DVDizzy.com: NOVEMBER 15-30, 2011 NEWS ARCHIVES
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November 30, 2011 - Our final review of November covers the recent Blu-ray + DVD + Online Video Game combo pack of Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury & Book of Dragons. These two never-before-seen 20-minute shorts return you to the isle of Berk, made famous in DreamWorks' acclaimed 2010 hit How to Train Your Dragon and the Cressida Cowell book series that inspired it. First, see how Hiccup and company celebrate Snoggletog when Toothless and the other dragons mysteriously take off on the eve of the holiday in Gift. Then, get schooled on the many types of dragons in Book. The fun continues with an elaborate but slightly buggy online video game experience and bonus features including a picture-in-picture Gift presentation, deleted scenes, a drawing lesson, a virtual book, and DVD-ROM printables. Don't miss our thorough review.
November 22, 2011 - Amazon.com's many Black Friday Week deals include the recent Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy collections afforded The Lion King and Cars franchises. The eight-disc TLK trilogy and 11-disc Cars "Director's Edition" are each available for 55% off today only.
Today's new releases include Super 8, Prep & Landing, Rushmore: Criterion Collection Blu-ray, "The Adventures of Tintin": Season One, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD, Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Special Edition, and "Conan the Adventurer": Season Two, Part 1. Check out November 22nd on our schedule for more information on these and other DVD and Blu-ray debuts.
November 21, 2011 - The action/comedy film 30 Minutes or Less stars Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery boy who is strapped with a booby-trapped bomb vest and ordered to rob a bank for two masked criminals (Danny McBride, Nick Swardson). Directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer and co-starring Aziz Ansari, this R-rated caper comes to Blu-ray next week with a picture-in-picture video commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, and two making-of featurettes. Our review.
Gear up for Wednesday's theatrical release of The Muppets by picking up the soundtrack at a low, low price from Amazon.com. The digital MP3 version is $4.99, the tangible CD is $6.99.
November 18, 2011 - Our newest review covers Prep & Landing, Walt Disney Animation Studios' original 2009 ABC holiday TV special. This 22-minute program tells the story of two members of Santa Claus' steathy elf team, jaded veteran Wayne (Dave Foley) and newbie Lanny (Derek Richardson), who nearly ruin Christmas for one awakened boy. In anticipation of this year's follow-up, it comes to DVD next week with the 2010 short Operation: Secret Santa and the following brief animated bits: Tiny's Big Adventure, elf training videos, elf commercials, and a newsreel. Watch a clip from the show and a bonus feature as part of our review.
The recent Disney Channel Original Movie Geek Charming will come to DVD ($26.99 SRP) on February 7, 2012 with 10 episodes of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up", a bonus digital copy disc and geek charm bracelets. The G-rated movie stars "Modern Family"'s Sarah Hyland, High School Musical 3's Matt Prokop, and "Dirty Pretty Liars"' Sasha Pieterse. Preorder from Amazon.com. Click here or on the thumbnail for larger cover art.
November 17, 2011 - Aaron Wallace fills us in on the last of the season's Best Buy-exclusive 1980s Paramount Pictures comedy Blu-rays with his review of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. Reviving a short-lived ABC TV series, this crime film spoof reunites Leslie Nielsen and his Airplane! makers for the story of an inept police lieutenant investigating a drug ring and an assassination plot against the Queen. The lenticular-covered disc includes the original theatrical trailer and an audio commentary featuring writer/director David Zucker. Read on...
Our DVD and Blu-ray schedules have been updated to incorporate the latest announcements, including plans for movies currently playing in theaters: November, December, January 2012 & Beyond. Dates and/or details have been added for Moneyball, Contagion, 50/50, Real Steel, Drive, "Hey Dude": Season 2, "Justified": The Complete Second Season, and upcoming Criterion Collection titles.
November 16, 2011 - The Sony Pictures Classics film Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest documents the influential rap band's 1990s success and split. In his feature directorial debut, actor Michael Rapaport celebrates the four-member Queens-originated group and gains insight into their unraveling from the conflicting leadership of Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. Now available, the DVD includes a Rapaport commentary, a featurette on the film's animation, interviews from the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere, and a half-hour of deleted scenes (including more interviews with Pharrell, The Beastie Boys, and Ludacris). Can YOU kick it? Yes, you can!
November 15, 2011 - Paramount will finally bring the very first winner of the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Wings, to DVD and Blu-ray on January 24th. The only silent film to take the industry's top prize (though that could very well change next winter), this 1927 World War I drama features Gary Cooper in one of his first roles. Equipped with both a newly-restored musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and an organ score by Gaylord Carter in 2.0, the movie will be joined by the bonus features "Wings: Grandeur in the Sky", "Dogfight!", and "Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings." Cover art and preorders here. For more on the movie, check out our review in our scrapped Best Picture Oscar Winners Project.
We take another look at It's a Wonderful Life in our review of Paramount's recent Blu-ray + ornament gift set. This classic Frank Capra film tells the story of small-town hero George Bailey's (James Stewart) Christmastime redemption, achieved through divine intervention and a startling visit to an alternate reality. The same two Blu-ray discs, supplying black & white and colorized feature presentations, a Tom Bosley-hosted making-of featurette, and a trailer are fancily repackaged in a big glittery box with a bell ornament. Don't miss our review.
Super 8, One of the year's best reviewed movies, hits DVD and Blu-ray next week and we will soon be bringing you a review of the combo pack. You don't have to wait until then to own the movie, however, thanks to a "Hide and Tweet" promotion. The website Super8Tweet.com and Twitter account super8movie will provide clues to finding early combo pack copies signed by director J.J. Abrams and hidden throughout the United States.
November 14, 2011 - Our newest review looks at next week's Blu-ray debut of Rushmore: The Criterion Collection. Wes Anderson's sophomore feature earned him his first wide recognition. This offbeat coming-of-age comedy tells of an extracurricular enthusiast student (Jason Schwartzman) who is expelled from his beloved, prestigious private school and fights a depressed multi-millionaire (Bill Murray) for the affections of a first grade teacher (Olivia Williams). This fine disc hangs onto the bonus features of its 2000 DVD equivalent, offering Charlie Rose's hour-long interview of Murray and Anderson, a making-of featurette, storyboards, the original trailer, an art gallery, and Max Fischer Players' 1999 MTV Movie Awards film adaptations of Armageddon, The Truman Show, and Out of Sight. Also included in-case are a critic's essay and a map of the film's settings. Full review.
November 11, 2011 - Disney's Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition fact sheet reveals what bonus features you can expect to find on Blu-ray and mostly not find on DVD. New extras include audio commentary and Disney Second Screen versions of "Inside Walt's Story Meetings", the never-recorded song "I'm Free as the Breeze", three never-before-seen deleted scenes, and Diane Disney Miller's "Remembering Dad." Full details here.
Confirming our suspicions, Disney has officially announced both Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella will make their Blu-ray debuts in 2012 as Diamond Edition Blu-ray + DVD combos. Lady will arrive in time for Valentine's Day, available February 7 as a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD ($39.99 SRP) and a 3-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy ($44.99 SRP). A single-disc "DVD Edition" DVD ($29.99 SRP) will follow seven weeks later, on March 27th. Cover art posted here. Cinderella will follow in the usual early October window.
November 10, 2011 - The biggest film franchise in history comes to a close with tomorrow's Blu-ray and DVD release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The best reviewed and highest grossing entry in the 10-year, 8-movie fantasy series follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) in their search to destroy the remaining Horcruxes and, with them, evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). We review the 3-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack, which will be discontinued along with all other releases in the series at the end of the year... to return in next year's Definitive Blu-ray Collection previewed here. Extras include a Maximum Movie Mode hosted by Matthew Lewis, 26 minutes of topical Focus Points, eight deleted scenes, an hour-long couch chat between Radcliffe and author J.K. Rowling, a celebration of the women of Harry Potter, and a featurette on the Gringotts goblins. Check out our full review.
November 8, 2011 - Dazed and Confused didn't get too much attention in its 1993 limited theatrical release, but soon after it rose to cult classic status. Richard Linklater's second narrative film presents a May 1976 day in the life of teenagers. Once school lets out, the hazing and partying begins. Driven by period rock and featuring some of the earliest film appearances of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Milla Jovovich, this ensemble film is joined by nearly six hours of bonus features on The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray. Included among them are a Linklater commentary, an hour-long retrospective, a half-hour of deleted scenes, two hours of production interviews and footage, and, hidden, the famous '70s "Crying Indian" PSA. Don't miss our thorough review of this exhaustive set, which also includes distinctive packaging, a 72-page book, and a movie poster.
Today is the final day to enter our Water for Elephants Giveaway for a chance to win the Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz period circus drama romance on Blu-ray or DVD. Don't miss out!
November 7, 2011 - Our newest review covers Monte Carlo. Loosely adapted from an adult novel by Jules Bass (of Rankin-Bass) and originally to star Nicole Kidman (who retains a producer credit), this girl-friendly PG film stars Selena Gomez as a recent high school grad who finds romance and adventure in Paris and Monaco on a week-long vacation with her stepsister (Leighton Meester) and best friend (Katie Cassidy). Also featuring Cory Monteith ("Glee"), Catherine Tate ("Doctor Who"), and Andie MacDowell, this summer movie is now on Blu-ray with deleted scenes, a personality quiz, a number of short making-of featurettes, BD-Live "enhancements", and a digital copy. Read our review.
November 4, 2011 - Disney has announced a January 31st DVD ($29.99 SRP) and Blu-ray + DVD ($39.99 SRP) debut for Treasure Buddies, the umpteenth entry in their direct-to-video line of G-rated talking dog films. This one will send the pups to Egypt in search of the legendary Cat's Eye jewel from the lost treasure of Cleocatra. Devious cat Ubasti also seeks the jewel to rid the world of dogs! The Buddies are helped by baby camel Cammy and mischievous monkey Babi. On both formats, the movie will be joined by the music video "Roam" performed by the cast of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up" and MTV "Cribs" parody "DIGS: B-Dawg Edition." The same day will see the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack debut ($29.99 SRP) of 2006's Snow Buddies, the series' best-selling movie. Check out cover art here.
One week later, Disney will release "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": I ♥ Minnie ($19.99 SRP), a DVD including Minnie and Daisy's most festive adventures, including the never-before-seen episode "Minnie and Daisy's Flower Shower" and the bonus party-throwing tutorial "You're Invited to Minnie's Birthday Bash." The set also includes digital copies of the episodes and two best friend necklaces (one of Minnie, one of Daisy) that form a heart together.
Oh, bother! Today is the last day to enter our Winnie the Pooh DVD + Blu-ray Giveaway.
November 3, 2011 - We've just posted a new review and, if you've been keeping count, you already know it is our 1,500th, since we began doing them back in May 2002. Planes, Trains & Automobiles, a grown-up comedy written and directed by John Hughes, stars Steve Martin and John Candy as strangers bound together by fate and misadventure in an effort to travel from New York to Chicago on Thanksgiving week. Its lenticular-covered Blu-ray debut, currently a Best Buy-exclusive, includes a new one-hour retrospective on Hughes' career in addition to a deleted scene and three featurettes from 2009's "Those Aren't Pillows!" Edition DVD. Take a trip with our full review.
November 2, 2011 - Our newest review covers Island of Lost Souls, the 1932 filming of H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau. This pre-Code sci-fi horror film stars Charles Laughton as the mad scientist who playing God on a number of man-animal experiments, which include a furry Bela Lugosi. Finally available to own, The Criterion Collection Blu-ray includes an animated historian audio commentary, four new video interviews, a stills gallery, the original trailer, and the band Devo's "Secret Agent Man"/"Jocko Homo" music video (the latter of which was inspired by the film). Don't miss our review.
November 1, 2011 - Read more on this week's new DVD and Blu-ray releases with a visit to our November Schedule.
In honor of the earliest conceivable start of the "holiday season", we review today's Blu-ray debut of Scrooged. This 1988 comedy puts a modern spin on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with Bill Murray playing cold-hearted protagonist Frank Cross, the youngest network television president in history. While preparing a live Christmas Eve adaptation of Dickens' tale, he gets his own shot at redemption with cautionary visits from his long-dead boss and time-traveling ghosts. Paramount's lenticular-covered disc delivers a knockout feature presentation but a lump of coal in the extras department. Full review.
October 31, 2011 - Our latest review looks at the hit dark comedy Horrible Bosses, in which three friends (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis) plan to kill their three uniquely infuriating superiors (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell). Now available, Warner's 3-disc Totally Inappropriate Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack serves up an extended unrated cut of the film on Blu-ray, the R-rated theatrical cut on Blu-ray, DVD, and UltraViolet digital copy, plus deleted scenes and several featurettes on BD. Check out our full review, which includes a clip from the movie.
October 30, 2011 - Crazy, Stupid, Love. stars Steve Carell as a man who finds himself single again decades of marriage. He receives some much-needed help and a makeover from a smooth-talking ladies man (Ryan Gosling), who becomes his confidante. Their romances (with Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, respectively) share the stage along with a third teen tier. After a formidable box office run, this PG-13 romantic comedy from screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled and Cars) hits disc this week. We look at Warner's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack which includes deleted scenes, a code for downloading an UltraViolet digital copy, and two short featurettes. Watch a clip from the movie as part of our full review.
Aaron Wallace reviews Paramount's recent Best Buy-exclusive Blu-ray debut of Airplane!. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker's 1980 spoof sent up the spate of popular airplane dramas of the time and has since eclipsed them all in acclaim and familiarity. Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pilot a plane whose food-poisoned meal creates problems. Also starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, and, in a career-remaking performance, Leslie Nielsen, this comedy is one of the most-quoted and recognized in cinema history. Extras include an audio commentary, a Long Haul Version with interviews and deleted scenes, a trivia track, and the original trailer. Full review.
Fox has announced a December 6th DVD and Blu-ray release for "The Simpsons": The Fourteenth Season. The 22 episodes of the 2002-03 season will be presented with commentary, deleted scenes, sketch galleries, and more, with the DVD offered in limited edition Kang/Kodos head packaging.
Help us decide what December Blu-ray and DVD releases to review in our new Facebook poll. For guidance, and unlisted options you can add, check out our recently updated December & Beyond Schedule.
Cars 2 brought an end to Pixar's long winning streak, earning the worst reviews of the studio's sixteen years in feature filmmaking. This incongruous sequel sends Lightning McQueen to Europe and Asia for a World Grand Prix run on an alternative fuel source, but more attention is paid to Mater, who is mistaken for a spy by British agents Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Adding to the film's disappointments is the welterweight Blu-ray + DVD, which only offers a directors' audio commentary (by John Lasseter and co-director Brad Lewis) plus two short films (the theatrical Toy Story toon Hawaiian Vacation and all-new Cars Toon Air Mater) for bonus features. Our detailed review analyzes where the movie went wrong.
October 26, 2011 - Our newest review covers "The Adventures of Tintin": Season One. This early '90s animated series, adapted from the popular Belgian comic books by Herg้, follows young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, Captain Haddock, and bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson on globe-trotting adventure. Timed to the theatrical opening of the new motion capture film of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, Shout! Factory's 2-disc, 13-episode DVD set releases on Thanksgiving week, but you can read all about it now and watch a trailer too. Review.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Captain America: The First Avenger (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Fantastic Four's Chris Evans stars in the title role as a patriotic weakling who is transformed into a super soldier as part of the Allied Forces' World War II efforts. Co-starring Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Sebastian Stan, and featuring The Matrix's Hugo Weaving as the Nazi villain Red Skull, the film hails from two Chronicles of Narnia screenwriters and director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer). Paramount's Limited Edition three-disc combo pack includes audio commentary, deleted scenes, seven making-of featurettes, trailers, and the Marvel One-Shot short A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer.
The Tree of Life (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Though it ranks among the year's most exalted films, this ambitious Terrence Malick drama's acclaim will easily elude many viewers. Spending most of its time in small-town 1950s Texas, but also depicting modern times, the cosmos, and prehistory, the experiental film seeks to make sense of existence at large. Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain star. The combo pack includes a half-hour making-of documentary and the original theatrical trailer exclusively on Blu-ray.
Winnie the Pooh (DVD + Blu-ray) - The 51st entry in Disney's animated classics canon returns the Hundred Acre Wood gang to the stylings of the studio's Academy Award-winning earliest adaptations. Faithfully drawn from A.A. Milne's beloved original stories of the 1920s, this all-new musical adventure finds Pooh craving honey, Eeyore missing his tail, and the entire group trying to set a trap for the feared Backson. Earning some of the year's best reviews, this film comes to disc next week. The 2-disc combo pack holds 5 deleted scenes with directors' introductions, the new Disney animated short The Ballad of Nessie, a "Mini Adventure" adapted from Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, the making-of featurette "Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too", a sing-along mode, a nursery-decorating short, and everything you need to play "Pin the Tail on Eeyore."
Scared Shrekless - This 2010 DreamWorks Halloween special sends Shrek, Donkey, Puss in Boots, and Gingy to abandoned Castle Duloc, where they swap the spooky short stories "The Bride of Gingy", "Boots Motel", and "The Shreksorcist." The 25-minute program is now on DVD and joined by Thriller, a new Halloween short in which the gang pays tribute to the Michael Jackson song and music video of the same name.
Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - In DreamWorks Animation's 2009 Halloween TV special, Susan, B.O.B., The Missing Link, and Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D hit Modesto, California for some trick-or-treating and to stop glowing, growing, menacing pumpkins from ruining the night. The DVD includes a karaoke party of three character songs, a making-of featurette on the original movie, and a multitude of promotion for the studio's other works.
Jackie Brown (Blu-ray) - Adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel, Quentin Tarantino's 1997 crime drama stars 1970s blaxploitation queen Pam Grier in the title role of an LA stewardess asked by authorities to help them arrest the deadly gun runner (Samuel L. Jackson) for whom she smuggles. Co-starring Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and an Oscar-nominated Robert Forster, this acclaimed Miramax film is joined by almost all of the bonus features from its loaded two-disc 2002 DVD including an hour-long Tarantino interview, a 39-minute making-of documentary, extensive image galleries, Siskel & Ebert's review, an appearance on Carson Daly's "MTV Live", and over an hour of Grier and Forster movie trailers. The set's newest inclusion is a 44-minute discussion with Elvis Mitchell and other critics.
Bad Teacher (Blu-ray) - Cameron Diaz plays a misanthropic, foul-mouthed 7th grade teacher more interested in raising money for plastic surgery than educating her students. Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, and Lucy Punch co-star as her fellow faculty members. Sony's Blu-ray presents the film in both an unrated cut and its R-rated original theatrical cut (with an apple graphic distinguishing the two) along with deleted scenes, outtakes, five short making-of featurettes, and an interactive John Adams Middle School yearbook.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Blu-ray + DVD) - Disney's all-time biggest film franchise continues in this streamlined sequel that sets sail with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on a quest for the Fountain of Youth. He is joined by former love Angelica (Pen้lope Cruz), the feared pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), and a newly peg-legged Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). The combo pack includes an audio commentary by director Rob Marshall (who takes over from Gore Verbinski) and executive producer John DeLuca, a bloopers reel, 5 animated LEGO shorts, and, if you can get it to work, a Disney Second Screen experience, with those wanting more asked to consider a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack and a 15-disc Four-Movie Collection.
African Cats (Blu-ray + DVD) - From the directors of "Planet Earth" and "NOVA" and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, this third theatrical Disneynature release documents the lives of lion and cheetah families of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Disney's combo pack offers two short featurettes, a picture-in-picture viewing mode with filmmaker annotations, and Jordin Sparks' "The World I Knew" music video.
Footloose (1984) (Blu-ray) - Hit film tells the story of a teenaged rebel (Kevin Bacon) from Chicago who challenges a small town's ban on dancing. Boasting a chart-topping soundtrack of original songs by Kenny Loggins, Deniece Williams, and Bonnie Tyler, the movie is joined by bonus features new and old on Blu-ray. The former include HD interviews with Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker, a tribute to the late Chris Penn, and Bacon's screen and wardrobe tests. Carried over from the movie's Special Collector's Edition DVD are two audio commentaries, a two-part making-of documentary, a featurette on the music, and the original trailer.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: 40th Anniversary Blu-ray + DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition - Adapted from Roald Dahl's children's book, this 1971 musical fantasy remains as beloved as any family film. Gene Wilder stars as the eccentric, secretive candy mogul who opens his workshop up to the five lucky individuals who find golden tickets inside their Wonka chocolate bars. This 3-disc set includes the film's Blu-ray (released in 2009), its widescreen DVD (released in 2001), and a new bonus DVD holding a brand new retrospective with director Mel Stuart and a previously unreleased production featurette from the 1970s. The deluxe set also includes Stuart's 140-page making-of book Pure Imagination, an envelope of document reproductions, and a Wonky Bar tin holding scratch-n-sniff pencils and a chocolate-scented eraser.
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