October 15, 2007 - Aaron Wallace takes a look at one of this summer's biggest blockbusters with his review of Transformers: Two-Disc Special Edition, available tomorrow from DreamWorks/Paramount. Much more in the style of director Michael Bay than executive producer Steven Spielberg, this effects-heavy, action-filled flick fails viewers on most levels. Even popcorn movies should be able to offer more than the manic mess here and those who liked the toy and cartoon series of the '80s should be especially disappointed. The DVD, however, is acquited, for delivering fine picture and sound, substantial making-of content, and perhaps the world's most inappopriately egotistical commentary track. Read the full review.
A new review looks at one of this week's new DVDs: Jingle All the Way: Family Fun Edition. The most family-oriented film in Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, time hasn't made this Christmas comedy any less painful. Fox's new DVD lets you choose from the theatrical cut and an extended version that's not nearly as long as advertised. Also included are three featurettes and two games. More...
October 14, 2007 - Universal's recently released DVD, Knocked Up: Extended & Unrated - 2-Disc Collector's Edition, is the subject of our latest review. The sophomore directorial effort of Judd Apatow, this one improves upon The 40-Year-Old Virgin with a more potent and even blend of humor and heart. The racy comedy stars Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy") as two very different people whose one-night stand results in pregnancy. The improv-friendly format works well for the film, which includes an entertaining supporting cast (including many veterans of Apatow's TV shows and movies). The DVD offers well over an hour of deleted and extended scenes, alternate lines, some faux documentaries, short featurettes, song performances, and an enlightening, amusing commentary. Read the full review.
October 12, 2007 - The subject of our newest review, The House Without a Christmas Tree, makes its DVD debut next Tuesday. This fondly-remembered 1972 TV movie stars Jason Robards as a grumpy widower who, against his 10-year-old daughter's wishes, won't buy a Tannenbaum. The first of four CBS holiday movies that focused on the Mills family comes to DVD from Paramount with no frills. Read the full review.
Take a look with us at upcoming DVD release of Disney Feature Animation's latest film in our new review of Meet the Robinsons. This CGI adventure is one of the studio's most entertaining cartoons released this decade and, while leaving room for improvement in the extras department, the disc serves up flawless picture and sound plus a commentary, a featurette, 2 music videos, and 3 deleted scenes. Read on...
October 11, 2007 - Kelvin Cedeno writes our latest article: Surf's Up DVD Review. Looks can be deceiving as what appears to be just another CGI comedy about penguins proves to have more merit. Directed by Toy Story 2's Ash Brannon and Tarzan's Chris Buck, this mockumentary about an aspiring young surfer boasts a wide cast of colorful characters, a spirited voice cast (which includes Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder, Zooey Deschanel, and Jeff Bridges), and pleasing visuals. There's enough to easily distinguish the film from the lesser works of its popular medium and enough to overlook the familiar story. The Special Edition DVD supplies a lot on the movie (a commentary and assorted featurettes), some kid-oriented games and features, and a new Christmas ChubbChubbs short in addition to its Oscar-winning 2002 predecessor. Read the full review.
October 9, 2007 - Our newest DVDizzy.com review covers Evan Almighty, the sequel to the 2003 blockbuster Bruce Almighty. Despite losing costly funnyman Jim Carrey, this PG-rated 2007 release still racked up a budget big enough to become the most expensive comedy film ever made. "The Office" star Steve Carell plays a reporter-turned-congressman who is instructed by God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark in preparation for an upcoming flood. Universal's DVD provides over 75 minutes of video bonus features. More...
Our latest DVD review covers "Family Ties": The Second Season, available today from Paramount. Driven by characters and stories instead of a gimmicky premise, the sitcom that launched Michael J. Fox is clearly a product of the early '80s but it holds up nearly a quarter-century since first airing. The 4-disc set serves up 22 episodes plus promos and new interviews with creator Gary David Goldberg, Fox, and three other actors. Read the full review.
October 8, 2007 - Our new DVD review looks at "Hannah Montana": Life's What You Make It. Like the previous two DVDs devoted to the Disney Channel's hit comedy, this one delivers four random episodes. The Season 2 shows are joined by a Billy Ray Cyrus music video and a short featurette. Aaron Wallace provides a new take on the series. Read more...
October 6, 2007 - We've just posted The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause DVD and Blu-ray Press Release. The $84 million-grossing third installment in Disney's Christmas family comedy film series arrives on both formats on November 20th with a number of bells and whistles.
Our newest DVD review covers next week's Poltergeist: 25th Anniversary Edition. Right before E.T., Steven Spielberg wrote, produced, and -- some say -- directed this other tale of a suburban family making contact with an unfamiliar presence. Warner's new DVD supplies considerable improvement in picture and sound, delivering long-overdue 16x9 enhancement, but only a weak 31-minute featurette on real poltergeists that's more suited for cable channel-surfing than a momentous reissue of this esteemed PG-rated horror flick. The review also discusses Thursday night's disappointing limited nationwide theatrical screening of this 1982 Craig T. Nelson/JoBeth Williams film. Read the full review.
October 5, 2007 - Our latest DVD review looks at Wall Street: 20th Anniversary Edition. Oliver Stone's R-rated 1987 drama may be the most-cited cinematic representation of '80s greed, but despite fine performances (especially from lead Charlie Sheen and Oscar-winning Michael Douglas), this unsubtle morality tale holds up as good, not great. Fox's two-disc reissue drops the 2000 DVD's trailers, but retains the documentary and Stone commentary while adding another long documentary and over 20 minutes of deleted scenes with commentary. While it's not a must-have upgrade, Amazon's currently low selling price makes it more attractive. More...
October 3, 2007 - Our just-posted 650th DVD review covers Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - The Power Cosmic Edition. With a PG rating and 92-minute runtime, this big budget sequel departs from today's superhero genre conventions while adhering to others. More story-oriented than its predecessor, this entertaining follow-up will likely please anyone who enjoyed the first film. It's treated to a fine 2-disc set from Fox, which includes a terrific fly-on-the-set documentary, 5 great featurettes, and two skippable commentaries. Read the full review.
October 2, 2007 - Kelvin Cedeno looks at Fox/MGM's new DVD release of one of Stephen King's most popular and acclaimed adaptations in our review of Misery: Collector's Edition. The Godfather's James Caan plays a successful romance novelist who finds himself held captive after an auto accident by his self-proclaimed number one fan (Kathy Bates in an Oscar-winning performance). The new disc offers considerable improvement over the past version, providing director and writer's audio commentaries, featurettes on the movie and its score, two trailers, and a host of psychological pieces on stalking. Read on...
September 30, 2007 - Tenth in Disney's most esteemed DVD line for animated features is The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition, the subject of our latest review. The 1967 musical/comedy/adventure holds up as one of the finest films bearing the Disney name, with its crowd-pleasing blend of potent personalities, great songs, and compelling story (loosely adapted from Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli tales). The two-disc set is mostly satisfactory, with a lively audio commentary and a great documentary both adding lots of value. The games are fairly disposable and in spite of terrific picture quality, the disc leaves a few things to be desired, namely a viewing format option. Read the complete 2-page review.
Kelvin Cedeno looks at Funny Face: 50th Anniversary Edition, Paramount's new reissue of the 1957 Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire musical. Hepburn plays a Manhattan bookshop employee reluctantly turned Parisian fashion model in an Oscar-nominated film that co-stars Kay Thompson (the author of the Eloise books) and features songs by George and Ira Gershwin. The DVD includes two new featurettes, a look at Paramount in the 1950s, a photo gallery, and the trailer. More...
September 29, 2007 - Another of this year's many Buena Vista box sets for hour-long ABC dramas is the subject of our latest DVD article. Aaron Wallace takes a look at "Desperate Housewives": The Complete Third Season - The Dirty Laundry Edition. Season 3 finds the highly-rated, award-winning drama at its most compelling, with sharp writing, rich characters, and fine acting adding up to show that though varied in tone, is uniformly excellent. Disney's 6-disc set offers first rate picture and sound plus a reasonable collection of featurettes, bloopers, and deleted scenes. Read the full review.
Disney has announced the titles that will gradually be disappearing from stores at the end of next January. To be discontinued: the Platinum Editions of Cinderella and Aladdin and all of their sequels, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True Special Edition (coming December 18th), Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, and the Aladdin II & III Collection, holding The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
September 21, 2007 - This Sunday marks the official beginning of autumn, which makes it good that we've just posted our Walt Disney Records - Summer 2007 CD Roundup. Reviewed in this latest article covering recent output from Disney's music branch are High School Musical: The Concert, soundtracks to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Ratatouille, the "inspired by" compilation Ratatouille: What's Cooking?, the best-selling two-disc/two-persona album Hannah Montana 2 / Meet Miley Cyrus, CD/DVD combo The Cheetah Girls in Concert: The Party's Just Begun Tour, the High School Musical 2 single What Time Is It?, Billy Ray Cyrus' Home At Last, Baby Einstein: Baby Mozart 2, Playhouse Disney's Doodlebops: Get on the Bus!, and the complete chart-topping High School Musical 2 soundtrack. You may not be interested in all 11 album reviews, but you surely want to check out our Summer 2007 Disney CD Roundup.
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
• Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams - Sleeping Beauty's Aurora and Aladdin's Jasmine each star in their own original half-hour animated story. Despite the fanfare, neither delivers more than a fluffy tot-tailored experience, more on par with a syndicated cartoon episode or a short direct-to-video outing than worthy follow-ups to the leading ladies' beloved classics.
Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• "Brothers & Sisters": The Complete First Season - ABC's Emmy-winning hour-long drama tells of a large, affluent California family for whom secrets and scandals are a way of life. Buena Vista treats the series -- which stars Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, and many more -- to a 6-disc set, which serves up 4 commentaries, a full deleted episode, bloopers, and some featurettes.
• The TV Set - Written, directed, and produced by Jake Kasdan, this R-rated independent comedy humorously skews the television industry with a look at the quest of a writer (David Duchovny) to get his original show on primetime. The real-life trials of Kasdan and executive producer Judd Apatow on the esteemed but swiftly-axed "Freaks and Geeks" clearly shape and enhance this smart, witty satire. Fox's DVD serves up two engaging audio commentaries, an amusing deleted scene, and a standard but good featurette.
• Flashdance: Special Collector's Edition - The appeal of this hokey 1983 R-rated blockbuster may be lost on today's first-time viewers. Those who remember the music, fashions, and dancing may be able to overlook the weak story and loosely-strung music videos structure. Paramount's reissue boasts nearly an hour's worth of featurettes and a 6-track bonus audio CD.
• "Grey's Anatomy": Season Three - ABC/Touchstone's extremely popular medical drama returns to DVD in the expected fashion, with stellar picture/sound and a decent helping of extras. The series itself wavers slightly and misses the light-hearted storylines needed to balance the dreary ones, but it still entertains solidly.
• Next - Nicolas Cage plays a Las Vegas clairvoyant who can actually see two minutes into his future. While pursuing the woman of his visions (Jessica Biel), he becomes targeted by FBI agents (led by Julianne Moore) and the bomb-stealing terrorists she's after. Unfaithfully adapted from a post-apocalyptic Philip K. Dick short story, this conventional action flick entertains mildly but fails to realize its high potential or capitalize on its intriguing concept.
• Wayside: The Movie - This hour-long TV special launched the Nicktoons Network animated series that's loosely adapted from Louis Sachar's popular collection of children's books.
• Cujo: 25th Anniversary Edition - The simple but suspenseful 1983 adaptation of Stephen King's novel centers on a rabid St. Bernard dog who terrorizes those he encounters, including a mother (Dee Wallace) and young son (Danny Pintauro) trapped in a dying car. Lionsgate's disc grants the movie its first widescreen presentation in Region 1 and serves up a fine director's commentary and a 42-minute documentary that's filled with new cast/crew interviews.
• Saturday Night Fever: 30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition - In his Oscar-nominated, star-making performance, John Travolta plays a 19-year-old Brooklyn man who really feels alive on the disco dance floor. Frank sexuality and tough language are sprinkled admist the energetic disco sequences that are more remembered from this 1977 cultural phenomenon. The DVD offers picture improvement, carries over director John Badham's nice audio commentary, and adds a fun trivia track, six new featurettes, and two dancing features. But a few things keep it from being a clear upgrade.
• Kickin' It Old Skool - Jamie Kennedy plays a man coming out a 20-year coma in this independent comedy that's big on 1980s nostalgia but short on laughs. Fox's DVD serves up the movie's trailer plus a half-hour of deleted scenes that include appearances by otherwise-cut John Ratzenberger, Erik Estrada, and Michelle Trachtenberg) plus the movie's trailer.
• The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition DVD - In his breakout role, Dustin Hoffman plays Ben Braddock, a new college alum who separately romances a mother (Anne Bancroft) and daughter (Katharine Ross) while at a crossroads in life. MGM revisits this landmark 1967 comedy-drama with major upgrades in picture and sound, two new commentaries, two new featurettes, a 4-track Simon and Garfunkel CD sampler, and the extras from previous DVDs.
• Unaccompanied Minors - Warner's 2006 family comedy tells of five pre-teens stranded at the airport one snowy Christmas Eve. Despite unlikable characters and a shortage of laughs, the movie redeems itself a little by its end. The double-sided disc includes a commentary led by director Paul Feig, deleted scenes, an outtakes reel/dance video, and 20½ minutes of improvisation with three "Kids in the Hall" cast members who play guards in the film.
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