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More News: January 2011

Dwayne Johnson Goes 'Faster' on March 1

photo (January 29) Sony has set a March 1 release date for Dwayne Johnson's action-thriller "Faster," a gritty tale about an ex-con who puts together a hit list to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. But once out Driver (Johnson) finds that two men have him in their sights as well: a veteran cop (Billy Bob Thornton) just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. There are some twists and turns as the scenario unfolds in this straight-ahead revenge flick. The good news: The return of hard-core action hero The Rock after attempts at Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired comedy movie gigs. We'd rather see The Rock crack heads than jokes. Read more about "Faster."

Massive Ernie Kovacs Collection Due
April 19 From Shout! Factory

photo (January 26) Here's the set we've been waiting for: "The Ernie Kovacs Collection," a six-disc set with more than 13 hours of Ernie Kovacs' original classic television content, unforgettable characters and a treasure trove of genuine rarities. Kovacs, whose offbeat humor graced the airwaves for just a decade in the 1950s and 60s, served healthy portions of the offbeat to his audiences, who had never seen anything quite like this cigar-wielding charmer. Wickedly funny but not offensive, Kovacs' unique humor and flair for improvisation would ripple across generations, influencing TV funnymen from Johnny Carson and Monty Python to David Letterman, Pee-wee Herman and "Saturday Night Live." Includes episodes From his local and national morning shows, episodes from his NBC primetime show, five ABC TV specials, the color version of his legendary silent show "Eugene," classic sketches, 44-page booklet featuring rare photos, program notes and essays by Jonathan Lethem and TV critic David Kronke. Read more about the lavish box set and the host of special features. $69.97.

Box Office News: January 30: 'Rite' On: Exorcism Thriller Tops Weekend Box Office. Read the story at Moviefone.
See Weekend Top 5

News: January 27: "Takers" Delivers One-Two-Three Punch to DVD/Blu-ray Charts. Read the story at Home Media Magazine.
See DVD charts

This Week's Releases (January 25)
From the Big Screen:

"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," "Nowhere Boy," "Red," "Saw 3D: The Final Chapter" and "Secretariat." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/25):

The term "cult director" applies to no one more than Chilean-born filmmaker and visionary shaman Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jodorowsky exploded onto the international scene with his notorious 1970s sensations "El Topo" and "Holy Mountain," photo films that redefined movies as both art and entertainment while single-handedly creating the midnight movie genre. Now Jodorowsky's long-unseen "Santa Sangre" (1989) will make its eagerly anticipated American Blu-ray and DVD debut. Legal frustrations with the films' owner (and Beatles manager) Allen Klein, as well as a failed attempt to direct a 14-hour movie adaptation of "Dune" starring Orson Welles and Salvador Dali, kept Jodorowsky from making movies for 16 years until his triumphant return with "Santa Sangre." Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell and the filmmaker's sons Axel and Adan Jodorowsky star in this surreal epic about a young circus performer, the crime of passion that shatters his soul and the macabre journey back to the world of his armless mother and deaf-mute lover. The internationally acclaimed tale of madness, passion and redemption will be fully restored and accompanied by a wealth of extras; $29.98 on DVD and $34.98 on Blu-Ray. Extras: Commentary by Jodorowsky and journalist Alan Jones; deleted scenes; theatrical trailer; Japanese trailer; "Forget Everything You Have Ever Seen: The World of Santa Sangre" feature length making-of documentary featuring all-new interviews with cast and crew; "For One Night Only: Alejandro Jodorowsky" Channel X U.K. 1990 documentary featuring interviews with Jodorowsky, Dennis Hopper, Marcel Marceau, Omar Sharif and others; "Goyo Cardenas Spree Killer": Documentary on the real life inspiration for "Santa Sangre"; on stage Q&A with Jodorowsky; Jodorowsky 2003 interview; composer Simon Boswell interviews Jodorowsky; "Blink Jodorowsky" short by Simon Boswell; "Close Your Eyes" music video by Simon Boswell; Adan Jodorowsky short film "Echeck." From Severin Films/MPI Media Group.

In the 1970s, the name James L. Brooks ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Taxi," "Terms of Endearment," "The Simpsons") was synonymous with intelligent television comedy -- ­his shows were insightful about work and love and always tapped into the zeitgeist. photo With his transition to film in the 1980s, he became a master Hollywood storyteller, and none of his films was more quintessentially Brooks than "Broadcast News" (1987). This caustic inside look at the Washington news media stars Holly Hunter, in her breakout role, as a feisty television producer torn between an ambitious yet dim anchorman (William Hurt) and her closest confidant, a cynical veteran reporter (Albert Brooks). Brooks's witty, gently prophetic entertainment is a captivating transmission from an era in which ideas on love and media were rapidly changing. In a two-disc special edition with a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director James L. Brooks and editor Richard Marks, from The Criterion Collection ... The "Ronald Reagan Centennial Collection" is an eight-film set with: "Dark Victory," starring Bette Davis; "Knute Rockne All-American," the actor's best remembered role ("win one for the Gipper!"); "Kings Row," an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture and arguably one of Reagan's best performances; "Desperate Journey" starring Errol Flynn; the Technicolor musical spectacular "Irving Berlin's This is the Army"; the wartime drama "The Hasty Heart;" the topical "Storm Warning" and "The Winning Team," with Reagan playing Hall-of-Fame baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. $59.92 from Warner.

From TV to Video (1/25):

"The Agatha Christie Hour, Set 2" features five mysteries broadcast on PBS's "Mystery!" in the early 1980s, with such stars as Rupert Everett, Amanda Redman, Ralph Bates, Stephanie Cole, Cherie Lunghi and Christopher Cazenove. "Magnolia Blossom": An unhappy wife tries to escape her marriage; "The Mystery of the Blue Jar": A young man consults an expert on the paranormal; "The Red Signal": photo A seance foretells of sudden death and danger; "Jane in Search of a Job": An Englishwoman takes on a dangerous assignment; "The Manhood of Edward Robinson": A henpecked fiance sets off on the drive of his life. The two-disc set sells for $39.99 from Acorn Media ... "Glee Season 2: Volume 1" (2010) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Webster: The Complete First Season" (1983-84) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Zorro: The Complete Series" (1990-93) is a 15-disc set with all 88 episodes (remastered) of the series not seen since its Family Channel airings in 1990-93. Filmed entirely in Madrid. Extras include "The Mark of Zorro" (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks: The original, full-length silent film that defined the "swashbuckler" genre; Chapter 1 of the 1939 theatrical serial, "Zorro's Fighting Legion"; trailers for the serials "Zorro's Fighting Legion," "Zorro's Black Whip" and "Zorro Rides Again"; the original, never-before-released pilot for the "New World Zorro"; photo gallery; from A&E.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/25):

In "Inhale" (2010), starring Dermot Mulroney, Mia Stallard, Diane Kruger, Rosanna Arquette and Sam Shepard, a New Mexico district attorney desperate to save the life of his daughter -- who needs a double lung transplant -- heads to Juarez, Mexico, where he hopes to meet with a doctor who he has heard performs transplants. But what he discovers -- an illegal organ-trafficking ring -- forces him to decide between reporting the vast and horrible crime to authorities or saving his daughter. From IFC Films photo ... In "Of Boys and Men" (2008), starring Robert Townsend, Angela Bassett and Victoria Rowell, a family is devastated when the wife and mother is killed in a senseless auto accident. Reeling with grief, each family member must find courage and vision to carry on, ultimately eager to do the mother proud. From Warner ... "Bread Crumbs" (2009), starring Amy Crowdis, Marianne Hagan, Dan Shaked and Steve Carey, is a bizarre take on "Hansel & Gretel": A group of porn filmmakers are systematically attacked by two children on the set of a remote shoot. From Green Apple Entertainment ... In "Red Hill" (2010 -- Australia), starring Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis and Claire van der Boom, a constable who arrives in a small town looking for the quiet life ends up facing an escaped murderer on a killing spree. From Sony ... photo"Like Dandelion Dust" (2009), starring Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Kate Levering and Maxwell Perry Cotton, deals with the intertwined lives of two families and the struggles of parenthood when one family receives a startling phone call telling them that their adopted son's birth parents want him back. From Fox ... "Dead Space: Aftermath" (2011) is an animated feature based on the video game about missing space ships and alien infestations on a distant planet; from Anchor Bay ... In the Ozploitation film "Primal" (2009 -- Australia), starring Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleagus, six friends go camping in the beautiful but forbidding Outback of Australia, where it turns into a hunting trip -- and they're the prey. From IFC Films ... A mysterious stranger shows up at a police station and confesses to six murders, and one-by-one six detectives die, in "The Traveler" (2010), starring Val Kilmer, Dylan Neal, Paul McGillion and Camille Sullivan. From Paramount.

On the Indie Front (1/25):

"Enter the Void" (2010)is director Gaspar Noe's ("Irreversible") latest exercise in cinematic envelope-pushing. A brother and sister are trapped in the hellish night time world of Tokyo, where he deals drugs and she works as a stripper. When the brother dies, his spirit moves through time and space, reliving memories and watching over his sister; from IFC Films/MPI Media Group ... photo In "The Bird Can't Fly" (2007 -- South Africa, U.K.), starring Barbara Hershey, Yusuf Davids, Tony Kgoroge and John Kani, deep, dark secrets are revealed when a woman (Hershey) returns home to Fairlands for the funeral of her estranged daughter, meeting for the first time her 10 year-old grandson, whose existence she knew nothing about; from Vanguard Cinema ... In "Feed the Fish" (2009), starring Tony Shalhoub, Ross Partridge and Katie Aselton, a burned-out children's book writer who's on the brink of a mid-life crisis leaves town with his best friend to do the Polar Bear Plunge in the dead of winter in Northern Wisconsin, where he encounters three generations of a dysfunctional family that includes an obsessed law enforcement professional, a wise old fisherman and a muse with a pair of hockey skates. From Strand Releasing ... "Road Reps" (2009) is a romantic comedy about a pharmaceutical sales rep who has to travel to Northern California to win over a reluctant client, only to find out that his competition is his estranged wife; from Vanguard Cinema ... In order to understand why his romantic relationships have failed, a thirtysomething man takes a fantasy amusement park ride through life with his last five girlfriends in "My Last Five Girlfriends" (2009), starring Brendan Patricks, Naomie Harris, Kelly Adams, Jane March, Cecile Cassel and Edith Bukovics; from New Video/Tribeca Film ... Andy Serkis stars in "sex&drugs&rock&roll" (2009), a ripsnorting and unapologetic portrait of mercurial British punk rock pioneer Ian Dury (Ian Dury and The Blockheads), from New Video/Tribeca Films.

Foreign (1/25):

photo "Inspector Bellamy" (2010 -- France) is director Claude Chabrol's last film, a leisurely mystery about a legendary police inspector (Gerard Depardieu) whose vacation is upset by a local murder. Co-stars the lovely Marie Bunel and Jacques Gamblin. From IFC Films ... "White Wedding" (2010 -- South Africa)is a critically-acclaimed exuberant road comedy about love and loyalty, commitment and companionship set against South Africa's breathtaking landscapes: Only days away from his "white wedding," Elvis the groom sets out to pick up his childhood friend and best man and gets derailed more than once on a comic, misguided journey. From Image Entertainment.

For the Family (1/25):

photo In "Open Season 3" (2010), featuring the voices of Steve Schirrip, Crispin Glover, Ciara Bravo, Dana Snyder and Karley Scott Collins, Boog, Elliot and all their forest friends return with an all-new direct-to-video sequel that takes them to the circus; from Sony ... "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season One Volume 1" (2010) is the latest animated incarnation of Scooby-Doo, $14.97 from Warner ... "Shaun the Sheep: Spring Shenanigans" (2010) features seven new episodes: "Sporing Lamb," "Supersize Timmy," "Bagpipe Buddy," "Cheetah Cheater," "Lock Out," "Draw the Line" and "Ewe've Been Framed," $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

Special Interest (1/25):

photo Before the Tea Party movement had a name, author Thomas Frank's controversial New York Times bestselling book "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" explored the rise of conservatism in his home state of Kansas and exposed the contradictions of the movement. Based on Frank's book, director Joe Winston's critically acclaimed feature-length documentary "What's the Matter With Kansas?" (2009) similarly deals with the ascendancy of conservatism and how conservative political strategists won the hearts and minds of Americans, a movement now more visible and very much in effect all across America today. From Passion River Films ... "Still Bill" (2009) is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." From Docurama.

Box Office News: January 23: "No Strings Attached" Ties Up No. 1 Slot at Domestic Box Office. Read the story at Moviefone.
See Weekend Top 5

'Burlesque' Dances Its Way
to DVD/Blu-ray

photo (January 21) Sony has announced a March 1 release for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the contemporary musical (featuring 12 numbers) "Burlesque," with an all-star cast including Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Eric Dane, Alan Cumming and Peter Gallagher. The film, about a small-town girl (Christina Aguilera) with big vocal talent who gets a job working at a modern day burlesque nightclub and falls under the watchful eye of seasoned burlesque veteran Cher, was panned by the critics and received a lukewarm response from audiences, despite kudos for Aguilera. "The movie ... wavers uncertainly between 'bad' and 'so bad it's good'," Rotten Tomatoes summed up. Read more about "Burlesque."

News: January 20: "The Social Network" Keeps Making Friends: Tops DVD Sales and Rental Charts as Well as Critics' Choice and Golden Globes. Read the story at Home Media Magazine.
See DVD charts

This Week's Releases (January 18)
From the Big Screen:

"Buried," "Stone" and "Takers." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/18):

This week is Sam Fuller week at The Criterion Collection, with two releases by the great American writer-director-producer. First up is "The Naked Kiss" (1964), a pulp fiction of a film if there were ever one: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society. But in the strange, hallucinatory territory of Fuller, perverse secrets inevitably simmer beneath a seemingly wholesome surface. photo Featuring radical visual touches, full-throttle performances, brilliant cinematography by Stanley Cortez ("The Night of the Hunter"), and one bizarrely beautiful musical number, "The Naked Kiss" is among Fuller's greatest, boldest entertainments. In a new, restored high-definition digital transfer. Bonus features include a new video interview with star Constance Towers by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis; excerpts from a 1983 episode of the BBC's "The South Bank Show" dedicated to director Samuel Fuller; interview with Fuller from a 1967 episode of the French television series "Cineastes de notre temps"; interview with Fuller from a 1987 episode of the French television series "Cinema cinemas; more. Next in line is Fuller's equally pulpy "Shock Corridor" (1963), in which he masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and dementia. Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, madness closes in on him. Constance Towers co-stars as Johnny's cool-headed stripper girlfriend. With its startling commentary on race in '60s America and daring photography by Stanley Cortez, "Shock Corridor" is now recognized for its far-reaching influence. In an new, restored high-definition digital transfer. Both Fuller films will also be available on Blu-ray Disc.

"Roger Corman's SciFi Classics" is a triple feature (on two DVDs) photo produced and directed and by Roger Corman, featuring all new film transfers from the negatives of "Attack of the Crab Monsters" (1957), "Not of This Earth" (1957) and "War of the Satellites" (1958). onus features include "A Salute to Roger Corman" featuring new interviews with Roger Corman, Peter Fonda, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante and many more; commentaries on "Attack of the Crab Monsters" and "Not of This Earth" by Tom Weaver, John Brunas and Mike Brunas, authors of "Universal Horrors"; "The Roger Corman Trailer Collection" with over 25 trailers produced and directed by Roger Corman; new interview with Roger Corman looking back at all three films. From Shout! Factory.

From TV to Video (1/18):

"Criss Angel Mindfreak: The Complete Season Six" (2010) is a four-disc set with six episodes, $24.95 from A&E ... "Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series" (1996) is a six-disc set with all 19 episodes, $44.99. photo Extras include the international pilot, cast and creator commentaries, "Signal to Noise: Uncovering Dark Skies," network promos, "The Dark Skies Glossary," original sales presentation, EPK, never-before-seen Season Two proposal, special commemorative booklet, more; from Shout! Factory ... "Dallas: The Complete Fourteenth Season" (1990-91) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Justified: The Complete First Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes of the series based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by crime novelist Elmore Leonard, $49.95 from Sony ... "Merlin: The Complete Second Season" (2009) is a five-disc set with 13 episodes, $49.98 from BBC/Warner ... "Nite Tales: The Series" (2009) features five unrated tales of horror from the anthology series that puts an urban spin on terror, hosted by Flavor Flav, aka the "Time Keeper," from Entertainment One ... "Top Shot: The Complete Season One" (2009) is a four-disc set with 10 episodes, $34.95 from A&E.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (1/18)

"Animal Kingdom" (2010) is a Down-under crime thriller about a teenage boy who goes to live with his grandmother and uncles, who just happen to be a gang of ruthless thugs, starring Jacki Weaver, Guy Pearce, James Frecheville; from Sony ... photo (2010) is a direct-to-DVD prequel to Paul W.S. Anderson's 2008 "Death Race," starring Luke Goss, Fred Koehler, Tanit Phoenix, Robin Shou, Lauren Cohan, Patrick Lyster, Deobia Oparei, Hennie Bosman, Joe Vaz, Danny Keogh, Sean Higgs, Warrick Grier, Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames and Sean Bean; from Universal ... "Eichmann" (2010) is the unflinching true story of one of the world's most dangerous men, Adolph Eichmann, who designed the Nazi plan for the extermination of Jews, gays, gypsies and other "undesirables" during the rule of the Third Reich, starring Thomas Kretschmann, Troy Garity, Franka Potente and Stephen Fry; from Entertainment One ... "The Virginity Hit" (2010), starring Matt Bennett, Zack Pearlman, Jacob Davich, Justin Kline, Krysta Rodriguez and Nicole Weaver, is a mockumentary about trying to lose your virginity while the whole world watches online; from Sony ... "King of Paper Chasin'" (2010) is an urban drama that tells the true story of the rise to power of Carter Blanche (recording artist DL) -- a ruthless, inner city drug dealer -- and his efforts to give it all up and go legit; stars DL, Dennis L.A. White, Al Thompson, Sean Simms; from Entertainment One.

On the Indie Front (1/18):

"Paper Man" (2009), starring (2008) Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Lisa Kudrow, is a coming-of-middle-age comedy that chronicles the unlikely friendship between a failed author and a Long Island teen, photo all under the disapproving eye of his long-suffering wife and his imaginary Superhero friend; from MPI Video ... "El Superstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Frances" (2010), starring (2008) Zibby Allen, Nick Rey Angelus, Elisa Bocanegra and Kerry Carney, is a musical improv by writer-director-actor Amy French, tells the story of Juan Frances who, Scottish by decent, is raised to be a God-fearing, music loving Mexican and, thanks to the Virgin Guadalupe, becomes a star; from Cinema Libre Studio ... In "Jack Goes Boating" (2010), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Amy Ryan, a limo driver's blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples; from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Foreign (1/18):

"Sins of My Father (Pecados de mi Padre)" (2009 -- Argentina/Colombia) is the incredible true story of Pablo Escobar, the infamous boss of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel, told for the first time by his son Sebastian and his widow Maria Isabel Santos. In Nicolas Entel's documentary, photo Sebastian tells of his extraordinary childhood, growing up with a father he loved but whom he knew to be Colombia's No. 1 enemy. But this is also the story of two of Escobar's most prominent victims, who were among hundreds that Escobar had killed in the 1980s. The film follows Sebastian as he tries to break the cycle of revenge and assassination by seeking reconciliation with the sons of his father's victims. From Maya Entertainment ... In "Lebanon" (2009 -- Israel), starring Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen and Michael Moshonov, we see the 1982 Lebanon War through the eyes of an Israeli tank crew -- the film's action is kept entirely to the tank's interior and shows us the outside world only as the four young soldiers themselves see it: through the lens of a periscopic gun sight; from Sony.

For the Family (1/18):

photo "Marvel Knights Animation: Black Panther" (2009) is the highly anticipated domestic premiere of Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr's groundbreaking take on the first black super hero. -- introduced in 1966. Voices of Djimon Hounsou, Jill Scott, Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard, Carl Lumbly, Stan Lee. Includes a graphic rich cover, plus a unique replica of comic book-style plastic sleeve packaging that bridges the comic book to DVD concept. From Shout! Factory ... In "The Dogfather" (2010), starring Chris Parnell, William Cuddy, Brandi Ward and Gerry Mendicino, Sonny, a mobster's bulldog, swallows his master's precious ring and runs away. Finding a new home in the suburbs, Sonny is taken in by the Franks family but is soon dognapped by the bad guys, leading the family on an adventure to get their new pet back; from Image Entertainment.

Special Interest (1/18):

"One Night With Dice" (1987) is a rare early performance from Philadelphia's Comedy Factory Outlet that takes home audiences back to Andrew Dice Clay's roots as the original "hoodlum of humor," with a look at the early career of this groundbreaking, hardcore comic; $14.98 from Entertainment One ... "The Greening of Southie" (2008) is a feature documentary about Boston's first residential green building; $24.95 from A&E.

• Box Office News: January 16: Big buzz at the Box Office: "The Green Hornet" is Tops, Beating "The Dilemma." Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.
See Weekend Top 5

'Skyline' Invades DVD/Blu-ray March 15

photo (January 13) Universal has set a March 15 release date for "Skyline," a sci-fi thriller about an extraterrestrial force that threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth. It's another "War of the Worlds" take on alien invasions, with great special effects but weak dialogue and story line. The cast includes Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson and Donald Faison. Both the DVD and Blu-ray include deleted and extended scenes, alternate scenes, pre-visualizations and commentary. Read more about "Skyline."

• News: January 13: "Machete" Beats Back "Schmucks," "Resident Evil" on DVD and Blu-ray Charts. Read the story at Home Media Magazine.
See DVD charts

Just Announced: 'Unstoppable,'
'Megamind,' 'Jackass 3'

photo (January 12) Fox has announced a February 15 release date for the latest Denzel Washington-Tony Scott collaboration ('The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,' 'Man on Fire,' 'Deja Vu') "Unstoppable," about a million tons of runaway train -- loaded with toxic chemicals -- headed for Scranton, Pa. Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions contain commentary and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Read more about "Unstoppable." Next up is the smash hit "Megamind," the animated adventures of the world's most brilliant supervillain, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller and J.K. Simmons. The DreamWorks DVD and Blu-ray editions, due Friday, February 25, contain commentary, deleted scenes and featurettes. Read more about "Megamind." And, lastly, get ready for more stupid stunts and action as the jackass boys -- led by Johnny Knoxville -- return for more ouch! mayhem when "Jackass 3" arrives on March 8, from Paramount. Read more about "Jackass 3."

This Week's Releases (January 11)
From the Big Screen:

"Alpha and Omega," "Piranha 3D" and "The Social Network." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (1/11)

The Blu-ray releases banner flies high again this week. Highlighting the delights is photo "Raging Bull 30th Anniversary Edition" (1980), Martin Scorsese's stupendous prize-fighting saga about the life and times of Jake "The Bull" Lamotta, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty. The film will be available in a Blue-ray/DVD combo with commentary and retrospective featurettes. From MGM. Read more ... "Dances With Wolves 20th Anniversary Edition" (1990), directed by and starring Kevin Costner, co-starring Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, hits Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio Track, an extended cut of the film with over 50 minutes of extra footage, commentary by Kevin Costner and producer Jim Wilson, commentary by director of photography Dean Semler and editor Neil Travis, and interactive special features. From MGM. ... Sergio Leone's epic "Once Upon A Time In America " (1984), starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Joe Pesci, Elizabeth McGovern, Jennifer Connelly, Treat Williams and Tuesday Weld, gets a two-disc Blu-ray treatment with commentary by film historian and critic Richard Schickel, a making-of documentary: "Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone," "Photographic Memories" still Gallery with 96 images, more. From Warner.

Two superb films make their way to Blu-ray courtesy of The Criterion Collection. "Army of Shadows" (1969) and "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" photo(1964). Jean-Pierre Melville's "Army of Shadows" -- about the French Resistance -- went unreleased in the United States for 37 years, until its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006. Atmospheric and gripping, "Army of Shadows" is Melville's most personal film, featuring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honor in their battle against Hitler's regime ... Special effects wunderkind and genre master Byron Haskin won a place in the hearts of fantasy film lovers everywhere with "Robinson Crusoe on Mars," a gorgeously designed journey into the unknown. The film tells the story of U.S. astronaut Commander "Kit" Draper (Paul Mantee), who must fight for survival when his spaceship crash lands on the barren waste of Mars, a pet monkey his only companion. But is he actually alone? Shot in vast Techniscope and blazing color, this is an imaginative and beloved marvel of classic science fiction. Both films come loaded with Criterion's always superb extras.

From TV to Video: (1/11)

photo "All in the Family: The Complete Eighth Season" (1977-78) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Funny or Die Presents: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $29.98 from HBO ... "Greek: Chapter Five -- The Complete Third Season" (2009) is a six-disc set with 20 episodes, $44.99 from Shout! Factory ... "Hot in Cleveland" (2010) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $26.98 from TV Land/Paramount ... "Rules of Engagement: The Complete Fourth Season" (2009) is a two-disc set with 14 episodes, $29.95 from Sony ... "The Universe: The Complete Season Five" (2010) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $24.95 from A&E.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (1/11)

When a high school science teacher loses his mind after falling for his prize student, the classroom absentee list grows as his murderous twin brother tries to hide his secret in "The Absent" (2010), starring Bryan Kirkwood, Yvonne Zima, Jeremy Jordan, Jennifer Blanc and Sam Ball; from Last Night ... photo "The Hessen Conspiracy (aka The Hessen Affair)" (2009) is loosely based on a true story: In 1945 a group of American officers discover a stash of German jewels -- the Prussian Crown Jewels -- hidden in a castle outside Frankfurt, and try to fence them when they return to the States. Stars Billy Zane and Lyne Renee; from Anchor Bay Entertainment ... "There's Nothing Out There!" (1990) is the film that inspired "Scream!" Three hot-to-trot couples and one goofy loner travel to an isolated country house for a weekend of debauchery but soon realize that they are not alone in the woods; $14.95 from Troma/CAV Distributing ... In "Legion: The Final Exorcism" (2006), starring David Heavener, Roddy Piper and Ariel Teal Toombs, an ex-priest documenting true events of demonic possession comes to the rescue of the newly possessed daughter of a Baptist minister and he discovers that he has encountered this demon before ... a demon he vowed to track down and send back to hell; from MTI Home Video ... photo "Soul Kittens Cabaret" (2011), starring Faith Evans, Fantasia Barrino, Chrystale Wilson, Terrell Carter and Nicci Gilbert; follows seven women on their journey to self-discovery as they struggle with temptation, personal demons and false promises while trying to revive Detroit's hottest club in town with sultry sex appeal and silky vocals; from Image Entertainment ... In "Love Hurts" (2009), starring Richard E. Grant, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jenna Elfman, Janeane Garofalo and Camryn Mannheim, a newly separated father has to learn how to date again with help from his teenage son, who himself dreams of conquering one girl's heart; from Entertainment One ... "Shake Hands With the Devil" (2007), directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Roy Dupuis and Deborah Kara Unger, is the true story of U.N. peacekeeping force General Romeo Dallaire's frustrated efforts to stop the madness of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, despite the complete indifference of his superiors; from Entertainment One ... After suffering a mental breakdown, a successful horror novelist retreats to a picturesque and secluded countryside manor to recover, but things take a terrifying turn when she begins having horrifying visions of a deranged psychopath and a massacre that happened 15 years ago in "Psychosis" (2010), starring Charisma Carpenter, Paul Sculfor, Ricci Harnett, Justin Hawkins and Ty Glaser; from Entertainment One.

For the Family: (1/11)

"Framed" (2010) is a Masterpiece Contemporary film adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce from his best selling children's novel about a young Welsh boy residing in the small fictional town of Manod photo who befriends the curator of the National Gallery in London and gets into all sorts of art world adventures; $24.99 from PBS ... SISU Home Entertainment has added three new titles to its line of Shalom Sesame children's DVDs in which East meets West as Sesame Street's Muppets travel with American and Israeli friends -- and host Anneliese van der Pol -- to explore Israel and Jewish culture. The titles: "Shabbat Shalom, Grover!" (in which Grover learns all about Shabbat and the day of rest), "Grover Plants a Tree" (in which Grover, Brosh and Avigail get back to nature as they learn how to plant trees and make the world a better place) and "Mitzvah on the Street" (in which a storm makes a mess of the neighborhood and everyone lends a helping hand); $14.98 each ... "Max & Ruby: BunnyTales!" (2011), features 12 new tales, $16.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount.

Special Interest: (1/11)

"Macbeth" (2010) stars Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood in the award-winning 2007 staging of "Macbeth," which was a critical and commercial success in theaters on the West End and Broadway. Following its London West End run, a sold-out limited engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and an eight-week run on Broadway, the gripping stage production of "Macbeth" was filmed for television at the end of 2009 and aired on PBS as part of Great Performances in October of 2010; $19.99 from PBS ... photo"Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII" (2009) takes a look at the "Rosies" -- American women who worked in factories during WWII, many of whom labored in manufacturing plants producing munitions and war supplies. But unlike the efforts to recruit "Rosie" to the factory, some secret military projects targeted female mathematicians to become human computers for the U.S. war effort. This documentary tells their story. $24.99 from PBS ... "Picture Me: A Model's Diary" (2009) is a raw and personal video diary that charts model Sara Ziff's rise from fresh face to one that adorns billboards and magazines around the world. Ziff and filmmaker Ole Schell co-direct the documentary, which lifts the veil on the glamorous world of high fashion modeling from photo shoots with celebrated photographers to runway shows in New York, Milan, and Paris. $24.99 from Strand Releasing ... "The Spill" (2010) is a Frontline documentary look at BP and the trail that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the disaster in the Gulf; $24.99 from PBS ... "The Narnia Code" (2009) is a documentary that takes a look at the C.S. Lewis novels and the hidden meanings behind the texts; $24.98 from Entertainment One ... photo "The Temptations" (1998) stars Charles Malik Whitfield, D.B. Woodside, Terron Brooks and Christian Payton in the true story of the 1960s soul vocal group, The Temptations, as seen from the viewpoint of Otis Williams, the last surviving member. Release timed for the group's golden anniversary; from RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment ... "Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan" (2010) is Madigan's latest stand-up comedy special highlighting her sarcasm and silliness; $14.98 from Image Entertainment ... "The Chainsaw Sally Show Season One" (2010) is a three-disc set with 11 episodes (plus the special episode, "It's Groundhog Day Chainsaw Sally") from Hershall Gordan Lewis, the godfather of gore: Watch as buxom, bloody, and busty Sally (April Monique Burril) act as judge, jury and executioner on the scum infecting her small town; $14.95 from Troma/CAV Distributing.

• Box Office News: January 9: "True Grit" Finally Wins at Box Office, Beating "Little Fockers" in Third Face Off. Read the story at Moviefone.
See Weekend Top 5

Just Announced: 'Due Date,' 'Hereafter'

photo (January 8) Warner Home Video has set a February 22 release for "Due Date," the wacky comedy by "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips starring Robert Downey Jr. as a first-time expectant father who must team up with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) to get home in time to be with his wife. It's "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" for the 21st century. Read more about "Due Date." Warner has set March 15 for the release of Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter," a poignant story about three people from different parts of the world who are haunted by mortality: they each have to deal with the afterlife in one way or another. The DVD and Blu-ray include several behind-the-scenes featurettes as well as a look at the afterlife. Read more about "Hereafter." Both films will be released in Blu-ray/DVD combo packs with digital copies.

'Star Wars: The Complete Saga' Set for Sept. Blu-ray; Available for Pre-order Now Online

photo (January 6) One of the biggest announcements from this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (alongside Internet TVs and the proliferation of imitation iPads) was the announcedment by 20th Century Fox that the much -- and we mean much -- antiicipated release of the complete "Star Wars" saga on Blu-ray would happen this September. "Star Wars" will be available in three distinct sets to meet the needs of every Star Wars fan. "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" on Blu-ray features all six films "using the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with three additional discs and more than 30 hours of extensive special features," according to a release from Fox. Two other configurations are available: "Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy" (three-disc set includes Episodes I-III) and "Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy" (three-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI). For most fans, the six-disc "Star Wars" boxed set will be the purchase of choice. With the release nine months away, Fox has set a precedent by allowing online retailers to let fans pre-order right now. Amazon, for example is, offering the set -- which has a retail price of $139.99, for $89.99. Order now.

Check out Fox's new "Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray" site.

Read more about "Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray."

'Walking Dead' Comes to Life
on DVD/Blu-ray

photo (January 6) The highly successful AMC series "The Walking Dead" will rise up to DVD and Blu-ray status as Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the first season -- all six episodes -- in two-disc sets packed with extras on March 8. Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Series -- Drama, "The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season" breathes new life into the zombie genre as it unfolds a post-apocalyptic saga that follows a group of survivors -- led by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) -- who search for a safe haven far from the undead that roam the earth hungry for human flesh. The DVD set will sell for $39.98 while the Blu-ray set goes for $49.99. Read more about "The Walking Dead."

'Resident Evil' Chomps Away
at DVD Sales

photo (January 5) "Resident Evil: Afterlife," the third sequel in the highly successful saga of the woman warrior Alice and her struggle to survive in a world overrun by the undead, based on the video game series, landed in the No. 1 spot on the DVD sales chart for the week ending Jan. 2, according to Home Media Magazine. The Sony release also came in at No. 3 on the rental chart and No. 2 on the Blu-ray sales chart. Last week's No. 1 sales winner, "Despicable Me," from Universal, slipped to No.3 while Warner Bros.' "Inception" stayed in the No. 2 slot for the second week. The only other new release to land on the charts was Universal's "The American," which debuted at No. 15. See DVD charts

This Week's Releases (January 4)
From the Big Screen:

"Case 39," "Catfish," "Dinner for Schmucks," "Howl," "The Last Exorcism" and "Machete." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

Blu-ray Collectibles: (1/4)

It's a banner week for Blu-ray releases, with two of the top entries coinciding with thr release of Robert Rodriguez's "Machete": "El Mariachi/Desperado," a Rodriguez double bill with his first feature, "El Mariachi" (1992) and his followup, "Desperado" (1995) starring Antonio Banderas, Joaquim De Almeida, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi and Quentin Tarantino. photo Each Blu-ray includes the new special feature "The Cutting Room," which puts fans in the director's chair and allows them to cut together a video using clips and music from the movies, which they can then post to BD-Live for others to view and rate. Other bonus features include commentary with Rodriguez on both films, MovieIQ, "10 Minute Film School," Rodriguez's student film: "Bed Head," "10 More Minutes: Anatomy of a Shootout," Los Lobos with Antonio Banderas: "Morena De Mi Corazon", Tito & Tarantula: "Back to the House That Love Built." Next up is "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003), Rodriguez's sequel to "Desperado," starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias and Willem Dafoe. Also includes "The Cutting Room" feature, commentary by Rodriguez, deleted scenes, "Film Is Dead: An Evening With Robert Rodriguez," "The Good, the Bad and the Bloody: Inside KNB FX," "10-Minute Flick School," "Inside Troublemaker Studios," "The Anti-Hero's Journey." Both films sell for $19.99; from Sony.

Other Blu-ray goodies this week include "Battlestar Galactica (2004): Season Four," a six-disc set that includes all 20 episodes plus the unrated, extended version of "Battlestar Galactica: Razor" that never aired on television. photo Blu-Ray exclusives include "The Journey Ends: The Arrival" featurette that looks at how the series arrived at the end of its journey; "A Look Back" six-part retrospective; "... And They have a Plan" tease to the upcoming movie "The Plan"; "The Oracle" interactive guide including ships and characters; "Battlestar Actual" glossary; more; from Universal ... Other Universal films making it to Blu-ray this week: "Backdraft Anniversary Edition" (1991), directed by Ron Howard and starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca DeMornay, Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro; "Coraline 3-D/2-D" (2009), with the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher and Keith David; and Sofia Coppola's wonderful "Lost in Translation" (2003), starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Giovanni Ribisi.

From TV to Video: (1/4)

"Big Love: The Complete Fourth Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with nine episodes, $59.99 from HBO ... "iCarly: Season 2, Volume 2" (2009), a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $19.99 from Nick/Paramount ... "The Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete First Season" (2010), a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (1/4)

A celebrity chef exacts revenge on a food blogger who torpedoes his career in "Bitter Feast" (2009), starring James LeGros, Joshua Leonard, Mario Batali and Owen Campbell; from Dark Sky Films/MPI Media ... photo Detroit cops mount a full-scale war against gun runners in "Gun" (2010), starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Val Kilmer, Anna Lynne McCord, James Remar and John Larroquette; from Image Entertainment ... "The Lena Baker Story" (2008), starring Tichina Arnold, Beverly Todd, Peter Coyote and Michael Rooker, is the story of an impoverished and uneducated black woman in rural 1940s Georgia who was the only woman to be sentenced to death by electric chair in the state; from Barnholtz Entertainment/Lionsgate Entertainment ... In "Ticking Clock" (2010), starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Neal McDonough, Austin Abrams and Yancey Arias, an investigative crime reporter stumbles upon the journal of a murderer replete with plans to butcher specific people, and investigates on his own, finding that every trail leads to a 9-year-old orphan living in a group home; from Sony ... "Mama Flora's Family" (1998) stars Cicely Tyson, Erika Alexander, Blair Underwood, Queen Latifah, Mario Van Peebles, Hill Harper, Shemar Moore and Della Reese in a TV melodrama that follows a southern black woman in her 70s looking back on a life filled with joy and heartbreak after being called to help her troubled granddaughter; from Vivendi Entertainment.

For the Family: (1/4)

photo "The Garfield Show: All You Need Is Love (And Pasta)" (2010) features six episodes of the Cartoon Network show, $14.93 from Vivendi Entertainment ... In "Barney: Musical Zoo" (2011), Barney creates a wild concert filled with exotic animal sounds in the title episode; also includes "Special Skills" and "Rhythm" episodes; from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Thomas & Friends: Wobbly Wheels & Whistles!" (2011) features four new adventures starring every pre-schooler's favorite train, Thomas -- and introducing new engine friend Scuff; $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

• Box Office News: January 2: Box Office Dumbs Down With Little Fockers' at No. 1. Beats Weekend Favorite 'True Grit' $26.3 million to $24.5 million. Read the story at Moviefone.
See Weekend Top 5

It's Time for Weird TV

photo (January 1) Think you have a hangover today? Imagine waking up after having gone to sleep the night before watching "Weird TV," a syndicated series that ran for three seasons on several Fox affiliates and hundreds of independent stations across 45 percent of America. The show was also broadcast on Canada's Global Network with deep saturation in the great white north. The series has been described as "Monty Python's Flying Circus and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, crashing into a wall at 200 miles an hour, the exact moment of impact held like a note for 60 minutes of brain-in-the-Cuisinart futuristic comedy." This rapid-fire, off the wall, segment-driven, episodic adventure with a radical comic twist that straddles -- or crosses over -- the line between reality and hallucination is now available on DVD in six volumes, each featuring two of the late-night show's episodes; $12.95 each. Check it out at WeirdTV.com.

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February 1, 2011
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).