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MAY 16-31, 2008: NEWS ARCHIVES

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June 21, 2008 - The Other Boleyn Girl DVD Review

June 11, 2008 - Our latest review looks at The Other Boleyn Girl, the theatrical filming of Philippa Gregory's 2002 novel now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony. Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson play Anne and Mary Boleyn, sisters who both enter into close relationships with English monarch Henry VIII (Eric Bana). As far as period dramas go, this isn't awards bait but an accessible character study able to sustain interest even in viewers opposed to the genre.
The disc includes a dozen deleted/extended scenes, an audio commentary by director Justin Chadwick (a TV veteran making his feature debut), profiles of six members of the Royal Court, and two featurettes. Read the full review.

June 10, 2008 - After 3½ years, fans of the 1990s' highest-rated family sitcom can complete their collection with today's release of "Home Improvement": The Complete Eighth Season. Before bidding farewell to Tim, Jill, Brad, Mark, Wilson, Al, Heidi, "Tool Time", and Harry's Hardware, the series says goodbye to middle son Randy, as Jonathan Taylor Thomas exits early in the season. Few will dispute that the final season of the ABC Tim Allen comedy is its worst. But with a record 28 episodes (including the 4 parts of the series finale) plus a blooper reel and 2003's primetime retrospective special, this 4-disc set is sure to delight at a low list price that makes it easily found for $20. Read our full 2-page review for a detailed critique of the show, the season, and Buena Vista's new DVD.

Check out our June 10th Schedule for an overview of today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases.

June 9, 2008 - In our first look at this week's new releases, Aaron Wallace reviews Jumper.
Star Wars' Hayden Christensen stars as a young man who can "jump" anywhere and anytime, powers that both attract and defend him against a group of fanatical hunters (led by a silver-haired Samuel L. Jackson). Adapted from the novel by Steven Gould, this PG-13 action-fantasy was directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and co-stars Rachel Bilson, Jamie Bell, and Diane Lane. Our critique looks at a screener which composites the two DVD versions in which Jumper simultaneously debuts. Read on...

June 6, 2008 - Disney has released information on The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector's Edition. Both the 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray versions will serve up the Tim Burton shorts Frankenweenie (uncut, with new introduction) and Vincent; Burton's original poem narrated by actor Christopher Lee; an audio commentary with producer Burton, director Henry Selick, and composer Danny Elfman; a making-of documentary; deleted scenes and test footage; and the new feature "Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour." A third version, dubbed The Ultimate Collector's Set ($179.99 SRP) will serve up the two DVDs, a booklet containing the original poem, a letter of authenticity, and an individually numbered, hand-painted Jack Skellington bust with sound bytes from the film and a removable "Sandy Claws" hat/beard. While apparently dropping the obligatory eye-catching foil packaging, the Collector's Set will introduce on a third disc Disneyfile, the studio's initial foray into the increasingly common Digital Copy. A look at the bust, discs, and accessories has been added to Upcoming Cover Art. is now accepting pre-orders of the DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultimate Collector's Set DVD with their usual price guarantee.

Continuing to deprive the general public of the studio's vintage family entertainment, the Disney Movie Club has just announced the Kurt Russell/Bob Crane comedy Superdad, nature adventure The Legend of Lobo, and anthology episode The Boy Who Flew With Condors as the latest Club-exclusive DVDs. The discs, all given "Wonderful World of Disney" branding, are not yet available to enroll with. Explore our full list of Disney Movie Club Exclusives (with links) or see the exclusives at Disney Movie Club while you consider joining.

June 3, 2008 - Take a look at all of this week's new DVD and Blu-ray releases
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(plus dozens of noteworthy Blu-ray price cuts) in our Schedule for June 3.

Our newest DVD review examines Mama's Boy, a PG-13-rated comedy which comes to disc today after a very limited theatrical release last fall. Jon Heder plays a developmentally arrested 29-year-old who objects when his housemate/best friend/mother (Diane Keaton) begins dating a smarmy motivational speaker (Jeff Daniels). Anna Faris and Eli Wallach co-star. Warner's DVD includes widescreen and fullscreen versions plus 4 deleted scenes and an audio commentary by director Tim Hamilton. More.

A week later, on September 2nd, two new Playhouse Disney DVDs will be released. "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Mickey's Storybook Surprises (formerly titled Mickey's Wonderland) will hold four fairytale-flavored episodes including an unaired one.
"My Friends Tigger & Pooh": Hundred Acre Wood will serve up 3 episodes of that CGI series -- including yet another Halloween with the gang -- plus a bonus "Handy Manny." Each compilation carries a $19.99 SRP.

May 28, 2008 - In our newest review, Aaron Wallace provides a fresh perspective on "Cory in the House": Newt & Improved Edition, the second compilation devoted to the Disney Channel sitcom. In addition to an appraisal of the "That's So Raven" spin-off, there's a look at the disc's 4 episodes and behind-the-scenes featurette. Read the full review.

May 22, 2008 - Will Ferrell returns to the 1970s and sports in Semi-Pro, a comedy set in the world of ABA basketball. Ferrell stars as owner/coach/player Jackie Moon, more a promoter than a power forward. His low-class team, the Flint Tropics, are forced to improve to survive a merger with the NBA. The large cast includes Woody Harrelson and Outkast's Andre Benjamin as teammates and a variety of familiar comedy actors, including Will Arnett, Andy Richter, and David Koechner in supporting roles.
New Line's 2-Disc Unrated Let's Get Sweaty Edition offers both the foul-mouthed R-rated theatrical cut and an extended version that runs 7 minutes longer and adds a character. Extras include deleted/alternate scenes, unused improvisations, six featurettes, a music video, trailers, and a digital copy. Read the full review.

May 19, 2008 - We've updated our Upcoming Disney DVD Schedule with information on all this year's announced DVD and Blu-ray releases plus new dates through the middle of 2009. Check it out!

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• "The Muppet Show": Season Three - Serves up the next 24 episodes of the syndicated late-'70s variety series with guest stars including Gilda Radner, Alice Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Big Bird. In addition to the more than ten hours of comedy and music the show provides, 4-disc set includes the hour-long 1968 program "The Muppets on Puppets", new featurette "A Company of Players", and vintage dog food commercials starring Rowlf the dog.
• Minutemen - Disappointingly routine and shoddy Disney Channel Original Movie tells of three high school outcasts who invent a time machine and use it to help the bullied. A music video by High School Musical's Corbin Bleu and a making-of featurette hosted by the movie's three young leads accompany the movie, which, per frustrating tradition, is presented in "fullscreen."
• National Treasure: Book of Secrets 2-Disc Collector's Edition - Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) seeks to clear his family's name while searching the globe for a fabled City of Gold. Outlandish yet entertaining, just like its predecessor. The bonus disc adds 80 minutes of video in deleted scenes, outtakes, and 8 featurettes to the standard DVD's audio commentary.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• Strange Wilderness - This R-rated, Adam Sandler-produced comedy stars Steve Zahn, Jonah Hill, Justin Long, and Ernest Borgnine as part of a ragtag team of wildlife documentarians. Driven much more by drug humor and lowbrow gags than plot, the inane film falls flat again and again. Paramount equips the box office dud with material that often surpasses the feature in entertainment value: 3 set featurettes, Comedy Central's "Reel Comedy" special, and 22 minutes of deleted scenes.
• Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - The 1989 blockbuster strikes a perfect balance of humor and adventure while entertaining us with Indy's search for the Holy Grail and his estranged father (Sean Connery). Like its predecessors, Crusade looks and sounds similar to its 2003 DVD, but delivers all-new extras, including 3 featurettes, storyboards, and galleries.
• Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Sneakily a prequel, this 1984 installment is rightfully considered this weakest in the original trilogy. It takes Dr. Jones to Shanghai and then India, as he seeks to reclaim a village's sacred stone with help from a Chinese boy and whiny lounge singer. The disc supplies about a half-hour of video supplements (most with optional pop-up trivia) plus four extensive art galleries.
• Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection - The first and most esteemed film in Steven Spielberg and George Lucas' adventure series stars Harrison Ford as an archaeologist who defies death around the globe to protect artifacts. Though deemed a Special Edition, the disc sets a modest pattern for sequels to follow, with a half-hour of all-new bonus features supplanting those found on the trilogy's 2003 DVD box set.
• Over Her Dead Body - "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 PG-13-rated supernatural romantic comedy.

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All Upcoming DVD Schedule
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• Interview with Jon Turtletaub, National Treasure Director
Disney Blu-ray List
Recent Disney DVDs
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Coming to Theaters
The Other Boleyn Girl DVD Review
Latest Reviews (rated):
The Other Boleyn Girl
Home Improvement: S8
Mama's Boy
Cory in the House: Newt...
Muppet Show: Season 3
Semi-Pro: 2-Disc Unrated
Strange Wilderness
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
Home Improvement: The Complete Eighth (Final) Season DVD Review
Classic Caballeros Collection
The Water Horse: Legend...
The Chipmunk Adventure: SE
Chipmunks Go to the Movies Juno
Sweeney Todd: 2-Disc SE
There Will Be Blood (CE)
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
No Country for Old Men
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Semi-Pro: 2-Disc Unrated Let's Get Sweaty Edition DVD Review
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
CD Reviews Index
Holidays 2007 CD Roundup
& 2007: Year in Review

Summer 2007 CD Roundup
Spring 2007 Roundup
Holidays 2006 CD Roundup
& 2006: Year in Review

Fall 2006 CD Roundup
A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
Spring 2006 CD Roundup
Holidays 2005 CD Roundup
Fall 2005 CD Roundup
Summer 2005 CD Roundup
Count down the best of Disney's villains!
Top Heroes & Heroines
Top Disney Villains
Top 100 Disney Songs
Top Live Action Films
Top Animated Classics
Top 50 Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown
Interviews Index
• Jon Turteltaub, National Treasure director
• 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
• Tony Baxter, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering
• Gore Verbinski, Director of Pirates of the Caribbean
• Margaret Kerry, the Model for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan
• Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice and Wendy
• 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
• An Interview with Leonard Maltin, Disney Treasures
• An Interview with Pocahontas: Irene Bedard
• Donnie Dunagan, Voice of Bambi
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