DVDizzy.com: MARCH 16-31, 2014 NEWS ARCHIVES
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March 28, 2014 - The Jungle Book 2 picks up shortly after where its esteemed predecessor left over. Living in a village and missing the wild, Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) winds up back in the jungle with Baloo (John Goodman), where he is pursued by a vengeful Shere Khan (Tony Jay). Now available, Disney's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack includes two music videos, two deleted scenes, a recap of the original film, and a 15-minute making-of featurette. Go W-I-L-D with our review.
Delivery Man stars Vince Vaughn as a New Yorker who is surprised to learn that his sperm donations from twenty years ago have produced over 500 children, many of whom would like to know his identity. Co-starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders, this DreamWorks/Touchstone dramedy is now available on a Blu-ray, joined by a deleted scene, Vaughn improvisations, bloopers, and a making-of featurette. Our review.
March 27, 2014 - Three DVDizzy.com readers will win a copy of the recent Blu-ray release of Jeff Dunham's Achmed Saves America in our newest giveaway. The grand prize winner will have their copy of the hour-long animated movie signed by Dunham himself. Enter daily now through April 10th.
March 26, 2014 - Today's new review covers The Past, writer/director Asghar Farhadi's follow-up to his Oscar-winning Iranian film A Separation. This French language drama tells the story of a separated couple (The Artist's B้r้nice Bejo and Ali Mosaffa) intending to finalize their divorce but whose intersecting families are weighed down by secrets and guilt. Now available, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes an audio commentary and Q&A session by Farhadi, a half-hour making-of documentary, and the film's US theatrical trailer. Our review.
March 25, 2014 - Fresh off its Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film, The Great Beauty hit home video today from The Criterion Collection. This Italian drama from Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place) tells the story of a longtime member of Rome's high society (Toni Servillo) who takes stock of his life following his 65th birthday. The 1 Blu-ray, 2 DVD Dual-Format Edition release includes interviews with Sorrentino, Servillo, and co-writer Umberto Contarello in addition to deleted scenes and the film's trailer. Our review.
On April 29th, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release to general retail the Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection, a deluxe 31-disc set holding all eight of the fantasy franchise's films on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet, plus over 45 hours of bonus features including the complete 8-part documentary "Creating the World of Harry Potter." Succeeding the sold out Wizards Collection at half the list price ($249.99 SRP), this set also includes the final two movies in Blu-ray 3D, and a bonus disc with over three hours of additional extras including "50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments (Definitive Version)" and Hagrid and Quidditch "Secrets Revealed" featurettes. You don't have to wait that long to get your hands on this set; it has been available at Amazon.com since February as an exclusive to the e-tailer.
March 24, 2014 - Take a look with us at Saving Mr. Banks. Disney's drama about the contentious making of Mary Poppins received good reviews but fewer accolades than expected. Starring Emma Thompson as author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, the film co-stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Ruth Wilson and Bradley Whitford. Now available, the Blu-ray + Digital HD Digital Copy set includes three deleted scenes, a look at Disney studio then and now, and a clip of Richard Sherman leading the cast and crew in song on the last day of filming. Don't miss our thorough review.
Cover art has been posted for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner, this latest outing of the Tom Clancy hero will arrive in stores on June 10th (just in time for Father's Day) with deleted scenes, Branagh audio commentary, and more. Click here to view it.
March 23, 2014 - Our newest review assesses Flicker Alley's recent Blu-ray debut of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This silent 1923 filming of Victor Hugo's novel stars Lon Chaney in the title role, the deformed outcast Quasimodo who makes his home in the titular Paris cathedral. The Blu-ray includes a 1915 short featuring Chaney playing a different hunchback, a short behind-the-scenes newsreel clip featuring Chaney, an audio commentary and essay by Chaney historian Michael F. Blake, and HD videos displaying production photos and the original souvenir program. Read more...
March 22, 2014 - Our newest review looks at next Tuesday's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet release of The Wolf of Wall Street. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Actor, this latest collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio tells the true story of a white collar criminal, who found wealth in stock fraud. Co-starring Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, and Rob Reiner, this 3-hour drama is joined by a 17-minute making-of featurette on Blu-ray. Our review.
March 21, 2014 - Spike Jonze's acclaimed comedy-romance Her will reach DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on May 13th, becoming the last of 2013's Oscar-winning features to hit home video. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a man of the future who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde co-star in this Original Screenplay winner, which will be joined by three extras on Blu-ray and one on DVD. Cover art, preorders, and complete details can be found in the press release.
Two major new movies open theatrically in wide release today and we've got reviews of each.
Divergent, adapted from the first book in Veronica Roth's best-selling young adult trilogy, tells the story of a teenaged girl (Shailene Woodley) in a dystopian future where people are divided into five factions. It's being groomed as the new Hunger Games, with Summit/Lionsgate even relying on that franchise's original timing. Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zo๋ Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, and Kate Winslet co-star in this PG-13 sci-fi thriller that's expected to open #1 and be followed by sequels. Our review.
Those wanting intentional laughs may be better served by Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel to the franchise's warmly-received 2011 revival. In it, diabolical fugitive Constantine switches places with Kermit the Frog while the Muppets embark on a world tour in European locations near choice theft targets. Director James Bobin, screenwriter Nicholas Stoller, and Oscar-winning lyricist Bret McKenzie all return from the first film. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell lead a human cast that likely shatters the record for most cameos in a film. Read all about it.
March 20, 2014 - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom tells the extraordinary story of Nelson Mandela. Idris Elba plays the freedom-promoting South African leader who spent nearly 30 years in jail. Naomie Harris plays his social worker wife Winnie. From the director of The Other Boleyn Girl and Gladiator, Les Mis้rables screenwriter William Nicholson comes this official biopic adapted from Mandela's autobiography. A Best Original Song Oscar nominee for U2's "Ordinary Love", this drama is now available to own in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack that includes director's audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a making-of featurette, and tributes from notable admirers including Dan Rather and Al Gore. Our review.
The horror comedy Buck Wild follows four young men on a Texas hunting trip where they run into a town of zombies. Released this week, Millennium Entertainment's Blu-ray includes the film's trailer and three deleted scenes. Our review.
March 17, 2014 - The independent drama Kill Your Darlings tells the true story about the shared young adulthood of Beat Generation icons Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), William Burroughs (Ben Foster), and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). Available tomorrow, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack includes an audio commentary by the cast and filmmakers, a Q & A with the filmmakers, comments from the Toronto Film Festival red carpet, and deleted scenes. Our review.
March 16, 2014 - Frozen hits stores this week on the heels of its extraordinary box office success and Academy Award wins for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Disney Animation Studios' 53rd feature, this musical adventure tells the story of two sisters, one with ice-producing powers that divide them. The Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack includes the Oscar-nominated new Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse!, four deleted scenes with intros from the directors, a featurette on Disney's historical attempts to adapt Hans Christian Andersen, and a making-of song performed by voice cast members. Don't miss our review.
March 14, 2014 - Our newest review covers American Hustle, the winner of three Golden Globes and a nominee in ten Academy Award categories. Based on the real Abscam operation of the 1970s, this film from director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner as New Yorkers whose lives get mixed up in an FBI plot to expose corruption. Available Tuesday, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes over 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes plus a making-of featurette. Don't miss our review.
Expanding to 66 theaters today, The Grand Budapest Hotel is our latest review subject. Written and directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums), this stylish comedy centers on a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and his teenaged lobby boy (Tony Revolori) who find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery involving a wealthy dowager (Tilda Swinton) with a contested inheritance in 1932 Europe. The large cast also includes Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, and Edward Norton. Our film review.
Jeff Dunham, the most successful ventriloquist of all time, gets into animation with next week's release of Achmed Saves America. This hour-long special finds Achmed, the skeletal terrorist of Dunham's stand-up comedy act, arriving in the middle of the United States and being mistaken for a French exchange student, while his views are challenged. In stores next Tuesday ten days before the special airs on CMT, Comedy Central's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by Dunham and collaborators and a short making-of featurette. Our review.
March 13, 2014 - No presidential biopic, the independent drama George Washington hit Blu-ray this week in The Criterion Collection's two-disc Dual Format Edition. The feature debut of Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green, this 2000 film spends a memorable summer with poor adolescents in a small southern town. The decorated film is joined by two of Green's shorts made in the 1990s as a North Carolina School of Arts student, a 1969 Clu Gulager short that inspired him, a deleted scene, the trailer, audio commentary, a cast reunion, Green's 2001 "Charlie Rose" interview, and a booklet with an Armond White essay. Read all about it in our review.
March 12, 2014 - The international thriller Easy Money: Hard to Kill stars Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing", RoboCop) as an ex-con who returns to his old criminal ways out of necessity. The follow-up to a Swedish hit, this film is adapted from the novels of Jens Lapidus and executive produced by Safe House director Daniel Espinosa. Read all about its Cinedigm Blu-ray release in our thorough review.
March 11, 2014 - We take a look at "The Middle": Season 4. ABC's long-running sitcom about an Indiana family of five (headed by "Everybody Loves Raymond"'s Patricia Heaton and "Scrubs"' Neil Flynn) treats us to road tests, two graduations, a new tic, a new job, and an assortment of holidays. Now available, Warner's three-disc DVD holds all 23 episodes including the double-length season premiere in addition to deleted scenes and a gag reel. Don't miss our review.
March 10, 2014 - Our newest review covers Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest film from writers-directors-brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. Among 2013's most acclaimed films, this comedy-drama spends a winter 1961 week in the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a talented and completely unsuccessful New York City folk singer. Co-starring John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and F. Murray Abraham, this CBS Films release hits DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow with the 42-minute making-of documentary "Inside Inside Llewyn Davis" and UltraViolet. Our review.
March 8, 2014 - Before The Ten Commandments, producer-director Cecil B. DeMille made Samson and Delilah. The 1949 Biblical epic stars Victor Mature as the extraordinary strong man of Dan and Hedy Lamarr as the Philistine who loves him. Also featuring George Sanders and Angela Lansbury, this winner of two technical Oscars hits Blu-ray on Tuesday, a year after finally showing up on DVD, joined by a theatrical reissue trailer. Our Blu-ray review.
Our newest review covers 2013's highest-grossing film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The second installment in the blockbuster franchise adapted from Suzanne Collins' novels returns Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) to survival challenge when past victors square off in the Third Quarter Quell Hunger Games. The gamemaker has changed and so has the competition, but the stakes remain life or death. Now available, Lionsgate's two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes an audio commentary, five minutes of deleted scenes, and a 2ฝ-hour making-of documentary. Watch a clip from the film as part of our thorough review.
March 6, 2014 - The documentary The Iran Job follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard to Iran, where he is spending the 2008-09 season as a member of the expansion team A.S. Shiraz. Now available, Film Movement's DVD includes two interviews with the filmmakers, trailers, bios, and director Till Schauder's 1995 short film City Bomber. Read our review.
March 5, 2014 - Shortlisted for Foreign Language Film and nominated for Best Cinematography and Costume Design, The Grandmaster is our latest Blu-ray review subject. Written and directed by Wong Kar Wai (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express), this historical drama tells the true story of the Ip Man, the martial arts legend who trained Bruce Lee. Starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang, this Weinstein Company-imported Hong Kong film is joined by a Gina Carano-hosted American TV special, a nearly hour-long Chinese documentary, and interviews with Lee's daughter and rapper RZA. Our review.
March 4, 2014 - August: Osage County, the film that gave Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts their latest acting Oscar nominations, will arrive on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray combo pack on April 8th. Adapted from Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this drama reunites a large Oklahoma family following the death of its patriarch. Extras on the Weinstein/Anchor Bay discs will include feature and deleted scenes audio commentary by director John Wells and cinematographer Adriano Goldman, a making-of featurette, and a featurette on writing with Letts. See the full press release for cover art, preorders, and more information.
The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment have scheduled an April 15th Blu-ray and DVD release for Philomena, the acclaimed drama nominated for Best Picture and three additional Academy Awards. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (who also co-wrote the script), this true story of an Irish woman's search for her long-lost son is directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen). Bonus features will include a conversation with Dench, a Q & A with Coogan, and an audio commentary by Coogan and co-writer Jeff Pope. Cover art, preorders, and complete details here.
March 2, 2014 - Oscar Sunday has arrived! Our coverage leading up to the 86th Academy Awards concludes with predictions and thoughts on all 24 categories. May the best men, women, and films win! Oscar predictions and previews.
Recent Film Reviews:
The Monuments Men - George Clooney directs, produces, writes, and stars in this drama that tells the true story of a group of soldiers assigned to protect and retrieve priceless art at the end of World War II. The distinguished cast also includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin.
Labor Day - Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) directs this romantic drama, which he adapts from Joyce Maynard's book. Set in 1987 New England, it tells the story of a divorced mother (Kate Winslet), her 13-year-old son (Gattlin Griffith), and the stranger (Josh Brolin) in need of a safe place to lay low. Tobey Maguire narrates and co-stars in this Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress in a Drama.
Her - Director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are) tells the story of a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) in Los Angeles of the near-future who falls in love with his computer's operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Co-starring Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Chris Pratt, this film will vie for five Academy Awards.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
"Above Suspicion": Set 3 - The fourth three-episode batch of the British mystery series finds detectives Travis (Flight's Kelly Reilly) and Langton (Ciarแn Hinds) investigating the murder of a troubled young film actress (Joanna Vanderham). Now available, Acorn's DVD includes interviews with the cast, crew, and author/screenwriter Lynda La Plante plus a photo gallery.
Under Capricorn - This 1980s miniseries adapts the Helen Simpson novel Alfred Hitchcock filmed in the 1940s, this British-Australian production tells the story of an Irishman (Peter Cousens) who comes to New South Wales and becomes privy to a marriage full of secrets and problems. Consisting of a pair of nearly two-hour installments, this series is now available on a two-disc DVD from Acorn Media.
Thor: The Dark World (Blu-ray) - This first sequel in the character's series finds the mighty superhero (Chris Hemsworth) on his home planet of Asgard where an ancient war is reignited over a discovery of Thor's mortal love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Available on its own and alongside a Blu-ray 3D, the Blu-ray includes the Marvel One-Shot short "All Hail the King", the half-hour featurette "A Brother's Journey: Thor & Loki", an audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel.
Gravity (Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack) - Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play American astronauts whose routine mission is complicated by debris from a satellite that cuts out communication, kills a colleague, and makes survival a challenge. Alfonso Cuar๓n (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) directs this dazzling space adventure, which he also co-wrote with his son Jonแs. Available tomorrow, Warner's three-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack includes nearly three hours of bonus features including a nine-part making-of documentary, the Ed Harris-narrated documentary "Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space", shot breakdowns, and the companion short Aningaaq.
Nebraska (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - Nominated for six Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, and Cinematography), this dramedy directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) tells the story of an old man (Bruce Dern) and his middle-aged son (Will Forte) taking a road trip to the father's hometown en route to collecting a $1 million prize that the son is convinced is a big misunderstanding. Co-starring June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach, this black and white film is joined by a half-hour making-of featurette on the Blu-ray of Paramount's combo pack.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (Blu-ray) - 1974 comedy thriller stars Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges as an unlikely new pair of fast friends who team up with men chasing them (George Kennedy, Geoffrey Lewis) to make a big heist. Written and directed by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), the film is joined by an isolated score, a new audio commentary by film historians, the original theatrical trailer, and an essay booklet.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) Wes Anderson's 2009 stop-motion-animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's novel tells the story of a family of foxes who are displaced after their patriarch returns to his thieving ways. The 3-disc set adds an Anderson commentary, an animatics version of the film, an hour-long BBC documentary on Dahl, galleries and more to making-of featurettes recycled from Fox's combo pack.
"Beware the Batman": Shadows of Gotham (Season 1, Part 1) - Warner's 2-disc DVD contains the first 13 episodes of this computer-animated TV series, including two that Cartoon Network has yet to air. The show assigns Katana as driver/bodyguard/sidekick to Batman after his spry ex-spy butler Alfred is injured. The three of them do battle with the League of Assassins, Magpie, Pyg and Toad, and others.
The Counselor (Extended Edition Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road) writes his first script for the big screen in a film directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator). It centers on an unnamed attorney (Michael Fassbender) who gets mixed up in high-stakes drug smuggling around the Texas-Mexico border. Co-starring Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, and Pen้lope Cruz, this dramatic thriller is presented in both its theatrical cut and an unrated extended one running over 20 minutes longer. They're joined by a Scott audio commentary, 70 minutes of making-of featurettes, trailers and TV spots, and more.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (Blu-ray) - Woody Allen's 1989 film stars Martin Landau as an ophthamologist filled with guilt and remorse after his mistress (Anjelica Huston) threatens to reveal their affair. Allen plays a documentarian hired to make a movie about his brother-in-law (Alan Alda), a successful TV producer. Mia Farrow, Jerry Orbach, Joanna Gleason, and Sam Waterston co-star in this noir/dark comedy that was nominated for Director, Original Screenplay, and Supporting Actor Oscars. Available exclusively from Screen Archives, Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series Blu-ray includes an isolated music and effects soundtrack, the theatrical trailer, and an essay booklet.
Watchtower - This 2012 Turkish drama tells the story of two strangers -- a forest watchtower guard and a coach bus hostess -- whose paths cross. Last October's selection for Film Movement's Film-of-the-Month Club, the DVD includes the Greek/US short film The Foreigner in addition to bios, trailers and essays.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Blu-ray) - 1981 noir drama stars Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange as a couple who begin an extramarital affair in Depression era California. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross) adapts James M. Cain's 1934 novel for director Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces). Warner's Blu-ray includes a new 81-minute select scene audio commentary by Nicholson, Mamet, and Rafelson and the original theatrical trailer.
Life of a King (Blu-ray) - Stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as an ex-con who introduces troubled inner city high school students to chess to keep them out of street troubles.
Wadjda (Blu-ray + DVD) - The first film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, this drama written and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour tells the story of the titular 10-year-old girl who joins her school's religious club and studies the Quran for a competition whose cash prize could land her the bicycle her heart is set on. After a fall engagement that attracted universal praise, this film is now available to rent and own in a Sony Blu-ray + DVD combo pack that includes a Al Mansour Q & A session and audio commentary, a making-of featurette, and the trailer.
The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - The 1967 musical adventure adapted from Rudyard Kipling's stories hits high definition with an hour of new bonus features plus most of its Platinum Edition DVD extras intact including an audio commentary and a 45-minute making-of documentary. Watch a clip from one of the new supplement featuring Diane Disney Miller, Richard Sherman, and Floyd Norman.
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