THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Highlights this week in Blu-ray and DVD Releases

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES | (c) 2012 Warner Home Video

Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections. Movies: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – I am one of those people that like to believe the Batman movies started with BATMAN BEGINS and only three movies exist that feature the Dark Knight. I can’t stand the one with George Clooney or even Val Kilmer. Only Michael Keaton’s […]Read On »

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BRAVE Highlights this week in Blu-ray and DVD Releases

BRAVE | (c) 2012 Walt Disney

Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections. Movies: BRAVE – As much as Disney gets flak for being a super corporation and installing all sorts of consumerism in our children, they do know how to deliver the goods when it comes to great storytelling that the whole family can enjoy. BRAVE is the wonderful story […]Read On »

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Movie Review: WRECK-IT RALPH

Wreck it Ralph | (c) 2012 Walt Disney

Rating: PG Stars (voices): John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk Writers: Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee, story by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston Director: Rich Moore Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: November 2, 2012 TOY STORY was far from the first tale of playthings coming to life once humans were out of sight. The movie’s success owed everything to its execution and details. WRECK-IT RALPH likewise starts with this notion – although in this case, the “toys” are the video characters in arcade games – and goes to wonderful, funny, touching places. Less briefly, […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: BRAVE producer Katherine Sarafian talks Scotland, mythology and animating bears

Merida in BRAVE | ©2012 Disney Pixar

In Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar’s new animated feature film BRAVE, we are the misty and magical realm of ancient Scotland, where young Princess Merida (voiced by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald) finds that she must fight to save her family and the kingdom when a magical spell goes awry. BRAVE producer Katherine Sarafian has been working with Pixar since the days when first TOY STORY film was in production during the 1990s. She served in a number of capacities on TOY STORY 2, A BUG’S LIFE, MONSTERS INC. and THE INCREDIBLES and produced the short film LIFTED. BRAVE is Sarafian’s first gig […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BRAVE

BRAVE movie poster | ©2012 Disney * Pixar

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd Writers: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi, story by Brenda Chapman Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, co-director Steve Purcell Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: June 22, 2012 BRAVE, the latest release from Disney/Pixar, has a lot going for it. For starters, the screenplay by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi, from Chapman’s story, has the feel of true mythology to it, even though it is original. Second, the 3D animation of humans […]Read On »

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Interview: BRAVE co-director and writer Mark Andrews reaches for the Highlands

Merida in BRAVE | ©2012 Disney Pixar

In BRAVE, the latest 3D animated offering from Disney/Pixar, we’re in the Scottish Highlands of the distant past, where clan loyalty is precarious and magic still affects mortal lives. Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, starts out rebelling against the future laid out by her strict but loving mother Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), but winds up fighting for her family’s survival and peace in the kingdom when a spell goes awry and turns Elinor into a bear. BRAVE doesn’t look quite like any film that’s come before, which is intentional. Director/writer Mark Andrews (who shares directing credit with […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: CARS 2

CARS 2 Blu-ray | ©2011 Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Voices: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer Writer: Ben Queen Director: John Lasseter Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Suggested Retail Price: $39.99 I’ve never been more disappointed in a Pixar film than I was with CARS 2 – an abomination if there ever was one with the Pixar organization whose batting average has been impeccable since TOY STORY. Even when the movies have been just okay (THE INCREDIBLES, RATATOUILLE), they’ve still had some value and some great humor/animation thrown into the mix. Even the brilliant TOY STORY 3 shouldn’t have worked, but the Pixar team found […]Read On »

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CD review: UP original soundtrack

UP soundtrack | ©2011 Intrada Records

If Michael Giacchino brilliantly stepped into the shoes of John Barry and Henry Mancini to musically embody a family of superheroes and one rat’s exceptional taste buds, then 2009’s UP was the Disney animated extravaganza where Giacchino’s own, nostalgic voice rang loud and clear to the tune of an Oscar. Where I’ll be in the crotchety, Carl-worthy minority of those who’d want to take a cane to the unabashed cuteness of what awaits an old grumpus and an antically annoying boy scout on top of the forbidden mesa they float to, there’s zero denying the tear-jerking brilliance of UP’s life […]Read On »

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CD review: CARS 2 original soundtrack

CARS 2 soundtrack | ©2011 Walt Disney Records

Though not  nearly as well reviewed a Pixar film as UP, but a whole lot of fun to listen to in any case, is CARS 2. Where Randy Newman’s more straight-laced approach was more fitting for the original’s desert-bound setting of Radiator Springs, Giacchino’s now taken over the driver’s seat with a considerable shot of adrenalin for this commercially flashy, globe-hopping sequel. Fans of Giacchino’s spy stylings for THE INCREDIBLES, ALIAS and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 (not to mention his ultra-help sore for SPEED RACER) will be happy with the oodles of hip 007 / Derek Flint / Austin Powers action […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CARS 2

CARS 2 movie poster | ©2011 Pixar/Walt Disney Pictures

Stars (voices): Larry the Cable Guy, Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro, Bonnie Hunt Writer: Ben Queen, story by John Lasseter & Brad Lewis & Dan Fogelman Director: John Lasseter, co-director, Brad Lewis Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: June 24, 2011 For those who either really liked the first Disney/Pixar CARS, or pretty much liked it but wished it had a genre plot, here is CARS 2. It brings back not only the CGI animated automotive universe of the first film (sans people or animals), but also the main characters, the learn-important-life-lessons through-line and even […]Read On »

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