Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

DVD Roundup: 4.8.08

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:

Extras Rating:

Movie Details:
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P2
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating:R

Starring:
Rachel Nichols as Angela Bridges
Wes Bentley as Thomas
Philip Akin as Karl
Stephanie Moore as Lorraine
Miranda Edwards as Jody

Special Features:
Audio Commentary with Director and Filmmakers
A New Level of Fear: The Making of P2
Designing Terror
Tension Nouveau: Presenting Franck Khaloun

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 98 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"A New Level of Terror.

It's Christmas Eve. The last employee to leave her office, ambitious corporate climber Angela (Rachel Nichols) arrives in the deserted parking garage only to discover her car won't start. She's relieved when Thomas (Wes Bentley), a seemingly friendly security guard, comes along and offers to help. Unable to get the engine to start, he invites Angela to share a small Christmas meal with him. She laughs off the invitation but it quickly becomes clear her situation is no laughing matter. Angered by her refusal, the psychopathic Thomas knocks her out and ties her up in his office. Coming to, Angela realizes that the only way she will live to see Christmas morning is to find a way to escape from P2.

A stylish horror thriller from the filmmakers behind 'High Tension' and the 2006 remake of 'The Hills Have Eyes,' 'P2' builds to an unforgettable, blood-curdling climax."

"P2" is rated R for strong violence/gore, terror and language.

CS Comment:
As if parking garages already weren't creepy enough, "P2" plays on your fears and puts them on the screen. Great idea!

Available Tuesday, April 8




Resurrecting the Champ
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Samuel L. Jackson as Champ
Josh Hartnett as Erik Kernan
Kathryn Morris as Joyce Kernan
Dakota Goyo as Teddy Kernan
Alan Alda as Ralph Metz
Rachel Nichols as Polly
Teri Hatcher as Andrea Flak
Kristen Shaw as Perlmutter
Nick Sandow as Rocky Marciano
David Paymer as Whitley
Harry J. Lennix as Robert Satterfield Jr.
Peter Coyote as Ike Epstein
Ryan McDonald as Kenny
Chris Ippolito as Jaws
Jameson Trenholm as Runt

Special Features:
Commentary with Director Rod Lurie
"Resurrecting the Champ" Featurette
Cast and Crew Interviews
Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 112 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Sportswriter Erik Kernan (Hartnett) wants nothing more than to discover a story great enough to make headlines. So when he meets Champ (Jackson), a former boxing champion living on the streets, he knows he has a shot to save them both. Recording his newfound friend's unbelievable tale of triumph and defeat, Kernan gets his story and his fame. But as Champ's tale falls under more scrutinizing eyes, Kernan will have to learn that what truly makes a story great is the quality of the man behind it."

"Resurrecting the Champ" is rated PG-13 for some violence and brief language.

CS Comment:
CS's Edward Douglas gave the film 9 out of 10. So if you agree with his reviews, you'll want to check this DVD out.

Available Tuesday, April 8




Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory – Volume 3
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
Misc. bonus features on each DVD

Other Info:
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (On select titles)

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Hit the Deck - Anchors Aweigh. On the Town, Hit the Deck. Hollywood has always known what to do with sailors on leave: Give 'em some pretty girls and some great songs and watch the fans line up to enlist! Hit the Deck hits all the right notes as three sailors (Tony Martin, Vic Damone, Russ Tamblyn) and three cuties (Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Miller) flirt, squabble, run afoul of shore patrol and of course, fall in love to a hit parade of Vincent Youmans tunes. Highlights include Miller's polishing the floor as The Lady from the Bayou, Martin's romantic mastery of More Than You Know and the stage-filling rouser Hallelujah. Music, romance, fun: don't miss the boat!

Deep in My Heart - That Kelly lad sure can dance. Fred Kelly. In his only credited film role, he and legendary brother Gene happily hoof a I Love to Go Swimmin' with Wimmen specialty romp in this colorful musical biopic about Sigmund Romberg, the ex-piano man who went on to compose some 80 productions. There's much more to love, too. Ann Miller gams and glams It (from The Desert Song). Jane Powell and Vic Damone remember Will You Remember (Maytime). Jose Ferrer (as Romberg) demos all the roles of a gleeful Jazza-Doo spree. And before Deep in My Heart is sung, danced and jazza-done, you'll find Cyd Charisse, Merle Oberon, Howard Keel and more. The talent runs deep. So does the fun.

Kismet - With Alexander Borodin's soaring music fashioned by Robert Wright and George Forrest into Stranger in Paradise, Baubles, Bangles and Beads and more evergreens, Kismet turned the Broadway stage into a glittering, gleaming Arabian Nights' dream. And this was ideal material for the dream factory. To Hollywood and director Vincente Minnelli, Kismett was kismet. This lavish musical follows one fateful, fabulous day as a beggar-poet (Howard Keel) and his daughter (Ann Blyth) cross paths with a wicked wazir, a wily temptress, a handsome prince, a magical curse, opulent sets and exotic adventure. "Princes come, princes go," sings the beggar. Glorious Kismet endures!

Nancy Goes to Rio/Two Weeks with Love – Yes, Nancy Goes to Rio – and fun comes along! A colorful backlot Rio is the setting for a comic tale of personal and professional mixups as aspiring actress Nancy (Jane Powell) and her Broadway-veteran mother (Ann Sothern) seek the same stage role. Adding to the Brazilian flair: Carmen Miranda in zany-hatted performance glory. Powell's sunny charm and bright soprano are again on display when she and Debbie Reynolds turn a 1900s Catskills vacation into Two Weeks – with Love. Powell hopes to catch the eye of suave Ricardo Montalban by wearing a form-fitting undergarment: a (shhh!) corset. Reynolds reels in affable Carleton Carpenter for a legendary Aba Daba Honeymoon showstopper. Speaking of legends, Busby Berkeley provides the musical staging.

Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938 – There's no stopping them now. Eleanor Powell taps the spangled ebullience of Broadway Rhythm in Broadway Melody of 1936, 15-year-old Judy Garland sings a smitten Dear Mr. Gable to a portrait of Hollywood's King in Broadway Melody of 1938 and both actresses notch out career breakthroughs. Powell plays an Albany girl-next-door who poses as France's and Broadway's exotic La Belle Arlette in the Oscar®-winning* '36 romp. The '38 tale has her portraying a horse trainer who's just as much at ease in taps and tuxedo as she is in riding boots and jodhpurs. Judy steps lively, too, joining Buddy Ebsen for Everybody Sing. Everybody enjoy. These star-making Melodies are playing every classic fan's song.

Born to Dance/Lady be Good - Eleanor Powell's the girl, James Stewart's the gob and Cole Porter's the tunesmith in Born to Dance, a break-a-leg tale of an understudy turned Broadway star that includes Powell taking command of a battleship for Swingin' the Jinx Away. Her radiant appeal and astonishing tap-dancing skills energize the screen again when she plays friend and matchmaker to two struggling songwriters (Robert Young, Ann Sothern) in Lady Be Good. Highlights include Powell's astonishing Fascinating Rhythm hoofing and Sothern's poignant rendition of the World War II evergreen and Oscar®-winning Best Song The Last Time I Saw Paris."

"Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory – Volume 3" is not rated.

CS Comment:
So you love musicals but you've worn out your copies of West Side Story, Oklahoma, Chicago, and Sweeny Todd? Take a little trip back in time and check out these vintage musicals in this amazing DVD set!

Available Tuesday, April 8




Echo and Other Elephants
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Narrated by David Attenborough

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound
Running Time: 362 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Echo and her elephant family stampede onto DVD in this spectacular two-disc set! Echo is extremely wise, an experienced mother and commanding matriarch of her family. Shes also an African elephant, and arguably one of the most famous elephants in the world through all the programs that documented her and her family for decades in Kenyas Amboseli National Park. Now all of the programs featuring these beloved elephants are available together on DVD for the first time! While it may seem that Echo and her clan live quiet lives, their days are filled with mating battles, difficult births, health problems, kidnappings, emotional reunions, mischievous children and, occasionally, death at the hand of a hunter. But with all her experience and knowledge, the 60-year old matriarch has been able to successfully lead her family through difficult times. It was also no small feat for researcher Cynthia Moss, who has followed the charismatic Echo and her herd for over 30 years. Containing 8 programs packed with stunning footage, this collection is definitely not to be missed!"

"Echo and Other Elephants" is not rated.

CS Comment:
My kid loves animal documentaries so you can be sure we'll be watching "Echo and Other Elephants" in our house!

Available Tuesday, April 1




David Attenborough Wildlife Specials
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Narrated by David Attenborough

Special Features:
Great Natural Wonders of the World
Greatist Wildlife Show on Earth

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound
Running Time: 280 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Take a look at the lives and habitats of some of the worlds most amazing animals! From polar bear to leopard humpback whale to crocodile and wolf to eagle Wildlife Wonders takes you on a breathtaking journey around the world for some of the most gripping and touching animal behavior in the wild. Presented by David Attenborough this two disc collection also includes Great Natural Wonders of the World showcasing some of Earths most spectacular scenery and The Greatest Wildlife Show On Earth displaying the wildest of wild animal behavior!"

"David Attenborough Wildlife Specials" is not rated.

CS Comment:
If you like a little more variety in your animal documentaries this DVD covers Humpback Whales, Polar Bears, Eagles, Leopards, and more!

Available Tuesday, April 1




The BBC Natural History Collection
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Narrated by David Attenborough

Special Features:
Various bonus features on each set

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1) and Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 2022 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"This is the ultimate Natural History collection, containing over 33 hours of programming, thousands of species of plants and animals and hours of special features that take you behind the scenes. Each critically acclaimed series reveal elements of the Earth and its unique creatures through stunning imagery and insightful commentary. Journey with the BBC and explore our vast and diverse world.

Planet Earth
The epic series that has left viewers across the world in awe celebrates the Earth as never before. Planet Earth takes you to places you've never been to experience sights and sounds never before captured on film. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of Planet Earth.

The Blue Planet: Seas of Life
We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the deep oceans, yet the sea covers two-thirds of our planet. The Blue Planet: Seas of Life goes farther out and deeper down than we have ever gone before.

The Life of Mammals
Vast in scope and stunning in imagery and detail, The Life of Mammals is the epic and breathtakingly beautiful story of 4,00 species that have outlived the dinosaurs and colonized the farthest reaches of the Earth.

The Life of Birds
Colorful, mysterious, noble and intriguing, birds have fascinated us since the dawn of history. David Attenborough, one of the world's foremost naturalists, hosts an extraordinary exploration into the secret lives of these magnificent creatures."

The BBC Natural History Collection is not rated.

CS Comment:
This is, like, the mother of all nature documentary sets. From the excellent Planet Earth series to The Blue Planet, this set has it all. You'll experience rare footage of animals that will surprise even the biggest nature documentary fans.

Available Tuesday, April 1




The 11th Hour
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG

Starring:
Leonardo DiCaprio

Special Features:
Nature's Operating Instructions and Solutions
Solutions We Have Right Now
Wonder of the World
Our Reactions in the Face of Environmental Collapse
Religious Perspectives

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Environmental documentary '11th Hour' resides at the polar opposite of escapist summer fare its mission to firmly confront viewers about the indelible human footprint that humans have left on this planet and the catastrophic effects of environmental neglect and abuse. Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and ably directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Peterson the documentary doesn't get much fancier than talking heads news footage and the occasional animated illustration but its message is potent and delivered effectively. The first hour of the film is essentially a horror story recounting the myriad sins perpetrated against the environment (pollution deforestation over-mining resources) the reasons behind it (corporate greed faulty public policy bad leadership ignorance) and what it means for the human race. Thankfully the last third of the movie tilts the mood upward with a spirited discussion of solutions offered by a crack team of scientists designers and thinkers. Stirring visions of alternate energy sources diversified transportation enlightened governmental agendas sustainable homes and cities and most importantly more conscious consumer choices leave viewers with the palpable feeling that change is both necessary and possible. If the "eleventh hour" for our planet is drawing near this admirable film points confidently towards a new dawn."

"The 11th Hour" is rated PG for some mild disturbing images and thematic elements.

CS Comment:
Don't have enough angst about global warming? Find out other ways you're destroying the planet!

Available Tuesday, April 8

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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