DVDizzy.com: MAY 1-15, 2012 NEWS ARCHIVES
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May 15, 2012 - Our first look at next week's new Disney/Studio Ghibli Blu-ray + DVD combos comes with our Whisper of the Heart review. This 1995 coming-of-age drama follows a high school-bound, book-loving girl into adventure, music, romance, and a touch of feline fantasy. The Blu-ray adds progressions of four paintings by art director Naohisa Inoue to the storyboards, trailers, and English voice cast featurette from the film's 2-disc DVD. See a clip from the film as part of our complete review.
May 14, 2012 - Being John Malkovich, the esteemed 1999 film debut of both writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze enters The Criterion Collection tomorrow and we've got a Blu-ray review. John Cusack plays an unemployed puppeteer who takes a job as a filer and discovers a portal into the mind of John Malkovich. Cameron Diaz, an Oscar-nominated Catherin Keener, and Malkovich himself co-star in this imaginative dark comedy. Extras include a selected scene audio commentary largely consisting of a phone conversation between Jonze and Michel Gondry, a half-hour making-of documentary, a new interview of Malkovich by John Hodgman, two short films seen within the film, a photo retrospective with Jonze, and the original trailer and TV spots. Malkovich.
We provide a new look at Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, courtesy of this week's 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD Combo. These PG-rated 1990s Touchstone comedies remake a pair of films from the 1950s with Steve Martin assuming Spencer Tracy's lead role. In the first, George Banks hates to see his daughter (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) getting married. In the second, the daughter gets pregnant and so, unexpectedly, does George's wife (Diane Keaton). The single Blu-ray, 2-DVD combo pack hangs onto promotional shorts including making-of featurettes and Steve Martin's playful interview with Martin Short as well as director Charles Shyer's audio commentary on the original. Read all about it.
May 11, 2012 - In Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close reprises the Obie-winning role of her 1982 Off-Broadway play and earned her sixth Academy Award nomination for it. Close plays a woman living as a man and working as a hotel waiter in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Co-starring Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska, Kick-Ass's Aaron Johnson, Harry Potter's Brendan Gleeson, and Oscar-nominated Janet McTeer, this period drama hits home video next week and we've got an early review of the Blu-ray, which includes deleted scenes, an audio commentary, and the trailer. Read more...
May 9, 2012 - Our newest review looks at this week's Blu-ray release of Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the duo behind Adult Swim's "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" and "Tom Goes to the Mayor", share writing, directing, and lead acting duties on this crude comedy. After blowing a billion dollars on an unreleasable Johnny Depp short, Tim and Eric try to earn it back by revitalizing a rundown mall. John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jeff Goldblum, and Robert Loggia co-star. Magnolia's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes, a making-of featurette, interviews, promos, trailers, and a Shrim Dance screensaver. Check it out!
May 7, 2012 - Submarine, a British coming-of-age dramedy "presented by" Ben Stiller, tells the story of a teenager's (Craig Roberts) first love and his parents' (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) dwindling passions in 1980s Wales. Adapted and directed by "The IT Crowd" star Richard Ayoade, this critically acclaimed Weinstein-distributed indie is available on DVD and Blu-ray with deleted/extended scenes (prominently featuring Paddy Considine as the motivational psychic next door) and a making-of featurette. Review.
May 6, 2012 - The hit romantic drama The Vow hits stores this week and we've got a review of Sony's Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum play an artsy married Chicago couple who get into a car accident that wipes out the wife's memory of the past five years, marriage and all. Scott Speedman, Sam Neill, and Jessica Lange co-star in this film directed by Michael Sucsy (HBO's Grey Gardens). Both Blu-ray and DVD serve up deleted scenes, gag reel, and a director's commentary, while the Blu-ray adds 3 making-of featurettes. Our review...
May 4, 2012 - The Iron Lady won Meryl Streep her third Academy Award out of a record seventeen nominations. Streep portrays the United Kingdom's only female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in the past and present in a jumpy biopic directed by Mamma Mia!'s Phyllida Lloyd. Jim Broadbent plays Thatcher's husband, who continues to converse with her after death. Now available, Anchor Bay's three-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy serves up a making-of featurette, four topical shorts, and a documentary on the history of The Weinstein Company's 2011 award season movies. Full review.
We've updated the Cinderella Diamond Edition press release with Disney's lists of bonus features issued for the Blu-ray editions of the 1950 animated classic. At this time, it is not yet clear if the bonus features from the film's 2005 Platinum Edition will be included. A new single-disc DVD Edition DVD ($29.99 SRP) will be released to store the usual seven weeks later, arriving "perfectly timed for holiday gift-giving" on November 20. See the updated announcement.
May 3, 2012 - Another Paramount Blu-ray makes its debut as a Best Buy exclusive later this month in Road Trip. The narrative debut of The Hangover director Todd Phillips, this 2000 DreamWorks comedy follows four New York college students on a trip to Texas to intercept a mistakenly mailed sex tape. Starring Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, and Tom Green, the Blu-ray presents the film in its barely different R-rated and unrated cuts along with ten minutes of deleted scenes, a Green-hosted making-of short, three high-definition trailers, and the music video for Eels' "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues." Pack your bags for our full review.
May 1, 2012 - Men in Black II made its Blu-ray debut today and we've got a review. Five years later, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite as Agents J and K, this time the neuralyzed latter needing to be brought up to speed. This time, New York City and, by extension, the planet are threatened by a snake-slinging alien who looks like a lingerie model (Lara Flynn Boyle). Sony's Blu-ray serves up $10 towards a Men in Black III movie ticket, UltraViolet, a director's audio commentary, an alternate ending, Will Smith's music video, and hours of behind-the-scenes making-of featurettes. Check out some video clips as part of our complete review.
April 30, 2012 - The romantic drama W./E., directed, written, and co-produced by Madonna, hits stores tomorrow and we've got a look at Anchor Bay's 3-disc DVD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy combo pack. This critically thrashed box office flop, an Academy Award nominee for costume design, tells the story of King Edward VIII's (James Darcy) controversial romance with American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) as well as a young woman in Manhattan (Abbie Cornish) of the late 1990s who forms a strong connection to the late Duchess of Cornwall. On both Blu-ray and DVD, the film is joined by a making-of featurette. Full review...
Shout! Factory's Love Is on the Air bundles romantic episodes from seven classic sitcoms of the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s: "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "Father Knows Best", "Leave It to Beaver", "Dennis the Menace", "Hazel", "The Patty Duke Show", and "That Girl." The three-hour disc is in stores tomorrow, but you can read all about it today.
April 28, 2012 - Details remain scarce, but we've posted Disney's official press release for Cinderella: Diamond Edition, which will be available in 2, 3, and 6-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo packs beginning October 2. Cover art, the trailer, a clip (which should clear any doubts regarding the announcement's aspect ratio), and site-supporting Amazon preorders here.
April 27, 2012 - In anticipation of the theatrical release of Men in Black III, the original Men in Black will be reissued in a new Blu-ray + UltraViolet edition next week and we've got a review. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Steven Spielberg, and starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the blockbuster 1997 sci-fi comedy is joined by an abundance of bonus features including two commentaries, an assortment of workshops and demonstrations, galleries, a trivia game, and a code good towards a $10 MIB3 admission. See clips from the film as part of our thorough review.
Disney has announced an October 2, 2012 release date for the studio's next Diamond Edition title, Cinderella. The animated 1950 hit will be available as a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo pack ($39.99 SRP) in Blu-ray and DVD packaging as well as a 3-disc set with digital copy ($44.99 SRP) and a six-disc Limited Edition Trilogy set in collectible jewelry box packaging ($89.99 SRP).
April 26, 2012 - Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked takes us back to the world of squeaky-voiced, musical rodents. Mischief moves the Chipmunks and Chipettes off a cruise ship and onto a desert island. While Dave (Jason Lee) looks for his wards, the furry sextet find a castaway and new sides to themselves. Now available, Fox's two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack serves up the musical numbers, music videos, extended scenes, Fox Movie Channel specials, sincere and tongue-in-cheek making-of featurettes, and a number of promotional shorts. Get on board now for our full review.
April 24, 2012 - Clueless debuts on Blu-ray next Tuesday and we've got an early review today. A loose retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, Amy Heckerling's 1995 comedy centers on a rich California high school student (Alicia Silverstone) who looks to makeover a frumpy new classmate (Brittany Murphy) while also seeking a love life of her own. Paramount's BD is loaded up with all the extras from the movie's 2005 "Whatever!" Edition DVD and to them adds the feature-length "Clue or False" trivia game. Read on...
April 23, 2012 - Vanya on 42nd Street reunited director Louis Malle with Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn, the creative team behind My Dinner with Andre. This 1994 drama culminates a four-year project in which Gregory directed rehearsals of David Mamet's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya never intended for public exhibition. In the title role, Shawn leads an ensemble cast that also includes Julianne Moore and George Gaynes ("Punky Brewster"). The Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray debut gathers reflections from all surviving cast members in a new documentary, which it includes alongside a trailer and essay booklet. Full review.
April 22, 2012 - In The Darkest Hour, invisible, electrical aliens invade Moscow. We follow a small international group of young survivors (Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, and Joel Kinnaman) as they try to exploit the lethal, mysterious invaders and find a rescue. This Christmas Day theatrical release is now on Blu-ray with deleted/extended scenes, an audio commentary, a making-of featurette, and a short film. Read our review.
April 19, 2012 - Released this week by The Criterion Collection with spine number 609, ˇAlambrista has eluded most of the public since it won the premier Caméra d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Robert M. Young, this 1977 drama follows a young Mexican father who illegally enters America in search of higher-paying work. Presenting the film in a tighter director's cut, Criterion's Blu-ray includes a commentary by Young and his co-producer, Young's 1973 television documentary Children of the Fields, on-camera interviews with Young and frequent collaborator Edward James Olmos (who earns one of his first film credits here), and an original trailer. Our review.
April 18, 2012 - Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) makes his live-action directing debut on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The fourth entry to the spy film series takes Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and newcomers Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner around the globe to adventure at Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the Kremlin, Mumbai, and beyond as they try to clear their agency's name and relieve international tensions. Following a blockbuster holiday season run in theaters, the film hit stores yesterday. Our review covers the Best Buy-exclusive 3-Disc Limited Edition Blu-ray + DVD combo pack, which serves up over two hours of making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and Easter eggs on a bonus Blu-ray. Review.
April 17, 2012 - Our latest DVD review looks at Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour. This hour-long stand-up comedy special aired on Showtime last September and comes to Comedy Central this Saturday before hitting stores on Tuesday. In it, the Ratatouille and Young Adult actor sounds off on religion, superheroes, fatherhood, sweatpants, New York, and much more. The DVD includes Oswalt's encore, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and a slideshow of all the things referenced within. Full review.
We Bought a Zoo smoothly moves writer/director Cameron Crowe into family film territory. Based on a true story, this PG-rated dramedy follows a recent widower (Matt Damon) and his two kids into the world of zoo ownership as they try to reopen a shuttered California wildlife park. Thomas Haden Church plays Damon's brother and Scarlett Johansson is the head zookeeper, both of whom have their misgivings that he is up to the task. Following a respectable Christmas week release, the film is now available to own. We review Fox's 3-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack, which includes over a half-hour of deleted scenes, an audio commentary, a 75-minute making-of documentary, featurettes on the score by Sigur Rós' Jónsi and the real Benjamin Mee, a gag reel, a family-friendly audio track, and more. Read all about it.
April 14, 2012 - "The Witches of Oz" provides a new take on L. Frank Baum's enduringly popular book series. In this 4-hour miniseries broadcast last year in the UK and reconfigured as a feature film in US theatrical release this winter makes Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas) a young adult in the present day whose children's novels are inspired by her own suppressed memories of Oz. In New York to sign a book deal, Dorothy discovers her Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, while witches pursue her for the key to Oz. Boasting a cast that includes Mia Sara, Christopher Lloyd, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Ethan Embry, and Lance Henriksen, the miniseries edit is now available to own with a trailer and short behind-the-scenes featurette. Our Blu-ray review.
April 13, 2012 - The 3D IMAX documentary Born to Be Wild looks at facilities in Borneo and Kenya where orphaned orangutans and elephants are raised to be returned to the wild in adulthood. A year after beginning its successful large-format theatrical run, the film hits home video next week and our review covers Warner's 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack, which serves up six behind-the-scenes webisodes. Read on...
We've added a number of recently-announced May and June DVD and Blu-ray releases to our Upcoming Cover Art page.
Our latest review covers "Mystery Science Theater 3000": The Wild World of Batwoman. This Season 5 episode of the cult '90s Comedy Central series lampoons Jerry Warren's low-budget 1966 attempt to cash in on Batman's new film and television success. Katherine Victor plays the heroine who along with her dancing Bat Girls must stand up to a corporation that developed an atomic hearing aid and is in cahoots with archenemy Rat Fink. After many years out of print, the episode -- which opens with the 1952 educational short Cheating -- is available again as a Shout! Select DVD. Our review.
April 11, 2012 - We bring you an early review of next week's DVD release, Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials. Shout! Factory compiles the five last half-hour sketch programs the innovative comedy icon worked on before his premature 1962 death. The surreal, effects-laden, Emmy-winning black & white series is accompanied by more of Kovacs' commercials for his primary sponsor Dutch Master cigars. Read on...
April 9, 2012 - Our newest review looks at "That '70s Show": Season One. The 1990s Fox sitcom becomes one of the first catalog TV series released on Blu-ray Disc. Mill Creek Entertainment surprises with a stunning widescreen 4-disc collection which arrives with a 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack, subtitles, and an hour of fun bonus features. Don't miss our groovy review.
March 8, 2012 - Something different for you today: we've just posted a preview of 2012 movies featuring trailers, photos, posters, synopses, cast and crew information, release dates, box office predictions, and early thoughts. Currently given this treatment: John Carter, A Thousand Words, 21 Jump Street, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Casa De Mi Padre, The Hunger Games, The Three Stooges, The Five-Year Engagement, The Dictator, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Men in Black 3, Moonrise Kingdom, That's My Boy, Nero Fiddled, The Dark Knight Rises, Argo, The Gangster Squad, Wreck-It Ralph, Django Unchained, and Lincoln. We'll be adding more of this year's scheduled releases, but only if there is adequate interest, so let us know with "likes", "tweets", and "shares." Full index: 2012 Movie Preview.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Chinatown (Blu-ray) - Jack Nicholson stars as a private eye in 1930s Los Angeles investigating the apparent murder of a public official and the drought conspiracy it may be linked to. This Robert Evans-produced, Roman Polanski-directed classic neo noir competed for 11 Academy Awards and won for Robert Towne's original screenplay. Paramount's loaded Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by Towne and David Fincher, an hour-long documentary on water in Los Angeles, another 90 minutes of retrospective featurettes, and the original trailer.
• JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It - Presented in an extended, uncensored form, the film and television actor's hour-long first television special is accompanied by two short bonus features.
• War Horse (4-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Steven Spielberg's drama adapts a novel and Tony-winning stage play with the story of a stallion who keeps changing ownership during World War I. He begins as poor rural family's impulsive purchase, where he befriends Albert (Jeremy Irvine), but is sold and then becomes a part of both the British and Germany armies. Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, this Touchstone/DreamWorks production is joined by nearly two hours of bonus features.
• A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - One hundred years later, the Titanic's collision with an iceberg and deadly subsequent sinking remains a source of fascination to many. Today's new review looks at probably the second best known film on the tragedy. Faithfully adapted from Walter Lord's thoroughly-researched book, this 1958 British production treats us to a large ensemble entirely based on the real crew and passengers of that maiden voyage. Now available, The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray dazzles with a new restoration and bonus features including an audio commentary by Titanic historians, an hour-long 1993 making-of documentary, interviews with survivors, a BBC documentary on icebergs, and the original trailer.
• The Descendants (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - An Oscar nominee for Best Picture and winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, this Alexander Payne drama stars George Clooney as a Hawaii lawyer thrown into the world of parenting when a boating accident leaves his wife comatose. Fox's combo pack contains a host of making-of featurettes, two deleted scenes, three music videos, a vintage Hawaii short, and a conversation with the star and writer/director.
• "Mystery Science Theater 3000": Girl in Gold Boots - One of the worst movies of all time makes for one of the best episodes of '90s television, as Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo skewer a 1968 crime drama which follows three young new friends out to Hollywood, where one becomes a star go-go dancer, one becomes an LSD dealer, and one becomes a draft-dodging janitor turned guitarist.
• "The Killing": The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) - Adapted from a Danish series, AMC's drama dissects a teenaged Seattle girl's murder from the points of view of the homicide detectives, the victim's family, and a mayoral candidate whose campaign is linked to the crime. Fox's 3-disc, 13-episode Blu-ray includes an extended cut of the season finale, two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a making-of featurette.
• Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) - Adapted from the bestselling novel, this Best Picture Oscar-nominated drama from director Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot) and screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) stars newcomer Thomas Horn as an eccentric boy who loses his father (Tom Hanks) in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The son sets out on a grand adventure to find the lock matching a mysterious key that belonged to his father, getting assistance from an old mute man (Oscar-nominated Max von Sydow). Warner's combo pack includes a 44-minute documentary from von Sydow's son, making-of featurettes, and a tenth anniversary tribute to a 9/11 victim photographically featured in the film.
• Camel Spiders (Blu-ray) - In this new Roger Corman creature feature, giant spiders from Iraq make their way over to the United States in a soldier's coffin and prepare to wreak havoc upon college students and various citizens in a small desert town. A sheriff (C. Thomas Howell) and two military officials (Brian Krause and Rocky DeMarco) lead the defensive efforts against the fast-moving insects.
• Hop (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Mini-Movie) Illumination Entertainment's mixed-medium comedy brings together a California underachiever (James Marsden) and E.B. (computer-animated, voiced by Russell Brand), the son of the Easter Bunny. While they are sorting out their ambitions, a chick (voiced by Hank Azaria) plans an Easter Island coup and three Pink Beret bunnies come looking for E.B. The two-disc combo pack includes games, dozens of shorts, UltraViolet, and some BD-exclusive playback enhancements.
• The Sitter (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - In his first solo leading role, Academy Award-nominated actor Jonah Hill plays an irresponsible man tapped as last-minute replacement babysitter to three challenging kids. The group hits New York City and run into trouble with an eccentric drug dealer (Sam Rockwell). Fox's combo pack serves up theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, 25 minutes of deleted scenes, a gag reel, unused improvisations, and making-of featurettes.
• The Ring (Best Buy-exclusive Blu-ray) - This atmospheric Gore Verbinski-directed supernatural thriller, an unexpected hit in 2002, stars Naomi Watts as a Seattle reporter investigating an unusual videocassette said to kill its viewers seven days after they watch it. The Blu-ray includes the handful of extras from both of its DVD releases, including a 15-minute hodgepodge of deleted scenes, the 16-minute short film Rings, two making-of shorts, and one of the coolest Easter eggs around.
• RoadRacers - In between El Mariachi and Desperado, Robert Rodriguez wrote, directed, and edited this movie as part of Showtime's ten-week 1994 celebration of 1950s youth films. David Arquette, Salma Hayek, John Hawkes, and William Sadler star in this tale of a small-town Texas rebel weighing his rock 'n roll ambitions with some bully business. An audio commentary recorded fifteen years ago and ten minutes of making-of footage spice up this long-delayed DVD debut.
• RoadRacers (Blu-ray) - The second film directed by Sin City's Robert Rodriguez, this launched Showtime's 10-movie 1950s-inspired Rebel Highway series, this low-budget drama centers on a young bad boy (David Arquette) who digs cigarettes, driving fast, rock 'n roll, and his girlfriend (Salma Hayek). He finds his existence in small-town 1950s Texas threatened by the police chief's son. Co-starring John Hawkes and William Sadler, this 1994 movie makes its long awaited disc debut from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment joined by a long-shelved Rodriguez commentary and ten minutes of behind-the-scenes footage narrated by the director.
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