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More DVD News: February 2011

'Black Swan' Pirouettes to DVD, Blu-ray

photo (February 28) Now that Natalie Portman has won the Oscar for Best Actress, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced a March 20 release date for Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" on DVD and Blu-ray. The studio was just waiting for the awards to be announced Sunday night to spring the release date; not surprisingly, given the short window, Fox has had all its ducks (uh, swans) lined up in a row for this one, readying the release with a smattering of bonus features, including a couple behind-the-scenes featurettes. The Oscar should give Fox a couple of more weeks of big-screen revenue, then the awareness and marketing will segue into the home video releases. Well done.

News: February 24: photo "Unstoppable" was a juggernaut on the home video charts for the week that ended Feb. 20, easily taking the No. 1 position on the DVD sales and Blu-ray sales charts. And if one didn't think that price points drive sales, then a look at the other titles on both charts is telling: a series of Presidents Day weekend price promotions saw a handful of recent hits shoot back up the charts. According to our friends at Home Entertainment Magazine, Walt Disney's "Toy Story 3 "(No. 2 in DVD sales), Warner's "Inception" (No. 3) and Paramount/DreamWorks' "Shrek Forever After" (No. 4) and "How to Train Your Dragon" (No. 5) sent the previous week's top-seller, Lionsgate's "For Colored Girls," way down to No. 16. Read the story at Home Media Magazine.
See DVD charts


'Country Strong' Twangs Its Way to DVD/Blu-ray

(February 22) Gwyneth Paltrow leads an all-star country cast in the inspirational drama about second chances, "Country Strong," due April 12 from Sony. Paltrow plays a country music star seeking to revive her music career after a stint in rehab and Garrett Hedlund plays a rising young singer-songwriter who gets involved with her; together the pair embark on a career resurrection tour. The best-selling soundtrack includes songs by Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Hank Williams, Jr. and Lee Ann Womack. Read more about the "Country Strong" DVD and Blu-ray.

This Week's Releases (February 22)
From the Big Screen:

"Megamind," "Due Date" and "Get Low." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (2/22):

photo In the swift, cynical "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957), directed by Alexander Mackendrick ("The Ladykillers"), Burt Lancaster stars as barbaric Broadway gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, the unprincipled press agent he ropes into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician romancing his beloved sister. Featuring deliciously unsavory dialogue in an acid, brilliantly structured script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman and noirish neon cityscapes from Oscar-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe, "Sweet Smell of Success" is a cracklingly cruel dispatch from the kill-or-be-killed wilds of 1950s Manhattan. In a new, restored high-definition digital transfer loaded with bonus features from The Criterion Collection.

Vincent Cassel ('Brotherhood of the Wolf,' 'Black Swan') is alternately charming and menacing as Jacques Mesrine, an ex-soldier who lost his humanity during the Algerian War and learned how to wage his own battles against the French wealthy class upon his return home in photo "Mesrine: Killer Instinct" (2010 -- France), co-starring Cecile De France, Gerard Depardieu, Roy Dupuis, Gilles Lellouche, Elana Anaya and Ludivine Sagnier. Mesrine was the last of the "great" French gangsters, his criminal career spanning more than 20 years of kidnappings, robberies, murders and prison escapes in some half-dozen countries ... until his death in a hail of police bullets in the middle of Paris in 1979. He was kind of a gallic Pretty Boy Floyd, capturing the imagination of the French public and the devotion of several French molls. Director Jean-Francois Richet takes his time telling Mesrine's story; this is the first of the acclaimed two-part crime saga that's received recognition around the globe. "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1," the second part, will be released March 29. From Music Box Films.

From TV to Video (2/22):

"Car 54 Where Are You? The Complete First Season" (2009) is a four-disc set with 30 episodes, $39.98 from Shanachie Entertainment ... "Have Gun Will Travel: Season Five, Volume 2" (1961-62) is a three-disc set, $42.99 from CBS/Paramount... photo "Huge: The Complete Series" (2009) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season Four" (2010) is a four-disc set, $39.95 from A&E ... "Nurse Jackie: Season Two" (2010) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from Lionsgate ... "Kennedy: Robert Kennedy and His Times" (1985) stars Brad Davis, Veronica Cartwright, Ned Beatty, Cliff DeYoung, River Phoenix, Jason Bateman and Shannen Doherty in the miniseries based on the best-selling biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Kennedy family confidante Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Two-disc set, $19.94, from Sony ... "Weeds: Season Six" (2010) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98 from Lionsgate.

Buzzin' the 'B's (2/22):

In "The Killing Jar" (2010), starring Michael Madsen, Amber Benson and Danny Trejo, a mysterious stranger linked to a killing spree takes a waitress and the six customers of a remote diner hostage; from Image Entertainment ...Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard, "Killshot" (2008), directed by John Madden and starring Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Rosario Dawson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Armand "Blackbird" Degas (Rourke) is a mafia hit man who shoots to kill and never leaves witnesses ... until now. When Carmen (Lane) and Wayne Colson (Jane) see him at the seen of a brutal botched murder attempt they become his next targets. But after entering witness protection they discover the law isn't on their side and must take matters into their own hands. From The Weinstein Company/Vivendi Entertainment ... photo Working alone at night in a recently closed hospital, an unstable woman witnesses events that may be connected to a string of murders in "Psych:9" (2010), starring Sara Foster, Cary Elwes, Michael Biehn, Gabriel Mann and Colleen Camp; from Lionsgate ... "Birdemic: Shock and Terror" (2008) stars Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore in this campy midnight cult film homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Bay Area software salesman Rod(named in apparent tribute to "The Birds" star Rod Taylor) has just made a million-dollar deal and, riding high on his success, he snags a date with Nathalie (Whitney Moore), his former high school classmate who has become a knockout lingerie model. They hit if off immediately but awake from their first night together in a quaint seaside town to the horror of eagles and vultures swooping down and attacking the locals, turning this picturesque locale into an avian hell on earth. Hollywood legend Tippi Hedren makes a special appearance. From Severin Films ... In "The 7th Hunt" (2009 -- Australia), starring Imogen Bailey, Jason Stojanovski, Matthew Charleston, Tasneem Roc and Kain O'Keefe, three kids -- kidnapped and taken to an abandoned military training school -- find themselves the targets of five sadists, each with their own style of killing: the Knife, the Inquisitor, the Hand, the Sniper and the Hacker. From Vanguard Cinema.

On the Indie Front (2/22):

photo "Armless" (2010), starring Janel Maloney and Daniel London, tells the story of a man who suffers from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (B.I.I.D.), a real-life psychological condition in which an individual paradoxically doesn't feel "whole" unless he loses one or more major limbs. When he leaves his wife and goes to find a doctor willing to amputate his arms, it triggers a twisted romp filled with mistaken identities, missed chances, and tragic consequences. From Vanguard Cinema ... In "Sunny & Share Love You" (2007), starring Michele Mulroney, Micah Schraft, Mink Stole, Diedrich Bader, Chris Parnell and Martin Klebba, a washed up rock duo reinvents itself as a wildly inappropriate children's act. From Vanguard Cinema.

For the Family (2/22):

photo "The Last Unicorn" (1982) is an animated adventure about a lone unicorn who seeks out others like herself through a mystical land of talking cats and spellbinding magicians. Voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Tammy Grimes, Robert Klein, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee, Keenan Wynn. From Lionsgate ... "Timmy Time: Timmy Steals the Show" (2011) features five episodes from the Playhouse Disney pre-school series that stars the infamous sheep Timmy from the popular "Shaun the Sheep" franchise; $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

Special Interest (2/22):

When D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, distinguished filmmakers of "The War Room" and "Don't Look Back," turn their sights on the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, France's Nobel Prize for pastry, you're in for a treat. photo "Kings of Pastry" (2010) follows chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, as he journeys back to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the contest. Sixteen chefs whip up the most gorgeous, delectable, gravity-defying concoctions and edge-of the seat drama as they deliver their fantastical, spun-sugar desserts to the display table. The inevitable disasters prove both poignant and hilarious. From First Run Features ... "Eyes of the Mothman" (2010) is a documentary about the chilling 1966 paranormal phenomenon that terrorized a small town of 5,000 in West Virginia: A seven-foot tall bird-like man with large wings and red oval shaped eyes who haunted residents at night, glided after cars, bellowed uncanny shrills and feasted on animals. From Virgil Films & Entertainment ... "Les Miserables" (2010) is a 25th anniversary celebration of one of the most popular musicals ever written, capturing the excitement of two magnificent sold-out performances that were watched live around the world. From Universal.

This Week's Releases (February 15)
From the Big Screen:

"Unstoppable," "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" and "Waiting for 'Superman'." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

Blu-ray (2/15):

There's a great slate of Blu-ray debuts this week: "All the President's Men" (1976) and "Network" (1976) from Warner, "Last Tango in Paris," "Moonstruck" photo and "Rain Man" from MGM, and two classic films from Virgil Films & Entertainment: "Kansas City Confidential" (1952), directed by Phil Karlson and starring John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam, about an ex-con trying to go straight who is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits; and Orson Welles' "The Stranger" (1946), directed by Welles and starring Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young, Orson Welles, about an investigator from the War Crimes Commission who travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi who has established a new life as a professor at a prep school. Read more.

From TV to Video (2/15):

"The Fugitive: Season 4, Volume 2" (1967) is a four-disc set, $42.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season Four" (2010) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $39.95 from A&E ... "Top Gear 14" (2009) includes seven episodes of the British automobile enthusiast series, $24.98 from BBC/Warner ... "Top Gear 15" (2010) includes eight episodes of the British automobile enthusiast series, $19.98 from BBC/Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's (2/15):

Inspired by the writings of horror icon H.P. Lovecraft,"The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Chtulhu" (2009), starring Kyle Davis and Devin McGinn, follows three geeky friends tasked with protecting the world from Dr. Lovecraft's monstrous creations; from Dark Sky Films ... photo "Game of Death" (2010) is a typical Wesley Snipes action vehicle: he plays a CIA agent framed for murder who has to go on the run; co-stars Robert Davi, Gary Daniels and Zoe Bell; from Sony ... "Love at First Kill (aka The Box Collector)" (2008 -- Canada/Belgium) stars Margot Kidder, Noah Segan, Lyne Renee, Michael Bowen and Onalee Adams in a psychological thriller about an overly possessive mother who will do anything to stop her son from finding happiness with his new lover; from Anchor Bay Entertainment ... With a single knock at the door, the life of one woman, a struggling artist, is turned irreversibly inside out: Forced to care for both her bullet-wounded, gangster boyfriend, and her promiscuous, HIV-positive sister, what begins as a bad day, soon becomes a fast-paced journey into darkness in "A Kiss of Chaos" (2009), starring Judy Marte, Manny Perez and Adam Rodriguez; from Maya Entertainment ... Here's the interesting premise behind "Respire" (2009), starring Tracy Teague, Mat Wright, Vince Eustace, Jessica Keeler and Ellie Torrezb: photo The Ancient Romans believed that the soul escaped one's body with the last breath, and that this last breath held the power to cure disease and prolong life. In the 1930s, Dr. Robert Kaminsky devoted his life to finding out how to harness the power in the last breath ... and now his discredited experiment falls into the hands of terminally ill novelty shop owner who takes the "cure" herself and unleashes a horrible power; from MTI Home Video ... "National Lampoon's Dirty Movie" (2011), starring Christopher Meloni, Diane Neal, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Robert Klein, Adam Ferrara, Cyndi Lauper and Mario Cantone, is a movie within a movie about a producer who wants to make a movie with the dirtiest, most offensive jokes ever told; from Lionsgate ... A group of friends in New York City for a bachelor party get stuck in an abandoned subway station and are hunted down by a gang of cannibals living in the tunnels in "Stag Night" (2008), starring Kip Pardue, Vinessa Shaw, Breckin Meyer, Scott Adkins and Karl Geary; from Lionsgate.

For the Family (2/15):

photo "Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Deluxe Edition" (2005) is based on the best-selling books about Felicity Merriman, a spirited 9-year-old girl growing up in Virginia in the years just before the American Revolution; stars Shailene Woodley and Kevin Zegers; from Warner ... HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate has two pre-school releases this week: "Wishbone" (2011), with four action-packed adventures all told through the eyes of Wishbone, the little terrier: "Paw Prints of Thieves" (Robin Hood), "Hot Diggety Dog," "The Impawssible Dream" and the "Hunchdog of Notre Dame," $9.98; and "Jump Into Spring" (2011), with eight spring-themed episodes with Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Barney, Bob the Builder, Kipper, Roary the Racing Car, Angelina Ballerina and Timmy Time, $14.98.

Special Interest (2/15):

"William S. Burroughs: A Man Within" (2010) is the definitive film about the Beat generation author and raconteur. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage of Burroughs, photo as well as exclusive interviews with colleagues and confidants including John Waters, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Sonic Youth, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, and David Cronenberg. A probing, yet loving look at the man whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned countercultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture. The film is narrated by Peter Weller, with a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth. Burroughs was one of the first writers to break the boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s. His novel "Naked Lunch" is one of the most recognized and respected literary works of the 20th century and has influenced generations of artists. The intimate documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time. From Oscilloscope Laboratories.

'Fighter,' 'TRON' and 'Yogi Bear'
Announced for DVD/Blu-ray

(February 14) Hollywood had some Valentine's Day cards for movie lovers this weekend: Paramount announced a March 15 release date for the Oscar-nominated boxing saga photo "The Fighter," starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo; bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray have not yet been announced. Read more about "The Fighter." Disney is booting up an April 5 release for "TRON: Legacy" and the original "TRON," both on DVD and Blu-ray. The configurations for "TRON: Legacy" are mind-blowing: As a single-disc DVD for $29.99, a two-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray plus DVD) for $39.99, a four-disc Blu-ray combo pack (with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 2D, DVD plus digital copy) for $49.99 and a five-disc, two movie set (with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 2D, DVD, digital copy of "TRON: Legacy and a Blu-ray of "TRON: The Original Classic Special Edition") for $79.99. If you just want "TRON: The Original Classic Special Edition," you can get it in two flavors: as a Blu-ray/DVD combo for $39.99 and a two-disc DVD for $29.99. Read more about the "TRON" releases and the discs' bonus features. And, lastly, Warner has set a March 22 date for the live-action/CGI big-screen version of "Yogi Bear." Happy Valentine's Day.

'Casino Jack' Plays Its Way
to DVD/Blu-ray

photo (February 10) 20th Century Fox will release on April 5 the critically acclaimed "Casino Jack," starring Kevin Spacey in his Golden Globe-nominated performance as megalomaniacal Jack Abramoff, Washington, D.C.'s most lucrative lobbyist who used his power and influence to create an extravagant lifestyle that included private jets, exotic cars, and even an offshore gambling business. Abramoff resorted to jaw-dropping levels of fraud and corruption: High-rolling excess and outrageous escapades were all in a day's work for Abramoff, as he went to outrageous lengths to promote the Indian gambling industry, earning him the nickname "Casino Jack." But when Jack and his womanizing protege Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) enlisted a dimwitted business partner (Jon Lovitz) for an illegal scheme, they found themselves ensnared in a web of greed and murder that exploded into a worldwide scandal. Read more about "Casino Jack."

'Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2' Marks
No. 1 Spot on DVD Sales

photo (February 10) Despite four new theatrical to DVD releases last week ("Let Me In," "Never Let Me Go," "Conviction" and "Welcome to the Rileys"), the No. 1 seller on the DVD charts was Walt Disney's direct-to-video sequel "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2," which handily beat out last week's No. 1 title, "Red," and pushed "Secretariat" down to the third slot. The only new release to make it into the top five was the vampire flick "Let Me In," from Anchor Bay. Landing in the fifth spot was Disney's release of 1951's "Alice in Wonderland" in a 60th Anniversary Edition. Read the complete report at Home Media Magazine.
See DVD charts

This Week's Releases (February 8)
From the Big Screen:

"Life As We Know It," "It's Kind of a Funny Story," "Paranormal Activity 2," "My Soul to Take" and "You Again." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (2/8):

"Thelma & Louise" (2010) was somewhat of a ground-breaking film for American cinema when released in 1991: It was a female buddy road picture that had two female photo leads fending off one bad guy after another on a journey that didn't have a happy ending. Ridley Scott deftly directed Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as the two women who want to take a break from the pain of their unfulfilled lives and unhappy relationships, and take off on a weekend road trip by themselves. Their first night out, however, Sarandon kills a drunken cowboy who attempts to rape Davis at a roadhouse, and the women have to go on the run from the police. The film introduced Brad Pitt and Michael Madsen to mainstream audiences. Cinemaphiles will note the striking similarity between "Thelma & Louise" and Alain Tanner's 1979 "Messidor." This 20th anniversary edition on Blu-ray includes commentary by Scott; commentary by Sarandon, Davis and writer Callie Khouri; deleted and extended scenes; an extended ending (with commentary by Scott); documentaries and featurettes, including "Thelma and Louise: The Last Journey"; an original theatrical featurette (with and without promotional narration); multi-angle storyboards: The final chase; "Part of You, Part of Me" music video by Glenn Frey; trailer and TV Spots. From MGM.

From TV to Video (2/8):

"Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule" (2010) features six episodes of the Adult Swim series with John C. Reilly, $14.98 from Warner ... "Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1991-1993" is a three-disc set with six, two-hour "Columbo" mysteries, from Universal ... "Doctor Who: The Mutants" (1972) is a two-disc set with Jon Pertwee as The Doctor; from Warner ... "Doctor Who -- The Movie" (1995) is digitally re-mastered and first time on DVD; from Warner ... "The Guardian: The Final Season" (2003-04) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.99 from CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin' the 'B's (2/8):

"Shopping" (1994), directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Pertwee and Marianne Faithful, is the long-suppressed first outing for both star Jude Law and director Paul W.S. Anderson. This look at violence among British teens makes its long-delayed uncut digital debut. The British police called it "ram-raiding." photo Teenage hooligans called it "shopping." And audiences and critics worldwide called it one of the most shocking debuts of the decade. In a bleak near-future, charming ex-con Billy (Jude Law) and sexy girlfriend Jo (Sadie Frost) live for stealing fast cars, leading cops on high-speed chases, and crashing through posh store windows to steal everything they can grab. But the law and a rival gang ow to end their spree, so Billy and Jo try to pull off one final raid. The film has been censored for 15 years by British authorities. From Severin Films ... In "Wild Target" (2010 -- U.K.), directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint and Rupert Everett, a middle-aged, solitary hit man has his professional routine interrupted when he falls for his intended hit. When he spares her life, he must thwart the murderous intentions of his unhappy client, resulting in comedic mayhem. From Fox ... In "Ong Bak 3" (2010 -- Thailand), Tony Jaa must face his ultimate enemy, a fierce supernatural warrior named Demon Crow; from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... An ordinary businessman gets involved with gangsters and adult entertainment at the dawn of the age of the Internet and finds himself caught between a 23-year-old porn star and the FBI, all the while becoming one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs of his time in "Middle Men" (2010), starring Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht, James Caan and Jacinda Barrett; from Paramount ... In "The Romantics" (2010), starring Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Malin Akerman, Jeremy Strong, Candice Bergen, Adam Brody and Elijah Wood, seven close friends reunite for the wedding of two of their friends, but problems arise when feelings are rekindled between the groom and the maid of honor, from Paramount ... "Tamara Drewe" (2010) is a modern take on Thomas Hardy's romance novel "Far From the Madding Crowd," here about a young woman -- once an ugly duckling, now a ravishing beauty thanks to plastic surgery -- who returns to her childhood village to wreak havoc on every male in town. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Bill Camp and Dominic Cooper. From Sony.

On the Indie Front (2/8):

"Repo Chick" (2009) is director Alex Cox's non-sequel to his famous 1984 "repo Man." Spoiled rich girl Pixxi De La Chasse has been disinherited by her family due to her numerous arrests for bad driving, her failure to get a job and her overall lack of some semblance of a responsible life. photo When her car gets repossessed, Pixxi ends up getting hired by repo men Arizona Gray and Aquas, and she soon becomes the best repo chick around. While on the hunt for some antique railroad cars, clueless Pixxi ends up on a wacky train ride that is actually a plot by a terrorist organization to blow up Los Angeles. The film was shot entirely in front of green screens with no location shooting; models stand in for exterior buildings. Stars Jaclyn Jonet, Miguel Sandoval, Del Zamora, Alex Feldman, Chloe Webb, Xander Berkeley, Rosanna Arquette, Robert Beltran and Karen Black; from Industrial Entertainment ... "See You In September" (2008) stars Estella Warren, Justin Kirk, Michael Rispoli, David Eigenberg, Sandra Bernhard and Whoopi Goldberg in a comedy about a young commitment-adverse woman whose therapist is away on vacation for the month of August and who forms a support group for people who feel abandoned by their shrinks, who also have taken off the month of August; from Maya Entertainment.

Foreign (2/8):

In "The Girl" (2009 -- Sweden), a 9-year old girl is left behind in her aunt's care while the rest of her family goes to Africa as aid workers in the summer of 198. But the aunt goes away with a man, leaving the girl alone to discover the world around her as the summer passes by. From Olive Films ... photo In "Hideaway (Le Refuge)" (2010 -- France), directed by Francois Ozon and starring Melvil Poupaud, Isabelle Carre and Louis-Ronan Choisy, Mousse and Louis are young, beautiful, rich and in love, but drugs have invaded their lives. After Louis' fatal overdose, Mousse soon learns she is pregnant. Feeling lost, she escapes to a beautiful beach house far from Paris and is soon joined in her refuge by Louis' gay brother, Paul. The two strangers gradually develop an unusual and deeply moving relationship as director Ozon ("Swimming Pool") continues his unique exploration of the nature of family and blood ties. From Strand Releasing ... "The Real Cannibal Holocaust" (1976 -- Italy): In 1975, Papua New Guinea obtained its long desired independence from the British Empire. A movie crew traveled to the island in order to shoot a film that would allow the Queen to better understand the laws and traditions of the natives. Looking for reality and truth, the cinematographers eventually got a lot more than they had bargained for: extreme violence and depravity. From One 7 Movies.

For the Family (2/8):

photo "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Masquerade" (2011) includes four Minnie Mouse-themed adventures from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show, a never-before-seen episode, and a free paper mask, $19.99 from Disney ... "Tom and Jerry Fur Flying Adventures: Volume 1" features 14 cartoons, $14.97 from Warner ... "Curious George: A Bike Ride Adventure" (2011) has eight more shows from the Daytime Emmy-winning TV series., from Universal ... In "Barney: Shapes and Colors All Around" (2011), Barney and his dino pals explore shapes and colors and show kids how to make their own art show, $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... In "Barbie Fairytopia" (2010), Barbie stars as a wingless fairy who goes on an animated adventure to save her flower kingdom, $14.98 from Universal.

'The King's Speech' Will Elocute
on DVD/Blu-ray on April 19

photo (February 2) The Weinstein Co. and Anchor Bay Entertainment have set an April 19 date for the release of the criticaly acclaimed and audience favorite "The King's Speech" (starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter), based on the true story of King George VI and his struggle to overcome his lifelong speech impediment. The film has dominated the nomination lists for the Oscars, Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and BAFTA awards, earning widespread critical acclaim and grossing over $73 million at the North American box office. Its 2011 honors to date include two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Colin Firth); the PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of a Theatrical Motion Picture; the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film (Tom Hooper); and the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Colin Firth). The Blu-ray will sell for $39.99 and the DVD for $29.98. Read more about "The King's Speech."

This Just In: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1' Blu-ray/DVD
Arrives April 15

photo (February 1) More than just taxes will be due April 15 this year -- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1" will arrive in a three-disc Blu-ray/Combo set (with digital copy) from Warner Home Video. With the final installment set to open theatrically July 15, fans of Harry and the Hogwarts' crew will have three months to savor the film and the disc, which comes packed with more than two-and-a-half hours of bonus features, including a sneak preview of the opening scene from "Part 2." $35.99. This second-to-last Potter film has grossed more than $292 million at the domestic box office and the DVD/Blu-ray release will be a summer tentpole for WHV -- they're also releasing a "Harry Potter Years 1-7: Part 1 Gift Set" on DVD and Blu-ray, priced at $78.92 and $134.99, respectively. Read more about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1."

This Week's Releases (February 1)
From the Big Screen:

"Let Me In, "Never Let Me Go," "Conviction," Welcome to the Rileys" and "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (2/1):

photo Disney is celebrating the 60th anniversary of "Alice in Wonderland" (1951) with a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo that includes a jabberwocky of extras: "Reflections on Alice" and "Operation Wonderland" featurettes, "I'm Odd" newly discovered Cheshire Cat song and intro, "Thru the Mirror" Mickey Mouse animated short, "One-hour in Wonderland," "An Alice Comedy: Alice's Wonderland," original theatrical trailers (1951 & 1974), deleted scenes and storyboard concepts; exclusive to the BD version are "Through the Keyhole: A Companion's Guide to Wonderland" (special mode links to references), "Disney View" allows you to watch the movie in expanded viewing experience with new Disney art in the wings of the screen, "Painting the Roses Red" game, Walt Disney color TV introduction (1959), "Reference Footage: Alice and the Doorknob" (in which the voice of Alice, Kathryn Beaumont, provides an introduction to this newly discovered reference footage of Alice talking to the doorknob), "Pencil Test: Alice Shrinks" (in which Kathryn Beaumont introduces a newly discovered pencil test of Alice shrinking). photo "The Abbott and Costello Show: Who's On First?" features six of Abbott and Costello's most beloved episodes from their 1952-53 TV show, $9.98 from Entertainment One) ... Four TCM Classic packages -- four-title sets spotlighting Hollywood's most legendary actors, actresses and films -- are available this week: "TCM Greatest Classic Legends: John Ford Westerns" with "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949), "Three Godfathers" (1948), "Cheyenne Autumn" (1964), "Wagon Master" (1950); "TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow" with "Dinner at Eight" (1933), "Libeled Lady" (1936), "China Seas" (1935), "Wife vs. Secretary" (1936); "TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Errol Flynn" with "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949), "Three Godfathers" (1948), "Cheyenne Autumn" (1964), "Wagon Master" (1950); TCM Greatest Classic Films: Lassie" with "Lassie Come Home" (1943), "Son of Lassie" (1945), "Courage of Lassie" (1946), "Hills of Home" (1948); $27.92 from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's (2/1):

In "Hatchet II" (2010), starring Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Tom Holland and R.A. Mihailoff, the sole survivor of the massacre in "Hatchet" returns for revenge. From Dark Sky Films/MPI Media ... photo Set amid the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina, "Hurricane Season" (2009), starring Forest Whitaker, Bow Wow and Isaiah Washington, follows a Louisiana high school basketball coach who turns tragedy into triumph, pulling together a team of kids from previously rival high schools and leading them on an inspirational path to the state championship. From Vivendi Entertainment/The Weinstein Company ..."Mean Girls 2" (2010), directed by Melanie Mayron and starring Meaghan Martin, Jennifer Stone and Maiara Walsh, is a sequel to the 2004 hit: A new girl in high school befriends an unpopular student and the pair take on the Plastics. From Paramount ... "Monsters" (2010) revolves around a failed outer space experiment in which a probe to collect samples of alien life crashes in Mexico, causing new life forms to spring up and forcing half that country to be quarantined. A U.S. journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone to the safety of the U.S. border. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... In 1976, a young man returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement, setting into motion complex political and emotional forces in "Night Catches Us" (2010), starring Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.

On the Indie Front (2/1):

"Skin" (2008) is based on the true story of Sandra Laing, born a black child in the 1950s to rural white Afrikaners unaware of their black ancestry, lovingly raised as their "white" little girl until she is driven out of her community due to her dark skin and African features. The film follows her 30-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world. Stars Sophie Okonedo. From Entertainment One.

For the Family (2/1):

"Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" (2011) is a sequel to the 2008 surprise hit, here with the voices of George Lopez, Odette Yustman, Zachary Gordon, Emily Osment, Bridgit Mendler and Miguel Ferrer; from Disney ... photo "Action Pack 4 DVD Set" includes four DVDs from preschool pals Thomas & friends, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam: ""Thomas & Friends: Steamies vs. Diesels," "Thomas & Friends: Track Stars." "Bob the Builder: heavy Duty Diggers," "Fireman Sam: Help Is Here; $19.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Duke Ellington ... and More Stories to Celebrate Great Figures In African American History" (2010) includes "Duke Ellington," "Ellington Was Not a Street," "Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of Vocal Virtuosa," "John Henry." Narrated by Forest Whitaker, Phylicia Rashad, Samuel L. Jackson and Billy Dee Williams. From Scholastic Storybook Treasures ... Also from Scholastic this week is "Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship ... and More Stories to Celebrate U.S. History" (2010), with four animated stories narrated by James Earl Jones, Jeff Brooks, and Danny Glover. Includes "The Pilgrims Of Plimoth," "John, Paul, George, & Ben," "The Journey of The One & Only Declaration of Independence," "Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship" ... With the "Friend Pack 4 DVD Set," preschoolers can celebrate the joys of friendship with these four DVDs: "Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance," "Barney: Let's Play School," "Barney: Everyone Is Special," "Fifi and the Flowertots: Fifi's Talent Show"; $19.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

Special Interest (2/1):

photo "The Tillman Story" (2010) is a documentary that examines the controversial death and subsequent cover-up of celebrated NFL-star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, killed in the line of duty by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Narrated by Josh Brolin. From Sony ... "Ronald Reagan: An American Journey" (2009) is a documentary on Ronald Reagan, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth (Feb. 6); the film is in Reagan's own words, words taken from the debates, speeches and discussions of the man dubbed "The Great Communicator." $19.98 from Image Entertainment ... "Patti Stanger: Married in a Year" (2010) is a 12-month action plan for finding love by Patti Stanger, founder and CEO of the Millionaire's Club matchmaking service and star of Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" series. Includes "Dating Detox," "10 Commandments of Dating," "Red Flags," "Sealing the deal" and more. $9.98 from Lionsgate.

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