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July 22, 2014 - Insomnia, the 1997 Norwegian thriller that Christopher Nolan remade in 2002, hit Blu-ray today in a Dual-Format Edition from The Criterion Collection. Stellan Skarsgεrd (Mamma Mia!, Thor) stars as a Swedish detective investigating the murder of a teenaged girl while battling sleeplessness during Norway's 24-hour summer sunlight. The two-disc set includes a new conversation between Skarsgεrd and director Erik Skjoldbjζrg, Skjoldbjζrg's two half-hour student shorts, a trailer, and an essay booklet. Full review.
With 2014 a little more than halfway done, we bring you a Mid-Year Report counting down the ten best and ten worst films released this year and looking ahead with teasers and trailers to twenty upcoming releases worth anticipating. Check out The Films of 2014: Mid-Year Report and look for a final update to our 2013 Films: Ranked and Reviewed soon.
July 21, 2014 - Flicker Alley's Blu-ray + DVD combo We're in the Movies: Palace of Silents & Itinerant Filmmaking collects two documentaries and five bonus shorts. When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose reflects on the filming and locations of the 1914 Wausau, Wisconsin short The Lumberjack. Then, Palace of Silents: The Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles celebrates and chronicles a longtime LA institution. The two are joined by silents and itinerant shorts plus a booklet essay in this new set released tomorrow. Full review.
Warner has just announced a September 16th home video debut for Godzilla. The well-received reboot will be available in a Limited Edition MetalPak Blu-ray 3D combo pack as well as other multi-disc editions. See the press release for full details.
Paramount has announced that the 1996 bowling comedy Kingpin, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by the Farrelly Brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary) will come to Blu-ray on October 14th. Previously distributed by MGM, the film will be presented in both theatrical and extended cuts, the latter with directors' audio commentary, and joined by the all-new featurette "Kingpins: Extra Frames With The Farrelly Brothers." Click here for cover art.
July 20, 2014 - Accomplished Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut on Transcendence. This sci-fi thriller stars Johnny Depp as a dying brilliant scientist who takes steps to live on in a computer system. Co-starring Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, and Kate Mara, this spring box office dud hits Blu-ray combo pack this week, joined by a number of trailers and short featurettes. Our review.
July 18, 2014 - Expanding in theaters today is Boyhood, the latest film from writer-director Richard Linklater (Before Midnight, Dazed and Confused). Twelve years in the making, this drama looks at the coming-of-age of one Texas boy (Ellar Coltrane). Met with near-universal acclaim and the best reviews of 2014 so far, this nearly three-hour film casts Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the boy's separated parents. Our film review.
July 17, 2014 - Blue Ruin, one of the best-reviewed films of 2014 so far, comes to Blu-ray next week and we've got an early review. This revenge drama finds a Delaware drifter (Macon Blair) looking to avenge his parents when their killer is released from jail. Featuring Home Alone's Devin Ratray and "The Brady Bunch"'s Eve Plumb, this feature from writer-director-cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier is joined by an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, two deleted scenes, and a camera test on the Weinstein-Anchor Bay BD. Full review.
July 16, 2014 - Following a very limited June theatrical release, Lullaby comes to DVD later this month. From first-time writer-director Andrew Levitas, it tells the story of a young musician (Garrett Hedlund) who returns to New York to visit his dying father (Richard Jenkins). Co-starring Amy Adams, Jessica Findlay Brown, Anne Archer, Jennifer Hudson, and Terrence Howard, this R-rated drama is joined by its trailer on ARC Entertainment's slipcovered DVD. Our review.
July 15, 2014 - Spring box office hit Heaven Is for Real hits home video next week and we've got an early review. Based on the true story detailed in a bestselling 2010 book, this PG-rated drama looks at the family of a Nebraska pastor (Greg Kinnear), whose son claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. Co-starring Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church, and Margo Martindale, this film is directed and co-written by Braveheart's Randall Wallace. Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes deleted scenes and three featurettes. Read the full review.
July 14, 2014 - Today's Blu-ray review covers Born Yesterday, a 1950 comedy-drama directed by George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story, My Fair Lady). Adapted from the Broadway play of the same name, the film tells the story of a rich tycoon (Broderick Crawford) who pays a journalist (William Holden) to make his fiancιe (Judy Holliday) less ignorant. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, this won Holliday the Best Actress Oscar over stiff competition from Sunset Blvd.'s Gloria Swanson and All About Eve's Bette Davis. Now available, Twilight Time's stunningly remastered Blu-ray includes two HD theatrical trailers, an isolated score, and an essay booklet. Our review.
July 13, 2014 - In our latest Blu-ray review, we look at Radio Days. Written, directed, and narrated by Woody Allen, this 1987 comedy takes us back to the golden age of radio, reflecting on the late 1930s and early 1940s experiences of a working class Jewish family in Rockaway Beach, Queens and their connection to the radio programs they listen to. Nominated for two Academy Awards and featuring a large cast full of familiar faces, including Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Seth Green, and Julie Kavner, this film is now available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, joined by a trailer, a music and effects-only track, and an essay booklet. Our thorough review.
July 12, 2014 - Today's new review covers 13 Sins. This thriller from The Last Exorcism director Daniel Stamm finds a broke, engaged, expecting 32-year-old man (Mark Webber) promised financial security for performing a series of disturbing acts. Now available, the Weinstein/Anchor Bay Blu-ray includes a deleted sequence, an alternate ending, a making-of featurette, an audio commentary, and more. Read on...
July 11, 2014 - Opening in theaters today, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a surprisingly excellent follow-up to the 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Changing directors and human cast, while moving the focus to the apes, this sequel from Cloverfield director Matt Reeves grips with its tale of human-ape tension. No wonder it's become one of 2014's best-reviewed films. Our review.
July 9, 2014 - Ragamuffin tells the story of Rich Mullins, the Christian singer-songwriter of "Awesome God" and other hits. This low-budget biopic follows him from a child in 1960s Indiana to a young man attending college in Cincinnati to a successful artist in Nashville. Now available, Millennium's Blu-ray includes two deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, an audio commentary, and a message from Mullins' brother Dave. Full review.
Blended, the third romantic comedy to pair Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, will hit home video on August 26th in a single-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack. Extras on both formats will include deleted scenes, "Bella Thorne's Makeover", "Adam and Drew: Back Together Again", and "Georgia", while the Blu-ray will add seven further featurettes. For cover art and preorders, click here.
July 8, 2014 - The Taiwanese comedy Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? tells the story of a married middle-aged optometrist who considers coming out of the closet. A Film Movement film-of-the-month club pick, the film is joined by an interview of writer-director Arvin Chen, trailers, biographies, and Chen's short film Mei. Our DVD review.
July 7, 2014 - Our newest review covers Twilight Time's recent Blu-ray debut of Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. This 1957 drama stars Robert Mitchum as a U.S. Marine and Deborah Kerr as a nun who find themselves alone stranded on the same tropical island hoping to avoid the Japanese soldiers who come and go. Nominated for two Academy Awards, this John Huston-directed film is joined by its trailer, relevant vintage newsreels, an isolated music and effects track, and an essay booklet. Our review.
July 5, 2014 - Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his attentions to another former U.S. Secretary of Defense in The Unknown Known. This film interviews Donald Rumsfeld and examines his long career in politics, paying special notice to his actions in the war on Iraq. Now available, the Weinstein and Anchor Bay Blu-ray includes a Morris audio commentary and interview, the complete 1989 Third Annual Report of the Secretaries of Defense, and Morris' four-part op-ed article on Rumsfeld. Don't miss our review.
July 4, 2014 - The Lunchbox, the year's top-grossing foreign film so far, tells the story of a working man (Life of Pi's Irrfan Khan) who starts receiving the flavorful home-cooked lunches of a neglected housewife (Nimrat Kau) at the government job from which he is about to retire. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes this Indian film's North American trailer and an audio commentary by first-time writer/director Ritesh Batra. Our review.
June 28, 2014 - Our newest review covers this week's US Blu-ray debut of A Hard Day's Night. Released fifty years ago, The Beatles' first movie offers a comic look at the lives of the young British pop sensations and one of their grandfathers. Criterion's Dual-Format Edition, comprised of one Blu-ray and two DVDs, holds nearly five hours of bonus features, including commentary, documentaries, retrospectives, and new tributes, plus an 80-page booklet. Full review.
June 27, 2014 - Time is running out to enter our Lego Movie giveaway! Take 2-37 entries before midnight Eastern for your chance to own the Blu-ray combo pack of the #1 grossing film of 2014. Full details.
June 26, 2014 - Rob the Mob tells the true story of a New York couple who robbed a crime family's social clubs. Starring Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda as the early '90s version of Bonnie and Clyde, Ray Romano as a veteran reporter, and Andy Garcia as a mob boss, this limited spring release from City Island director Raymond De Felitta is now on Blu-ray and DVD. It is joined by its trailer, three long deleted scenes, and a De Felitta audio commentary, but Millennium Entertainment again drops the ball regarding the feature presentation. Full review.
June 25, 2014 - 300: Rise of an Empire follows Zack Snyder's 2007 blockbuster. Snyder co-writes and produced this midquel which focuses on a war between the Greek army, led by Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), and the Persians, led by Artemisia (Eva Green). Now available, Warner's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack holds over an hour of bonus features on Blu-ray, including making-of featurettes and historical background. Our review.
Join us for a look at "Comedy Bang! Bang! The Complete Second Season, released to DVD yesterday by Anchor Bay Entertainment. IFC's offbeat talk show, adapted from the podcast of the same name, sees host Scott Aukerman and bandleader Reggie Watts talking to more celebrities and eccentric secondary guests. The 4-disc set holds all twenty episodes, each fitted with audio commentary, plus over an hour of deleted scenes, bonus music, and much more. Our review.
June 24, 2014 - Our coverage of today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases begins with a review of Winter's Tale. Adapted from Mark Helprin's novel and directed by Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind screenwriter, this Valentine's Day flop follows a New Yorker (Colin Farrell) from 1916 to the present day as he finds love and is pursued by a angry mobster (Russell Crowe). Co-starring Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey"), Jennifer Connelly, Eva Marie Saint, and a major movie star in an unadvertised cameo, this fantastical romance is joined by deleted scenes, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, and Digital HD UltraViolet in Warner's combo pack. Read all about it.
June 23, 2014 - The Grand Budapest Hotel, the eighth film written and directed by Wes Anderson, is now on Blu-ray Disc. This colorful comedy, set in an opulent Eastern European hotel in 1932 and 1968, tells the story of a fastidious concierge (Ralph Fiennes) accused of murder and his loyal lobby boy (Tony Revolori). Inspired by the works of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, the film also features Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, and F. Murray Abraham. One of 2014's best-reviewed films and a surprisingly potent commercial hit here and abroad, the film is now available, joined by vignettes, promotional featurettes, a stills gallery, its trailer, and Digital HD. Our review.
Recent Film Reviews:
Edge of Tomorrow - Adapted from a Japanese graphic novel, this sci-fi action flick is set in a future in which an Army PR guy (Tom Cruise) discovers he has the opportunity to relive the same day, a gift he uses to aid in the military's war against alien creatures. Directed by The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman, the film co-stars Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton.
Maleficent puts a new spin on Disney's classic animated Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie holds the title role of the horned fairy, who it's revealed to be is less malicious than misunderstood. From the screenwriter and producer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this big-budget live-action fantasy marks the directorial debut for Oscar-winning visual effects and production design veteran Robert Stromberg. It also features Elle Fanning as Aurora and Sharlto Copley as King Stefan.
X-Men: Days of Future Past passes the consciousness of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in a dystopian robot-policed near-future back to his 1973 body, where he's got to reunite the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a scientist (Peter Dinklage) who intends to use mutant DNA against them. Putting Bryan Singer back in the director's chair, this crossover/sequel is sure to be one of summer's biggest and best-reviewed hits.
Godzilla. This latest incarnation of the Japanese movie monster sees him summoned to fight "Mutos." From Monsters director Gareth Edwards, this film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, and Ken Watanabe.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
The Spike Lee Joint Collection, Vol. 1 (Blu-ray) - 25th Hour stars Edward Norton as a New Yorker on his final day before starting a 7-year prison sentence. He Got Game releases a convicted murderer (Denzel Washington) from prison for a week to persuade his basketball star son (Ray Allen) to attend the governor's alma mater. Each film is treated to a new commentary by Lee and the star, while 25th Hour adds a Lee biography, two additional audio commentaries, and deleted scenes.
The Man from Laramie (Blu-ray) - This 1955 CinemaScope, Technicolor western stars James Stewart as a freight deliverer who journeys to New Mexico to avenge his brother's death and winds up butting heads with the family of a wealthy rancher (Donald Crisp). Directed by Winchester '73's Anthony Mann, it's now on Blu-ray in a 3,000-count Limited Edition Series disc from Twilight Time, which includes an isolated effects and music track, two trailers, and an essay booklet.
2 Autumns, 3 Winters - French film exploring two romances and a friendship with stylings inspired by documentaries and reality TV. Film Movement's DVD includes biographies, trailers, and the 2008 French short Voyage D'Affaires featuring Mιlanie Laurent.
The Lego Movie (Everything Is Awesome Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo) - From the writers-directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball and 21 Jump Street, this blockbuster animated comedy adventure sees a mindless construction worker emerge as the world's best hope against an evil leader planning its demise. Extras include audio commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, making-of featurettes, building tutorials, a cast and filmmaker audio commentary, and an exclusive minifigure.
How to Train Your Dragon (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - DreamWorks Animation's acclaimed original 2010 hit tells the story of a young Viking named Hiccup who discovers a new way to deal with the dragons that have long been plaguing his tough island community. The new two-disc edition includes $7.50 movie cash towards the sequel, a Season 2 episode of the Cartoon Network series "Dragons: Defenders of Berk", the shorts Book of Dragons and Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon, audio commentary, a picture-in-picture viewing mode, a trivia track, and more.
Pompeii (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) - Set in 79 AD, this disaster movie from director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) pits a love story involving a Celtic gladiator ("Game of Thrones"' Kit Harington) and the noble daughter of Pompeii's ruler (Emily Browning) against the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Co-starring Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, and Carrie-Anne Moss, this February flop is now available in a two-disc set that includes 20 deleted/alternate scenes, audio commentary, and over an hour of making-of featurettes.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Chris Pine headlines another Paramount Pictures franchise reboot. Tackling a role previously filled by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Pine plays a young Ryan, a Marine who joins the CIA while working as a financial analyst. When he heads to Moscow to investigate some suspicious banking activity, Ryan has to reinvent himself. Co-starring Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs), this box office disappointment is now available in a combo pack that includes audio commentary, deleted/extended scenes, and four making-of featurettes.
Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla - In this new 90-minute Comedy Central special, the mononymous entertainer, one of the '90s most popular comics, delivers 90 minutes of jokes about race, relationships, vegetarianism, Detroit, and church music.
All That Heaven Allows (Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - Douglas Sirk's celebrated 1955 melodrama, an inspiration for Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, tells the story of a middle-aged widow (Jane Wyman) whose relationship with a much younger gardener (Rock Hudson) invites disapproval and gossip. Criterion's loaded three-disc set includes an audio commentary, essay booklet, multiple TV interviews of Sirk, and the 1992 documentary Rock Hudson's Home Movies.
"Workaholics": Season Four (Blu-ray) - The thirteen recently-aired episodes of Comedy Central's hit series fill a two-disc set, joined by deleted and alternate scenes, outtakes, and Season 4 promos.
Lone Survivor (Blu-ray + DVD) - Acclaimed drama, box office hit, and technical Oscar nominee. Peter Berg (Hancock, Friday Night Lights) adapts and directs the true story of four Navy SEALs (Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster) who run into grave danger on a mission in Afghanistan. Universal's combo pack includes behind-the-scenes featurettes, a documentary focusing on the real survivor Marcus Luttrell, and celebrations of his fallen brothers.
McLintock! (Blu-ray) - The 1963 western comedy stars John Wayne as a cattle baron whose estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) returns to town. Paramount's recent Authentic Collector's Edition restores a host of bonus features including audio commentary, interviews with leading ladies O'Hara and Stefanie Powers, a documentary on producer Michael Wayne, featurettes on corsets and stunts, a photo gallery, and the original trailer.
Devil's Knot (Blu-ray + DVD) - In May of 1993, three 8-year-old boys are found dead, a heinous crime with which three teenaged misfits are quickly charged. Starring Reese Witherspoon as a victim's mother and Colin Firth as a private eye volunteering his services to the defendants, this Atom Egoyan drama hits stores in a combo pack that includes two making-of featurettes and two deleted scenes.
Parts Per Billion (Blu-ray) - Penn Badgely, Teresa Palmer, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson, Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands play three American couples whose relationships are tested by a cataclysmic airborne virus born out of war in the Middle East.
Tomorrow (Blu-ray + DVD) - 1972 film stars Robert Duvall as a cotton farmer whose winter taking care of a sawmill gets an unexpected pregnant visitor. Adapted from William Faulkner's short story and a play by Horton Foote, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, this acclaimed drama is now available to own in a Blu-ray + DVD combo from B2MP, Inc.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - The ambitious fourth film written and directed by Wes Anderson, this film follows famed ocean documentarian Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew as they go on a mission to find the jaguar shark that killed his best friend. Criterion's Blu-ray is loaded with extras including an hour-long making-of documentary, Seu Jorge's Portuguese covers of ten full David Bowie songs, deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach, the duo's appearance on the Italian talk show "Mondo Monda", galleries, interviews, and more.
Ace in the Hole (Blu-ray + DVD) - After Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder directed and co-wrote this 1951 drama, which stars Kirk Douglas as a jaded veteran journalist in New Mexico hungry for a big break that will return him to the big leagues of the East Coast. He finds it in the case of a local man trapped in an old Indian cave and tomb, turning the human interest story into a media spectacle that captures the public's attention. The Criterion Collection's Dual-Format Edition serves up a wealth of extras on two DVDs and one Blu-ray, including an audio commentary, 1980s interviews of Wilder and Douglas, an afterword by Spike Lee, a photo gallery, the trailer, and an essay booklet styled like a newspaper.
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time The Jewish Cardinal - This French film tells the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, who converted to Catholicism and rose the ranks to papal advisor while continuing to identify himself as Jewish. Lustiger's big moment comes when he get involved in the Church's convent built at Auschwitz, the concentration camp that took his mother's life. The film is joined by biographies, a trailer, and the short film Kosher.
"Jack Irish": Set 2 (Blu-ray + DVD) - Guy Pearce reprises the title role in Dead Point (2014), as the widowed Australian lawyer tries to help his father-in-law (Barry Humphries) triumph over blackmailers following the mysterious death of a young drug smuggler. Acorn's two-disc combo includes three behind-the-scenes shorts and a photo gallery.
Gambit (Blu-ray) - Written by the Coen brothers, this comedy stars Colin Firth as a broke London art curator who hires an American cowgirl (Cameron Diaz) to help him swindle his pompous boss (Alan Rickman) with art forgery. Also featuring Tom Courtenay and Stanley Tucci, this loose remake of a 1966 Michael Caine-Shirley MacLaine flick finally hits the US.
About Last Night (Blu-ray) - This contemporary comedy remake of the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore film, which in turn was adapted from a David Mamet Off-Broadway play, stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, and Joy Bryant as four Los Angeles singles who enter romantic relationships casually and with complications. Sony's Blu-ray includes four featurettes plus Digital HD UltraViolet.
Vampire Academy (Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Adapted from Richelle Mead's young adult novels, this tells the story of two different types of teenage vampires (Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry) whose friendship is tested upon returning to their boarding school where mysteries demand unraveling. A flop in theaters last winter, this comedy from Mean Girls director Mark Waters and his brother, Heathers screenwriter Daniel, is joined by deleted scenes, an alternate opening, and an interview of the author.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) - DreamWorks Animation's Academy Award-nominated 2002 film tells the story of a horse (narrated by Matt Damon) around to witness the Old West. The two-disc combo pack includes audio commentary, storyboards with commentary, a drawing tutorial by Spirit's supervising animator James Baxter, a number of making-of featurettes, plus production notes, biographies, and set top games on DVD.
The Women (1939) (Blu-ray) - Remade in 1956 and 2008, this film adapted from the popular Broadway play features an all-female cast headed by Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, and Joan Fontaine. A mother and wife (Shearer) learns from a gossipy manicurist that her husband has been cheating on her. Now available just in time for the film's 75th anniversary, Warner's Blu-ray includes the MGM animated short One Mother's Family, a pair of "Another Romance of Celluloid" promotional shorts, vintage trailers, nearly 40 minutes of score, and an alternate version of the film's Technicolor fashion show sequence.
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