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What to Watch: Oct. 20-26, 2013

Vikings

CHICAGO – It’s a weird week at the video store (do they still have those?) or in the New Releases section of your favorite Video On Demand service. There’s some real junk that we’ll get to (“The Internship”) along with some flicks that are just too good not to break out into their own special Blu-ray reviews (“Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring” — both must-sees). And then there’s a unique array of catalog releases and TV seasons. Those could easily fall through the cracks if not for the informative What to Watch. All of these are new to Blu-ray, some for the first time and some in anniversary/special editions. At least one will grab your attention.

Blu-ray Review: Great Release For ‘The Pirates! A Band of Misfits’

The Pirates

CHICAGO – Aardman’s Animation “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” is a wonderfully clever slice of family entertainment that’s probably second to only “ParaNorman” when it comes to the best animated cinema of 2012. Sony has treated the film and its fans very well with an extras-packed special edition of the Peter Lord film that comes with a spectacular short film, 3D version, UltraViolet edition, and more. It’s one of the best family Blu-rays on New Releases shelves right now.

Film Review: Clever, Fun Adventures of ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’

CHICAGO – “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” has that incredible Aardman energy and elegance of works like “Wallace & Gromit” and “Chicken Run” along with some of the best voice work you’ll hear in an animated film all year.

Interview: Aardman Animation Founder Peter Lord Directs ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’

CHICAGO – Peter Lord may be the most important and influential animation producer of the last fifty years that you probably haven’t heard of. In the ’70s, he co-founded a company with Steven Broxton that would go on to change the form of stop-motion animation — Aardman Animation.

Blu-Ray Review: Absolutely Awful ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans?’

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

CHICAGO – The title of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was almost too easy for critics considering how horrendous this alleged comedy ended up. Yeah, we heard it sucked and the new DVD and Blu-ray release of this stinker only confirms those rumors.

Blu-Ray Round Up, Nov. 5, 2009: ‘Battlestar Galactica: The Plan,’ ‘Love Actually’

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round Up is back with two HD music releases, a beloved holiday movie from a director with a new comedy on the horizon (Richard Curtis, “Pirate Radio”), and a release that’s a must-own for fans of one of the most popular shows of the ’00s. This informative column is designed to let you know synopsis, technical specs, and features for titles that may have slipped under your radar. Pick your favorite.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kingpin Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

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