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SFRevu Media Column- 12/2008  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we appreciate media kits, preview invitations and preview DVDs. All dramatic presentations received will be listed in this column. Send Materials and Invitations to: Gayle Surrette c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613 Email should be sent to: media (at) sfrevu.com

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog by (Mutant Enemy 27 December 2008 / $14.99) - Description: Special Features:

Commentary! The Musical
Commentary by the cast and crew
Evil League of Evil application videos
Making-of featurettes
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) stars as Billy, A.K.A. Dr. Horrible, a budding super-villain whose plans for world domination continually go awry.  His two goals: getting accepted into the Evil League of Evil, and working up the guts to speak to his laundromat crush Penny, played by Felicia Day (The Guild).   The only thing standing in his way is Captain Hammer, Billy's superhero arch-nemesis played by Nathan Fillion (Firefly).  With one big score, Billy could get into the E.L.E. and earn the respect of Penny, but only if he can keep her away from the dashing Captain Hammer...

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply. (see review)

Halo: The Cole Protocol by Tobias S. Buckell (Macmillan Audio 09 December 2008 / $39.95) - Product Description:

In the first, desperate days of the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC has enacted the Cole Protocol to safeguard Earth and its Inner Colonies from discovery by a merciless alien foe. Many are called upon to rid the universe of lingering navigation data that would reveal the location of Earth. Among them is Navy Lieutenant Jacob Keyes. Thrust back into action after being sidelined, Keyes is saddled with a top secret mission by ONI. One that will take him deep behind enemy lines, to a corner of the universe where nothing is as it seems. Out beyond the Outer Colonies lies the planet Hesiod, a gas giant surrounded by a vast asteroid belt. As the Covenant continues to glass the human occupied planets near Hesiod, many of the survivors, helped by a stronghold of human Insurrectionists, are fleeing to the asteroid belt for refuge. They have transformed the tumbling satellites into a tenuous, yet ingenious, settlement known as the Rubble--and have come face-to-face with a Covenant settlement of Kig-Yar . . . yet somehow survived. News of this unlikely treaty has spread to the warring sides. Luckily for the UNSC, this uneasy alliance is in the path of the Spartan Gray Team, a three-man renegade squad whose simple task is to wreak havoc from behind enemy lines in any way they see fit. But the Prophets have also sent their best---an ambitious and ruthless Elite, whose quest for nobility and rank is matched only by his brutality . . . and who will do anything to secure his Ascendancy and walk the Path.
(see review)

Kung Fu Panda Two - Pack (Kung Fu Panda Widescreen Edition + Secrets of the Furious Five) by John Stevenson, Mark Osborne, Raman Hui (Directors) (Dreamworks Animated 01December 2008 / $34.98) - Product Description: What's a panda to do when his dreams of kung-fu awesomeness awake to the cold reality of noodle-making? Clumsy, overweight Po (Jack Black) dreams of becoming a kung fu master like China's revered "furious five," but instead seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the restaurant business. When great leader Oogway has a vision that the imprisoned kung fu warrior Tai Lung (Ian McShane) will soon escape, he declares it time to choose China's dragon warrior -- one kung fu master deemed worthy of possessing the dragon's scroll and its secret to limitless power. Po and all the townspeople rush to the Jade Palace atop the highest mountain to witness the contest between Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogan), Crane (David Cross) and Viper (Lucy Liu), but Po is locked outside the palace. After a miracle of sorts, Po lands inside the palace gates, where he is chosen as the dragon warrior and placed under the tutelage of the decidedly non-plussed master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). An unconventional student to say the least, hilarity reigns as Shifu tries desperately to make Po into some semblance of a kung fu warrior. Can Po possibly fulfill his destiny as dragon warrior, or was Oogway's final decision a critical mistake? A film rich with hilarious moments, superior animation, and an important message about believing in oneself and the power that comes from within, Kung Fu Panda is great entertainment that will have the whole family laughing and begging for more. (Ages 3 and older) -- Tami Horiuchi

(see review)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Three-Disc Collector's Edition + Digital Copy) by Andrew Adamson (Director/Writer/Producer) (WALT DISNEY VIDEO 20 December 2008 / $39.99) - Product Description: The magical world of C.S. Lewis's beloved fantasy comes to life once again in Prince Caspian, the second installment of The Chronicles Of Narnia series. Join Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, the mighty and majestic Aslan, friendly new Narnian creatures and Prince Caspian as they lead the Narnians on a remarkable journey to restore peace and glory to their enchanted land. Continuing the adventure of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe with more magic and a brand-new hero, Prince Caspian is a triumph of imagination, courage, love, joy and humor your whole family will want to watch again and again. (see review)

The Dark Knight (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) by Christopher Nolan (Director-Cowriter ) (Warner Home Video 09 December 2008 / $34.98) -

Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: 12/09/2008
Run time: 152 minutes
Rating: PG 13

Amazon.com
The Dark Knight arrives with tremendous hype (best superhero movie ever? posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger?), and incredibly, it lives up to all of it. But calling it the best superhero movie ever seems like faint praise, since part of what makes the movie great -- in addition to pitch-perfect casting, outstanding writing, and a compelling vision -- is that it bypasses the normal fantasy element of the superhero genre and makes it all terrifyingly real. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is Gotham City's new district attorney, charged with cleaning up the crime rings that have paralyzed the city. He enters an uneasy alliance with the young police lieutenant, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale), the caped vigilante who seems to trust only Gordon -- and whom only Gordon seems to trust. They make progress until a psychotic and deadly new player enters the game: the Joker (Heath Ledger), who offers the crime bosses a solution -- kill the Batman. Further complicating matters is that Dent is now dating Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, after Katie Holmes turned down the chance to reprise her role), the longtime love of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne.

In his last completed role before his tragic death, Ledger is fantastic as the Joker, a volcanic, truly frightening force of evil. And he sets the tone of the movie: the world is a dark, dangerous place where there are no easy choices. Eckhart and Oldman also shine, but as good as Bale is, his character turns out rather bland in comparison (not uncommon for heroes facing more colorful villains). Director-cowriter Christopher Nolan (Memento) follows his critically acclaimed Batman Begins with an even better sequel that sets itself apart from notable superhero movies like Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man because of its sheer emotional impact and striking sense of realism -- there are no suspension-of-disbelief superpowers here. At 152 minutes, it's a shade too long, and it's much too intense for kids. But for most movie fans -- and not just superhero fans -- The Dark Knight is a film for the ages. -- David Horiuchi

(see review)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Special Edition DVD) by Robert Wise (Director) (20th Century Fox 02 December 2008 / $19.98) -

Product Description:
Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: 12/02/2008
Run time: 92 minutes
Rating: NR

From IMDB: An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. Written by Bruce Janson {bruce@cs.su.oz.au}

A flying saucer orbits the 1950s Earth. It lands in Washington, DC, on the Mall. The lone occupant steps out and is shot by a jumpy soldier. Gort, a large and very powerful robot appears to save him and is able to melt tanks with the slightest bit of his power. The wounded alien orders Gort to stop his rampage and is taken to a hospital from which he escapes in order to learn more about this planet, even moving in as a boarder with an Earth family. When they begin to suspect him, he reveals himself, along with the news that Gort is a member of a race of super-robot enforcers invented to keep the peace of the galaxy that will destroy the Earth if provoked. Written by John Vogel {jlvogel@comcast.net}

(see review)

The Day the Earth Stood Still [Theatrical Release] by David Scarpa (writer) (20th Century Fox 12 December 2008 / ) - Synopsis: A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Cast: Keanu Reeves as Klaatu / Jennifer Connelly as Helen / Jon Hamm as Dr. Granier / John Cleese as Dr. Barnhardt / Jaden Smith as Jacob / Kathy Bates (role not listed)

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea [Special Edition] by Jim Kammerud (Director) and Brian Smith (Co-Director) (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 28 December 2008 / $29.99) - Product Description: Disney's amazing undersea classic lives on in an all-new story bursting with the same captivating music style, unforgettably colorful characters and brilliant animation that made the original film an Academy Award®-winning favorite.

After rejoicing over the birth of their daughter Melody, Ariel and Eric must face a new threat from Ursula s revengeful sibling Morgana, a threat that forces them to hide Melody's true mermaid heritage. Melody, a young princess curious about her roots, ultimately ventures into the sea against her parents wishes. There she meets new friends and in her dream to become a mermaid becomes a pawn in Morgana's plot to gain control of the Seven Seas. Ariel must reunite with her childhood friends Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle to rescue her daughter and restore harmony to her family.

An all-star cast returns, including Jodi Benson (Ariel) and Samuel E. Wright (Sebastian) for a remarkable adventure teeming with surprises, a new deleted song and all-new game.

Run Time: 75 minutes

(see review)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Widescreen) by Rob Cohen, Director (Universal Studios 29 December 2008 / $29.98) -

Product Description:
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 12/16/2008
Run time: 112 minutes
Rating: PG13

From Amazon.com: The third film in the The Mummy series freshens the franchise up by setting the action in China. There, the discovery of an ancient emperor's elaborate tomb proves a feather in the cap of Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford), a young archaeologist and son of Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, taking over the role from Rachel Weisz). Unfortunately, a curse that turned the emperor (Jet Li) and his army into terra cotta warriors buried for centuries is lifted, and the old guy prepares for world domination by seeking immortality at Shangri La. The O'Connells barely stay a step ahead of him (climbing through the Himalaya mountains with apparent ease), but the action inevitably leads to a showdown between two armies of mummies in a Chinese desert. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has a lot to offer: a supporting cast that includes the elegant Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong, and Liam Cunningham, the unexpected appearance of several Yeti, and a climactic battle sequence that is nightmarishly weird but compelling. On the downside, the charm so desperately sought in romantic relationships, as well as comic turns by John Hannah (as Evelyn's rascal brother), is not only absent but often annoying. Rarely have witty asides in the thick of battle been more unwelcome in a movie. Rob Cohen's direction is largely crisp if sometimes curious (a fight between Fraser and Jet Li keeps varying in speed for some reason), but his vision of Shangri La, in the Hollywood tradition, is certainly attractive. -- Tom Keogh

(see review)

Tinker Bell [DVD] by Bradley Raymond (Director) (WALT DISNEY VIDEO 01 December 2008 / $29.99) - Product Description: Born into the fantastic world of Pixie Hollow, Tinker Bell thinks her fairy talent as a tinker isn't as special or important as the other fairies talents. But when Tink tries to change who she is, she creates nothing but disaster! With encouragement from her friends Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn, and Iridessa, Tink learns the key to solving her problems lies in her unique tinker abilities and discovers that when she's true to herself, magical things can happen. (see review)

WALL-E (Three-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) by Andrew Stanton (Director) (WALT DISNEY VIDEO 01 December 2008 / $39.99) -

Product Description: The highly acclaimed director of Finding Nemo and the creative storytellers behind Cars and Ratatouille transport you to a galaxy not so far away for a new cosmic comedy adventure about a determined robot named WALL-E.

After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, the curious and lovable WALL-E discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. Join them and a hilarious cast of characters on a fantastic journey across the universe. Transport yourself to a fascinating new world with Disney-Pixar's latest adventure, now even more astonishing on DVD and loaded with bonus features, including the exclusive animated short film BURN-E. WALL-E is a film your family will want to enjoy over and over again.

1. BURN-E Hilarious, All-New Animated Short Bringing Light To The Galaxy Eventual-E, 2. BnL Shorts An Amusing Peek Into The Inner Workings Of The Buy N Large Corporation, 3. Lots Of Bots Storybook This Imaginative Storybook Comes To Life Loaded With Fun Games, 4. Making Of Featurettes, 5. Bot Files Get To Know WALL-E's Robot Friends, 6. DisneyFile Digital Copy Watch Your DVD In The Living Room And Your DisneyFile Digital Copy On The Go, 7. Presto Amazing Animated Theatrical Short Film, 8. Deleted Scenes, 9. Sneak Peek WALL-E's Tour Of The Universe WALL-E Takes You On A Real Ride Through Space, 10. Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up Legendary Sound Designer Ben Burtt Shares Secrets Of Creating The Sounds Of WALL-E, 11. Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Stanton, 12. The Pixar Story By Leslie Iwerks An Award-Winning Filmmaker Tells The Riveting Story Of The Innovative Company That Revolutionized Hollywood, 13. Additional Deleted Scenes, 14. WALL-E's Treasures And Trinkets Hilarious Moments

(see review)

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