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DVD Round Up, Mar. 31, 2009: ‘Shuttle,’ ‘Donkey Punch,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Clone Wars’

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CHICAGO – Two TV shows and two indie horror movies comprise the final edition of the infamous HollywoodChicago.com Round-Up for March. Both shows already have cult followings and the movies are likely to build ones of their own.

There are several major titles hitting DVD and Blu-Ray this week - “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Seven Pounds,” “Marley & Me”. These are the minor ones that have hit stores in recent weeks or are just about to do so.

“Cracker: The Complete Collection” was released on March 10th, 2009.

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided” was released on March 24th, 2009.

Donkey Punch&Shuttle” will be released on April 7th, 2009.

“Cracker: The Complete Collection”

Cracker: The Complete Collection
Photo credit: Acorn Media

Who doesn’t want nearly a day’s worth of highly acclaimed mystery movies? “Cracker” with Robbie Coltrane is one of the most beloved series of mysteries of the last several decades. The show won dozens of awards and earned legions of fans on the BBC and in repeats on A&E. Fans of modern mysteries should definitely take a look at “Cracker”

“Cracker” stars Robbie Coltrane, Barbara Flynn, Geraldine Somerville, and Christopher Eccleston, and was created by Jimmy McGovern. The ten disc set includes 1993’s “The Mad Woman in the Attic,” “To Say I Love You,” & “One Day a Lemming Will Fly,” 1994’s “To Be a Somebody,” “The Big Crunch,” & “Men Should Weep,” 1995’s “Brotherly Love,” “Best Boys,” “True Romance,” 1996’s “White Ghost,” and 2006’s “A New Terror”.

“With more than 25 major awards - including BAFTAs for best drama series and best actor - “Cracker” ranks as one of British television’s most acclaimed crime dramas. Robbie Coltrane (“Harry Potter,” “Ocean’s Twelve”) truly inhabits his role as the brash and brilliant forensic psychologist, Dr. Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald. For the police, Fitz’s astonishing insights into the criminal mind prove invaluable, but his arrogance and boorishness make him barely tolerable as a colleague. For his family, Fitz’s self-destructive compulsions - scotch, sex, and gambling - bring only pain and turmoil. Complemented by an outstanding cast, Coltrane delivers a brilliant performance as a genius who can dissect a psychopath’s motives, but can’t keep his own demons at bay. These powerful crime dramas examine the pressures and prejudices of contemporary urban life and the violence that they spawn.”

“Cracker” is presented in various forms with some episodes in 4:3 full screen and some in 16:9 widescreen with all episodes in Dolby Digital Stereo. Special features include “Cracker: Behind the Scenes,” an intimate, 45-minute visit with the show’s cast and creative team.

“Donkey Punch”

Donkey Punch
Photo credit: Magnolia

The controversial “Donkey Punch” starts as a sun-kissed trip aboard a yacht but things turn ugly when drugs and sex get involved. The first half of “Donkey Punch” is dread-filled and interesting enough to nearly make this thriller worth seeing, definitely for hardcore horror nuts who have almost certainly heard the buzz building on it for months, but the second half devolves into a pretty traditional slasher pic. Just know that before you embark on this 99-minute tour and there may be enough to like here.

“Donkey Punch” stars Robert Boulter, Sian Breckin, Tom Burke, Nichola Burley, Julian Morris, Jay Taylor, and Jaime Winstone. It was written by Olly Blackburn & David Bloom and directed by Blackburn. It is not rated.

“After meeting at a nightclub in a Mediterranean resort, seven young adults overindulge in champagne and ecstasy. Completely letting go of their inhibitions, they capture their wild partying aboard a luxury yacht on video camera. But when their reckless sexual endeavors are taken too far, one of them dies in a freak accident. The remaining members of the group argue about what to do, which leads to a ruthless fight for survival.”

“Donkey Punch” is presented in widescreen with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks. Special features include deleted scenes, “Making of Donkey Punch,” a director interview, cast interviews, and director commentary.

“Shuttle”

Shuttle
Photo credit: Magnolia

Like “Donkey Punch,” “Shuttle” has a decent idea but it’s even more awkwardly executed. There are enough twists and turns to satisfy serious thriller or horror junkies, but don’t expect much and don’t take this ride unless you’re a huge fan of the genre.

“Shuttle” stars Peyton List, Cameron Goodman, Cullen Douglas, Dave Power, James Snyder, and Tony Curran. It was written & directed by Edward Anderson. It is rated R.

“When two friends return from a girls’ weekend vacation in Mexico, they find themselves stranded at the airport. Trying to get home safely, they board an airport shuttle for the short trip. But once their feet cross the threshold of the shuttle, a night that had started like any other turns terrifying, and the ride home becomes a descent into darkness.”

“Shuttle” is presented in widescreen with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks. Special features include “Behind the Scenes,” Deleted Scenes and Casting Sessions.

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided
Photo credit: Warner Brothers

“The Clone Wars” may have been one of the most disappointing movies of 2008 but the Cartoon Network series continues to build a loyal fan base. To try to bring fans of all things “Star Wars” to “The Clone Wars,” Warner Brothers has released a four-episode sampler set from the series of the first quartet of half-hour adventures of Anakin, Yoda, and the rest of the gang - “Ambush,” “Rising Malevolence,” “Shadow of Malevolence,” and “Destroy Malevolence”.

“The sensational animated TV series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” blasts off with 4 action-packed episodes in “A Galaxy Divided”. In the first chapter, Yoda’s top secret mission becomes a battle for survival, pitting the Jedi Master and three clone troopers against enemy assassin Asajj Ventress and her massive droid army. Episodes 2 to 4 track the colossal - and deadly - warship Malevolence. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker leads a clone squadron attack against the destructive vessel, damaging but not destroying it. When Padme Amidala and C-3PO fall into a trap and are taken hostage aboard the ship, Anakin and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi boldly infiltrate it in the hope of rescuing the prisoners and destroying the Malevolence from within. Experience the action and humor of the galaxy far, far away with these exciting adventures!”

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided” is presented in standard version, preserving the aspect ration of its original television exhibition, and accompanied by English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Surround 5.1 tracks. The DVD includes no special features.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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