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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.
Universal revives the Jurassic Park franchise with today's theatrical release of 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 expectationsa nd lightly favorable reviews. Here's ours.
June 11, 2015 - The found footage film Project Almanac 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 Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack with alternate openings and endings, deleted and extended scenes, and $10 of movie cash. Our full revievw.
June 9, 2015 - Disney continues its tradition of inspirational true sports dramas with McFarland, USA, 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. Now available, Disney's Blu-ray + Digital HD release includes deleted and extended scenes, a featurette with Costner and the real team, and a Juanes music video. Our review.
June 7, 2015 - Hot Tub Time Machine 2 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. After flopping in theaters, this Paramount sequel is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack with theatrical and unrated cuts, audio commentary, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, and a host of making-of featurettes. Our review.
June 6, 2015 - Our newest DVD review covers the upcoming general retail release of "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. Available June 16th, Anchor Bay's lightweight two-disc set holds the first six episodes plus a "Meet the Cast" featurette. Our review.
June 5, 2015 - Disney has officially announced an August 18th Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD release of Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection. The set will assemble twelve shorts from the 2000s, including Oscar winners Feast, and Paperman, nominees Lorenzo, Get a Horse!, and The Little Matchgirl, and the spin-offs of Tangled and Frozen. Extras will include all-new intros from the filmmakers, the 1995 Oscar-nominated Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain, and a new featurette "@DisneyAnimation: A Short Story on Shorts." Read all about this set and its contents, browse a gallery of images, watch the trailer, and preorder as part of the press release.
June 4, 2015 - Jupiter Ascending sees 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. Now available, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack includes 7 featurettes running over an hour on Blu-ray. Our full review.
June 2, 2015 - Our coverage of today's new discs continues with a review of Focus. This 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 Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack. Our review.
June 1, 2015 - Though it looks like a bold departure for Nickelodeon's long-running franchise, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 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). Available tomorrow, Paramount's Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD 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. Don't miss our full review.
May 30, 2015 - Leviathan, an Academy Award-nominated Foreign Language Film from Russia, is our newest Blu-ray review subject. This drama 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. Now available, 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. Our review.
May 28, 2015 - Today's Blu-ray review looks at the 1995 film Richard III. Adapted from the Royal National Theatre's early 1990s stage production and Shakespeare's historical play, this R-rated 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. Full review.
May 27, 2015 - Adapted from the novel Where Rainbows End by author Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You), the British romantic comedy Love, Rosie 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. After a limited winter theatrical release, the film is now on DVD from Paramount. Our review.
May 26, 2015 - In this slow week for home video, we take a look at just one of today's new Blu-ray releases: Sons of Liberty. 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 Blu-ray + Digital HD includes three making-of featurettes. Full review.
Warner Bros. has scheduled an August 4th Blu-ray and DVD release date for The Casual Vacancy, the BBC/HBO miniseries adapted from the first adult novel by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The three-part, three-hour miniseries centers on a seemingly idyllic English village that is full of internal conflict. The single-disc Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD editions will each include the featurettes "An Introduction to The Casual Vacancy", "Adapting The Casual Vacancy", and "Casting The Casual Vacancy." Click here for cover art and preorders.
May 22, 2015 - Still Alice won Julianne Moore the Academy Award for Best Actress. Moore plays a 50-year-old Columbia University linguistics professor whose world is rocked when she is 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). Now available 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. Full review.
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.
Recent Film Reviews:
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:
The Cobbler (Blu-ray + DVD) - 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 (Adam Sandler) 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 combo.
Mr. Turner (Blu-ray) - Timothy Spall plays 19th century English painter J.M.W. Turner in this dramedy from writer-director Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky, Topsy Turvy), nominated for four Academy Awards. 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.
The Last Five Years (Blu-ray) - This feature film adaptation of an off-Broadway stage musical 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.
Lost River (Blu-ray) - Ryan Gosling makes his writing and directing debut on this dark drama starring Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") as 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.
Goodfellas (25th Anniversary Blu-ray + Digital HD) - 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.
Selma (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and winner of Best Original Song, this drama from director Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) tells of the fight for equal voting rights, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo). Paramount's combo pack includes two audio commentaries, 25 minutes of deleted scenes, two making-of featurettes, historical newsreels and images, and more.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - 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.
Inherent Vice (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master) adapts an unfilmable Thomas Pynchon novel in this 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. Warner's colorfully-packaged combo includes only four shorts as bonus features.
The Gambler (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Mark Wahlberg produces and stars in this remake of the 1974 James Caan movie of the same name. Wahlberg plays 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. Paramount's combo pack includes over twenty minutes of deleted and extended scenes plus an hour of additional video extras on Blu-ray.
The Barber (Blu-ray) - Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs) plays a small-town barber who might just have a secret past as a notorious Chicago area serial killer. On Blu-ray limited theatrical release, this R-rated thriller is joined by deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, and a trailer.
Odd Man Out (The Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - Two years before helming The Third Man, Carol Reed directed 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. 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.
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (Blu-ray) - Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, and Ryan Kwanten star in this dramatization of the 1983 abduction of the Dutch brewing magnate (Anthony Hopkins). Now available, Alchemy's Blu-ray includes six deleted scenes and a trailer.
U Turn (Blu-ray) - In Oliver Stone's twisted 1997 thriller, 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.
The Immigrant (Blu-ray) - Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner star in 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. Weinstein/Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes a terrific audio commentary by Gray plus two short video bonuses.
A Most Violent Year (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - Set in 1981 New York, this drama 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, and three conversations between the two lead actors.
Batman vs. Robin (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Limited Edition Gift Set) - A sequel to Son of Batman,
this latest entry to the DC Universe line of PG-13 direct-to-video movies 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.
Big Eyes (Blu-ray + Digital HD) - 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.
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