Archive for July, 2010

“There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture.”

The first five seasons of the critically-acclaimed and most original series, The Outer Limits, has hit DVD. Like the classic 1960’s series of the same name, each episode is an imaginative exploration of humanity’s greatest hopes and darkest fears. It often pushes the sci-fi envelope, taking you to places, worlds and times you never thought existed.

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Clash of the Titans blu-rayClash of the Titans (Blu-ray and DVD combo pack)
In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods, but the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth.

Special features include: maximum movie mode by Worthington, Neeson, Fiennes and director Louis Leterrier with picture-in-picture, enhanced scene breakdowns, enhanced visual effects breakdowns, on-the-spot vignettes and close-up views of the monsters; “Sam Worthington: an action hero for the ages”; additional scenes; an alternate ending; and digital copy. (Warner Home Video) (more…)

Chinese legends are some of the best subjects of storytelling because they are intriguing and, like a Shakespearean tale, often end in tragedy.

General Pang Qingyun (Jet Li) is the sole survivor of a bloody battle that saw him lose all the men he commanded during the Qing Dynasty. However, he finds a new lease on life when he joins a group of bandits and finds two men (Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) who accept him as a blood brother. Together, with Pang’s military training, the trio move up the ranks becoming one of the most effective and eventually merciless Chinese armies. However, as Pang’s ambitions become more evident, his oath to his brothers comes into question.

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A protagonist on the run with a need to prove his/her innocence is not an original concept; but with Salt, Angelina Jolie joins the ranks of great women casted in roles written for men – in this case Tom Cruise dropped out and Edwin Salt became Evelyn Salt.

As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honour and country.  But her loyalty is tested when a defector accuses Salt of being a Russian spy.  She goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt’s efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues.

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It’s unfortunate the days of all-girl rock bands appears to have gone the way of vinyl records: out of style. But, for a cool rocker chick to admire, no young woman needed to go further than Joan Jett with her tough attitude, targeted determination and rocking tunes. With The Runaways, Jett was one of the “queens of noise” in the 70’s.

The film follows two friends, Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), as they rise from rebellious Southern Californian kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Joan and Cherie fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), who turns the group into an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself and so do its two leads: Joan is the bands pure rock n roll heart, while Cherie, with her Bowie-Bardot looks, is the sex kitten.

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Cats & Dogs (Blu-ray)
They’re cunning; they’re stealthy; they’re waging a top-secret, ultra-high-tech struggle for global domination right under our noses. They’re Cats & Dogs! This is an epic “tail” of what happens when an eccentric professor (Jeff Goldblum) makes a discovery that could tip the age-old balance of pet power. Now an inexperienced young beagle pup (voiced by Tobey Maguire) will undertake the ultimate mission impossible: saving humankind from total catastrophe! Voices of Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Jon Lovitz, Charlton Heston and Sean Hayes are also featured.

Special features include: commentary by director Lawrence Guterman, producer Chris DeFaria and production designer James Bissell; “HBO First Look: The making of Cats & Dogs”; “Teaching a New Dog New Tricks”; Mr. Tinkles’ audition tape; “Dogs Rule”; Mr. Tinkles’ speech; storyboard comparisons; and concept sketches. (Warner Home Video)

Cop Out (Blu-ray & DVD combo pack)
Action star Bruce Willis and comic Tracy Morgan play bickering-but-got-your-back Brooklyn buddy cops. Kevin Smith directs the gritty, goofball goings-on as the guys hunt for a stolen 1952 mint-condition baseball card, which plunges them into a gun slinging war with a deadly drug ring.

Special features include: maximum movie mode with Smith and Sean William Scott; extended scenes and outtakes; picture-in-picture moments with Smith and Scott; walk-ons by Smith; “Wisdom from the S*** Bandit”; “Factoids about the movie and other information you may find helpful… or totally useless” and digital copy. (Warner Home Video)

The Losers (Blu-ray & DVD combo pack)
In an explosive action tale of betrayal and revenge, The Losers centres around an elite Special Forces unit sent to the Bolivian jungle on a search-and-destroy mission. But the team – Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short and Óscar Jaenada respectively) – soon find that they have become the target of a deadly double cross instigated by a powerful enemy known only as Max. Making good use of the fact they’re now presumed dead, the group goes deep undercover in a dangerous plot to clear their names and even the score.

Special features include: “Band of Buddies: Ops Training,” shows intensive training sessions with military advisor and ex-Navy Seal Harry Humphries, a close-up look at intense action sequences and transforming Puerto Rico to stand in for various global locations; “The Losers: action-style storytelling,” comic writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock discuss how they developed the original comic series; deleted scenes; and “Zoë and The Losers,” talks about how Zoë Saldana held her own and relished mixing with the adrenaline-junkie male cast. (Warner Home Video)

Hung Season 1 on Blu-rayThomas Jane’s actor’s résumé includes roles as a vigilante (The Punisher), gumshoe detective (Give ’em Hell, Malone), town sheriff (The Tripper), shark wrangler (Deep Blue Sea) and futuristic gunslinger (Mutant Chronicles), but last year he added the ultimately masculine male gigolo to his list of pretend occupations.

Ray Drecker (Jane) is a down-on-his-luck high school coach who finds a new calling in the world’s oldest profession. With the help of his free-spirited business partner, Tanya (Jane Adams), Ray manages his up-and-coming career while juggling the demands of his ex-wife, Jessica (Anne Heche), and kids, Darby (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) and Damon (Charles Saxton).

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