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August 2, 2008 - 21 DVD Review

July 29, 2008 - Aaron Wallace covers today's other new Disney DVD, "Wizards of Waverly Place": Wizard School. Debuted last year, this sitcom furthers the trend of fantastical tween-oriented Disney Channel shows,
but solid acting from the core cast and plentiful guests keep the proceedings easier to enjoy than its low-budget kin. The disc serves up four previously aired episodes plus a cast-hosted tour of the set. More...

As always, for a detailed yet concise overview of all of today's new releases on DVD and Blu-ray releases, look no further than our Schedule.

Kelvin Cedeno looks at today's new release, "Phineas and Ferb": The Fast and the Phineas. More a callback to Disney Afternoon highs than a product of today's smug, ironic programming, the series centers on two stepbrothers having summer vacation fun while their pet platypus is a double agent and their big sister is a tattletale. The disc provides two hours of episodes of the animated Disney Channel comedy plus a series pitch (a full storyboard version of the pilot, introduced by the creators) and 4 set-top games. Read on...

July 28, 2008 - Fox has announced a December 9th DVD and Blu-ray debut for the studio's highest-grossing 2008 release, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who. Blue Sky Studios' G-rated, CG-animated family comedy will reach stores in four versions.
A single-disc fullscreen-widescreen flipper DVD ($29.98 SRP) will include directors' commentary and all-new Ice Age short "Surviving Sid." A two-disc Special Edition DVD ($34.98 SRP) adds deleted footage, screen tests, cast & crew interviews, a memory game, a digital copy, and featurettes on the film's themes, Dr. Seuss' world, elephants, animation, and voice star Jim Carrey. A two-disc Blu-ray version ($39.98) will offer all DVD-Video extras plus the ability to watch the movie with Jo Jo, the smallest Who of all. Finally, a Gift Set ($39.98) pairs the 2-disc DVD with a Horton plush.

July 25, 2008 - Our latest DVD review covers Shine a Light. Director Martin Scorsese documents rock legends The Rolling Stones in concert at New York City's Beacon Theater with footage from a team of decorated cinematographers. In stores next Tuesday, Paramount's disc serves up stunning video/audio, a 15-minute featurette and 4 unused song performances. Read our full review.

Three Disney Movie Club Exclusives will quietly receive general retail DVD release. The 1976 comedy Treasure of Matecumbe, 1991 Scandinavian adventure Shipwrecked, and 1995 Patrick Swayze yarn Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventure will street on August 26th with $14.99 SRPs. Tradition tells us the discs themselves will be identical to the fullscreen, barebones versions debuted to Club members in 2005 through 2007. (Matecumbe is even sporting the same "Wonderful World of Disney" cover design.) This new batch raises the number of publicly-issued DVDs of DMC-premiered titles to just six out of 47 Exclusives.

July 24, 2008 - Our latest DVD review examines "Little Einsteins": Flight of the Instrument Fairies. The seventh DVD given the Playhouse Disney franchise, this disc holds four episodes including the unaired one of the title. There's also a game. Read on...

July 23, 2008 - You own a Pixar movie on DVD, right? But, do you own them all? If you answered no to the second question, you may be interested to learn that a box set called Disney • Pixar: Ultimate Movie Collection has shown up in an listing. Disney has not announced this release that's due on August 19th apparently as an Amazon exclusive. It will hold Pixar Animation Studios' first 8 computer-animated features, from 1995's Toy Story to 2007's Oscar-winning Ratatouille.
Though the e-tailer gives a disc count of 8, the first six films are available exclusively in two-disc versions, meaning either the set should have 14 discs or it will contain some new single-disc versions. Interestingly, though the box carries a nonsensically staggering $239.92 list price, Amazon is selling it for just $109.99, a savings of 54%.

July 22, 2008 - Our newest DVD review covers "Freakazoid": Season 1. This short-lived but well-liked mid-'90s WB animated comedy centers on a teenaged computer nerd who turns into a frantic superhero through a microchip flaw discovery. His wacky adventures are complemented by those involving other colorful personalities. Big on parody and cultural references kids won't get, this energetic loosely-formatted cartoon serves up much entertainment. Available next Tuesday, Warner's two-disc set serves up 14 episodes (one of which doesn't really count) plus a solid featurette, series promos, and 3 audio commentaries. Don't miss our full review.

July 19, 2008 - Our Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray schedules have been updated with some major and exciting titles announced for the rest of the year. Be sure to check out Pages 1, 2, and 3 for a week-by-week look at hundreds of movies, TV shows, and miscellaneous discs now due in the busy second half of the year.

July 18, 2008 - In our latest DVD review, we look at 21, the highly-attended PG-13-rated film. In it, a group of MIT students spend their senior year weekends traveling to Las Vegas to win large sums counting cards in casino blackjack games. Across the Universe's Jim Sturgess plays the smart lead, Kate Bosworth is his love interest, Kevin Spacey is the math teacher and team leader, and Laurence Fishburne is in security. Available next week, Sony's DVD includes an audio commentary and three featurettes including one in which the young stars teach card counting. Read on...

July 15, 2008 - Kelvin Cedeno reviews Shutter, the recent remake of a 2004 Thai horror film. Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor star as a married couple that's photographically haunted by a Japanese woman they apparently ran over. Out today, Fox's Unrated DVD serves up heaps of bonus features, including deleted/alternate scenes, an audio commentary, featurettes, filmmaker interviews, and several pieces on spirit photos. More...

Our newest DVD review looks at Step Up 2 The Streets, Touchstone's profitable but unneeded sequel to 2006's sleeper hit dance movie. Applying the same storyline -- Baltimore youth finds art school as a way out of a trouble -- to a girl named Andie (Briana Evigan),
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the film continues in the vein of its predecessor but with no returning cast members save for a briefly-seen Channing Tatum. The "Dance-Off Edition" holds 8 deleted scenes, 6 music videos, two featurettes, Easter Eggs, and more. Read our full review.

The Disney Movie Club has just added three of its most high-profile Exclusive DVDs in 1949's partially animated So Dear to My Heart, the 1965 Tommy Kirk/Annette sequel The Monkey's Uncle, and the F.B.I.-investigated 1962 space comedy Moon Pilot. Prospective members can enroll with this brand new wave, which brings the total number of Disney Movie Club Exclusives close to 50. Click here to join the Disney Movie Club today!

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• College Road Trip - Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symonι star as father and daughter with conflicting plans in Disney's broad yet sentimental G-rated comedy. The DVD supplies widescreen and fullscreen versions, two audio commentaries, a gaggle of deleted and alternate scenes, Raven's "Double Dutch Bus" music video and featurette, bloopers, and "Raven's Video Diary."
• The Sword in the Stone: 45th Anniversary Edition - The often overshadowed 1963 animated film returns to DVD in a disc comparable to its original Gold Collection release.
• "The Suite of Zack & Cody": Lip Synchin' in the Rain - Serving up four Season 3 episodes, this third compilation devoted to the Disney Channel sitcom illustrates the series' changing direction. A Season 2 gag reel and Sprouse brothers interview complement the 89 minutes of programming.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• "Reno 911!": The Complete Fifth Season Uncensored! - Comedy Central's "COPS"-inspired mockumentary series follows eight police deputies around the department and on emergency calls. The 3-disc set holds the 16 most recent episodes of the largely improvised show, six cast audio commentaries, four extended sequences, and 23 minutes of officer psychological evaluations.
• The Ruins: Unrated - Horror film centers on four college-age kids encountering unrest while visiting temple ruins in Mexico. The extended cut runs 6 minutes longer and is accompanied by an audio commentary, three featurettes, deleted scenes, alternate endings, and the trailer.
• Stop-Loss - R-rated drama tells of an army staff sergeant (Ryan Phillippe) who returns home only to be called back to Iraq per a controversial policy and his contract. The DVD includes an audio commentary, two featurettes, and a considerable collection of deleted scenes.
• Vantage Point - Suspenseful thriller imagines a presidential assassination attempt and reviews it from six different perspectives. Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, and Sigourney Weaver headline the star ensemble cast. Sony's DVD supplies a director's audio commentary and nearly an hour of video bonuses.
• Drillbit Taylor: Extended Survival Edition - Based on a John Hughes story and a Seth Rogen screenplay, this Judd Apatow-produced comedy stars Owen Wilson as a homeless bum hired as bodyguard to three bullied high school freshmen. The unrated DVD adds 9 minutes of footage, an audio commentary, a writers' conversation, 17 minutes of deleted/extended scenes, a gag reel, line-o-rama, and a handful of short featurettes.

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Freakazoid!: Season 1 DVD Review
Latest Reviews (rated):
Wizards of Waverly Place
Phineas and Ferb: Fast...
Shine a Light
Little Einsteins: Fairies
Freakazoid! Season 1
Shutter: Unrated
Step Up 2 The Streets
College Road Trip
Reno 911!: Season 5
The Ruins: Unrated
Sword in the Stone: 45th
21 DVD Review
Vantage Point
The Suite Life: Lip Synchin'
Drillbit Taylor
City of Men
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The Spiderwick Chronicles
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The Other Boleyn Girl
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College Road Trip DVD Review
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A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
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Top 100 Disney Songs
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• Alice Davis, legendary Disney costume designer
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• Dominic Scott Kay, star of Snow Buddies
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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
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