DVDizzy.com: DECEMBER 1-15, 2011 NEWS ARCHIVES
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December 15, 2011 - One of today's Golden Globe snubs, DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 2, is our latest review. In this follow-up to the studio's 2008 hit, Po (Jack Black) tries to find innerpeace while ridding Gongmen City, with the help of the Furious Five, of destructive tyrant Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). Released this week, the loaded Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes a filmmakers' audio commentary, a picture-in-picture viewing mode, a trivia track, the all-new 23-minute short Secrets of the Masters, the unaired "Legends of Awesomeness" episode "Has-Been Hero", deleted scenes, set-top games, featurettes, and two one-month membership codes to the expansive Kung Fu Panda World online gaming experience. Skadoosh your way to our full review.
With just ten days to go before Christmas, it's crunch time for seasonal viewing. To help you with that, we've updated our guide to Disney's Christmas Movies, an article that now spans 80 years of the studio's entertainment from a black & white cartoon short through the high-tech wonder of motion capture 3D. Even if you're familiar with the overview, you won't want to miss the bottom of it that can take you to our complete DVD and Blu-ray reviews of over 51 holiday titles from Rankin/Bass to DreamWorks, from It's a Wonderful Life to Elf, with all your favorite cartoon characters and Muppets in between. 'Tis the season to check it twice.
December 13, 2011 - Today's new DVD and Blu-ray releases include acclaimed prequel/reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes (press release), DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 (press release), and the well-reviewed remake Fright Night. Look for our reviews soon and don't forget to check out our take on Disney's The Rocketeer Blu-ray debut.
December 12, 2011 - Jim Carrey stars in Mr. Popper's Penguins, a family comedy loosely adapted from Richard and Florence Atwater's 1938 children's book. Carrey plays a divorced New York real estate developer whose father bequeaths him six Gentoo penguins that bring him closer to his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) and kids, but jeopardize his high-powered career and his bid to buy Central Park's Tavern on the Green from its picky owner (Angela Lansbury). Now available, Fox's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack includes a filmmakers' audio commentary, deleted scenes, several making-of featurettes, a short on the Atwaters' book along with the first three chapters, and a gag reel. Chill out with our review.
December 10, 2011 - Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes was one of The Criterion Collection's very first DVD releases. Now, it is one of their latest Blu-ray releases. Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave star in this 1938 comic mystery, in which an elderly British governess' puzzling disappearance on a train ride through Central Europe is met with disbelief and doubt. This film introduced the cricket-loving comedy duo of Caldicott (Naunton Wayne) and Charters (Basil Radford), who would reteam for other movies and radio serials. One such movie, 1941's Crook's Tour, is included in full here. Other bonus features include a historian's audio commentary, relevant excerpts from Fran็ois Truffaut's Hitchcock interview, a video essay, a stills gallery, and an essay booklet. Read our full review of the disc, which is now available.
December 9, 2011 - We've just launched a new giveaway that will enable two readers to win copies of next week's Blu-ray + DVD combo pack of the 1952 musical Stars and Stripes Forever on the life of patriotic 18th century composer John Philip Sousa. Enter up to three ways in the next six days. Full details...
December 7, 2011 - Next week brings a rare live-action catalog Blu-ray release and we've got an early look. Adapted from Dave Stevens' comic book, The Rocketeer tells the story of a 1930s stunt pilot (Bill Campbell) who finds a jet pack and uses it to be heroic. The discovery attracts pursuit by mobsters (led by Paul Sorvino), the FBI, and a Hollywood movie star (Timothy Dalton). This 1991 adventure from director Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Captain America: The First Avenger) co-stars 21st century Academy Award winners Jennifer Connelly and Alan Arkin. Our review includes the Disney Channel making-of special that the Blu-ray leaves off.
December 6, 2011 - Todd Phillips' The Hangover Part II plays out much like its predecessor, the top-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, did. This time, though, friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) find themselves in Bangkok for Stu's wedding. Once again, wild forgotten antics ensue, leaving "The Wolfpack" to piece together their puzzle and find their missing friend. After a longer than usual wait, this massive box office hit comes home today in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack that includes an "unauthorized" half-hour documentary (mockumentary), a gag reel, a tour of Bangkok by Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), two making-of shorts, and an UltraViolet digital copy. Read our review.
December 5, 2011 - Our newest review looks at The Help. Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's bestselling novel, this acclaimed, blockbuster drama tells the story of a Jackson, Mississippi woman (Emma Stone) who tries to collect and publish the stories of the hard-working black maids (including Oscar frontrunners Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) who raise the town's white children. Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, and Allison Janney co-star in this film, directed by Tate Taylor. Available tomorrow, the DreamWorks/Disney Blu-ray + DVD combo pack includes deleted scenes, two distinctive featurettes, and Mary J. Blige's "The Living Proof" music video. Our review includes a clip from the movie and from the making-of featurette.
Paramount has announced that one of the most iconic romance films of all time, Love Story, will be making its Blu-ray debut on February 7th, a week before Valentine's Day. The blockbuster 1970 Best Picture Oscar nominee will be joined by a director's audio commentary, its original theatrical trailer, and the documentary "Love Story: A Classic Remembered." For cover art, click here. To preorder from Amazon, click here.
Two more Disney TV movies have made their DVD(-R) debuts in the made-to-order Disney Generations Collection: 1978's fondly recalled ghost tale Child of Glass and 1963's 2-part "Wonderful World of Color" Johann Strauss II biopic The Waltz King. Each is currently available for $19.99 at Amazon.com. Thanks to Open Vault Disney for the head's up.
December 4, 2011 - Vote for your favorite half-hour Christmas special in our new Facebook poll.
December 3, 2011 - Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special gets festive with the cast of Blue Sky Studios' blockbuster computer-animated franchise. Eager to get off Santa's Naughty List, Sid leads Peaches, Crash, and Eddie on a trip to find the North Pole, while Manny, Ellie, and Diego search for them. Two days after its Thanksgiving night premiere, this half-hour Fox special came to DVD and the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack we review. It is joined by a scene from next summer's Ice Age: Continental Drift and a "Swingin' Jingle Bells" music video. Check out our full review.
The Smurfs gives the live-action with CGI feature film treatment to the Peyo comic series and 1980s Hanna-Barbera NBC cartoon. Six Smurfs are transported from their medieval village to present-day New York City, where they are aided by an expectant couple (Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays) and pursued by power-hungry wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) and his cat Azrael. Following a blockbuster run especially potent overseas, this PG comedy is now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D. We review the DVD, which includes two filmmaker audio commentaries, a game, two making-of featurettes, and more. Our review includes video clips from the film and from extras that are exclusive to the Blu-ray combo packs.
December 1, 2011 - Our newest review looks at this week's Blu-ray debut of Our Idiot Brother. An independent film given wide theatrical release in August, this R-rated Weinstein Company comedy stars Paul Rudd as an easygoing idealist who brings chaos into the lives of his three sisters (Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, and Zooey Deschanel) following a brief stint in jail. Anchor Bay's BD supplies an audio commentary from director Jesse Peretz, a making-of featurette, and deleted/extended scenes including an alternate ending. Full review.
November 30, 2011 - Our final review of November covers the recent Blu-ray + DVD + Online Video Game combo pack of Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury & Book of Dragons. These two never-before-seen 20-minute shorts return you to the isle of Berk, made famous in DreamWorks' acclaimed 2010 hit How to Train Your Dragon and the Cressida Cowell book series that inspired it. First, see how Hiccup and company celebrate Snoggletog when Toothless and the other dragons mysteriously take off on the eve of the holiday in Gift. Then, get schooled on the many types of dragons in Book. The fun continues with an elaborate but slightly buggy online video game experience and bonus features including a picture-in-picture Gift presentation, deleted scenes, a drawing lesson, a virtual book, and DVD-ROM printables. Don't miss our thorough review.
November 22, 2011 - Amazon.com's many Black Friday Week deals include the recent Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy collections afforded The Lion King and Cars franchises. The eight-disc TLK trilogy and 11-disc Cars "Director's Edition" are each available for 55% off today only.
Today's new releases include Super 8, Prep & Landing, Rushmore: Criterion Collection Blu-ray, "The Adventures of Tintin": Season One, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD, Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Special Edition, and "Conan the Adventurer": Season Two, Part 1. Check out November 22nd on our schedule for more information on these and other DVD and Blu-ray debuts.
November 21, 2011 - The action/comedy film 30 Minutes or Less stars Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery boy who is strapped with a booby-trapped bomb vest and ordered to rob a bank for two masked criminals (Danny McBride, Nick Swardson). Directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer and co-starring Aziz Ansari, this R-rated caper comes to Blu-ray next week with a picture-in-picture video commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, and two making-of featurettes. Our review.
Gear up for Wednesday's theatrical release of The Muppets by picking up the soundtrack at a low, low price from Amazon.com. The digital MP3 version is $4.99, the tangible CD is $6.99.
November 18, 2011 - Our newest review covers Prep & Landing, Walt Disney Animation Studios' original 2009 ABC holiday TV special. This 22-minute program tells the story of two members of Santa Claus' steathy elf team, jaded veteran Wayne (Dave Foley) and newbie Lanny (Derek Richardson), who nearly ruin Christmas for one awakened boy. In anticipation of this year's follow-up, it comes to DVD next week with the 2010 short Operation: Secret Santa and the following brief animated bits: Tiny's Big Adventure, elf training videos, elf commercials, and a newsreel. Watch a clip from the show and a bonus feature as part of our review.
The recent Disney Channel Original Movie Geek Charming will come to DVD ($26.99 SRP) on February 7, 2012 with 10 episodes of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up", a bonus digital copy disc and geek charm bracelets. The G-rated movie stars "Modern Family"'s Sarah Hyland, High School Musical 3's Matt Prokop, and "Dirty Pretty Liars"' Sasha Pieterse. Preorder from Amazon.com. Click here or on the thumbnail for larger cover art.
November 17, 2011 - Aaron Wallace fills us in on the last of the season's Best Buy-exclusive 1980s Paramount Pictures comedy Blu-rays with his review of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. Reviving a short-lived ABC TV series, this crime film spoof reunites Leslie Nielsen and his Airplane! makers for the story of an inept police lieutenant investigating a drug ring and an assassination plot against the Queen. The lenticular-covered disc includes the original theatrical trailer and an audio commentary featuring writer/director David Zucker. Read on...
Our DVD and Blu-ray schedules have been updated to incorporate the latest announcements, including plans for movies currently playing in theaters: November, December, January 2012 & Beyond. Dates and/or details have been added for Moneyball, Contagion, 50/50, Real Steel, Drive, "Hey Dude": Season 2, "Justified": The Complete Second Season, and upcoming Criterion Collection titles.
November 16, 2011 - The Sony Pictures Classics film Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest documents the influential rap band's 1990s success and split. In his feature directorial debut, actor Michael Rapaport celebrates the four-member Queens-originated group and gains insight into their unraveling from the conflicting leadership of Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. Now available, the DVD includes a Rapaport commentary, a featurette on the film's animation, interviews from the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere, and a half-hour of deleted scenes (including more interviews with Pharrell, The Beastie Boys, and Ludacris). Can YOU kick it? Yes, you can!
November 15, 2011 - Paramount will finally bring the very first winner of the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Wings, to DVD and Blu-ray on January 24th. The only silent film to take the industry's top prize (though that could very well change next winter), this 1927 World War I drama features Gary Cooper in one of his first roles. Equipped with both a newly-restored musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and an organ score by Gaylord Carter in 2.0, the movie will be joined by the bonus features "Wings: Grandeur in the Sky", "Dogfight!", and "Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings." Cover art and preorders here. For more on the movie, check out our review in our scrapped Best Picture Oscar Winners Project.
We take another look at It's a Wonderful Life in our review of Paramount's recent Blu-ray + ornament gift set. This classic Frank Capra film tells the story of small-town hero George Bailey's (James Stewart) Christmastime redemption, achieved through divine intervention and a startling visit to an alternate reality. The same two Blu-ray discs, supplying black & white and colorized feature presentations, a Tom Bosley-hosted making-of featurette, and a trailer are fancily repackaged in a big glittery box with a bell ornament. Don't miss our review.
Super 8, One of the year's best reviewed movies, hits DVD and Blu-ray next week and we will soon be bringing you a review of the combo pack. You don't have to wait until then to own the movie, however, thanks to a "Hide and Tweet" promotion. The website Super8Tweet.com and Twitter account super8movie will provide clues to finding early combo pack copies signed by director J.J. Abrams and hidden throughout the United States.
November 11, 2011 - Disney's Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition fact sheet reveals what bonus features you can expect to find on Blu-ray and mostly not find on DVD. New extras include audio commentary and Disney Second Screen versions of "Inside Walt's Story Meetings", the never-recorded song "I'm Free as the Breeze", three never-before-seen deleted scenes, and Diane Disney Miller's "Remembering Dad." Full details here.
Recent DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
Rushmore: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray - Wes Anderson's sophomore feature earned him his first wide recognition. This offbeat coming-of-age comedy tells of an extracurricular enthusiast student (Jason Schwartzman) who is expelled from his beloved, prestigious private school and fights a depressed multi-millionaire (Bill Murray) for the affections of a first grade teacher (Olivia Williams). This fine disc hangs onto the bonus features of its 2000 DVD equivalent, offering Charlie Rose's hour-long interview of Murray and Anderson, a making-of featurette, storyboards, the original trailer, an art gallery, and Max Fischer Players' 1999 MTV Movie Awards film adaptations of Armageddon, The Truman Show, and Out of Sight. Also included in-case are a critic's essay and a map of the film's settings.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - The best-reviewed, highest-grossing, and final entry in the biggest film franchise of all time follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) in their search to destroy the remaining Horcruxes and, with them, evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). The 3-disc combo pack will be discontinued along with all other releases in the series at the end of the year... to return in next year's Definitive Blu-ray Collection previewed here. Extras include a Maximum Movie Mode hosted by Matthew Lewis, 26 minutes of topical Focus Points, eight deleted scenes, an hour-long couch chat between Radcliffe and author J.K. Rowling, a celebration of the women of Harry Potter, and a featurette on the Gringotts goblins.
Dazed and Confused: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray - Richard Linklater's second narrative film presents a May 1976 day in the life of teenagers. Once school lets out, the hazing and partying begins. Driven by period rock and featuring some of the earliest film appearances of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Milla Jovovich, this ensemble film is joined by nearly six hours of bonus features. Included among them are a Linklater commentary, an hour-long retrospective, a half-hour of deleted scenes, two hours of production interviews and footage, and, hidden, the famous '70s "Crying Indian" PSA. This exhaustive set also includes distinctive packaging, a 72-page book, and a movie poster.
Monte Carlo (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) - Loosely adapted from an adult novel by Jules Bass (of Rankin-Bass) and originally to star Nicole Kidman (who retains a producer credit), this girl-friendly PG film stars Selena Gomez as a recent high school grad who finds romance and adventure in Paris and Monaco on a week-long vacation with her stepsister (Leighton Meester) and best friend (Katie Cassidy). Also featuring Cory Monteith ("Glee"), Catherine Tate ("Doctor Who"), and Andie MacDowell, this summer movie is now on Blu-ray with deleted scenes, a personality quiz, a number of short making-of featurettes, BD-Live "enhancements", and a digital copy.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Blu-ray) - This grown-up comedy written and directed by John Hughes stars Steve Martin and John Candy as strangers bound together by fate and misadventure in an effort to travel from New York to Chicago on Thanksgiving week. Its lenticular-covered Blu-ray debut, currently a Best Buy-exclusive, includes a new one-hour retrospective on Hughes' career in addition to a deleted scene and three featurettes from 2009's "Those Aren't Pillows!" Edition DVD.
Island of Lost Souls (Criterion Collection Blu-ray) - This pre-Code filming of H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau stars Charles Laughton as the mad scientist playing God on a number of man-animal experiments, which include a furry Bela Lugosi. The disc includes an historian audio commentary, four new video interviews, a stills gallery, the original trailer, and the band Devo's "Secret Agent Man"/"Jocko Homo" music video (the latter of which was inspired by the film).
Scrooged (Blu-ray) - This 1988 comedy puts a modern spin on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with Bill Murray playing cold-hearted protagonist Frank Cross, the youngest network television president in history. While preparing a live Christmas Eve adaptation of Dickens' tale, he gets his own shot at redemption with cautionary visits from his long-dead boss and time-traveling ghosts. Paramount's lenticular-covered disc delivers a knockout feature presentation but a lump of coal in the extras department.
Horrible Bosses - Three friends (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis) plan to kill their three uniquely infuriating superiors (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell) in this hit dark comedy. Warner's 3-disc Totally Inappropriate Edition Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack serves up an extended unrated cut of the film on Blu-ray, the R-rated theatrical cut on Blu-ray, DVD, and UltraViolet digital copy, plus deleted scenes and several featurettes on BD.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - Steve Carell stars as a man who finds himself single again decades of marriage. He receives some much-needed help and a makeover from a smooth-talking ladies man (Ryan Gosling), who becomes his confidante. Their romances (with Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, respectively) share the stage along with a third teen tier. After a formidable box office run, this PG-13 romantic comedy from Tangledscreenwriter Dan Fogelman ( and Cars) is joined by deleted scenes, a code for downloading an UltraViolet digital copy, and two short featurettes.
Airplane! (Blu-ray) - Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker's 1980 spoof sent up the spate of popular airplane dramas of the time and has since eclipsed them all in acclaim and familiarity. Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pilot a plane whose food-poisoned meal creates problems. Also starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, and, in a career-remaking performance, Leslie Nielsen, this comedy is one of the most quoted and recognized in cinema history. Extras on the Best Buy-exclusive BD include an audio commentary, a Long Haul Version with interviews and deleted scenes, a trivia track, and the original trailer.
Cars 2 - This incongruous, poorly-reviewed sequel sends Lightning McQueen to Europe and Asia for a World Grand Prix run on an alternative fuel source, but more attention is paid to Mater, who is mistaken for a spy by British agents Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Adding to the film's disappointments is the welterweight Blu-ray + DVD, which only offers a directors' audio commentary (by John Lasseter and co-director Brad Lewis) plus two short films (the theatrical Toy Story toon Hawaiian Vacation and all-new Cars Toon Air Mater) for bonus features.
"The Adventures of Tintin": Season One - Adapted from the popular Belgian comic books by Herg้, this early '90s animated series follows young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, Captain Haddock, and bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson on globe-trotting adventure. Shout! Factory's 2-disc, 13-episode DVD is timed to the theatrical opening of the new motion capture film of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson.
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