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UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: August 16-31, 2009: News Archives


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August 31, 2009 - The big, surprising news around the entertainment industry today is that the Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment for approximately $4 billion. Easily becoming Disney's biggest acquisition since 2006's purchase of Pixar, the deal brings Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, and 5,000 other comic book characters into Disney's stable of stars. Although the transaction will not affect Marvel's current arrangements with movie studios like Paramount and Sony,
"the goal is clearly to bring [franchises] in-house over time", according to this New York Times article, which also proclaims that "almost immediately, Marvel characters will pop up at Disney's theme parks." Disney's official press release on the deal can be read here.

Adventureland DVD Review

August 30, 2009 - Journey back to 1987 with our new review of Adventureland. This dramedy from Superbad director Greg Mottola centers on college age youths who spend their summer working at a Pittsburgh amusement park. Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Martin Starr ("Freaks and Geeks"), Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal), and "Saturday Night Live" players Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig headline the cast. Extras include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. Our review not only uncovers two Easter eggs, but gives you a complete list of the period songs the film samples, with audio clips. Check it out now.

August 28, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno gives us a look at this week's other new Disney Channel DVD: "Sonny with a Chance": Sonny's Big Break. This new series stars Camp Rock's Demi Lovato as a teenaged girl who joins the cast of "So Random", her favorite sketch comedy show. The disc serves four of the show's first five episodes plus one that hasn't yet aired, plus Demi Lovato's audition and the cliffhanger season finale of show-within-a-show "Mackenzie Falls." More...

August 27, 2009 - We take a second look at Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie, which is re-released next Tuesday in a Gift Set.
The 2005 direct-to-video feature makes full use of the 1996 TV special Boo to You! Winnie the Pooh to parallel the story of Roo and Lumpy facing fears on their first Halloween together. Read on...

August 26, 2009 - Our newest review is now in the dock and waiting for you to board: "The Suite Life on Deck": Anchors Away!. Teenaged twins Zack and Cody (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) leave behind the Tipton Hotel to attend school on a luxury cruise ship. No, it doesn't make sense, but London (Brenda Song) and Moseby (Phill Lewis) are also there, along with one regular and two recurring new cast members. Now available, this compilation disc serves up six episodes of the Disney Channel sitcom including the series' first two. Extras include an interview with Debby Ryan, a featurette on the series' floating premiere party, and the Sprouses' Blu-ray pitch. Read the full review.

A scoop from the Disney Store informs us about eight titles set to return to the Disney Vault next January: the live-action and animated versions of 101 Dalmatians, their respective sequels, The Jungle Book and The Jungle Book 2, Sleeping Beauty's Platinum DVD and Blu-rays, and The Black Cauldron: Gold Collection, which will be replaced by its already-promoted Special Edition, but not until June 2010.

Jason from Chesapeake, VA is the winner of our Bandslam Giveaway. He'll receive three books, a T-shirt, and a movie poster signed by the cast of the teen music comedy, now playing in theaters. Thanks to all who entered!

August 25, 2009 - Aaron Willcott brings us a review of DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp, the film that brought Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby, Scrooge, and Launchpad to theaters. This 1990 feature paved the way for other big screen releases for TV animation projects. Still a Disney Movie Club exclusive after nearly four years, the DVD offers a widescreen presentation and a game. Full review.

After another slow summer, studios now begin turning up the volume on DVD and Blu-ray output. Check out our schedule for an overview of today's many new releases.

Today is the last day to enter our Bandslam Giveaway. Don't miss your chance to win!

August 24, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno brings us a new DVD review: "Greek": Chapter Three. The third semester of ABC Family's hour-long dramedy serves up more fraternity and soriority rivalry. Now available, Disney's 3-disc set includes 3 audio commentaries, a "20 Questions with the Cast" featurette, and a blooper reel. More...

August 22, 2009 - It's the end of "Scrubs" as we know it, with our advance review of The Complete Eighth Season DVD. Moving to ABC, the hospital comedy became an all-Disney product. The move brought budget cuts noticed in regularly-scheduled lead actor absences and reduced fantasy sequences. But the show remains strong, with its grown-up core cast sharing the stage with fresh-faced interns. Highlights of the season include guest appearances by Sesame Street Muppets, a wedding two-parter that brings the gang to the Bahamas, and an hour-long finale that ranks among television's best. The 3-disc DVD serves up audio commentary on 16 of the 19 episodes, deleted scenes, alternate lines, a bloopers reel, a making-of featurette on the Bahama working vacation, the entire "Scrubs: Interns" web series (including two never-before-released webisodes), and a promotional ABC Starter Kit bonus disc. The show may go on this fall with drastic changes, but it will be tough to top the winning original incarnation. Read the full review, which arrives complete with video and song clips.

August 20, 2009 - We have just launched a contest for Summit Entertainment's Bandslam. Now in theaters, the acclaimed music-driven comedy stars High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens and Aly & AJ's Aly Michalka. One lucky reader of these sites will receive a prize pack consisting of 3 books, a T-shirt, and a movie poster signed by the cast. Don't wait. Entries to this simple giveaway must be received by next Tuesday. Click here to win.

Following the timing and release types used on its predecessor, Paramount has announced an October 20th DVD and Blu-ray debut for the year's top-grossing film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Click here for specs and pre-order links.

Alongside Up and Monsters, Inc., Disney will re-release Cars in a limited-run Blu-ray/DVD Combo Gift Pack on November 10th. The new set ($49.99 SRP) will package together the 2006 Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases next to two exclusive die-cast cars (a yellow Lightning McQueen and ruby red Mater) featuring Ransburg paint. Preorder from Amazon.com.

August 18, 2009 - Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo opened ninth at the box office over the weekend with earnings of nearly $3.6 million from 927 theaters. While that might not sound like much for Hollywood, the G-rated fantasy came close to equaling the final tally of the previous Disney-distributed Miyazaki flick (2005's Howl's Moving Castle) and registered as the fifth all-time biggest anime opening in North America. Ponyo is expected to come to DVD and Blu-ray by the end of the year. We've just learned that it will be accompanied by new Special Editions of Miyazaki's first three films made after the founding of Studio Ghibli: Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro, all of which recently had their original Disney DVDs quietly discontinued. It's not yet clear if the 1980s films will be on Blu-ray as well as DVD. Provided they stay on the schedule, we should have more information soon.

Take a look at today's new releases on DVD and Blu-ray right here.

August 17, 2009 - We've just gotten news from Disney that the next animated classic slated for Platinum Edition treatment after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is Dumbo, scheduled for release next February. Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 had previously been announced, while others anticipated an Alice in Wonderland re-release to tie in with Tim Burton's mixed-medium filming coming to theaters next spring. Dumbo was not one of the ten best-selling titles originally chosen for the Platinum collection (which is supposed to be branded "Diamond" starting with Snow White), nor was it one of the four bonus titles admitted in 2003.

August 14, 2009 - Yet another Disney animated Christmas title will be revisited when Disney reissues Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse on November 3rd. The non-branded new version ($26.99 SRP) will carry the same bonus features from the out-of-print original release: the premiere "House of Mouse" episode, the featurette "The Sounds of Christmas", and sing-along songs of "Deck the Halls" and "Sleigh Ride." The 2001 video debut makes use of classics Pluto's Christmas Tree and Mickey's Christmas Carol plus 1999 "Mickey Mouse Works" shorts Donald on Ice and The Nutcracker. In "House of Mouse" fashion, the four cartoons are screened, via bridging original animation, at a theater full of Disney characters from all time, including the princesses claiming cover space.

We've got a review of the DVDs and Blu-ray of Hannah Montana: The Movie, releasing next week. The Miley Cyrus cable juggernaut takes on yet another new shape in this feature film adapted from Disney Channel's top-rated sitcom. Taking a two-week break from her pop star life, Miley returns to the Tennessee farm town she's from. There, both her and Dad (Billy Ray Cyrus) have no trouble getting new love interests while trying to sort out their priorities. The deluxe DVD holds deleted scenes, bloopers, two entertaining featurettes, a director's audio commentary, and Miley's "The Climb" music video. Exclusive to the Blu-ray combo are six additional music videos and a "Hoedown Throwdown" making-of/tutorial. Read the full review.

On the heels of this summer's 1960's Collection, Warner has announced the release of Peanuts: 1970's Collection Vol. 1 on October 20th. The 2-disc set ($29.98 SRP) will hold the seventh through twelfth animated specials: Play It Again, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown, and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. Play and Mystery are new to DVD. Bonus features will include the all-new featurette "Woodstock: Creating Snoopy's Sidekick" and a digital download of two songs. Click here to preorder 1970's Collection: Volume 1.

Disney has set an October 13th DVD and Blu-ray debut for The Proposal, Touchstone Pictures' blockbuster romantic comedy. It will be treated to a single-disc DVD, a deluxe DVD with a digital copy disc, and a Blu-ray with digital copy. See our schedule for full details. Click here to pre-order.

August 12, 2009 - We've just posted the press release for Disney's re-announced Monsters, Inc. Blu-ray, which will now include a standard DVD.

In related news, Disney announced today that all Disney-branded Blu-rays will include a standard DVD of the feature through December of 2010. The announcement cited a company study of 1,642 randomly-selected households intending to adopt Blu-ray technology in the next 3-6 months. Of those polled, over 77% agree that Combo Packs are a better value that purchasing a DVD or Blu-ray alone. Disney introduced the Blu-ray/DVD combo on last fall's Sleeping Beauty hi-def debut. Other studios have followed suit on select titles. Currently, Disney combos comprised of a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy DVD-ROM carry a list price $15 higher than standard DVDs alone and $5 higher than the "deluxe" DVD/digital duo.

August 11, 2009 - Get the 411 on all of today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases right here on our DVDizzy.com Schedule.

See what 2009's version of the body swap comedy looks like with Kelvin Cedeno's review of 17 Again. Matthew Perry plays an unhappy former high school basketball star who is physically transformed back to his teenage self (Zac Efron). Maybe he'll use the opportunity to get closer to his kids and save his divorce-bound marriage.
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You never know. Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Melora Hardin and a bunch of underused comedians co-star in this PG-13 flick. Warner's Blu-ray release includes a DVD, but just like the standalone release, it is unsupplemented. Maybe not as "Packed with Zac" as advertised, the Blu-ray extras include deleted scenes, a trivia track, supporting cast improvs, and some BD-Live exclusives. Read the full street date report.

August 10, 2009 - With three months until street date, Disney has issued a full press release for the DVD/Blu-ray debut of Pixar's Up. The announcement details the bonus features, most of which are exclusive to the Blu-ray combo. Read on...

Amazon.com is now selling three dozen Disney/ABC DVD season sets at more than 50% off. Reflecting price reductions and the sale, you can pick up sets of "The Golden Girls" and "Home Improvement" for just over $10 apiece. Other box sets, including Seasons 1-2 of "The Muppet Show" and the two-season collections of "Dinosaurs", are selling for $16.49. Click here to browse the entire discounted bunch and if you're looking for opinions, our reviews of 25 of the featured DVDs can be found here (or search for specific titles).

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
Pete's Dragon: High-Flying Edition - This 1977 musical was one of Disney's most ambitious projects to date, uniting a lavish turn-of-the-century New England town with an animated dragon. This new disc adds the 25-minute documentary/retrospective "Brazzle Dazzle Effects", a deleted storyboard sequence, and nearly 20 minutes of audio extras to all but one of the bonuses from the film's solid 2001 Gold Collection DVD.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
I Love You, Man - Paul Rudd plays an engaged man looking for male worthy of being his best man. He thinks he finds one in a laid-back investor (Jason Segel). The second Apatovian comedy made without Apatow, this foul-mouthed flick was directed and co-written by John Hamburg (Along Came Polly). Extras include an audio commentary by Rudd, Segel, and Hamburg; deleted scenes, extended scenes, alternate improvs, a making-of featurette, a gag reel, and Easter eggs.
The Soloist - Robert Downey Jr. plays a Los Angeles columnist who discovers a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) with a gift for playing classical music. Based on a true story, this PG-13-drama from director Joe Wright (Atonement) comes to disc with deleted scenes, an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, and some homelessness awareness supplements.
Labor Pains - Lindsay Lohan looks to comeback in this independent comedy that wound up debuting on ABC Family. She plays a young working woman who pretends she's pregnant to avoid firing. Luke Kirby, Chris Parnell, and Cheryl Hines co-star in this PG-13 film whose DVD includes a making-of featurette and trailer.

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Adventureland
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DuckTales: The Movie
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