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UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: November 1-15, 2009: News Archives


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November 15, 2009 - Our review of Walt Disney Treasures: "Zorro" - The Complete First Season has been updated and finalized.
Synopses, screencaps, and credits now represent the entire 41-episode limited edition set, which has been hard to find in stores. More...

Upcoming DVDs of ten major studio movies are now just $9.99 each at Amazon.com. Enjoying the competitive stocking stuffer prices are Disney's G-Force and Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Julie & Julia, Four Christmases, My Sister's Keeper, and the single-disc versions of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, and Angels & Demons.

November 13, 2009 - Aaron Wallace wraps up our coverage of this week's new Pixar Blu-ray/DVD combos with a detailed look at Monsters, Inc.. The studio's beloved but somewhat overlooked fourth film makes its high-def debut with two Blu-ray discs, Disc 1 of 2002's fully loaded two-disc DVD, and a digital copy of the movie. Bonus features are gained and lost and this is the only place you'll find out about both. Read on...

Those looking to buy all three of this week's Pixar Blu-ray/DVD Combos might want to consider Amazon.com. Add Up, Monsters, Inc., and Cars: Ultimate Gift Pack to your cart, then type in the promotional coupon code PIXARBLU at checkout to receive $26 off. At current pricing, your total drops to $42.47, a whopping 69% off the trio's $136.97 list price. If you just want Up and one of the other two, use coupon UPBLURAY to receive $15 off your order. Added bonuses include not wasting time, gas, and ink; qualifying for free Super Saver Shipping (and likely no sales tax); and -- best of all -- a portion of your purchase would support this site, which has brought you detailed reviews of all three titles in the past week.

Disney has announced a February 2nd Special Edition of Air Bud: Golden Receiver ($29.99 SRP) that's very much in the mold of last March's Air Bud rerelease.
The 1998 football family film, the franchise's first sequel and its last to go to theaters, will receive a new 16:9-enhanced widescreen transfer and the bonus feature "Sports Channel Play-by-Play Buddies Style", in which Air Bud's talking pups become broadcasters discussing his gridiron greatness. Included on pack is an Air Bud sports whistle necklace.

November 12, 2009 - Our newest review covers Brόno, the third and latest film born out of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Da Ali G Show" personalities. This one closely follows Cohen's hit Oscar-nominated 2006 mockumentary Borat, as it brings the eponymous Austrian fashion reporter to America, where he hopes to find fame at any cost. Extras on Universal's DVD include nearly an hour of deleted/extended/alternate scenes (including the widely-reported, hastily-cut La Toya Jackson interview scene, which you can see here) and an enhanced out-of-character commentary by Cohen and director Larry Charles. Check out the full review if you dare.

November 11, 2009 - Funny People marks something different for star Adam Sandler and writer/director Judd Apatow. Despite the title adjective, the nearly 3-hour film leans more heavily to drama than comedy. One of Universal's big summer flops, the film co-stars Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, and Eric Bana. Read our review.

November 10, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno covers another of today's new Pixar releases, with his review of Cars: Ultimate Cars Gift Pack. The 2006 DVD and an updated Blu-ray of Pixar's seventh feature film come together alongside model cars of Lightning McQueen and Mater. Bonus features include theatrical short One Man Band, made-for-video Mater and the Ghostlight, deleted scenes, two audio commentaries with Cine-Explore visual enhancements, a featurette, documentary shorts and more. See our review for much more, including a high-res photo of the Ransburg-painted character cars.

The reviews continue with a look at Say Anything...: 20th Anniversary Edition. Cameron Crowe's first directorial effort stars John Cusack as an average guy dating the beautiful valedictorian (Ione Skye) upon their high school class' graduation. Fox's recent re-release of this esteemed late-'80s romance includes two new featurettes and all of the fixings of the movie's 2002 Special Edition disc, including an audio commentary that runs longer than the film and nearly an hour of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes. Read on...

Aaron Wallace serves up our review of Walt Disney Treasures: "Zorro" - The Complete Second Season, which picks up where its only concurrent Treasures tin leaves off, supplying 39 half-hour episodes and 2 hour-long shows starring the people's masked outlaw and his civil alter ego. Additional bonus features on this very limited 6-disc set include an introduction by Leonard Maltin and two all-new retrospective featurettes. Read the full review.

We've got a load of reviews coming your way in the hours and days ahead. For now, though, you can read up on today's new DVDs and Blu-rays with a visit to our DVDizzy.com Schedule for November 10th.

November 6, 2009 - We've just posted an interview with Up writers/directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, conducted last week in conjunction with the movie's DVD and Blu-ray release. The filmmakers, who have been with Pixar since before Toy Story's release, discuss Up's inspirations, characters, look and sound, as well as their related trips to Venezuela and Cannes. Click here to read the full 2-page article.

In anticipation of Tuesday's DVD and Blu-ray release of Up, we bring you Up Fun Facts. These two dozen tidbits shed light on everything from animation challenges to repeat Pixar voice actors to the appearances of company staples (the number A113, Luxo Jr.'s ball, the Pizza Planet truck). We've included more pictures from the film. Check out Up Fun Facts and don't miss our fully-loaded Up Blu-ray and Deluxe DVD Review.

More of Disney Channel sitcom "Jonas" is coming to DVD with the release of Volume 2, titled I ♥ Jonas, on January 26, 2010. The slipcovered disc ($19.99 SRP) will contain 7 additional episodes, a bonus feature in which Jordin Sparks gets "JoBro'd" (pranked), and three I <3 Jonas magnets (one for each brother). Two weeks later, Minnie Mouse will take the spotlight in "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Minnie's Bow-tique, a 4-episode collection equipped with two Interactive Adventure modes. This February 9th release ($19.99 SRP), the eighth born out of the Playhouse Disney show, will also include a Minnie magnet.

Our updated latest review looks at Up, Pixar's tenth and latest hit feature film. In it, a 78-year-old widower uses thousands of helium balloons to lift his house to the exotic South American mountains he's always planned on seeing. Joining him are this adventure are a young Wilderness Explorer needing a badge, a giant tropical bird, and a friendly dog who communicates via a mechanical collar. Our review covers next Tuesday's 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, which keeps most extras exclusive to the two Blu-ray discs. We'll also be bringing you an interview with the film's directors. For now, check out the review.

November 4, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno reviews Fox's recent Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the third and latest entry to Blue Sky's hit prehistoric talking animal computer-animated franchise.
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In it, mammoths Manny and Ellie are expecting, while Sid gets mixed up with a family of Tyrannosauruses. The 3-disc set serves up an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a Storybook Maker game, Scrat's two shorts, and 13 making-of featurettes. Full review...

November 3, 2009 - Today brings the ninth wave of Walt Disney Treasures DVDs, the smallest wave in print run and subjects, but the largest by disc count. We've got a review of "Zorro": The Complete First Season, which serves up the 39 half-hour episodes that aired on ABC during the 1957-58 season plus two of the hour-long 1960 anthology installments, a Leonard Maltin introduction, a Zorro featurette, a "Fourth Anniversary Show" except, a pin, a lithograph, and a certificate of authenticity. Read the full review.

October 31, 2009 - Have a Hitchcock Halloween with our early review of North by Northwest: 50th Anniversary Edition. Coming from the middle of the period for which the director is best remembered, this 1959 comic thriller stars Cary Grant as a New York ad executive mistaken for a spy and wanted dead. Warner's new 2-disc set includes TCM's feature-length Grant biography, new documentaries on the film and Hitchcock's signature style, an audio commentary, a track isolating Bernard Herrmann's score, the 2000 DVD's making-of featurette hosted by Eva Marie Saint, three trailers, and stills. Be sure to read our review which offers a graphic comparison between the movie's divergent two DVD transfers.

According to US producer Frank Marshall's Twitter, Disney's North American DVD and Blu-ray release of Ponyo will come March 2nd and include a DVD with Plush Gift Set version. The $15-million grossing latest film from Hayao Miyazaki had been scheduled to arrive on home video on December 8th alongside new Special Editions of Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro. There is no word yet if those re-releases are still planned to be concurrent.

October 28, 2009 - Our latest review subject, Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse, brings together more than 60 characters from over 70 years of Disney animation. The result is an hour-long feature comprised largely of two classic holiday Disney shorts and two 1999 "Mickey Mouse Works" segments. You'll be shocked by how little and how much has changed in the eight years since this first came to DVD. Once again, bonus features include the premiere "House of Mouse" episode, a short sound effects featurette with Mickey voice Wayne Allwine, and two sing-along songs. More...

Recent Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure - In this second entry to the direct-to-video computer-animated Disney Fairies movie series, the Peter Pan pixie works to construct a scepter for the Autumn Revelry, a task of importance to all in Pixie Hollow. Our article looks at the Blu-ray/DVD combo and includes Demi Lovato's music video "Gift of a Friend" in full.
• Disney Educational Productions DVDs - Eight recent classroom-ready DVDs are covered here: three from The Science of Disney Imagineering series, three Disneynature discs (including two exclusive documentaries), and two from the new mathematical short series Bill Nye's Solving for X. Each disc includes a DVD-ROM educator's guide and public performance rights. Other bonus features include quizzes on the featured content, project demonstrations, and featurettes taking us behind the scenes of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Recent Non-Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Orphan - Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman star in this psychological thriller about an adopted girl who may be quite evil. Warner's DVD includes deleted scenes and an alternate ending.
• Taking of Pelham 123 - John Travolta plays a man who hijacks a New York City subway train asking for $10 million. Denzel Washington is the dispatcher turned negotiator. On DVD, this R-rated action remake is joined by two audio commentaries, three featurettes, and three trailers.
• Whatever Works - Woody Allen returns to New York for this comedy about a misanthropic intellectual (Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm") who marries a young Southern belle (Evan Rachel Wood). Patricia Clarkson, Michael McKean, and Ed Begley Jr. co-star in this film, originally conceived in the 1970s.
• Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol 1 - Six animated CBS specials that first aired from 1971 to 1974 come together in a two-disc set that also includes two song downloads and a featurette on Woodstock. Among the featured specials are It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, Emmy winner A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and two programs never before released to DVD.
• "Legend of the Seeker": The Complete First Season - Adapted from Terry Goodkind's bestselling Sword of Truth novels, this syndicated series centers on a young man prophesied to vanquish an evil lord. The 5-disc set serves up 22 episodes plus audio commentaries, featurettes, and extended scenes. Get a look at the show with video clips and much more.
• Chιri - Miramax period romance drama reunites Michelle Pfeiffer with her Dangerous Liaisons director Stephen Frears and writer Christopher Hampton. Pfeiffer plays a middle-aged courtesan who falls for a young man half her age (Rupert Friend). The disc includes a featurette and deleted scenes.
• Varsity Blues: Deluxe Edition - Paramount revisits this 1999 MTV high school football drama, which stars James Van Der Beek as a promoted second stringer and Jon Voight as his ruthless coach while also featuring early appearances by Paul Walker, Amy Smart, Ali Larter, and Scott Caan. The DVD adds an audio commentary and four new featurettes.

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