Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

DVD Roundup: 12.19.06

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:

Extras Rating:

Movie Details:
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The Promise
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Dong-Kun Jang as Kunlun
Hiroyuki Sanada as General Guangming
Cecilia Cheung as Princess Qingcheng
Nicholas Tse as Wuhuan
Ye Liu as Snow Wolf
Hong Chen as Goddess Manshen
Cheng Qian as The Emperor

Special Features:
"The Making of The Promise"
Additional scenes
Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Chinese and English Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 103 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"From the award-winning director of Farewell My Concubine and cinematographer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon comes a swirling, sword-clanging new legend in martial arts lore, the epic tale of a destiny foretold, of battles fought... and of a love to be won.

A slave who can outrun stampeding bulls... battling warriors who soar from treetop to treetop... awe-inspiring feats of martial-arts mastery... breathtaking visuals and heart-stopping action: All intertwine in this haunting tale of a beautiful princess torn between destiny and desire. The Promise (a Golden Globe® Nominee as 2005's Best Foreign Language Film) soars with gravity-defying thrills. Prepare to be amazed, astonished and carried to new heights by "a romantic epic of exceptional emotional resonance... one of the most beautiful films imaginable" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times). "

The Promise is rated PG-13 for stylized violence and martial arts action and some sexual content.

CS Comment:
Martial arts fans will want to check out this Golden Globe nominee.

Available Tuesday, December 19



The Wicker Man
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG-13 and Unrated

Starring:
Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus
Ellen Burstyn as Sister Summersisle
Kate Beahan as Sister Willow
Frances Conroy as Dr. Moss
Molly Parker as Sister Rose/Sister Thorn
Leelee Sobieski as Sister Honey
Diane Delano as Sister Beech
Michael Wiseman as Pete
Erika-Shaye Gair as Rowan
Christa Campbell as Truck Stop Waitress
Emily Holmes as Station Wagon Mom
Zemphira Gosling as Station Wagon Girl
Matthew Walker as Sea Plane Pilot
Christine Willes as Sister Violet
Sophie Hough as Daisy

Special Features:
Unrated version features an alternate end sequence not shown theatrically

Commentary by writer-director Neil LaBute, co-stars Leelee Sobieski and Kate Beahan, editor Joel Plotch, and costume designer Lynette Meyer

Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 102 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"'We're different here.' Policeman Edward Malus doesn't know just how terrifyingly different the people of Summersisle are, but he will. He's come to the private island to find a missing child. And each step of his search draws him deeper into a web of pagan ritual and deadly deceit -- and closer to The Wicker Man.

Nicolas Cage plays Malus, Ellen Burstyn portrays the eerie matriarch Sister Summersisle, and Neil LaBute writes and directs this shattering tale of an unspeakable horror. Weary and increasingly on edge, Malus faces a defiant, unfamiliar world where his badge and gun mean nothing... and his presence on the isle means everything. It is the Day of Death and Rebirth on Summersisle. No one can escape."

"The Wicker Man" is rated PG-13 for disturbing images and violence, language and thematic issues.

CS Comment:
Now's your chance to view the remake of the horror classic. Nicolas Cage fans might wanna check this one out no matter what.

Available Tuesday, December 19



Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Pluto Volume Two
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
"Master Class" -- Randy Cartwright Discusses "Bone Trouble"; Andreas Deja Discusses
"Hawaiian Holiday"
"Pluto's Process" -- Deconstruction of "Pluto's Judgement Day"; Pencil Test: "Pluto's Judgement Day"
Bonus Shorts: "Bath Day" and "Figaro and Frankie"
Galleries

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: 227 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

"Mickey's best pal Pluto continues to light up the screen as leading dog in more of his adventure-filled cartoons. Putting the spotlight on his comical antics from 1947 through 1951, this volume includes the inspired "Bone Bandit" of 1948 and the 1951 classic "Plutopia." The treats continue with three rarely seen shorts featuring Pluto's feline nemesis Figaro, and a revealing exploration of a classic Pluto short. Plus, contemporary Disney master animators discuss their favorite Pluto moments and the art and craft behind them. It's no wonder Mickey's faithful pup became top dog around the world. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come."

"Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Pluto Volume Two" is not rated.

CS Comment:
This is a great DVD for kids and animation fans alike!

Available Tuesday, December 19



Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
Silly Symphonies Rediscovered
Animators at Play
Galleries
Audio Commentaries

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: 316 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

"From the beginning, Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies series was a mecca for innovation and unabashed creativity. This second volume of the revolutionary series boasts some of Disney's rarest cartoons, including over a dozen never before released on DVD or video. Among the many animation treasures celebrated here are the never-before-released Hell's Bells and the original unedited Mother Goose Goes Hollywood, plus the Academy Award®-winning Three Orphan Kittens (Best Cartoon, 1935). Enriching the collection even further are several optional commentaries by some of the world's foremost animation and film music experts, who also take part in a lively conversation about the series that let Walt Disney push the envelope of animation art to unimaginable flights of fantasy. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come"

Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies is not rated.

CS Comment:
Disney fans will definitely want to complete their DVD collections with more of the Silly Symphonies.

Available Tuesday, December 19



Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Featuring the Hardy Boys
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
"From Dixon to Disney"
"The Hardy Boys Unmasked"
Galleries

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: 269 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

"The Mickey Mouse Club's magical mix of entertainment was so captivating to television's first generation of children, watching it became a daily ritual. And so the first day of the show's second season, millions thrilled to the debut of a new adventure series, The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure. All the cliff-hanging suspense unfolds right here, including the entire Mickey Mouse Club episode that introduced the series. Plus, you'll get clued in to the truth behind the novels' author Franklin W. Dixon, and you'll witness the reunion of Tim Considine (Frank Hardy) and Tommy Kirk (Joe Hardy) at the scene of the crime -- Stage 2 at the Disney Studio."

"Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Featuring the Hardy Boys" is not rated.

CS Comment:
I didn't realize the Hardy Boys had been on the Mickey Mouse Club so extensively. Fans should be glad to have the episodes compiled all in one place.

Available Tuesday, December 19



Walt Disney Treasures: Your Host, Walt Disney
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
Galleries
"My Dad, Walt Disney" Featuring Diane Disney Miller
"I Captured the King of the Leprechauns"
"Disneyland USA at Radio City Music Hall"
Working with Walt

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: 388 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

"Celebrate Walt Disney and his magical vision with this look back at several of the most memorable hours from his groundbreaking television shows. As its friendly, approachable host, Disney endeared himself to millions and became much more than an icon for family entertainment. He became Uncle Walt. Join Walt as he celebrates the rededication of Disneyland with a parade of celebrities and guest stars, the fourth anniversary of his weekly show featuring a surprise party arranged by the Mouseketeers, and a tenth anniversary program showcasing some of his talented Imagineers at work. And in a rare interview, Diane Disney Miller shares warm and personal memories of growing up with the man we all admired from afar."

"Walt Disney Treasures: Your Host, Walt Disney" is not rated.

CS Comment:
If you're interested in the life of Walt Disney, this is a definitive DVD for your collection.

Available Tuesday, December 19



Step Up
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Channing Tatum as Tyler Gage
Jenna Dewan as Nora Clark
Damaine Radcliff as Mac Carter
De'Shawn Washington as Skinny Carter
Mario as Miles Darby
Drew Sidora as Lucy Avila
Rachel Griffiths as Director Gordon
Josh Henderson as Brett Dolan
Tim Lacatena as Andrew
Alyson Stoner as Camille
Heavy D as Omar
Deirdre Lovejoy as Nora's Mom/Katherine Clark
Jane Beard as Lena Freeman
Richard Pelzman as Bill Freeman

Special Features:
Commentary by: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan and director/choreographer Anne Fletcher
Deleted Scenes
Bloopers
Myspace.com Dance Contest Videos
Making the Moves featurette
Music Videos

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Track
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 103 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

"Incredible dancing and awesome music fuel Step Up, the exhilarating and inspiring movie starring Channing Tatum (She's the Man, Coach Carter) who sizzles as Tyler Gage, a rough and streetwise hunk with raw talent. When Tyler finds himself doing community service at a school for the performing arts, he also finds Nora, a beautiful and privileged classically trained dancer who's searching for a temporary replacement for her injured dance partner. Spying Tyler's smooth moves, Nora decides to take a chance on him. But as they begin training, tension builds, tempers flare and the differences in their backgrounds explode - igniting this electrifying tale about not giving up on your dreams."

"Step Up" is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence, and innuendo.

CS Comment:
Here's one for fans of dance films. I don't know about the rest of us.

Available Tuesday, December 19

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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