Archive for August, 2008

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

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FOR THE ULTIMATE MOVIE BUFF: A MUST-OWN LIMITED EDITION COLLECTORS ITEM:
Additionally, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is also offering Nightmare buffs the opportunity to purchase a limited release of the Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD Set featuring an individually numbered hand-painted bust of Jack Skellington in all his gory glory equipped with a Jack’s “Sandy Claws” hat and beard, a sound chip that plays memorable lines from the film and a letter of authenticity.

FOR THOSE ON THE RUN:
And for those who plan to travel this coming holiday, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is adding a special “DisneyFile” Digital Copy of the movie — enabling DVD and Blu-ray owners to receive a digital version of The Nightmare Before Christmas in their choice of iTunes or Windows Media formats. DisneyFile Digital Copy is a fast and easy way to enjoy your favorite Disney movies, anytime, anywhere on your Mac, PC and/or compatible portable device.

ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition is an ingenious and inspired fable that cleverly mixes Halloween and Christmas for an eerily unexpected holiday celebration. The film brilliantly combines stop-motion animation with three-dimensional sets and superb graphics to create a stunningly original movie experience. With a Grammy® nominated soundtrack by Oscar® nominee Danny Elfman (Corpse Bride, “The Simpsons”), Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition is a modern holiday classic. Bored with his perennial role as Halloween Town’s frightening Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington wanders off and discovers the cheerful village of Christmas Town. Determined to shake things up in Halloween Town, he enlists the help of some mischievous trick-or-treaters to kidnap Santa Claus and takes over the job of delivering gifts to the children of the world himself. When his plan goes
awry, Jack attempts to restore Santa to his rightful place. But first, he must rescue St. Nick from the clutches of the evil Oogie Boogie!

DVD BONUS FEATURES:
• NEW! What’s This? Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour – Viewers choose the way
they want to tour Disneyland’s Holiday Haunted Mansion. “On Track” explores a tricked-out version of the Haunted Mansion, while “Off Track” reveals what went into creating all the creepy fun.


• NEW! Tim Burton’s Original poem narrated by Christopher Lee – Tim Burton’s poem
that inspired the creation of the movie. Now, the original verse comes to creepy life as
performed by legendary actor Christopher.Lee.
• NEW! Film Commentary – commentary by producer and writer Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman.
• NEW Introduction To Frankenweenie! – A new un-cut version introduction by Tim Burton.
• The Making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas - Go behind the scenes of the very first full-length stop motion animated movie with the filmmakers.
• The Worlds of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – Witness the creation of
the film’s richly imagined dreamscapes, including Halloween Town, Christmas Town and the Real World.
• Deleted Scenes
• Storyboard to Film Comparison
• Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters
• PLUS Tim Burton’s Complete Short Film Vincent

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I’ll admit it, I had never watched this movie before. No one believes me, but I didn’t see the big deal. Until I watched it. Now I get it. I loved it. Kids loved it. The packaging was cool as hell. Special features were awesome. Very nice piece of work.

The Blue Elephant

Monday, August 25th, 2008

 

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THE BLUE ELEPHANT is a heartfelt story that follows the adventures of one elephant and the many life lessons he learns along his journey. The film features all-star voice talent including EmmyÒ Award winner* Martin Short (Spiderwick Chronicles, Santa Claus 3), eight time EmmyÒ Award winner** Carl Reiner (“Father of the Pride,” Ocean’s Thirteen) and Miranda Cosgrove (“iCarly,” “Drake & Josh”).

 

THE BLUE ELEPHANT is the perfect movie to share with the family! The DVD also includes great bonus features that will give children a fun insight to the making of CGI animation! It includes a special tutorial on how to draw a character from the movie, as well as an exclusive behind the scenes look at the animation process, voice recordings and more!

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Took the kids a bit to get into this movie, but once they settled in, they seemed to enjoy it. I thought it was alright. Cute story.

Wayside School: Season One

Monday, August 25th, 2008

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Synopsis: Based on Louis Sachar’s bestselling book series, the comically absurd tales of students on the top floor of Wayside, a quirky grammar school that was accidentally built 30-stories high. Join the new kid Todd as he enters a school where cows roam free, class elections are decided by a game of dodgeball, and falling asleep in class is not only okay, but encouraged. As Todd’s new teacher Mrs. Jewls is fond of saying, “students can learn so much when they are asleep.” Wayside School is more than just another classroom comedy - it is a fantastic, defiant romp through the peculiar twist and turns of kid logic.

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This movie was really cute! The little ones enjoyed it a lot. This one came with a book as well, and MB4 has been reading it. Again, another movie that surprised me. Full of lots of funny bits.

The Presidents Collection

Monday, August 25th, 2008

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Synopsis: The acclaimed American Experience series presents The Presidents Collection comprised of 20th century presidential biographies profiling the lives and legacies of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

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I wasn’t too keen on watching this, to be honest. But, like most things, I was wrong. It was interesting. Older boys even watched parts of it. Nice way to humanize these men as the kids study them in school.

TRANSFORMERS: BlueRay

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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TRANSFORMERS, the $700+ million smash hit from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, in association with Hasbro, rolls out in a fully-loaded, two-disc Blu-ray presentation on September 2, giving fans the chance to discover that there’s definitely “More Than Meets The Eye” to the legendary AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS.  The highly-anticipated release is Paramount Home Entertainment’s first to incorporate BD Live capabilities.

“I’ve been waiting for TRANSFORMERS to be released on Blu-ray for a long time, and it was worth the wait,” said director Michael Bay. “This is the complete high-definition package for fans of this film - it looks stunning and really allows you to engage with this movie in new ways.  Remember, I told everyone Blu-ray is the best.”

TRANSFORMERS really delivers on all of the promises of the Blu-ray technology and we’re happy to finally bring Michael Bay’s true vision to life with this release,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. “Because of Blu-ray’s expanded capacity we are able to elevate the bit rate used for the picture as well as present uncompressed audio in the form of Dolby True HD.”

The massive production exploded onto screens last year from the creative minds of director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, taking audiences by storm and becoming the top-selling DVD of 2007.  The first live-action film based on the enduringly popular “robots in disguise”, TRANSFORMERS features the ultimate battle between good and evil, as the peace-loving AUTOBOTS seek to protect humanity from the evil forces of the DECEPTICONS.

The action-packed film stars Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Josh Duhamel (“Las Vegas”), Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers) and Megan Fox (“Hope & Faith”, as well as seasoned performers such as Jon Voight (National Treasure) and John Turturro (The Good Shepherd).  Still, the biggest stars are the TRANSFORMERS robots themselves – including fan favorites OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, BUMBLEBEE, RATCHET, JAZZ and more – brought to life by revolutionary VFX techniques developed by the innovative digital wizards at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

The TRANSFORMERS Blu-ray presentation offers consumers an incredible movie experience, packed full of bonus material that delivers excitement and fun for long-time fans, as well as for viewers who are new to the TRANSFORMERS universe.  Among the extensive special features, viewers can access commentary from director Michael Bay along with two documentaries that provide an in-depth look at the human elements of the film as well as the phenomenal robot stars.  Presented in multiple parts, “Our World” and “Their War” include segments with Steven Spielberg discussing his love for the franchise and the early concept for the movie.  The segments also cover the extensive casting process, the training, consultants and real-world weapons provided by the military to lend authenticity to the film, the evolution of the robots from Hasbro’s iconic toy line to big-screen stars, the unique vehicles created for the movie, a discussion with ILM’s legendary digital artists and much more.

The discs go even further behind-the-scenes with early sketch concepts of the robots and an in-depth look at the making of the SKORPONOK attack from writing and conceptualization through the creation of the stunning visual effects.

Out-Of-This World High-Def Content:

In addition to superior picture, sound and bonus material presented in high definition, the Blu-ray presentation provides consumers with sensational BD-Live features, allowing for compelling experiences around the film and the opportunity to maintain engagement with fans.  Features include a TRANSFORMERS Intelligence Mode in which an on-screen dashboard over the film provides information about the robots and weapons, their strength levels, character updates, a GPS Locator and more.  The TRANSFORMERS Profiler can be activated at any time during the film and allows viewers to access detailed information about the cast, voice talent and filmmakers including biographies and filmographies, as well as extensive production notes on the movie itself.  The Menubots can be downloaded through BD-Live and give fans the option to customize their in-movie menus with Optimus Prime, Megatron or Bumblebee themes.

            Additional on-disc features include the TRANSFORMERS H.U.D. (Heads Up Display), which lets viewers access running text commentary while watching the film and even view relevant behind-the-scenes footage in a picture-in-picture window; and the Tech Inspector, which delivers 360 detailed, high definition views of the heads, torsos and bases of six of the TRANSFORMERS with rotational capabilities.

TRANSFORMERS BLU-RAY

            The Blu-ray disc is presented in 1080p High Definition with English in Dolby True HD, and French and Spanish versions in 5.1 Dolby Digital.  The TRANSFORMERS Blu-ray includes the following special features:

Disc 1:

·         Feature film

·         Commentary by Director Michael Bay

·         TRANSFORMERS H.U.D. (Heads Up Display)—In this mode, viewers can access running text-based behind-the-scenes background information on the production during the feature.  Users can also watch relevant picture-in-picture b-roll and video with Bay, Spielberg and other filmmakers during select sequences.

·         BD-Live Features:

 

    • TRANSFORMERS Intelligence Mode
    • Menubots
    • TRANSFORMERS Profiler

Disc 2:

·         Our World

 

    • The Story Sparks - Steven Spielberg discusses his love for the franchise and early concept art for the film.  Explores how the writers adapted the cartoon into a live-action movie and why Michael Bay is the perfect director for the film.
    • Human Allies - A look at how the actors were selected and their experiences on the set.
    • I Fight Giant Robots - An exploration of the military training that Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson underwent for their roles and the various stunts that the actors were asked to perform.
    • Battleground - A piece on the senior officials from the Department of Defense and Air Force who consulted on the film to give it authenticity and the key locations that the U.S. government provided access to.

·         Their War

 

    • Rise of the Robots - Explores the interaction between Hasbro designers and Michael Bay to bring the toy line roaring to life.
    • AUTOBOTS Roll Out - Michael Bay discusses working with Chevy and its designers and the modifications that were made to the cars seen in the film. 
    • DECEPTICONS Strike - The film’s military advisors discuss the “toys” they allowed the production to borrow: F-22 Raptors, Ospreys and A-10 Warthogs.
    • Inside the AllSpark - ILM’s digital artists discuss the challenges of bringing the TRANSFORMERS to life.

·       TRANSFORMERS Tech Inspector - Gives viewers an unprecedented look at the TRANSFORMERS robots through the exquisitely detailed models created by ILM artists.  Users can zoom in on each detail for a closer examination and pause and change the rotation of the models.

·       More Than Meets The Eye

 

    • From Script to Sand: The SKORPONOK Desert Attack - An in-depth look at the making of this particularly epic and challenging scene from initial storyboarding through production and visual effects.
    • Concepts - Early sketch concepts of the robots.
    • Theatrical Trailers

Synopsis:                                                                       

From director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg comes a thrilling battle between the AUTOBOTS and the DECEPTICONS.  When their epic struggle comes to Earth, all that stands between the evil DECEPTICONS and ultimate power is a clue held by Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).  Join the fight for mankind in the extraordinary adventure that “features some of the most spectacular action and effects sequences of any movie of its kind and will appeal to the kid in all of us” (Claudia Puig, USA Today).

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As always, we love Transformers. Watching it on Blue-Ray was especially nice.  MD and the older boys loved it. Wee one was just happy to see TRANSFORMERSTRANSFORMERSTRANSFORMERS. I think that’s how many times he yelled it in my ear.

Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus / Camp Rock

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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Rock your way through summer camp without leaving all the comforts home in CAMP ROCK: EXTENDED ROCK STAR EDITION! The Jonas Brothers and Disney’s hottest rising star, Demi Lovato, live the dream of becoming rock stars! Miley Cyrus proves that one girl really can have it all in HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS 3-D CONCERT MOVIE! Couldn’t get tickets to her sold out tour? Miley performs in your living room! ‘Tweens love the style and moves of both the Jonas Brothers and Miley/Hannah, and for good reason- they can really rock! These musical sensations have kids of all ages dancing and singing along! CAMP ROCK: EXTENDED ROCK STAR EDITION and HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST BOTH WORLDS 3-D CONCERT MOVIE rock their way onto DVD August 19th!

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I guess I underestimated the power that Miley Cyrus has on little ones. The four youngest watched both of these movies. They haven’t asked to see them again, but holding their attention the first time was pretty shocking. I thought they were ‘ok’, but they weren’t really for me anyway.

Smart People

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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Despite their high IQ’s, the Wetherhold family has a lot to learn in the critically acclaimed SMART PEOPLE. This Sundance Festival favorite stars Dennis Quaid as Professor Lawrence Wetherhold, a curmudgeonly tenured professor. Ellen Page plays his sarcastic and studious daughter. Sarah Jessica Parker is Wetherhold’s former student and love interest; and Thomas Hayden Church plays his “less academic” estranged brother. From the producer of Sideways SMART PEOPLE comes to DVD on August 12th. Bonus features include interviews with the cast, producers, and crew; writer and director audio commentaries; deleted scenes; and exclusive footage from the film’s premiere at the 2008 Sundance Festival.

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MD and I watched this. Was better than I thought it’d be. Not sure what I was expecting, but I found I actually sorta liked it.

Son of Rambow

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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I didn’t receive any copy for this title, so I guess I need to find some …. ok here you go:

A runaway audience smash at the Sundance Film Festival, SON OF RAMBOW is a hilariously fresh and visually inventive take on friendship, family, film heroes and the death-defying adventures of growing up in the video age. It all begins in 1980s Britain, when young Will Proudfoot, raised in isolation among The Brethren, a puritanical religious sect in which music and TV are strictly forbidden, encounters something beyond his wildest fantasies: a pirated copy of RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD. His virgin viewing of the iconic thriller blows his mind – and rapidly expanding imagination – wide open. Now, Will sets out to join forces with the seemingly diabolical school bully, Lee Carter, to make their own action epic, devising wildly creative, on-the-fly stunts, not to mention equally elaborate schemes for creating a movie of total commitment and non-stop thrills while hiding out from The Brethren. But when school popularity finally descends on Will and Lee in the form of, oui, the super-cool French exchange student, Didier Revol, their remarkable new friendship and precious film are pushed, quite literally, to the breaking point … (apple.com)

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Let’s see… the older boys all liked it and the little ones lost interest in 5 seconds. I watched it, but it was just alright I guess. Cute story line, but well, nothing really bad to say - it just wasn’t for me.

Comedy Central’s Kenny VS Spenny

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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DVD Features:

• Commentary: Audio Commentary
• Additional Scenes: Lola
• Featurette: Kenny Answers Fan Mail ( KvS_blog_fart, KvS_blog_meat)
• Additional Scenes: Fire Chief Pillgore
• Additional Scenes: Kenny and Spenny Outtakes
• Additional Scenes: Sheriff Pillgore
• Trailers: Kenny and Spenny’s Trailer Uncensored
• Additional Scenes: Never-Before-Seen Bonus Competition:
• Additional Scenes: Dr. Pillgore
• Additional Scenes: Silencio Bear Fight
• Featurette: Kenny and Spenny: Men on the Street
• Featurette: Weng Weng 2.0
• Additional Scenes: Spenny at the Dentist
• Additional Scenes: The Bath
• Featurette: The Jews Did It
• Featurette: Badass of Zebloc 5
• Additional Scenes: Jungle Fever
• Additional Scenes: Kenny at Dutch Dreams
• Featurette: Go-Go Boy
• Additional Scenes: Pigeons
• Featurette: Robot Turkey Boy
• Additional Scenes: Smoking Coughing Fit
• Featurette: Angry Lobster Man
• Additional Scenes: Spenny Pees on the Stairs
• Trailers: Hotz TV Trailer
• Trailers: Confessions of a Porn Addict Trailer
• Additional Scenes: Spenny with Fat Guy
• Additional Scenes: Kenny and Mom on Couch
• Music Videos: Let It Pee
• Music Videos: New Wave Disco Explosion
• Music Videos: The Tampon is Sour
• Other: South Park — It’s Just Gone
• Other: The Colbert Report — Tip/Wag Afghanistan
• Other: Lil’ Bush — Spring Break
• Other: Reno 911! — Terry’s Fiancee

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I did not know what this was when I said I’d review it, and now I know. Barf. The older kids loved it, but I couldn’t even stand 15 minutes of it. Save yourself.

Transformers Season One

Monday, August 4th, 2008

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Synopsis: In Transformers Season One, the Autobots swear to protect the ALLSPARK, their adopted new home Earth, and an 8-year old girl named Sari Sumdac, who not only becomes an honorary Autobot, but also a vital component of the team and the keeper of THE KEY, which serves an emergency power supply and healing source for the Autobots. While Optimus Prime and his team of Autobots are out fighting Earth-bound super villains and basking in their newfound superhero status the real threat, the Decepticons, are out there regrouping, preparing to return with a vengeance and will stop at nothing to get their hands on the ALLSPARK and THE KEY.

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MB5 did a happy dance when he saw this, but it just barely kept his attention. He liked the pace of the actual movie, and these animated versions pale a bit compared to those. He still loves them though, and carries them around like prized possessions.