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December 4, 2016 - The French-Belgian computer-animated film The Wild Life, known as Robinson Crusoe in most parts of the world, is now on Blu-ray and the subject of our latest review. Adapted from Daniel Defoe's 18th century novel, this comedy centers on the island animals who welcome the shipwrecked castaway into their company. Summit/Lionsgate's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes four making-of featurettes. Full review.
November 30, 2016 - Steven Spielberg returns to wonderment on his very first Disney film, The BFG. Adapted from Roald Dahl's 1982 children's book, this PG-rated fantasy sees a British orphan (Ruby Barnhill) befriending a big, friendly giant (a mo-capped Mark Rylance). Now available, the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes a tribute to screenwriter Melissa Mathison, a half-hour making-of documentary, an animated short about the BFG's friendship with another "human bean", and two other shorts. Full review.
November 29, 2016 - Hitting DVD today from Paramount, the independent dramedy The Intervention gathers eight thirtysomething friends for a vacation that soon turns to be a forum to persuade two of them to get divorced. The film is written and directed by Clea DuVall, who also stars along with Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey, Ben Schwartz, Jason Ritter. The DVD includes a Tegan and Sara music video and a blooper reel. Our review.
November 28, 2016 - Today's Blu-ray review covers Hell or High Water, the highly acclaimed Texas heist thriller from Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan and Starred Up director David Mackenzie. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers robbing a chain of vulnerable small banks for a reason. Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham play the rangers on their trail. Now available, Lionsgate and CBS' Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes a Q & A session from the ArcLight Cinemas in Los Angeles, three making-of featurettes, and red carpet interviews from the Austin premiere. Our review.
November 27, 2016 - Sausage Party, the acclaimed, well-attended, R-rated animated comedy, is now on Blu-ray. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg among others, this raunchy tale sees grocery store foods coming to terms with their existence. Sony's Blu-ray + Digital edition includes a number of making-of featurettes plus outtakes and a Walt Disney anthology parody. Review.
November 26, 2016 - The first of this weekend's Blu-ray reviews covers Imperium, a drama that stars Daniel Radcliffe as an FBI agent who goes undercover as a white supremacist to infiltrate a group with deadly plans. Toni Collette co-stars in this limited theatrical release which is joined by a host of bonus features including an audio commentary and an hour-long Times Talks interview panel in Lionsgate's now-available Blu-ray + Digital HD edition. Full review.
November 25, 2016 - Expanding today from four theaters to 48 is Manchester by the Sea. One of the year's best-reviewed films, this drama written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me, Margaret) tells the story of a Boston janitor (Casey Affleck) who is summoned to a fishing town elsewhere in the state, where he is to assume custody of his brother's teenaged son. Sure to compete for a number of major Academy Awards, this heartfelt film demands to be seen. Full review.
November 23, 2016 - The day before Thanksgiving always brings a number of new movies to theaters and this year is no different in that regard.
Expected to open in first place is Moana. From the directors of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, this musical comedy adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios sees the headstrong teenage daughter of an island chief venturing away from home with the demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) to help her community lift their troubles. The film is preceded by Disney's '80s-flavored short Inner Workings. Full review of both..
Opening wide is Allied, a compelling drama about a couple of World War II intelligence officers who fall for each other after assassinating a German ambassador in Casablanca. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star in a film that made recent headlines as a scapegoat to divert attention away from Pitt's personal problems. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future) directs. Full review.
Expanding from limited New York and Los Angeles release is Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford's follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 debut A Single Man. Adapting a novel, it sees a high powered art gallery owner (Amy Adams) becoming enthralled by a suspenseful manuscript written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). Michael Shannon and Laura Linney co-star in this stylish thriller. Our review.
Finally opening after forty years in development, Rules Don't Apply puts Warren Beatty back in theaters for the first time in nearly two decades. Beatty plays eccentric and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. It tells the made-up story of one of Hughes' drivers (Alden Ehrenreich) and one of his aspiring contract girl (Lily Collins), who inch towards a romance Hughes' policies forbid. Full review.
November 22, 2016 - On Blu-ray today, War Dogs tells the bizarrely true story of two young friends (Miles Teller and Jonah Hill) who land big time arms deals for the US military during the Iraq War. Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), this crime comedy is joined by two making-of featurettes, an animated short song, and Digital HD. Full review.
November 20, 2016 - Overlooked in theaters, Hands of Stone tries to find an audience this week in Blu-ray release. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express), this R-rated biopic stars Edgar Ramírez as Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán and Robert De Niro as his American trainer Ray Arcel. Weinstein and Anchor Bay's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes a half-hour making-of featurette, eight deleted scenes, and two lyric videos for the original song "Champions" featuring its writers and performers, cast members Usher and Rubén Blades. Full review.
November 19, 2016 - Today's new Blu-ray review covers Punch-Drunk Love, Paul Thomas Anderson's acclaimed 2002 romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson. The artsy film is joined by deleted scenes, new interviews, artwork, an essay booklet, and more. Check out our full review.
November 18, 2016 - Today's big new release is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which launches a Harry Potter spin-off franchise with the tale of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a Hogwarts expellee who comes to New York in the 1920s with a briefcase of...fantastic beasts. J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay (based on her 2001 "textbook"), while David Yates (director of the final four Potter movies) mans the helm. Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, and Jon Voight also feature in this much-anticipated, big budget fantasy adventure. Read our review.
Opening semi-wide, Bleed for This tells the story of Vinny Pazienza. Whiplash's Miles Teller plays the Italian-American boxer who struggles to get back into the ring after a car accident nearly paralyzes him. Aaron Eckhart, Ciarán Hinds, and Katey Sagal co-star in this R-rated drama from Boiler Room writer-director Ben Younger. Film review.
Expanding today after a promising start in four coastal theaters, Loving from writer-director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) tells the true story of an interracial Virginia couple who faced legal trouble simply for getting married. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star in this understated drama that is expected to compete for a number of Academy Awards. Full review.
November 17, 2016 - Our latest Blu-ray review looks at Coffee and Cigarettes, Jim Jarmusch's black and white 2004 anthology comedy of strange diner encounters over the titular vices. The cast includes Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Roberto Benigni, RZA and GZA of The Wu-Tang Clan, Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes, Alfred Molina, and Steve Coogan. Now available, Olive Films' Blu-ray includes the trailer and an interview of actor Taylor Mead. Our review.
November 15, 2016 - Our coverage of this week's discs continues with a review of Army of One. Based on a true story, this R-rated comedy seems a Colorado patriot (Nicolas Cage) journeying to Pakistan to try to find Osama bin Laden in the mid-Noughties on the directions of God (Russell Brand). Wendi McLendon-Covey co-stars in this film from Borat director Larry Charles. The Weinstein/Anchor Bay Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes a making-of featurette. Full review.
November 14, 2016 - Today's review looks at Finding Dory, the 17th feature film from Pixar Animation Studios. This blockbuster follow-up to 2003's beloved hit sees Dory looking for her parents and winding up "rescued" at an aquarium, while Marlin and Nemo search for her. Available tomorrow, the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes an audio commentary, 50 minutes of deleted scenes, the theatrical short Piper, and a host of making-of featurettes and miscellaneous fun. Check out the full review.
November 13, 2016 - Just eleven weeks after making its Blu-ray debut, 2016's The Jungle Book gets revisited in a three-disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray + Blu-ray 3D + DVD + Digital HD combo pack. It adds a 3D presentation of the film and 16 additional minutes of bonus features to an already substantial and stunning release. Full review.
November 12, 2016 - Our newest review covers next week's 20th Anniversary Steelbook release of Space Jam, the mixed-medium blockbuster that sent Michael Jordan into the animated world to help the Looney Tunes avoid losing a basketball game that would send them working in a theme park. Warner's nostalgia-courting Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD release bundles existing discs, holding an audio commentary by director, voice actors, and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, music videos for Seal's "Fly Like an Angel" and "Hit 'Em High (The Monstars Anthem)", a making-of documentary, and the original trailer. Don't miss our full review.
November 11, 2016 - Rules Don't Apply, Warren Beatty's first movie in nearly two decades, stars writer-director-producer Beatty as eccentric and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. It tells the made-up story of one of Hughes' drivers (Alden Ehrenreich) and one of his aspiring contract girl (Lily Collins), who inch towards a romance Hughes' policies forbid. Opening wide on November 23rd, the film premiered last night at the AFI Film Fest. Full review.
Now in theaters, Arrival adapts Ted Chiang's short story "Story of Your Life." Amy Adams plays a linguist whom the American military calls in to try to understand alien visitors. Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star in this film from Sicario director Denis Villenueve and Lights Out screenwriter Eric Heiserer. Full film review.
November 10, 2016 - Adapted from Philip Roth's 2008 novel, Indignation tells the story of a young man from Newark (Logan Lerman) who attends a small liberal arts college in 1951 Ohio and has various awakenings in the process. Sarah Gadon and Tracy Letts co-star in this directorial debut of longtime screenwriter James Schamus (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain). Now available, Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes two making-of featurettes. Full review.
November 6, 2016 - The top-grossing film of 2015 (and of all time domestically) gets revisited next week with the Collector's Edition rerelease of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The four-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD set adds a 3D version of the film, a J.J. Abrams audio commentary, three deleted scenes, and 5 new featurettes. Don't miss our thorough review.
November 5, 2016 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Nine Lives. The family comedy stars Kevin Spacey as a workaholic billionaire who gets transformed into a fluffy gray cat, which teaches him to reprioritize his life. Christopher Walken and Jennifer Garner co-star in this film directed by Men in Black's Barry Sonnenfeld. Two featurettes and the trailer accompany this summer theatrical release in Fox's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack. Full review.
November 4, 2016 - Now in theaters, Doctor Strange extends Marvel Studios' winning streak with an entertaining origin film for a gifted neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) who becomes a kind of sorcerer after an accident gives him nerve damage in his hands. Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, and Madds Mikkelsen co-star in this visually stunning superhero flick from the director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Full review.
Also opening today, Hacksaw Ridge puts Mel Gibson in the director's chair for the first time in ten years. He tells the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a medic who objected to bearing arms in World War II but proved heroic in his own way. Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, and Hugo Weaving co-star in this violent R-rated drama. Film review.
In addition, Moonlight, which has been attracting crowds in limited release, expands to nineteen new markets this weekend. The acclaimed indie film has been predicted to compete for major awards. Our review.
November 1, 2016 - The Sea of Trees arrives on Blu-ray today a year and a half after premiering at Cannes, carrying the baggage of bad reviews and limited distribution. This PG-13 drama from Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant sees an American (Matthew McConaughey) reconsidering suicide in the Japanese forest where many take their lives after meeting a fellow distraught man (Ken Watanabe). Naomi Watts co-stars. Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes a short making-of featurette. Full review.
October 30, 2016 - Today's review covers Independence Day: Resurgence. Produced and set twenty years after the original sci-fi blockbuster, this underperforming sequel sees aliens returning and Earth's finest military pilots and minds trying to again save the planet from destruction. Fox's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes an audio commentary by director-writer Roland Emmerich, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a 4-part hour-long making-of documentary, concept art galleries, and two faux television show clips. Our full review.
October 28, 2016 - Tom Hanks reprises the role of Robert Langdon in Inferno, a third film adapted from the bestselling novels of Dan Brown. This one sees Langdon disoriented in Florence, where he tries to make sense of various parties pursuing him as well as preventing a virus from wiping out half the Earth's population. Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, and Ben Foster co-star in this Ron Howard film, which opens in 3,500 theaters today. Full movie review.
October 27, 2016 - Our coverage of this week's discs concludes with a review of Nerve. This teen-oriented thriller sees a Staten Island high school senior (Emma Roberts) leaping into an online game around New York City, where players earn money by performing dares. Dave Franco co-stars in this slick action flick from the directors of Catfish and Paranormal Activity sequels. Lionsgate's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes 17 making-of shorts plus a Nerve game, personality quiz, and player profiles. Full review.
October 23, 2016 - This week, barely a month after opening in theaters, Mr. Church hits Blu-ray. This PG-13 drama stars Eddie Murphy as a man hired to cook for a Los Angeles family in the 1970s who ends up doing much more than that. Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) and Natascha McElhone co-star in this film directed by Academy Award nominee Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy). Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes four short making-of featurettes. Full review.
October 22, 2016 - Adapted from the online short of the same name, the low-budget PG-13 horror film Lights Out became one of the hits of summer with strong reviews and ticket sales. Teresa Palmer stars a young woman who along with her brother is taunted by their mother's dead friend, but only when the lights are out. Available on Tuesday, Warner's Blu-ray includes three deleted scenes (one of them, an alternate ending) plus Digital HD with UltraViolet. Full review.
October 21, 2016 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Café Society. This year's Woody Allen film is set in the 1930s and sees a young New Yorker (Jesse Eisenberg) move to Hollywood to work for his uncle (Steve Carell), a powerful movie agent. Also starring Kristen Stewart (as the object of both of their affections), Blake Lively, and Corey Stoll, this PG-13 romantic comedy is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack with a red carpet short and photo gallery. Full review.
Four new theatrical releases are reviewed today:
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back sees Tom Cruise reprising the role of Lee Child's literary hero, an ex-military police officer who knows his way around a mismatched fight. In this Halloweeny sequel to 2012's film, Jack Reacher tries to clear the name of a military friend (Cobie Smulders) while also learning he might have a 15-year-old daughter. Full movie review.
Keeping Up with the Joneses sees an attractive married couple (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot) moving to the suburbs and raising questions from their new neighbors (Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher), who learn they're spies. Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) directs this PG-13 action comedy. Our review.
Opening in 50 theaters, American Pastoral lets Ewan McGregor make his directing debut with this adaptation of Philip Roth's 1997 novel. McGregor also stars as a former high school athlete whose family crumbles in the 1960s after his daughter (Dakota Fanning) goes missing. Jennifer Connelly and David Strathairn co-star in this R-rated drama. Full review.
Finally, debuting in four theaters, Moonlight has become one of the best-reviewed films of the year. Directed and co-written by Barry Jenkins, this independent film charts a Miami resident's journey from boy to man in three parts. Already generating Oscar buzz, this film will roll out over the next several weeks. Our review.
October 19, 2016 - Now on Blu-ray, Our Kind of Traitor adapts the book of the same name by British spy novelist John le Carré (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Ewan McGregor stars as a British professor who gets mixed up in a Russian mafia figure's (Stellan Skarsgård) attempt to earn asylum for his family. Co-starring Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis, this R-rated thriller is joined by three making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and Digital HD in Lionsgate's release. Full review.
October 14, 2016 - For the third time this year, critics skewer a Ben Affleck movie. Opening today in 3,300 theaters, The Accountant stars Affleck as a mild-mannered CPA being pursued by various individuals from a corporation whose books need uncooking to resolute Treasury Department officials. Co-starring Anna Kenndrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, and Jeffrey Tambor, this film hails from Warrior director Gavin O'Connor and a screenwriter of The Judge. Full film review.
October 13, 2016 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Central Intelligence. This hit buddy comedy from the director of We're the Millers stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as high school classmates reuniting twenty years later in an attempt to stop national security codes from hitting the black market. Now available, Warner's Blu-ray presents the film in both its original PG-13 theatrical cut and an unrated extended one, plus more than an hour of alternate scenes. Full review.
October 10, 2016 - The Infiltrator stars Bryan Cranston as a federal agent who goes deep undercover to infiltrate the drug trafficking empire of Pablo Escobar in the 1980s. Based on a true story, this drama from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) also features Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, and Amy Ryan. It reaches Blu-ray tomorrow with an audio commentary by Furman and Cranston, deleted scenes, and making-of shorts. Full review.
Halloween is just three weeks away and longtime DVDizzy.com critic and contributor Aaron Wallace has just the book for the season. Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan's Guide to Disney's Halloween Classic dissects and celebrates the beloved and oft-revisited 1993 film. Featuring a foreword by actress Thora Birch and an afterword by screenwriter Mick Garris, the 206-page paperback provides the same degree of insight and analysis as Aaron's first book, 2013's The Thinking Fan's Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom. Don't miss Hocus Pocus in Focus, available now!
Our coverage of this week's discs begins with a review of Legend of Tarzan. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates helms this new take on Edgar Rice Burroughs' old vine-swinging hero. Alexander Skarsgård fills the title role, playing an English aristocrat returning to the jungles where he was raised. Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Margot Robbie co-star in this big-budget tentpole, whose Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes a number of making-of featurettes. Full review.
October 7, 2016 - Our coverage of this week's discs continues with a review of Into the Forest. Directed and adapted by Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park), this film finds two close sisters (Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood) braving an Apocalypse in the Pacific Northwest that begins with a simple power outage. Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition of this limited A24 theatrical release includes a Rozema audio commentary and a making-of featurette. Full review.
Our newest Blu-ray review covers Swiss Army Man, the offbeat and original castaway comedy written and directed by the duo known as "Daniels." Paul Dano plays a stranded man on the verge of suicide who encounters and befriends a washed-up corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) with bizarre powers and persistent flatulence. Also featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, this R-rated film hits Blu-ray with an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a long filmmakers Q & A session, an alternate music-less soundtrack, making-of featurettes, and Digital HD. Our review.
In theaters today, The Girl on the Train adapts the bestselling 2015 novel by Paula Hawkins, spinning a mystery involving an alcoholic woman (Emily Blunt) and the lives she peers into on her daily train ride from Manhattan to Westchester County and back. Co-starring Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, and Édgar Ramírez, this steamy R-rated thriller opens today in over 3,000 theaters to mixed reviews. Full film review.
Opening today with bigger awards prospects than commercial ones is The Birth of a Nation, a drama telling the story of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner. Nate Parker directed, co-wrote, and stars as Turner in this historical film, while Parker's past has brought some controversy around this much-anticipated film that fetched a record acquisition price at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Colman Domingo, and Jackie Earle Haley co-star. Full review.
Legendary director Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Tree of Life) makes his first nature documentary in Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience. Narrated by Brad Pitt, the 45-minute G-rated edit of Malick's long-gestating project details the origins of the universe and life with dazzling large format images of nature and early mankind. A 90-minute, PG-13 rated version of the film narrated by Cate Blanchett screened in competition at Venice. Full review.
October 1, 2016 - Today's review covers Complete Unknown. This independent drama from Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) finds a woman (Rachel Weisz) reconnecting with her ex (Michael Shannon) fifteen years after she disappeared. Sony's DVD of this Amazon Studios/IFC theatrical release includes an audio commentary by director/co-writer Marston. Read more.
September 30, 2016 - Our coverage of this week's discs continues with a review of Chopping Mall. The cult classic 1986 horror movie, in which robotics security guards begin killing fun-seeking employees after hours, makes its Blu-ray debut in style via the Lionsgate-resurrected Vestron Video line with three audio commentaries and a host of retrospectives. Full review.
We've got reviews of four films that are opening or expanding in theaters today.
Deepwater Horizon dramatizes the 2010 BP oil spill. Mark Wahlberg stars as Mike Williams, a hard worker who is there when things go awry on the tanker. Co-starring Kurt Russell and John Malkovich, this hard PG-13 disaster film from director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) opens to positive reviews and decent commercial hopes. Full review.
Finally opening more than a year later than planned, the comedy Masterminds plays the 1997 Loomis Fargo Bank robbery for laughs. Zach Galifianakis plays an armored truck driver who swipes $17 million from the vault for his former co-worker (Kristen Wiig) and her criminal friends (led by Owen Wilson). Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess directed but did not write this PG-13 comedy whose release was held up by distributor Relativity Studios' bankruptcy procedures. Review.
Expanding today after a strong debut last week, Disney and ESPN's Queen of Katwe tells another true story, this of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), who discovers the game as a potential ticket out of her family's poverty. Selma's David Oyelowo and Oscar winner Lupita N'yongo (12 Years a Slave) co-star in this PG-rated drama from director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). Our review.
Also expanding is the Australian film The Dressmaker, an adaptation of Rosalie Ham's 2000 novel. It stars Kate Winslet as a woman who returns to her small hometown in the Outback, where she confronts old demons while trying to solve a mystery that has her haunted her since childhood, while on the side making some head-turning dresses for her neighbors. Co-starring Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving, this R-rated dramedy jumps up to 159 theaters. Film review.
September 27, 2016 - Directed and co-written by Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn, The Neon Demon tells the story of a 16-year-old Georgia orphan (Elle Fanning) who moves to LA and enters the cutthroat world of modeling. This style-heavy thriller hits Blu-ray today with an audio commentary and two making-of featurettes. Our review.
September 26, 2016 - Today's review looks at tomorrow's Blu-ray release of Cell. Adapted from Stephen King's 2006 novel, this R-rated thriller unleashes a cell phone-based Apocalypse that has a graphic novelist (John Cusack), a subway driver (Samuel L. Jackson), and a young woman (Isabelle Fuhrman) scrambling to stay alive while those who were talking on their phones turn into killing machines. Lionsgate's release includes an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, and Digital HD. Full review.
September 24, 2016 - Today, we cover Hunt for the Wilderpeople, one of the year's best-reviewed films thus far. From writer-director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok), this comic adventure sees a troubled 13-year-old boy (Julian Dennison) and a gruff widower (Sam Neill) go missing in the New Zealand bush. Available on Tuesday, Sony's DVD includes an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, and a blooper reel. Full review.
September 23, 2016 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Universal's underperforming sequel to its 2014 hit sees three college freshmen launch an independent sorority next door to the home of Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) while their house is in escrow and have another child on the way. Returning to mix things up is frat alum Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron). Now available, the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes 24 minutes of deleted scenes, a gag reel, "Line-o-Rama", four making-of featurettes, and a filmmaker audio commentary. Full review.
September 22, 2016 - Now in theaters, Storks lets Warner Animation Group (The Lego Movie) attempt to establish itself among the major animation houses. Written and co-directed by Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, Get Him to the Greek), this PG-rated family comedy sees a stork (voiced by Andy Samberg) and a teenaged human orphan have to deliver a baby the old-fashioned way to a family of three. It opens in nearly 4,000 theaters today. Our review.
Also opening in theaters today is The Magnificent Seven, director Antoine Fuqua's remake of the classic 1960 western. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke head a team of seven deadly cowboys that assembles to defend a small Montana town from the evil oil baron (Peter Sarsgaard) who plans to prey upon it. The PG-13 adventure claims 3,600 theaters, some of them as part of a 7-day IMAX stint. Full review.
September 19, 2016 - Olive Films launches their new Olive Signature line tomorrow with a new Blu-ray edition of High Noon. The classic 1952 western stars Gary Cooper as a newlywed New Mexico marshal who delays turning in his badge to deal with the return of a vengeful outlaw he put away. The new release includes a host of new retrospective featurettes plus the trailer and an essay booklet. Full review.
September 17, 2016 - Today's review looks at last week's Sony DVD release of The Meddler, an acclaimed indie comedy written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World). Susan Sarandon plays a recent widow from Brooklyn who moves to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter, a TV writer (Rose Byrne). This autobiographical tale co-stars J.K. Simmons and Michael McKean. Sony's DVD includes a Sarandon and Scafaria audio commentary, a gag reel, a making-of featurette, and a featurette with the "Real Marnie", Scafaria's mother Gail. Full review.
September 16, 2016 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Fox Searchlight's critically acclaimed drama A Bigger Splash, which sees four connected people get together for an unusual vacation on a scenic Italian island. Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson star in this film directed by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love). Now available, Fox's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes 8 promotional featurettes, a photo gallery, and the trailer. Our review.
September 15, 2016 - Three movies open theatrically in wide release today and we've got reviews of each.
Produced in secrecy, Blair Witch follows the iconic 1999 viral hit with a new found footage tale involving the sibling of an original documentarian and others venturing into the spooky Black Hills of Burkittsville, Maryland to see what they find. The writer and director of You're Next and The Guest serve up this untimely sequel whose true identity was only recently revealed. Our review.
The third film in the British romantic comedy series, Bridget Jones's Baby checks in with the unlucky-in-love TV reporter (Renée Zellweger) as she turns 43 and then becomes pregnant with the child of either a wealthy one-night stand (Patrick Dempsey) or her on-again, off-again flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Sharon Maguire returns to direct, while Emma Thompson joins the franchise as both a screenwriter and supporting actress. Full review.
Finally, Snowden, Oliver Stone's delayed biopic about CIA agent turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the deep-voiced title role. Co-starring Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage, this R-rated drama has divided critics and raised questions about its veracity. Read our review.
September 14, 2016 - The upbringing of sharpshooting perennial NBA all-star Kevin Durant is dramatized in the Lifetime TV movie The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story. Wanda (Cassandra Freeman) works nights for the post office and gives hair cuts on the side to provide for her two sons on her own outside of Washington D.C. Available next Tuesday, Lionsgate's DVD includes a digital copy. Full review.
September 13, 2016 - Hitting Blu-ray and DVD today, The Conjuring 2 presents another family haunting for paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) to tackle. This time, it's a divorced mother and her children who are tormented by demons in 1976 England. Warner's Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, five making-of featurettes, and Digital HD with UltraViolet. Full review.
September 11, 2016 - Our coverage of Tuesday's new discs continues with a review of the Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital HD Collector's Edition release of Captain America: Civil War, the #1 film of the year by worldwide box office. Chock-full of superheroes including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, and Vision, this epic adventure divides those powerful forces into two groups for an epic battle as part of a continuing storyline involving Captain America and his brainwashed best friend Bucky Barnes. The two-disc set includes deleted/extended scenes, four making-of featurettes, an audio commentary, gag reel, and exclusive sneak peek of Doctor Strange. Full review.
September 10, 2016 - Today's review covers this week's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD release of Now You See Me 2. A domestic underperformer but worldwide blockbuster, the follow-up to 2013's surprise hit sees magician-thief team the Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Lizzy Caplan) enlisted by a death-faking tycoon (Daniel Radcliffe) to steal a computer chip. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine reprise their supporting roles in this entertaining bit of escapism. The Summit/Lionsgate combo pack includes an audio commentary by director Jon M. Chu and three lengthy making-of featurettes. Full review.
September 9, 2016 - Expanding today, the independent comedy The Hollars looks at life for a family that comes together when the matriarch is found to have a brain tumor that requires surgery. John Krasinski directed and stars in this PG-13 Sony Pictures Classics movie alongside Richard Jenkins, Margo Martindale, Sharlto Copley, Anna Kendrick, Charlie Day, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Full film review.
September 8, 2016 - Now in theaters, Sully tells the true story of the Miracle on the Hudson. In early 2009, pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) nimbly maneuvered a failing US Airways jet on to the Hudson River. Swiftly proclaimed a hero by the world, Sully's actions are subjected to investigation. Directed by Clint Eastwood and co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney, this PG-13 drama kicks off the industry's award season in wide release today. Our film review.
Disney and Pixar have announced a November 15th release of their blockbuster Finding Dory on DVD, Blu-ray combo pack, and Blu-ray 3D combo pack. The top-grossing animated film of all time will be joined by theatrical short Piper on DVD and much more (including deleted scenes, audio commentary, and making-of featurettes) in high definition. For cover art, preorders, and full details, see the complete press release.
September 7, 2016 - Today's review looks at next week's DVD reissue of Back in Time, a 2015 documentary celebrating the Back to the Future trilogy and its fans. With interviews of Michael J. Fox, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Gale, and many more, this exhaustive film leaves little to be desired. Full review.
September 6, 2016 - Our coverage of today's new discs continues with a review of Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman's adaptation of a little-known Jane Austen epistolary novella that has the distinction of being one of the year's most acclaimed films and best-attended specialty releases. Kate Beckinsale plays a new widow looking to find a man for both herself and her daughter while relying on the kindness of relations. Sony's Blu-ray includes a making-of featurette. Full review.
September 4, 2016 - The sci-fi movie Equals is set in a future where people no longer display emotions. A man (Nicholas Hoult) gets diagnosed with Switched On Syndrome and notices a work colleague (Kristen Stewart) has been hiding symptoms that indicates she too may have the condition. After a very limited theatrical release, this A24 film co-written by director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy) and Nathan Parker (Moon) and co-starring Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver hits Blu-ray on Tuesday with an audio commentary, three making-of featurettes, and Digital HD with UltraViolet. Full review.
September 2, 2016 - Now in theaters, The Light Between Oceans adapts M.L. Stedman's 2012 novel with the story of a couple of Australian lightkeepers (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) who pass a found infant off as their own child. This PG-13 drama co-stars Rachel Weisz as the baby's biological mother. Full film review.
On DVD next week, Genius dramatizes the friendship and collaboration of author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) and editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth) in New York at the end of the 1920s. Pulled from their families, Wolfe and Perkins try to trim Wolfe's epic writings to a manageable size. Lionsgate's DVD + Digital includes two making-of featurettes. Read on...
August 8, 2016 - Better late than never! We have begun to count down the movies of 2014 from worst to first in 2014 Movies: Ranked and Reviewed. In total, two hundred films will be ranked, with a one-line assessment and a link to a full review if available. Over the next four days, we'll make our way down to #1, presenting 50 films a day. Join us in this trip down a not so distant memory lane: Part 1: #200-#151.
Recent Film Reviews:
• Hands of Stone stars Edgar Ramírez as Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán and Robert De Niro as his seasoned trainer Ray Arcel. Also featuring Usher Raymond as opponent Sugar Ray Leonard, this R-rated drama written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz opens in 810 locations. Our film review.
• Kubo and the Two Strings - Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman) extends their streak of striking stop-motion storytelling with an original film that sees a one-eyed Japanese boy along with a monkey and beetle go on an epic journey to find armor to protect him. Featuring the voices of Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey, this PG-rated Focus Features release is getting favorable reviews.
• War Dogs - Successful comedy filmmaker Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School) gets a little more serious in the true story of two young Americans (Miles Teller and Jonah Hill) who find themselves dealing arms to the US military in the mid-Noughties. A funny and absorbing film in the spirit of Goodfellas, this R-rated film also features Bradley Cooper.
• Pete's Dragon - David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) directs and co-writes a film markedly different from the 1977 musical comedy. The story of an orphan boy's friendship with a dragon is relocated to a logging town in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1970s. Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, and Karl Urban star in this dramatic adventure receiving quite good reviews.
• Sausage Party - Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg bring their crude sense of humor to the world of computer animation in this hard R-rated comedy depicting life for supermarket foods whose expectations of a better life in the Great Beyond seem to be misplaced. Rogen leads a star-studded voice cast that also includes Jonah Hill (who shares story credit), Kristen Wiig, David Krumholtz, James Franco, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, and Bill Hader.
• Florence Foster Jenkins stars Meryl Streep as the wealthy socialite whose erratic operatic singing made her infamous. Hugh Grant plays her supportive but unfaithful husband, while Simon Helberg plays her nervous accompanist. Directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen).
• Hell or High Water - A film about bank-robbing brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) and the two Texas rangers on their trail (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham). David Mackenzie (Starred Up) directs the second script by Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan.
• Suicide Squad assembles convicted villains to use their deadly skills against a threat to the public. Featuring Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto as Joker, this character-heavy film is written and directed by David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch).
• Lights Out - James Wan (The Conjuring) produces this adaptation of the 2013 online short of the same name, telling the story of a ghost who lurks in the shadows and haunts a family when it's dark. Teresa Palmer and Maria Bello star in this PG-13 movie.
• The BFG marks Steven Spielberg's first film for Walt Disney Pictures. This adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1980s novel sees a British orphan meeting a big friendly giant...and his bigger, less friendly fellow giants. Starring Academy Award winner Mark Rylance in the title role, this effects-heavy PG-rated family film opens wide in 3D.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
• Money Monster - This R-rated real-time thriller from director Jodie Foster sees a financial TV news personality (George Clooney) taken hostage at gunpoint by a young man (Jack O'Connell) disgruntled with the system. Julia Roberts and Giancarlo Esposito co-star in this drama that comes to disc next week joined by deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and a music video.
• The Jungle Book (2016) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Grossing nearly a billion dollars worldwide, Jon Favreau's big budget blockbuster features Neel Sethi as Mowgli and a talented cast lending their voices to computer-animated animals like Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), Bagheera the panther (Ben Kingsley), King Louie the orangutan (Christopher Walken), Shere Khan the tiger (Idris Elba), and Kaa the snake (Scarlett Johansson). The combo pack complements a dynamic feature presentation with an audio commentary, a substantial making-of documentary, and two featurettes.
• High-Rise (Blu-ray) - A British drama adapted from the 1975 novel by J.G. Ballard. Tom Hiddleston plays a physiology professor who moves into a lively new 40-story high-rise on the outskirts of London, only to watch the tower descend into madness following a tenant's suicide. Sienna Miller,Jeremy Irons, Elisabeth Moss, and Luke Evans co-star in this dystopian film from director Ben Wheatley. Magnolia's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, four making-of featurettes, and the trailer.
• Me Before You (Blu-ray) - Adapted from Jojo Moyes' bestselling novel, this summer hit tells the story of a British woman (Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones") who takes on a caregiving job for a quadriplegic young man (Sam Claflin, The Hunger Games sequels). As feelings develop, their plans diverge. Warner's Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, outtakes, a making-of featurette, and Digital HD with UltraViolet.
• The Phenom (Blu-ray) - Critically acclaimed but narrowly released independent drama about a major league baseball pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who consults a sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti) after his control goes haywire. Co-starring Ethan Hawke, this unrated film was written and directed by Noah Buschel. RLJ's Blu-ray includes photo galleries and a cast interview featurette.
• Maggie's Plan (Blu-ray + Digital) - Adapted and directed by Rebecca Miller, this independent comedy tells the story of Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a college administrator on the verge of having a child on her own, who instead marries an anthropology professor (Ethan Hawke) and starts a family with him before having second thoughts. Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, and Maya Rudolph co-star in this acclaimed film. Sony's release includes a Miller audio commentary, outtakes, a making-of featurette, the trailer, and a Sundance Film Festival Q & A.
• The Nice Guys (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - From Lethal Weapon writer and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, this action comedy stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as an enforcer and private eye who team up to investigate a young woman's disappearance in 1977 Los Angeles. This acclaimed film hits stores in a combo pack with two making-of featurettes.
• The Man Who Knew Infinity (Blu-ray) - This PG-13 drama stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as brilliant Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan as Jeremy Irons as his mentor at Cambridge's Trinity College. Well-attended in limited release by IFC, this Matthew Brown-directed film hits Blu-ray and DVD from Paramount.
• The Angry Birds Movie (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Adapted from the extremely popular phone video game, this animated family comedy sees Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) sentenced to anger management therapy and green pigs with nefarious plans arriving on Bird Island. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes Hatchling shorts, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and a Blake Shelton music video and dance-along.
• Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - The second pairing of the Hanna-Barbera franchise with the pro wrestling league, this one sees the Mystery Machine gang tapped by Mr. McMahon to solve a mystery of a demon racer. Warner's combo pack includes a featurette on the Monster Jam Scooby-Doo truck and episodes from two recent "Scooby-Doo" series.
• A Hologram for the King (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Tom Tykwer's adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel stars Tom Hanks as an American businessman in Saudi Arabia trying to sell the king on a teleconferencing system. Lionsgate's disc includes three substantial making-of featurettes alongside the acclaimed R-rated dramedy.
• Demolition (DVD + Digital HD) - This dramedy from Dallas Buyers Club and Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a New York investment banker whose life unravels after losing his wife in a car accident. Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper co-star in this undeperforming wide release, whose DVD includes a photo gallery and the trailer.
• Last Days in the Desert (DVD) - Ewan McGregor gets to play two extremes in a film that casts him as both Jesus and the Devil who tempts him during his time spent in Judea's desert after His baptism. Written and directed by Rodrigo García (creator of HBO's "In Treatment"), this PG-13 drama co-stars Ciarán Hinds and Tye Sheridan.
• Keanu (Blu-ray) - Sketch comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele make the leap to leading men in a comedy that finds two mild-mannered cousins posing as tough gangsters to recover their stolen kitten. This acclaimed R-rated film hits Blu-ray with a gag reel, deleted scenes, Digital HD with UltraViolet, and the featurette "Keanu: My First Movie."
• The Bronze (Blu-ray) - This racy R-rated comedy stars Melissa Rauch ("The Big Bang Theory") as Olympic bronze medalist who hasn't moved on from her glory back in 2004. The small town hero reluctantly trains an up and comer to collect a $500,000 inheritance. Co-starring Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, and Captain America's Sebastian Stan, this box office underperformer is joined by deleted scenes and a red band trailer on Blu-ray.
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