DVDizzy.com: AUGUST 16-31, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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August 30, 2013 - The English Teacher stars Julianne Moore as a high school professor who helps a dejected former student (Michael Angarano) the personal play he wrote for his college thesis. Co-starring Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, and Nathan Lane, this R-rated indie comedy hits stores Tuesday after VOD and theatrical runs. Cinedigm's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack includes a deleted scene, a trailer, and a half-hour making-of featurette. Full review.
August 29, 2013 - Michael Shannon adds to his cinema rogues gallery in The Iceman. This true crime drama casts the Academy Award-nominated actor as Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer responsible for over a hundred deaths during a time he was also a devoted husband and father of two girls. Co-starring Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, and James Franco, this indie movie hits Blu-ray next Tuesday with a half-hour of interviews, the trailer, and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Our review.
In the independent drama Shadow Dancer, an MI5 agent (Clive Owen) encourages an IRA member (Oblivion's Andrea Riseborough) to turn informant in 1993 London. Co-starring Gillian Anderson and Harry Potter's Domhnall Gleeson, this UK film, given limited US theatrical release, hails from Academy Award-winning Man on Wire director James Marsh and journalist Tom Bradby, who adapts his own novel. Now available, Magnolia Home Entertainment's Blu-ray includes two making-of featurettes and nearly a half-hour of extended cast & crew interviews. Full review.
August 28, 2013 - Return to Never Land, the DisneyToon Studios sequel given theatrical release in 2002, has hit high definition in a Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy and we've got a review. In an effort to lure Peter Pan, Captain Hook mistakenly kidnaps Wendy's daughter Jane. The grown-up girl is immune to Never Land's charms and her disbelief hits Tinker Bell the hardest. Disney's two-disc combo pack adds deleted scenes, five Pixie Previews shorts adapted from the CGI Tinker Bell films, and restores Jonatha Brooke's "I'll Try" music video. Read on...
August 27, 2013 - In our newest review, we cover "Da Vinci's Demons": The Complete First Season. Created by The Dark Knight and Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer, this hour-long Starz original series explores the life of Leonardo da Vinci. An inventor, artist, and all-around free-thinker, da Vinci (Tom Riley) designs weapons for Florence, saves the lives of "possessed" nuns, is tried for sodomy (and defended by his illegitimate father), romances his boss' mistress, and searches for a book containing the world's secrets. In stores next Tuesday, the three-disc Blu-ray includes four audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a number of making-of shorts. Our full review.
August 25, 2013 - Our newest review looks at Seattle Superstorm, a Syfy original movie that finally hits DVD this week a year and a half after premiering. Esai Morales and Ona Graeur star as a dating biochemist and a military officer who, along with their two dissimilar teenaged kids, find themselves in the middle of a doomsday scenario when a mysterious, airborne substance threatens Seattle and all of humanity. The DVD includes the trailer and a slipcover. Our review.
August 23, 2013 - Australia's Baz Luhrmann puts his opulent imprint on one of the most celebrated pieces of American literature in The Great Gatsby. Set predominantly in the summer of 1922, this drama sees young bond trader Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) befriending his wealthy, engimatic neighbor Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and arranging for meetings with Nick's cousin Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). Following a surprisingly formidable box office run, this F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation hits stores on Tuesday in a Warner Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack that includes nearly two hours of bonuses including deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a trailer for the lost 1926 silent version, and a multitude of making-of featurettes. No invitation necessary for this party.
Our newest theatrical review looks at The World's End. The third film from the team behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, this British comedy reunites five school friends (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan) for a recreation of an epic 12-stop pub crawl in their sleepy hometown, where not all is as it seems. Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and co-starring Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan, this Focus Features release opens today. Review.
August 21, 2013 - Kon-Tiki, a 2013 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, hits stores next week and we've got a review. This film tells the true story of Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, who took dramatic steps to prove his theory that Polynesia could have been discovered by South Americans traveling east. He and a crew of five fellow Scandinavians set out to make such a 5,000-mile journey on a simple wooden raft. The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack presents the film in both Norwegian and English versions (it was shot both ways), which differ not only in audio but runtime. Extras include a Maria Menuonos-hosted American making-of featurette and visual effects breakdowns. Read more.
August 20, 2013 - Epic, the ninth animated feature from Blue Sky Studios, tells the story of a human teenager who winds up shrunk down to the size of Leafmen, tiny forest warriors engaged in an ongoing struggle with decay-producing Boggans. Adapted from a book by William Joyce (Rise of the Guardians, Meet the Robinsons) and directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots), this fantasy adventure hit disc today in Fox's Blu-ray + DVD + DigitalHD UltraViolet combo pack, which includes seven making-of shorts and pieces on the real nature creatures personified in the film. Don't miss our full review.
Director Michael Bay (Transformers, Pearl Harbor) changes gears somewhat in Pain & Gain. Based on a true story, this dark action crime comedy tells of three bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie) in mid-1990s Miami who get mixed up in a kidnapping and extortion plot. Co-starring Ed Harris, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, and Rob Corddry, Bay's lowest-budgeted film in years hits stores next week in a shockingly barren Paramount Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. Our review.
August 19, 2013 - Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey documents the enduring rock band Journey and the Arnel Pineda, the Filipino man discovered on YouTube and picked to be their lead singer in 2007. Directed by Ramona S. Diaz, this Cinedigm Entertainment release hits DVD tomorrow from with over a half-hour of bonus features including filmmaker bios, unused and extended segments, footage from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere, and the trailer. Full review.
Warner has scheduled a November 12th home video release for Man of Steel. Zack Snyder's Superman reboot will be available in a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D combo packs, plus a Limited Collector's Edition gift set featuring the Blu-ray 3D edition. Blu-ray extras will include the feature-length playback mode "Journey of Discovery: Creating Man of Steel." For artwork, preorders, and more details, see the full press release.
August 18, 2013 - Standing Up adapts Brock Cole's award-winning 1987 young adult novel The Goats. Adapted and directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, I Am Number Four), this family drama tells of two 12-year-olds (Annalise Basso and Knowing's Chandler Canterbury) who run away from the camp where they're being bullied. Just days after beginning a limited one-week California theatrical engagement, the film, which also features Radha Mitchell and Val Kilmer, hits DVD as a Walmart exclusive with a behind-the-scenes featurette, trailer, and vudu digital copy. Our review.
August 17, 2013 - On Tuesday, Amour becomes one of 2012's final films and, last major Oscar contender, to come to DVD and Blu-ray. Written and directed by Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon), this French language drama tells the story of a long-married octogenarian couple whose life is complicated by new health issues. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and winning Best Foreign Language Film, this Sony Pictures Classics release hits Blu-ray with a making-of featurette, a Haneke Q & A, and the original US theatrical trailer. Full review.
The independent Canadian comedy Stag stars "Scrubs"' Donald Faison as a prankster on edge at his bachelor party suspecting his friends will aim to get back at them for the outrageous stunts he's put them through. Co-starring Eve Amurri Martino and Jon Dore, this R-rated flick hits DVD on Tuesday. Review.
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. New 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 Skarsgεrd 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.
Recent Film Reviews:
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Under the Bed - Independent horror movie explores how life is made difficult for a troubled teenager and his younger brother by visits from a persistent monster in the titular locale.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - 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. Paramount's combo pack includes an audio commentary, three deleted scenes, a 73-minute 8-part making-of documentary, and UltraViolet.
The Ice Storm (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - Two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain) directed this 1997 independent drama adapted from Rick Moody's novel which 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.
Aftershock (Blu-ray) - In this 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. Nicolαs Lσpez 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.
Erased (Blu-ray) - Action thriller 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.
Ishtar (Director's Cut Blu-ray) - 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 1987 box office bomb skips DVD and hits high definition in a new edit.
Babette's Feast (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - 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 Stιphane 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.
Peggy Sue Got Married (Blu-ray) - 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.
Solomon Kane - Centering on a titular character conceived by Conan the Barbarian and Kull creator Robert E. Howard back in 1928, this long-shelved sword and sandal 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.
Evil Dead (2013) (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) - 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. Sony's edition includes a cast and filmmaker audio commentary plus five making-of featurettes.
42 (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) - Chadwick Boseman plays legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, 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.
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