July 3, 2007 - Our latest DVD review looks at Our Very Own, one of two films reaching stores next week through Miramax Films without enjoying a standard theatrical run. Flavor is strong in this tale of five small-town Tennessee teenagers anticipating the homecoming of Hollywood star Sondra Locke in the summer of 1978. The cast for this coming-of-age drama includes an assortment of TV stars (Allison Janney, Cheryl Hines, Jason Ritter, Hilarie Burton, Autumn Reeser), Oscar winner Keith Carradine, and Mary Badham, the girl from To Kill a Mockingbird, coming out of a 40-year retirement. Read the full review...
June 29, 2007 - Ratatouille, the 8th feature film from Pixar Animation Studios, is now playing in nearly 4,000 theaters across the country. Don't forget to check out our analytical movie review and our guide to Ratatouille tie-ins.
June 27, 2007 - The other of this week's new Disney DVDs -- "Hannah Montana": Pop Star Profile -- is the subject of our latest review by Albert Gutierrez. This second disc devoted to the Disney Channel's hit comedy offers 4 episodes from the middle of Season 1 that explore the relationship between Miley/Hannah and her new classmate, a famous child actor played by Hoot's Cody Lindley. Bonus features are a concert performance and "The Real Miley Cyrus." While the design of such a compilation is again questioned, a fresh, forgiving look at the series is provided in our review.
Another of this week's new DVD releases gets reviewed as Aaron Wallace looks at Disney's High School Musical: The Concert - Extreme Access Pass. The feature attraction -- a 57-minute, 14-song presentation of the six-month nationwide tour spun out of the successful TV movie -- is treated to a non-anamorphic transfer and excellent 5.1 soundtrack. Bonus features include Jordan Pruitt's opening act, a backstage featurette, a High School Musical 2 preview, and a multi-angle "U Direct" feature. Read on...
June 26, 2007 - There's just one week left in our Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray Disc Giveaway. We've updated our contest page with two video clips previewing the Blu-ray exclusive bonus game "Liars' Dice" featuring actors Kevin R. McNally and Martin Klebba in character as Captain Jack's faithful shipmates Gibbs and Marty. Click here to check them out and for full contest information.
Click here for a look at all of today's new DVDs, which include 2-disc sets of yesteryear's animated "Batman" and "Superman" series, the fifth seasons of "Monk" and "Miami Vice", the 11th volume in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, and a quartet of 2007's theatrical releases, plus more than a dozen high-definition (HD and Blu-ray) debuts.
Disney has issued a press release for Return to Halloweentown, the fourth entry to the Disney Channel movie series, which will come to DVD on August 28th. Click here to read.
Our newest DVD review takes a look at Shooter, Paramount's R-rated action thriller available on disc today. Mark Wahlberg plays an expert marksman who wrongly becomes the chief suspect in a presidential assassination attempt. The DVD includes a commentary by director Antoine Fuqua, seven deleted scenes, and two featurettes. More...
June 23, 2007 - With the release of Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille less than a week away, we've put together some exciting content on this film. First is our Ratatouille movie review, which provides a thorough, spoiler-free critique and analysis of a feature that bears little resemblance to Pixar's previous seven works. Though the film is a little lacking in the character department and doesn't top the studio's best, dazzling visuals and big ideas add up to one very satisfying experience all the same. Then, be sure to check out our Guide to Ratatouille Tie-Ins for a look at the books, toys, video games, CDs, posters, and miscellaneous items connected to this computer-animated movie's opening.
June 20, 2007 - Don't miss our Bridge to Terabithia DVD review, which critiques Disney and Walden's latest adaptation from a popular book. Though marketed as a CGI-heavy effects film (a tactic justified by solid box office numbers), it's more of a coming-of-age drama as Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb play two pre-teens who use their outsider status at school and vivid imaginations to become friends and rule over a magical domain. The DVD serves up reference quality picture and sound plus two audio commentaries, two featurettes, and a music video for Robb's song "Keep Your Mind Wide Open." Read the full review and check back later in the week for our interviews with the two stars of the film!
Final cover art has been posted for this fall's The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition.
June 19, 2007 - Disney has issued a Meet the Robinsons press release which elaborates on all DVD and Blu-ray Disc bonus features. Meanwhile, we've posted DVD cover art for this October 23rd release.
Aaron Wallace covers The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition, Disney's new re-release (available today) of the 1977 feature film that compiled the studio's first three featurette-length shorts set in the Hundred Acre Wood. The DVD is quite comparable to 2002's 25th Anniversary Edition, though it adds the premiere episode of Playhouse Disney's new CGI series "My Friends Tigger & Pooh" and improves in packaging and picture quality. Read the full review.
Don't forget to check out our all-studios DVD schedule for June 19, which provides titles, information, and links on all of today's most noteworthy DVDs.
Amazon.com has made Meet the Robinsons available for preorder on DVD and Blu-ray, at hefty discounts. Walt Disney Feature Animation's nearly $100 million-grossing adventure will land on both formats with commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, music videos, and more on October 23.
June 18, 2007 - As promised, our newest contest is now up and running, giving all readers a chance to win either Disney's The Curse of the Black Pearl or Dead Man's Chest on two-disc Blu-ray with a tiny bit of effort. Click here for full rules and to enter.
A debut teaser trailer for Pixar's Wall-E was made available over the weekend. Click here to view and click here to save the 1080p HD version. The studio's ninth computer animated feature, Wall-E will open in theaters a year from now, telling the story of a robot in outer space.
June 17, 2007 - Albert Gutierrez's latest DVD review looks at The Secret of NIMH: Family Fun Edition, a new two-disc set available this week from Fox/MGM. Don Bluth's 1982 masterpiece holds up and while its presentation leaves room for improvement and supplemental accompaniment is rather light (a commentary, a featurette, and 5 set-top games), this re-release merits a look for the long-overdue 16x9 treatment bestowed upon the film. More...
June 15, 2007 - Disney has informed retailers that Meet the Robinsons will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on October 23, a month after the previously-anticipated release date and nearly seven full months since the movie opened in theaters. The DVD will present the film in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1. The slipcovered single-disc release will include an audio commentary by director Stephen Anderson, deleted scenes, music videos by Rob Thomas ("Little Wonders") and the Jonas Brothers ("Kids of the Future"), the featurettes "Inventing the Robinsons" and "Keep Moving Forward: Inventions That Shaped the World", and the family tree game "Family Function 5000." The Blu-ray Disc will contain all of the DVD's features plus more deleted scenes and the game "Bowler Hat Barrage!" Click here for Blu-ray cover art.
June 8, 2007 - Box Office Mojo has expanded its list of upcoming Buena Vista releases to include dates a number of the company's planned tentpole films. Accordingly, we've updated our Upcoming Disney Movies page to feature new previews of Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories, Pixar's Up, and Disney/Walden "threequel" The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader. We've also added new details to Bolt (previously known as American Dog) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the video game-spawned Jerry Bruckheimer-Michael Bay epic which has been pushed back to a July 2009 release.
As we move closer to launching our all-DVD sister site to UD, we've created a general Upcoming DVD Schedule, which currently provides information on all studios' high-profile releases for the next three months. Bonus feature information, production data, select cover art, and preorder links are offered for 10-25 of the biggest DVDs scheduled for each of the next four Tuesdays. Keep an eye out as we expand the schedule to cover the rest of the summer in the days and weeks ahead. Click here to check it out now.
UltimateDisney.com is developing a spin-off DVD news/reviews website to provide coverage of high-profile releases from other major studios. While UD will continue to cover all things Disney, the expansion will bring the type of comprehensive critiques and schedules you've come to expect to other significant movies and TV shows from outside the Walt Disney Company. Once this general DVD site launches, it will co-exist with UD.
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
• Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert - This hour-long presentation of the station's 10th Anniversary Concert features performances by Miley Cyrus (as Hannah Montana), Everlife, Aly & AJ, Bowling for Soup, The Cheetah Girls, and Jesse McCartney.
• Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Bloated, confusing, and generally disappointing, this third installment in Disney's blockbuster series practically demands repeat trips to theaters. It goes wrong in many ways, from nonsensical turns to an overwrought story that doesn't give sufficient treatment to any character or idea, even with a nearly 3-hour runtime. Our review is supplemented by more than a dozen pictures from the movie and links to relevant tie-ins.
Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• "Silver Spoons": The Complete First Season - In the role that made him famous, Ricky Schroder stars as the smart, savvy boy who at age 12 moves in with the rich, childish father he's only just met. Though marked by technical shortcomings and design limitations, this early-to-mid 1980s family sitcom nonetheless delights those fond of the format and era. Sony's 3-disc, 22-episode set includes a lengthy pilot, recurring appearances by Jason Bateman and John Houseman, and guest spots by Mr. T, Gary Coleman, Joey Lawrence, and Sharon Stone.
• The Verdict: Collector's Edition - Paul Newman earned his sixth Oscar nomination for his performance as a washed-up attorney who, against great odds, takes a medical malpractice lawsuit to trial. Director Sidney Lumet, writer David Mamet (in his second feature film), supporting actor James Mason, and the film itself all deservedly received Academy Award consideration in leading categories as well. The DVD carries over a Lumet commentary, promotional featurette, and trailer from the 2002 release and adds an AMC "Backstory" episode, new interviews with Newman and Lumet, a 23-minute retrospective, and bonus Newman trailers.
• The Hustler: Collector's Edition - In the role that earned him his only competitive Oscar, Paul Newman excels as a confident billiards player out to prove himself as a person. The all-star cast also includes Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason, all Oscar-nominated for their work in this Robert Rossen drama. The 2-disc DVD includes everything from 2002's Special Edition, while providing three new featurettes, A&E's Paul Newman "Biography" episode, bonus Newman movie trailers, and slight gains in picture.
• Ghost Rider - Nicolas Cage plays a world-famous stunt motorcyclist, whose adolescent pact with Mephistopheles requires him to do the devil's bidding each night. This PG-13-rated flick doesn't recreate the success of other recent Marvel-spawned flicks, with a cheesy tone, a contradictory premise, little action, weak performances, and an unbelievably bad story adding up to something that makes "its viewers want to scream." Sony's single-disc DVD serves up two audio commentaries and two half-hour featurettes, while the movie is also granted a two-disc extended cut elsewhere.
• Norbit - Eddie Murphy assumes multiple leading roles in this "painful" broad comedy which makes one forget of the actor's accomplished past and question the love quadrangle flick's reliance on "big black woman" humor. Paramount's DVD serves up three featurettes, 14 deleted scenes, a photo gallery, the trailer, and a mock infomercial.
• Fantastic Four: Extended Edition - With a more comedic bent than most of today's superhero films, this effects-heavy adventure coasts on the colorful personalities of Marvel's long-running series. Putting off plot until its final act, the movie revels in the fun challenges of a quartet of friends who are dealt unique superpowers after being exposed to cosmic rays. Fox's new two-disc DVD offers both the theatrical cut and a new version expanded by 20 minutes with flawless picture and dynamic sound. Bonus features include three documentaries (each exceeding an hour) on the movie's production, the comic book line that inspired the film, and co-creator Jack Kirby. Trailers, the deleted scenes themselves, galleries, animatics, and two featurettes round out the loaded set, which also provides a ticket to see the soon-to-open sequel and a piece on its foe.
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