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July 31, 2015 - Now in theaters, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation sees the Impossible Missions Force disgraced and dissolved, leaving Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his colleagues (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames) to try to thwart the Syndicate on their own. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), who wrote the screenplay with Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), this exciting fifth installment in the spy action series opens nationwide to glowing reviews today. Here's our critique.
Expanding in theaters today is Irrational Man, Woody Allen's film for 2015. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a world-weary philosophy professor who catches the eye of both a student (Emma Stone) and a faculty member (Parker Posey) while discovering a challenge to make him feel alive. Our film review.
July 30, 2015 - Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the latest entry to the long line of DC Universe original animated movies, gives us an alternate reality where Superman is the son of General Zod, Batman is a bit of a vampire, and Wonder Woman has her husband killed on her wedding day. Now available, this PG-13 effort is joined by two episodes of past DC Comics animated series, two making-of featurettes, an old featurette on "The New Gods", and a sneak peek at Batman: Bad Blood. Our full review.
July 29, 2015 - In theaters today, Vacation revives the National Lampoon's comedy film franchise, with Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his wife (Christina Applegate) and two sons (Steele Stebbins and Skyler Gisondo) on a road trip to California's Wally World theme park, just like the one his family took thirty years ago. Also featuring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Leslie Mann, and Chris Hemsworth, this R-rated sequel is written and directed by Horrible Bosses scribes Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. Our movie review.
July 28, 2015 - Russell Crowe makes his narrative directing feature debut on The Water Diviner, a drama that stars him as an Australian man looking for his three sons' remains in Gallipoli four years after the World War I battle. Co-starring Olga Kurylenko as a war-widowed hotel owner, this limited release R-rated drama hits Blu-ray today with two making-of featurettes and Digital HD with UltraViolet. Our review.
July 25, 2015 - Director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The 'Burbs, Small Soldiers, Innerspace) returns to horror-comedy on Burying the Ex. This new film stars Anton Yelchin as Max, a Los Angeles man whose live-in girlfriend (Ashley Greene) dies before he can break up with her. Death proves to be but a doorway, when she rises from the grave, instantly complicating Max's new romance with an ice cream shop owner (Alexandra Daddario). A month after its limited theatrical release and a week before coming to DVD everywhere, the R-rated movie hits Blu-ray on Tuesday from Image Entertainment exclusively at Best Buy. Our Blu-ray review.
July 24, 2015 - Disney and Marvel have scheduled a Friday, October 2nd Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD release for Avengers: Age of Ultron. The blockbuster sequel will be joined by deleted scenes, a gag reel, an audio commentary, and making-of featurettes on the Blu-ray, which will sport a red keepcase. See the press release for cover art, preorders, and full details.
Adapted from the 2010 online short of the same name, Pixels sees classic arcade characters attacking the world, leaving video gamers of the '80s (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage) to try to save us. Directed by Chris Columbus, this 3D sci-fi action comedy co-stars Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, and Sean Bean. Full review.
In theaters today, Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an undefeated light heavyweight champion boxer who loses everything and struggles to win some of it back. Written by "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), this dark drama co-stars Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Oona Laurence, and Rachel McAdams. Our movie review.
July 23, 2015 - The universally acclaimed New Zealand comedy What We Do in the Shadows is now on Blu-ray and DVD. Written and directed by Jemaine Clement ("Flight of the Conchords") and Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark), this mockumentary looks at life for centuries-old vampires sharing a house in a suburb of Wellington. Distributed by Paramount, the Blu-ray includes a commentary by the writers-directors-stars, deleted scenes, character interviews, and the original half-hour 2005 short on which the film is based. Full review.
July 21, 2015 - Warner Bros. has announced a September 1st Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD release for Mad Max: Fury Road. The highly acclaimed new sequel to George Miller's post-apocalyptic action franchise, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, will be made available on a 2-disc DVD and in multi-disc combo packs with deleted scenes and six making-of featurettes. For cover artwork, preorders, and full details, see the official press release.
July 20, 2015 - My Beautiful Laundrette comes to Blu-ray this week from The Criterion Collection. Directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena), this 1985 British drama features an early performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as a Cockney street punk who helps a friend/lover revive a decrepit London laundromat. Criterion's Blu-ray includes brand new interviews with Frears, Oscar-nominated writer Hanif Kureishi, producers Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe, and cinematographer Oliver Stapleton as well as the trailer and an essay booklet. Full review.
July 17, 2015 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Ex Machina, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland. This sci-fi thriller send a young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) to the remote research facility of a brilliant, wealthy search engine founder (Oscar Isaac), whose work with artificial intelligence (Alicia Vikander) he puts to the test. Now available, Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition includes a 40-minute making-of documentary, an hour-long Q & A session from SXSW, and an additional half-hour of behind-the-scenes vignettes. Our review.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and closes its second phase with Ant-Man. Now in theaters, this adventure sees ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) transformed into a hero with the help of a suit that can shrink him down to the size of a bug. Co-starring Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, and Bobby Cannavale, the film is directed by Peyton Reed (The Break-Up) and written by Edgar Wrighta nd others. Our full film review.
July 16, 2015 - Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloλ Grace Moretz star in Clouds of Sils Maria. Binoche plays Maria Enders, a 40-year-old accomplished stage and screen actress who signs up for a revival of the play that made her famous, this time in the elder lead's role. Released theatrically by IFC, this drama written and directed by France's Olivier Assayas hit DVD this week from Paramount with no extras. Our review.
July 14, 2015 - Dawn Patrol stars The Longest Rider's Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) as a California surfer who exacts revenge for a family tragedy and ends up a remorseful Navy man. Co-starring Rita Wilson, Kim Matula, and Jeff Fahey, this unrated drama directed by Beverly Hills Cop writer Daniel Petrie Jr. is available on DVD today from Alchemy. Full review.
July 13, 2015 - One of 2015's best-reviewed films, the low-budget horror movie It Follows sees Jay (Maika Monroe) slowly, silently pursued by an otherworldly presence resembling various people. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, this word-of-mouth Dimension Films hit comes to Blu-ray with a critics' audio commentary, an interview of composer Disasterpeace, the trailer, a poster gallery, and Digital HD. Don't miss our review.
Our coverage of this week's new Blu-ray and DVD releases begins with a look at Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, an untimely follow-up to the hit 2009 Kevin James comedy. In it, the hefty Segway-riding security guard heads to Las Vegas for a convention and also finds high-tech criminals with a theft plot he must stop. Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes a gag reel, deleted scenes, a photo gallery, and eight making-of featurettes. Read our review.
July 9, 2015 - The drama Woman in Gold tells the true story of the crusade led by Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) and Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to have a famous Klimt painting restored to the family of the Austrian Jew it depicts. Directed by My Week with Marilyn's Simon Curtis and co-starring Daniel Brόhl, this Weinstein film is now available to own in a Blu-ray + Digital HD which includes an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, a 2015 press conference at the Neue Galerie in New York, and a trailer for the kindred documentary Stealing Klimt. Our review.
July 7, 2015 - Twenty years after its theatrical release, Virtuosity hits Blu-ray for the first time today. This 1995 thriller stars Denzel Washington as a former LAPD detective convicted of murder who is let out of prison to track down an artificially intelligent madman (Russell Crowe) digitally programmed with the personalities of 200 serial killers. Co-starring Kelly Lynch, this Paramount movie hits high definition from Warner. Read our review.
Our newest Blu-ray review looks at State of Grace, a 1990 drama centering on a young man (Sean Penn) who returns to the Irish-American New York crime family he used to run with. Featuring Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, and Robin Wright, this Orion Pictures film has hit Blu-ray from Twilight Time with an audio commentary by director Phil Joanou, an isolated track of Ennio Morricone's score, and the original trailer. Full review.
July 5, 2015 - Chappie, the third film from District 9 and Elysium writer-director Neill Blomkamp, is our latest Blu-ray review subject. The sci-fi action film tells the story of a rejected police robot given sentience and then raised by a pair of South African gangsters (rap-rave duo Die Antwoord). Also featuring Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, and Hugh Jackman, the R-rated flop is joined by an alternate ending, an extended scene, and over an hour of featurettes in Sony's now-available Blu-ray + Digital HD release. Our thorough review.
July 1, 2015 - Vanilla Sky, Cameron Crowe's hit 2001 English language remake of the Spanish film Abre los Ojos, finally came to Blu-ray this week. Starring Tom Cruise as a New York publisher whose life is turned upside down after falling in love with a dancer (Penιlope Cruz, reprising her role), this reality-bending romantic drama hits high definition with a new alternate ending edit (complete with an updated audio commentary), over a half-hour of deleted scenes, and a bevy of bonuses from the days of DVD. Don't miss our full review.
Now in theaters, Terminator Genisys revisits and reworks some of the lore of the sci-fi action franchise launched by James Cameron's 1984 film. In 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends back Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), only to find that she already has a guardian in the form of the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Alan Taylor ("Game of Thrones", Thor: The Dark World) directs this fifth installment, penned by Shutter Island's Laeta Kalogridis and Dracula 2000's Patrick Lussier. Our film review.
Expanding today is Infinitely Polar Bear, an indie dramedy starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana as heads of a destitute interracial family in 1978 Boston. While Maggie (Saldana) is attending business school in New York, bipolar Cam (Ruffalo) tries to raise their two young daughters single-handedly. The autobiographical tale is written and directed by Maya Forbes. Full review.
June 29, 2015 - Our coverage of this week's new discs begins with Danny Collins, the directorial debut of seasoned screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Last Vegas, Tangled). It tells the story of a popular aging rock star (Al Pacino) whose life is changed by receiving a handwritten letter from John Lennon penned more than forty years ago. Co-starring Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening, and Bobby Cannavale, this R-rated limited release drama hits home video this week with a making-of featurette and album cover gallery in Universal's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack. Our review.
June 23, 2015 - Survivor pits an American security officer (Milla Jovovich) against an international assassin (Pierce Brosnan). From V for Vendetta director James McTeigue, this PG-13 thriller co-stars Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett, and Robert Forster. It hits Blu-ray and DVD today, joined by deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and the trailer. Full review.
June 22, 2015 - The action thriller Run All Night stars Liam Neeson as Jimmy Conlon, a longtime New York hitman who finds himself on the run after saving the life of his estranged son (Joel Kinnaman). Ed Harris, Vincent D'Onofrio, Nick Nolte, and Common co-star in this R-rated film from director Jaume Collet-Sera (Unknown, Non-Stop). Now available, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes two making-of featurettes and 16 minutes of deleted/extended scenes. Our complete review.
June 19, 2015 - We have two new theatrical film reviews today. Most importantly, there is Inside Out, Pixar Animation Studios' first original movie in three years. Set inside the mind of a young girl, this imaginative adventure centers on the five emotions -- Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust -- that control her mood. It is the best film of 2015 so far. Full review.
The other new release is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, an independent dramedy that won both Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Adapted from Jesse Andrews' novel, the film centers on senior year of high school for two moviemaking friends and a classmate diagnosed with leukemia. Read more....
June 18, 2015 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Wild Tales, a nominee for the 2014 Foreign Language Film Oscar. This Argentine anthology from writer-director Damiαn Szifrσn tells six stories involving revenge and retribution. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray includes a making-of documentary, Szifrσn's remarks at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the trailer. Full review.
June 17, 2015 - Making its Blu-ray debut this week is My Dinner with Andre, the 1981 film that sits down with Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory for a passionate dinner conversation in an upscale restaurant. Written by its stars and directed by Louis Malle (Atlantic City), this unconventional film is joined by 2009 interviews of its stage-seasoned actors and Shawn's 1982 BBC interview of Malle plus an essay booklet in The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray Disc. Full review.
June 15, 2015 - The independent film Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig as an Oprah-loving California woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the state lottery and uses her millions to have her own talk show. After a limited theatrical release, this R-rated comedy hits Blu-ray and DVD this week, joined by a making-of featurette and trailer. Our Blu-ray review.
June 14, 2015 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers the recent debut of 1776. Adapted from the Tony-winning Broadway musical, this 1972 film tells the story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with founding fathers John Adams (William Daniels), Benjamin Franklin (Howard Da Silva), and Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard) all getting to sing. Sony's Blu-ray + Digital HD release treats the director's and extended cuts of the movie to a 4K-mastered transfer. Extras include two audio commentaries (one new), screen tests, and original trailers. Full review.
June 12, 2015 - Disney has scheduled a September 15th Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) release for its 2015 blockbuster Cinderella. This live-action remake of the animated fairy tale will be joined by a number of bonus features including the short Frozen Fever, an alternate opening (see it here!), and five DMA-exclusive deleted scenes introduced by Kenneth Branagh. For full details, cover art, and preorders, check out the press release.
Recent Film Reviews:
Jurassic World - With Isla Nublar now flourishing as a functional amusement park, two brothers visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), while she oversees some worst case scenarios when a genetically engineered, ridiculously advanced, highly dangerous hybrid dinosaur gets loose. Also starring Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, and Jake Johnson, this sequel/reboot opens to enormous commercial expectations and lightly favorable reviews.
Tomorrowland - This original sci-fi adventure written by director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) and "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof centers on a teenaged girl (Britt Robertson) who obtains a pin with the power to teleport her to a promising future different than the one her planet currently faces. George Clooney and Hugh Laurie also appear in this PG-rated Disney movie.
Avengers: Age of Ultron - Marvel's superhero dream team returns in full, this time facing a peace-keeping artificial intelligence program that intends to keep peace by wiping out humanity. Besides ushering in change for the franchise's roster, the sequel introduces enhanced siblings the Maximoffs.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
Project Almanac (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Found footage film sees a group of teenagers discovering time travel...and then using it to have fun! But there are consequences! Produced by Michael Bay, this low-budget adventure is now available in a combo pack with alternate openings and endings, deleted and extended scenes, and $10 of movie cash.
McFarland, USA (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Disney adds to its tradition of inspirational true sports dramas with the story of a poor, predominantly Mexican-American city's state title-winning 1987 cross country team. Kevin Costner stars in this film from Whale Rider director Niki Caro. The disc includes deleted and extended scenes, a featurette with Costner and the real team, and a Juanes music video.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - This sequel reunites three of the 2010 comedy's four guys (Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, and Craig Robinson), this time taking them to the future, where they try to solve and stop one of them from being shot in the present. Paramount's combo pack includes theatrical and unrated cuts, audio commentary, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, and a host of making-of featurettes.
"Survivor's Remorse": The Complete First Season - This half-hour Starz original series tells the story of Cam Calloway, a professional basketball player who has recently gone from rags to riches. He and his family navigate his new world of wealth, fame, and PR obligations. Anchor Bay's lightweight two-disc DVD holds the first six episodes plus a "Meet the Cast" featurette.
Jupiter Ascending (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - The Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas) try their hands at crafting some original science fiction. Mila Kunis plays a Chicago maid who discovers she is considered Earth royalty and sought by an important family from a distant planet. Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, and Eddie Redymayne co-star in this PG-13 movie. Warner's combo pack includes 7 featurettes running over an hour on Blu-ray.
Focus (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Comic drama stars Will Smith and The Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie as a pair of con artists whose paths cross. From writers-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa, Crazy, Stupid, Love.), this R-rated winter theatrical release is joined by deleted scenes, an alternate opening, and three making-of featurettes in Warner's combo pack.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Though it looks like a bold departure for Nickelodeon's long-running franchise, this box office hit actually features traditional 2D animation for the majority of its runtime. SpongeBob and rival underwater restaurateur Plankton team up to try to rescue the missing top secret formula for the beloved Krabby Patty. They only reach the surface in 3D computer animation for about 20 minutes to do battle with our pirate narrator Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas). Paramount's combo pack is loaded with Blu-ray extras including deleted/alternate scenes, music videos, sing-alongs, making-of content, and a couple of oceanographic featurettes.
Leviathan (Blu-ray) - Academy Award-nominated Russian film from director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) tells the story of a family trying to hold onto their seaside home on a plot of land a corrupt mayor is planning to develop. Sony's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, a making-of documentary, the director's remarks from the Toronto International Film Festival, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and the US trailer.
Richard III (Blu-ray). Adapted from the Royal National Theatre's early 1990s stage production and Shakespeare's historical play, this R-rated 1995 drama casts co-writer Ian McKellen in the title role as a monstrous man assuming the throne in a fictionalized facist version of 1930s England. Also featuring Robert Downey Jr., Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, Annette Bening, and Kristin Scott Thomas, this film has reached Blu-ray from Twilight Time, who include an essay booklet, original trailer, and isolated music and effects track.
Love, Rosie (DVD) - Adapted from the novel Where Rainbows End by author Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You), the British romantic comedy stars Lily Collins (The Blind Side) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as lifelong best friends who keep missing opportunities to be more than that.
Sons of Liberty (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - History's 2015 miniseries takes dramatic license with the story of America's founding fathers. This 3-part, 5-hour production stars Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) as Sam Adams, Henry Thomas (E.T.) as John Adams, Marton Csokas (The Equalizer) as General Gage, Dean Norris ("Breaking Bad") as Benjamin Franklin, Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) as John Hancock, and Jason O'Mara ("Life on Mars") as George Washington. Lionsgate's two-disc set includes three making-of featurettes.
Still Alice (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as a 50-year-old Columbia University linguistics professor whose world is rocked when diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. The diagnosis brings swift change to the academic and her family (played by Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth). On Blu-ray from Sony, this PG-13 drama is accompanied by three deleted scenes, three making-of featurettes, Digital HD UltraViolet, and the trailer.
American Sniper (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Directed by Clint Eastwood, 2014's unlikely box office champ tells the true story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL responsible for more kills than any other sniper in US military history. Bradley Cooper produces and earned his third consecutive Oscar acting nomination for his performance as Kyle. Warner's combo pack includes two half-hour making-of featurettes on Blu-ray.
Strange Magic (DVD) - Star Wars creator George Lucas conceived and executive produced this computer-animated jukebox musical that bombed in nationwide theatrical release late January. Seven-time Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan) makes his feature directing debut on this romantic comedy fantasy full of new renditions of pop songs from over the past sixty years. Touchstone's DVD (there is no Blu-ray) includes two short making-of featurettes.
Lovesick - This new romantic comedy stars Matt LeBlanc ("Friends", "Episodes") as an elementary school principal who goes off the deep end when he's in love. Co-starring Ali Larter as his love interest and Adam Rodriguez as his friend/the film's narrator, and also featuring Rachael Harris, Kristen Johnston, and Chevy Chase, this unrated film hits DVD this week after a very limited theatrical engagement.
"COPS": Wildest Chases - Compiles seven episodes from the long-running documentary series that now airs on Spike. From drug couples and wayward teens to a runaway boy and poker player suspected of DUI, this DVD offers 2½ hours of highlights from 2013 and 2014.
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