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    DVD & Blu-ray Reviews


    Apollo 13 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

    Jun 03 2015 10:10 AM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    Director Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 has been released multiple times on just about every home video format that has existed. Universal has now released a 20th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray, and the results put all previous incarnations to shame.



    Read story →    3 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Universal

    Wet Hot American Summer Blu-ray Review

    Jun 02 2015 02:36 PM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    Wet Hot American Summer chronicles the last day of summer camp for a group of counselors, told in a series of skits hung on a fairly flimsy plot. Since its theatrical release in 2001, the movie has attracted something of a cult following, leading Netflix to commission a prequel miniseries set to premiere in July 2015.



    Read story →    3 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Universal

    Miss Marple: Volume 3 Blu-ray Review

    Jun 01 2015 01:56 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    Agatha Christie introduced her elderly spinster sleuth Miss Jane Marple in a series of six 1928 short stories, but it wasn’t until 1930 in the cozy village mystery Murder at the Vicarage that she achieved more international exposure. Though the character is today wildly popular, Christie trotted her out only occasionally between those first efforts and her last appearance in a novel in 1976’s Sleeping Murder (which had actually been written during World War II and salted away for future publication). There were only twelve full length Jane Marple mysteries ever written. Despite this paucity of viable material, Miss Marple has been appearing in theatrical films and made-for-television movies for more than five decades and has been played by a host of award-winning actresses, among them Margaret Rutherford, Helen Hayes, and Angela Lansbury. But the greatest representation of the character has undoubtedly been offered by Joan Hickson who was the perfect embodiment of the no-nonsense bloodhound of the Christie novels and who managed to film all twelve of the Marple mysteries before her death in 1998. Over an eight-year period, Miss Hickson filmed all of the Miss Marple novels, and BBC has been bringing out the TV-movies in remastered Blu-ray transfers over the past few months in four-episode collections. This Volume 3 release offers the four final Miss Marple stories published (though these are not in the order in which Miss Hickson filmed the shows).



    Read story →    9 comments    -----    BBC, Blu-ray, TV Reviews


    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Blu-ray Review

    May 31 2015 06:57 PM | Neil Middlemiss in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    As SpongeBob SquarePants enters its 16th year in existence, with the series still going strong, the voice cast and crew found time to explore a second big screen adventure, following up on 2004’s global hit, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The result is a spirited and absurdity-embracing adventure that spans from the enclave of Bikini Bottom, to above the water in a beachside town, and from the present to the future to the past. Moving with great pace, it bounces between jokes, visual silliness, and the core plot at the center of the latest adventure with fluid ease. Doubling the box office take of its 2004 predecessor, both domestically and internationally, the SpongeBob phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down – and with as much fun as you can have with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, it’s not hard to see why!



    Read story →    1 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Paramount

    1776 Blu-ray Review

    May 31 2015 01:29 PM | Richard Gallagher in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

     

    1776, one of the most eagerly-anticipated Blu-ray releases of the year, is being released by Sony in a spectacular edition which will please the film's most demanding fans. It has been fully restored in 4K under the supervision and support of Sony's Grover Crisp and Jeremy Glassman, and it includes both Peter H. Hunt's 166-minute Director's Cut and an Extended Cut with a few minutes of additional footage. "I'm ecstatic," says Hunt. "1776 is back to where it should be. The work done by Grover and his team is miraculous. It looks better than when it premiered. It's gorgeous!"



    Read story →    10 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Sony Pictures


    Mississippi Burning Blu-ray Review

    May 29 2015 01:17 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    The picture of a burning cross on the cover of Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray release of Mississippi Burning does as well as anything possibly could to bring back thoughts of the bitter struggles against racism and bigotry that our country has been enmeshed in for half a century or more. Alan Parker’s electrifying drama set in 1964 Mississippi encapsulates that struggle within the confines of a kinetic crime drama where brutality and hatred are as normal to many of the characters as eating or breathing, and the film retains its power more than a quarter of a century after its first release.



    Read story →    1 comments    -----    Blu-ray, MGM, Twilight Time

    American Buffalo Blu-ray Review

    May 28 2015 01:15 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    Known for his piercing and trenchant dialogue, playwright David Mamet has produced a number of scintillating works for the stage, and several of them have received big screen adaptations. The 1996 movie version of his breakthrough play American Buffalo has lost something on the way to the big screen: part of it due to casting, part of it due to direction, and part of it due to the changing times (the play was first presented in the early 1970s with this movie arriving two decades later) which have made its vicious, coruscating dialogue and whiplash character interplay less novel and fresh. It’s still a film worth experiencing, but check out Glengarry Glen Ross to get the authentic look and sound of David Mamet at his corrosive best.



    Read story →    0 comments    -----    Blu-ray, MGM, Twilight Time


    Frank Sinatra 5-Film Collection Blu-ray Review

    May 28 2015 11:30 AM | Ken_McAlinden in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    The Frank Sinatra Collection pulls together two films from the 1940s, one from the 1950s, and two from the 1960s into a career-spanning if somewhat random-seeming five disc box set. The big budget Samuel Goldwyn production of 1955's Guys and Dolls and the quintessential rat-pack caper film Ocean's Eleven are repackagings of previously released Blu-rays while 1945's Anchors Aweigh, 1949's On the Town, and 1964's Robin and the 7 Hoods (all also available separately) make their Blu-ray debuts.



    Read story →    9 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Warner

    American Sniper Blu-ray Review

    May 27 2015 01:34 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    The sometimes debilitating sacrifices of families left back home during a war is contrasted with the shocking and turbulent hell of war itself in Clint Eastwood’s masterful American Sniper, one of the best films of 2014. Telling the true story of decorated sniper Chris Kyle with a kinetic energy and a dedication to doing his story proud, Eastwood presents a first-rate cast and a realistic production that is convincing both stateside and in the Middle East. While the domestic side of the story might have benefitted from a bit of beefing up, the war side is as brilliant and involving as anything the director has ever done (including some previously celebrated war films from other noteworthy conflicts).



    Read story →    1 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Warner


    Seventh Son Blu-ray Review

    May 26 2015 04:53 PM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    Originally announced for a January 2014 theatrical release thru Warner Bros., Seventh Son finally made it to movie screens in February 2015, now distributed by Universal. The result is an entertaining but forgettable medieval adventure, with Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore apparently having too much fun chewing the scenery.



    Read story →    0 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Universal

    Hombre Blu-ray Review

    May 26 2015 01:35 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    One of the most atypical westerns of its era, Martin Ritt’s Hombre is also one of the most entertaining and unpredictable films of its type. Full of gritty realism and featuring an anti-hero that still charms and mesmerizes, Ritt’s movie features his expected and most welcome sociological take on the genre while still presenting a taut and tension-filled narrative without a whit of the form’s expected clichés and predictable occurrences. Certainly popular in its day (ranking tenth in box-office rentals for the year), today it plays like gangbusters with a fresh and unexpected point of view in almost every moment.



    Read story →    3 comments    -----    Blu-ray, Fox, Twilight Time