DVDizzy.com: AUGUST 1-15, 2014 NEWS ARCHIVES
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August 15, 2014 - Disney has announced another wave of Studio Ghibli Blu-ray + DVD combo packs to release on November 18th. Receiving their US Blu-ray debuts will be The Wind Rises, the last film of Hayao Miyazaki released to North American theaters earlier this year; Kiki's Delivery Service, the 1988 fantasy that became Disney's first dub in the late 1990s; and Princess Mononoke, a PG-13 which is now being branded Disney after previously carrying the Miramax Films name. Each set will carry a $36.99 SRP and include the standard supply of storyboards, trailers, English voice cast featurettes, and more. Click the thumbnails below for larger cover art and Amazon preorders:
August 14, 2014 - After favorable reviews and strong word-of-mouth weren't enough to make it stand out this summer, Warner Bros. looks to downplay the generic title for the home video release of Edge of Tomorrow. From Bourne Identity director Doug Liman, this sci-fi action film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt looks at a future where one man can relive an important day of combat against a formidable race until he gets it right. In stores October 7th with cover art emphasizing the tagline Live Die Repeat, the film will be joined by deleted scenes and a number of featurettes, two of which also make it to the DVD. See the press release for cover art and full details.
Today's new review covers next week's release of Toy Story of Terror!. Pixar's first television special finds the toys at a hotel, where they start disappearing one at a time. The low-priced Blu-ray + Digital HD Digital Copy release is loaded with bonus features including all three Toy Story Toons shorts, audio commentaries on those shorts and the special, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and vintage toy commercials created for this. Do not miss our thorough review.
August 13, 2014 - "Peppa Pig": The Balloon Ride serves up an hour of the animated British children's television series that airs on Nick Jr. In twelve 5-minute episodes, Peppa and her family rides bikes and hot air balloons, visit relatives and a museum, go ice skating, use a movie camera, and eat ice cream. Read our full DVD review.
Our coverage of this week's many Disney combo packs continues with a look at Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. The three titular characters star in their first single narrative feature together, playing clumsy janitors who have long dreamed of becoming Musketeers. This direct-to-video comic adventure celebrates its 10th anniversary by adding a short new dance video to recycled extras including deleted scenes, character commentary, a making-of featurette, and Disney Song Selection. Our review.
August 12, 2014 - The Railway Man tells the true story of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a train enthusiast in 1980s England still haunted by his harrowing experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II. Co-starring Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, and Stellan Skarsgård, this British-Australian drama is now on Blu-ray from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay, accompanied by filmmakers' audio commentary and a half-hour making-of featurette. Our review.
After its usual summer slowdown, home video picks up the slack today with a deluge of new and notable Blu-ray and DVD releases, including seven combo packs from Disney alone. For a detailed look at today's new discs, see our schedule.
August 11, 2014 - Another animated Disney film reaches Blu-ray and we've got a review. Adapted from the first of many Edgar Rice Burroughs novels on the character, the 1999 adventure Tarzan revived provided Disney with their biggest in-house animated hit since The Lion King. Featuring songs by Phil Collins including the Oscar-winning "You'll Be in My Heart", the film tells the story of a boy raised by apes in the jungles of Africa. Available tomorrow, the Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy includes hours of bonus features, including audio commentary, deleted scenes, music videos, character and effects featurettes, trailers, a storyboard comparison, and a progession reel. Our thorough review.
August 10, 2014 - Muppets Most Wanted, the Jim Henson franchise's eighth theatrical film, takes the colorful gang on a world tour, where Kermit switches places with a fugitive criminal, who teams with their manager (Ricky Gervais) to target the crown jewels and other European treasures. Releasing on Tuesday, Disney's The Unnecessarily Extended Edition, a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack lives up to its name with an elongated cut of the film. It also includes Statler & Waldorf's preferred edit of the film, a Bret McKenzie music video, a short clip featuring Rizzo the Rat, and an historically long blooper reel. Full review.
August 9, 2014 - Our coverage of the five Disney animated films making their Blu-ray debuts next week begins with Hercules. It tells the story of Hercules, son of Zeus and Hera, trying to become heroic as a mortal against the wishes of underworld leader Hades. From Aladdin and The Little Mermaid directors Ron Clements and John Musker, this 1997 musical comedy is joined by a making-of featurette, a fiery Ricky Martin music video, and a "Zero to Hero" sing-along on its much-anticipated Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack. Read our review.
August 8, 2014 - Bears, the newest film from Disneynature, lives up to its title with a look at the first year of life for two brown bear cubs and their mother as they go searching for food. In stores Tuesday, Disney's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack includes four short making-of featurettes and an Olivia Holt music video. Full review.
Reaching DVD next Tuesday from Paramount, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles documents the first thirty years of the franchise, from its humble beginnings as a limited print comic in New Hampshire to the extremely popular late '80s and early '90s animated show, toy line, and film franchise that followed. This feature length documentary includes interviews with creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, licensors, toy manufacturers, voice cast members, filmmakers, and fans. Don't miss our advance review.
"Breaking Bad" Emmy winner Aaron Paul makes the jump to leading man of film in Need for Speed, adapted from the long-running Electronic Arts driving video game series. Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic and racer who looks to clear his name after serving a two-year jail sentence. Co-starring Michael Keaton, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, and Kid Cudi, this PG-13 action movie is now on Blu-ray, joined by deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Paul and director Scott Waugh (Act of Valor), and a number of making-of featurettes. Read our review.
August 7, 2014 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Divergent, the hit adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel. In a dystopian future where the public is divided into five factions, one teenage girl (Shailene Woodley) discovers she is the rare outlier suited for all five. Now available, Summit's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes two audio commentaries, more than an hour of making-of content, deleted scenes, trailers, and an Ellie Goulding music video. Don't miss our review.
August 5, 2014 - Our coverage of today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases includes a detailed look at Ping Pong Summer, an independent coming-of-age comedy set in Ocean City, Maryland during the summer of 1985. Shy 13-year-old Radford Miracle brings his own paddle to the crab town, where he makes a new best friend, develops a crush on Stacy Summers, and runs afowl of a couple of rich residents, one of whom he challenges to a ping pong showdown. Featuring Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, John Hannah, and Amy Sedaris, this unrated release hits home video from Millennium Entertainment, joined by a making-of featurette and an audio commentary by writer-director Michael Tully and producer George Rush. Our Blu-ray review.
August 1, 2014 - Marvel introduces us to a new team of superheroes in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now in theaters, this action comedy from director James Gunn (Slither, Super) tells the story of an American abducted in childhood (Chris Pratt) and the eccentric allies with whom he attempts to escape a high security space prison. With enthusiastic reviews and big box office expectations, read our full review.
July 29, 2014 - Warner Home Video reissues the definitive documentary on the 20th century's most iconic concert with today's new 3-disc 40th Anniversary Revisited Blu-ray of Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music. Released the spring after the 1969 Bethel, New York concert attended by half a million, this winner of the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award is presented in its nearly four-hour 1994 director's cut and joined by six hours of bonus features. The brand new bonus disc's extras include 16 previously unreleased song performances and an additional 35 minutes of featurettes. They join the nearly four hours of performances and retrospectives from a recycled bonus disc and are packaged alongside an iron-on concert patch, ticket replicas, and color reproductions of newspaper and magazine articles. Don't miss our thorough review.
Our newest review looks at "The Birthday Boys": The Complete First Season. The LA comedy troupe makes the leap to IFC in this sketch comedy series executive produced by and featuring Bob Odenkirk and Ben Stiller. Available next Tuesday, Anchor Bay's 2-disc DVD holds the first ten episodes, all with audio commentary, plus nearly an hour of additional extras including a making-of featurette, stage show excerpts, assorted bonus video, and promos. Read our review.
July 25, 2014 - Darren Aronofsky, the Academy Award-nominated director of Black Swan and The Wrestler, brings an Old Testament story to the big screen in Noah. Russell Crowe plays the early man, who builds a giant ark following premonitions of a great flood. Co-starring Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins, this PG-rated Biblical epic grossed $100 million in theaters. On Tuesday, it reaches stores in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack with an hour of making-of featurettes. Our complete review.
July 24, 2014 - Our latest review looks at next week's Region 1 DVD release of "Secret State". The four-episode UK political thriller stars Gabriel Byrne as a Deputy Prime Minister who runs for Prime Minister in the wake of two tragedies, he subsequently must address. Acorn's two-disc set includes four behind-the-scenes featurettes. Our review.
July 22, 2014 - Insomnia, the 1997 Norwegian thriller that Christopher Nolan remade in 2002, hit Blu-ray today in a Dual-Format Edition from The Criterion Collection. Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!, Thor) stars as a Swedish detective investigating the murder of a teenaged girl while battling sleeplessness during Norway's 24-hour summer sunlight. The two-disc set includes a new conversation between Skarsgård and director Erik Skjoldbjærg, Skjoldbjærg's two half-hour student shorts, a trailer, and an essay booklet. Full review.
With 2014 a little more than halfway done, we bring you a Mid-Year Report counting down the ten best and ten worst films released this year and looking ahead with teasers and trailers to twenty upcoming releases worth anticipating. Check out The Films of 2014: Mid-Year Report and look for a final update to our 2013 Films: Ranked and Reviewed soon.
July 21, 2014 - Flicker Alley's Blu-ray + DVD combo We're in the Movies: Palace of Silents & Itinerant Filmmaking collects two documentaries and five bonus shorts. When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose reflects on the filming and locations of the 1914 Wausau, Wisconsin short The Lumberjack. Then, Palace of Silents: The Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles celebrates and chronicles a longtime LA institution. The two are joined by silents and itinerant shorts plus a booklet essay in this new set released tomorrow. Full review.
Warner has just announced a September 16th home video debut for Godzilla. The well-received reboot will be available in a Limited Edition MetalPak Blu-ray 3D combo pack as well as other multi-disc editions. See the press release for full details.
Paramount has announced that the 1996 bowling comedy Kingpin, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by the Farrelly Brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary) will come to Blu-ray on October 14th. Previously distributed by MGM, the film will be presented in both theatrical and extended cuts, the latter with directors' audio commentary, and joined by the all-new featurette "Kingpins: Extra Frames With The Farrelly Brothers." Click here for cover art..
July 20, 2014 - Accomplished Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut on Transcendence. This sci-fi thriller stars Johnny Depp as a dying brilliant scientist who takes steps to live on in a computer system. Co-starring Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, and Kate Mara, this spring box office dud hits Blu-ray combo pack this week, joined by a number of trailers and short featurettes. Our review.
July 18, 2014 - Expanding in theaters today is Boyhood, the latest film from writer-director Richard Linklater (Before Midnight, Dazed and Confused). Twelve years in the making, this drama looks at the coming-of-age of one Texas boy (Ellar Coltrane). Met with near-universal acclaim and the best reviews of 2014 so far, this nearly three-hour film casts Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the boy's separated parents. Our film review.
July 17, 2014 - Blue Ruin, one of the best-reviewed films of 2014 so far, comes to Blu-ray next week and we've got an early review. This revenge drama finds a Delaware drifter (Macon Blair) looking to avenge his parents when their killer is released from jail. Featuring Home Alone's Devin Ratray and "The Brady Bunch"'s Eve Plumb, this feature from writer-director-cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier is joined by an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, two deleted scenes, and a camera test on the Weinstein-Anchor Bay BD. Full review.
July 16, 2014 - Following a very limited June theatrical release, Lullaby comes to DVD later this month. From first-time writer-director Andrew Levitas, it tells the story of a young musician (Garrett Hedlund) who returns to New York to visit his dying father (Richard Jenkins). Co-starring Amy Adams, Jessica Findlay Brown, Anne Archer, Jennifer Hudson, and Terrence Howard, this R-rated drama is joined by its trailer on ARC Entertainment's slipcovered DVD. Our review.
Recent Film Reviews:
• Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a surprisingly excellent follow-up to the 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Changing directors and human cast, while moving the focus to the apes, this sequel from Cloverfield director Matt Reeves grips with its tale of human-ape tension. No wonder it's become one of 2014's best-reviewed films.
• Edge of Tomorrow - Adapted from a Japanese graphic novel, this sci-fi action flick is set in a future in which an Army PR guy (Tom Cruise) discovers he has the opportunity to relive the same day, a gift he uses to aid in the military's war against alien creatures. Directed by The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman, the film co-stars Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton.
• Maleficent puts a new spin on Disney's classic animated Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie holds the title role of the horned fairy, who it's revealed to be is less malicious than misunderstood. From the screenwriter and producer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this big-budget live-action fantasy marks the directorial debut for Oscar-winning visual effects and production design veteran Robert Stromberg. It also features Elle Fanning as Aurora and Sharlto Copley as King Stefan.
• X-Men: Days of Future Past passes the consciousness of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in a dystopian robot-policed near-future back to his 1973 body, where he's got to reunite the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a scientist (Peter Dinklage) who intends to use mutant DNA against them. Putting Bryan Singer back in the director's chair, this crossover/sequel is sure to be one of summer's biggest and best-reviewed hits.
• Godzilla. This latest incarnation of the Japanese movie monster sees him summoned to fight "Mutos." From Monsters director Gareth Edwards, this film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, and Ken Watanabe.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
• Heaven Is for Real (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Based on the true story detailed in a bestselling 2010 book, this PG-rated spring box office hit looks at the family of a Nebraska pastor (Greg Kinnear), whose son claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. Co-starring Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church, and Margo Martindale, this film is directed and co-written by Braveheart's Randall Wallace. Sony's combo pack includes deleted scenes and three featurettes.
• Born Yesterday (Blu-ray) - Adapted from the Broadway play of the same name, this 1950 comedy-drama directed by George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story, My Fair Lady) tells the story of a rich tycoon (Broderick Crawford) who pays a journalist (William Holden) to make his fiancée (Judy Holliday) less ignorant. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, this won Holliday the Best Actress Oscar over stiff competition from Sunset Blvd.'s Gloria Swanson and All About Eve's Bette Davis. Twilight Time's stunningly remastered Blu-ray includes two HD theatrical trailers, an isolated score, and an essay booklet.
• Radio Days (Blu-ray) - Written, directed, and narrated by Woody Allen, this 1987 comedy takes us back to the golden age of radio, reflecting on the late 1930s and early 1940s experiences of a working class Jewish family in Rockaway Beach, Queens and their connection to the radio programs they listen to. Nominated for two Academy Awards and featuring a large cast full of familiar faces, including Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Seth Green, and Julie Kavner, this film is now available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, joined by a trailer, a music and effects-only track, and an essay booklet.
• 13 Sins (Blu-ray) - This thriller from The Last Exorcism director Daniel Stamm finds a broke, engaged, expecting 32-year-old man (Mark Webber) promised financial security for performing a series of disturbing acts. Now available, the Weinstein/Anchor Bay Blu-ray includes a deleted sequence, an alternate ending, a making-of featurette, an audio commentary, and more.
• Ragamuffin (Blu-ray) - This low-budget biopic tells the story of Rich Mullins, the Christian singer-songwriter of "Awesome God", whom it follows from a child in 1960s Indiana to a young man attending college in Cincinnati to a successful artist in Nashville. Millennium's Blu-ray includes two deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, an audio commentary, and a message from Mullins' brother Dave.
• Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? - Taiwanese comedy tells the story of a married middle-aged optometrist who considers coming out of the closet. A Film Movement film-of-the-month club pick, the film is joined by an interview of writer-director Arvin Chen, trailers, biographies, and Chen's short film Mei.
• Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (Blu-ray) - This 1957 drama stars Robert Mitchum as a U.S. Marine and Deborah Kerr as a nun who find themselves alone stranded on the same tropical island hoping to avoid the Japanese soldiers who come and go. Nominated for two Academy Awards, this John Huston-directed film is joined by its trailer, relevant vintage newsreels, an isolated music and effects track, and an essay booklet in Twilight Time's limited edition Blu-ray.
• The Unknown Known (Blu-ray) - Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his attentions to another former U.S. Secretary of Defense, with an interview of Donald Rumsfeld and examination of his long career in politics, paying special notice to his actions in the war on Iraq. The Weinstein and Anchor Bay Blu-ray includes a Morris audio commentary and interview, the complete 1989 Third Annual Report of the Secretaries of Defense, and Morris' four-part op-ed article on Rumsfeld.
• The Lunchbox (Blu-ray + DVD) - The year's top-grossing foreign film so far tells the story of a working man (Life of Pi's Irrfan Khan) who starts receiving the flavorful home-cooked lunches of a neglected housewife (Nimrat Kau) at the government job from which he is about to retire. Sony's combo pack includes this Indian film's North American trailer and an audio commentary by first-time writer/director Ritesh Batra.
• A Hard Day's Night (Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - Released fifty years ago, The Beatles' first movie offers a comic look at the lives of the young British pop sensations and one of their grandfathers. Criterion's Dual-Format Edition, comprised of one Blu-ray and two DVDs, holds nearly five hours of bonus features, including commentary, documentaries, retrospectives, and new tributes, plus an 80-page booklet.
• Rob the Mob (Blu-ray) Starring Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda as the early '90s version of Bonnie and Clyde, Ray Romano as a veteran reporter, and Andy Garcia as a mob boss, this limited spring release from City Island director Raymond De Felitta is now on Blu-ray and DVD. It is joined by its trailer, three long deleted scenes, and a De Felitta audio commentary, but Millennium Entertainment again drops the ball regarding the feature presentation.
• 300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) follows Zack Snyder's 2007 blockbuster. Snyder co-writes and produced this midquel which focuses on a war between the Greek army, led by Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), and the Persians, led by Artemisia (Eva Green). Warner's three-disc combo pack holds over an hour of bonus features on Blu-ray, including making-of featurettes and historical background.
• "Comedy Bang! Bang! The Complete Second Season - Adapted from the podcast of the same name, IFC's offbeat talk show sees host Scott Aukerman and bandleader Reggie Watts talking to more celebrities and eccentric secondary guests. The 4-disc set holds all twenty episodes, each fitted with audio commentary, plus over an hour of deleted scenes, bonus music, and much more.
• Winter's Tale (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Adapted from Mark Helprin's novel and directed by Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind screenwriter, this Valentine's Day flop follows a New Yorker (Colin Farrell) from 1916 to the present day as he finds love and is pursued by a angry mobster (Russell Crowe). Co-starring Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey"), Jennifer Connelly, Eva Marie Saint, and a major movie star in an unadvertised cameo, this fantastical romance is joined by deleted scenes, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, and Digital HD UltraViolet in Warner's combo pack.
• The Grand Budapest Hotel (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - The eighth film written and directed by Wes Anderson, this colorful comedy, set in an opulent Eastern European hotel in 1932 and 1968, tells the story of a fastidious concierge (Ralph Fiennes) accused of murder and his loyal lobby boy (Tony Revolori). Inspired by the works of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, the film also features Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, and F. Murray Abraham. One of 2014's best-reviewed films and a surprisingly potent commercial hit here and abroad, the film is now available, joined by vignettes, promotional featurettes, a stills gallery, its trailer, and Digital HD.
• The Spike Lee Joint Collection, Vol. 1 (Blu-ray) - 25th Hour stars Edward Norton as a New Yorker on his final day before starting a 7-year prison sentence. He Got Game releases a convicted murderer (Denzel Washington) from prison for a week to persuade his basketball star son (Ray Allen) to attend the governor's alma mater. Each film is treated to a new commentary by Lee and the star, while 25th Hour adds a Lee biography, two additional audio commentaries, and deleted scenes.
• The Man from Laramie (Blu-ray) - This 1955 CinemaScope, Technicolor western stars James Stewart as a freight deliverer who journeys to New Mexico to avenge his brother's death and winds up butting heads with the family of a wealthy rancher (Donald Crisp). Directed by Winchester '73's Anthony Mann, it's now on Blu-ray in a 3,000-count Limited Edition Series disc from Twilight Time, which includes an isolated effects and music track, two trailers, and an essay booklet.
• 2 Autumns, 3 Winters - French film exploring two romances and a friendship with stylings inspired by documentaries and reality TV. Film Movement's DVD includes biographies, trailers, and the 2008 French short Voyage D'Affaires featuring Mélanie Laurent.
• The Lego Movie (Everything Is Awesome Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo) - From the writers-directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball and 21 Jump Street, this blockbuster animated comedy adventure sees a mindless construction worker emerge as the world's best hope against an evil leader planning its demise. Extras include audio commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, making-of featurettes, building tutorials, a cast and filmmaker audio commentary, and an exclusive minifigure.
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