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UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com:
NOVEMBER 1-15, 2008: NEWS ARCHIVES


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November 15, 2008 - WALL-E: 3-Disc Special Edition DVD Review

Our latest DVD review looks at WALL-E: 3-Disc Special Edition. Pixar's eighth feature film takes them to new heights with a futuristic story of robot love and space travel that's largely free of ordinary dialogue. The DVD serves up an audio commentary, three shorts including the all new BURN-E,
7 making-of featurettes, Leslie Iwerks' documentary film The Pixar Story, deleted scenes, a read/play-along activity, robot profiles, 3 Easter Eggs, and a digital copy. Our thorough review covers it all and includes a look at the unique environment-friendly packaging of the set's initial printing. Read our full review.

November 13, 2008 - We've just posted our DVD review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This new computer-animated film spends more time exploring the intragalactic conflict occurring between Episodes II and III. Here, Anakin Skywalker takes on a Padawan Jedi in the headstrong girl Ahsoka Tano. Together, they're called to rescue Jabba the Hutt's kidnapped son. To the single-disc's filmmaker commentary, Warner's Two-Disc Special Edition adds a lengthy preview for the Cartoon Network's subsequently-launched TV series, deleted scenes, featurettes on voice cast and music, Webisodes, trailers, a still gallery, and a digital copy. More...

Our latest DVD review looks at A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!. This upcoming hour-long holiday TV special takes us to the forest cabin of Stephen Colbert, hosted of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report", where he's joined by musical guests including Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, and John Legend; "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart; and George Wendt.
Paramount's upcoming disc offers the feature presentation with or without laugh track. Extras include a bonus Colbert song, 3 alternate endings, a Book-Burning Yule Log, and best of all, a Video Advent Calendar. Read the full review.

November 12, 2008 - Don't forget to consult our DVDizzy.com Schedule for a detailed overview of all this week's major new DVD and Blu-ray releases.

November 11, 2008 - We've got a thorough review of Walt Disney Treasures: Annette. Available today, this limited-issue 2-disc set holds all 20 episodes of the serial that first ran on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the winter of 1958. Beginning her transition from popular Mouseketeer to full-fledged actress and musician, Annette Funicello stars as an orphaned 15-year-old country girl who moves in with her aunt and uncle and adjusts to a new town and high school. The collection includes two full "Mickey Mouse Club" episodes (then in its half-hour form) plus two special featurettes on Funicello. Read on...

November 10, 2008 - In our newest review, Kelvin Cedeno looks at Hellboy II: The Golden Army, one of this week's most notable and packed new releases. Guillermo del Toro's sequel improves upon his 2004 original with high-end fantasy, character growth, and a more subdued sense of humor. Its 3-Disc Special Edition comes loaded with bonus features, the most notable of which is a 2½-hour making-of documentary. The set also includes two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, an animated comic, extensive galleries, featurettes, and a digital copy. Read the full review.

November 8, 2008 - DreamWorks messes with tradition by releasing its animated blockbuster Kung Fu Panda on DVD tomorrow, a Sunday. We've got as early a review as the studio's policies will allow and it includes coverage of Secrets of the Furious Five, a new 25-minute short that debuts only on DVD as part of a Pandamonium Double Pack. Bonus features include an audio commentary, a music video, challenging set-top games, a slew of DVD-ROM material including 2 game demos, and many a kid-tailored featurette. Don't miss our full review.

November 7, 2008 - Our Walt Disney Treasures coverage begins with our review of Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. This much-requested live-action drama comes to DVD in both of its accepted forms, as the three consecutive 1964 episodes of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" and as a 98-minute feature film released theatrically abroad.
The Wonderful World Of  Disney Christmas Tree
The two-disc tin presents both cuts in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen and your choice of a restored mono track or a Dolby 5.1 remix. Bonus features include Walt Disney's introductions in widescreen and two featurettes. Read the full review.

November 5, 2008 - Today's new DVD review covers "Scrubs": The Complete Seventh Season. Cut in half by the writers' strike and NBC's disregard, the season nonetheless keeps the hospital comedy on course with its winning established comedy stylings. Disney's 2-disc set serves up commentaries on all 11 episodes, deleted scenes, alternate lines, an 18-minute featurette on the making of the fanciful fairy tale season finale, an Easter egg, and an interview with Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso). Read the full review.

November 4, 2008 - The eighth wave of the Walt Disney Treasures has arrived and we've updated our page with the print run and the contents of this extremely limited batch, which features The Chronological Donald, Volume Four,
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Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, and The Mickey Mouse Club Presents: Annette. Click here for all we know and look for our full reviews beginning later in the week.

Kelvin Cedeno looks at one of today's more notable high-definition releases, the Blu-ray Disc debut of the original Planet of the Apes. The 1968 blockbuster that spawned four sequels, a remake, and two television series still shines bright as an entertaining and thought-provoking sci-fi classic. Charlton Heston stars as an American astronaut of the future who crash-lands on a planet where apes are the dominant species. Fox's 40th Anniversary disc ports the many extras from 2003's two-disc DVD and adds a number of exclusives. It's also available in a concurrent 5-movie box set. More...

One of today's biggest releases gets covered in our Get Smart DVD Review. This feature film adapts the popular 1960s comedy series. Steve Carell steps into the Don Adams role as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of top-secret government spy agency CONTROL. He joins forces with the experienced Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) in an effort to thwart the destructive plans of KAOS. Alan Arkin, Dwayne Johnson, and Terence Stamp co-star. Our article looks at Warner's Two-Disc Special Edition, which serves up a "Smart Takes" viewing mode with over 25 minutes of alternate jokes and deleted scenes, a gag reel,
a digital copy, and 4 featurettes. Read the full review.

November 3, 2008 - November is here. Be sure to check out our November DVD & Blu-ray Schedule for a week-by-week look at this month's many exciting releases. Our December and new January 2009 pages have also been updated.

October 31, 2008 - Our newest DVD review looks at The Godfather Trilogy: The Coppola Restoration. Francis Ford Coppola's beloved, flavorful dramas study the Corleones, a powerful Italian-American family of the 20th century whose bonds and beliefs are ever threatened by death and deception. Paramount's recent 5-disc set offers improved picture and sound, the epic Part II on just a single disc, the previous collection's bonus disc, and an additional disc holding over an hour of all-new special features. Check out our full review for details, comparisons, and critique.

Not many could have seen this coming. Disney has announced a two-disc Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition for DVD release on January 27th, 2009.
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Timed to lure holiday gift card owners, the set apparently will port the feature presentation and all bonus features from 2004's 40th Anniversary Edition DVD and add four new featurettes on the running Broadway musical. SRP is $29.99. The same day will also bring The Secret of the Magic Gourd, the radar-missing, Disney-produced, live-action Chinese fantasy, presented in widescreen with a Corbin Bleu-topped English dub plus Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks. Update: cover art and a preorder link have been posted here.

October 30, 2008 - Our December Release Schedule has been updated with details on a number of newly-announced titles now available for preorder, including Mamma Mia!, Burn After Reading, and Pineapple Express.

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Tinker Bell - This new computer-animated movie reveals the origins and voice of Peter Pan's spunky pixie. Debuting with higher production values and more fanfare than your typical DVD premiere, the G-rated film is the first of four Disney Fairies productions coming over the next few years. The disc may seem light on extras at first, but a further look reveals some substantial supplements. (Related Report)
• "Little Einsteins": The Christmas Wish - The eighth disc devoted to Playhouse Disney's globe-trotting series, this one contains four episodes including Season 1's Christmas special and an unaired one. The bonus "Magic Mission Mode" enhances three of the disc's episodes with factual interruptions. There's also an in-case ornament.
• Sleeping Beauty: Platinum Edition - Walt's costly, stylish 1959 Technirama fairy tale joins the studio's elite collection just five years after a fine 2-disc DVD debut. Worth purchasing another time? We help you weigh the pros and cons to that question with our thorough analysis. The set offers a remastered and wider feature presentation, more polished picture on a few choice ported extras, and a number of new additions while dropping plenty from the old DVD. (Related Interview: Mary Costa, the voice of Princess Aurora)

Recent Non-Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• James Bond Blu-ray Collection - Three Connerys, two Moores, one Brosnan, a whole slew of bonus features, and likely some firmware-related compatibility issues in this first wave of MGM Bond movies. Featured here are Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, and Die Another Day, amounting to more than a quarter of the "official" 007 canon.
• Shrek the Halls - Last year's half-hour special shows us how the characters of DreamWorks' blockbuster CGI universe celebrate Christmas, including the title ogre who's never before observed the holiday. The light disc includes widescreen and full screen presentations, two Madagascar penguin sing alongs, a DreamWorks animation jukebox feature, 3 DVD-ROM game demos, and a set-top game. It is also available in a number of different packages.
• Kit Kittredge: An American Girl - Abigail Breslin heads an esteemed cast, playing a 10-year-old aspiring journalist whose family must change their lifestyles and house boarders during the Great Depression. This is the fourth movie born out of the popular historical doll line and first to go to theaters. Warner's DVD includes widescreen and fullscreen versions of the G-rated drama plus previews and a digital copy.
• "Brothers & Sisters": The Complete Second Season - ABC's ensemble drama continues to juggle the various dynamics of the well-to-do Walkers, who take family dysfunction to new heights. The four-disc set holds 16 episodes,audio commentaries, deleted scenes, 3 featurettes, outtakes, and an envelope of "Nora's favorite recipes."
• Run Fatboy Run - Hot Fuzz's Simon Pegg stars as a Londoner who, haunted by having left his pregnant fiancee (Thandie Newton) at the altar years ago, vows to run a marathon in the hopes of winning her back. This British comedy marks the feature directing debut of "Friends" actor David Schwimmer. New Line's disc serves up widescreen and fullscreen versions, an audio commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, a prank, trailers, and a digital copy.
• Journey to the Center of the Earth - Brenda Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem star in this $100 million-grossing family film as three contemporary individuals who encounter a wide variety of Jules Verne-type adventure inside a cave in Iceland. New Line's double-sided DVD provides 2-D widescreen and fullscreen versions plus a 3-D widescreen version with four enclosed red/blue glasses. Bonus features include an audio commentary by Fraser and director Eric Brevig, three featurettes, a game, and a downloadable digital copy.
• The Foot Fist Way - In a career-advancing performance, Danny McBride stars as a tae kwon do instructor with life troubles in this extremely low-budget R-rated comedy. Paramount's Best Buy-exclusive disc includes over 30 minutes of deleted scenes, an audio commentary, bloopers, and more.
• Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr. stars as a billionaire weapons tycoon whose capture by terrorists yields the birth of an armored hero and a new way of thinking. Paramount's Ultimate 2-Disc Edition includes 24 minutes of deleted scenes, a nearly two-hour production documentary, featurettes on visual effects and Iron Man comics, an Easter egg, and more.
• "Mystery Science Theater 3000": 20th Anniversary Edition - Shout! Factory's 4-disc set compiles a quartet of much-requested episodes from throughout the 11-season run of the two-hour 1990s cable TV comedy. Each finds silhouetted human and robot commentators lampooning a low-budget genre B-movie, from 1960's First Spaceship on Venus to 1997's Future War. The collection also includes a thorough 81-minute documentary on the series, a 38-minute Comic-Con panel discussion, the heckled movies' original trailers, and a reel of MST3K opening theme sequences.
• Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Blu-ray) - The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp musical carries over all the bonus features from last spring's 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, providing many of them in high definition.

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WALL-E: 3-Disc Special Edition DVD Review
DVD REVIEWS
Latest Reviews (rated):
WALL•E (Special Edition)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
A Colbert Christmas
Disney Treasures: Annette
Hellboy II (Special Edition)
Kung Fu Panda (& Secrets)
WDT: Dr. Syn - Scarecrow
Scrubs: Season 7
Planet of the Apes (Blu-ray)
Get Smart (Special Edition)
The Godfather Trilogy
James Bond Blu-ray V1&2
Shrek the Halls
Tinker Bell
Kit Kittredge: American Girl
Kung Fu Panda & Secrets of the Furious Five DVD Review
Brothers & Sisters: S2
Run Fatboy Run
Journey to the Center...
The Foot Fist Way
Iron Man (Ultimate 2-Disc)
MST3K: 20th Anniversary
Little Einsteins: Christmas
Sweeney Todd (Blu-ray)
Indiana Jones...Crystal Skull
The Love Guru (Blu-ray)
NewsRadio: Complete Series
Speed Racer
Smurfs: Season 1 Volume 2
Jack Frost: Deluxe Edition
Peanuts Holiday Collection
Sleeping Beauty: Platinum
Dirty Sexy Money: S1
Sex and the City
The Happening
You're Not Elected, Charlie
Chipmunks Holiday Gift Set
Holiday Treats (T.V. Sets)
Samantha Who?: Season 1
High School Musical 2: DDE
All Reviews
Get Smart: Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Review
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
CD REVIEWS
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Holidays 2007 CD Roundup
& 2007: Year in Review

Summer 2007 CD Roundup
Spring 2007 Roundup
Holidays 2006 CD Roundup
& 2006: Year in Review

Fall 2006 CD Roundup
A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
Spring 2006 CD Roundup
Holidays 2005 CD Roundup
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Count down the best of Disney's villains!
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Top 100 Disney Songs
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INTERVIEWS
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• Tony Baxter, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering
• Gore Verbinski, Director of Pirates of the Caribbean
• Margaret Kerry, the Model for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan
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