DVDizzy.com: JULY 1-15, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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July 15, 2013 - Today's review explores the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary baseball player who is invited to break Major League Baseball's color barrier by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) in 1947. Met with opposition and taunts, Robinson became baseball's first black superstar. Written and directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Payback, A Knight's Tale) this period drama was a hit in theaters and comes to home video tomorrow. Warner's combo pack includes three making-of featurettes on Blu-ray, one on DVD, and an UltraViolet stream of the film. Step up to the plate for our complete review.
July 14, 2013 - Our newest review covers one of the most esteemed of silent films. The 1923 comedy Safety Last! stars Harold Lloyd as a man pretending his job as a department store fabric clerk is more important than it is. To collect a $1,000 payout for attracting business, he winds up climbing a 12-story skyscraper to much fanfare in an iconic climax paid frequent homage. Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray debut of the film includes an audio commentary, a complete two-hour 1989 documentary on Lloyd from PBS' "American Masters", three short films featuring Lloyd's bespectacled persona (all with commentary), two score options, an introduction from Lloyd's granddaughter, an interview with composer Carl Davis, and a piece on the film's still-impressive in-camera visual effects. Don't miss our review.
July 13, 2013 - In today's review, we look at The Kentucky Fried Movie, the 1977 film debut of Airplane! and Naked Gun creators David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker. John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) directs the former theater group's raunchy sketch comedy composed of parodies of news programs, commercials, movies, and television. The "feature attraction" is a 30-minute kung fu spoof A Fistful of Yen. Shout! Factory's recent Blu-ray Disc includes a filmmaker audio commentary, an hour-long retrospective interview with the Zucker brothers, and the original trailer. Our review.
July 10, 2013 - Today's new review covers the Blu-ray debut of Mel Brooks' first feature film, The Producers. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, this classic 1968 comedy stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as two men who team up to put on the atrocious Broadway musical Springtime for Hitler to their own personal gain. Now available, Shout! Factory's two-disc Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack Collector's Edition hangs on to the film's one-hour 2002 retrospective documentary full of cast and crew interviews, a deleted scene, the original trailer, and a gallery of production design sketches while adding a new 19-minute interview with writer/director Brooks. Stroll on over to our thorough review.
July 9, 2013 - Dead Man Down reunites actress Noomi Rapace with the director of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This English language thriller stars Colin Farrell as a gang enforcer with a secret who befriends a bitter neighbor scarred by a car accident (Rapace). Co-starring Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper, this FilmDistrict flop is available today with three making-of featurettes in a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Our review.
July 8, 2013 - We take a look at tomorrow's Blu-ray release of Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special. This half-hour 2012 Adult Swim program puts the comic book giant's rich library of characters to irreverent use. Featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, Bane, The Riddler, The Flash, and countless other personalities, the special hits high definition with two audio commentaries, "Chicken Nuggets" video commentary snippets, thirteen deleted sketches, making-of featurettes, a DC Entertainment Tour, UltraViolet, and more. Soar over to our review.
Warner has announced an August 27th Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD release date for The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann's lavish adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's celebrated novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. The 1920s drama will be available as a Two-Disc Special Edition, a Blu-ray + DVD, and a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD combo pack, each fitted with UltraViolet, over ninety minutes of bonus features including deleted scenes, and a unique cover design. Check out all three covers, watch the trailer, and learn more about your choices here.
Our newest review covers this week's DVD release of "Portlandia": Season Three. IFC's Emmy-nominated offbeat sketch comedy series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as a variety of eccentric Portland residents. This two-disc set holds the special "Winter in Portlandia" and all ten of the episodes that followed, plus two deleted scenes and nine "Kumail Tours Portlandia" shorts. Third season guest stars include Kyle MacLachlan, Chloλ Sevigny, Roseanne Barr, Bill Hader, Jim Gaffigan, Matt Lucas, Jeff Goldblum, Rose Byrne, '90s MTV VJs, Martina Navratilova, and George Wendt. Don't miss our full review.
July 1, 2013 - With the second half of the year beginning today, we take a look back at the best and worst films of 2013 so far, plus the twelve upcoming movies we're most excited for. Check out The Films of 2013: Mid-Year Report.
June 30, 2013 - Our latest review looks at the recent Season 1 DVD release of "Rectify". Created by Oscar-winning writer/director Ray McKinnon, Sundance Channel's first original scripted series centers on Daniel Holden, a man released back to his tight-knit family after spending nearly twenty years on death row for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend. He tries to adjust to freedom, small-town Georgia, and a dramatically changed world. Anchor Bay's two-disc set holds all six episodes plus a number of making-of featurettes supplying insight into characters, episodes, crew members, and the series at large. Don't miss our complete review.
June 27, 2013 - Our newest review covers 6 Souls, a psychological horror film that finally reaches the US five years after it was shot. Julianne Moore plays a psychologist whose values are shaken by a troubled young man (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who alternates in assuming the personalities of a number of real murder victims. After a limited theatrical release, Weinstein/Anchor Bay bring this critically drubbed movie to stores on Tuesday. Our Blu-ray review.
June 26, 2013 - Today's review looks at The Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection, a new Blu-ray + DVD combo from Flicker Alley. Before making thrillers like Night Tide and Games and directed "Dynasty" and "Charlie's Angels", a young Harrington wrote and directed trippy avant-garde shorts. Five of those are assembled here along with his final film, the 36-minute 2002 drama Usher, his teenaged adaptation of the same Edgar Allan Poe short story, two extensive interviews given shortly before his 2007 death, and a 1966 government documentary short. Don't miss our complete review.
Paramount has announced that the Michael Bay-directed Pain & Gain will hit DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on August 27th. Based on a true story, the dark comedy stars Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie as personal trainers who delve into crime in 1990s Miami. Digital copy and UltraViolet are the only bonus features announced. For cover art and more information, see the press release.
June 25, 2013 - Available today, Acorn Media's Region 1 DVD "Jack Taylor": Set 1 gathers the first three feature-length installments of the Irish mystery television series. Iain Glen ("Game of Thrones", the Resident Evil series) portrays the title character, a hard-nosed police sergeant turned private investigator who plays by his own rules. He looks for a missing child, discovers a secret society of vigilantes, and attempts to uncover the truth in a 50-year-old church scandal. The three-disc set includes a photo gallery for each 90-minute episode. Our review.
June 24, 2013 - Upside Down stars Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst as young residents of twin planets with opposite gravities who fall for each other against the rules. This dystopian fantasy romance thriller marks the English language debut of Argentine writer-director Juan Solanas. After a brief theatrical run, it hits stores tomorrow from Millennium Entertainment in a Blu-ray 3D/2D disc that includes making-of featurette, deleted scenes, concept art, storyboards, pre-visualization animatics, and a trailer. Our review.
June 23, 2013 - In stores Tuesday, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone stars Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as old-school magicians whose popularity is threatened by a flashy new street performer (Jim Carrey). Co-starring Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, and James Gandolfini, this PG-13 comedy will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack that includes nearly a half-hour of deleted and alternate scenes, a gag reel, a David Copperfield interview, and more Steve Gray (Carrey). Our review.
June 21, 2013 - Disney's Academy Award-nominated 1983 animated featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol will make its Blu-ray debut in a 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack ($36.99 SRP) arriving November 5th. Joined by other unspecified cartoons to bring its 26-minute runtime up to 95 minutes, the short will also be available as a DVD + Digital Copy ($29.99 SRP). Cover art and preorders here.
On the same day, the studio will also release Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year in a "Gift of Friendship Edition" Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. The direct-to-video 2002 movie makes use of the 1991 TV special Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too and adds some original content as well. It too will be available as a DVD + Digital Copy. Cover art here.
Our newest Blu-ray review covers Movie 43, a star-studded comedy anthology. It consists of more than a dozen crude shorts featuring the likes of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, Jason Sudeikis, Justin Long, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Terrence Howard, and Chloλ Grace Moretz. Counting Peter Farrelly, Steven Brill, and Brett Ratner among its directors, the movie is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack that includes the R-rated theatrical cut and an alternate cut with an entirely different frame story, a deleted Bob Odenkirk segment starring Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub, and a red band trailer. Home video review 1,921.
Pixar Animation Studios adds to its trend of brand expansion with the prequel Monsters University, now in theaters. To fulfill his childhood dream, one-eyed Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) enrolls in Monsters University's scarer program, where he meets James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) and the two join a fringe fraternity of misfits to compete in Scare Games. A change of pace for the pioneers of computer animation, this college comedy is short on ambition but big on striking, colorful visuals and plenty entertaining. It is preceded by The Blue Umbrella, a new Pixar short you'll swear is part live-action. Our review.
In theaters today, World War Z puts the globe on edge with a zombie outbreak. Brad Pitt stars as a husband, father of two girls, and retired UN worker called back into action to help stave off the apocalypse. Adapted from the novel by Max Brooks, this drama is directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace) and co-stars Mireille Enos and David Morse. Don't miss our review.
The Bling Ring expands to 650 theaters nationwide today. Sofia Coppola writes and directs this R-rated crime dramedy based on the true story of California teenagers who broke into the homes of celebrities and stole over $3 million worth in clothing, accessories, and cash. Relative newcomers Katie Chang and Israel Broussard head a cast that also includes Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, and Leslie Mann. Our review.
June 20, 2013 - Our newest review looks at "Workaholics": Season Three, the twenty newest episodes of Comedy Central's hit sitcom. More inappropriate adventures are in store for Anders, Adam, and Blake, as they try to impress their elders, survive a supermoon, find love on Valentine's Day, and live it up at and beyond their telemarketing job. Now available, the two-disc Blu-ray presents all of the episodes uncensored and with "Drunkmentary" as well as a long blooper reel, alternate lines, three "The Other Cubicle" web shorts, and Montez's music video. Full review.
June 17, 2013 - Jack the Giant Slayer puts its twist on an old familiar fairy tale. Farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) sells a horse for beans, one of which sprouts an enormous beanstalk which lifts up a young princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and puts her among legendary giants. In response, Jack and members of the king's guard (Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci) form a rescue party. This big budget, effects-laden action adventure comes from director Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) and his Oscar-winning The Usual Suspects screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. In stores tomorrow, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack includes the BD-exclusive interactive "Become a Giant Slayer", deleted scenes, a gag reel, and an Xbox Live Gold trial. Climb down our full review.
Recent Film Reviews:
Man of Steel - Rebooting cinema's most enduring superhero, Watchmen, 300 director Zack Snyder presents a new Superman (Henry Cavill), whose Krypton origins and Earth upbringing are detailed before he squares off with a still resentful General Zod (Michael Shannon) while catching the attention of journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Co-starring Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, scripted by Batman Begins' David S. Goyer and produced by Christopher Nolan, this Warner Bros./DC Comics film opens to giant expectations.
The Internship - Wedding Crashers stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite in this PG-13 comedy that casts them as best friends and recently unemployed wristwatch salesmen who take their old school ways to Google where they join college students in competing for jobs at the technology giant. Shawn Levy (Date Night, Night at the Museum) directs from a script by Vaughn and The Watch's Jared Stern.
The Hangover Part III - Director Todd Phillips lets go of the many hallmarks of a franchise never intended to be one to take Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Stu (Ed Helms) on a dark adventure with Bangkok prison escapee Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) to pay back an angry crime boss (John Goodman).
The Great Gatsby - Reuniting 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.
Iron Man 3 - A year after teaming up with The Avengers, 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).
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Quartet (Blu-ray) - In this British dramedy marking the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, Academy Award-winning writer Ronald Harwood adapts his West End play set in a retirement home for musicians. There, three aging opera singers (Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins) try to get their just-arrived soprano (Maggie Smith) to reunite with them for an important fundraising gala. Earning Smith a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, this independent film hits Blu-ray joined by a Hoffman commentary and six short making-of featurettes.
A Good Day to Die Hard (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Bruce Willis reprises his most iconic role in this fifth entry to the action franchise. Death-defying cop John McClane journeys to Moscow to help out his estranged son (Jai Courtney), who, unbeknownst to Dad, is a CIA agent hard at work on a high-profile case. Explosions, shattered glass, and a signature catchphrase ensue. Now available, Fox's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes both the R-rated theatrical cut and an unrated extended cut on Blu-ray plus an audio commentary, deleted scenes, an hour-long making-of documentary, concept art and storyboard galleries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailers, and UltraViolet.
Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Disney's big budget fantasy returns us to the universe of L. Frank Baum's beloved book series. Directed by Spider-Man's Sam Raimi, the film follows 1905 carnival magician Oz (James Franco) into a colorful world bearing his name. There, he is expected to fulfill a prophecy and slay a wicked witch, but which of the three witches (Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz) is it? The two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes a featurette on Walt Disney's attempts to adapt Baum, Franco's personal making-of documentary, a Second Screen feature for those with second generation iPads, and various behind-the-scenes pieces. Your Disney Movie Rewards code not only nets you a downloadable digital copy and $8 toward seeing The Lone Ranger in theaters, it also gives you a chance to get the film's Blu-ray 3D for under $6.
Pusher (Blu-ray) - In this remake of Drive writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn's first film, Prince of Persia's Richard Coyle plays a London drug dealer for whom the time to repay his growing debt to Turkish mobsters is running out. This crime thriller hits Blu-ray from Anchor Bay with a making-of featurette and a premiere Q & A session with the filmmakers.
Lilo & Stitch & Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2-Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - Disney's last big traditionally-animated hit, this 2002 comedy centers on the unlikely friendship formed between an alien experiement and a lonesome Hawaiian girl. The 2005 sequel tests that friendship when Stitch's goodness levels drop in response to a series of malfunctions that are part of a larger issue. The 3-disc 2 Movie Collection recycles the films' DVDs, which provide the combo pack with its only bonus features.
The Emperor's New Groove & Kronk's New Groove (2-Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - The original 2000 buddy comedy is among the most highly regarded films by Disney Animation of its era. Its direct-to-video sequel, arriving in 2005, promotes Patrick Warburton's dim-witted henchman to leading man. In this 3-disc combo pack, the two comedies share a Blu-ray and also have their in-print 2005 DVD editions recycled. The Blu-ray packs a surprise in the bonus features department.
"The Newsroom": The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - The newest television series from Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar-winning scribe of The Social Network and Moneyball and Emmy-winning creator of "The West Wing" and "Sports Night", this hour-long drama centers on a cable news series whose anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) strives to restore some dignity to his profession. With his ex-girlfriend (Emily Mortimer) as executive producer and his seasoned boss (Sam Waterston) defending him with executives, Will reports on real stories from the recent past. Equipped with previews, recaps, "Inside the Episode" Sorkin interviews, five audio commentaries, four deleted scenes, and two making-of featurettes, the ten episodes fill four single-sided Blu-rays and two double-sided DVDs.
Escape from Planet Earth (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - This computer-animated sci fi family comedy follows extraterrestrials to our planet, where an American general locks them up and plans to exploit their intelligence. An unexpectedly strong performer in theaters last winter, this Weinstein Comedy release features the voices of Rob Corddry, Brendan Fraser, William Shatner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, and Sofia Vergara. Anchor Bay's four-disc combo pack includes an audio commentary, alternate takes & deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, an Owl City music video and additional song performances.
Identity Thief (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - Jason Bateman plays Sandy, a mild-mannered Denver businessman whose life is upended when a Florida woman (Melissa McCarthy) steals his identity and goes wild. To make things right for his family and new employer, Sandy tries to find the titular thief and bring her home by cross-country road trip. Directed by Horrible Bosses' Seth Gordon, the film hits stores in a two-disc combo pack holding both its R-rated theatrical cut and an unrated extended one, plus alternate takes, a gag reel, two making-of featurettes, an Easter egg, and a tour of Robert Patrick's Skiptracer's van.
Wild Strawberries (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - Ingmar Bergman's 1957 Swedish drama follows an old, widowed professor (Victor Sjφstrφm) on a road trip to receive an honorary degree, during which he is subjected to frightening nightmares and old memories. The Blu-ray includes a Bergman introduction to the film, an historian's audio commentary, a 90-minute 1998 Swedish television documentary devoted to the director, and 17 minutes of behind-the-scenes production footage.
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