From TV to Video (12/25):"Justified: The Complete Third Season" (2012) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes of the popular FX series. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, with deleted scenes, outtakes, cast and crew commentary on nine episodes, three featurettes that focus on the making of Season 3, the stunts and a tour of Nobles Holler. The Blu-ray adds an interview with stars Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins. The third season finds Harlan County no longer under the rule of the Bennett family, while Boyd (Goggins) returns to the criminal life and rugged, old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Olyphant) struggles to keep the town under control. From Sony.
On the Indie Front (12/25):"Something Better Somewhere Else" (2012) is a collective tale of yearning and restlessness told through four distinct but thematically linked stories: A bride comes on to a priest in a motel room; a bouquet of flowers from a stranger takes on a life of its own; a man's last day at the office proves to be the longest day of all; it's family moving day, but no one's moving. Stars David Pasquesi, John Connolly and Christian Stolte. From Vanguard Cinema ... In "Morning" (2012), starring Andrew Ramaglia, Emily Cline and Wally Dalton, a young Seattle married couple descends into alcoholism and infidelity following the accidental death of their child. From Vanguard Cinema.
For the Family (12/25):"Cinderella" (2012) Cinderella trades glass slippers for a pair of cowboy boots in this reimagining of the classic fairy tale that casts Cinderella as a charismatic and tough cowgirl living in the Wild West. Cinderella lives in Felicity City, a town named after her wicked stepmother. Joined by her two overconfident daughters, Cinderella's stepmother decides to host a ball in honor of the arrival of the charming Prince Vladimir and his mother, the Duchess. With help from her long-time companion, a shaman named Little Cloud, Cinderella is transformed into a beautiful cowgirl for the celebration. Unaware of her true identity, the Prince is immediately spellbound by the mysterious masked girl. But their budding romance is rudely interrupted by a band of wild pirates, who crash the party and kidnap the Duchess, separating Cinderella and the Prince. When the sawdust settles, Cinderella, Little Cloud and the Prince set out on a journey across the West to rescue the Duchess -- and live happy ever after. The family animated adventure is available on DVD for $19.98 from Anchor Bay.
Special Interest (12/25):"Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution: Season 2" (2012) includes extended episodes featuring all-new material, "Hey It's Fluffy" animated shorts, and outtakes from 12 of the funniest comedians today: Ian Bagg, Tony Baker, Dov Davidoff, Pablo Francisco, Dillon Garcia, Nick Guerra, Trevor Noah, Thai Rivera, Alfred Robles, Wil Sylvince, Gina Yashere and Dustin Ybarra. On DVD from Comedy Central/Paramount Home Entertainment ... "Gregg Allman -- I'm No Angel: Live On Stage" (2012) features a full length concert from Gregg Allman -- who came to prominence with his brother Duane as The Allman Brothers Band in the early 1970s -- and his solo band in Nashville in November 1988. Among the songs featured are Billboard chart hit single "I'm No Angel" and a version of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." On DVD from Cherry Red/MVD Visual.
"Killer Joe," "Total Recall," "Trouble With the Curve," "Pitch Perfect," "Sleepwalk With Me," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Premium Rush," "Arbitrage" and "The Words." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
From TV to Video (12/18):"Californication: The Fifth Season" (2012) is a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $46.99 from Showtime/Paramount ... "Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.98 from HBO ... "House of Lies: The First Season" (2012) is a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $46.99, with commentaries on select episodes, interviews with Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle, and a "Rainmaker" character profile of Cheadle's Mary Kaan; from Showtime/Paramount ... "The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season" (2011-12) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.98 from HBO ... "The Sarah Silverman Program Season Three" (2010) is a two-disc set that includes the last 10 episodes of the Comedy Central show, with such extras as a writers' conversation, "Odds 'N' Ends," the original pilot, audition videos, commentaries, more; $19.93. from Shout! Factory ... "Shameless: The Complete Second Season" (2012) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, with such extras as three featurettes, five "Shameless" actor discussions, deleted scenes; $39.98 on DVD and Blu-ray, from Warner ... "Tosh.0: Deep V's" (2012) is a three-disc set with 16 episodes, $19.99. Includes the first "What, What in the Butt" web remix, a trip with the Double Rainbow Guy and "Web Redemptions" for the awful weatherman, the angry black preacher, the "I Like Turtles Kid" and more. On DVD and Blu-ray from Comedy Central/Paramount.
Buzzin' the 'B's (12/18):An ex-legend in the illicit underground fighting world is forced back into the arena to pay his brother's debts and to protect his family from a ruthless crime boss in "Forced to Fight" (2012), which features an array of fighting styles, including wrestling, judo, jiu jitsu and all-out power punching. Stars Peter Weller and Gary Daniels. On DVD and Blu-ray from Image Entertainment ... A young doctor goes to unconscionable extremes in order to remain in the service of a female patient with a kidney disorder in "The Good Doctor" (2012), starring Orlando Bloom, Riley Keough, Taraji P. Henson and Michael Pena. On DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... When the Haskin family seeks refuge from Y2K hysteria in the isolated forests of the Sierra Diablos Mountains, the threat of technological shutdown is the least of their worries: Abducted by a vicious hillbilly clan, the family battles for their lives ... but neither they nor their captors can imagine the monstrous nightmare about to erupt from the bowels of the earth in "The Millennium Bug" (2011), starring John Charles Meyer, Jessica Simons, Christine Haeberman, Jon Briddell and Ken MacFarlane; from Green Apple Entertainment ... In "The Frozen" (2012), starring Brit Morgan, Noah Segan and Seth David Mitchell, a young couple is stranded in the woods and must survive while waiting for help to arrive after a harrowing snowmobile accident. When the young man disappears, the woman is left on her own not only to battle the elements, but elude a mysterious man who has been tracking her through the forest. From ARC Entertainment
On the Indie Front (12/18):"Red Hook Summer" (2012) is the latest in Spike Lee's "Chronicles of Brooklyn" (which also include "She's Gotta Have It," "Do the Right Thing," "Crooklyn," "Clockers" and "He Got Game"). A middle-class boy from Atlanta finds his worldview changed as he spends the summer with his deeply religious grandfather in the housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. Stars Clarke Peters, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Jules Brown and Toni Lysaith. On DVD and Blu-ray, with commentary with Lee, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a music video; from One Village/Image Entertainment ... When a 30-something college admissions adviser returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for a 19-year-old college student, and is faced with a powerful dilemma: Does he pursue a perhaps inappropriate relationship with this kindred spirit, or does he break her heart and return to the "real world"? in "Liberal Arts" (2012), starring Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Zac Efron, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser and Therese Raquin. On DVD and Blu-ray from IFC Films ... When a college student gets wrapped up in the wild party lifestyle of professional motocross, he is pushed to the limits to gain acceptance in "Bro'" (2012), starring Beau Manley, Colin "Scummy" Morrison and Danny Trejo; from Lionsgate.
Foreign (12/18):Shohei Imamura's "A Man Vanishes" (1967 -- Japan) begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year. Examining every aspect of the disappeared man's life, Imamura and his crew become increasingly focused on his fiancee, Yoshie, who is desperately searching for him. As the filmmakers become more involved in her life, the "investigation" begins to cast doubt over the couple's relationship, the man's work life, both of their families, and finally Imamura and the film itself. Packed in a four-disc set with five other Imamura films: "Karayuki-San, The Making of a Prostitute" (1975), "In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers in Malaysia" (1971), "Outlaw-Matsu Returns Home" (1973) and "The Pirates of Bubuan" (1972). Includes a 12-page booklet that features an original essay by Japanese film critic and theorist Tadao Sato. From Icarus Films ... As much of an anti-Bollywood film as one could imagine, revolutionary filmmaker Q's "Gandu" (Hindi slang for Asshole) (2010 -- India) is a frantic, music-infused look at one poor young man and his dreams of becoming a rap star; it's an example of new Indian filmmaking that, ironically, is banned in India. Excitable Gandu lives in Kolkata. Poor, he survives by stealing spare change from the trousers of a man his prostitute mother services. Gandu's lives to be a rapper, and finds a comrade-in-song with another young man, the Bruce Lee-loving Rickshaw. Together they sing, drink, do drugs, wander the city and collectively dream of success. When Gandu wins big in the lottery, all his dreams seem to come true. Or do they? Told in fragmented scenes with pulsating music, the film is surreal, wild, weird, unpredictable, and sexually graphic. From Artsploitation Films.
Special Interest (12/18):The PBS documentary "Cuban Missile Crisis: Three Men Go to War" (2012) reveals how three human beings -- President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro -- grappled with the most dangerous two weeks in human history, when countless events outside their control threatened to ignite a nuclear holocaust that could have ended human civilization. On October 22, 1962, President Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases on the island of Cuba, 90 miles off the shores of Florida. The events of the next tension-filled 13 days, known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, struck fear across the globe as the world teetered on the edge of nuclear war. The fate of the planet ultimately lay in the hands of three powerful men: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy. $24.99 from PBS Distribution.
"Ted," "The Bourne Legacy" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles (12/11):This week's highlight:
"The Story of Film: An Odyssey" is a unique filmic history of film -- unique in its comprehensiveness. Filmmaker Mark Cousins -- working from his book -- covers 120 years of the world of cinema in 15 one-hour segments, filmed on four continents during the course of six years, featuring interviews with legendary filmmakers and actors as well as clips from hundreds of films. The documentary covers famous moments in film -- the birth of Hollywood and the great movie genres, the evolution of movie stardom, the shock of the French "New Wave," the revolution of digital cinema, and much more. But it goes further and deeper in the history of cinema, examining, amongst many things, Shanghai films of the 30s, the great Indian melodramas of the 50s and the triumph of African filmmakers of the 70s. It also touches and delves into social issues at various periods in the 20th century including the role of women in cinema and the driving forces behind the industry, and takes long looks at film as a classical art form. The DVD has a sticker price of $69.95, but sells for $10 less at Amazon. If you can afford it, it deserves a place on your film docu shelf, right next to Richard Schickel's "The Men Who Made the Movies," PBS' "Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood," "A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies" and James Monaco's interactive "How to Read a Film" CD-ROM. From Music Box Films.
The surprise find of the month:
While celebrating the 50th anniversary of the integration of the University of Mississippi (by James Meredith along with the support of the Kennedy administration, 500 U.S. Marshals and the 70th Army Engineer Combat Battalion), you might want to take a look at "Black Like Me" (1964), starring James Whitmore, Sorrell Booke, Roscoe Lee Browne, Al Freeman Jr., Will Geer, Robert Gerringer and Clifton James. Based on the landmark memoir by John Howard Griffin, "Black Like Me" stars Whitmore as Griffin, who medically altered his pigment and, with the help of a sunlamp, reinvented himself as an itinerant black writer navigating his way through Mississippi and Alabama. Along the way he experienced firsthand both crushing racism and the incredible life force of the black communities. Thanks to a full restoration from the original negative, this is the first time "Black Like Me" has been released on DVD. From Video Services Corp.
Two odd-ball oldies make their way to DVD this week: "Ashanti" (1979), directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Michael Caine, Peter Ustinov, Rex Harrison, William Holden, Beverly Johnson, Kabir Bedi and Omar Sharif. Caine stars as Dr. David Linderby, half of a married U.N. medical team vaccinating native villages in West Africa. When his skinny-dipping wife (supermodel Beverly Johnson) is abducted by a depraved Arab slave trader (Peter Ustinov), there's no time for diplomacy, and he enlists a human-trafficking activist (Rex Harrison), a cynical mercenary (William Holden) and a vengeful Bedouin (Kabir Bedi), to pursue his wife's slavers 3,000 miles across the Sahara before she can be sold at auction to wealthy Saudis. "The Wild Geese" (1978), directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and starring Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Kruger, Frank Finlay, Barry Foster and Stewart Granger. A team of aging mercenaries are hired by a wealthy industrialist for one final mission: Recruit and train a squad of desperate commandos, parachute into an unstable African nation, snatch its deposed president from a maximum security army prison, escape via the military-controlled airport, and massacre anyone who gets in their way. Re-mastered. Both are from Severin Films.
Before there was Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" (due to hit theaters Dec. 25), there was "Django" -- the highly influential Spaghetti Western film series. Timeless Media Group -- a division of Shout! Factory -- will release two Django double bills at $6.95 each: "Django! A Man Called Django/Django and Sartana Showdown in the West" and "Django! Cut Price Corpses/Django Kills Silently." These dubbed Westerns require an acquired taste; if you go gaga over Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, you might want to check these out. We got a little bogged down in the repetitive killings and endless gunfights. And don't forget this week's offerings from The Criterion Collection: Christopher Nolan's first outing, "Following" (1999), a low-budget, black-and-white, 16mm neonoir fragmented tale of an unemployed young writer who trails strangers through London, hoping that they will provide inspiration for his first novel. He gets more than he bargained for with one of his unwitting subjects, who leads him down a dark, criminal path ... and "The Qatsi Trilogy," a set of Godfrey Reggio's three ground-breaking "documentaries": 1983's "Koyaanisqatsi" (the title is a Hopi word that means "life out of balance"), 1988's "Powaqqatsi" ("life in transformation") and 2002's "Naqoyqatsi" ("life as war"). Each is an immersive sensory experience that meditates on the havoc humankind's fascination with technology has wreaked on our world, featuring unforgettable, cascading scores by Philip Glass.
With Tom Hooper's Christmas day release of the musical "Les Miserables" fast approaching, Sony has released a Blu-ray version of Bille August's 1998 dramatic "Les Miserables", starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes ... and, lastly, there's "The Luchino Visconti Collection: Four Films," a five-disc set with restored and remastered editions of "La Terra Trema," "Bellissima," "Ludwig" and "L'innocente"; $49.98 from Entertainment One.
From TV to Video (12/11):"Girls: The Complete First Season" (2012) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes of the hit HBO show about a group of twentysomethings making their way in new York City. Available on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras include "A Conversation With the Girls" and commentaries, with the Blu-ray adding "The Making of Girls," gag reels, deleted scenes, cast interviews, and a 20-page booklet. From HBO ... "Gunsmoke: The Seventh Season, Volume 1 (1961-62) is a five-disc set with 17 episodes (and vintage sponsor messages), $39.95 from Paramount ... "Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season" (1964-65) is a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $34.93 from Shout! Factory ... Based on actual events, "Underbelly" (2005) is a gripping, gritty and shocking portrayal of the violent, drug-fueled crime wave that rocked Australia from the 1970s through the early 2000s: The hit trilogy series comes to the U.S. for the first time in three sets: "Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities," "Underbelly: War on the Streets" and "Underbelly: The Golden Mile," $34.98 each from Entertainment One.
Buzzin' the 'B's (12/11):"Doomsday Book" (2012) is an engrossing anthology -- and unusual -- film by directors Kim Ji-woon and Yim Pil-sung, who present three interpretations on an apocalyptic theme. In the first film, Yim Pil-Sung opens with "Brave New World," starring Ryoo Seung-bum as a young man trying to survive in a world infected by biological toxins. The centerpiece of the film, "Heavily Creature," directed by Kim Ji-woon, stars Kim Kang-woo, Kim Gyu-ri and Park Hae-il as citizens of Seoul who must deal with the innovations of the high-tech modern world where a religion-practicing robot achieves enlightenment and must escape the evil manufacturer who wants to destroy it. Yim Pil-Sung closes the film with "Happy Birthday," starring newcomer Song Sae-byoek, Jin Ji-hee and Bae Doo-na, in which elementary school student Park Min-seo accidentally order a mysterious package off the internet that puts Earth and all its inhabitants at risk of extinction. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... As a wave of vampirism sweeps the world, a small but discordant group hole up in a country mansion in Victoria, Australia in "The Caretaker" (2012). A vampire, who has also occupied the mansion, offers the humans a deal: If they protect him from other humans during the day, he'll protect them from other vampires at night. Stars Anna Burgess, Clint Dowdell, Colin MacPherson, Lee Mason, and Mark White. From MVD Entertainment ... A twentysomething out-of-options misfit teams up with a sleazy con man to hunt down and stop the mysterious Creep who has been terrorizing the community by killing and torturing victims with a host of elaborate booby traps inside the rusted shell of the Creep Van in "Creep Van" (2012), starring Brian Kolodziej, Amy Wehrell, Gerald Emerickand Collin Bernsen; from Inception Media Group ... A divorcee, her son and her boyfriend on vacation in the beautiful but deadly Death Valley happen upon a murder and find themselves pursued by a maniac in "Death Valley" (1982), starring Catherine Hicks, Paul Le Mat, Stephen McHattie and Peter Billingsley; from Shout! Factory.
An investigative writer who takes on the most baffling mystery of the disappearance of boats and their passengers in the Caribbean is captured by modern day pirates in "The Island" (1980), directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Michael Caine, David Warner and Jeffrey Frank; from Shout! Factory ... When a massive comet strikes the Sun, it knocks Mercury out of orbit, sending it hurtling towards Earth, triggering gravitational chaos around the world in "Collision Earth" (2011), starring Kirk Acevedo, Diane Farr, Chad Krowchuk and Jessica Parker Kennedy; on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... In post-zombie England, a botched robbery leads a motley crew of thieves into an apocalyptic battle with a zombie horde in "Gangsters, Guns and Zombies" (2012), starring Vincent Jerome, Huggy Leaver and Fabrizio Santino; on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from XLrator Media ... Captured international assassins are locked up inside a high-tech bunker known as the Killing Chamber and to break out they must duel each other, fight deadly ninjas, battle against gangs of masked maniacs and confront Snakehead, the lethal, deranged top dog in "Kill 'Em All" (2012), starring Johnny Messner, Chia Hui Liu, Joe Lewis, Tim Man, Ammara Siripong, Brahim Achabbakhe and Erik Markus Schuetz; on DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... "Bigfoot County" (2012), starring Stephon Stewart, Davee Youngblood and Shy Pilgreen, is a "found" footage horror film about a documentary crew that travels to Siskiyou County, California, known for its Bigfoot sightings; from Lionsgate.
On the Indie Front (12/11):"Gayby" (2011), starring Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas, is an irreverent comedy about friendship, growing older, sex, loneliness, and the family you choose: Two best friends decide to have a baby together the old fashioned way ... despite the fact that she's straight and he's gay; from Wolfe Video ... A young man, stuck working for his overbearing father at a Detroit pawn shop, comes up with a plan to hustle stolen jewelry through the store in the hopes of saving up enough to strike out on his own, but ends up only causing grief for himself, his father and his friends in "Pawn Shop" (2012), starring Robert Spearman Jr., Garrett Morris, Joe Torry, Chandra Davis, Cool Aide and Mano Williams; from Redd Media/MVD Entertainment ... When a college piano prodigy tries to check his mother into a drug rehab, he's taken "hostage" by her low-on-product drug dealer and swept along on a wild adventure to score more dope in "Why Stop Now" (2012), starring Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan; on DVD and Blu-ray from IFC Films.
Special Interest (12/11):This week's notable releases, in alphabetical order:
"The Dark Knight Rises," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Hope Springs" and "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles (12/4):The Criterion Collection has two superb offerings this week: "Purple Noon" (1960), one of our personal favorites. Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when "Purple Noon (Plein soleil)" was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's vicious novel, "The Talented Mr. Ripley," directed by the versatile Rene Clement, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf back to the United States; what initially seems a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft, and murder. Featuring gorgeous on-location photography in coastal Italy, "Purple Noon" is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be suspenseful and erotic at once, while giving Delon the role of a lifetime. New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Another film we love is "Brazil Blu-ray" (1985),lovingly brought to Blu-ray by Criterion. In this dystopic masterpiece, Jonathan Pryce plays a daydreaming everyman who finds himself caught in the soul-crushing gears of a nightmarish bureaucracy. This cautionary tale by Terry Gilliam, one of the great films of the 1980s, now ranks alongside antitotalitarian works by the likes of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Co-stars Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson, Kim Greist, Jim Broadbent. Restored high-definition digital transfer of Gilliam's 142-minute director's cut, supervised by Gilliam, with DTS-HD Master Audio surround soundtrack. Includes the "Love Conquers All" version of "Brazil," a 94-minute cut of the film produced by Universal in an attempt to make the production more commercial.
"Francis Ford Coppola 5-Film Collection" Francis Ford Coppola has made a name for himself in cinema history as one of the most influential filmmakers of his time. With five Academy Award wins, his work is loved by mainstream audiences, critics, independent film enthusiasts and fans alike. In honor of his fearless innovative filmmaking career, Lionsgate has put together a collection of five films directed by Coppola -- available together on Blu-ray for the first time: "Apocalypse Now," "Apocalypse Now Redux," "Tetro," "The Conversation" and "One From the Heart" (available for the first time in high definition). $39.99. With hours of special features, including commentaries, featurettes, music videos, interviews, and more. Disney is stuffing Christmas stockings with Blu-ray versions of "Finding Nemo" (2003) and a 3D Blu-ray edition of "Up." "Nemo" features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Elizabeth Perkins, Eric Bana and director Andrew Stanton, and will be available in a five-Disc Blu-ray 3D Ultimate Collector's Edition (2 Blu-ray 2D + 1 Blu-ray 3D + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy) and three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray 2D + 1 DVD). Extras include "Cine-Explore" in which director Andrew Stanton, co-director Lee Unkrich and co-writer Bob Peterson sit down to dissect the film in an extensive Picture-in- Picture commentary; a "Making Nemo" featurette; "Exploring the Reef" look at the beauty of the world's endangered coral reefs with host Jean-Michel Cousteau; a Pixar Studio Tour; and much more. "Up 3D" (2009) features the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Bob Peterson, Jordan Nagai and Delroy Lindo in a five-Disc Combo: 1 Blu-ray 3D + 2 Blu-ray +1 DVD + Digital Copy). Extras include commentary by director Pete Docter and co-director Bob Peterson; "Dug's Special Mission" original short; "The Many Endings of Muntz" featurette; "Partly Cloudy" short film; an "Adventure is Out There" documentary that tells the story of the filmmakers' visit to the Tepuis Mountains of South America to research the design and story of the film; a "Global Guardian Badge" game; more.
More Blu-ray debuts: "Catch Me If You Can" (2002)from Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner ... "Oklahoma!" (1999), starring Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman in the multi-award-winning Royal National Theatre production of the Broadway favorite; from Image Entertainment ... "Suddenly" (1954), starring Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason and Nancy Gates, transferred from the original 35mm studio fine grain master print; from Image Entertainment.
From TV to Video (12/4):"Angry Boys" (2011) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes; DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98; from HBO ... "Chiller: The Complete Television Series," a five episode horror anthology that aired in the UK in 1995. Presented here for the first time in the U.S., these supernatural shockers feature malevolent spirits, a brutal serial killer and a haunted house set in contemporary England. Two-disc set with five episodes, $29.95 from Synapse Films ... "Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season" (2012) is a two-disc set with eight World Without End episodes; $39.98 from HBO ... "Men of a Certain Age: The Complete Second Season" (2010-11) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "The Simpsons Season 15" (2003-04) is a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Fox ..."We Can Be Heroes" (2005 -- Australia) is a two-disc set with six episodes, $29.98 from HBO ... "World Without End" (2012), starring Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley, Rupert Evans and Sarah Gadon, is the eight-hour ReelzChannel miniseries adaptation of Ken Follett's global bestseller. Times are tougher than ever in 14th century England as the country is on the brink of war with France and the citizens are facing The Plague that will eventually decimate one-third of its population. On two-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray from Sony.
Buzzin' the 'B's (12/4):"Silent Night" (2012) stars Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Lisa Marie, Brendan Fehr and Ellen Wong in a loose remake of the horror classic "Silent Night, Deadly Night" about a small-town sheriff and his deputy on the hunt for a murderous Santa Claus terrorizing their community on Christmas Eve. But with the streets full of Santas for the annual Christmas parade, the killer is hiding in plain sight. He's made his list, checked it twice, and the naughty are going to pay with their lives. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... "Silent Night, Deadly Night/Silent Night, Deadly Night 2" (1984/1987) is a Christmas Survival Double feature of the original "Silent Night" films, from Anchor Bay ... In small-town Iowa, an adopted girl discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman -- the wife of the perennial butter champion who has stepped down -- in their town's annual contest in, what else, "Butter" (2012), starring Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Greene, Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone, Kristen Schaal, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Yara Shahidi. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... "HALO 4: Forward Unto Dawn" (2012)is a live-action digital series based on the bestselling Xbox franchise that brings a brand new "Halo" story to life. Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command military academy, a group of cadets are training to be the next generation of leaders in the ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. On DVD and Blu-ray from 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios ... "Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV" consists of four episodes previously unreleased on DVD: "Robot Holocaust," "Operation Kid Brother," "Kitten With a Whip" and "Revenge of the Creature," $59.97 from Shout! Factory ... In "Wu Dang" (2012), an American man -- greedy for gold and hungry for riches -- brings his daughter, a prodigy in martial arts, to compete for a championship title in kung fu combat in China, while planning to find and steal secret treasures hidden in Wu Dang mountain. With action choreography by Corey Yuen. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc, from Well Go USA ... When a dysfunctional family moves into a remote farm, they find themselves in the middle of a centuries old feud between a deadly seductress and a vampire cowboy hell bent on revenge in "A Vampire's Tale (aka Umbrage)" (2010), starring Doug Bradley, Rita Ramnani, Jonnie Hurn and Natalia Celino. From Lionsgate ... When very different sisters Sheila and Lynn find themselves at crossroads in their lives and needing change, they partner with their close friend Tommi to open a bakery ... where they face new challenges, old rivalries and even a chance at love in the family friendly, Dove-approved inspirational stage play "Sugar Mommas" (2012), starring Vanessa Williams, Terri J. Vaughn, Rachel True, Lamman Rucker and Tommy Ford. From One Village Entertainment/Image Entertainment.
Foreign (12/4):Director Andre Techine takes a look at life, love and the creative process in "Unforgivable" (2011 -- France). Francis (Andre Dussollier) is a successful crime writer who moves to Venice to work on his next novel. When he meets model-turned-real-estate-agent Judith (Carole Bouquet), he is instantly infatuated. Francis and Judith eventually marry and move to a remote house on Torcello Island but Francis' newfound happiness hinders his writing. Obsessing over what Judith does while at work, he hires a young ex-convict to investigate. As Judith's sexual past is revealed, both men become increasing fixated on the mysterious woman. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Venice, the film examines the consequences of unresolved past relationships and their far-reaching effects into the future. From Strand Releasing ... "Hermano" (2010 -- Venezuela) is a powerful and universal tale about two brothers whose hopes and dreams of success as soccer players are put to the ultimate test when violence, tragedy and family responsibility rear their heads. Venezuela's official Academy Award selection for Best Foreign-language Film of 2010. From Music Box Films.
For the Family (12/4):Will Vinton's "The Adventures of Mark Twain Collector's Edition" (1985), with the voices of James Whitmore, Michele Mariana, Gary Krug and Chris Ritchie, has been brought back to life by Magnolia Home Entertainment. Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher stow away with Mark Twain on his magical airship and take an incredible journey through time in search of Halley's Comet. Along the way they encounter a variety of Twain's storybook characters from "The Diary of Adam and Eve," "Huckleberry Finn", "The Mysterious Stranger," "The Famous Jumping Frog of Caliverous County" and "Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven." ... In "The Dog Who Saved the Holidays" (2012 -- TV), starring Shelley Long, Michael Gross, Gary Valentine, Elisa Donovan, Dean Cain and the voice talents of Joey Lawrence and Peyton List, a pair of pooches -- rivals for a family's affections -- team up to prevent thieves from breaking into their house just before Christmas. From Anchor Bay ... In "Elf-Man" (2012), starring Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Jeffrey Combs and Mackenzie Astin, an Elf is left behind by Santa to help the Harper family kids when their inventor father is kidnapped and thieves go after his latest creation. From Anchor Bay ... "Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters -- Creatures Unleashed " (2012)includes five episodes of the Hasbro kids TV series, $14.97 from Shout! Factory ... "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Adventures in the Crystal Empire" (2012) features five episodes of the pre-school series, $14.97. In the two-part title adventure, a magical empire has suddenly appeared in the arctic north of Equestria, and Princess Celestia needs Twilight Sparkle and her friends to find a way to protect it. From Shout! Factory Kids ... "Power Rangers Super Samurai: The Complete Season" (2012) is a single-disc with 20 episodes; DVD $29.98; Blu-ray Disc, $39.99; from Lionsgate ... "Fred 3: Camp Fred" (2012), starring Lucas Cruikshank, Daniella Monet, John Cena and Tom Arnold, is the third movie based on the YouTube sensation: Fred's summer doesn't go as planned when he is trapped at camp by an evil counselor, but with the help of his new friends, he battles a rival camp and turns the summer into a fun time. $14.98 from Lionsgate ... Lionsgate wraps things up with "The Fred 3-Movie Collection" of all three "Fred" films, $24.98 ... In "Thunderstruck" (2012), starring Kevin Durant, Taylor Gray, Brandon T. Jackson, Doc Shaw and Jim Belushi, Brian, a hopelessly uncoordinated young basketball fa,n magically switches talents with his hero (NBA superstar Kevin Durant, playing himself), to become the star of his high school team ... while Durant suddenly can't make a shot to save his life. From Warner.
Special Interest (12/4):"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" (2012) is a rare and privileged look at the heroic life of one of the world's most acclaimed -- and persecuted -- artists. Journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman was granted unprecedented access to Ai Weiwei to present this first feature-length portrait of the sculptor, photographer, filmmaker and installation artist. Ai was widely praised for his work on the "Bird's Nest" stadium for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but that same year his criticism of the Chinese government following the Sichuan earthquake that claimed thousands of schoolchildren made him a target of the powers that be. The documentary presents a rare look inside modern China while documenting Ai's courageous artistic process in preparation for major museum exhibitions, his intimate exchanges with family members, and his increasingly $29.98 from IFC Entertainment ... "Decasia" (2002) is a symphony of deteriorated nitrate found film footage. Drawing from a century of film history scoured from archives like the George Eastman House and the Museum of Modern Art, multi-media artist Bill Morrison has assembled a poetic collage of images marked by the swirling silver abstractions created by the decomposing nitrate emulsion. Fragments of the images remain, offering a panorama of 20th century life as caught on the film. For all the beauty that it finds in the deterioration of its source material, "Decasia" is an elegy for all that is lost when we do not preserve our cultural memory. With a "thunderous and dissonant" score written by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon and performed by the 55-piece Basel Sinfonietta. From (IcarusFilms).
"Surviving Disaster With Amanda Ripley" (2012) provides a rare glimpse into disasters as seen through the eyes of survivors, experts and scientists. This program explains what all people should know about preparedness and their own neurology to help them survive disasters of any kind. Each survivor shares the story of the events that he or she survived, and scientists explain the commonalities of the experiences to show how our brains may predictably behave in crisis situations. $24.99 from PBS Distribution ... "Titanic: Blood & Steel" (2011) is a three-disc set of the 12-part miniseries, $29.98 from Lionsgate.
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December 1, 2012
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).