The Dark Knight Returns: Frank Miller Animated !!!

Here’s a twelve minute long sneak peek and behind the scenes video via David Selby’s website from the Dark Knight Returns: Part 1.  This is the animated version of the Frank Miller graphic novel and I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT FOR THIS FREAKING ROBOCOP IS THE VOICE OF BATMAN AND DAVID SELBY IS GORDON !!!!!!!!!  (breathe….) Okay I’m better.  Here it is.

 

Love Never Dies Blu Ray Review

LND_3D_BD_D1.jpg

Because the Phantom is Forever:

Love Never Dies – Blu Ray Review

By Jessica Dwyer

Believe it or not I’m a complete and hopeless romantic.  It started when I was younger and was no doubt helped along by my unabashed love for Phantom of the Opera.  This only got worse when the amazing Andrew Lloyd Weber musical came into being and I was forever lost to the “music of the night.”

I wasn’t the only one of course.  POTO  was a worldwide phenomenon and is still going strong.  Michael Crawford passed his crown (or more to the point, mask) on to many an amazing talent over the years who took on the role of The Phantom not to mention the beautiful angels of music to take on the mantel of Christine from Sarah Brightman.

But for many phans (as the fans of the musical call themselves) the story didn’t end with the mob knocking down the Phantom’s door and Meg finding the mask.  It carried on in numerous fan publications and novels.  We couldn’t let The Phantom die.  Nor could Andrew Lloyd Weber it would seem.

A few years ago Weber did something that is rare, to downright never heard of in the annals of musical theater.  He penned a sequel to one of the biggest musicals of all time.  The result is a continuation of the tale of the Phantom and Christine set about ten years after the events in the original story.  It takes place in Coney Island, New York and is titled Love Never Dies.  The story follows the Phantom as he builds his own empire of freaks and magic amongst the carnival like atmosphere of Coney Island in the early 1900’s.  He’s unable to write as he used to and longs for Christine. 

He lures her back to him along with Raoul and their son with the promise of a fortune for just one performance.  Raoul has managed to squander away all their money on gambling and drinking.  Things weren’t the picture book romance they had dreamed when last we saw them leaving The Phantom behind.   While Raoul and Christine were living their lives, Meg Giry and her mother saved the Phantom and together they came to America where they have built his empire of Phantasma.   Jealousy and rivalry and love all come together during the events that unfold, leading to tragedy and redemption.

LND’s was updated from the original production.  The musical has been tightened up time wise, music and costumes, as well as entire songs removed.  The changes are indeed perfect and LND’s is a worthy sequel to POTO.  The version on the Blu Ray is the Australian production and is truly awesome.

The Blu Ray production is lush and beautiful.  It’s downright striking in some parts and this is only enhanced by Ben Lewis who is one of the tallest Phantoms I’ve ever seen.  He’s got a presence that is at once intimidating but will move you to tears in certain scenes.  Anna O’Byrne as Christine looks like a living porcelain doll.  She’s got the voice of an angel as well.  The sets are amazing, I can’t begin to do them justice or figure out how they managed to do all of this on a single stage.  It’s ingenious to watch and is gorgeous.

The music of course is also beautiful.  The key pieces being the title of the musical which O’Byrne soars with.  “Till I Hear You Sing” is as desperate and powerful as ever and if you want to see a love scene play out on stage the duet of “Beneath a Moonless Sky” will knock your socks off.   Simon Gleeson as Raoul shouldn’t be forgotten nor should Sharon Millerchip as Meg.  The entire cast is a joy to watch.

I absolutely loved this production and the Blu Ray is truly the way to go to enjoy it and to see the details that the cast and crew went to bring this to life.  If you are a fan of musicals and certainly if you are a fan of Phantom, then you need to add this to your collection.

Here are some clips for you to enjoy.

 

Grimm 1st Season Coming to BR/DVD in August!

 

THEY ARE NOT FAIRY TALES, THEY ARE WARNINGS. 

DISCOVER WHAT GOES BUMP IN THE NIGHT IN THE CHILLING BREAKOUT SERIES

 “GRIMM” SEASON ONE

AUGUST 7, 2012

OWN IT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN BONUS CONTENT FROM UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

 OVERVIEW:   Classic Grimm’s fairy tales come to life like never before in the “dark and imaginative” (Mike Ayers, CNN.com) supernatural series “Grimm,” from the producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.  Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, “Privileged,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) discovers he is descended from a long line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” protectors who are charged with keeping the balance between humanity and the creatures of myth.  With newly awoken abilities to detect the evil lurking among us, Nick struggles to keep his old life separate and safe as he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries of the Grimm world.  Available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 7, 2012, “Grimm” Season One allows fans to experience all 22 chilling episodes back-to-back and uninterrupted.

  “Grimm” Season One also stars Russell Hornsby (“Lincoln Heights,” “In Treatment”), Silas Weir Mitchell (“My Name is Earl,”  “The Mentalist”), Bitsie Tulloch (The Artist, “Quarterlife”), Reggie Lee (“Prison Break,” Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World’s End) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica,” “House”).  Guest stars such as Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Scarface) Amy Acker (“Angel”), Titus Welliver (“Lost”) and Sebastian Roché (“Supernatural”) also appear in this uniquely evocative series that critics rave “offers genuine scares” (Michelle Tauber, People).

“Grimm” Season One is available as a five-disc set in special, limited edition packaging with exclusive “Grimm” collector cards. It features never-before-seen bonus material that takes fans deep into the world of “Grimm,” including an interactive creature guide, “Making Monsters” featurette and much more.  The “Grimm” Season One Blu-ray also features perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound.

BLU-RAYTM and DVD BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • DELETED SCENES
  • GAG REEL
  • THE WORLD OF GRIMM: Get to know the characters and creatures that inhabit the world of “Grimm” and discover the inspiration behind the storylines.
  • MAKING MONSTERS:  Go behind the scenes with Andy Clement and Barney Burman as they take viewers through the special makeup effects design and application process.  The talented team from Hive FX also shows fans how they give life to the monsters of “Grimm.”
  • GRIMM GUIDE: An interactive book that provides insight into the various creatures featured in the show.
  • AND MORE!

Robocop is Batman…Your argument is invalid

What promises to be one of the most awesome DC Direct to DVD films to come out will be released this October.  Based on the Batman series penned by Frank Miller, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is shaping up awesome.

Peter Weller stars as the older Batman with Modern Family’s Ariel Winter as his chick Robin sidekick.  One neat casting choice is Dark Shadows alumni David Selby as Commissioner Gordon.  Michael Mckean is also on board.

The release will be part 1 of 2, with the second film hitting shelves sometime in 2013.  Check out some screen shots thanks to Filmdrunk.

Wizards of Music

The Blu Ray release of the cult classic film Wizards by Ralph Bakshi is coming out soon.  To celebrate the films release the studio is delving into some history you may or may not know about the movie and its influence through the years, most notably the music from the film.

Here’s a history lesson for you

DELVE INTO RALPH BAKSHI’S CULT CLASSIC

LIKE NEVER BEFORE

                       

The Fantastical Allegory Comes to Life for the First Time

On Blu-ray March 13

 Wizard Tunes

Although Wizards received a limited theatrical release, it was still considered successful among a worldwide audience. So much so that audio clips from the film have been sampled by musicians past and present, in songs you’ve probably blasted in the car on your way to work. Take a look at this list of hit makers that have sampled Wizards and other memorable movie sound bites.

 

Artist: Toxik

Album: Think This

Movie: Wizards

Toxik is an American metal band from Peekskill, New York. They were known for making their heaviest of metal hits more innovative than your standard head-banging anthem, pushing them to the front of the “progressive metal” movement in the mid to late 80s. Their songs “Spontaneous” and “Time After Time,” for example, contain audio clips from Wizards.

  

Artist: Cypress Hill

Albums: IV and Skull & Bones

Movie: Wizards

 Cypress Hill is an American hip-hop group from South Gate, California. They were also the first Cuban-American/Latino hip-hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum albums, selling over 18 million albums worldwide, earning critical acclaim for their first two groundbreaking albums.Always trying to stay fresh and groundbreaking, the guys did not shy away from sampling Wizards on both their fourth and fifth albums, 1998’s IV and 2000’s Skull & Bones.

 

 Artist: Prince

Album: Batman (Soundtrack)

Movie: Batman

 “Batdance” was actually a last-minute replacement for a brooding track titled “Dance with the Devil”, which Prince felt was too dark. The track is an amalgam of many musical ideas floating around at the same time. Elements from at least seven songs (some unreleased) were incorporated into “Batdance” as well as dialog samples from the film.

 

 

Artist: Rise Against

Album: Revolutions Per Minute

Movie: American Beauty

 At the start of “Last Chance Blueprint,” American Beauty’s Jane (Thora Birch) is shouting to the rooftops. She is proud to be a freak. At the end, she and Ricky, her boyfriend and partner in freak-dom, can be heard plotting their escape to the beckoning lights of New York City. It is their “Last Chance” to be together on their own terms.

 

 

Artist: Jay-Z

Album: Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life

Movie: Carlito’s Way

 Iconic rapper Jay-Z must be a fan of Carlito’s Way! Jay-Z has used samples of Carlito’s dialogue in a few of his tracks including “Intro/A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More,” “Brooklyn’s Finest,” and on the album that propelled him to superstardom, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, takes it a step further in the song “Allure,” where he references himself playing a lead role in a fictional movie called “Hovito’s Way.”

  

Artist: Guns N’ Roses

Album: Use Your Illusion II

Movie: Cool Hand Luke

 “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate” is a famed quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke which Guns N’ Roses liked so much, they put it at the top of their song “Civil War” off 1990’s Use Your Illusion II. Much later, in 2008, Axl Rose would use the same quote in his re-furbished GNR, in the song “Madagascar.”

 

Artist: Dust Brothers

Album: Fight Club (Soundtrack)

Movie: Fight Club

 The Dust Brothers are the Los Angeles based, Grammy winning producers, “E.Z. Mike” and “King Gizmo,” famous for their sample-based music in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1998, the duo were approached by director David Fincher to assemble the score for the film Fight Club, most notably “This Is Your Life”, a song featuring actual lines from the film, including a monologue by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). This remains their only original release to date.

 

Immortals hits Blu Ray

Immortals was an artfully created flick by Tarsem, the man behind films like The Cell and The Fall.  While I was disappointed with the lack of Greek God’s in action, what we got far outshined the lackluster Clash of the Titans (which has basically redone the plot of Immortals with the soon to be released Wrath of the Titans.) 

That being said, Immortals was a far more grown up and stunning tale of Greek myth and the Blu Ray release is just as stunning.  Packed with goodies as well as alternate scenes its a beautiful film and worth picking up with it hits stores on March 6th.

Check out the specs below:

EPIC BATTLES COME TO LIFE ON STUNNING BLU-RAY

IMMORTALS

Featuring Alternate Beginning and Endings Visually-Striking Film Explodes on 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack,Blu-ray Triple Play and DVD March 6

Summary: One brave warrior, touched by the gods, must overcome all odds to save mankind from a merciless and powerful tyrant when IMMORTALS comes to Blu-ray and DVD on March 6th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by visionary filmmaker Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and written by Charles Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides, the home entertainment release is chock-full of must-see bonus features including an alternate beginning, two alternate endings, deleted scenes and an amazing graphic novel, creating the ultimate viewing experience.
From the producers of 300, Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari, and Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, IMMORTALS explodes off the screen with action-packed battles, mythological adventure and an all-star cast including: Henry Cavill (Superman: Man of Steel), Luke Evans (Robin Hood), Kellan Lutz (Twilight), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies), John Hurt (Hellboy) and Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2). In this epic tale of vengeance and destiny, power-mad King Hyperion (Rourke) threatens to destroy all of humanity on his maniacal quest to obtain the ultimate weapon – the legendary Epirus Bow that gives the power to unleash war on both Heaven and Earth.  But Theseus (Cavill), a heroic young villager chosen by the gods, rises up to stop Hyperion’s brutal rampage.  With supernatural help from the beautiful oracle Phaedra (Pinto), Theseus embraces his destiny and leads a fierce band of warriors in a desperate fight for the future of mankind.
IMMORTALS is available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6th and was theatrically-released by Relativity Media on November 11, 2011.

SPECIAL FEATURES (Blu-ray plus Digital Copy):

  • Alternate Opening
    • Young Theseus
  • Two Alternate Endings
    • This Is Our Last Embrace
    • Theseus Kills Hyperion
  • Behind-The-Scenes FeaturettesDeleted Scenes
    • It’s No Myth
    • Caravaggio Meets Fight Club: Tarsem’s Vision
  • Immortals: Gods & Heroes (Graphic Novel)

SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
    • It’s No Myth

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The Howling gets TwiHard

The Howling, for those who may or may not know, is one of my favorite werewolf films of all time.  The SFX, the cast, the feel of the movie is brilliant.  Now there have been many a sequel to follow it that have not lived up to the original (even Christopher Lee in the 2nd movie can’t stop it from being one of the worst.)  One of the better ones took place in a freakshow and had a vampire going up against one of the wolves.  But still…not a great film and nowhere near the level of the first.

Some months ago the news came out about a new Howling film looking to reboot the series.  And as is the want of Hollywood they decided to jump onto the Twilight train of teen romance mixed with the supernatural instead of going back to the dark, adult focusing world of the original.  Even the logo they were using at the time looked as though it came from a Stephanie Meyer cover.

Instead of a theatrical release, The Howling: Reborn is going direct to video.  And we now have a trailer to see just what route for certain they’ve gone with the story.  And what I’m taking from this is a film that has no idea what the hell its doing.  The trailer is more confusing than anything I’ve seen in a while.  I get a Lost Boys: The Tribe vibe for sure but is this guy Peter Parker?  What the hell is going on?  Someone has been watching MTV’s Teen Wolf…

For bad or worse, here is The Howling Reborn hitting DVD shelves on October 18th.

And for comparisons sake, here is the trailer for The Howling 2…which looks nearly as random (and is) as the trailer for the new pup on the block.

 

Zorro The Complete Series: DVD Review

Zorro The Complete Series:

Review by Jessica Dwyer

Back in the early 90’s The Family Channel had a series that made the little girl in me still squeal with delight.  And to this day I will always love Zorro.   Sure it was cheesy but it was fun and it brought back the character that inspired Batman and countless other masked good guys.

I never thought in a million years I’d ever get a chance to see the show on anything other than VHS recordings made WAY back then.  But now thanks to A&E, Zorro The Complete Series is available.  And when they say complete, they mean complete.  All four seasons of the show plus a bonus DVD with extras including The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks are included in the box set.

This is a must for fans of the character.  The series was a heck of a lot of fun and Duncan Regehr was an awesome man in black.  Oh and did you know that Daniel Craig was in an episode?  Bond and Zorro…together at last.

The set comes packaged nicely with each season in its own case as well as the extra features disc.  88 episodes in all with an unaired pilot included on the extras.

My only complaint about this set is the film quality of the episodes.  I don’t know how well that could have been helped though depending on the original prints etc.  It’s grainy and like watching…well…a VHS copy of the show.  But I can look past this since I’m just happy someone cared enough about the show to release it.   It’s like reliving my childhood a bit watching the show.  I make no excuses for the glee that comes over me watching Regehr be debonair and wearing a cape.

A&E did a great job putting this together.  The extras disc with the Douglas Fairbanks silent film also includes trailers for the Zorro serial and an episode of the 1930’s serial.  There are behind the scenes photos from the TV series and other goodies too.  All in all, this is a great tribute to an a classic character and a fun show that introduced him to an entire generation of fans.  If you have kids and want to share something special with them or if you’re just a big kid yourself (like me) pick up Zorro The Complete Series.  I recommend it.