DVDizzy.com: NOVEMBER 16-30, 2010 NEWS ARCHIVES
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November 30, 2010 - 16 Wishes stars "Suite Life on Deck"'s Debby Ryan as Abby, a teenager who's long been anticipating her 16th birthday. It arrives in magical fashion, with a box of enchanted candles realizing one of her childhood wishes every hour. Jean-Luc Bilodeau ("Kyle XY") co-stars in this Disney Channel movie not quite made by Disney. Now available, Image Entertainment's DVD includes Ryan's "A Wish Comes True Everyday" music video, interviews with the stars, and a bag of 16 Bandz inspired by the movie. See if your wish comes true when you check out our review.
Our newest DVD review looks at Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary on the exciting boom Disney animation experienced in the 1980s and 1990s. It's directed by Don Hahn, who was a key part of that creative period as the producer of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. The 86-minute feature sets new recollections from the likes of Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the late Roy Disney to archival footage from the celebrated era. It's available today with an audio commentary by Hahn and co-producer Peter Schneider, deleted scenes prominently featuring lyricist Howard Ashman, longer looks at Randy Cartwright and John Lasseter's studio home movies, three featurettes, and a collectible lithograph. Full review.
Waking Sleeping Beauty is one of three recent Disney documentaries released today that we'll be looking at; the others are The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story on the influential songwriting siblings and Walt & El Grupo on the studio's South American years. Also released today and destined to be reviewed: the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action-rom-com Knight and Day, Fantasia and Fantasia 2000: 2 Movie Collection Blu-ray + DVD, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Sid & Marty Krofft's Saturday Morning Hits (with episodes of their most popular trippy '70s TV fantasies). Find out more on these and other debuts on our updated schedule.
November 29, 2010 - Our reviews resume with a detailed critique of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright adapts from Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic book series. Michael Cera plays the title role of a 22-year-old Toronto bass player, who finds himself in two romantic relationships, one of which requires him to fight and defeat seven evil exes in battles inspired by video games. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, and Brandon Routh portray some of the film's many colorful personalities. The acclaimed but unprofitable comedy is joined by a bounty of bonus features in Universal's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo, among them four audio commentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers, galleries, documentaries, featurettes, music videos, blogs, and a free movie stream. Read our full review, which includes an ordered list of featured songs with previews.
If you decided to sleep in on Black Friday, you'll be pleased to find that Cyber Monday deals abound at Amazon.com today, with movies and TV seasons as low as $10. Shop and save.
November 26, 2010 - November may almost be done, but we've just promoted the schedule and updated December and January 2011's planned DVD and Blu-ray releases as well. Check them out!
November 24, 2010 - On this night before Thanksgiving, we look at 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rankin-Bass's traditionally animated 1974 television special based on the famous poem that Clement Moore may or may not have written. The program centers on a town on Santa's naughty list, focusing on the clockmaker and his mouse apprentice. Warner's recent Remastered Deluxe Edition adds a new featurette on global holiday traditions to the half-hour feature presentation. Full review.
Today's Black Friday Week DVD and Blu-ray Deals at Amazon.com include Slumdog Millionaire, Taken, and The Hangover for $5 or less, season sets of "The Simpsons" for under $13, and new offers added every few hours.
Eat Pray Love turns Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir into a comeback vehicle for Julia Roberts. As the freshly-divorced travel author, Roberts takes to Italy, India, and Indonesia to perform the titular activities while living life fully. James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, and Javier Bardem co-star. Now available, Sony's DVD presents the film in both its PG-13 theatrical version and an extended director's cut, along with a featurette interviewing the film's writer/director Ryan Murphy (one of the creators of "Glee"). Read our full review, which includes film and bonus feature video clips and a featured song list with MP3 previews.
November 23, 2010 - Today's new releases include Julia Roberts' globe-trotting dramedy Eat Pray Love, Disney's Christmas musical The Search for Santa Paws, and the kidnapping thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed. For information on more of today's new DVDs and Blu-rays, check our schedule.
November 21, 2010 - A Buddyless prequel to last year's Santa Buddies, The Search for Santa Paws tells the story of mistreated orphan girls, Santa Claus working in New York, an L.A. couple inheriting a toy shop, and, yes, even some talking dogs. Debuting this week, this musical drama is joined by deleted scenes, sing-along subtitles, a virtual pop-up book read by the Buddies, and Debby Ryan's "Deck the Halls" music video. You can watch that video and clips from the film as part of our review.
November 20, 2010 - The British suspense thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed gets mileage out of a kidnapping plot with just three actors and one primary location. Prince of Persia's Gemma Arterton, Sherlock Holmes' Eddie Marsan, and Martin Compston star in this acclaimed little film written and directed by J. Blakeson. Coming to disc on Tuesday from Anchor Bay, the film is joined by an audio commentary, extended scenes, a storyboard comparison, and outtakes. More...
November 19, 2010 - For some reason, Harry Potter is on people's minds this weekend. If the beginning of the end isn't enough for you, why not look back with us at Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? The fourth film in the blockbuster fantasy series, this 2005 Mike Newell-directed installment gets darker with the new form of Voldemort, gets lighter with the Yule Ball, and gets adventurous with the Triwizard Tournament. Warner's recent Ultimate Edition DVD keeps the two discs of the film's original Two-Disc Special Edition and adds a new disc with a new hour-long "Creating the World of Harry Potter" documentary on sound and music, 5 television specials, a digital copy, a companion book, character cards, and a lenticular cover. Read our full review to figure out if it has what it takes to win the Triwizard Cup that is your wallet.
Disney has announced that Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaδ of the Valley of the Wind (1984), the oldest film in the Studio Ghibli library, will become the Japanese studio's first catalog title released to Blu-ray in the US. It will be released on March 8th as a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack ($39.99 SRP) wielding the featurette "Creating Nausicaδ", interactive features The World of Ghibli and Enter the Lands, a Studio Ghibli trivia challenge, and the original Japanese storyboards on the Blu-ray disc plus English voice cast featurette "Behind the Microphone", "The Birth Story of Studio Ghibli", and original TV trailers on the presumably recycled DVD. On the same day, Disney will debut Miyazaki's son's coolly-received, narrowly-distributed Tales from Earthsea exclusively on DVD ($29.99 SRP) with "Behind the Studio", "Enter the Lands", and Studio Ghibli trivia challenge.
November 17, 2010 - Based on the enduring Beverly Cleary book series, Ramona and Beezus tells the story of an imaginative young Portland girl (Joey King), her impatient big sister (Selena Gomez), and their friends and family. This Fox/Walden adaptation delivers laughs, love, and embarrassing moments. Now available, the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, filmmaking featurettes with the director, actor auditions, the trailer, and an interview with Ms. Cleary. Full review.
Amazon.com is currently selling the MP3 download of Disney's Tangled soundtrack for just $3.99. Purchase of the Alan Menken song score includes a digital booklet.
Kelvin Cedeno gives a rare perfect 10 score to The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + DVD. Fox's recent 2 Blu-ray, 1 DVD high-def debut of the 1965 Best Picture winner is loaded with new and old substantial documentaries on the movie, the real von Trapps, the Austrian locations, and the work of accomplished songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein. Julie Andrews stars as cheery nun Maria who becomes governess to the seven challenging children of a stern captain (Christopher Plummer). You won't easily find a more thorough critique of a more thorough release than right here.
November 16, 2010 - Today's new releases include: the motion-captured A Christmas Carol, Oscar candidate The Kids Are All Right, the Christmas TV movie Mrs. Miracle, Richard Dreyfuss' The Lightkeepers, and the Mickey Mote-compatible Playhouse Disney DVDs "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Numbers Roundup and "Handy Manny": Big Construction Job, all of which we've covered at length. To these reviews, we'll be adding a look at Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition in the coming days. And as always, check our schedule for details on the week's other debuts.
November 15, 2010 - We take a look at this week's other new Playhouse Disney DVD in "Handy Manny": Big Construction Job. The seventh DVD release devoted to the bilingualism-promoting animated series, this one holds a recently-aired hour-long special plus two never-before-aired regular episodes. The disc includes Discovery Mode playback of the title special, which is compatible with the new Mickey Mote and available bundled with it. Full review.
Set in 1912 Cape Cod, The Lightkeepers stars Richard Dreyfuss as a super salty lighthouse captain who takes on a new assistant (Tom Wisdom). The two women haters are thrown for a loop when two women of similar ages (Blythe Danner, Mamie Gummer) show up. This romantic dramedy come ashore tomorrow with a bonus feature more remarkable than the film itself. More...
November 14, 2010 - Our newest review looks at "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Numbers Roundup, the tenth DVD from Playhouse Disney's popular animated series and the first to be offered in a Play Set with a new programmable Mickey Mote designed for young hands. Available Tuesday, the disc includes five episodes counting an unaired bonus one and various interactive Discovery Modes. Full review.
November 13, 2010 - We've just posted a review of Steve Miller's new book 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See, which analyzes some of the worst movies of all-time on several levels. It's released next week.
Gear up for the new Harry Potter movie with our review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Ultimate Edition. The highly-regarded Alfonso Cuarσn-directed third installment of the epic wizard series introduces professors Lupin (David Thewlis) and Trelawney (Emma Thompson) as well as feared fugitive Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), lets Harry ride on a hippogriff, and delivers a mind-blowing, time-turning finale. Warner's recent 3-disc set hardly alters the film's original two DVDs, while adding a picture book, character cards, a digital copy code, and a new disc with over two hours of bonus features new and old. Read the review.
November 11, 2010 - In our newest interview, we talk with Jon Turteltaub, director of numerous Disney films of the past 18 years, including the National Treasure adventures, Cool Runnings, The Kid, and, his latest, The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Turteltaub talks about being inspired by Fantasia's Mickey Mouse segment and the ins and outs of spectacle filmmaking. Full interview.
Disney's A Christmas Carol offers the latest filming of Charles Dickens' oft-retold redemption tale. With his ImageMovers Digital studio, Robert Zemeckis adapted, produced, and directed this feature in the motion capture animation medium he's adopted since The Polar Express. Jim Carrey stars as Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Christmas ghosts who visit him. Joining him in the cast multiple times are Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Cary Elwes, and Robin Wright Penn. Our review covers the 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo, which is released next week. Bonus features include deleted scenes, featurettes, a new animated short of The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa promoting Disney Blu-ray 3D, and, only on Blu-ray, Zemeckis audio commentary, a mocap viewing mode, and an interactive Advent calendar. Read the full review.
November 9, 2010 - We've got a new interview today with Joey King, the young star of Ramona and Beezus. A veteran of TV and movies at age 11, the actress spoke with us about playing the protagonist of Beverly Cleary's beloved book series, becoming a sister to teen icon Selena Gomez, and all of her favorite things. Read the interview.
Ramona and Beezus is one of today's new releases we're covering. Others include Adam Sandler and friends' blockbuster summer comedy Grown Ups, Edgar Wright's graphic novel-adapted Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the Australian horror film Damned by Dawn. See our schedule for more on these and other debuts.
November 8, 2010 - Kelvin Cedeno covers the recently-unveiled Blu-ray + DVD combo of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. With an English setting, a literary source, songs by the Sherman Brothers, and leading man Dick Van Dyke joined by two kids and a woman, this 1968 fantasy musical may remind you of an earlier film. This one stars Van Dyke as crackpot inventor Caractacus Potts, whose refurbished old car transports the gang by sky and sea to the child-free land of Vulgaria. Now available, the MGM/Fox set adds two interactive features to a wealth of supplements included on the movie's two-disc Special Edition DVD. Grab some toot sweets and whistle your way to our full review.
November 7, 2010 - Another film likely to vie for this year's Best Picture Oscar is the indepedent comedy The Kids Are All Right. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play mothers to two teenagers (Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska, Journey to the Center of the Earth's Josh Hutcherson) who track down their anonymous sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo) and welcome him into their lives. This acclaimed Focus Features hit comes to DVD next week from Universal with audio commentary by director/co-writer Lisa Cholodenko and three making-of featurettes. Full review.
November 6, 2010 - We look at one of the 1980s' most beloved films in our review of The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition. Written by Gremlins' Chris Columbus from a story by Steven Spielberg and directed by Lethal Weapon's Richard Donner, this movie follows four young best friends and three slightly older kids on an epic hunt for 300-year-old pirate treasure. On their underground adventure, they encounter booty traps, criminals, waterfalls, and the deformed "it" Sloth. Holding deleted scenes, a two-part Cyndi Lauper music video, a vintage production featurette, and a full cast reunion video commentary, the popular 2001 DVD is now joined by a board game, two magazine reproductions, storyboard photo cards, and one of the coolest looking boxes around in Warner's big new set. Our review includes a video from a new cast reunion held to celebrate the release. Read and view...
November 5, 2010 - Amazon.com has made Bambi, the third and next release in Disney's Diamond Edition line, available for preorder with a release date of March 1, 2011. Like its two Diamond predecessors, the 1942 classic will be available as a $39.99 SRP 3-disc set (2 Blu-rays, 1 DVD), available in Blu-ray and DVD packaging. Carrying a $29.99 list price, a 2-Disc DVD will be released seven weeks later, just in time for Easter, on April 19. Cover art here...
November 4, 2010 - Our newest review looks at the 25th Anniversary Edition of Santa Claus: The Movie, a less than renowned Christmas fantasy that features character actor David Huddleston in the title role. Elderly toymaker Claus takes his place at the North Pole. Set in the then-present day, the film's second half follows disgraced assistant elf Patch (Dudley Moore) to America where he aligns with a villainous toy executive (John Lithgow) to put their own spin on the holiday. Staying close to Anchor Bay's numerous releases, Lionsgate's recent disc retains the 50-minute 1985 making-of television special, an audio commentary by director Jeannot Szwarc, trailers, and bios, but misses a few things from the concurrent Blu-ray debut. Read our review.
November 3, 2010 - The IMAX film Van Gogh: Brush With Genius looks at the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter in a new way, with the artist's present-day words providing narration. This French film explores Van Gogh's productivity and poverty in life and rich legacy in death, immersing viewers in his art and visiting the locations that inspired them. It is now available with a making-of featurette, a Van Gogh art slideshow, and IMAX trailers. Full review.
November 2, 2010 - Have a Laugh! Volume 2 shortens and re-records five additional classic Disney shorts from the 1930s and '40s, while also including their original versions (including a newly-uncensored Clock Cleaners). This new disc also serves up three BLAM!s and a Re-Micks video blending black & white Mickey and Minnie Mouse animation with Hannah Montana's "He Could Be the One." Read our review.
Sid & Marty Krofft's Saturday Morning Hits compiles episodes of seven fondly-recalled 1970s children's television fantasies: "H.R. Pufnstuf", "The Bugaloos", "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters", "Lidsville", and new to DVD episodes of "ElectraWoman and DynaGirl", "Bigfoot and Wildboy", and "Wonderbug". Available at the end of the month, Vivendi's low-priced disc includes a gallery of Krofft Brothers concept art. Don't recognize a thing in this paragraph? Read our review and find out about it all.
Among today's new releases are our review subjects Toy Story 3 (our interview with screenwriter Michael Arndt), Christmas Treats: T.V. Sets, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius, and Exterminators. Also now available and soon to be reviewed are Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Blu-ray + DVD Combo), The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition, and The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD). As always, check out our schedule for the full rundown.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Christmas Treats: T.V. Sets - This follow-up to Holiday Treats assembles holiday episodes from 8 classic CBS/Paramount sitcoms ("The Beverly Hillbillies", "The Lucy Show", "Petticoat Junction", "Happy Days", "Laverne & Shirley", "Mork & Mindy", "The Odd Couple", and "Cheers") and adds a new-to-DVD segment from the comedy anthology "Love, American Style".
Elf: Ultimate Collector's Edition - This blockbuster 2003 comedy about a human raised by North Pole elves visiting New York City solidified Will Ferrell's movie star status. Warner's new set puts the fully-loaded 2-disc DVD in a fancy tin with a soundtrack sampler, gift tags, a Buddy the Elf stocking, and magnetic picture frame. On-disc bonus features include two audio commentaries, infinifilm playback mode, a fact track, deleted scenes with commentary, making-of and holiday featurettes, games, DVD-ROM, and more.
Predators (Blu-ray) - Robert Rodriguez produced this reboot of the sci-fi action series launched in the 1980s. Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, and Topher Grace head a cast of eight humans dropped on a foreign planet where they must outwit and avoid the fierce, adaptive predators. Extras include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, motion comics, a 6-part making-of documentary, a Fox Movie Channel special, and the trailer.
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!": Volume 4 - Spooked Bayou - The latest release in Warner's low-priced, less valuable but still chronological alternative to season sets supplies Episodes #13-16 from the debut 1969-70 season of the classic popular Hanna-Barbera animated mystery comedy series as well as a bonus episode of "Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!."
Exterminators - Dark independent comedy stars Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge, and Amber Heard as women mandated to weekly rage therapy who form an unusual yet lucrative alliance. It has gone straight to DVD and Blu-ray from Image Entertainment, who include one of the longest gag reels you'll ever see.
Have a Laugh!: Volume 1 - Disney's new line presents five animated shorts (including Goofy's new-to-DVD 2007 theatrical short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater) in their original versions and re-edited versions plus three BLAM! shorts more drastically remixing sports cartoons and a Re-Micks music video blending an early Mickey Mouse short with Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."
Toy Story 3 - With their ranks thinning and playtime at an all-time low, Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and Andy's other remaining toys wind up at Sunnyside Daycare, where all is not as it seems. This acclaimed blockbuster sequel, Pixar's all-time highest grossing film, is joined by a host of bonus features, most of them sadly exclusive to Blu-ray in this 4-disc combo pack. (Related Interview: screenwriter Michael Arndt)
Grown Ups - 1990s "Saturday Night Live" cast members Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider reunite and, along with Kevin James, play five friends brought together by the death of their childhood basketball coach for a fun family Fourth of July weekend. Sony's DVD of this blockbuster comedy includes bloopers and featurettes.
Paths of Glory: The Criterion Collection - Inspired by Humphrey Cobb's novel and a real event, Stanley Kubrick's World War I drama stars Kirk Douglas as a French colonel assigned to command a suicide mission. Criterion's disc provides this 1957 film with its first widescreen DVD transfer plus an audio commentary, an essay booklet, a 1979 Kirk Douglas interview from British television, the trailer, an archival audio interview with Kubrick, a French news report on the real incident, and new video interviews with producer James B. Harris, actress/widow Christiane Kubrick, and Kubrick collaborator/brother-in-law Jan Harlan.
The Hangover: Extreme Edition - One of the all-time highest-grossing comedies returns in a 2-disc set presenting the tale of an oddly forgotten Las Vegas bachelor party in theatrical and unrated cuts, along with audio commentary, an interactive Map of Destruction, a gag reel, a photo gallery, and other unused bits. New to this edition is a hardcover picture book.
Mrs. Miracle - Based on Debbie Macomber's book, this 2009 Hallmark holiday TV movie tells the story of a magical housekeeper (Doris Roberts, "Everybody Loves Raymond") who enters the life of a sad dad (James Van Der Beek, "Dawson's Creek") and his two rowdy twin boys.
Winter's Bone - Winner of this year's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and a perceived competitor for the Best Picture Oscar, this independent drama tells of a 17-year-old girl (played by Jennifer Lawrence) raising her younger siblings in the Missouri Ozarks. Lionsgate's DVD includes an audio commentary, a long making-of documentary, deleted scenes, an alternate opening, a music video, and the trailer.
The Crimson Wing - Disneynature departs from the wide survey for this feature-length documentary focused on the African flamingo. The Blu-ray + DVD Combo includes 5 making-of shorts and, only on Blu-ray, filmmaker annotations, living planet menus, and a "screensaver."
Please Give - Catherine Keener plays a guilt-racked New Yorker who resells the furniture of the deceased. Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, and Ann Guilbert co-star in this independent dramedy written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money). Sony's DVD includes a making-of featurette, outtakes, a Q & A with the director, and the trailer.
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