“Despicable Me’s” Gru, the newly reformed master criminal now trying to live life as a normal dad to his three adopted daughters, is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to track down a new criminal mastermind and save the world. Partnered with secret agent Lucy Wilde, Gru, along with the wildly unpredictable Minions, must figure out how to keep his cover while also keeping up with his duties as a father. Extras: “Gru’s Girls” behind-the-scenes featurette; “Gadgets Galore” featurette explores lipstick tasers, magnet ships, foam dart dispensers and jelly guns; commentary with directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin. Blu-ray adds Three mini-movies starring the Minions, introduced by Gru: “Puppy,” “Panic in the Mailroom” and “Training Wheels”; “The Making of the Mini-Movies” featurette; deleted scene; “The Minions” featurette, a visit to Illumination Entertainment in Paris and Los Angeles to discover what it’s really like to work with the Minions; “Evil Minions” behind-the-scenes featurette; “A Gru-Some Transformation” with Steve Carell as he discusses the transformation of Gru from the ultimate super-villain to super-dad and international spy; “El Hombre Malo: The Villainy of El Macho” behind the scenes featurette with the new villain (Benjamin Bratt). Vitals: Director: Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffi. Stars: Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Moises Arias. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 98 min., Animated, Box office gross: $361.774 million, Universal.
David Burke (Jason Sudeikis) is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids — after all, he has his scruples. So what could go wrong? Plenty. Preferring to keep a low profile for obvious reasons, he learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished when he tries to help out some local teens and winds up getting jumped by a trio of gutter punks. Stealing his stash and his cash, they leave him in major debt to his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms). In order to wipe the slate clean — and maintain a clean bill of health — David must now become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad’s latest shipment to the U.S. from Mexico. Twisting the arms of his neighbors, cynical stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston), wannabe customer Kenny (Will Poulter), and the tatted-and-pierced streetwise teen Casey (Emma Roberts), he devises a foolproof plan. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny RV later, the “Millers” are headed south of the border for a Fourth of July weekend that ends with a bang. Extras: Extended cut of the film, “Miller’s Unleashed — Outtakes Overload,” “Stories From the Road” behind-the-scenes featurettes (“Extreme Aniston”, “The Miller Makeovers,” “Road Trippin’ With the Millers,” “Don’t Suck Venom,” “Getting Out of a Sticky Situation,” “I Am Pablo Chacon,” “Rollin’ in the RV”), Livin’ It Up with Brad” featurette, “When Paranoia Sets In” featurette, deleted scenes, gags & more outtakes. Vitals: Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber. Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $142.360 million, Warner.
Summoned by an old acquaintance to modern day Japan, Wolverine finds himself out of his depth in an unknown world — a Japan he hasn’t seen since World War II, filled with Yakuza gangsters, ninjas, mutants and a brand new class of villains — where he faces his ultimate nemesis — the Silver Samurai — in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than ever before. Extras: “Inspiration — A Ronin’s Journey.” Blu-ray adds alternate ending, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” set tour, “The Path of the Ronin” immersive feature following the journey of a hero without a past, “Sync With Wolverine Second Screen App” for an interactive “Second Screen” experience, theatrical trailers. Unleashed Extended Edition includes extended, unrated cut (with an additional 30 minutes) and commentary by director James Mangold. Vitals: Director: James Mangold. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Hal Yamanouchi, Famke Janssen. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Action, Box office gross: $131.304 million, Fox.
Launched in 2012, Fox Cinema Archives includes more than 200 classic films drawing from the studio’s deep vault of movies. The collection dives into the studio’s rich catalog to resurrect some of the most memorable films from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Available Now – War
“Farewell to Yesterday” (1950), 89 min.
Narrated by Tony Award-winning actor Sidney Blackmer, this documentary portrayal of the cultural and social forces which led the world to war in the 1930s and 1940s, starting with the rise of the Third Reich and their leader Adolf Hitler, shows the war in all its horror.
“Decision Before Dawn” (1951), 119 min.
During World War II, as the American army approaches Nazi Germany, the U.S. recruits German prisoners to serve as spies for the Allies. Starring Richard Basehart, Gary Merrill, and Oscar-nominee Oskar Werner, “Decision Before Dawn” was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Film Editing and Best Picture) and a Golden Globe (Best Cinematography – Black & White).
Available Now – Western
“The Cisco Kid and The Lady” (1939), 73 min.
When The Cisco Kid comes upon a dying miner who’s been attacked by bandits, he vows to secure the rights to the mine for the man’s orphaned infant and find her mother. Golden Globe-nominee Cesar Romero leads the star-studded cast, including Marjorie Weaver, Chris-Pin Martin, and George Montgomery, in this edition of the franchise.
“The Gay Caballero” (1940), 57 min.
Golden Globe nominee Cesar Romero once again stars in The Gay Caballero, leading an all-star cast of Sheila Ryan, Robert Sterling, and Janet Beecher. When the Kid rides into town with his faithful friend Gordito (Chris-Pin Martin) he finds that he is believed to be dead. What’s even more shocking is that, in a mix-up of identity, he was accused of stealing Susan Weatherby’s land. So in a race against time, he must prove his innocence and that he is the true Cisco Kid.
Due October 8 – Film Noir (Mystery/Drama)
“Cry of the City” (1948), 95 min.
In this gritty crime drama that was nominated for the Writers Guild of America’s Robert Meltzer Award, two childhood best friends take divergent paths; one becomes a cop (Victor Mature), and the other a cop-killer (Richard Conte). The killer must grapple with confessing to a murder he did not commit in order to save his girlfriend from being framed for the crime.
“Moss Rose” (1947), 81 min.
Set in turn-of-the-century London and starring Peggy Cummins, Victor Mature and Oscar-winner Ethel Barrymore4, Moss Rose tells the suspense story of a woman trying to solve the mystery of a friend’s murder when she finds that she may be the next victim.
Due October 15 – Film Noir (Mystery/Thriller)
“Backlash” (1947), 66 min.
This murder mystery follows the story of a man (Richard Travis) who tries to frame his wife (Jean Rogers) for a murder that he himself committed. As the plot thickens, Detective Jerry McMullen (Larry J. Blake) slowly gets to the bottom of the case and the incentive behind why it was committed.
“Circumstantial Evidence” (1945), 67 min.
When a man (Primetime Emmy-nominee Michael O’Shea5) well known for his foul temper is wrongly convicted of murder, his young son and a family friend (Primetime Emmy-winner Lloyd Nolan6) work to prove him innocent.
Due October 22 – Sherlock Holmes
“Hound of the Baskervilles” (1939), 79 min.
Sherlock Holmes (two-time Oscar-nominee Basil Rathbone) and his partner Watson (Nigel Bruce) investigate the legend of a hound, a creature that may be after the heirs of the famed Baskerville estate where several deaths have occurred on the moor.
“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (1939), 81 min.
Sherlock Holmes (Oscar nominee Basil Rathbone) and his partner (Nigel Bruce) are at it again in attempt to stop his greatest Professor Moriarty (George Zucco) and his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels.
Every once in a while a comedy comes along that pushes the boundaries of what one expects in a movie. “Pink Flamingos,” “The Life of Brian,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Borat” and “The Hangover” come to mind. Now add to the list “This Is the End,” an outrageous, raunchy comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring a bevy of Hollywood stars playing themselves as petty, selfish, lascivious Hollywood stars attending a party at James Franco’s house in the Hollywood Hills. In attendance are Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Martin Starr, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and many, many others — all having a wild time until a series of strange and catastrophic events — the apocalypse — devastate Los Angeles. Five of the partygoers, all friends — Franco, Hill, Rogen, Baruchel and Robinson — soon joined by Danny McBride — are trapped in the house and, as the world outside burns in the heat of damnation, dwindling supplies and cabin fever inside threaten to tear the friendships apart. There’s some very, very nasty, almost pornographic scenes and crazy special effects that, in conjunction with the actors poking fun at themselves and their lifestyles, makes for a very funny ride. I was shocked, titillated and fell off my chair with laugher. But beware — this is rated a very hard “R.” Extras: Commentary with directors Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg; “Directing Your Friends” featurette; “This Is the Marketing”: Marketing outtakes, cast featurette, redband sizzle trailer, and four additional confessionals: “Aziz Haunts Craig Confessional,” “James & Danny Confessional.” “Jonah Confessional,” “Seth & Jay Confessional.” Blu-ray adds deleted scenes; “This Is the Gag Reel,” line-o-ramas blooper reel with back-to-back shots of the actors’ different delivery of certain lines from the film; six featurettes: “Meta-Apocalypse in which the cast discusses the unique acting challenges of playing versions of themselves, “Let’s Get Technical” visual effects & technical aspects of the film, “Party Time” behind-the-scenes look at the making of the party scene at James Franco’s house, “The Cannibal King” with Channing Tatum and Danny McBride, “The Making of ‘The Making of Pineapple Express 2′” behind-the-scenes look at the cast making the sequel to “Pineapple Express,” “Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse” original short that inspired the film. Vitals: Director: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Stars: Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Martin Starr, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $96.505 million, Sony.
Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Pauk Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, the “Fast” gang has scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and the angst of living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete. Meanwhile, federal agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Luke Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again. Extras: Deleted scenes; “The Making of Fast & Furious 6” four-part featurette (“The Fastest of Them All” chronicles the saga of the “Fast” films from Chapters 3 through 6; “Reuniting the Team” explores the characters (and actors) that make up the “Fast” family, with a focus on founding partners Dom and Brian (and Vin and Paul); “Letty’s Return”: Heralded by a crowd-pleasing cliffhanger in “Fast Five,” Michelle Rodriguez makes a dramatic return in the sixth installment; “The Mastermind and The Mole”: introduces “Fast” “newbies” Luke Evans and Gina Carano as they share their experience joining the cast of “Fast & Furious 6” and how their characters fit into the new plot); “On the Set With Vin”; commentary with Justin Lin. “Blu- ray” adds an extended version of the film; “Take Control” in which Diesel, Walker, Rodriguez and Lin appear at key moments throughout the film, offering observations and reflections on the movie, behind-the-scenes footage and more; “Planes, Tanks and Automobiles” four-part featurette (“The London Chase” gives viewers a front-row seat for the filming of the sprawling car chase through the streets of one of the world’s most historic and congested cities; “Highway Heist: The Convoy Attack” is a first-hand account of the meticulously planned and executed action sequence; “The Antonov Takedown” explores what went into creating “Fast & Furious 6’s” spectacular finale sequence, featuring the world’s largest plane, including first- and second-unit filming, special effects, visual effects, car rigging, stunt drivers, green-screen shooting and more: “Dom and Letty Race Again”); “Gearhead’s Delight”: From the shop to the test track, to the set and back again, a look at the latest hot cars showcased in “Fast & Furious 6”, featuring Dom’s latest Charger, Brian’s Nissan Skyline GTR, the BMW M5s, the Alfa Romeo and the classic cars from the film’s car-auction scene; “The FLIP Car” provides an inside look at the “Fast” franchise’s newest mind-blowing vehicle, the pivoting FLIP car; “Hand-to-Hand Fury” offers viewers a detailed look at the rehearsals, choreography, stunt work and filming of some of “Fast & Furious 6’s” most bone-jarring fight sequences. Vitals: Director: Justin Lin. Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, John Ortiz, Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, Shea Whigham, David Ajala, Kim Kold, Thure Lindhardt, Joe Taslim. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 131 min., Action, Box office gross: $238.673, million, Universal.
Former race car driver Brent Magna (Etahn Hawke) is pitted against the clock. Desperately trying to save the life of his kidnapped wife, Brent commandeers a custom Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake, taking it and its unwitting owner (Selena Gomez) on a high-speed race against time, following the orders of the mysterious villain holding his wife hostage. Extras: Crash cams, “Destroying a Custom Shelby,” “Metal and Asphalt,” “Selena Gomez: On Set,” “The Train Station.” Vitals: Director: Courtney Solomon. Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Action, Box office gross: $10.494 million, Warner.
THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS (1946) At last, this surreal horror suspense classic crawls onto DVD! Robert Florey directs Peter Lorre in this definitive “Phantom Limb” shocker in which the inhabitants of an isolated villa are seemingly stalked by the hand of a dead pianist and this hand won’t stop killing until it gets its revenge! Lorre, as the pianist’s put-upon, occult obsessed secretary, is as sublime as ever. Robert Alda plays a grifter/arranger and Andrea King plays the object of desire for both man and ghost. Screenplay by horror master Curt Siodmak, with story suggestions by the legendary Louis Buñuel, and a peerless score from Warner Bros.’ resident maestro, Max Steiner. NYC fans: see below for a rare screening! Newly Remastered
NIGHTMARE HONEYMOON (1974) The 70s saw a slew of twisted revenge thrillers thanks to the grindhouse breakout success of Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left as demonstrated by Nightmare Honeymoon’s poster’s announcement, “Thank Heavens It’s Only a Movie!” The aptly named Dack Rambo plays a Vietnam vet whose honeymoon turns horrific thanks to the ministrations of a psychotic hood (Nichol’s John Beck). But this psycho is not the only trained killer on the streets of New Orleans, and the war hero husband embarks on a private war. Also stars Pat Hingle and Rebecca Dianna Smith. Adapted from the book Deadly Honeymoon by crime czar Lawrence Block, directed by Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou, Tales from the Crypt). Special Feature: Contains both the Not Rated Alternate Theatrical Version and the Not Rated Alternate TV Version. Newly Remastered
CASPER‘S HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (1979) Hanna-Barbera takes the Friendly Ghost on a Halloween romp in this classic TV special. It’s Halloween and Casper leaps at the chance to experience the delights of the night “just like a real boy.” It’s trick or treat time for Casper – the treats in the form of a gang of orphan kids who accept Casper as one their own, and the tricks from Hairy Scary and his ghostly gang who bedevil the hapless urchins. Can Casper save the night for his new pals? The answer may lie with Hairy Scary himself… Special Holiday Bonus Feature: The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t (1972) Learn the secret history of the first Thanksgiving as Jeremy Squirrel braves the wilderness to save a lost pilgrim boy and his Native American playmate on the eve of the first feast in this half-hour animated TV holiday classic.
Baker in Blu
THE MENTALIST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (2008-09) On BLU-RAY! Follow the cases of Patrick Jane and the CBI as they were meant to be seen – in arresting High Definition! Simon Baker stars as the sly, acerbic and oh-so-damaged celebrity psychic Patrick Jane whose hubris in taunting serial killer Red John cost him his family. Acknowledging his supposed paranormal abilities were merely his own intense powers of observation and a deep understanding of human psychology, Jane brings the con to consultant as he aids the California Bureau of Investigation. But no matter how many criminals he catches, Patrick never forgets his central goal: Find Red John. Co-starring Robin Tunney and created by Bruno Heller. Special Features: Evidence of a Hit Series – Interviews with the creators, directors and cast; Cracking the Crystal Ball: Mentalist Vs. Psychic – The producers, directors, cast, and real-life detectives, mentalists and police psychics discuss the reality of psychic gifts: Surveillance Video: Gag Reel.
The Boys Are Back!
THE BOWERY BOYS COLLECTION: VOLUME THREE (1948-1949) The third volume of the complete Bowery Boys film collection contains many milestone moments along with more mirth and malaprops than you can swing a crumpled fedora at! Moving from the “Gabe Dell and the gangsters” Bowery Boys of the 40s all the way to Huntz Hall headlining in the late 50s, we bid a fond farewell to beloved Bernard Gorcey who died suddenly after completing Dig That Uranium. Son Leo (Slip) would depart the series shortly thereafter, leaving Hall to carry the comedy alongside new boy Duke (Stanley Clements). But allow us to regurgitate one salient pint – Slip, Sach, Duke, Louie and the boys will be back for another round in volume 4! Newly Remastered
Volume Three contains:
- · Angels’ Alley (1948) The Boys look back to their “Dead End” roots as the 40s wind down, complete with gangsters, urchins and two-fisted Fathers (O’Hanlon in this case).
- · Jinx Money (1948) It’s time for a suspenseful trip to pulp land, as the boys discover a cursed bundle of loot and face the eerie menace of “the Umbrella.”
- · Angels in Disguise (1949) Sach and Slip take a wrong turn and end up trapped inside a full blown piece of Film Noir! Shadows, alleys, murderous thugs, and best of all – Slip provides a megaton of malaprops in his hard boiled first person narration.
- · Feudin’ Fools (1952) This prime piece of the “What’s the matter with Sach?” stories sees Horace Debussy Jones inherit a parcel of land right in the middle of feudin’ territory.
- · Jalopy (1953) Sach the chemical king accidentally cooks up a superfuel just as Slip is heading off to the races.
- · Paris Playboys (1954) It’s Huntz Hall squared as the UN discovers that Sach is the double for a missing French scientist, and sends him to Paris to flush the scientist out.
- · Dig that Uranium (1956) The boys and Louie head out west where they encounter crooks and king cowboy Raymond Hatton – Monogram Nevada Jack fans take note!
- · Crashing Las Vegas (1956) Leo Gorcey’s swan song to the series sees him go out in style as he guides a suddenly savant Sach through the gambling dens of Vegas.
- · Hot Shots (1956) Sach and Duke take charge of a pre-teen TV star. Guest starring Inspector Henderson himself, Robert Shayne!
- · Spook Chasers (1957) The Boys go full on Scooby and a foil a plot of ghost-impersonating gangsters. There’s even traps and hidden loot!
- · Looking for Danger (1957) Bowery Boys go the retcon route as we discover Duke and the Boys serving overseas and going undercover as Nazis during World War II.
- · Up in Smoke (1957) It’s Sach versus the Devil – but pity the demon.
In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the planet’s crime and poverty, and they critically need the state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium — but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens’ luxurious lifestyle. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission — one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces — but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well. Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, who brought the innovative sci-fi morality tale “District 9” to the big screen. Extras: “Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium” behind-the-scenes cast featurette; “Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky” featurette on designing and creating the utopian space station. Blu-ray adds an extended scene; “Visions of 2154,” an interactive exploration of the art and design of Elysium; “The Journey to Elysium,” a three-part documentary with “Envisioning Elysium,” a pre-production diary, “Capturing Elysium” location featurette, and “Enhancing Elysium,” a post-production diary that explores the editing process; “In Support of Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium,” an in-depth look at the process of shooting visual effects scenes and incorporating CGI environments and vehicles into those scenes in post-production; “The Technology of 2154,” a featurette that offers insights into the film’s depiction of the technology of Elysium, from independently functioning Droids to next-generation military tech that gives humans machine-enhanced power. Vitals: Director: Neill Blomkamp. Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner, Michael Shanks, Alice Braga, Talisa Soto, Diego Luna, Carly Pope. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Science Fiction Action, Box office gross: $90.790 million, Sony.
From the Big Screen:
“This Is the End” and “The Croods.” For more releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
It’s another great week for filmlovers, with restored versions of “The Littler Mermaid,” “The Big Parade,” “From Here to Eternity” and “House of Wax,” as well as a new edition of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Kids today may not have heard of King Vidor, but he was one of the early geniuses of Hollywood filmmaking, beginning in silent films in the 1910s and working his magic right through the 1950s. Along the way he made such classics as “The Crowd” (1928), “The Champ” (1931), “Stella Dallas” (1937), worked on the Kansas scenes in “The Wizard of Oz,” “Northwest Passage” (1940), “Duel in the Sun” (1946), “The Fountainhead” (1949) and “Solomon and Sheba” (1959). “The Big Parade,” making its DVD and Blu-ray debut this week, is his monumental masterpiece, a 140-minute opus that tells the harrowing story of a young man’s (John Gilbert) front-line experiences in World War I. It was the highest-grossing silent film of all time, as well as the first realistic war drama, and stands the test of time as a stunning work of art. The Blu-ray is packed with a 64-page book with comprehensive notes by film historian Kevin Brownlow, with original art, photos and advertising material. Other extras include commentary by historian Jeffrey Vance with King Vidor, “The Men Who Made the Movies: King Vidor” documentary, and a vintage 1925 studio tour short. Co-stars Renee Adoree, Hobart Bosworth and Claire McDowell. A must-have for every cinephile. From Warner.
Disney has brought one of their most-in-demand DVDs out of the vault and plied their magic with it in a Diamond Edition Blu-ray and DVD with digital image restoration and high-definition sound: We’re talking about none other than “The Little Mermaid” (1989), which ushered in a renaissance of Disney animated films that set the stage for “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” Though this is not one of my favorites — that has to go to the aforementioned two titles — “The Little Mermaid” is still a wonderful tale about a headstrong young mermaid, Ariel, who falls for a human and trades her beautiful singing voice to the evil Sea Witch Ursula for human legs. The Blu-ray transfer is fabulous with colors ever-so bolder and clearer than the DVD; the new soundtrack improvements will only be noticed if you have a surround sound set-up. The film features the voices of Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Pat Carroll, Buddy Hackett, Christopher Daniel and Kenneth Mars, with the fabulous lyrics and music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. “The Little mermaid” is available in a variety of packages, including a 3D version: A three-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Music Download), $49.99; two-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray + DVD/Digital Copy), $44.99; two-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray + DVD), $39.99. Extras a new music video, “Part of Your World”; “@ Disney Animation” behind-the-scenes; a deleted character, Harold the Merman; “The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model”; “Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland”; and classic DVD bonus features.
“From Here to Eternity” (1953) was the film that reinvigorated Frank Sinatra’s flagging film career and featured incredibly nuanced performances by a bevy of Hollywood luminaries, including Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Ernest Borgnine. Director Fred Zinnemann’s adaptation of the racy James Jones novel incensed both the film censors and the U.S. Army for it’s hot love scenes and depiction of army life; the film went on to win eight Academy Awards and become one of the highest grossing films of all time. Sony has meticulously restored the film from a 4k scan for its Blu-ray debut — and it’s scrumptious. Extras include commentary with Tim Zinnemann (the director’s son) and screenwriter Alvin Sargent; a vintage “The Making of From Here to Eternity” documentary; vintage “Fred Zinnemann: As I See It”; and a new “Eternal History” graphics in picture track that explores the story of how 1953’s Best Picture winner came to be told, with new interviews, exclusive photos and other rare material. Another must-have.
Warner has a new, restored and remastered high-definition release for the Blu-ray debut of director Andre de Toth’s creepy 1953 horror film “House of Wax,” the first color 3D feature released by a major studio and the first 3-D film with stereophonic sound to be presented in a regular movie theater. The film, starring Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni and Charles Buchinsky (aka Charles Bronson), become a huge hit (If adjusted to today’s gross, it would have brought in more than $401 million, placing it among the top 100 highest grossing films ever). It also marked Vincent Price’s first major starring horror role and changed the course of his career. Originally designed to lure audiences away from their TV sets, 3D utilized a “left-eye/right-eye” dual projection process and polarized glasses, the basis for what is seen today. Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging group’s work on “House of Wax” included a 4K scan, and a full restoration of the two “eyes,” as well as perfect 3D image alignment. Extras on the 3D Blu-ray/ 2D release include a new featurette, “House of Wax: Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before”; “Mystery of the Wax Museum,” the original 1933 film on which “House of Wax” was based; commentary; “Round-the-Clock Premiere: Coast Hails House of Wax”; and the original trailer.
It seems like only yesterday that Warner gave us a souped up Blu-ray version of the wonderful
“The Wizard of Oz” — and, in fact, it was only four years ago, in 2009, that they releases a now-out-of-print collector’s edition of the classic. With “Wizard” turning 75, the company has put together yet another edition of the 1939 film, here in a “The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” five-disc set that includes Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the film; a new documentary, “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”; bonus features from previous editions; premium collectibles (a collectible 75th Anniversary journal, Sparkle Ruby Slippers Globe, Noble Collection 3-piece enamel pin set, a map of Oz and a 48-page hardcover book); all for $105.43. Three more editions will be available separately: a two-disc 3D/Blu-ray ($35.99), a one-disc Blu-ray ($19.98) and a two-disc DVD ($16.95), all with the new documentary and extra content.
Also due this week: “Downton Abbey Seasons 1, 2 & 3” is a limited edition set that includes Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3 in special collectable gift-set packaging, with more than three hours of previously released bonus video, including “Downton Abbey: The Making of,” “Downton Abbey: Behind the Drama” and more; the set includes the bonus disc “Secrets of Highclere Castle,” a one-hour documentary that steps inside the castle featured in “Downton Abbey.” On DVD, $89.99, and Blu-ray Disc, $99.99, from PBS Distribution … In the mid-1960s the often rigid and colorless British way of life was irrevocably transformed by the emergence of a cultural underground movement. Led by a loose collective of young radicals, they introduced new social, sexual and aesthetic perspectives. Operating out of the heart of London, their various activities, from The International Times — a bi-weekly journal that no hipster could be seen without — to the psychedelic nightclub UFO, promoted alternative lifestyles and values, and sparked a social revolution. “Paul McCartney — Going Underground: McCartney, The Beatles and the UK Counter-Culture” (2013) not only traces the history of this underground scene, but also explores its impact on the pre-eminent British group of the era, The Beatles. Although they were well established by the time the movement emerged, The Beatles, and Paul McCartney in particular, were closely linked with several of its key players, and through their exposure to cutting edge concepts, brought ideas directly from the avant-garde into the mainstream. Features new interviews with key players from the time, including Barry Miles of the IT, Pink Floyd producer Joe Boyd, Robert Wyatt, and many more, as well as rare footage, archive photographs, and music from The Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Soft machine, and others. On DVD from MVD Visual.