Summer movies, last season's television, and newly-announced Blu-ray + DVD combo packs and double features have been added to our newly-updated DVD & Blu-ray Schedule, with most titles populating our busy September & Beyond page. See what you can preorder now and how long you'll have to wait.
July 2, 2011 - We've just posted our review of Of Gods and Men, one of next week's few noteworthy new releases. This drama, winner of the Grand Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and France's entry for the Foreign Language Film Oscar, tells the true story of French monks (led by Sahara's Lambert Wilson and Moonraker's Michael Lonsdale) endangered by turmoil in 1990s Algeria. Sony's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack delivers an excellent French report on the film and its real-life counterpart and an extended interview with an American author whose book tackled the same subject... but only on Blu-ray. Our review includes two clips from the movie and the US theatrical trailer. Full review.
July 1, 2011 - Gleeks will be glad to know that Fox has just announced that "Glee": The Complete Second Season will hit 6-disc DVD and 4-disc Blu-ray on September 13th. Reaching from "Empire State of Mind" to a season finale set in the Big Apple, the 22-episode season will add the featurettes "Shooting 'Glee' in New York City", "Stevie Nicks Goes Glee", "Sue's Quips", "Santana's Slams", "A Day in the Life of Brittany" and more to the extras contained on last winter's Season 2, Volume 1 DVD. A Season 2, Volume 2 DVD will also be available on the same day, one month after Glee Live: The 3D Concert Movie begins its two-week nationwide run in theaters. Read the full press release, then check out cover art.
June 30, 2011 - Have a Laugh! Volume 3 presents updated versions of five classic Disney animated shorts alongside the remastered originals. Spanning from 1938 to 1950, the featured cartoons are Mickey's Delayed Date, The Whalers, Chef Donald, Goofy's How to Play Baseball, and Pluto and the Gopher. Now available, the disc also includes three "BLAM!" shorts and a "Re-MICKS" setting vintage Mickey and Minnie partying to The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling." Read our full review.
Disney has very quietly this week launched the Generations Collection, a new line of made-to-order DVD-Rs for long-unavailable titles. The first wave of releases, each priced $19.99 on Amazon.com, includes Amy, the 1981 drama about a teacher at a deaf school (An American Werewolf in London's Jenny Agutter); Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure, a 1998 Wonderful World of Disney movie starring The Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell and "Charmed"'s Alyssa Milano; and the 1987 TV movie Student Exchange, which features early work by Maura Tierney and Heather Graham, along with appearances by Lindsay Wagner, Lisa Hartman, Gavin MacLeod, and O.J. Simpson. It's anyone's guess how the quality of these discs will compare to the basic Disney Movie Club exclusives the studio has been releasing in recent years.
Three years after production and two years after airing on Canadian television, the teen sex comedy Wild Cherry has come to DVD and Blu-ray. Tania Raymonde ("Lost"), Rumer Willis (The House Bunny), and Kristin Cavallari ("The Hills") play high school seniors who vow not to lose their virginity after learning the football team has made deflowering a tradition. Co-starring Ryan Merriman, Jesse Moss, John White, Tia Carrere, and, as a sad single dad, Rob Schneider, this R-rated romp is joined only by its trailer in Image Entertainment's release. Read on...
June 29, 2011 - A year after his big screen debut, Greg Heffley returns in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Now in seventh grade, Greg (Zachary Gordon) takes a liking to the new girl (Peyton List), tries to make his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) an Internet sensation, and bonds with his big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick). That last part claims the lion's share of screentime in this adaptation of the second entry in Jeff Kinney's best-selling children's book series. We review Fox's now-available Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack, which holds seven "My Summer Vacation" shorts, an alternate ending, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, an audio commentary by Kinney and director David Bowers, and a trailer. Full review.
June 27, 2011 - No relation to the TBS series of the same name, Glory Daze gave Ben Affleck his first starring role back in 1995/96. Affleck plays Jack, an angry, lovelorn guy on the verge of graduating from art college. He decides he'd like to spend another year at "El Rancho Grande" with his four housemates (including Sam Rockwell and French Stewart). Full of the era's punk music and grunge fashion, this film written and directed by Airheads and xXx scribe Rich Wilkes features early appearances by a number of future stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Brendan Fraser, and Leah Remini. The cast also includes Alyssa Milano, John Rhys-Davies, and Spalding Gray. Check out our full review of Echo Bridge's new DVD release of this now Miramax-branded independent film.
June 24, 2011 - We've just updated our Disney Animated Classics page to reflect this year's Blu-ray and DVD releases and plans for the studio's official feature animation canon, from Snow White to Tangled, with Winnie the Pooh soon to number 51. See where your collection stands and even print out a checklist right here.
June 10, 2011 - Less fun but more important than most of our articles is our report, Sitepocalypse Now?, which explains why after reaching millions of readers in more than ten years online, this site's days appear to be numbered, due to an unfortunate and inexplicable incident occurring four months ago and involving one of the world's biggest corporations. Please read and share.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Four Rooms - 1995 anthology film is made up of segments written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Alexandre Rockwell, and Allison Anders. Tim Roth stars as the lone bellhop of a faded old Hollywood hotel. New Year's Eve, his first day on the job, finds him dealing with a coven of witches (including Madonna and Ione Skye), an enraged husband (David Proval), the mischievous kids of Antonio Banderas, and a penthouse party of a hot Hollywood director (Tarantino) and his entourage (Bruce Willis, Jennifer Beals).
Cedar Rapids - Ed Helms ("The Office") plays a mild-mannered Wisconsin insurance agent who attends an important convention in the eponymous Iowa city. He finds a wild good time with co-stars John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Fox's Super Awesome Edition Blu-ray offers deleted scenes, a gag reel, Fox Movie Channel shorts, cast interviews, making-of featurettes, BD-Live, a digital copy, and more.
Red Riding Hood (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - In the title role, Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, a teenaged girl pursued by two men (Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons) while their small, snowy town is threatened by a deadly werewolf who seems to know Valerie. Who could it be? Director Catherine Hardwicke's follow-up to Twilight, this PG-13 fantasy aims for similar tastes. The cast includes Julie Christie, Lukas Haas, Virginia Madsen, and Charlie Swan himself, Billy Burke. Warner's combo pack is chockfull of extras including a sexy alternate cut, a picture-in-picture commentary by Hardwicke and her young leads, music videos, making-of featurettes, and deleted scenes.
happythankyoumoreplease - In his filmmaking debut, "How I Met Your Mother" actor Josh Radnor wrote, directed, and stars in this independent dramedy about a twentysomething short story writer who welcomes a quiet orphan boy (Michael Algieri) into his bachelor pad. That story is complemented by romances involving a waitress/cabaret singer (Kate Mara), the writer's alopecic best friend (Malin Akerman) and her colleague (Tony Hale), and a longterm couple (Zoe Kazan and Pablo Schreider) going through life changes. Anchor Bay's DVD includes a Radnor audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a featurette on the score by indie singer-songwriter Jaymay.
Unknown (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - In a vehicle reminiscent of Taken, Liam Neeson plays an American in Berlin who wakes from a brief coma to be completely unrecognized by his wife (January Jones) and have someone else (Aidan Quinn) answering to his name. Helping him make sense of that puzzle are an illegal Bosnian immigrant (Diane Kruger) and a local private eye (Bruno Ganz). Warner's combo pack includes two short making-of featurettes.
Kiss Me Deadly - The second and most famous filming of a Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer novel, this 1955 noir has the hard-boiled private eye (played by Ralph Meeker) investigating the death of a hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman in her film debut). Involving threatening men and femme fatales, the mystery leads to an ominous (and influential) glowing briefcase. The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by noir experts Alain Silver and James Ursini, pieces on L.A.'s Bunker Hills neighborhood where this was shot, featurettes on Spillane and screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides, the controversial alternate ending, the trailer, a video tribute by director Alex Cox, an essay booklet, and a hidden gallery.
"Louie": The Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) - Comedian Louis C.K. plays a version of himself, a recently-divorced 42-year-old father of two young girls living in Manhattan. Featuring original stand-up material in each episode, this FX sitcom also follows Louie on dates, on the road, and at home, with appearances by comedian friends and guest spots by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Broderick. The double-sided, dual-format 2-disc set includes C.K. commentaries on eleven of the thirteen episodes, a half-hour deleted/extended scenes section, and a Fox Movie Channel short interview with C.K., who alone created, writes, and directs the series.
Once Upon a Time in the West - After making The Man with No Name Trilogy with Clint Eastwood, writer/director Sergio Leone returned to the Old West with this 1969 epic. Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Charles Bronson star in the story of a family's railroad-motivated massacre and the efforts to make sense and carry out justice for it. Boasting Techniscope visuals, an Ennio Morricone score, and no shortage of iconic sequences, this is now considered one of the very best Spaghetti Westerns and simply one of the very best films ever made. Paramount's single-disc BD presents two similar cuts of the movie, whose differences we detail, along with over an hour of retrospective documentaries, photo slideshows, a trailer, and a hidden extra.
Kill the Irishman - The true story of Danny Greene, who in 1970s Cleveland rose from menial laborer to union president to key figure in an infamous mob war capped by over 35 bombings. Ray Stevenson plays the lead and is joined by the likes of Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, and Linda Cardellini in this independent crime drama from The Punisher writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh. After receiving positive reviews in a limited theatrical run, the Scorsesian film is now on DVD from Anchor Bay, joined by the hour-long documentary "Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman."
Battle: Los Angeles - Aliens invade Earth and the U.S. Marines fight back in a PG-13 movie dealing much more action and war than science fiction. Denied retirement, Staff Sergeant Mike Nantz (The Dark Knight's Aaron Eckhart) commands a determined platoon against the unknown beings who arrive in what looks like meteor showers. Sony's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack offers a Command Control playback mode, Battle Points, 7 making-of featurettes (only four of which are available on DVD), and BD-Live extras including movieIQ.
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