UltimateDisney.com and DVDizzy.com: APRIL-15, 2010 NEWS ARCHIVES
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April 15, 2010 -
Fox has announced a June 22nd DVD and Blu-ray release for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Click here for the press release.
April 14, 2010 - We unveil a new section of the site today in The Great Best Picture Oscars Project. We're chronologically viewing the 82 films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Each has been treated to an article akin to our typical review treatment, with posters, screencaps, synopses, background information, and criticism. These are less about the DVDs (which remain unavailable for two of the oldest winners) and more about the films themselves and the context from which they come. Articles on the first five winners are currently posted and we'll be adding more throughout the year as we continue seeing and revisiting these distinguished films. For now, we hope you enjoy this accessible history of film: The Great Best Picture Oscars Project.
April 13, 2010 - Our Great Mouse Detective DVD Giveaway has come to an end. Thanks to the strong response, we'll be doing more giveaways for Facebook fans and Twitter followers very soon! Click here for the winner announcement.
The week that income taxes are due is notoriously light on DVD releases and this year is no different. Check out today's scant offerings.
April 11, 2010 - For the third time, Kelvin Cedeno reviews Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland. This newest article looks at the studio's recent two-disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition, which adds two all-new bonus features to the excellent collection of extras gathered for the 1995 laserdisc and previous 2004 Masterpiece Edition DVD. Don't miss Kelvin's thorough dissection of this increasingly admired adaptation of Lewis Carroll's fantasies and its journalist-eschewing set timed to Tim Burton's big screen success. Read on...
April 9, 2010 - We've just posted our review of The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition. Adapted from Eve Titus' series of children's books, Disney's 1986 animated film gives us a rodent version of a Sherlock Holmes story, as skilled sleuth Basil of Baker Street tries to help a young girl reunite with her kidnapped father. In stores Tuesday, the low-priced new edition offers a remastered, recolored, and mildly reframed feature presentation and the all-new short "So You Think You Can Sleuth?, but it also drops a few things from the film's previous DVD. Check out our full review for critique, comparison, and a "Sleuth?" clip and don't forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win the DVD.
April 8, 2010 - Two years after lighting up the box office, the singing rodents return. Aaron Wallace reviews Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which brings Alvin, Simon, and Theodore to high school along with the newly-introduced Chipettes. Playing Dave's relative, "Chuck" star Zachary Levi mostly seizes the leading human part away from Jason Lee, while David Cross' vengeful record exec resurfaces. Now available, Fox's Blu-ray/DVD combo serves up eight featurettes, a fact track on the music, an exclusive album-making activity, and a 'Munk Music Machine. Read the review before Chipmunks 3D opens!
April 7, 2010 - We're giving you a chance to Disney's win The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition DVD. Click here for giveaway details and to enter.
April 6, 2010 - Our newest review looks at Sherlock Holmes. This 2009 Guy Ritchie-directed blockbuster gives Arthur Conan Doyle's famed detective a proclivity to action. A Golden Globe-winning Robert Downey Jr. portrays the sleuth and Jude Law is his sidekick Dr. Watson. The Victorian England crime solvers try to make sense of a resurrected deadly convict and a satanic secret society. Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong co-star. Now available, Warner's combo serves up a Blu-ray, a DVD, and digital copies for a limited time. Extras include Ritchie-hosted Maximum Movie Mode, with picture-in-picture insight and a host of topical featurettes. Read the full review.
April generally isn't the most exciting month for new releases, but check out our April 6th Schedule for information on 12 of today's biggest DVDs and over 30 Blu-rays including a host of new low-priced Blu-ray/DVD combos. More...
April 3, 2010 - Our Kiki's Delivery Service review has been updated with a fuller comparison of the quite extensive differences between its 2010-updated dub and its original 1998 English track.
April 2, 2010 - We've done the new month shuffle on our DVD & Blu-ray Release Schedule, giving March its permanent archived home (although you can expect reviews of three of this week's big debuts in the coming days) and updating the pages for April, May, June & Beyond. On that last page, we've just added listings for the next Air Bud rerelease a number of active ABC series newly scheduled for DVD treatment this summer and fall.
April 1, 2010 - You wouldn't expect German New Wave director Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Grizzly Man) to make a movie starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, but that's just what he's done in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans. Cage stars in the titular role as a drug-addicted rogue cop investigating a grisly homicide in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Xzibit, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, and Jennifer Coolidge co-star in a film that Roger Ebert ranked among the best of last decade. The title recalls the largely unrelated 1992 Harvey Keitel drama directed by Abel Ferrara. In stores Tuesday, First Look's DVD includes a making-of documentary, two trailers, and an extensive photo gallery. More...
March 30, 2010 - Our newest review subject is Gentlemen Broncos, the latest comedy from Napoleon Dynamite's Jared and Jerusha Hess. A fantasy story by an aspiring young writer (Sky High's Michael Angarano) attracts the attention of both an unscrupulous best-selling author (Jemaine Clement "Flight of the Conchords") and local filmmakers (Hector Jimenez, Halley Feiffer). Sam Rockwell co-stars as the hero of the story in excerpts of the text come to life. Now available, Fox's DVD includes an audio commentary by the Hesses, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a making-of featurette. Read the full review.
Take a look at today's new releases.
March 29, 2010 - Today's new review covers Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies. This hour-long 1977 television special revisits classic shorts from a number of the colorful personalities that make up the Looney Tunes gang. With the Easter Bunny ill and Bugs Bunny busy, who will Granny find to distribute the eggs? Now available, Warner's disc includes puzzles and bonus Bugs short His Hare Raising Tale. More...
March 28, 2010 - Our newest review looks at Fantastic Mr. Fox. Adapted from the Roald Dahl story, Wes Anderson's latest film takes him into a new terrain of stop-motion animation. But the offbeat writer/director stays true to form in this comedy about a father fox whose thieving draws the wrath of three unpleasant farmers. George Clooney and Meryl Streep head a voice cast that includes Anderson regulars Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Now available, Fox's combo pack includes a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy disc, with a number of making-of featurettes and a beginner's guide to "Whack-Bat." Full review.
March 27, 2010 - The Men Who Stare at Goats, our latest review subject, provides a comedic look at the U.S. military's surprisingly true research into psychic superpowers. George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey star in this film adapted from Jon Ronson's nonfiction book. Now available, Anchor Bay's DVD includes commentaries from Ronson and director Grant Heslov, deleted scenes, two featurettes, character promos, and the trailer. Read the full review.
March 26, 2010 - We've updated our page on Disney Release Types with information on Disney's Diamond Edition Blu-rays. In related news, Disney has told retailers to expect Beauty and the Beast's Blu-ray combo first on October 5, 2010. Following a model employed a year earlier on Snow White, Disney will issue the second 3-disc Diamond Edition (2 Blu-rays, 1 DVD) in both "Blu-ray + DVD" and "DVD + Blu-ray" packaging. Beauty's 2-Disc DVD will street on November 23rd. Tentative combo cover art has been posted here.
March 25, 2010 - Our new DVD review covers First Easter Rabbit. One of the lesser-known Rankin/Bass specials, this traditionally-animated 1976 cartoon mixes elements of The Velveteen Rabbit with the company's hallmark character humor to tell an origin story of a stuffed doll who becomes a holiday symbol. Jolly Burl Ives narrates and sings. Now available, Warner's Remastered Deluxe Edition accompanies the 25-minute program with some virtual puzzles. Read on...
Our Disney Blu-ray page has been updated with information on all the recent members of that class along with revised ETAs for anticipated 2010 high-def releases.
We've just posted cover art for Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. The third movie in Disney's strong-selling computer-animated direct-to-video series will arrive a month ahead of schedule, on September 21st in DVD ($29.99 SRP) and Blu-ray + DVD ($39.99 SRP) versions. Both editions will contain deleted scenes, a Fairy Field Guide builder, and "Design a Fairy House" (which includes an online contest with a winning design to be built at Walt Disney World's Epcot). Cover...
March 24, 2010 - Aaron Wallace covers the Blu-ray + DVD of Toy Story 2. Like its predecessor, Disney/Pixar's acclaimed 1999 sequel gains and loses some bonus material in its latest home video incarnation (its first in high-def). Among the additions are a look at Toy Story 3's characters, a tribute to late story man Joe Ranft, a code for attending TS3, and a short feature on the zoetrope seen at Disney Parks. Don't miss out on our full review.
We've posted photos from Disney's celebration of the Toy Story & Toy Story 2 Blu-ray releases. Yesterday in Los Angeles, children from the Hollywood Boys & Girls Club joined a master builder and Toy Story 3's story supervisor to construct the final piece of a six-part Toy Story mural made of LEGO bricks. Click here.
According to Disney's official website, Beauty and the Beast is heading to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on November 23rd. The first animated film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, this hit 1991 musical is expected to become the second entry in Disney's line of Diamond Edition Blu-rays. Oddly, this would precede the film's 3D theatrical engagement scheduled for 2011.
March 23, 2010 - Get the scoop on today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Kelvin Cedeno brings us a review of today's high-definition debut for Toy Story, the 1995 film that changed the way animated movies are made. Pixar's first feature film comes to Blu-ray with its 10th Anniversary Edition DVD extras intact plus a number of new featurettes, Toy Story 3 movie cash, and the new standard DVD that won't be available on its own until May 11th. Read the full review.
March 22, 2010 - Our May & Beyond DVD & Blu-ray Schedule has been filling up with new release dates and details for winter's theatrical releases. Among the latest additions are the musical Nine, the Dwayne Johnson family comedy Tooth Fairy, Mel Gibson's on-camera return Edge of Darkness, the Oscar-nominated Nelson Mandela/rugby drama Invictus, and, adapted from a Cormac McCarthy novel, The Road. More on these and other spring-summer releases.
March 20, 2010 - Kelvin Cedeno tells us all about the latest goings-on at Cyprus-Rhodes University, with his review of "Greek": Chapter Four. ABC Family's fraternity and sorority dramedy series ditches the hazing to focus on developing romantic tanglements and new students. Now available, the 3-disc, 12-episode set includes audio commentaries, bloopers, a recap, a featurette, and a music video by recurring guest Jesse McCartney. Pledge now to read this...
March 19, 2010 - We've got an early review of An Education, a drama that received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Set in 1961 London, the film tells the story of a studious schoolgirl (Carey Mulligan) whose life becomes more exciting with a charming, wealthy, older man (Peter Sarsgaard) in it. Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, and Emma Thompson co-star in a film written for the screen by About a Boy novelist Nick Hornby. Sony's DVD includes sixteen minutes of deleted scenes, two featurettes, and an audio commentary by Danish director Lone Scherfig, Sarsgaard, and Mulligan. Read the full review.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Alvin and the Chipettes: Cinderella, Cinderella - Supplies three episodes of the Chipmunks' 1980s animated TV series. The titular one casts Brittany as the mistreated girl magically spruced up for a ball (hosted by Prince Alvin), while the other two episodes pay homage to "Charlie's Angels" and The Breakfast Club.
• Did You Hear About the Morgans? - Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker star as the titular couple, separated Manhattanites 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. The surprisingly loaded DVD includes an audio commentary by the stars with writer/director Marc Lawrence, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a host of making-of featurettes.
• "Breaking Bad": The Complete Second Season - Emmy-winning AMC drama stars Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle") as an Albuquerque chemistry professor secretly cooking and selling methamphetamine on the side. 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.
• Alice (Blu-ray) - Cable network Syfy's take on Lewis Carroll's fantasy stories. is a miniseries "reimagining" in the vein of Tin Man. It includes an audio commentary by director Nick Willing and star Caterina Scorsone.
• The Princess and the Frog (Blu-ray & DVD) - 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. The DVD includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a game, and a music video of Ne-Yo's end credits song, while the Blu-ray adds a work-in-progress cut of the film plus a number of exclusive featurettes. (Related Interview: writers/directors Ron Clements and John Musker)
• My Neighbor Totoro - Miyazaki's beloved 1988 film centers on 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 2-disc DVD presents major gains and one minor loss in the bonus features department.
• Castle in the Sky - Hayao Miyazaki's 1986 fantasy tells the story of a girl whose enchanted crystal pendant makes her a target of military forces and air pirates alike. This new two-disc DVD 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.
• Planet 51 - This 2009 computer animated comedy 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. Sony's DVD includes extended scenes, featurettes, a game, and animation progression reels.
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