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DVDizzy.com: SEPTEMBER 16-30, 2013 NEWS ARCHIVES
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September 29, 2013 - Our 2,000th and latest home video review looks at this week's Blu-ray 3D/2D debut of House of Wax. This hit 1953 thriller discovered Vincent Price's true calling as a horror character actor and rung in a brief golden age for 3D movies.
Price plays a wax figure sculptor whose life's work goes up in flames, only for him to recreate it in an unlikely way. Warner's hybrid single disc includes a brand new audio commentary and 48-minute documentary, the original trailer, a newsreel on the film's 24-hour round-the-clock premieres, and Mystery of the Wax Museum, the 1933 Michael Curtiz film House remade. Don't miss our review.

House of Wax: Blu-ray 3D/2D Review From Here to Eternity Blu-ray Review

September 27, 2013 - Another Academy Award Best Picture makes the leap to Blu-ray Disc next Tuesday with Sony's release of From Here to Eternity.
Adapted from James Jones' best-selling novel, this drama shows us life at a Hawaiian military barracks just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, and Oscar winners Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed, this winner of eight Oscars is joined by a new graphics-in-picture track and lobby card reproductions in addition to an audio commentary and two featurettes carried over from its 2001 DVD. Full review.

August theatrical releases Planes and The World's End are both hitting DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on November 19th. For more details on each, see our November Release Schedule.

September 26, 2013 - Actor Guy Pearce returns to his native Australia to headline "Jack Irish", a series of made-for-television mysteries adapted from Peter Temple's novels. Melbourne criminal lawyer turned debt collector Jack Irish discovers some conspiracies involving former clients and family friends. Available on Tuesday, Acorn Media's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack serves up the first two feature-length installments, plus a behind-the-scenes featurette. Our review.

September 25, 2013 - The acclaimed indie coming-of-age dramedy The Kings of Summer is now on Blu-ray and we've got a review. Three teenage boys look to escape familial strain by moving into a house they build in remote woods. Co-starring Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, and Megan Mullally, this R-rated film is joined by a cast & crew audio commentary, deleted & extended scenes, and three making-of featurettes in a Sony-distributed CBS Films Blu-ray. Review.

Bates Motel: Season One Blu-ray Review

September 24, 2013 - Today's new review looks at Universal's "Bates Motel": Season One Blu-ray. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, A&E's hour-long drama series centers on a 17-year-old Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his recently-widowed mom Norma (Vera Farmiga) as they move to small-town Oregon and try to open a motel, while dealing with covered-up crimes and uncovered conspiracies. Now available, the two-disc set holds the series' first ten episodes plus 25 minutes of deleted scenes, a 45-minute cast & crew discussion panel, UltraViolet, and, for a limited time, postcards of the found diary drawings. Full review.

Matilda: Special Edition Blu-ray cover art -- click for larger view

Matilda will finally get a widescreen presentation when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings it to Blu-ray on December 3rd. Adapted from Roald Dahl's novel and directed by Danny De Vito, who also stars along with Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Mrs. Doubtfire's Mara Wilson, this 1996 family fantasy will be joined by four previously released featurettes plus UltraViolet and the all-new "Afternoon Tea: A Very Magical Matilda Reunion." Click the thumbnail for a larger look at this Special Edition's cover art.

September 23, 2013 - Iron Man 3, the #1 movie of the year at the box office, hits DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow and we've got a review. At Christmastime, a bitter, brilliant would-be associate (Guy Pearce) and an intimidating terrorist (Ben Kingsley) keep Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his armored suits busy. The Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by writer/director Shane Black and co-writer Drew Pearce, the new short Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter, over 15 minutes of deleted & extended scenes, two making-of featurettes, a gag reel, an exclusive preview of Thor: The Dark World, and, even more if you've got an iPad or iPod. Don't miss our thorough review, which includes a video clip of a deleted scene.

September 21, 2013 - Next Tuesday, Halloween gets a second Blu-ray edition and its first in six years. Directed, co-written, and scored by John Carpenter (The Thing), this influential and iconic 1978 horror movie finds a crazed killer escape from an institution on the fifteenth anniversary of his childhood murder to wreak havoc on his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. Starring Donald Pleasence and, in her enduring big screen debut, Jamie Lee Curtis, this genre classic is treated to a new HD transfer supervised by cinematographer Dean Cundey, a new audio commentary reuniting Carpenter and Curtis, a new hour-long documentary on Curtis' 2012 charitable fan appearances, TV version footage, a 25th anniversary locations featurette, original marketing, and, for a limited time, a photo-illustrated Digibook packaging with an essay. Trick or treat? Read the review.

A Letter to Three Wives Blu-ray Review The Painting: Blu-ray + DVD Review

Our newest review looks at this week's Blu-ray debut of A Letter to Three Wives. This 1949 romantic dramedy stars Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, and Ann Sothern as wives who receive word that one of their friends has run away with their husband, prompting them to reflect on their marriages. Co-starring Kirk Douglas and Thelma Ritter, this won Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve) Oscars for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Fox's Blu-ray retains A&E's 1999 Darnell biography, an audio commentary by Mankiewicz's son and biographers, the original trailer, and a newsreel on the 1950 Academy Awards. Read all about it.

September 20, 2013 - Disney has announced a December 17th DVD and Blu-ray release date for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced The Lone Ranger. The underperforming western adventure will be available as a lightweight single-disc DVD and in a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. For cover art and full details, see the press release.

Our newest review covers The Painting, a 2011 animated film called Le Tableau in its native France. This imaginative film is set inside a painting, where inhabitants have been divided based on their color or lack thereof. Representatives of all three classes embark on an adventure to find the artist who left their world unfinished years ago. Now available, GKIDS' Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes French and English soundtracks, a concept art slideshow, a half-hour making-of featurette, and trailers. Enter our review.

September 19, 2013 - The indie comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me centers on a young waiter (Keith Poulson) drifting through life and multiple marriages. Co-starring "Parks and Recreation"'s Nick Offerman (who also produced), this film written and directed by Bob Byington is now on DVD with promos, a Jason Schwartzman-moderated Q & A, an Offerman interview, and an audio commentary...for the wrong movie. Our review.

Autumn Sonata: Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

September 18, 2013 - We look at another of this week's Criterion Collection Blu-rays in our Autumn Sonata review. Cinema's two big Bergmans -- writer-director Ingmar and three-time Academy Award-winning actress Ingrid -- come together in this Swedish language drama.
It tells the story of an mother visiting her estranged daughter (Liv Ullmann) for an unleashing of repressed emotion and secrets. Released in 1978, this film earned each Bergman an Academy Award (Ingrid for Lead Actress, Ingmar for Original Screenplay). Also available as a new two-disc DVD, Criterion's Blu-ray serves up over six hours of bonus features, more than half of them provided by the epic chronological making-of documentary. It also includes a new interview with Ullmann, an introduction by the director, a 1981 interview of Ms. Bergman, an historian's audio commentary, and a trailer. Don't miss this review.

September 17, 2013 - The independent drama Greetings from Tim Buckley stars Penn Badgley as Jeff Buckley, who in the spring of 1991 agrees to contribute to a Brooklyn concert celebrating the musician father he never knew. This unrated limited theatrical release hits DVD today from Tribeca Film and Cinedigm in a DVD that includes interviews with Badgley, co-star Imogen Poots, and director/co-writer Dan Algrant. Our review.

Today's new releases include the zombie apocalypse blockbuster World War Z, A&E's "Bates Motel": Season One, ABC's "Nashville": The Complete First Season, HBO's Emmy-nominated Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, the Blu-ray debuts of Richard Linklater's Slacker, Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata, and the Academy Award-winning 1949 drama A Letter to Three Wives, the indie films Somebody Up There Likes Me and Scenic Route. For more on these, check our release schedule for September 17th look for our detailed upcoming reviews.

September 16, 2013 - The IMAX documentary Space Junk 3D considers the debris from satellites and other manmade objects orbiting around the planet. Actor Tom Wilkinson narrates this 37-minute film, whose Blu-ray 3D/2D disc, available tomorrow, includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and gallery, a Wilkinson interview, and a section of HD IMAX 3D movie trailers. Review.

Slacker: Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review The Conjuring: Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet cover art -- click to read the press release

Our newest review dissects tomorrow's Criterion Collection Blu-ray debut of Slacker, the first theatrical film written and directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise). Made for just $23,000, this influential 1991 indie hit spends a day in Austin, Texas, drifting from one group of ordinary people to another. Criterion's loaded disc includes three audio commentaries, Linklater's first feature film with another commentary, a half-hour of deleted and extended scenes, a 10th anniversary cast reunion, a making-of featurette, script excerpts, cast audition interviews, the trailer, and a substantial 70-page illustrated companion booklet with essays and production notes. Slack off.

September 13, 2013 - Today's new review covers World War Z, the film that overcame a troubled production and a missed release date to become one of the summer's biggest blockbusters. Brad Pitt stars a former UN worker and family man forced to come out of retirement when a zombie apocalypse breaks out. Available Tuesday, Paramount's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy presents the film in an unrated, extended cut along with over 50 minutes of making-of featurettes. Full review.

September 12, 2013 - Warner has announced an October 22nd DVD and Blu-ray release for The Conjuring, the latest horror hit from director James Wan (Insidious, Saw). Based on the case files of a couple of real paranormal investigators, this acclaimed sensation will hit stores in time for Halloween, joined by three featurettes on Blu-ray and one on DVD. For cover art and more details, click here.

Our newest review looks at Acorn Media's recently-released 20th Anniversary Edition of "Tales of the City". Adapted from Armistead Maupin's popular columns and novels, this acclaimed UK-produced 1993 miniseries premiered on PBS in 1994 to critical acclaim, record ratings, and lawmaker protest. It tells the stories of an assortment of individuals living in San Francisco in 1976, including a newly-moved young Cleveland woman (Laura Linney), her neighbor (Chloe Webb) and her gay roommate (Marcus D'Amico), and their eccentric landlady (Olympia Dukakis). The two-disc set includes audio commentary on three of the six episodes, more than a half-hour of behind-the-scenes rehearsal and production videos, and an 8-page booklet. Our review.

Chasing Ice: Special Edition Blu-ray Review Nashville: The Complete First Season DVD -- click to enter our giveaway!

September 11, 2013 - Chasing Ice made the Academy Awards' shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, but wound up getting nominated instead for Best Original Song for an end credits tune sung by Scarlett Johansson. Jeff Orlowski's feature debut documents accomplished nature photographer James Balog's project to capture melting ice glaciers using cameras set up in Iceland, Greenland, and Alaska. Now available, Cinedigm's loaded Special Edition Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, film festival Q & A highlights, the trailer, making-of featurettes, a 40-page collectible booklet, and more. Don't miss our review.

September 10, 2013 - We've just launched a new giveaway. Two lucky readers will take home a copy of "Nashville": The Complete First Season DVD. In stores next Tuesday, the five-disc holds all 21 episodes of the ABC musical drama's Emmy-nominated Season 1. Entering's a breeze and you can improve your odds by coming back every day now through September 27th. Good luck!

Star Trek Into Darkness: Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Review Behind the Candelabra: Blu-ray with Digital Copy Review

J.J. Abrams follows up his hit 2009 reboot in Star Trek Into Darkness. This newest installment to the sci-fi action franchise introduces Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and opens an old secret that endangers Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the USS Enterprise. Available today, Paramount's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes seven making-up featurettes providing over 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage. See a clip from the bonus features as part of our review.

September 9, 2013 - Behind the Candelabra enters this month's Primetime Emmy Awards with fifteen nominations. This HBO biopic of Liberace and his young lover is supposedly the final directorial effort of Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven). The film sees a young movie dog wrangler (Matt Damon) move into the Las Vegas mansion of the closeted, flamboyant, world famous entertainer (Michael Douglas) and enter into a secret relationship marked by opulence and plastic surgery. Co-starring Rob Lowe, Scott Bakula, Paul Reiser, and Debbie Reynolds, it hits Blu-ray next week with a 15-minute making-of featurette and a digital copy. Full review.

The documentary Ping Pong follows eight successful table tennis players aged 80 to 100 from around the globe to China's world championship tournament. Surprisingly fun and exciting, this 2012 UK theatrical release makes its US DVD debut tomorrow in a Docurama disc that includes 15 minutes of bonus features. Review.

September 7, 2013 - This week brought "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" back to television and to disc and we've got a review of The Complete Season 8 DVD. Last fall's 10-episode stint saw guest appearances by P. Diddy and Guillermo del Toro in addition to the usual in-fighting, dark schemes, and comic callbacks. Fox's 2-disc DVD includes four audio commentaries by the stars/writers, deleted scenes, bloopers, and more. Read more....

We will be reviewing two of the last remaining nominated features from this year's Oscars come to disc on Tuesday. First up is War Witch, which earned Canada a third consecutive Best Foreign Language Film nomination. Written and directed by Kim Nguyen, this French-Lingala drama tells the story of a 12-year-old African girl kidnapped by rebels and indoctrinated into their violent lifestyle. Tribeca Film's DVD includes two making-of shorts. Full review.

Now You See Me: Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Review

September 6, 2013 - Our newest review looks at Now You See Me, one of the surprise hits of the summer movie season. This original thriller centers on a team of four magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco) who are able to pull improbable heists in front of large audiences to the bafflement of law enforcement (led by Mark Ruffalo and Mιlanie Laurent). Now available, Summit's Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack presents the film in theatrical and extended cuts on Blu-ray along with a filmmakers' audio commentary, more than a half-hour of deleted scenes, "A Brief History of Magic", a making-of featurette, and two trailers. Take a good, close look in our review.

The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow DVD Review Pacific Rim: Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack cover art -- click to read the press release.

In between feature-length sequels, Sony Pictures Animation brings a dash of seasonal blue to stores with Tuesday's DVD release of The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow. This 22-minute all-new Halloween short opens and closes in computer animation, but unfolds primarily in 2D. Doing his customary Smurfy Hollow exploration to win another autumn Smurfberry Hunt, Brainy Smurf gets tricked by Gutsy Smurf and trapped in a Gargamel cage. Retaining most of the movies' cast vocally, including Hank Azaria, Fred Armisen and Anton Yelchin, the special lands exclusively on DVD with a low $6.99 list price. Our review.

Warner has announced an October 15th Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD release for Pacific Rim. This $100 million-grossing sci-fi action spectacle will be joined by an audio commentary by director Guillermo del Toro, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and much more in three different multi-disc sets. For full details, see the press release.

September 5, 2013 - The independent film Arthur Newman stars Academy Award winner Colin Firth as a divorced, unemployed middle aged Florida man who fakes his death and intends to reinvent himself as an Indiana golf pro. Instead, he is joined on his road trip by a delinquent drifter (Emily Blunt) who's posing as her twin sister. Featuring the first screenplay in fifteen years from Becky Johnston (The Prince of Tides, Seven Years in Tibet), Arthur Newman is now available in a Cinedigm Blu-ray + DVD combo pack that includes a half-hour making-of featurette and a trailer. Our review.

From Up on Poppy Hill: Blu-ray + DVD Review The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Review

September 4, 2013 - Disney passed on distributing Studio Ghibli's From Up on Poppy Hill, allowing GKIDS to step in and impress. Set in 1963 Yokohama, this coming-of-age drama, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro, centers on high school students who discover secrets from the past while standing up to defend their beloved old clubhouse from pre-Olympic demolition. After a qualifying engagement last fall and a limited theatrical release in the spring, this film is now available to own in a loaded Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD that includes English and Japanese versions, the entire film in storyboard form, Japanese trailers & TV spots, the US trailer, an English voice cast featurette, an interview of the director, Hayao Miyazaki's post-screening remarks, a post-earthquake press conference, Aoi Teshima's theme song music video, and a 16-page booklet. Don't miss our full review.

September 3, 2013 - Another Disney animated classic has hit Blu-ray and we've got a review. Released in 1977, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh strings together three 25-minute shorts produced over the preceding eleven years, including Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the one that posthumously won Walt Disney his final Academy Award. The start of an ongoing franchise adapted from A.A. Milne's children's books,this full-length feature hits Blu-ray joined by the 2001 retrospective "The Story Behind the Masterpiece", the 1983 short Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, a Carly Simon music video, five new "Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", a "Pooh Play-Along", Disney Intermission, and a kite. Full review.

A longtime Best Buy-exclusive, The "Rich Mahogany" Edition Blu-ray of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy will hit general retail on December 3rd, shortly before the highly-anticipated theatrical release of its sequel. The two-disc set includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the 2004 comedy, a cast audio commentary, nearly 50 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, Ron Burgundy's ESPN Sports Center audition, bloopers, the Channel 4 News Team's "Afternoon Delight" music video, the lost movie Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, raw footage, interviews, trailers, and much more. The set even includes collectible trading cards and the diary The Many Months of Burgundy.

Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Thrillers DVD Review The English Teacher: Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Review The Iceman Blu-ray Review

Our newest DVD review subject is also our most substantial one to date. Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Thrillers gathers twenty of the studio's most acclaimed films, including seven nominees for the Best Picture Oscar and thirteen movies currently residing in the IMDb's Top 250. Spanning from the classic crime film The Public Enemy (1931) to Ben Affleck's The Town (2010), the set includes a diverse assortment of entertainment, including Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and North by Northwest, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and Inception, Tim Burton's Batman, and the classic noirs The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. Heavy on '90s cinema, the 20-disc set also includes Goodfellas, The Shawshank Redemption, The Fugitive, Heat, Seven, L.A. Confidential, American History X, and Natural Born Killers. Rounding out the set are the 1970s' Dirty Harry and Dog Day Afternoon, and the director's cut of action franchise launcher Lethal Weapon. Don't miss our three-page review of this box set that is available today.

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.

Da Vinci's Demons: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review The Great Gatsby (2013): Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Review

The World's End Movie Review Epic: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Review

Recent Film Reviews:
• 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 is now in theaters.
• Elysium - District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp returns to sci-fi action, with Matt Damon playing 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.
• Planes - Disney expands the world of Pixar's Cars with this spin-off franchise. From the makers of the Tinker Bell movies, this one centers on Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster who tries to realize his improbable dreams of air racing by competing in an international event.

Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• The Iceman (Blu-ray) - Michael Shannon adds to his cinema rogues gallery in this crime drama that casts him 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.
• Shadow Dancer (Blu-ray) - In this indie drama, 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.
• Return to Never Land: Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy - In an effort to lure Peter Pan, Captain Hook mistakenly kidnaps Wendy's daughter Jane in this theatrical 2002 DisneyToon sequel. 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.
• "Da Vinci's Demons": The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) - 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. The three-disc Blu-ray includes four audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a number of making-of shorts.
• Seattle Superstorm - This Syfy original movie stars Esai Morales and Ona Graeur 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.
• The Great Gatsby - Australia's Baz Luhrmann puts his opulent imprint on one of the most celebrated pieces of American literature. 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.
• Kon-Tiki (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack) - A 2013 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this drama 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 two-disc set 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.
• Epic (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - 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 is joined by seven making-of shorts and pieces on the real nature creatures personified in the film.
• Pain & Gain (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Director Michael Bay (Transformers, Pearl Harbor) changes gears somewhat with this dark action crime comedy. Based on a true story, it 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 combo pack.
• 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.
• Standing Up Adapted from Brock Cole's award-winning 1987 young adult novel The Goats 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.
• Amour (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.
• Stag - This independent R-rated Canadian comedy 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.
• Killing Season (Blu-ray) - Robert De Niro plays a retired U.S. Army colonel targeted for revenge by a Serbian (John Travolta) who barely escaped with his life during the Bosnian War. After a limited summer theatrical release, this Mark Steven Johnson-directed action thriller hits high definition with a featurette and trailer.
• Cavalcade (Blu-ray + DVD) - One of the most obscure and least esteemed of all Best Picture Oscar winners, finally received a release of its own in Fox's combo pack. 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 set includes an audio commentary from film historian Richard Schickel and a one-minute newsreel celebrating the film's award triumphs.
• Olympus Has Fallen (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) - The first and more successful of this year's two White House attack movies 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 in a Sony combo pack that includes bloopers and five making-of featurettes.
• Seconds (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - This 1966 thriller frmo director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) tells the story of a New York banker (John Randolph) who pays to have his death faked and a new identity (Rock Hudson) assigned. Criterion'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.
• The Muppet Movie (The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + Digital Copy) - 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.

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