October 31, 2007 - Just posted: 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition DVD Press Release.
Luke Wilson makes his writing and directing debuts while starring as the titular Texas schemer in The Wendell Baker Story, our newest DVD review subject. This PG-13-rated independent comedy enlists Wilson's family (big brother Owen Wilson co-stars while eldest Andrew co-directs), friends (Will Ferrell, Seymour Cassel, Harry Dean Stanton), and famous faces (Eva Mendes, Eddie Griffin, Kris Kristofferson). Involving and entertaining if not too frequently hilarious, Wendell merits a viewing on DVD after being severely underexposed in theaters. ThinkFilm's DVD includes two good featurettes, a group of deleted scenes, a lackluster director's commentary, and more. Read the full review.
October 30, 2007 - Next in line among Disney's best-selling animated features, 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition is now available for preorder at Amazon.com. The two-disc set will reach stores on March 4, 2008. Also available to buy are February 5th's The Aristocats: Special Edition and Snow Buddies, August 24th's The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, and next October's Tinker Bell. All are covered by Amazon's Pre-order Price Guarantee, so that you can be sure to get the lowest price offered by the e-tailer when you buy today.
Another of today's new TV-on-DVD releases, "October Road": The Complete First Season is treated to a review by Kelvin Cedeno. This series stars Bryan Greenberg ("One Tree Hill") as a man returning home after ten years away; Laura Prepon ("That '70s Show") co-stars as the girlfriend-with-child he left behind. Buoyed by great performances but restrained by coincidence-riddled scripts, ABC/Touchstone's hour-long drama arrives in a two-disc set which presents the six episodes that debuted in last spring with excellent picture and sound. The DVD's modest slate of bonus features includes deleted scenes, outtakes, a featurette, and an oral preview of the soon-to-air Season 2. More...
Our latest DVD review covers "Scrubs": The Complete Sixth Season, the 3-disc set of the Touchstone Television comedy series that's released today. In the penultimate season, the focus turns to relationships, with 4 couples, 3 pregnancies, and 1 proposal all getting attention. But all that doesn't alter the series' winning blend of comedy and drama set at Sacred Heart Hospital. Hilarity is found in fantasy sequences, excellent work from the large cast, and some of the sharpest writing on TV, making it easy to overlook a midseason lull and an overall quality that's a tiny bit below the show's best. Buena Vista's 6th set offers an audio commentary on all 22 episodes, plus deleted scenes, alternate lines, an interview with Judy Reyes, a handful of featurettes, and an Easter Egg. Read the full review.
October 27, 2007 - Our newest review looks at the upcoming DVD The Best of The Colbert Report. Paramount's debut release of the two-year-old spin-off to "The Daily Show" contains three hours of memorable segments from the late night Comedy Central series. Celebrity guests, musical acts, political news analysis, and green screen challenges all prove a showcase for entertaining host (and declared Presidential candidate) Stephen Colbert, whose absurd patriotic persona finds the humor in current events. Read the full review.
October 26, 2007 - Disney has already mapped out a heavy marketing campaign for the two big direct-to-video animated films that the studio will debut in 2008. Tinker Bell, which seems to be going without a subtitle again, will bow on DVD and Blu-ray on October 28th with a Guide to Pixie Hollow (on Blu-ray, this will employ BD Live technology), a making-of featurette, a NaturePedia piece, a set-top game, and more to be announced. Before that, though, we'll see a third Little Mermaid movie, which has been named The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. The prequel will surface on DVD only on August 26, 2008, boasting the original voice cast, new songs and characters (including Marina Del Ray, a villain voiced by Sally Field), plus a music video, featurette, and more TBA.
October 25, 2007 - Just posted: Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1 DVD Review. This single-disc release compiles over twenty years of the computer animation wizard's winning shorts, from their primitive SIGGRAPH showcases to the expected theatrical accompaniment to recent made-for-DVD cartoons. The shorts are largely terrific, their picture/sound is flawless, and the set includes a great 23-minute featurette, an audio commentary on all but one short, and some minor bonuses and Easter Eggs. Unfortunately, the disc arrives at a steep price for just 55 minutes of featured content, most of which is available on the Pixar movie DVDs that everyone should already own. Read the full review.
October 24, 2007 - Our 666th DVD review looks at 28 Weeks Later. Despite major personnel changes and a lack of English language experience, the creative team here delivers an involving follow-up to 2003's critically-acclaimed horror film. This sequel centers on two kids returning to London six months after the infection and reuniting with their family. Matching the earlier Region 2 release, Fox's recently-issued DVD satisifies with a filmmakers' commentary, three good featurettes, two deleted scenes, and two animated shorts adapted from the graphic novel 28 Days Later: The Aftermath. Read the full review.
October 23, 2007 - Take a look at all of this week's major new DVD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD releases with our October 23rd Schedule.
October 21, 2007 - Our newest DVD review covers Elvis: That's the Way It Is - Two-Disc Special Edition. This 1970 concert film showcases the energetic, crowd-pleasing stage presence of one of the 20th century's most popular performers. One part rehearsal and two parts Las Veags concert, this feature was meant to bring Presley back to real music after more than a decade in Hollywood. Warner's DVD offers the original theatrical cut in addition to 2001's significantly different (and more Elvis-centric) edit, plus outtakes, a featurette, a trailer, and dozens of text screens. Read on...
October 18, 2007 - A new DVD review looks at Homie Spumoni. This R-rated, Warner-distributed, direct-to-video comedy stars Donald Faison ("Scrubs") as a black man who's been raised as an Italian. Jamie Lynn Sigler ("The Sopranos"), Whoopi Goldberg, *NSync's Joey Fatone, Paul Mooney, and Tony Rock co-star. The widescreen DVD includes a gag reel and a featurette set at Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n Waffles. More.
October 17, 2007 - The Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1 DVD & Blu-ray Press Release offers information on the twelve CG-animated shorts which feature on this November 6th debut.
Our newest article, The Hoax DVD Review, covers the 2007 Miramax film which tells the (mostly) true story of Clifford Irving, a writer who duped the world into believing he would deliver an exclusive autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Directed by Lasse Hallstrφm, the movie stars Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, and Marcia Gay Harden. The DVD includes two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, an extended take, a featurette, and a short piece with "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace, who twice interviewed the real Clifford. Read the full review.
October 16, 2007 - In our latest DVD review, Kelvin Cedeno critiques Baby Einstein: Lullaby Time. Rather than trying to educate toddlers, the 25th volume in the 10-year-old series just wants to comfort them with soothing sounds, peaceful landscapes, and lamb-featuring interstitials. More...
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
Meet the Robinsons - This recent CGI adventure is one of Disney's most entertaining cartoons released this decade. While leaving room for improvement in the extras department, the disc serves up flawless picture and sound plus a commentary, a featurette, 2 music videos, and 3 deleted scenes.
"Hannah Montana": Life's What You Make It - Like the previous two DVDs devoted to the Disney Channel's hit comedy, this one delivers four random episodes. The Season 2 shows are joined by a Billy Ray Cyrus music video and a short featurette.
The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition - The 1967 musical/comedy/adventure holds up as one of the finest films bearing the Disney name, with its crowd-pleasing blend of potent personalities, great songs, and compelling story (loosely adapted from Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli tales). The two-disc set is mostly satisfactory, with a lively audio commentary and a great documentary both adding lots of value. The games are fairly disposable and in spite of terrific picture quality, the disc leaves a few things to be desired, namely a viewing format option.
Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
Transformers: Two-Disc Special Edition - Much more in the style of director Michael Bay than executive producer Steven Spielberg, this effects-heavy, action-filled flick fails viewers on most levels. Even popcorn movies should be able to offer more than the manic mess here and those who liked the toy and cartoon series of the '80s should be especially disappointed. The DVD, however, is acquited, for delivering fine picture and sound, substantial making-of content, and perhaps the world's most inappropriately egotistical commentary.
Jingle All the Way: Family Fun Edition - Time hasn't made this Christmas comedy, the most family-oriented film in Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, any less painful. Fox's new DVD lets you choose from the theatrical cut and an extended version that's not nearly as long as advertised. Also included are three featurettes and two games.
Knocked Up: Extended & Unrated - 2-Disc Collector's Edition - In his sophomore directorial effort, Judd Apatow improves upon The 40-Year-Old Virgin with a more potent blend of humor and heart. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl star as two very different young people whose one-night stand results in pregnancy. Universal's DVD offers well over an hour of deleted and extended scenes plus alternate lines, some faux documentaries, short featurettes, song performances, and an enlightening, amusing commentary.
The House Without a Christmas Tree - This fondly-remember 1972 TV movie stars Jason Robards as a grumpy widower who, against his 10-year-old daughter's wishes, won't buy a Tannenbaum. The first of four CBS holiday movies that focused on the Mills family comes to DVD with no frills.
Surf's Up - What appears to be just another CGI comedy about penguins proves to be a mostly praiseworthy mockumentary about an aspiring young surfer. A wide cast of colorful characters, a spirited voice cast, pleasing visuals, and fine direction are enough to overlook the familiar story and to easily distinguish this 2007 film from the lesser works of its popular medium. The Special Edition DVD supplies a lot on the movie (a commentary and assorted featurettes), some kid-oriented games and features, and a new Christmas ChubbChubbs short in addition to its Oscar-winning 2002 predecessor.
Evan Almighty - Despite losing the costly Jim Carrey, this PG-rated 2007 film still racked up a budget big enough to become the most expensive comedy film ever made. Steve Carell of "The Office" takes the spotlight while reprising his role from the first film as a reporter-turned-congressman who's instructed by God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark in preparation for an upcoming flood. Universal's DVD provides over 75 minutes of video bonuses.
"Family Ties": The Second Season - Driven by characters and stories instead of a gimmicky premise, the sitcom that launched Michael J. Fox to stardom is clearly a product of the early '80s but it holds up nearly a quarter-century later as witty and wise. The 4-disc set includes episode promos and several featurettes that serve up new interviews with Fox, three co-stars, and creator Gary David Goldberg.
Poltergeist: 25th Anniversary Edition - Right before E.T., Steven Spielberg wrote, produced, and -- some say -- directed this other tale of a suburban family making contact with an unfamiliar presence. Warner's new DVD supplies considerable improvement in picture and sound, but only a weak 31-minute featurette on real poltergeists that's more suited for cable TV than a momentous reissue of an esteemed horror flick. Review includes a discussion of the film's one-night theatrical screening.
Wall Street: 20th Anniversary Edition - Oliver Stone's R-rated drama may be the most-cited cinematic representation of '80s greed, but despite fine performances (especially from lead Charlie Sheen and Oscar-winning Michael Douglas), this unsubtle morality tale holds up as good, not great. Fox's two-disc reissue drops the 2000 DVD's trailers but retains the documentary and Stone commentary while adding another long documnetary and over 20 minutes of deleted scenes with commentary.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - The Power Cosmic Edition - With a PG rating and 92-minute runtime, this big budget sequel departs from some of today's superhero genre conventions while adhering to others. More story-oriented than its predecessor, this entertaining follow-up should please anyone fond of the first film. Fox treats it to a fine 2-disc set which includes a terrific fly-on-the-set documentary, 5 great featurettes, and two skippable commentaries.
Misery: Collector's Edition - In one of the most popular and acclaimed Stephen King adaptations, James Caan plays a successful romance novelist held captive by his self-proclaimed number one fan (Kathy Bates in an Oscar-winning performance). MGM's new disc offers considerable improvement over the past version, providing two audio commentaries, featurettes on the movie and its score, trailers, and a host of psychological pieces on stalking.
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