UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: March 1-15, 2010: News Archives
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March 15, 2010 - Making a quick trip from theaters to video, Did You Hear About the Morgans? hits stores tomorrow and we have a review of the DVD tonight. Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker star as the titular couple, separated Manhattanites who get relocated to Wyoming after witnessing a murder. Hosting them in the heartland are Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen, while Wilford Brimley also makes a rare appearance. Surprisingly packed with extras, the DVD includes an audio commentary by the stars with writer/director Marc Lawrence, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a host of making-of featurettes. Hear much more about the Morgans.
March 14, 2010 - Our latest review looks at "Breaking Bad": The Complete Second Season. This AMC drama series stars Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle") as an Albuquerque chemistry professor secretly cooking and selling methamphetamine on the side. In stores this week, Sony's 4-disc DVD includes audio commentaries, deleted scenes, an "Inside 'Breaking Bad'" short on every episode, behind-the-scenes featurettes, webisodes, and more. Check out our full review for more on this Emmy-winning show.
March 13, 2010 - Upcoming Disney Movies has been updated with a write-up on Mars Needs Moms!, which is now scheduled to be the final release from Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers Digital motion-capture studio. Read on.
March 12, 2010 - Our The Princess and the Frog review has been updated with coverage of the Blu-ray components, including a work-in-progress version of the film, an octet of exclusive featurettes, and extensive art galleries. More...
March 11, 2010 - It seems like every studio out there is releasing a rendition of Alice in Wonderland to home video this month to coincide with Tim Burton's 3-D behemoth. Kelvin Cedeno reviews a recent one from Lionsgate: Alice is cable network Syfy's take on Lewis Carroll's fantasy stories. First broadcast last December, this miniseries "reimagining" in the vein of Tin Man is now on Blu-ray with an audio commentary by director Nick Willing and star Caterina Scorsone. Full review.
Just posted: our The Princess and the Frog DVD review. Disney's 49th animated feature returns the studio to the traditional hand-drawn methods they're best known for in this musical fairy tale set in 1920s New Orleans. A waitress kisses a frog claiming to be a prince only to find herself likewise transformed into an amphibian. Out next week, the DVD includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a game, and a music video of Ne-Yo's end credits song. Read the review -- Blu-ray parts coming soon.
Our Princess and the Frog coverage continues in an interview with Ron Clements and John Musker, the film's writers and directors whose past Disney credits include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and Treasure Planet. They talk about returning to the animated fairy tale, their New Orleans inspirations, and some hidden references they snuck in. Full Musker & Clements Interview.
March 10, 2010 - Disney's 2-Disc 20th Anniversary Edition DVD of Tron has quietly gone out of print. Look for a new release to tie in with this year's Christmastime theatrical release of sequel Tron: Legacy.
March 9, 2010 - Four years after making its Disney DVD debut, Hayao Miyazaki's beloved fantasy My Neighbor Totoro returns in a new two-disc set. This 1988 film tells the story of two sisters who befriend magical forest spirits in their new neighborhood. Dakota Fanning and her younger sister Elle voice the girls in Disney's 2006 English dub. The new edition presents major gains and one minor loss in the bonus features department. Full review.
Take a look at today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
March 8, 2010 - Kelvin Cedeno fills in the blanks on the three brief Blu-ray exclusives to tomorrow's release of the Disney comedy Old Dogs. In a first, two of the bonuses are found only on the Blu-ray disc of the combo pack, and not the standalone Blu-ray disc sold separately. Besides descriptions and screencaps, our updated review now includes an assessment of the Blu-ray's picture and sound. Fetch.
Aaron Wallace brings us a look at Disney's new Castle in the Sky DVD. Released in Japan in 1986, Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy tells the story of a girl whose enchanted crystal pendant makes her a target of military forces and air pirates alike. The two-disc set supplies both Japanese and English language presentations, the latter enlisting Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Mark Hamill, and Cloris Leachman. Among the mix of new and old bonus features are the entire film in storyboards, interviews (with Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and composer Joe Hisaishi), trailers, a personality quiz, and a dub voice cast featurette. Read on...
The 2009 computer animated comedy Planet 51 focuses on an alien invasion, with a twist. The residents are green and the invader is an American astronaut. Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, and John Cleese lend their voices to this film, the first from Madrid's Ilion Animation Studios. Available tomorrow, Sony accompanies the widescreen feature presentation with extended scenes, featurettes, a game, and animation progression reels. Full review...
March 5, 2010 - Our newest DVD review covers Where the Wild Things Are. Based on the famous children's picture book by Maurice Sendak, this Spike Jonze-directed film follows a boy named Max to an island inhabited by monsters, who crown him king. Now available, Warner's DVD includes four short behind-the-scenes featurettes. Click here for the full review.
Starstruck, the latest Disney Channel Original Movie, will come to DVD on June 8th in an Extended Edition. The DVD ($26.99 SRP) will offer a widescreen/Dolby 5.1 feature presentation plus an extended scene and song, "rock-along" tracks, and 3 music videos. The DVD will also be available in a set ($29.99 SRP) that includes the movie's full soundtrack on CD.
March 4, 2010 - The reviews keep a-coming with "Hannah Montana": Miley Says Goodbye?. The sixth and latest episode compilation devoted entirely to Disney Channel's top-rated series improves upon the established design with a disc filled to capacity. Included among the six featured episodes is an hour-long show. If that's not enough, how about both parts of the Season 3 finale, only one of which will have aired prior to next Tuesday's street date. The DVD includes an alternate ending to Miley's confounding love triangle, a fact track presentation of an episode, and a behind-the-scenes tour hosted by Miley's sister Brandi Cyrus. Full review.
March 3, 2010 - Our Ponyo review has been updated with Kelvin Cedeno's Blu-ray critique and screencaps, detailing us on the feature presentation all of the World of Ghibli bonus features. More...
March 2, 2010 - Grab an early look at one of next week's biggest releases: Disney's Old Dogs. John Travolta and Robin Williams star as a couple of New York businessmen into whose lives a pair of unknown 7-year-old twins come. The family comedy co-stars Travolta's wife Kelly Preston and daughter Ella Bleu and also features Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Justin Long and Bernie Mac. The film is joined by bloopers, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary featuring the two writers, a producer, and Wild Hogs director Walt Becker. Check out the full review.
In case you hadn't noticed, it's March now. You can tell because our DVD and Blu-ray release schedules have been shuffled and updated. Check out today's new titles and if you're really feeling it, why not take a look at upcoming weeks and the months of April and May (and Beyond). The pages are updated nearly every day with newly-announced dates and details.
March 1, 2010 - Our coverage of this week's new Studio Ghibli releases continues with a review of Kiki's Delivery Service. Adapted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this 1989 animated film tells the story of a 13-year-old witch in training who sets off with her talking cat Jiji for a year abroad. In 1998, the movie became the first Ghibli work Disney dubbed, which they did with a voice cast including Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, and Janeane Garofalo. The studio's new 2-disc set mildly but significantly revises that English presentation and adds a number of new bonus materials, including recent interviews with Miyazaki and composer Joe Hisaishi, a documentary that takes us to the Swedish sites that inspired the film's settings, a personality quiz, a lithograph, and an interactive map of Studio Ghibli universes. Read the full review.
February 28, 2010 - Our Up Blu-ray & DVD Review has been up-dated with nine screencaps of nine of the film's Blu-ray-exclusive bonus features. Check it out. In related news, Amazon.com is currently selling the 4-disc combo pack for just $16.99, a staggering 63% off list price and a dollar less than even the single-disc DVD. Along with District 9, A Serious Man, and two others, Up is one of five Academy Award Best Picture nominees presently available to own.
February 27, 2010 - James and the Giant Peach, the lesser-known of the two Tim Burton-produced, Henry Selick-directed stop motion '90s Disney films, will be making its Blu-ray debut this summer according to a trailer and booklet from an upcoming release. Adapted from Roald Dahl's 1961 novel and featuring an Oscar-nominated Randy Newman score, the partly live-action film will also be sold in a new Special Edition DVD. Its previous Special Edition disc, issued in 2000, has quietly gone out of print with second-hand prices soaring. Though no date has been set, the releases could be out alongside Burton's latest Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland, for which an early June home video debut has been strongly hinted.
February 26, 2010 - Our latest review looks at Ponyo, the latest film from legendary Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, this film tells the story of a young boy and the somewhat magical goldfish he rescues who, against her wizard father's wishes, turns herself human. As usual, Disney's release lets viewers choose between the original Japanese audio and the studio's Western-friendly dub. A cast of movie and TV stars lend their voices to the latter. Click here for the full review.
February 24, 2010 - Kelvin Cedeno brings us a review of "Little Einsteins": Animal Expedition, the tenth and latest DVD deriving from the culturally-enriching Playhouse Disney series. The disc's four animal-centric episodes are supplemented by a game and an unannounced bonus episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." Read the full review.
February 19, 2010 - Coming to DVD on Tuesday, just five months after taking to the airwaves is our latest review subject: "FlashForward": Part One, Season One. This ABC sci-fi action drama series opens with everyone in the world blacking out for 2 minutes. From that disaster come questions and an investigation led by the Los Angeles FBI. The ensemble series stars Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), John Cho (Star Trek), Dominic Monaghan ("Lost"), and Courtney B. Vance. Arriving in the season's approximately halfway hiatus, the 2-disc set holds the 10 episodes that have aired, a preview of what's coming next, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the pilot, and a rebate for a set that may render this worthless. Click here for the full review.
February 3, 2010 - There has been much speculation and uncertainty regarding Disney's home video plans for its most treasured animated classics. Last fall's premiere Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, has yet to be followed by a second release or even a firm announcement. Now, thanks to a tip from someone aware of Disney's retail schedules, we've gotten word of the studio's plans for its tentpole titles. This year's anticipated Diamond Editions are still on track to make it to stores in 2010. Beauty and the Beast is slated to make its Blu-ray debut in October, with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 following in December. Meanwhile, already heavily-marketed Dumbo, which isn't part of the Diamond line but was clearly intended for re-release this week, won't arrive until February 2011 (rendering its proposed 70th Anniversary Edition moniker more accurate). Beyond that, a big October 2011 splash is expected for one of Disney's biggest all-time titles; The Lion King is set to bow on Blu-ray then. As always, all of these plans are subject to change until they're formally announced (and sometimes even after that). But we had to pass this news along to give you an idea of how long you'll be waiting for these highly-anticipated high-def debuts and standard-def returns.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Everybody's Fine - A remake of a 1990 Italian drama, this intended awards contender merely wound up being one of the last films carrying the Miramax Films banner at Disney. Robert De Niro stars as a widowed man who travels around the country to visit his grown-up children (Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, and Drew Barrymore). The DVD includes deleted & extended scenes plus a look at the making of Paul McCartney's Golden Globe-nominated end credits song.
• A Serious Man - Joel and Ethan Coen's latest dark comedy tells the tale of a Jewish 1960s physics professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) dealing with various life setbacks. This Best Picture nominee is joined by three bonus features on DVD. (Related Interview: star Michael Stuhlbarg)
• "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Minnie's Bow-tique - The eighth DVD born out of the Playhouse Disney series, this one holds four episodes prominently featuring Minnie Mouse. Two of these are unaired and two are equipped with four types of Adventure Mode playback.
• Amelia (Blu-ray - Mira Nair's much-anticipated but little-noticed Amelia Earhart biopic stars Hilary Swank as the pioneer aviatrix, while Richard Gere plays husband George Putnam. Fox's Blu-ray includes deleted scenes (featuring Virginia Madsen as Putnam's first wife), several featurettes, and a digital copy.
• "Shaun the Sheep": A Woolly Good Time - This stop-motion claymation series from Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations returns to DVD in a new compilation from HiT Entertainment and Lionsgate. This one includes a sing-along and short making-of featurette.
• "Gary Unmarried": The Complete First Season - CBS sitcom stars Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall as a newly-divorced couple adjusting to family and love lives apart after 15 years together. ABC/Disney's 3-disc set holds 20 episodes plus a making-of featurette, bloopers, and tours of the sets and Ed Begley, Jr.'s eco-friendly home.
• Maneater - Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs") stars as a 32-year-old L.A. socialite determined to marry who gets caught in a love triangle. This 2009 two-part Lifetime miniseries co-stars Judy Greer, Philip Winchester, Marla Sokoloff, Noureen DeWulf, and Maria Conchita Alonso.
• Whip It (Blu-ray) - Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut on this comedy about a socially awkward teenaged girl (Juno's Ellen Page) empowered by joining a roller derby league. Fox's Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, a Fox Movie Channel interview, and a digital copy.
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