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DECEMBER 16-31, 2007: NEWS ARCHIVES

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January 2, 2008 - Rush Hour 3 DVD Review

December 31, 2007 - Tomorrow marks not only the start of a New Year, but the first day of 2008 DVD releases. Our DVDizzy.com DVD Schedule has been updated to provide you with a week-by-week look at all studios' output for January, February, and March.
As always, past months' schedules are archived and easily accessible, if you should need to look back at the closing year's customarily jam-packed final weeks. More...

Our Forum has been given a minor restructuring for the new year. You'll now find designated sections for Movie, Music & TV discussion as well as General DVDs. Check it out here.

December 27, 2007 - Aaron Wallace covers Rush Hour 3 in our latest DVD review. He declares this summer's addition to Brett Ratner's series of buddy cop action-comedies a worthy follow-up. Once again coasting more on the charms of the jovial central odd couple than a plot of international intrigue, the film entertains much like its blockbuster predecessors.
This review looks at New Line's 2-Disc Platinum Series which serves up substantial supplements in the way of an audio commentary, an hour-long production diary, and a 90-minute making-of documentary. It also supplies bloopers, deleted scenes, the trailer and some more short goodies. Read the full review.

December 24, 2007 - Our latest DVD review looks at The Heartbreak Kid, the R-rated reunion of Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers, who last teamed on the 1998 blockbuster There's Something About Mary. This comedy, a remake of the 1972 Charles Grodin/Cybill Shepherd film, stars Stiller as a newlywed drawn to another woman on his honeymoon. Though moviegoers and critics were both unmoved by it, the movie delivers enough laughs to cancel out its missteps. Arriving less than three months since the theatrical debut, DreamWorks DVD delivers a commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, a featurette on the writer-director-producer siblings, and a few looks at production fun. Full review...

December 22, 2007 - Kelvin Cedeno's newest review covers Cinderella II: Dreams Come True - Special Edition, this week's rerelease of Disney's coldly-received 2002 direct-to-video sequel. The film makes use of three episodes from an unrealized TV series to provide one of the studio's flimsiest follow-ups. Long out of print, it won't stay in stores long, since it's scheduled to disappear with all other Cinderella movie DVDs at the end of next January. Definitely not qualifying as an upgrade, the only thing this disc does is update sneak peeks and add a set-top game to the meager slate of extras found on the original DVD release. Read the full review.

December 21, 2007 - Our latest DVD review looks at Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg's occasionally graphic drama about a Russian crime family operating in London. The film, one of the 7 nominees for Best Picture Drama at next month's Golden Globes, stars Naomi Watts as a midwife trying to identify a dead teenager for her newborn baby's sake and Viggo Mortensen as a quiet driver with secrets. One of next week's titles that have been rescheduled for Christmas, Universal's DVD will be released on Sunday; it delivers a making-of featurette and one on Mortensen's character's tattoos. Read on...

Winners have been selected for our now-completed Christmastime giveaway of Mr. Bean's Holiday. Click here for the answer and to see if you're one of the lucky four who can expect to receive the DVD soon.

December 20, 2007 - With the publishing of Kelvin Cedeno's look at this week's National Treasure: 2-Disc Collector's Edition, we now have an even 700 DVD reviews for your enjoyment on UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced, Jon Turteltaub-directed, Nicolas Cage-headlined, PG-rated 2004 blockbuster adventure returns to DVD just in time for its sequel's theatrical release.




Browse more movie posters, photos, and memorabilia
Alas, it's not given a certifiable upgrade. Priced $10 above than the fine still-available single-disc release, this set reproduces that as Disc 1 (with updated sneak peeks and the removal of an insignificant section), adds the 27 minutes of content from the Best Buy-exclusive bonus disc, and gives us only one 12-minute piece in the way of brand new material. The set even fails to supply the logical movie cash to see the sequel in theaters. Read the full review.

Don't miss our just-published DVD Review of Walt Disney Treasures: The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In between the mixed-media Alice comedies and Mickey Mouse's colossal stardom, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created this character and his shorts for distribution at the Universal studio. Joining the Disney family after nearly 80 years away, these 13 surviving cartoons bear strong resemblance to the early Mickey Mouse ones to the point where a number of specific gags will be familiar. Disc 1 includes a 14-minute featurette on Oswald's return, 6 audio commentaries, and a gallery. Disc 2's star attraction is The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story, Leslie Iwerks' career-oriented, feature-length 1999 documentary on her grandfather the legendary Disney animator. The set also delivers six representative Iwerks shorts, including Alice, Mickey, and the first Silly Symphony. More...

December 18, 2007 - Our Underdog DVD Review covers the latest film from Walt Disney Pictures to debut on home video. Adapted from the 1964-73 TV cartoon, this live-action comedy tells the story of a canine who inherits special powers and becomes a superhero to Capitol City. Jason Lee, Enchanted's Amy Adams, and Brad Garrett voice dogs, while Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, and Patrick Warburton command leading in-person roles. The DVD offers both widescreen and fullscreen presentations plus deleted scenes, bloopers, the music video for Kyle Massey's "Underdog Raps", a featurette with excursions, and the first episode of the animated "Underdog." Read on...

This year's penultimate Tuesday is also one of the busiest for DVDs. Be sure to visit our DVDizzy.com Detailed Schedule for an overview of all this week's major new releases on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray. We're also working on a lot of reviews of the latest DVDs for you to look forward to.

December 17, 2007 - Our newest DVD review covers Balls of Fury. Writers Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant ("Reno 911!", Night at the Museum) deliver a ping-pong comedy with the flavor of kung fu. Broadway's Dan Fogler stars as a former table tennis prodigy enlisted by an FBI agent (George Lopez) to help bring down an elusive criminal (Christopher Walken). Half of the film is set at an elite tournament where "sudden death" is no mere expression. The entertaining movie is joined by a light slate of extras: weak deleted scenes and an alternate ending, a good making-of, and a joke featurette on "ball wrangler" Irina Voronina. Read the full review now before the DVD comes out tomorrow from Universal.

December 15, 2007 - Kelvin Cedeno reviews High School Musical 2, which came to DVD earlier this week in an Extended Edition. Though the Disney Channel phenomenon continues to set records in merchandise sales and viewership, the hastily-produced follow-up is deemed a creative disappointment, with story-stalling songs, bland leads, hammy performances, and an outrageous tone that makes it most entertaining in unintended ways. The DVD adds 7 minutes of content to the broadcast version, most notably a song with a title that would most likely throw off this page's narrow formatting. Frustratingly, the DVD presents the film in an unbecoming fullscreen aspect ratio, complete with curious artifacts. A fairly light slate of extras delivers 3 music videos, a blooper reel, and 35 minutes of rehearsals. It's nigh certain that a superior release is down the road. Read the review.

Click to view UD's report and exclusive photos from the recent High School Musical 2 DVD Premiere in Hollywood

Our High School Musical 2 coverage continues with Pluto Region1's report from the Hollywood DVD Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre. Exclusive pictures and red carpet interviews with the stars of the movie and various other Disney Channel properties make this one article not to miss. In addition, we've included a table with links to all the High School Musical articles we've published here. Check it out.

Recent Disney DVD and Disney-Related Movie Reviews:
Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 - The latest two-disc set in Disney's limited collectible annual series serves up 30 shorts from 1947 to 1950, which shake things up by introducing Chip 'n Dale and other petite foils to the popular short-tempered Donald Duck. The DVD also includes Leonard Maltin intros, two featurettes, extensive art galleries, and, scattered about, Donald's varying gong antics in ten variations of the "Mickey Mouse Club" opening theme.
Walt Disney Treasures: Disneyland - Secrets, Stories & Magic - After years of delays, the feature-length documentary on Walt's original theme park finally reaches DVD with some alterations. It's accompanied by a trio of park-centered 1960s anthology episodes, a two-tier trivia game, a nifty 1956 CinemaScope film, nearly 40 minutes of newly-unearthed time-lapse footage of Disneyland's construction, an industry program on the challenges of filming Disneyland's opening day, and a gallery of concept art. [Related Interview: Tony Baxter, Disneyland Imagineer]

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
Stardust - This underperforming PG-13 summer release gets practically everything right in adapting Neil Gaiman's recent fantasy novel. It readily entertains us with thrills, laughs, a strong eclectic cast and an engaging multi-angle plot involving a falling star (Claire Danes) and the various people seeking her. The disc delivers fine picture/sound, a very good half-hour featurette, plus bloopers, deleted scenes, and the trailer.
"Dirt": The Complete First Season - This hour-long Touchstone/FX drama stars stars Courteney Cox ("Friends") as the editor of a powerful celebrity gossip magazine. The 4-disc set provides 13 episodes plus deleted scenes, three featurettes, a gag reel, and a short preview of the soon-to-air second season.
"Laverne and Shirley": The Third Season - The first, best-known, and most popular "Happy Days" spin-off stars Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams as bottle cappers in late-'50s Milwaukee. Rather than supplying period nostalgia, the sitcom relies more on its female odd couple and their outrageous adventures. Paramount's 4-disc set is absent of extras and confesses to music replacement.
Ocean's Thirteen - The latest entry to Steven Soderbergh's series of ensemble crime action-comedies, this sequel rebounds from its disappointing predecessor to provide an experience closer to the winning first. Though love interests are dropped, all of the guys are back and they're joined by Al Pacino, who serves as shrewd villain and heist target. Light on extras, Warner's disc serves up 4 deleted scenes, a short asino set tour, and a 23-minute documentary on Las Vegas and its casinos.

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DVD REVIEWS
Latest Reviews (rated):
Rush Hour 3
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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
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Walt Disney Treasures: Disneyland - Secrets, Stories & Magic DVD Review

Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
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Summer 2007 CD Roundup
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Holidays 2006 CD Roundup
& 2006: Year in Review

Fall 2006 CD Roundup
A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
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Count down the best of Disney's villains!
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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
Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice and Wendy
Dave Bossert, Animator, Director & Restorer
Frank Nissen, Director of Cinderella III
Brenda Song, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" star
Vince Papale, Inspiration for Invincible
Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Pirates of the Caribbean
Jim Kammerud, Director of The Fox and the Hound 2
Moira Kelly, The Voice of Nala, The Lion King
An Interview with Don Hahn, Veteran Producer
An Interview with Leonard Maltin, Disney Treasures
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Donnie Dunagan, Voice of Bambi
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