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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (03-12-13)

March 12, 2013

manimalguypierce[1]

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards and winner of 4 (including Best Director), Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” the dazzling and touching film adaptation of Yann Mantel’s best-selling novel, is finally out this week. If you have a 3D capable television, this is the one to get! William Joyce is another writer who saw his work adapted to the big-screen recently (he’s also a filmmaker in his own right, winning an Oscar last year for his Animated Short) with Dreamworks’ “Rise of the Guardians” a creative animated feature that was unexpectedly enjoyable. In nostaglic releases, “Willow” the beloved 1988 fantasy film, written by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, gets a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray treatment.
 
He was born on Friday the 13th in August, but for some reason today is National Alfred Hitchcock. There’s several ways to celebrate, of course, one of which is to dress like your mother, grab a knife and scare someone in the shower. The safer bet would be to check out a couple new releases. No, he hasn’t released a new movie (but wouldn’t that be amazing?)  One is a Blu-ray collection of “Notorious” “Spellbound” and “Rebecca” called, “Alfred Hitchcock: The Classic Collection” and the other is a film about the filming of “Psycho” called “Hitchcock”.  Anthony Hopkins embodies the director the best he can, but the make-up winds up being a bit too distracting.
 
The women of “Hitchcok” steal the movie from the solid supporting cast though. Helen Mirren plays his wife, Alma, while Scarlett Johansson stars as Janet Leigh and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles. Notable mention goes to James D’Arcy who is uncanny as Anthony Perkins. It’s a good movie, not a great one, by Sacha Gervasi (who brought us “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”), one that tries for moments of dramatic poignancy amid a devilishly comedic tone.
 
Also out this week is “This Must Be the Place”, directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It’s a dramedy starring Sean Penn as a Robert Smith-looking retired rock star who has to return to New York City in order to face the man responsible for reprehensible suffering by his recently deceased father in WWII. I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard good things.
 
Ray Milland fans will appreciate that Fritz Lang’s “Ministry of Fear” has received the Criterion treatment. It’s a film noir crime thriller and a romance, but more importantly it’s a look at the effects of war.
 
Disney is releasing three of their previously-released animated features on Blu-ray for the first time. “Mulan” and her direct-to-video sequel “Mulan II” comes in one package and 1996’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” wich found Tom Hulce singing alongside Demi Moore. That’s probably the last time that will ever happen. All three films adhered to the annoying sidekicks and song-and-dance formula that Disney would later make fun of in “Enchanted” and revisit in “Tangled”.
 
And finally, one of my favorite comedies from the 80s, “Who Framed Roger Rabbitt” is getting released on Blu-ray for the first time. It’s another 1988 movie getting a 25th Anniversary party. It was director Robert Zemekis first foray into animation and a movie that I must have seen at least three times the summer it came out. I’m sure it’s still hilarious, but for the life of me I cannot comprehend why there’s no question mark int he title.
 
That’s it for this week. Previous reviews are highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown…. 
 
 
  • Alfred Hitchcock: The Classic Collection (Blu-ray)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1986)(DVD)
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass (1973) (DVD)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2: Special Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (Blu-ray)
  • Ben-Hur / Ten Commandments (Double Feature) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Black Eagle (DVD)
  • The Blob (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • Brother Bear/Brother Bear 2
  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Curandero: Dawn of the Demon (DVD)
  • Curious George Swings into Spring( DVD)
  • Death Penalty.com/Death Penalty.com: A New Beginning (DVD)
  • The Devil’s in the Details (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The First Time (DVD)
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season 4 (DVD)
  • Hitchcock (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) (Blu-ray)  
  • Hysteria (1997) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp: The Complete Season Two (DVD)
  • Life of Pi (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Ministry of Fear (Criterion Collection) (DVD)
  • The Mob Doctor: The Complete First Season (DVD)
  • Molly’s Girl (DVD)
  • Mulan / Mulan II (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)  
  • Nanook of the North / The Wedding of Palo (and Other Films of Arctic Life) (1922) (Blu-ray)  
  • Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here – Live in Japan (DVD)
  • Pressed (DVD)
  • The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies (DVD)
  • Ripper Street (DVD)
  • Rise of the Guardians (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Samson and Delilah (DVD)
  • Scooby-Doo & The Legend of the Vampire (Blu-ray)  
  • Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (Blu-ray)  
  • Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (Blu-ray)  
  • Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword (Blu-ray)  
  • Smashed (DVD)
  • Spiders 3D (DVD)
  • Superman: Brainiac Attacks (DVD)
  • TCM Greatest Classic: Legends – Judy Garland (DVD)
  • TCM Greatest Classic: Legends – Natalie Wood (DVD)
  • TCM Greatest Classic: Legends – Sidney Poitier (DVD)
  • This Must Be The Place (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers (DVD)
  • Tristana(Blu-ray)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Blu-ray)  
  • Willow (Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • Xena: Warrior Princess – Season 4 (DVD)
  • Zulu Sawn (1979) (Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)

 

 

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