Category Archives: DVDs

The Lizard King

New ‘Godzilla’ stomps onto Blu-ray with eco-message

Godzilla

Godzilla

Blu-ray $35.95 (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

 

Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn lead the international cast in this rompin’, stompin’ remake of the Japanese sci-fi classic, about everyone’s favorite radioactive dino’ from the depths of the Pacific, which comes with fully updated special effects—and a whopping message about scientific arrogance and ecological balance that’s almost as loud as Godzilla’s hair-raising, master-blaster roar. Bonus content features several behind-the-scenes mini-docs on the actors, production and story, including “explosive new evidence” in the plot’s elaborate cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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‘Toon Classics

Vintage antics of Bugs, Daffy, Porky and pals & more from the vaults

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Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 3

Blu-ray $44.98 (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

 

Animation connoisseurs and anyone who fondly remember yesteryear’s yuks will appreciate this latest roundup of classic ’toons, all brushed up for the first time up for Blu-ray. In addition to 50 mini-masterpieces featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety & Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and many more supporting players, the 11-hour, double-disc set also includes a bevy of bonus content, including a booklet and 14 mini-documentaries—I particularly enjoyed “Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices,” and “Drawn For Glory,” a look at how the humble pre-movie “theatrical shorts” went on to become pieces of craftwork worthy of Academy Awards.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Crime Spree

CSI’ had a busy 14th season—now on DVD

CSI_The 14th Season

CSI: The Fourteenth Season

DVD $64.99 (Paramount Home Video)

The 2013-2014 season of the long-running CBS crime procedural series featured stars Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue tracking down all kinds of trouble, celebrating their 300th episode with a “flashback” to the beginning, reuniting with a former team member (Marg Helgenberger), saying farewell to another (Paul Guilfoyle), and spinning off a special agent (Patricia Arquette) for her own new upcoming series, CBS: Cyber. Bonus content on this six-disc packaging of all 22 episodes includes cast interviews, commentaries, and spotlights on some of the season’s guest stars (Gene Simmons, Lea Thompson, Jordin Sparks, Robert Davi and Treat Williams).

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Start Your Chariots

Ben-Hur at 55

Ben-Hur Diamond Luxe Edition

Blu-ray $24.98

Director William Wyler’s 1959 towering epic, which swept up a record-setting 11 Oscars, starred Charlton Heston in the iconic title role as a Jewish nobleman whose dramatic odyssey included Roman captivity, banishment as a galley slave, an epic chariot race and encounters with Jesus Christ. In commemoration of its 55th anniversary, this deluxe re-release of includes a wealth of bonus content, including commentary by Heston and a film historian; a feature-length retrospective documentary; the 1925 silent version of the tale; screen tests; vintage documentaries; and more.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Feel The Draft

Kevin Costner leads all-star cast in behind-the-scenes drama

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Draft Day

Blu-ray $39.99, DVD $29.95 (Lionsgate)

 

Kevin Costner leads an all-star cast (including Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Sam Elliott, Sean Combs, Terry Crews, Tom Welling and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, making his feature film acting debut) in this behind-the-scenes drama about a pro football team manager navigating and negotiating his way through the hurdles—unhappy fans, a contentious coach and a bottom-line manager—of the NFL’s high-stakes Draft Day. Bonus features include a 58-minute making-of documentary, commentary, and a behind-the-scenes look at the real NFL draft.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Dead Set

TV’s top zombie show 4th-season Blu-ray has tasty bonus tidbits

Walking Dead Season 4 beauty shot5

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season

Blu-ray $79.99 / “Tree Walker” Limited Edition $129.99 (Anchor Bay)

Get your gore on with all 16 terror-ific episodes of the award-winning AMC cable-TV series about a post-apocalyptic world dominated by ravenous, flesh-eating zombies, and the human survivors competing to get back on top of the food chain. Bonus features include commentary from actors, producers and makeup supervisors, and several behind-the-scenes featurettes for the faithful. If you’re really a diehard fan, splurge for the Limited Edition, which comes encased in a molded “Tree Walker” zombie for an additional scary-good nightmare or two.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

 

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Retro Rockin’

‘Midnight Special’ is time capsule of TV’s ultimate ’70s concert series

The Midnight SpecialThe Midnight Special

$99.95 / 11-Disc Collector’s Edition; $59.95 / 6-Disc retail set; $12.95 / single DVD

(StarVista/Time Life)

A time capsule of television’s ultimate 1970s concert series, this rock ’n’ rollin’ retro roundup features hit-filled performances from a who’s who of pop, rock, country, soul and R&B stars (including Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Bee Gees, Jim Croce, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Denver, Peter Frampton, Linda Ronstadt, and The Doobie Brothers), comedy icons (George Carlin, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor), and bonus features on the show’s iconic radio-DJ host Wolfman Jack, the era’s colorful, star-studded fashion, recurring guest Helen “I Am Woman” Reddy, a 32-page, full-color booklet, and more. (midnightspecialdvds.com)

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

 

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It’s Miller Time

Will Arnett & JB Smoove star in hit dysfunctional-family sitcom

The Millers: The First Season

DVD $49.99 (CBS Home Entertainment)

TheMillers_S1_DVD_3D

Divorced reporter Nathan Miller (Will Arnett) was looking forward to the single life with his co-worker/wingman (JB Smoove)—until his parents (Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges) totally botched up his plans. One of the hottest, funniest new comedies of last fall’s TV season—which also featured guest appearances from Roseanne Barr, Andy Richter, Jeffrey Tambor, Jerry Van Dyke and others—comes packaged with several bonus features, including a behind-the-scenes look at the production and a mock-serious interview with Arnett.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Tour of Duty

Bullets fly in second action-packed ‘Jarhead’ military adventure

Jarhead 2

Jarhead 2

Blu-ray $34.98 (Universal 1440 Entertainment)

Inspired by the original Jarhead, based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford’s best-selling 2003 book about his experiences in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, this fictional direct-to-DVD spin-off features an all-new cast in another dusty, nitty-gritty combat adventure, this time as platoon mates stationed in Afghanistan who risk their lives to help a woman escape her Tailban pursuers. The movie stars Stephen Lang, Esai Morales and Cole Hauser, and gets a extra dose of authenticity with Josh Kelly, who served as a U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq before beginning his acting career.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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One Man Show

Tom Hardy owns the road in intense, riveting ‘Locke’

LockeLocke

Blu-ray $24.99 / DVD $19.98

British actor Tom Hardy is outstanding in this one-man show as a Ivan Locke, a husband, father and by-the-books construction supervisor, alone in a car, driving at night—and confronting, over his phone, a situation in his life that for the first time can’t be easily, neatly managed. Intense, riveting and powerfully cinematic, it’s a journey in which Locke learns that the road to becoming a better man is a long, sometimes dark and lonely one, with both endings and beginnings. Bonus features include a making of feature, and director commentary.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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