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May 22, 2015 - In theaters today, Tomorrowland is an original sci-fi adventure written by director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) and "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof. It 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. Our film review.
May 21, 2015 - Our newest review looks at American Sniper, the unlikely domestic box office champion for 2014. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this action drama 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. Now available, Warner's combo pack includes two half-hour making-of featurettes on Blu-ray. Check out our full review.
May 20, 2015 - Star Wars creator George Lucas conceived and executive produced Strange Magic, a computer-animated feature film that made little impression in nationwide theatrical release last January. It came to DVD this week (but not Blu-ray) from Touchstone Pictures Home Entertainment, who accompany the film with two short making-of featurettes. Seven-time Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan) makes his feature directing debut on this romantic comedy fantasy musical that is full of new renditions of pop songs from over the past sixty years. Rydstrom shares screenplay credit with Irene Mecchi (The Lion King, Brave) and David Berenbaum (Elf). Don't miss our DVD review.
May 18, 2015 - The romantic comedy Lovesick 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. Full review.
May 15, 2015 - "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, available next Tuesday, offers 2½ hours of highlights from 2013 and 2014. Our review.
May 14, 2015 - The 1975 movie Mahogany stars Diana Ross as a Chicago woman who aspires to be a fashion designer and instead becomes an internationally famous supermodel. Co-starring Psycho's Anthony Perkins and Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams, this drama directed by Motown Records founder Gordy Berry returned to DVD last week in The Couture Edition, which adds new fashion photography cards to the previously out-of-print DVD. Our review.
May 13, 2015 - Another new original movie from Warner Bros. Animation and DC Studios has been released this week. Born out of a Mattel toy line, Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts teams the Caped Crusader with Green Arrow, the Flash, Nightwing, and Red Robin as they do battle with a coalition of robotic animals headed by Penguin. The Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes two episodes of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold", ten DC Nation shorts, a featurette about Penguin, and an exclusive Fire Bat toy. Read our full review.
May 12, 2015 - A new Adam Sandler movie hits Blu-ray and DVD today and it's one you almost certainly did not see in theaters. The Cobbler, directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Station Agent, Up) tells the story of a fourth-generation New York City shoe repairman who discovers that footwear he resoles on an old stitcher enables him to walk around looking like the shoes' owners. Co-starring Steve Buscemi, Melonie Diaz, Ellen Barkin, Method Man, and Dustin Hoffman, this PG-13 dramedy is joined by a trailer and a 15-minute making-of featurette on Image's Blu-ray + DVD combo. Our review.
May 11, 2015 - Mr. Turner stars Timothy Spall as 19th century English painter J.M.W. Turner. Written and directed by Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky, Topsy Turvy), this period drama was nominated for four Academy Awards. Now on Blu-ray, it includes an audio commentary by Leigh, a deleted scene, the trailer, and nearly an hour's worth of making-of documentaries. Our detailed review.
May 8, 2015 - Today's new Blu-ray review looks at The Last Five Years, a feature film adaptation of an off-Broadway stage musical. It spends five years of ups and downs with a young married couple (played by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan of Broadway's Newsies). Directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You, Beautiful Creatures), this romance is joined by an interview of composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown on the Weinstein/Anchor Bay BD. Full review.
May 7, 2015 - Actor Ryan Gosling makes his writing and directing debut on Lost River, a dark drama that is now on Blu-ray and DVD after limited theatrical release. Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") plays a single mother of two trying to save her house from demolition. Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Matt Smith ("Doctor Who"), and Iain De Caestecker ("Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") also appear. Our full Blu-ray review.
May 6, 2015 - This week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment observes the silver anniversary of Goodfellas with a new two-disc Blu-ray. Martin Scorsese's classic looks at life inside an Italian-American New York organized crime family. Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino star in this much-celebrated film, which is joined by a brand new half-hour documentary, a companion book, and Digital HD in addition to the hours of audio commentaries, retrospective featurettes, and animated shorts that accompanied it in previous editions. Full review.
May 5, 2015 - Selma, nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and winner for Best Original Song, is now on Blu-ray and DVD. From director Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere), this drama tells of the fight for equal voting rights, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo). Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes two audio commentaries, 25 minutes of deleted scenes, two making-of featurettes, historical newsreels and images, and more. Our full review.
Two readers will win the Selma Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack in our new giveaway. Enter daily now through May 18th to increase your odds. Full details.
May 2, 2015 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at this week's Criterion Collection release of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Adapted from the George V. Higgins novel of the same name, this 1973 drama stars Robert Mitchum in the title role of a gangster family man who considers turning "fink" to avoid a New Hampshire jail sentence. Criterion includes an audio commentary by director Peter Yates (Breaking Away), a stills gallery, and a thick booklet consisting of an essay and a set report originally published in Rolling Stone. Our full review.
May 1, 2015 - The summer movie season kicks off today with the North American theatrical release of 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. Full film review.
April 30, 2015 - Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master) adapts an unfilmable Thomas Pynchon novel in Inherent Vice, a loopy mystery set in 1970 Los Angeles. Joaquin Phoenix plays "Doc" Sportello, a hippie licensed private eye asked to make sense of a twisted puzzle involving his ex girlfriend (Katherine Waterston), a missing musician (Owen Wilson), an unfaithful real estate tycoon (Eric Roberts), and an international drug cartel. Now available, Warner's colorfully-packaged Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo includes only four shorts as bonus features. Full review.
April 29, 2015 - Mark Wahlberg produces and stars in The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 James Caan movie of the same name. Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett, a college literature professor who has a week to pay back the six figure debt he has accrued in high stakes blackjack games. Co-starring John Goodman, Brie Larson, and Jessica Lange, this R-rated drama hails from director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Oscar-winning The Departed screenwriter William Monahan. Now available, Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes over twenty minutes of deleted and extended scenes plus an hour of additional video extras on Blu-ray. Our review.
April 27, 2015 - The Barber stars Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs) as a small-town barber who might just have a secret past as a notorious Chicago area serial killer. A month after limited theatrical release, this R-rated thriller hits Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow from ARC Entertainment, joined by deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, and a trailer. Our BD review.
April 23, 2015 - Two years before helming The Third Man, Carol Reed directed Odd Man Out, a noir about a prison escapee and chief of a criminal organization in Northern Ireland (James Mason) who gets stranded after being wounded in a heist. Now available, Criterion's Blu-ray includes a number of interviews, a 1952 radio adaptation, and a 1972 documentary about James Mason's British hometown, hosted by the actor. Read our review.
April 22, 2015 - Kidnapping Mr. Heineken dramatizes the 1983 abduction of the Dutch brewing magnate. Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, and Ryan Kwanten star as three of the commoners who take the businessman (Anthony Hopkins) and demand a huge ransom for his safe return. Now available, Alchemy's Blu-ray includes six deleted scenes and a trailer. Full review.
April 21, 2015 - U Turn, Oliver Stone's twisted 1997 thriller is now on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. A drifter in debt (Sean Penn) gets stranded in the small desert town of Superior, Arizona, needing to raise the $200 he needs to get his 1964½ Mustang convertible back from a dirty mechanic (Billy Bob Thornton). Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, and Claire Danes co-star. Twilight Time's disc includes a new Stone commentary and introduction, another commentary, the original trailer, and an essay booklet. Full review.
April 20, 2015 - Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner star in The Immigrant, a 2014 film you probably missed and certainly shouldn't. Directed and co-written by James Gray (We Own the Night), this period drama follows a Polish immigrant (Cotillard) to New York, where she is aided by a theater manager (Phoenix) of dubious intentions. Renner plays a magician who catches the immigrant's eye while the threat of deportation looms. Now available, the Weinstein/Anchor Bay Blu-ray includes a terrific audio commentary by Gray plus two short video bonuses. Our full review.
April 17, 2015 - Set in 1981 New York, A Most Violent Year centers on a self-made businessman (Oscar Isaac) whose company's trucks are being targeted and robbed. Co-starring Golden Globe-nominated Jessica Chastain as his wife and Albert Brooks, this crime drama written and directed by J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) is now on Blu-ray, joined by an audio commentary, a 44-minute making-of documentary, deleted scenes, three conversations between the two lead actors, and Digital HD UltraViolet. Our full review.
April 15, 2015 - Batman vs. Robin, the latest entry to the DC Universe line of PG-13 direct-to-video movies, is now available to own. A sequel to Son of Batman, this sees Damian Wayne, the new Robin, courted by Talon, while Batman's businessman alter ego is pursued by the mysterious Court of Owls. Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Limited Edition Gift Set includes a Batman figurine, four classic DC cartoon episodes, two making-of featurettes, a vintage Bugs Bunny short, and a preview of the next Justice League movie. Full review.
April 13, 2015 - Today's new review looks at this week's Blu-ray + Digital HD release of Big Eyes. From director Tim Burton and the two screenwriters of Ed Wood, this Golden Globe-winning film tells the remarkable true story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), whose smooth-talking husband (Christoph Waltz) took credit for her popular, lucrative large-eyed paintings. Weinstein and Anchor Bay include over 30 minutes of highlights from two Q & A sessions with the cast, crew, and real Keane plus a 22-minute making-of featurette. Full review.
April 12, 2015 - Cries and Whispers, a 1970s drama written and directed by Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal), recently reached Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, this intimate character study looks at three women who are present for a dying woman in the early 1900s. In addition to treating the Best Cinematography-winning visuals to a dazzling new restoration, the loaded disc includes an introduction and extended interview of Bergman, 34 minutes of on-set footage, and a new video essay by ::kogonada. Our review.
April 9, 2015 - Before making The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle, David O. Russell directed Accidental Love. This political comedy was shot in 2008 with the working title Nailed. It went unfinished until recently and finally materialized this year. Adapted from the novel by Al Gore's daughter, the movie stars Jessica Biel as an Indiana waitress who gets a nail embedded in her brain and Jake Gyllenhaal as the charismatic congressman she thinks can help her get it out. Available on April 28th, Millennium's Blu-ray includes the film's trailer. Full review.
April 8, 2015 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers Singles, the second film directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire). This early '90s ensemble comedy looks at the love lives of young people in Seattle (played by the likes of Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillon). Now available, Warner's disc adds a staggering 51 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, full live concert performances by Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and a gag reel to the film's original trailer. Our review.
April 7, 2015 - Empire Records is now on Blu-ray. Spending an eventful day at an independent record store on the verge of being swallowed up by a giant chain, this 1995 comedy features some of the earliest performances of Liv Tyler and Renιe Zellweger. Warner's Blu-ray holds the theatrical cut as well as four deleted scenes, three music videos, and the film's trailer. Full review.
April 4, 2015 - The highly acclaimed 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams is now on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Directed by Steve James (Life Itself), the movie follows Arthur Agee and William Gates two inner city teens from Chicago who dream of playing professional basketball and might just be good enough to do it. Criterion's Blu-ray includes a new follow-up documentary, twenty minutes of deleted scenes, two audio commentaries, excerpts from Siskel and Ebert's coverage of the film, two trailers and an essay booklet. Full review.
April 3, 2015 - Expanding today from last week's successful four-theater debut is While We're Young, a new comedy written and directed by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Frances Ha, Greenberg). The movie stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged New York couple that befriends a younger married couple (played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) and rediscovers the joys of spontaneity and childless socialization. Our film review.
Recent Film Reviews:
Get Hard - R-rated comedy casts Will Ferrell as a wealthy financial industry executive facing a long jail sentence for fraud and Kevin Hart as the small business owner he mistakes for an ex-con, who agrees to train him for prison. Screenwriter Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Idiocracy) makes his directing debut with a screenplay he shares credit with "Key & Peele" showrunners Jay Martel and Ian Roberts.
Cinderella (2015) - One of several live-action remakes of Disney animated classics we'll be seeing over the next few years, this lavish non-musical production is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and stars Lily James in the title role and Cate Blanchett as wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. The film is preceded by Frozen Fever, a brand new animated short from the makers of Frozen centering on Elsa's cold-addled plans for Anna's birthday.
Chappie - The third film written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium), it tells the story of a damaged South African police robot who is gifted sentience by his young inventor (Dev Patel) who developed an artificial intelligence protocol. Also featuring Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, and two members of the South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord, this R-rated sci-fi action film looks to disappoint in over 3,000 locations nationwide.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
Outcast (Blu-ray) - Hayden Christensen and Nicolas Cage play warriors of the Middle Ages who reunite three years after the Crusades to protect royal Asian siblings who have been framed for their father's murder. eOne's Blu-ray includes a trailer, a making-of featurette, and nearly an hour of interviews with the two stars and first-time director Nick Powell.
Interstellar (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - The ninth film directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), this original science fiction epic is set in a near-future in which the future of the human race may depend on finding another inhabitable planet. Matthew McConaughey stars as a widowed farmer who goes on a NASA expedition to three potentially sustainable planets. Co-starring Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, and Matt Damon, this PG-13 blockbuster, the winner of the Best Visual Effects Oscar, is joined by over three hours of extras plus a collectible IMAX film cell in Paramount's combo pack.
The Imitation Game (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and nominated for seven others, this drama tells the true story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), a genius whose contributions to England's code-breaking efforts during World War II were incalculable. Co-starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, and Charles Dance, this film hits Blu-ray tomorrow joined by filmmakers' audio commentary, two deleted scenes, highlights from three cast and crew Q & A sessions, and a making-of featurette.
The Rewrite (Blu-ray) - Hugh Grant reteams with Marc Lawrence, the writer-director of Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, and Did You Hear About the Morgans? on a comedy which heads to Blu-ray and DVD this week after a minimal US theatrical release. Grant plays a washed-up screenwriter who takes a teaching job at Binghamton University in upstate New York. Co-starring Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Chris Elliott, and Bella Heathcote, this unrated film hits disc from Image Entertainment with deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and the trailer.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (Blu-ray 3D/2D + DVD + Digital HD) - Narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by veteran cinematographer David Douglas, this 41-minute film is joined by a number of featurettes on Blu-ray, three of which also make it to DVD.
88 (Blu-ray) - Revenge thriller follows a young woman (Katharine Isabelle) wrestling with fugue state amnesia as she tries to figure out how she got where she is and what she must do. Co-starring Christopher Lloyd and Michael Ironside, this unrated low-budget indie is now available on Blu-ray from Millennium Entertainment, who include a 37-minute documentary and 3-minute short on the making of the film.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Another epic Peter Jackson fantasy trilogy adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien ends, as Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and others clash over jewels and more. Warner's combo pack consists of five discs, with the movie split in two on Blu-ray 3D and getting a bonus features disc on Blu-ray. Extras include a music video and making-of featurette for Billy Boyd's series-closing "The Last Goodbye", another celebration of the scenic New Zealand filming locations, and two featurettes that treat the film as the end of a six-film, seventeen-year journey.
Into the Woods (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Adapted by James Lapine from the award-winning 1980s Broadway musical he wrote with Stephen Sondheim, this Disney film from director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) blends the tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel to tell the story of a couple who seeks to undo the witch's curse that has kept them childless. Nominated for three Academy Awards including Meryl Streep for Supporting Actress (her record-setting 19th nomination), this Christmas Day opener is now on Blu-ray with a deleted original song performed by Streep and a number of making-of featurettes.
Top Five (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Chris Rock wrote, directed, and stars in this comedy about a stand-up comic turned movie star who is trying to reinvent himself as a dramatic actor. Co-starring Rosario Dawson and featuring Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, JB Smoove, Cedric the Entertainer and a host of entertainers playing themselves, this acclaimed film is treated to a Paramount combo pack with deleted scenes, audio commentaries, making-of featurettes, and more.
Annie (2014) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Quvenzhanι Wallis, the youngest acting nominee in Academy Award history, plays the title role of a cheery New York City orphan who gets to live with Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a billionaire tycoon and mayoral candidate. Co-starring Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan, this present-day musical updates the '70s stage play's songs and adds some original ones. Extras include a deleted song, bloopers, an audio commentary by director/co-writer Will Gluck, five sing-along songs, and much more.
The Breakfast Club (30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Written and directed by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), this high school dramedy tells the story of five students from different social circles who spend a Saturday together in detention. This newly remastered edition adds a trivia track to extras that include a 51-minute making-of retrospective, an audio commentary by actors Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall, and the original theatrical trailer.
Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - The sixth and final film in the best-selling Disney Fairies franchise sees Fawn befriending a monster who could be a threat to Pixie Hollow. Disney's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, a Jeff Corwin-hosted guide to "Real-World NeverBeasts", and a bonus song by Fawn about animal group names.
"The Red Road": The Complete First Season - Set in rural New Jersey, the Sundance original series centers on the families of a deputy police officer (Martin Henderson) and a Native American ex-con (Jason Momoa). Now available in advance of Season 2's premiere, Anchor Bay's two-disc DVD holds all six episodes plus a number of making-of featurettes.
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