If you were a fan of “The Descendants,” the author of the book, Kaui Hart Hemmings, will be hosting a group chat on social networking site GoodReads next Tuesday, March 13.
To support the upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD release of the film adaptation of her book the author will be answering any questions posted here.
Oscar-nominated “The Descendants” tells the story of a man trying to repair his relationships with his daughters, while dealing with the emotional storm that follows after his wife is in a fatal accident. As the family prepares their goodbyes to the comatose mother, the father must also come to terms with the discovery of his wife’s affair.
If you are not a member of Good Reads, it is easy to join. The chat will be held all day.
Be sure to pick up the Blu-Ray or DVD on the 13th as well.
In the Disney musical “Lady and the Tramp,” Lady is a dog that has a nice home that spoils her. But when a new baby takes up the attention of her owners, Lady feels shoved aside and adventures off on a journey that introduces her to the rebellious street dog, Tramp. The two are an unlikely couple from different sides of the tracks, but Lady soon finds herself falling for the adventurous mutt.
“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic love story that’s being released just in time for Valentine’s Day. Unlike many other Disney films from this era, “Lady and the Tramp” is an original tale — no classic fairytales or historical legends served as the basis for the story. Instead, characters and story lines were inspired by the lives of the creators and, of course, their pets. That’s what makes so many of the Blu-ray features on the Diamond edition so special — you really get a good glimpse at the inspirations and the original ideas that led to this story. Did you know that this was originally going to be a short series of adventures? That’s just one of the many fun facts the features reveal about this film.
A DVD release of the film only came out a few years ago, so is the Blu-Ray Diamond Edition worth it? Yes. It not only includes all the original bonus features included with the first DVD release (PuppyPedia, The Siamese Cat Song and Lady’s Pedigree), but it also has a whole new batch of features. The best of these new additions is Disney’s Second Screen.
Second Screen syncs the Blu-ray film with a computer or a tablet device. As you watch the film with the commentary, the device, or “second screen” matches up extra enhanced content with the film. I used a computer and I was really impressed with how smooth the syncing was and how easy it was to keep the film moving at the pace that I wanted to move at. Some of the second screen features were original artwork stills, which were amazing to explore with this film. The scene backgrounds are so detailed! There are artist flip books, fun facts, and quotes. I found myself pausing the film as I played a picture puzzle on the second screen or as I tried one of the character sketchbooks. This is a great feature that is interesting for both adults and kids.
My only disappointment with the Blu-ray were the deleted scenes. There are three, lengthy deleted scenes and a short unused song. The song, I didn’t mind. But the scenes were in the original sketch form with a narrator filling in gaps in the scene’s stories. These aren’t so much deleted scenes as they are deleted doodles. So while I started off interested, 10 minutes of a deleted sketch series tried my patience. I would have liked to have seen the artwork and animation finalized for these cut moments and then left the sketches to another Blu-ray or Second Screen feature.
Overall, the quality of this restored film is fantastic. Even without the added features, this is a fine addition to any film collection. “Lady and the Tramp” was released on Disney Blu-ray & DVD on February 7, 2012.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds… who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.
Downtown Abbey: Season 2
Season 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning Downton Abbey returns as The Great War rages across Europe, and not even the serene Yorkshire countryside is free from its effects. The men and women of Downton are doing their part both on the front lines and the home front, but the intensity of war only serves to inflame the more familiar passions love, loss, blackmail, and betrayal.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrive at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempts to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents – and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree – going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar, through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven – and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.
“Real Steel” is a movie that surprised me a little bit. When I first saw the trailers, I must admit that I wasn’t particularly keen on seeing it, but when I saw it in theaters I was pleasantly surprised. The movie still has some slight narrative quirks and doesn’t always know what it wants to be, but it is a pretty good movie with some very interesting robot effects. This would be a great movie for the whole family.
Video and Audio Quality:
I saw no major image issues with the picture, and the audio was very good. The picture is rich with detail and texture especially noticeable in the robots, and the sound keeps up with the action during fight sequences extremely well.
“Real Steel” Second Screen: Ringside with Director Shawn Levy: This is a really cool special feature that allows you to link your iPad (or laptop) to your Blu-Ray player. It will push additional content to your iPad while the movie plays with a director’s commentary. Every once in a while the movie will pause and give you a behind-the-scenes look at various things in the movie like the truck or the robots. I highly recommend watching this, especially if you have an iPad.
Deleted and Extended Scenes: There are a number of interesting scenes here and I like that they had the director introduce each scene and explain why it was cut.
Making of Metal Valley: This is a 14-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie’s most elaborate scene. It is very interesting as they do a good job of showing you what exactly goes in to making a movie (4 days of work turns in to 15 seconds on the screen). A must-watch.
Building the Bots: A brief, and not particularly thorough look at how they made the robots for the movie. I was a little bit disappointed in this because I really liked the robot design in the movie and wish they would have gone in to a little bit more detail about how they made things.
Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman’s Champ: This was a short, but interesting special feature about the former boxing champion’s influence on the movie.
Countdown to the Fight: The Charlie Kenton Story: This is a fake ESPN style feature about Hugh Jackman’s character. It just comes off a little bit corny.
Most of the special features are short or not very interesting, but the Second Screen mode is really excellent. My only complaint would be that the behind-the-scenes features cut into the Second Screen mode are not playable on their own.
If you are a fan of “Real Steel” this is an excellent Blu-Ray to own. Fun for the whole family.
“Real Steel” was released on Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital Copy on January 24, 2012.
Operation Wedded Bliss: will Chuck and Sarah finally become Mr. and Mrs. Superspy? Season Four’s 24 laugh- and action-filled episodes include the duo’s romance from proposal to planning to the big day. Yes, Chuck’s in love, but he has more than romance (and the Intersect) on his mind. His mom comes in from the cold, escaping the evil control of an international arms dealer to become part of the Nerd Herder-turned-spy’s life – and making it even tougher for Chuck to keep his professional and personal worlds separate. On some days, Chuck outwits assassins and out-martial-arts hordes of black-clad bad guys. On others, he pursues Sarah and prepares to become a doting uncle. On most days, he does it all!
For Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale Charlie Day), the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few too many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers…permanently. There’s only one problem: even the best-laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them.
Get ready to score extra thrill points and mega-laughs with this irresistible family comedy based on the best-selling book series! Feisty, fearless Judy Moody is looking forward to the most super-duper, double-rare summer vacation ever. The trouble is, her parents are called out of town and her BFFs are going away with their own families. That leaves Judy trapped at home with her pesky brother Stink under the watchful eye of Aunt Opal (Heather Graham). But with a little playful planning – and a lot of imagination – Judy turns a snoresville summer into the way-not-boring adventure of a lifetime!
Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as BADLANDS, DAYS OF HEAVEN and THE THIN RED LINE, THE TREE OF LIFE is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950′s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.
All the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James).
Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get the girl of his
dreams is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job to win her over. The animals, in a panic, decide
to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin
from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship – animal style! Also featuring the voices of Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone.
You saw them this summer, now you can ad these great films/shows to your disc collections. Here’s a snapshot of some of this weeks anticipated releases. Be sure to check for our Midcoast Review links to get our scoop on what we thought about the film.
Everything Must Go
“Will Ferrell shines” (Detroit News) as Nick, a career salesman who loses his wife and his job in the worst day of his life. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line – or, rather, on the lawn – as he moves himself and all his possessions to his front yard. Based on the short story by Raymond Carver, EVERYTHING MUST GO is “Will Ferrell as you’ve never seen him” (Rolling Stone) in this unflinching comedy about what happens after life falls apart.
Fringe: The Complete Third Season
Fringe: The Complete Third Season.Immersive. Compelling. Hypnotic. Brilliantly imaginative. Endlessly thrilling. Pick your term. The mystery of the universes deepens in the critically acclaimed 22-episode third season of television’s most exciting sci-fi. The Fringe team escapes from the parallel universe – except for Olivia, trapped in the other world and replaced in ours by her double, who turns Peter and Olivia’s tentative relationship into a love affair. Then Olivia returns, bonds of trust fray, ever more bizarre and terrifying phenomena occur and secrets that stretch back to 1985 threaten to destroy our universe. Or theirs. “Fringe continues its hot streak known as Season 3. It’s been firing on all cylinders all season” (Andrew Hanson, LATimes.com).
An action-packed suspense-thriller starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones), Hanna is “an exuberant chase thriller that pulses with energy!” (Justin Chang, Variety)
Raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna’s upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence, in a movie critics are calling “exhilarating, audacious and boldly original!” (Karen Durbin, Elle)
Starring Academy Award winner Al Pacino (The Godfather) in an unforgettable performance as one of the most ruthless gangsters ever depicted on film and co-starring Academy Award nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys), Scarface is the rags-to-riches story of Cuban immigrant Tony “Scarface” Montana, who finds wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreams…at a price he never imagined. From acclaimed director Brian DePalma (Carlito’s Way) and Oscar-winning writer Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July), this action-packed Blu-ray features an all-new eye-popping remastered picture, explosive 7.1 audio track and never-before-seen bonus features. One of the most influential gangster epics of all time, the Scarface Limited Edition Blu-ray also includes collectible SteelBook packaging, a digital copy of the film, a DVD of the 1932 version of Scarface plus 10 original art cards for a limited time only.
X-Men: First Class brings together the epic scale and action of a summer blockbuster with a character-driven story that unveils the beginning of the X-Men saga – and a secret history of the ColdWar and our world at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. As the first class discovers, harnesses, and comes to terms with their formidable powers, alliances are formed that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe. Like all great X-Men stories, X-Men: First Class takes on ambitious themes and issues whileoffering a rich and personal look at an unusual superhero team.