DVDizzy.com: MAY 1-15, 2014 NEWS ARCHIVES
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May 15, 2014 - Our newest review covers Tanta Agua, a Uruguyan film about a divorced father and his two children's one-week vacation marked by heavy rain and boredom. Debuting last November through Film Movement's Film-of-the-Month Club, the DVD reached general retail this week joined by a trailer, a biography of the directors, and the BAFTA-nominated 2002 short Home Road Movies. Our review.
May 14, 2014 - Our coverage of this week's new discs continues with a review of Paramount's "Crocodile" Dundee & "Crocodile" Dundee II Double Feature Blu-ray. These two hit 1980s comedies star Paul Hogan as an Australian outdoorsman who comes to New York City with a reporter (Linda Kozlowski) he falls for. Also written by Hogan, the films get their own discs, joined by trailers and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Full review.
May 12, 2014 - For the first time, The Godfather Part III, the final installment of Francis Ford Coppola's esteemed trilogy, gets released to Blu-ray on its own tomorrow. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, this 1990 drama finds Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) struggling to keep his family business legitimate while finding a successor. Paramount's Blu-ray retains an audio commentary recorded by director/screenwriter Coppola back in 2001. Our review.
May 10, 2014 - On Tuesday, Best Original Screenplay winner Her becomes the last of 2013's Oscar victors to hit home video. Written and directed by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are), this film is set in a future where a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Also featuring Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Rooney Mara, this highly acclaimed romantic comedy is joined by three unusual bonus features on the first disc of Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack. Read our review.
May 9, 2014 - Disney has formally announced the Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition Blu-ray combo pack for release on October 7th. The first Disney animated classic revisited on Blu-ray, this 1959 film will be joined by three never-before-seen deleted scenes, a "Once Upon a Dream" "Beauty-oke" lyrics video, a new @DisneyAnimation featurette, and more. For cover art and thorough release details, see the official press release.
Warner has announced a June 24th Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release for 300: Rise of an Empire. A side sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit, this stylized action epic grossed over $330 million worldwide in the spring. Its combo packs and two-disc Special Edition DVD will include a number of making-of featurettes. For cover art and complete details, see the press release.
Disney animation fans have a number of reasons to be excited today. The company just announced an August 12, 2014 Blu-ray debut for The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The 1949 classic, consisting of half-hour adaptations of The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be available in a new DVD, a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack, and a 3-disc edition that also includes the 1947 anthology classic Fun and Fancy Free. The same day will bring the long-awaited Blu-ray debuts of Hercules, Tarzan, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, each also available in Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy combo packs ($29.99 SRP each). Finally, that day will also bring a 10th Anniversary Edition combo pack of the direct-to-video adventure Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. Click the thumbnails below for larger views of the cover art:
May 8, 2014 - Today's new review looks at The Terminal. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this 2004 comedy tells the story of Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), an Eastern European traveler who finds himself legally unable to leave JFK International Airport. Co-starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci, it is joined by over an hour of bonus features on Paramount's just-released Blu-ray. Full review.
May 7, 2014 - Our coverage of this week's new Blu-rays continues with a review of The Art of the Steal. This Canadian action comedy stars Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel, Kenneth Welch, and Chris Diamantopoulos as a team of art thieves/forgers reluctantly reuniting for one big heist. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray of this Radius-TWC release includes filmmakers audio commentary, a half-hour making-of featurette, and a featurette on one sequence's visual effects. Our review.
May 6, 2014 - Veronica Mars revives the three-season UPN/CW drama in feature film form. Largely funded by 91,585 fan donations, this mystery returns the titular heroine (played by Kristen Bell) to her hometown of Neptune, California and her old calling of private investigator. Veronica's estranged ex (Jason Dohring) reaches out to her when he becomes suspected of murdering his girlfriend, a pop star who attended high school with them. Following a limited theatrical release in March, this Rob Thomas-directed outing is now available on Blu-ray, joined by an hour-long documentary, a half-hour of additional material including deleted scenes, a gag reel, and behind-the-scenes shorts, and Digital HD UltraViolet. Our review.
May 5, 2014 - Before teaming up to make Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis, writer Bob Gale, and executive producer Steven Spielberg made Used Cars, a 1980 comedy about rival car dealershipsowned by twin brothers (both played by Jack Warden). When one owner dies, his staff rallies to keep the business afloat and out of the hands of the evil twin responsible for his death. Kurt Russell, Gerrit Graham, Frank McRae, and Deborah Harmon also star. Now available, Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series Blu-ray includes two isolated soundtracks, a Russell-Zemeckis-Gale audio commentary, vintage radio ads, a trailer, photo galleries, and a TV spot. Don't miss our full review.
May 3, 2014 - Son of Batman, the 20th entry in the DC Comics Universe's series of direct-to-video animated movies, is the subject of our latest review. This PG-13 film tells of Damian Wayne, Batman's illegitimate son with Talia al Ghul. Trained by the League of Assassins, the fearless, precocious youth witnesses the murder of his grandfather and then meets his father. Available next Tuesday, Warner's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet includes making-of featurettes, a preview at the series' next movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, and four episodes from three past Batman animated television series. Our full review.
May 2, 2014 - Our newest review looks at Devil's Due. This found footage horror film centers on a newlywed couple whose unexpected pregnancy takes their live in surprising directions. From two of the directors of V/H/S, this January opening is now available in a Fox Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack that includes deleted scenes, audio commentary, a photo gallery, a making-of featurette, short films, and more. Our review.
Another Steven Spielberg film makes its way to Blu-ray next week with Paramount's release of Amistad. This 1997 drama, the second film released by DreamWorks Pictures, tells the true story of an 1839 ship of African slaves who mutiny and wind up being tried in American courts. Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Djimon Hounsou and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this film penned by Gladiator screenwriter David Franzoni. The Blu-ray includes the film's trailer and a half-hour making-of featurette. Full review.
April 28, 2014 - Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation stars Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O'Hara as a married couple who takes a month-long beachside vacation with their children and grandchildren. From the author of Father of the Bride, the director of Harvey and the screenwriterof The Grapes of Wrath, this 1962 family comedy is now on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series. It's joined by its trailer, a newsreel, an essay booklet, and an isolated score soundtrack. Don't miss our complete review.
April 27, 2014 - 2004's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby, received a 10th anniversary Blu-ray earlier this year and we've just posted a review. Directed by Clint Eastwood and adapted by Paul Haggis (Crash), this drama tells the story of a dedicated female boxer (Hilary Swank) striving for success under the reluctant training of an aging veteran (Eastwood). Warner's new Blu-ray adds a new half-hour retrospective and an audio commentary by producer Albert Ruddy to a number of making-of featurettes plus a James Lipton interview of the three leads. Full review.
April 25, 2014 - We look at All the King's Men in our latest Blu-ray review. The 1949 winner of the Best Picture Academy Award, this drama adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren tells the story of a small town idealist (Broderick Crawford) who evolves into a powerful and corrupt state governor before the eyes of a journalist turned staffer (John Ireland). From The Hustler director Robert Rossen, this three Oscar-winner is treated to an isolated music track, its theatrical trailer, and an essay booklet in a Twilight Time disc limited to 3,000 copies. Full review.
April 24, 2014 - Our newest review covers Labor Day. Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno) directs and adapts this drama from Joyce Maynard's novel. In early September 1987, an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) lays low at the house of a shut-in single mother (Kate Winslet) and her teenage son (Gattlin Griffith). A Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress in a Drama and theatrical underperformer, this film hits stores next week in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack that includes filmmakers' audio commentary, ten minutes of deleted scenes, and a half-hour making-of featurette. Full review.
Another Woody Allen movie has come to Blu-ray and we've got a review. Broadway Danny Rose, Allen's 1984 comedy, tells the story of a personal manager who represents unpopular acts who move on at the first sign of success. Danny Rose (Allen) goes above and beyond when he agrees to pose as the beard of a Mob widow (Mia Farrow) who is the mistress of a lounge singer (Nick Apollo Forte) he represents. Available now but probably not for long, Twilight Time's Blu-ray is limited to a print run of just 3,000 copies. Our review.
April 22, 2014 - The 1954 prison drama Riot in Cell Block 11 finally reaches DVD and Blu-ray today from The Criterion Collection. Heavily based on a real 1952 Jackson, Michigan incident,this early film from Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz director Don Siegel has prisoners rioting and demanding improvements in the penal system. Criterion's Dual-Format Edition includes excerpts from Siegel's autobiography and biography, an hour-long NBC radio program on the real riot, an audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein, and an essay booklet. Our review.
Warner will reissue the classic 1970 documentary Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music in a 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Revisited. The four-hour director's cut of the Oscar-winning film will be joined by brand new concert footage from Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Santana, The Who, and more in addition to a reproduction of Woodstock Festival tickets, articles from Life and The New York Times, and a Woodstock logo iron-on patch. The set will also hang on to bonus features from the film's Ultimate Collector's Edition release including interviews and eighteen "Untold Stories" performances.
April 21, 2014 - Take a look at Acorn Media's upcoming DVD release of "You, Me & Them": Series 1 in our newest review. This new British sitcom stars Anthony Head ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Eve Myles as a couple whose life is complicated by the crazy relatives united by their May-December romance. Available next week, the two-disc DVD includes the show's first six episodes plus bloopers, cast interviews, and a set tour. Our review.
April 19, 2014 - Our newest review covers next week's 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray debut of Chances Are. From the director of Sister Act and Dirty Dancing, this 1989 romantic comedy tells the story of a married man (Christopher McDonald) who dies and is reincarnated as a young aspiring journalist (Robert Downey Jr.). His return complicates the life of the loving widow who hasn't gotten over him (Cybill Shepherd), her lawyer daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson) and his longtime best friend (Ryan O'Neal). Image Entertainment celebrates the film's quarter-century mark next Tuesday. Our thorough review.
April 17, 2014 - The LEGO Movie, the #1 movie of 2014 so far by both critical approval and box office gross, will come to home video two months from today. Warner has announced a loaded 2-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack as well as an Everything Is Awesome Edition wielding even more. For cover art, preorders, and complete details, see the press release.
Our newest review covers The Criterion Collection's recent Dual Format Edition release of The 400 Blows. The feature debut of Franηois Truffaut, this 1959 product of the French New Wave is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. The semiautobiographical drama about a poor, troubled pre-teen boy is based largely on the critic-turned-director's own upbringing. Criterion's Blu-ray + DVD retains the extras assembled over their 15 years of distributing this classic, including two audio commentaries, two Truffaut interviews for 1960s French television, cast auditions, the trailer, and an essay. Our review.
Recent Film Reviews:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - World War II supersoldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself in the middle of danger and conspiracy when attempts are made on the life of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Co-starring Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, and Robert Redford, this action-packed sequel is directed by "Community" producers and brothers Anthony and Joe Russo from another script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World).
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, Zoλ 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.
Muppets Most Wanted - In this sequel to the franchise's warmly-received 2011 revival, 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.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - 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.
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.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
Ride Along (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Kevin Hart plays an aspiring cop who tags along with his girlfriend's brother, a hardened vice detective (Ice Cube), for a day they'll never forget. Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Barbershop, Think Like a Man) directs this blockbuster buddy comedy, which Universal's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack treats to an audio commentary, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and numerous making-of featurettes.
Philomena (Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress, hits home video tomorrow. This drama from director Stephen Frears (The Queen) tells the remarkable true story of an Irish mother's (Judi Dench) and British journalist's (Steve Coogan) search for the child she gave up to nuns fifty years ago. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes a Dench interview, a Coogan Q & A, a short on the real Philomena, an audio commentary by Coogan and co-writer Jeff Pope, and a code for Digital HD UltraViolet.
Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed (Blu-ray) - Gaffigan's fourth stand-up special premiered on Comedy Central on April 27th and hit home video in this substantially extended version two days later.
Fargo (Remastered Blu-ray) - The Coen brothers' revered 1996 crime comedy stars an Oscar-winning Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police officer investigating a triple homicide that is part of a staged kidnapping plot by a desperate car dealer (William H. Macy). Co-starring Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, this film gets improved picture quality alongside an audio commentary by cinematographer Roger Deakins, the half-hour documentary "Minnesota Nice", a photo gallery, a cinematography article, and trailers.
August: Osage County (Blu-ray) - Adapted from Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film reunites a large Oklahoma family for the first time in years following the death of its patriarch. Earning Academy Award nominations for Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, this ensemble dramedy also stars Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, and Abigail Breslin. Now available, Weinstein's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by director John Wells and his cinematographer, deleted scenes with commentary, a writing featurette, and a making-of featurette.
Grudge Match (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone channel two of their more iconic roles in this comedy about world light heavyweight boxing champions who agree to square off thirty years after a rematch was cancelled. Co-starring Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, Jon Bernthal, and LL Cool J, this Christmas Day comedy is now available to own. Warner's combo pack includes over 45 minutes of bonus features, including alternate endings, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and interviews with heavyweight champions Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Larry Holmes.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - This middle film in Peter Jackson's second epic Middle-Earth trilogy sends Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) looking for a stolen jewel and finding a giant dragon. The dwarves are back and taken prisoner by elves including Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Available today, Warner's 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet combo pack should satisfy those unwilling to wait for the inevitable Extended Edition. It includes over two hours of bonus features including production videos, trailers, and a 2013 live stream.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD). This spin-off to the lucrative low-budget horror franchise centers on two recent high school graduates whose lives become disturbed. Paramount's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack treats the film to theatrical and unrated cuts plus over 10 minutes of deleted scenes on Blu-ray.
The Invisible Woman (Blu-ray + DVD) - Dramatizes the true story of a love affair between Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) and Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), a young actress. Fiennes directs a cast that also includes Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander. Available on April 15th, Sony's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack treats the Oscar-nominated drama to a commentary, festival panels, and additional Q & A sessions with Fiennes and Jones, plus the trailer.
At Middleton (Blu-ray) - Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga play parents accompanying their respective teenagers on a tour of Middleton College. Separated from the group, they form a connection. Now available, Anchor Bay's Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by Garcia and the filmmakers, an outtakes reel, and a slideshow music video for an original Garcia song.
The Jungle Book 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy) - 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.
Delivery Man (Blu-ray) - Vince Vaughn stars 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 dramedy is now joined by a deleted scene, Vaughn improvisations, bloopers, and a making-of featurette.
The Past (Blu-ray + DVD) - Writer/director Asghar Farhadi's French language follow-up to his Oscar-winning Iranian film A Separation tells the story of a separated couple (The Artist's Bιrιnice Bejo and Ali Mosaffa) intending to finalize their divorce but whose intersecting families are weighed down by secrets and guilt. Now available, Sony's 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.
The Great Beauty (The Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD) - The winner of the the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 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.
Saving Mr. Banks (Blu-ray + Digital HD Digital Copy) - 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.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Blu-ray) - 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. Flicker Alley's 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.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - 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.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet) - 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 Misιrables 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.
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