DVD RELEASES – MARCH 16TH, 2010

Movies on DVD

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Vampires and werewolves are just way too hot. Just ask the fans of Twilight Saga: New Moon. In this second installment in the vampire series, sexy vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson), says goodbye to his human honey, Bella (Kristen Stewart), after she cuts her finger at a birthday party and drives his family crazy with hunger. Who mends Bella’s broken heart? The local werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who is also a brawny babe.

Special Features: Includes revealing audio commentary with Director Chris Weitz and Editor Peter Lambert; a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary; band rehearsal footage with Muse, music videos from Death Cab for Cutie, Anya Marina and Mutemath.

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Disney’s first black animated princess highlights The Princess and the Frog, an animated feature set in New Orleans. Beautiful animation proves that 2-D is still alive and well at the studio. Plus, you gotta love a talking frog.

Special Features: Deleted scenes, the Princess Portraits Game, audio commentary by the filmmakers and a music video by Ne-Yo.

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Did You Hear About the Morgans? didn’t do too well in theaters, but it’s certain the studio is hoping for a second life in home video. Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker star as Paul and Meryl Morgan, a couple who witness a murder and are relocated by a witness protection program.

Special Features: Deleted scenes and outtakes, commentary with Director Marc Lawrence and stars Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, Cowboys and Cosmopolitans: the stars of Did You Hear About the Morgans? Park Avenue meets the prairie: the fashions of Did You Hear About the Morgans?

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A new employee on an armored truck is talked into stealing a truck with $42 mil by his co-workers in Armored. As you’d imagine, there are problems that divide the group up. Great cast including Jean Reno, Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne.

Special Features: Crash Course: Stunts, Planning the Heist: Making Of, Armored and Underground: Production Design featurettes as well as commentary with the producer and cast.

TV on DVD

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Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher who begins a life of crime after finding out he has terminal cancer

Special Features: Audio commentary with the show’s creator Vince Gilligan and cast including Bryan Cranston, Making of Breaking Bad mini doc, screen tests, deleted scenes, Vince Gilligan‘s photo gallery, Inside Breaking Bad featurette, AMC Shootout interview with Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston.

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Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season is also out on DVD. Perfect timing for those of us who want to get up to speed before the season three premiere on March 21st.

Special Features: The writers’ lab…an interactive guide to the elements of an episode (this feature is exclusive to blu-ray only), cast and crew commentaries, deleted scenes, Inside Breaking Bad…13 featurettes on the making of each episode, season one recap (great idea if you don’t get season one), Negro y azul, Better call saul commercials, 11 behind the scenes featurettes including Cop, Cop talk with Dean Norris, a gag reel, Walt’s warning, six Breaking Bad webisodes, season three sneak peek, plus another Vince Gilligan‘s photo gallery.

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Destination Truth: Season One follows Josh Gates around the globe as he investigates the supernatural. Love this show for often debunking the claims that have no merit.

Special Features: Extreme travel tips, audio commentary with the reality show’s host, Josh Gates.

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South Park: The Complete Thirteenth Season is Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated series about four way-too-worldly grade school kids who live in the dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

Special Features: Seven deleted scenes HD, inside XBox: a behind-the-scenes tour of South Park studios.

“PRINCESS AND THE FROG” – 2D ANIMATION IS NO TOAD

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Anika Noni Rose is an admitted Disneyphile, so getting to star as the first black princess in The Princess and the Frog was doubly rewarding for the actress.

 Rose is a big fan of the finished product and believes the look could not have been accomplished had the animators relied too much on computer generated images rather than a hand-drawn effort.

 Besides, Rose says, what better way to really suspend disbelief than by a creating a dreamy world.

 Click onto media bar for Anika Noni Rose’s earnest gushing over the animation in The Princess and the Frog.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

 The Princess and the Frog is currently in theaters.

BOX OFFICE CROAKS! ‘FROG’S’ GREEN WINS WEEKEND

BOX OFFICE CROAKS! 'FROG'S' GREEN WINS WEEKEND

BOX OFFICE CROAKS! 'FROG'S' GREEN WINS WEEKEND

This frog’s going to need legs.

Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” opened to $25 million, a relatively soft start that’s in line with the last two releases by its Burbank-based animation studio, “Bolt” and “Meet the Robinsons,” which were financial disappointments.

However, by opening “Princess” in the first half of December, typically a slow time for moviegoing, Disney is aiming to set up its first hand-drawn animated feature in six years to have “legs,” an industry term for slowly declining ticket sales, through the holidays. In that regard, the picture’s average audience grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore, is a good sign about word of mouth, which will be crucial to its ultimate performance.

Disney is undoubtedly hoping the movie will play like its early November release, “A Christmas Carol,” which has recovered from a soft opening of $30.1 million to accumulate $124.5 million and counting. This weekend the 3-D holiday tale’s ticket sales declined only 12%.

Warner Bros.’ “Invictus” got off to a similarly unimpressive start, collecting $9 million for the weekend. But the South African historical drama, which stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, is also being positioned to benefit from strong word of mouth in the coming weeks, along with likely awards recognition starting with the Golden Globe nominations Tuesday.

The movie cost Warner and its financing partner Spyglass Entertainment about $60 million to produce.

“The Blind Side” continued its fantastic run on a relatively slow box-office weekend, declining only 23% and coming in second place with $15.5 million. Total domestic sales to date for the inspirational drama, which Alcon Entertainment produced for $35 million, are $150.2 million.

Paramount opened “The Lovely Bones,” directed by Peter Jackson and based on the bestselling book, to $116,000 at three theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Its per-theater average of less than $39,000 is a modest start for a movie in limited release with hopes of generating strong buzz and awards recognition. It was undoubtedly hurt by mostly negative reviews. Paramount paid $65 million to produce the movie, which will be released nationwide in January.

Weinstein Co. didn’t generate big business for its new limited-release drama “A Single Man,” despite much stronger reviews than for “Bones.” It grossed $216,000, with an average of $24,000 per theater.

However, “Up in the Air” continues to play very well as Paramount expanded it from 15 to 72 theaters and collected a solid $2.5 million. Its total box office after two weekends is just over $4 million.

IN THEATERS – NOVEMBER 27TH, 2009

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Remember the movie Mortal Kombat? I certainly remember parts of it…while trying to nap. But the noise of the film kept waking me up. Well, that’s Ninja Assassin, a sort of video game in flick form. The basis of the story is a young ninja who returns to the orphanage where he was raised, which leads to a confrontation with a fellow ninja. For gamers there is a ton of blood spurting and body parts flying, the problem is, there is no controller – and this movie needed a controller desperately.


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Hallelujah, Disney’s first black princess comes in dazzling hand-drawn color in The Princess and the Frog. There is much to love about the pic beginning with the time-honored animation. It’s a return to the type of spectacular musical films that brought about the animation renaissance for the studio beginning with The Little Mermaid and has the strong story elements of their classic early films like Pinocchio and Cinderella. The Princess and the Frog was the brainchild of Aladdin directors, John Musker and Ron Clements. Like all of the Disney animated movie, there is a strong message – this one is steeped in responsibility. Plus is great to see that 2-D animation is still alive and well at the studio.


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If you liked Wild Hogs, you’re probably going to enjoy Old Dogs. Same idea, different circumstances as two friends/business partners find themselves watching over a pair of twins while they’re on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives. Kids, kid activities, the zoo and two parent-challenged guys…what’s not funny about that? Let’s hope everyone digs slapstick. Old Dogs stars Robin Williams, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Seth Green. Travolta and Preston’s daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta and newcomer Conner Rayburn play the children.


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Me and Orson Welles is set in 1937 and is Director Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age story about a teen (Zac Efron) who wriggles his way into the Mercury Theater under the direction of Orson Welles (Christian McKay). The film is hardly earth shattering in content, but it’s nice to see Efron trying to stretch past his High School Musical image. However, it’s Christian McKay who rises well above the level of the movie.


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What a way to usher in the Thanksgiving holiday than with a post-Apocalyptic film like The Road. A father (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) struggle to survive with nothing more than a pistol to defend themselves against a bunch of cannibal creeps on the way to the warmer southern regions. Tough to watch, but occasionally worth the depressing adventure.

ON THIS DAY IN MOVIES: ALADDIN

On this day in 1992, WALT DISNEY PICTURES released ALADDIN. Directed by RON CLEMENTS and JOHN MUSKER (whose new film, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG opens today, exactly seventeen years later). The musical romance of street urchin ALADDIN and PRINCESS JASMINE featured tunes by ALAN MENKIN and the late HOWARD ASHMAN (not to mention an amazing ROBIN WILLIAMS performane as The Genie) and played more like a Broadway show than