DVDizzy.com: AUGUST 1-15, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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August 15, 2013 - Robert De Niro and John Travolta square off in the action thriller Killing Season. De Niro plays a retired U.S. Army colonel targeted for revenge by a Serbian (Travolta) who barely escaped with his life during the Bosnian War. After a limited summer theatrical release, this Mark Steven Johnson-directed movie hits stores Tuesday with a featurette and trailer. Our Blu-ray review.
Cavalcade, one of the most obscure and least esteemed of all Best Picture Oscar winners, finally received a release of its own in last week's Blu-ray + DVD Combo. Adapted from a Noel Coward play, this 1933 drama spends over thirty years with an English family, opening on New Year's Eve 1899 and taking us through history's challenges including the Boer Wars, the Titanic, and World War I. Fox's unlikely combo pack includes an audio commentary from film historian Richard Schickel and a one-minute newsreel celebrating the film's award triumphs. Full review.
Expectedly timed to the theatrical release of Saving Mr. Banks, Mary Poppins will make its Blu-ray debut on December 10th in a 50th Anniversary Ediiton Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack ($39.99 SRP) that will present the film in 1.66:1 widescreen and 7.1 DTS-HD master audio. Extras will include "Mary-Oke" (a sing-along feature seemingly modeled after the one on the recent Blu-ray of The Muppet Movie) and the featurette "Becoming Mr. Sherman" which sits down songwriter Richard Sherman with Jason Schwartzman, the actor who plays him in Mr. Banks. It is now available for preorder on Amazon, along with a DVD + Digital Copy edition ($29.99 SRP) on the same day. Click the thumbnail for a larger look at cover art.
August 13, 2013 - The first and more successful of this year's two White House attack movies, Olympus Has Fallen sees North Korean terrorists kidnap the President (Aaron Eckhart) and high-ranking officials, leaving one Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) to save the day. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and co-starring Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Angela Bassett, this FilmDistrict release is now available to own in a Sony Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack that includes bloopers and five making-of featurettes. Read our review.
Our newest review covers today's Blu-ray debut of Seconds. From director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), this 1966 thriller tells the story of a New York banker (John Randolph) who pays to have his death faked and a new identity (Rock Hudson) assigned. The Criterion Collection's disc includes a 1997 audio commentary and 1971 interview from the late director; a 1965 news report on the filming; new interviews with Alec Baldwin, the director's widow, and leading lady Salome Jens; a video essay and an essay booklet. Don't miss our review.
A new listing on Amazon.com shows that Disney will release an Of Pirates & Pigs Collection Blu-ray on December 10th, consisting of Muppet Treasure Island and The Great Muppet Caper. In contrast to recent Muppet BDs, this one will, according to its cover art, include a Blu-ray and DVDs (not digital copies) of these "2 Muppety Adventures." More...
August 11, 2013 - The Muppet Movie hits Blu-ray this week in Disney's The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition and we've got a review. This 1979 comedy shows us how the gang first met, as Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and others come together and head to California, while trying to avoid the persistent frog leg restaurateur Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) and his assistant (Austin Pendleton). The Blu-ray adds extended camera tests, original trailers, Frog-e-oke sing-alongs to Pepe's Kermit Profiles and a downloadable digital copy. The lovers, the dreamers, and you should all read this review.
August 10, 2013 - The indie comedy The Hot Flashes pits menopausal middle-aged women against high school girls in a series of three basketball games intended to raise money for a mobile mammogram unit. Brooke Shields leads a cast that also includes Daryl Hannah, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim, and Eric Roberts. Available Tuesday, the DVD includes the cast's American Cancer Society PSAs and a trailer. Full review.
A modern-day adaptation of an 1897 Henry James novel, the independent drama What Maisie Knew tells of a New York couple's (Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan) separation through the eyes of their young daughter (Onata Aprile). After an acclaimed limited theatrical run, this film, which co-stars Alexander Skarsgård and Joanna Vanderham, hits stores on Tuesday in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack that includes deleted scenes, its trailer, and an audio commentary by directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (Uncertainty and Bee Season). Our review.
Our coverage of this week's Disney animation combo packs concludes with a look at Robin Hood. This 1973 musical, all-animal adaptation of the English legend makes its Blu-ray debut joined by a newly-unearthed deleted storyline, an alternate ending, a video art gallery, a virtual storybook, games, sing-alongs, and the classic Mickey Mouse short Ye Olden Days in high definition. There's also a new aspect ratio, a mildly-updated DVD, and a digital copy. Don't miss our complete review.
August 9, 2013 - Disney has announced an October 29th Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD release date for Monsters University. Pixar's first prequel takes us back to the college days of future best friends Mike and Sulley, as they compete in fraternity Scare Games. Three weeks after its digital debut and two days before Pixar's customary home video month, this campus comedy will be released as a single-disc DVD, a Blu-ray + DVD, a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy, and a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. Bonus features will include an audio commentary, the photorealistic Pixar short The Blue Umbrella, deleted scenes, and a wealth of making-of features. See the press release for cover art, preorders, and full details.
We've got reviews of two new movies opening in theaters today:
District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp returns to sci-fi action in Elysium. It stars Matt Damon as a 22nd century ex-con blue collar factory worker whom an accident requires to swiftly make good on his childhood dream of joining an advanced civilization on a space station in the sky. Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley co-star in this R-rated adventure. Full review.
Disney expands the world of Pixar's Cars with Planes. Launching this spin-off franchise, this film from the makers of the Tinker Bell movies centers on Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster who tries to realize his improbable dreams of air racing by competing in an international event. It opens in 3,400 theaters, some presenting it in 3D. Full review.
August 6, 2013 - Warner has scheduled an October 8th DVD and Blu-ray release date for The Hangover Part III. The Todd Phillips-directed blockbuster comedy series concludes with this dark finale that returns Stu, Phil, Alan, and Mr. Chow to Las Vegas for more wild hijinks. The film will be available in a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack as well as a Two-Disc Special Edition DVD, with extras including outtakes, extended scenes, "Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words", and more. See the press release for cover art and full details.
After a quiet limited spring theatrical run, The Sapphires hits stores today in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd stars as an Irish drifter who becomes the manager to a group of four related Aboriginal Australian women who sing for the U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam War. Based on a true story, this Australian production is joined by a making-of featurette, an interview of the original Sapphires, and comments from actress Jessica Mauboy about the film's music. Our review.
August 5, 2013 - Disney's 1963 animated film The Sword in the Stone makes the leap to Blu-ray tomorrow. Adapted from T.H. White's novel, this fantasy musical finds young future king Wart tutored by the wizard Merlin in a number of different forms. The 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack treats the film to its first modern widescreen presentation matching its matted theatrical exhibitions, though it poses new problems. A newly-produced alternate opening joins recycled extras including a featurette on the Sherman Brothers, Walt's anthology excerpt "All About Magic", the classic shorts Brave Little Tailor (starring Mickey Mouse) and A Knight for a Day (starring Goofy), and the DVD-exclusive art gallery, game, and fun facts. Don't miss our complete review.
August 3, 2013 - The Chilean thriller Magic Magic stars Juno Temple (Killer Joe, The Dark Knight Rises) as a young American who visits her cousin (Emily Browning, Sucker Punch, Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events) in Chile and gets more than she expected. Michael Cera co-stars in this bilingual R-rated movie, which comes straight to DVD on Tuesday after premiering at Sundance. Full review.
Another Disney animated film makes the leap to Blu-ray as we review Oliver & Company. This 1988 release retools Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist into the musical tale of an orphaned kitten who joins a pack of pickpocket stray dogs. Available Tuesday, the 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + DVD combo pack gives the film a dramatic restoration and a new aspect ratio, while retaining its handful of promotional extras and keeping a few things as DVD exclusives. Don't miss our thorough review.
August 2, 2013 - World War Z, the troubled production that ended up being a summer blockbuster, will hit home video on September 17th, Paramount has announced. Loosely adapted from Max Brooks' novel, the zombie apocalypse thriller stars Brad Pitt as a father, husband and UN worker who assumes an invaluable role in humanity's effort to stave off a zombie holocaust. Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland), the film will be available as a single-disc DVD, a two-disc Blu-ray combo, and a three-disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack. Blu-ray alone will treat the film to a new unrated, extended cut and six making-of featurettes. See the press release for cover art, preorders, and full details.
Disney has announced the two animated films that will be released in Blu-ray combo packs next year as Diamond Editions. The Jungle Book will make its BD debut on February 11, 2014, while Sleeping Beauty, which premiered on Blu-ray as a premature 50th Anniversary Edition in 2008, will this time make the leap to Diamond Edition in October. The pair will raise the line to ten animated films.
Our coverage of next week's many new discs continues with a review of Universal's Oblivion Blu-ray combo pack. Tom Cruise plays a drone repairman working for our planet in post-apocalyptic 2077. Co-starring Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, and Melissa Leo, this PG-13 science fiction adventure is directed by Tron: Legacy Joseph Kosinski, whose graphic novel is adapted by Academy Award winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) and Karl Gajdusek (creator of ABC's "Last Resort"). It hits BD with deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Cruise and Kosinski, 48 minutes of making-of featurettes, an isolated score track featuring the music of M83, and a downloadable digital copy and UltraViolet. Our full review.
July 30, 2013 - The 1986 drama Quicksilver stars Kevin Bacon as a stockbroker who becomes an urban bike messenger after losing his family's life savings on an options trade. Co-starring Jami Gertz, Paul Rodriguez, Louie Anderson, and Laurence Fishburne, this Columbia Pictures release makes its Blu-ray debut next Tuesday from Image Entertainment. Review.
The independent horror movie Under the Bed explores how life is made difficult for a troubled teenager and his younger brother by visits from a persistent monster in the titular locale. Available today, XLrator Media's DVD includes a trailer. Review.
July 29, 2013 - Today's new review looks at G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This delayed sequel to 2009's tepidly received film mixes things up with extensive personnel changes. Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis join the cast, while Step Up 2's Jon M. Chu assumes the director's chair and the duo who penned Zombieland assume screenwriting duties. As a convincing impersonator of the United States President (Jonathan Pryce) supplies the entire world with nuclear threat, three surviving G.I. Joes (led by Johnson) team up with their unit's namesake (Willis) and some adversaries to save the day. In stores tomorrow, Paramount's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes an audio commentary, three deleted scenes, a 73-minute 8-part making-of documentary, and UltraViolet. As knowing is half the battle, read our review to know much more.
July 26, 2013 - Our newest review covers this week's Criterion Collection Blu-ray debut of The Ice Storm. Two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain) directed this 1997 independent drama. Adapted from Rick Moody's novel, it spends a week in November 1973 with two troubled families of New Canaan, Connecticut. Gathering the perspectives of both experimental teenagers (Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Christina Ricci) and their malaise-battling parents (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver). Criterion's Blu-ray hangs on to all the bonus features from their two-disc DVD including an audio commentary by Lee and screenwriter James Schamus, deleted scenes, a cast retrospective, three crew audio interviews, Lee and Schamus' museum panel, and the original trailer. Chill out with our review.
Sony has scheduled an October 1st Blu-ray debut for From Here to Eternity, the World War II drama that won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Picture. This 60th anniversary release will add "Eternal History", a brand new graphics-in-picture track to an audio commentary by director Fred Zinnemann's son Tim and actor Alvin Sargent and the vintage featurettes "Fred Zinnemann: As I See It" and "The Making of From Here to Eternity." For cover art, more information, and preorders, see the full press release.
July 25, 2013 - Today's new review looks at Aftershock, a disaster horror movie starring, co-written, and produced by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever). An American dad on vacation is among those affected by a severe earthquake in Chile. Nicolás López directs the international cast of this limited release thriller which hits Blu-ray on August 6th with an audio commentary, making-of featurette, and hidden camera prank short. Our review.
July 23, 2013 - Anchor Bay has announced they'll release a new 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of John Carpenter's original horror classic Halloween well in time for the holiday itself. Reaching stores September 24th, the disc will sport an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by cinematographer Dean Cundey, a new 7.1 remix in addition to the original monaural mix, a new audio commentary by Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis, the new featurette "The Night She Came Home" with Curtis, and selected legacy features from past releases. For more details and a look at the first printing's limited edition book packaging, see the full press release.
The action thriller Erased stars The Dark Knight's Aaron Eckhart as a former CIA agent living in Belgium whose place of work disappears without a trace. He and his teenaged daughter (Liana Liberato) have more questions than answers as they are targeted for death by a far-reaching corporate conspiracy. After a limited theatrical run, Erased is now on Blu-ray with a short making-of featurette. Review.
July 22, 2013 - The infamous 1987 comedy Ishtar skips DVD and turns up on Blu-ray next month from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Written and directed by two-time Oscar nominee Elaine May (The Birdcage, Heaven Can Wait), this critically reviled farce stars New Hollywood legends Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty as down on their luck New York songwriters who take a job in a Moroccan lounge and wind up in the middle of a Middle Eastern Cold War standoff. Co-starring Isabelle Adjani and Charles Grodin, this box office bomb hits high definition on August 6th in a new 105-minute Director's Cut. Our review.
Our newest review looks at tomorrow's Criterion Collection Blu-ray of Babette's Feast. Winner of the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this Danish drama adapts a short story by Out of Africa's Karen Blixen which tells the story of a French refugee who wins the lottery and then plans to serve an ornate meal for twelve in celebration of the pastor at the simple Lutheran congregation she has called home for fourteen years. Babette's hits Blu-ray with new interviews with director-screenwriter Gabriel Axel and leading lady Stéphane Audran, a new visual essay from filmmaker Michael Almereyda, the 1995 feature documentary "Karen Blixen - Storyteller", an interview on French cuisine, booklet including Blixen's original 1950 short story, and the original trailer. Dinner is served in our full review.
July 19, 2013 - Today's new review covers Image Entertainment's upcoming Blu-ray debut of Peggy Sue Got Married. Directed by The Godfather's Francis Ford Coppola, this 1986 romantic comedy fantasy was a hit with moviegoers and picked up three Academy Award nominations. The film stars Kathleen Turner as a recently-separated mother of two who attends her 25-year high school reunion, only to be magically whisked back to her senior year in the spring of 1960. Co-starring a young Nicolas Cage and featuring some of the earliest film appearances of Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, and Catherine Hicks, Peggy Sue finally has its Oscar-nominated cinematography restored to its intended widescreen aspect ratio. The disc is available on July 30th, but you can read our review right now.
July 18, 2013 - The sword and sorcery flick Solomon Kane centers on a titular character conceived by Conan the Barbarian and Kull creator Robert E. Howard back in 1928. This long-shelved R-rated UK fantasy sees Solomon (James Purefoy) try to save his soul after swearing off violence. Co-starring Pete Postlethwaite, Max von Sydow, and Peter Pan's Rachel Hurd-Wood, this limited US release is now available in a Weinstein/Anchor Bay Blu-ray that includes an audio commentary, a deleted scene, a making-of featurette, concept art, a visual effects breakdown, and interviews with Purefoy and writer/director Michael J. Bassett. Read our review.
Paramount has announced and issued cover art for their September 10th Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D combo pack editions of Star Trek Into Darkness. J.J. Abrams' sequel to his esteemed 2009 reboot sends the crew of the Enterprise on a manhunt following an act of terror on Earth. On Blu-ray, this acclaimed follow-up will be joined by seven making-of featurettes. The film will also be available on a single-disc DVD and in a Limited Edition Gift Set with a life-sized Starfleet Phaser replica. For artwork, preorders, and full details, see the complete press release.
July 17, 2013 - We've updated our DVD and Blu-ray release schedules for the months of July, August, and September & Beyond, the lattermost of which includes an assortment of preorders for films that have just recently opened in theaters, including Despicable Me 2, Monsters University, and World War Z. Remember that Amazon preorders through our links support this site at no additional cost to you!
July 16, 2013 - In today's review, we look at the new Evil Dead. Somewhere in between sequel and remake, this reboot of Sam Raimi's esteemed horror franchise follows a group of young people to a cabin in the woods, where ominous things befall them in conjunction with the curse of an ancient text. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray + UltraViolet edition includes a cast and filmmaker audio commentary plus five making-of featurettes. Our review.
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.
Recent Film Reviews:
• Monsters University - 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.
• World War Z - Brad Pitt stars as a husband, father of two girls, and retired UN worker called back into action to help stave off a zombie 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.
• The Bling Ring - 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.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• The Producers (1968) (Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack Collector's Edition) - Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Mel Brooks' first feature film 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. Shout! Factory's two-disc set 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.
• Dead Man Down (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) - Reuniting actress Noomi Rapace with her The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director, 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 combo pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
• Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special (Blu-ray) - 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.
• "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, Chloë Sevigny, Roseanne Barr, Bill Hader, Jim Gaffigan, Matt Lucas, Jeff Goldblum, Rose Byrne, '90s MTV VJs, Martina Navratilova, and George Wendt.
• "Rectify" (Season 1) - 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.
• 6 Souls (Blu-ray) - This long-shelved psychological horror film stars Julianne Moore as 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.
• The Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection (Blu-ray + DVD) - Before making thrillers like Night Tide and Games and directing "Dynasty" and "Charlie's Angels", a young Harrington wrote and directed trippy avant-garde shorts. Five of those are assembled in this Flicker Alley/Drag City combo pack 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.
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