DVD & Blu-Ray Review

Blu-Ray Round Up: ‘Into the Wild,’ ‘Old School,’ ‘Tommy Boy,’ More

Into the Wild

CHICAGO – Paramount Home Video has scheduled two waves of catalog titles making their debut on Blu-Ray for the holiday season and the first set hits this week, just in time for you to finish up your Christmas shopping.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Mamma Mia!: The Movie’ Makes Musical Magic

Mamma Mia

CHICAGO – To some people, a “Sing-Along” version of “Mamma Mia!: The Movie” might sound like a threat. “No, Timmy, you can’t watch The Dark Knight for the hundredth time and if you don’t do your chores, I’m going to make you sing along with Pierce Brosnan again.” But “Mamma Mia!” has a very specific, very satisfied audience and they will be giddy with ABBA glee at the Blu-Ray release of their favorite movie of 2008.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Horton Hears a Who’ a Playful Movie, Average Blu-Ray

HortonBD

CHICAGO – Fox animation tries to keep pace with DreamWorks and Disney with their high budget, extras-packed release of “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who”, an entertaining animated adventure but a Blu-Ray release that does nothing to rise above average.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ an Awful Movie, Great Blu-Ray

Mummy 3

CHICAGO – The divide between the quality of a film itself and the Blu-Ray presentation it has been given has arguably never been wider than with Universal’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”. The special features are as comprehensive as any released this over-crowded holiday season and the transfer is one of Universal’s best of the year but the film itself is a complete disaster, one of the most excruciating theatrical releases of 2008.

Blu-Ray Review: Special Edition of ‘JFK’ Still Captivates

JFK Blu Ray

CHICAGO – As the 2008 awards season kicks into high gear, it’s a good time to catch up with one of the most acclaimed and nominated films of seventeen years ago, Oliver Stone’s “JFK” in a classy and well-packaged Blu-Ray edition from Warner Brothers.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Austin Powers Collection’ Asks You to Behave

Austin Powers

CHICAGO – There wouldn’t be a second and third “Austin Powers” movie if it wasn’t for the massive success of the first film on Home Video, so it seems appropriate that all three have been released in a Blu-Ray box set called the “Shagadelic Edition: Loaded with Extra Mojo” but Warner Brothers missed an opportunity to do anything more than a technical upgrade.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Dark Knight’ Excels Technically But Misses Special Features

Dark Knight BD

CHICAGO – The most highly anticipated movie of the summer was also the most highly anticipated Blu-Ray release of the year and that was before the film had even hit theaters. The hype paid off in critical acclaim and commercial success, and audiences should be satisfied with “The Dark Knight” on Blu-Ray, if not quite as blown away as they were at the multiplex.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ One of Most Extensive Releases of Season

Caspian

CHICAGO – “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” may have fallen flat at the box office this summer but it is sure to be a gigantic hit on Blu-Ray this holiday season. Not only are the words “family Disney movie” practically a license to print money around this time of year, but this studio has been one of the frontrunners in the race for the best at making Blu-Ray.

DVD Review: Criterion Release of Lars von Trier’s ‘Europa’ Hypnotizes

Europa2

CHICAGO – Lars von Trier opens his brilliant “Europa” by literally trying to hypnotize his audience. A barely lit train track moves slowly across the screen as Max von Sydow calmly incants a hypnotizing speech and countdown. “On the count of ten, you will be in Europa.” Is he speaking to the audience or to the man who just appeared on the screen when he says, “You are in Germany. The year is 1945.”?

DVD, Blu-Ray Round Up, Dec. 9, 2008: ‘Jet Li’s Fearless,’ ‘Man on Wire,’ ‘Swingtown’

Man on Wire poster

CHICAGO – Every week there are a few titles that fall through the cracks. They’re movies or TV shows that don’t really merit the kind of comprehensive coverage of something like “Lost: Season Four” or “Deadwood: The Complete Series”.

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