With the 70s behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk. After losing his job to his wife and co-anchor, Ron reassembles the news team and squares off against a new rival while taking New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm. Will the world's greatest anchorman be crushed beneath the weight of his own ego (and his salon-quality hair)? Blu-ray extras: Commentary by Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd & David Koechner; "Behind-the-Scenes: Newsroom" (inside the making of the film); gag reel, parts 1 & 2; "Line-O-Rama, Parts 1 & 2" (non-stop alternate lines from the film); "Welcome to the Dolphin Show" (Ron Burgundy takes on the crowd); "Catfight" (Christina Applegate vs. Meagan Good with hilarious one-liners): "News-O-Rama" (Ron and the News Team bring you the headlines); "Kench-O-Rama" (mashup of Kench Allenby's most Australian moments); cast table read; four behind-the-scenes featurettes ("Anchorman 2: The Musical," "RV" (dissecting the RV tumble), "Baxter & Doby" (the lovable animals of "Anchorman 2"), "News Fight" (inside the biggest, baddest all-star celebrity brawl); deleted scenes; extended & alternate Scenes; previsualizations: RV, Shark Attack and News Fight sequences; auditions featuring Meagan Good, Dylan Baker and Amy Poehler; "Benefit for 826LA: Spoiler Alert" (a special tribute to "Anchorman 2"); trailers. Vitals: Director: Adam McKay. Stars: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Meagan Good, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear, Josh Lawson, Dylan Baker, Fred Willard. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $124.411 million, Paramount.
Remake of James Thurber's classic story about a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. Ben Stiller plays a modern Walter Mitty, a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through his daydreams. When an important negative goes missing, his job — along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) — are threatened, and Walter takes action in the real world by embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Extras: Behind the scenes featurettes "The Look of Life," "The Music of Walter Mitty," "Sights and Sounds of Production: Skateboarding Through Iceland"; gallery of reference photography. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes; extended and alternate scenes; additional featurettes "The History of Walter Mitty"; "That's A Shark," "Icelandic Adventure," "Nordic Casting," "Titles of Walter Mitty," "Sights and Sounds of Production: Ted-Walter Flight"; "Stay Alive" music video by Jose Gonzalez; theatrical trailer. Also included is a special gift with purchase redeemable until August 31, 2014: a Shutterfly 20-page 8×8 hard cover photo book valued at $29.99. Consumers will be able to redeem their photo book by entering a unique promo code at checkout on Shutterfly.com. Vitals: Director: Ben Stiller. Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 114 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $56.887 million, Fox.
From the Big Screen:
"Gravity," "Nebraska" and "Thor: The Dark World." For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
The highlight(s) of the week: Three films from The Criterion Collection, all in Criterion's Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Editions loaded with extras (and booklets) in sumptuous packaging:
"King of the Hill" (1993): There's not a Steven Soderbergh film that doesn't engage and this is no exception, a gem hidden away for too many years. This was Soderbergh's first Hollywood studio production (his independent debut, "sex, lies, and videotape," had won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival a few years earlier) and it's a growing-up story set in St. Louis during the Depression that follows the daily struggles of a resourceful and imaginative adolescent (Jesse Bradford) who, after his tubercular mother is sent to a sanatorium, must survive on his own in a run-down hotel during his salesman father's long business trips. The camerawork is exquisite, at once reminding one of the lingering, colorful shots of a Terrence Malick and the frightening moving close-ups of an Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. It's an exquisite period piece adapted from the memoir by the novelist A. E. Hotchner. New high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by Soderbergh and supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Larry Blake, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
"Tess" (1979): After a half-dozen mystery and horror films, in 1978 Roman Polanski turned to Thomas hardy's 1891 classic "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" to film his first love story. The multiple-Oscar-winning film is a meticulously crafted and directed period piece, at times intimate and at times a sweeping interpretation of Hardy's moral tale, a criticism of the sexual and class mores of 19th century England. Tess, a strong-willed peasant girl (Nastassja Kinski, in a gorgeous breakthrough) is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This act seals Tess' face, thrusting her into a world where she's buffeted around by chance and the vicissitudes of life in a dreary world where the only hope for salvation is to marry an aristocrat. Tess indeed falls in love — and marries, but the universe does not smile upon her. Polanski's camera details the drudgery of lower class existence in the villages and towns of a newly industrialized England. A beautiful film — if a tad long (almost three hours). In a new 4K digital restoration, supervised by Polanski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
"Breathless" (1960): There was before "Breathless," and there was after "Breathless." And we can never have enough of "Breathless." Criterion has bought us another edition of the seminal film, Jean-Luc Godard's jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, "Breathless" helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same. Restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
From TV to DVD:
"Above Suspicion, Set 3" (2009) is a younger, sassier successor to "Prime Suspect." Based on the bestselling novel "Silent Scream" by Lynda La Plante ("Prime Suspect"), this three-part drama delves into the shallow world of stardom and the harsh realities of deception. When the brutal murder of a famous young actress brings DI Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly) face-to-face with her old boss, DCS James Langton (Ciaran Hinds), the two must find a killer and deal with their own relationship. An invigorating and exciting crime mystery from Acorn Media … "Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season" (2011-12) consists of all 26 episodes, packed in a custom, collectible BMO die-cut slipcase. In a two-disc DVD set, $26.95; single-disc Blu-ray, $32.07. From Cartoon Network/Warner … "Braquo: Season 1" (2009) and "Braquo: Season 2" (2011) each feature eight episodes of the internationally acclaimed, hard-hitting thriller about a squad of Paris cops who exist in the blurred boundaries at the edge of the law, using violence and intimidation to get the job done, $39.95 each set from MHz Home Entertainment … "Crimes of Passion" (2013 — Sweden) is based on the classic crime novels by Maria Lang and features Ola Rapace ("Skyfall," Swedish "Wallander") in a collection of stylish "whodunnits" set in postwar Sweden that follow the exploits of the brainy and beautiful literature student Puck; wherever she goes, mystery and murder are never far behind. In three-disc set with six episodes, $39.95 from MHz Home Entertainment … "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: Season 1" (2012-13) is a single-disc with 14 episodes of the TLC series about six-year-old pageant star Alana, aka Honey Boo Boo, who takes viewers into her home with her family, stay-at-home mom June, chalk-mining dad Sugar Bear, and sisters Pumpkin, Chubbs and Chickadee. $29.93 from Cinedigm … Co-created by Steven Bochco ("Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue"), the Emmy Award-winning "L.A. Law: Season One" (1986-86) takes us inside the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. There, a team of ambitious and competitive attorneys must face the conflicts between their personal desires, their obligations as lawyers, and their principles as human beings. A portrayal of the law and its litigators that was both realistic and irreverent, "L.A. Law" became a favorite of critics and audiences alike during its eight-year run on NBC from 1986 to 1994. $29.93 from Shout! Factory … Agatha Christie's masterful storytelling gets a soupçon of French flair in "Les Petits Meurtres D'Agatha Christie, Set 1" (2008-12)a series of sexy, witty mysteries. In a four-disc set with seven mysteries from Acorn Media … "Mama's Family: The Complete Third Season" (2013): In the world of prime-time television, success often begets success by way of the spin-off. "The Carol Burnett Show" lasted 11 seasons on CBS, thanks in part to the recurring comedy sketches that attracted a large, loyal viewership. "The Family" remained a favorite because fans related to the Harpers' constant squabbling about the mundane. As the irascible Mama Harper, Vicki Lawrence was wondrously transformed into a full-tilt senior citizen, and it wasn't a matter of if, but when, she would get her own TV series, "Mama's Family" debuted in 1983 on NBC, lasting two seasons before going into syndication for another four years. In a four-disc set with 25 episodes, $29.95 from StarVista/Time Life … "The Middle: The Complete Fourth Season" (2012-13) is a three-disc set with 23 episodes, $44.98 from Warner … "Spiral Season 3" (2010) is a four-disc set with 12 episodes of the gritty French police thriller that follows criminal investigations in Paris from all the different points of view, $49.95 from MHz Home Entertainment … "Under Capricorn" (1982) is based on the popular novel by Helen Simpson and filmed on location in Australia; the saga set in 1831 follows young Irishman Charles Adare who arrives in New South Wales, Australia, eager to make his fortune — and make it fast. But what he finds are greed, jealousy, insanity and secret passions. Stars Peter Cousens, John Hallam, Lisa Harrow. In a two-disc set from Acorn Media.
Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert De Niro) and Henry "Razor" Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) are two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr., seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can't refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all. But they may not have to wait that long: on their first encounter in decades, their long-festering feud erupts into an unintentionally hilarious melee that instantly goes viral. The sudden social media frenzy transforms their local grudge match into a must-see HBO event. Now, if they can just survive the training, they may actually live to fight again. Extras: Deleted scenes. Blu-ray adds "The Bull & The Stallion," "In the Ring With Kevin Hart," "Ringside With Tyson & Holyfield," "Blow for Blow With Larry Holmes," "Kevin Hart Unedited," alternate opening, alternate endings with an introduction by Peter Segal. Vitals: Director: Peter Segal. Stars: Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 113 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $29.342 million, Warner.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, a young Long Island, New York penny stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills in a world where corruption is king and more is never enough. He eventually served 36 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street, in the corporate banking world, all aided by mob infiltration. Based on an outrageous true story of American excess, "The Wolf of Wall Street," by Jordan Belfort. Blu-ray extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette. Vitals: Director: Martin Scorsese. Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin, Margot Robbie, Jon Favreau, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 179 min., Drama, Box office gross: $107.884 million, Paramount.
Criterion will finally introduce into the collection one of the most important of all American directors: Howard Hawks. And they're doing so with the rousing Western masterpiece "Red River," starring John Wayne as a rancher and Montgomery Clift as his adopted son. Also, coming back to the collection is one of today's most important directors, Abbas Kiarostami, who traveled to Tokyo for the unorthodox, mysterious character study "Like Someone in Love," about a call girl and a client. And there's much more: a Blu-ray of the incredible World War II drama "Overlord," in time for the 17th anniversary of D-day; a new dual-format edition of Billy Wilder's scorching Kirk Douglas newspaper drama "Ace in the Hole"; and a much-requested Blu-ray upgrade of Wes Anderson's magical underwater comedy "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."
May 6: "Ace in the Hole" (1951)
May 13: "Overlord" (1975)
May 20: "Like Someone in Love" (2013)
May 27: "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" (2004)
May 27: "Red River" (1948)
For the past two years, high school security guard Ben (Kevin Hart) has been trying to show decorated detective James (Ice Cube) that he's more than just a video game junkie who's unworthy of James' sister. When Ben finally gets accepted into the police academy, James invites him on a ride-along designed to scare the hell out of him and ultimately demonstrate if Ben has what it takes to take care of his sister. But when the wild night leads them to the most notorious criminal in the city, James will find that his new partner's rapid-fire mouth is just as dangerous as the bullets speeding at it. Extras: Gag reel; "It Was a Good Day: On the Set of Ride Along" backstage visit; "Atlanta — The Character" location tour; commentary with director Tim Story. Blu-ray adds alternate ending; deleted scenes; alternate take; "Kev & Cube's Wild Ride"; "An Explosive Ride" stunt double featurette; "You Gonna Learn Today" look at the film's many off-script moments including b-roll, dailies and alternate takes; "Anatomy of the Big Blast" behind the scenes of the movie's most explosive sequence. Vitals: Director: Tim Story. Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Bryan Callen, Laurence Fishburne. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $105.167 million, Warner.
Continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all — a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself — The Dragon Smaug. Available as a Limited Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S., $105.43), in a 3D Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack and two-disc DVD. Extras: "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: In the Company of the Hobbit" and "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: All in a Day's Work" behind-the-scenes featurette; Peter Jackson production videos; "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2" locations featurette; Ed Sheeran "I See Fire" music video. Vitals: Director: Peter Jackson. Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Lawrence Makoare. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 161 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $255.576 million, Warner.
BEWARE THE BATMAN: SHADOWS OF GOTHAM, SEASON ONE, PART ONE (2014) This startling Bourne-era take on the multi-faceted Man of Bats comes roaring onto lush High Definition Blu-ray Disc faster than you can say "Grant Morrison." Mixing bold CG animation with sophisticated long-form serial storytelling, this is one "Batman Show" better suited for the darkness than for Saturday morning. As "Shadows of Gotham" begins, we are introduced to a young Dark Knight, grimly determined to go it alone against Gotham's most macabre and malevolent denizens much to the consternation of ex-MI6 agent Alfred Pennyworth. Injured on the job, Alfred pairs Wayne up with sword mistress Katana, an ex-spy with secrets of her own. Under the direction of Sam Register (Young Justice), Glen Murakami (Batman Beyond) and Mitch Watson (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated), "Shadows" dives deep into the Batman mythos to bring some of the more outré members of the world's greatest rogues gallery including Professor Pyg, Lady Shiva, Humpty Dumpty, Anarky and Magpie. So get set and don't beware this blu-ray disc edition of one of the coolest bat-takes ever – as it was meant to be seen!
WHAT PRICE, PALOOKA?
THE VITAPHONE COMEDY COLLECTION VOLUME TWO: SHEMP HOWARD (1933-1937) Once and future Stooge Samuel “Shemp Howard” Horwitz wrote his own rules for comedy from the very beginning. Heckling his way into brother Moe’s “rough house” act with Ted Healy, Shemp was an original Stooge. After Larry Fine filled out the team, fame beckoned but Shemp balked at playing second banana to Healy and lit out on his own as a Vitaphone player. Shemp quickly rose from bit parts in shorts like ³Gobs of Fun² to supporting player alongside Daphne Pollard and Harry Gribbon (and even pro baseball¹s famous Dean brothers) to stealing the show in the Joe Palooka series based on the hit comic strip. Shemp¹s character Knobby Walsh quickly became the comedic center of the series and Shemp emerged as a new king of comedy.
· Collection includes: Gobs of Fun (1933); Daredevil O'Dare, My Mummy's Arms, Smoked Hams, So You Won't T-T-T-Talk, A Peach of a Pair, His First Flame (1934), Dizzy and Daffy, Why Pay Rent?, Serves You Right, On the Wagon, The Officer's Mess (1935) When the Cat's Away, Absorbing Junior, Joe Palooka: For the Love of Pete, Joe Palooka: Here's Howe, Joe Palooka: Punch and Beauty, Joe Palooka: The Choke's on You, Joe Palooka: The Blonde Bomber (1936), Joe Palooka: Kick Me Again, Joe Palooka:Taking the Count (1937).
WHAT PRICE, HOLLYWOOD? (1932) This seldom seen George Cukor classic features Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman in a tinseltown tear-jerker that peels back the glamour to show the sour side of stardom. Young wise gal waitress Mary Evans (Bennett) is just a wannabe starlet until dipsomaniac director Max Carey (Sherman) plucks her from obscurity and vaults her to the top of the Hollywood heap. But as Mary ascends ever higher into the firmament, Carey descends ever lower into the hell of alcoholism. Often mislabeled as the source for Cukor¹s later classic, A Star is Born, What Price, Hollywood? Is very much its own bittersweet brilliant bird anchored by two performances that demands rediscovery and reappraisal. NEWLY REMASTERED
HBO AFTER DOC (SAY IT OUT LOUD)
AMERICANS IN BED (2013) From the privacy of their own bedrooms, ten couples offer frank, funny and often surprising insights into love, sex and marriage in AMERICANS IN BED. Featuring a rich cross-section of ages, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations, AMERICANS IN BED spotlights some of the many reasons people come together and grow apart. Director Philippa Robinson conducts wide-ranging interviews with subjects who are filmed in the comfort of their own beds, asking probing questions about what people look for in a partner and how they know when they have found it. From a couple that has been together for 71 years to a pair of fresh-faced newlyweds, she encourages her subjects to open their hearts and minds as they share candid and touching insights into their relationships, underscoring the fact that no union is as simple as it seems on the surface.
From the Big Screen:
There are no major theatrical releases coming to home video this week.
Topping the list this week is "American Experience: 1964" (2014), a must-see, incredibly informative documentary that tracks the events that occurred in 1964, a year that saw the baby boomer generation rise to prominence with an emphasis on rock 'n' roll, psychedelics and protests — it was the beginning of the "generation gap" and the counter culture as well as the anti-war movement and feminism. 1964 was the year the Beatles came to America, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, and three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It was the year when Berkeley students rose up in protest, blacks fought back against injustice in Harlem, and Barry Goldwater's conservative revolution took over the Republican Party. In myriad ways, 1964 was the year when Americans faced choices: between the liberalism of Lyndon Johnson or Barry Goldwater's grassroots conservatism, between support or opposition to the Civil Rights movement, between an embrace of the emerging counterculture or a defense of traditional values. Based in part on "The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964" by Jon Margolis, "1964" follows some of the most influential figures of the time — Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Betty Friedan — but also brings out from the shadows the stories of ordinary Americans whose principled stands would set the country onto a new and different course. $24.99 from PBS Distribution.
There's two wonderful dual-format (Blu-ray/DVD) releases this week from The Criterion Collection: "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009) is the story of a clever, quick, nimble, and exceptionally well-dressed wild animal. A compulsive chicken thief turned newspaper reporter, Mr. Fox settles down with his family at a new foxhole in a beautiful tree directly adjacent to three enormous poultry farms — owned by three ferociously vicious farmers: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Mr. Fox simply cannot resist. This adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel from Wes Anderson is a meticulous work of stop-motion animation featuring vibrant performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon and Bill Murray. New digital master, approved by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. And "Foreign Correspondent" (1940). In 1940, Alfred Hitchcock made his official transition from the British film industry to Hollywood. And it was quite a year: his first two American movies, "Rebecca" and "Foreign Correspondent," were both nominated for the best picture Oscar. Though "Rebecca" prevailed, "Foreign Correspondent" is the more quintessential Hitch film. A full-throttle espionage thriller, starring Joel McCrea as a green Yank reporter sent to Europe to get the scoop on the imminent war, it's wall-to-wall witty repartee, head-spinning plot twists, and brilliantly mounted suspense set pieces, including an ocean plane crash climax with astonishing special effects. New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
Also due this week: "Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season" (2013) includes all 10 episodes of the third season of the HBO series based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling part-political-thriller, part-epic-fantasy book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" in which seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. In Season 3, the battling families of the Seven Kingdoms continue to fight for power as bonds are strained, loyalties are tested and cruel fates are met. The Lannisters barely hold on to power after a savage naval onslaught from Stannis Baratheon, while stirrings in the North threaten to alter the overall balance of power. Robb Stark, King in the North, faces major calamity in his efforts to build on his victories over the Lannisters, and beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder and his huge army of wildlings continue their inexorable march south. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen — reunited with her three fast-maturing dragons — attempts to raise an army to sail with her from Essos, in hopes of eventually claiming the Iron Throne for herself. On DVD (five discs, $59.99 ) and Blu-ray/DVD Combo (5 BD Discs, 2 DVD discs, $79.98). And "Darkman Collector's Edition Blu-ray" (1990), directed by Sam Raimi and starring Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi and Dan Bell. From Shout! Factory.