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May 15, 2008 - National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2-Disc Collector's Edition) DVD Review

Our newest review looks at next week's 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD of Disney's hit sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets. After his ancestor is implicated in Abraham Lincoln's assassination, Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) seeks to clear his family's name, setting him on a hunt for a fabled City of Gold that takes him to Paris, London, and several locations in the US.
The returning cast and crew are joined by decorated actors Ed Harris and Helen Mirren in this outlandish yet entertaining follow-up adventure. The premium version adds 80 minutes of video -- deleted scenes, outtakes, and 8 featurettes -- to the standard disc's audio commentary. More...

May 13, 2008 - Christopher Disher closes out our coverage of the new Indiana Jones Trilogy DVDs with his review of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The 1989 blockbuster strikes a perfect balance of humor and adventure while entertaining us with Indy (Harrison Ford) searching for the Holy Grail and his estranged father (Sean Connery). Like its predecessors, Crusade looks and sounds similar to its 2003 box set incarnation, but delivers all-new extras, including 3 featurettes, storyboards, and galleries. Full review.

May 12, 2008 - We've just posted our review of Paramount's new DVD release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the second film in the Spielberg/Lucas series. Sneakily a prequel, this 1984 adventure amps up plot, characterization, and comedy, while possessing a dark core that helped bring about the PG-13 rating.
It takes Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) to Shanghai and then India, as he seeks to reclaim an impoverished village's sacred stone with help from a Chinese boy and a whiny singer (Kate Capshaw). The disc supplies about a half-hour of video supplements (most with optional pop-up trivia) plus four extensive art galleries. Read on...

As promised, we're bringing you detailed coverage of the Indiana Jones Trilogy, which returns to DVD this week from Paramount in The Adventure Collection and their first individual releases. Kelvin Cedeno kicks things off with his review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first and most esteemed film in the Steven Spielberg/George Lucas adventure series that stars Harrison Ford as an archaeologist who defies death around the globe in efforts to protect artifacts. Though deemed a Special Edition, the modest disc sets the pattern for sequels to follow, with all-new bonus features supplanting those included on the franchise's 2003 DVD box. Read the full review.

May 9, 2008 - As many have suspected, a new DVD release and Blu-ray Disc debut for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is coming this year, the cult classic's 15th anniversary. A trailer on the National Treasure: Book of Secrets DVD announces a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray release, but gives no date beyond "this fall." The stop-motion film is scheduled for a fifth theatrical release on October 24th (its third annual in Disney Digital 3-D), though the home video release could beat it, as the studio's Halloween DVDs tend to arrive in late August or early September. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Our newest DVD review looks at New Line's Over Her Dead Body, the PG-13 romantic comedy that came to disc this week. "Desperate Housewives"' Eva Longoria Parker plays a woman who dies just before her wedding and, as a ghost, proceeds to haunt her fiancι's psychic and blossoming love interest. Paul Rudd, Lake Bell, Lindsay Sloane, and Jason Biggs co-star in this directorial debut of veteran sitcom writer Jeff Lowell. Read the full review.

Not a studio to miss out on an opportunity (even a ridiculous one), Disney announced today an August 12th release of The Ultimate Mulan 2-Movie Collection, "perfectly timed" for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The 3-disc set will apparently pair up the in-print releases of the 1998 animated feature (2004's 2-Disc Special Edition) and
its 2005 direct-to-video sequel, with a list price of $34.99 SRP and the added incentive of Disney Movie Rewards points.

May 6, 2008 - Today brings a host of new DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, including five new theatrical releases, a pair of '90s film re-releases, and some classic and contemporary TV sets. As always, check out our DVD Schedule for a complete overview. Also look for our reviews of a number of May titles in the days ahead, including Paramount's new Indiana Jones Adventure Collection.

May 2, 2008 - Disney has announced a July 15th DVD and Blu-ray debut for the father/daughter comedy College Road Trip and Touchstone's well-attended sequel Step Up 2 The Streets. The slipcovered Road Trip will serve up bloopers, alternate opening and endings, deleted scenes with director's commentary, Raven's Video Diary and "Double Dutch Bus" music video, plus a pair of audio commentaries (one with the writers, one with Raven and director Roger Kumble). The DVD version will contain both fullscreen and widescreen formats. Step Up 2's "Dance-Off Edition" will contain 8 deleted scenes, 5 music videos including Flo Rida's hit "Low", making-of featurette "Through Fresh Eyes", "Outlaws of Hip Hop - Meet the '410'", and a Robert Hoffman video prank.

April 29, 2008 - New and/or revised cover art has been posted for The Sword in the Stone: 45th Anniversary Edition,
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, and Tinker Bell.

April 28, 2008 - Last week, the Disney Studios announced the launch of Disneynature, a new production banner for theatrical nature documentaries which harks back to Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures series of the 1940s and '50s. The second film to emanate from the France-based unit will be Earth, reaching cinemas next Earth Day, April 22, 2009, from producer/director Alastair Fothergill (Planet Earth, The Blue Planet) and narrator James Earl Jones. The studio announced six other Disneynature film subjects now in development: The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (December 2008), Oceans (2010), Orangutans: One Minute to Midnight (2010), Big Cats (2011), Naked Beauty: A Love Story That Feeds the Earth (2011), and Chimpanzee (2012).

April 25, 2008 - Today, we fight the mid-spring doldrums with a new DVD review of Miramax's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. This acclaimed and decorated French-language drama tells the incredible true story of a healthy middle-aged man who suddenly becomes paralyzed head to toe. Able to blink just one eye, he struggles to communicate and recover, while we share his perspective and an active mind livened with flashbacks and fantasies. In stores next Tuesday, the disc provides two featurettes, PBS host Charlie Rose's 20-minute interview of director Julian Schnabel, and an audio commentary. Read the full review.

Disney has announced release dates for season set DVDs for eight popular ABC series. First comes "Desperate Housewives": The Complete Fourth Season - Sizzling Secrets Edition on September 2. "Grey's Anatomy": The Complete Fourth Season and "Ugly Betty": The Complete Second Season follow suit on September 9th. September 16th brings The Complete First Season of spin-off "Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money". On September 23rd, stores will have the ensemble drama "Brothers and Sisters": The Complete Second Season and the Christina Applegate comedy "Samantha Who?": The Complete First Season. Finally, 5-disc set "Lost": The Complete Fourth Season - The Expanded Experience will reach stores on December 9th in time for Christmas and presumably another January start.

Visitors to this site have probably sent more e-mail inquiring about the 1989 made-for-TV movie Polly and its 1990 sequel Polly: Comin' Home than anything else in Disney's catalog.
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Musical adaptations of Pollyanna starring Keshia Knight Pulliam as Polly and her "Cosby Show" mom Phylicia Rashad as Aunt Polly, both were recently released to DVD. But you can't buy them in stores and online you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $45-$75 (Polly, Comin' Home). Why? Because the two made their way to DVD in the same way that most live-action Disney fare has in the past few years, as Disney Movie Club exclusives. Existing members can buy the titles for $19.95 each plus shipping. Non-members can now enroll in the club with a 3 movies for $1.99 each deal . Explore our full list of Disney Movie Club Exclusives (with links to buy from Amazon) or see the exclusives at Disney Movie Club while you consider joining.

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros: Classic Caballeros Collection - Disney's first two anthology films of the 1940s incorporate Latin American culture into a number of animated and live-action sequences, with appearances by Walt Disney, his staff, Donald Duck, Goofy, and newly-unveiled personalities Joe Carioca and Panchito. The low-priced double featured disc includes a vintage half-hour travelogue film, a short but relevant Walt Disney interview excerpt, and two bonus Donald cartoons.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• Cloverfield - The virally-marketed, J.J. Abrams-produced film which offers an effective, contemporary spin on the monster movie with a character handheld video perspective reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. Twentysomething friends gathered at a going away party have their night shaken when mysterious disaster threatens Manhattan. Paramount's DVD satisfies with two big featurettes, a commentary by director Matt Reeves, outtakes, deleted scenes, alternate endings, 11 well-hidden Easter eggs and more.
• The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep - Walden Media's fantasy of a boy and the unique sea monster he befriends in 1940s Scotland. Jay Russell (My Dog Skip) directs the family film from a book by Dick King-Smith (Babe) with a cast headed by Alex Etel, Emily Watson, and Ben Chaplin and visual effects from Weta of Narnia fame. Sony's 2-Disc Special Edition provides the film in dual screen formats plus eight deleted scenes and six featurettes that total 77 minutes.
• The Chipmunk Adventure: Special Edition - The gang's first theatrical outing, this 2D-animated 1987 film offers a good time with Chipmunks and Chipettes music and round-the-world travel. How special you consider the set depends on whether or not you own the 2006 DVD: it is repackaged alongside the lively full 11-song soundtrack CD at a modest price.
• Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Funny, We Shrunk the Adults - This slight disc serves up three increasingly fun episodes of the 1990 animated TV series, supplying twists on hit '80s comedies Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Big, and Back to the Future.

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National Treasure: Book of Secrets DVD Review
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National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2-Disc Collector's Edition) DVD Review
Latest Reviews (rated):
National Treasure 2: Book
Indiana and Last Crusade
Indiana and Temple of Doom
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Over Her Dead Body
Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Classic Caballeros Collection
The Water Horse: Legend...
The Chipmunk Adventure: SE
Chipmunks Go to the Movies
Sweeney Todd: 2-Disc SE
There Will Be Blood (CE)
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adventure Collection DVD Review
Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Into the Wild (2-Disc CE)
In the Valley of Elah
Things We Lost in the Fire
Bee Movie
Dan in Real Life
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101 Dalmatians: Platinum Ed.
The Darjeeling Limited
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Across the Universe
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Smurfs: Season 1, Vol. 1
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Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
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Fall 2006 CD Roundup
A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
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Count down the best of Disney's villains!
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Top 100 Disney Songs
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Top 50 Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown
Interviews Index
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• Andreas Deja, veteran Disney animator
• Alice Davis, legendary Disney costume designer
• Lisa Davis, voice of Anita in 101 Dalmatians
• Mitchel Musso, "Hannah Montana"
• Dominic Scott Kay, star of Snow Buddies
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• Gore Verbinski, Director of Pirates of the Caribbean
• Margaret Kerry, the Model for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan
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• Brenda Song, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" star
• Vince Papale, Inspiration for Invincible
• Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Pirates of the Caribbean
• Moira Kelly, The Voice of Nala, The Lion King
• An Interview with Don Hahn, Veteran Producer
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