UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: December 1-16, 2009: News Archives
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December 16, 2009 - Roy Edward Disney, nephew of Walt Disney and son of Roy O. Disney, passed away today at age 79. His filmmaking career stretched from the award-winning 1950s True-Life Adventures nature documentaries to last year's sailing competition film Morning Light. Disney was an integral part of the studio's animation Renaissance of the 1980s and 1990s, a period documented in Don Hahn's upcoming film Waking Sleeping Beauty. From go-to figurehead to vocal company critic, Roy had been the most prominent member of the Disney family since his father's death in 1971.
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December 14, 2009 - Today, we bring you a new review and a related interview. Writer/director Mike Judge (Office Space, "King of the Hill", "Beavis and Butt-Head") returns to workplace comedy with Extract. Jason Bateman stars as the troubled owner of small food flavoring factory. Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Kristen Wiig, and J.K. Simmons co-star. Check out our review of the DVD, which reaches stores next Tuesday.
Then, check out our interview with Mike Judge, in which the filmmaker reveals his inspirations for Extract, what it was like to film in a working factory, his thoughts on animation vs. live-action, and the prospects of an Office Space sequel. Click here for the full interview.
December 11, 2009 - Our latest DVD review covers Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, last summer's much-watched Disney Channel Original Movie adapted from the popular sitcom. The Russo family goes on vacation in the Caribbean, where Alex (Selena Gomez) accidentally casts a spell making her parents never have met and threatening the existence of her and her brothers (Justin Henrie, Jake T. Austin). Available next week, the Extended Edition narrowly elongates the movie and includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and your own color-changing wishing stone on a clip. Read on...
The March debuts of Ponyo, Toy Story, and Toy Story 2 will bring the total number of Disney Blu-ray releases to over 60. We've fully updated our Disney Blu-ray page to include all of this year's releases and titles announced and expected next year. Our page includes cover art, review links, purchase links, and detailed contents overviews designating BD-exclusive bonus features. Check it out.
As anticipated, Disney has announced March 23rd Special Edition releases for Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Like Snow White, each movie's Blu-ray/DVD Combo ($39.99 SRP) will be packaged as both a Blu-ray + DVD and a DVD + Blu-ray. Single-disc DVDs of the movies ($29.99 SRP) will be released eight weeks later on May 18, 2010. Each release will include an exclusive sneak peek of Toy Story 3 ("The Story of Toy Story 3" on the original, "Meet the Characters of Toy Story 3" on TS2) and the Blu-ray packs will also include a movie ticket offer to see the much-anticipated sequel in theaters.
Cover art has been posted for Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service. Click here to view it. The March 2nd Studio Ghibli DVD re-releases ($29.99 SRP) will each include an interactive "World of Ghibli" experience with "Enter the Lands" and "Behind the Studio" features plus a Disc 2 storyboard presentation of the movie, an in-pack lithograph, and a foil slipcover.
A sixth "Hannah Montana" episode compilation DVD has been announced for release on March 9th. Miley Says Goodbye? ($19.99 SRP) will include the Season 3 finale before it airs, hour-long special episode "He Could Be the One" with an alternate ending, and a free lenticular photo frame.
December 10, 2009 - Coming your way today is an early review of G-Force, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's PG-rated action/comedy about a team of highly-trained government commando guinea pigs. Bill Nighy, Zach Galifianakis, and Will Arnett star in the flesh, while the CG-animated critters are voiced by the likes of Sam Rockwell, Tracy Morgan, Penelope Cruz, Nicolas Cage, Jon Favreau, and Steve Buscemi. In stores next week, the Deluxe DVD includes an audio commentary by visual effects artist turned first-time director Hoyt Yeatman, deleted scenes, bloopers, three music videos, and two short featurettes. Read the full review which includes a clip of the "G-Farce" outtakes reel.
December 8, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno brings us a review of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The sequel to the hit 2006 family adventure relocates Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) and his friends, enchanted New York museum exhibits, to Washington D.C., where a testy ancient pharaoh (Hank Azaria) plans evil. Fox's Blu-ray/DVD combo includes two audio commentaries, a host of deleted scenes, outtakes, featurette, a Scavenger Hunt game, and a digital copy. Beneath our review is a special report on the press event Fox staged to mark the film's release last week, in which kids and reporters spent the night in New York City's Madame Tussauds wax museum. Read on...
December 7, 2009 - We've updated our monthly release schedules to bring you information on what 2009's few remaining Tuesdays will bring as well as the few post-Christmas titles that have been announced for 2010: January, February and beyond.
December 4, 2009 - UPDATED 12/7/09 - As expected, Disney has scheduled Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo for 2-disc Blu-ray and DVD release on March 2, 2010. It will be joined by new 2-disc DVD editions of Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service. Ponyo bonus features on both formats include "The World of Ghibli" (an interactive experience employing the settings from Ponyo, Castle, Kiki's, and Totoro) and "Behind the Studio" (7 topical making-of featurettes and an original Japanese trailer).
December 2, 2009 - Our latest DVD review looks at World's Greatest Dad, a very dark independent comedy written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. Robin Williams stars as a high school poetry teacher who finds success as a writer in the wake of a tragedy. Released next week, Magnolia's DVD includes a Goldthwait commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, making-of featurette, and a music video by The Deadly Syndrome. Read on...
December 1, 2009 - Read up on today's new releases.
Amazon's $9.99 DVD deal is winding down. Still available at that low price are upcoming releases Julie & Julia, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and G-Force.
November 30, 2009 - We end the month with a review of Julie & Julia. Based on two true stories, this Nora Ephron dramedy stars Meryl Streep as TV chef Julia Child getting her start in 1950s France and Amy Adams as a 21st century New Yorker who sets out to cook and blog about every recipe in Child's most famous book. In time for holiday season feasting and year-end awards buzz, Sony brings this box office hit to DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday. Read our review.
November 29, 2009 - Our newest DVD review subject is the seventh DVD release given to Playhouse Disney's top-rated series: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo-Choo Express. The title attraction, a 47-minute special that debuted on Disney Channel last month, finds Mickey and friends assembling a train to see and transport Ludwig Von Drake's latest invention (melt-resistant snow). It's joined by the Season 2 episode "Mickey's Big Job", which is presented with four interactive Adventure Modes. Read the full review.
November 25, 2009 - With Thanksgiving Day only hours away, the Christmas season truly is upon us. What better time than to read our new review of White Christmas: Anniversary Edition. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen star ins this popular 1954 musical comedy. Paramount's recent two-disc reissue retains the bonus features from the movie's 2000 debut and piles on another hour of featurettes on the stars, title song, the active stage musical, and the film itself. Full review.
Recent Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Santa Buddies - This fourth film finds the gang of talking pups helping Puppy Paws to save Christmas. A sick kid, a mean dogcatcher, a magical icicle...it's holiday fun for the whole family.George Wendt stars as Santa Claus, Tom Bosley voices his top dog Santa Paws, and Christopher Lloyd plays that icy dogcatcher.
Recent Non-Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Angels & Demons - The prequel/sequel to The Da Vinci Code adapts another conspiratorial Dan Brown mystery with Tom Hanks starring and Ron Howard directing. This one centers on the kidnapping of four leading candidates for the papacy. Out tomorrow, Sony's DVD includes several making-of featurettes.
It's a Wonderful Life - Frank Capra's 1946 Christmas classic gets its third DVD release from Paramount in four years. This one comes in a fancy package that includes an exclusive bell ornament, 8 free song downloads, and a booklet.
Forrest Gump: 15th Anniversary Chocolate Box Giftset - Blockbuster 1994 Best Picture winner stars Tom Hanks as an Alabama simpleton who achieves all sorts of extraordinary things in the middle of the 20th century. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this dramedy co-stars Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field.
Four Christmases - Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a couple whom foggy skies force to celebrate part of Christmas Day with each of their four divorced parents (Oscar winners Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Sissy Spacek, and Jon Voight).
A Miser Brothers' Christmas - The Heat Miser and Snow Miser from Rankin/Bass' beloved The Year Without a Santa Claus return for this hour-long 2008 stop motion special, in which the battling siblings have to fill in for a laid-up Santa Claus (voiced by Mickey Rooney). Warner's DVD includes a 23-minute making-of featurette.
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown - Warner's ninth Peanuts Remastered Deluxe Edition pairs the hour-long 2003 holiday special with 1986's new-to-DVD Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. The disc also includes a brand new featurette on Linus' younger brother Rerun, who stars in the titular cartoon.
The Best of "Star Trek", Volume 2 and The Best of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Volume 2 - Each of these single-disc releases holds four major episodes from the iconic hour-long sci-fi series.
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