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Blu-ray & DVD Reviews- 05/2010  Next Month / Last Month
by Charles Mohapel
Send your Shiny Disks to: c/o SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Rd, Brandywine, MD 20613

2012 (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray] by Directed by Roland Emmerich (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 24 April 2010 / $39.95) -

From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, and Danny Glover.
Now this is how you destroy the World. Roland Emmerich's 2012 pounces on a Nostradamus-style loophole in the Mayan calendar and rams the apocalypse through it, gleefully conjuring up an enormous amount of Saturday-matinee fun in the process. A scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) detects shifting continental plates and Sun flares and realizes that this foretells the imminent destruction of the planet. Just as the molten lava is about to hit the fan, a novelist (John Cusack) takes his kids on a trip to Yellowstone; later he'll hook up with his ex (Amanda Peet) and her new boyfriend (Tom McCarthy) in a global journey toward safety. If there is any safety. The suitably hair-raising plot lines are punctuated -- frequently, people, frequently -- by visions of mayhem around the globe: the Vatican falls over, the White House is clobbered (Emmerich's Independence Day was not enough on that score), and the California coastline dives into the Pacific Ocean. Unlike other action directors we could name, Emmerich actually understands how to let you see and drink in these vast special-effects vistas -- and they are incredible. He also honors the old Irwin Allen disaster-movie tradition by actually shelling out for good actors. Cusack and Ejiofor are convincing even in the cheesiest material; toss in Danny Glover (the U.S. president), Woody Harrelson (a nut-bar conspiracy-theorizing radio host), Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt, and you've got a very watchable batch of people. Emmerich hasn't developed an ear for dialogue, even at this stage in his career, and the final act goes on a bit too long. This is a very silly movie, but if you've got a weakness for B-movie energy and hairbreadth escapes, 2012 delivers quite a bit of both. -- Robert Horton

Running Time: 158 minutes

Disc 1:
Blu-ray Disc is High Definition
Armored Trailer
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Trailer (Total Time: 6:38)

2012 Play / Play with movieIQ (157:45)
What is movieIQ? (1:02)

Special Features:
2012 with Commentary with Writer/Director Roland Emmerich and Co-Writer Harald Kloser (157:45)

"Alternate Ending" (3:39)

Blu-ray Disc is High Definition (2:27)
Armored Trailer (2:26)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Trailer (1:45)
Did You Hear About The Morgans? Trailer (2:5)
Angels & Demons Trailer (0:32)
Planet 51 Trailer (0:31)


Disc 2:
"Interactive Mayan Calendar" - Enter a date to reveal your horoscope and personality profile!
Delve even further into the secrets by watching "Mysteries of the Mayan Calendar" with Lawrence E. Joseph (Author of "APOCALYSE: 2012 & The Mystery of 2012"). (3:53)
Deleted Scenes:

  • Limo Drive with Twins (0:40)
  • President Wilson talks with Sally (1:13)
  • Something must have gone wrong (1:17)
  • Jackson Underwater (0:57)
  • Anheuser Apologizes (0:55)

"Designing the End of the World" with Roland Emmerich (Director/Co-Writer/Executive Producer), John Cusack ("Jackson Curtis"), Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Adrian Helmsley"), Thandie Newton ("Laura Wilson"), Tom McCarthy ("Gordon Silberman"), Mark Gordon (Producer), Barry Chusid (Production Designer), Mike Vezina (Special Effects Supervisor), Volker Engel (Co-Producer/FVX Supervisor), Marc Weigert (Co-Producer/FVX Supervisor), and Woody Harrelson ("Charlie Frost").(26:04)

"Roland Emmerich: The Master of the Modern Epic" with John Cusack, Danny Glover ("President Thomas Wilson"), Blu Mankuma ("Harry Helmsley"), Amanda Peet ("Kate Curtis"), Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Tom McCarthy, Oliver Platt ("Carl Anheuser"), Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser (Co-Writer/Producer/Composer), Mark Gordon, Barry Chusid, Marc Weigert, and Volker Engel. (9:31)

"Science Behind The Destruction" with Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Patrick Geryl (Author of "How to Survive 2012"), John Platt (USC Professor of Earth Sciences), Mark Gordon, Lawrence Joseph, Daniel Pinchbeck (Author of "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl"), and Dr. Louis Friedman (Co-Founder, The Planetary Society) (13:19)

"The End Of The World: The Actor's Perspective: with Roland Emmerich, John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Mark Gordon, Harald Kloser, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, and Tom McCarthy. (7:34)

" "Time For Miracles" Music Video by Adam Lambert” (4:19)

"Making the Music Video "Time For Miracles" with Adam Lambert” with comments by Adam Lambert and Wayne Isham (Music Video Director) (2:43)

"Countdown to the Future” with Daniel Pinchbeck, Lawrence Joseph, Patrick Geryl, Don Carlos Barrios (Mayan Shaman), and Dr. Friedmann Freund (Professor of Physics, San Jose State University) (22:03)

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: Thirtieth Anniversary Ultimate Edition on DVD and Blu-ray (1:35) (released November 2007)
Michael Jackson's This Is It on DVD and Blu-ray (2:32)
By The People: The Election of Barack Obama on DVD (2:28)
Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season on DVD and Blu-ray (0:32) Season 3 on AMC

(see review)  Netflix / IMDB

Avatar (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray] by Directed by James Cameron (20th Century Fox 30 April 2010 / $39.99) -

Product Description:
A reluctant hero. An epic journey. A choice between the life he left behind and the incredible new world he's learned to call home. Return to James Cameron's Avatar -- the greatest adventure of all time.

Please note: This edition of the film is not in 3D
After 12 years of thinking about it (and waiting for movie technology to catch up with his visions), James Cameron followed up his unsinkable Titanic with Avatar, a Sci-Fi epic meant to trump all previous Sci-Fi epics. Set in the future on a distant planet, Avatar spins a simple little parable about greedy colonizers (that would be mankind) messing up the lush tribal world of Pandora. A paraplegic Marine named Jake (Sam Worthington) acts through a 9-foot-tall avatar that allows him to roam the planet and pass as one of the Na'vi, the blue-skinned, large-eyed native people who would very much like to live their peaceful lives without the interference of the visitors. Although he's supposed to be gathering intel for the badass General (Stephen Lang) [ED. actually, he's a Colonel] who'd like to lay waste to the planet and its inhabitants, Jake naturally begins to take a liking to the Na'vi, especially the feisty Neytiri (Zoë Saldana, whose entire performance, recorded by Cameron's complicated motion-capture system, exists as a digitally rendered Na'vi). The movie uses state-of-the-art 3D technology to plunge the viewer deep into Cameron's crazy toy box of planetary ecosystems and high-tech machinery. Maybe it's the fact that Cameron seems torn between his two loves -- awesome destructive gizmos and flower-power message mongering -- that makes Avatar's pursuit of its point ultimately uncertain. That, and the fact that Cameron's dialogue continues to clunk badly. If you're won over by the movie's trippy new world, the characters will be forgivable as broad, useful archetypes rather than standard-issue stereotypes, and you might be able to overlook the unsurprising central plot. (The overextended "take that, Michael Bay" final battle sequences could tax even Cameron enthusiasts, however.) It doesn't measure up to the hype (what could?) yet Avatar frequently hits a giddy delirium all its own. The film itself is our Pandora, a sensation-saturated universe only the movies could create. -- Robert Horton

Special Features:
Disc 1: Theatrical Feature Blu-ray (161:41 minutes)
THX Promo (0:41)

Disc 2: Theatrical Feature DVD (161:31 minutes)
THX Promo (0:43)

Please note:
This edition of the film is not in 3D. Also, we recommend customers with older Blu-ray players update their player firmware to ensure successful playback of this product.

(see review)  Netflix / IMDB

Marvel Iron Man: The Complete Animated Series - 3-Disc DVD by Various Directors (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 20 May 2010 / $29.99) -

Product Description:
From Stan Lee comes Marvel's complete 1994 animated television series, Iron Man. Experience every thrilling moment -- from the very first episode to the final climactic battle -- in this 3-disc collector's edition. Witness the action-packed adventure from the very beginning as billionaire inventor Tony Stark dons his invincible suit of iron to battle the villainous Mandarin and the power of his ten deadly rings. With fellow superheroes Nick Fury, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Spider Woman, and Hawkeye at his side, Iron Man faces off against a band of evil foes, including Whiplash... and confronts his own demons, as well. Go behind the armor and get to know the man under the powered suit. This complete Iron Man collection is a must-have for fans of all ages!

Disc 1:
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (July 16, 2010) (2:32)
Coming Soon To Blu-ray Disc and DVD: When In Rome (Amazon: June 15, 2010) (1:22)
Promo for Disney on Blu-ray (1:02)

Season 1, Episode 1: And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 2: Rejoice! I Am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer (21:58)
Season 1, Episode 3: Data In Chaos Out (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 4: Silence My Companion, Death My Destination (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 5: The Grim Reaper Wears a Teflon Coat (21:58)
Season 1, Episode 6: Enemy Within, Enemy Without (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 7: Origin of the Mandarin (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 8: Defection of Hawkeye (21:57)

Sneak Peeks:
Trailer for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (May 28, 2010) (2:31)
Promo for James and the Giant Peach: Special Edition (On Disney Blu-ray and DVD) (1:01)
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (July 16, 2010) (2:32)
Coming Soon To Blu-ray Disc and DVD: When In Rome (Amazon: June 15, 2010) (1:22)
Promo for Disney on Blu-ray (1:02)

Disc 2:
Season 1, Episode 9: Iron Man to the Second Power (Part 1) (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 10: Iron Man to the Second Power (Part 2) (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 11: Origin of Iron Man (Part 1) (21:57)
Season 1, Episode 12: Origin of Iron Man (Part 2) (21:04)
Season 1, Episode 13: The Wedding of Iron Man (21:57)
Season 2, Episode 1: The Beast Within (22:19)
Season 2, Episode 2: Fire and Rain (22:17)
Season 2, Episode 3: Cell of Iron (22:21)
Season 2, Episode 4: Not Far from the Tree (22:18)

Disc 3:
Season 2, Episode 5: Beauty Knows No Pain (22:19)
Season 2, Episode 6: Iron Man, On the Inside (22:18)
Season 2, Episode 7: Distant Boundaries (22:20)
Season 2, Episode 8: The Armor Wars (Part 1) (22:20)
Season 2, Episode 9: The Armor Wars (Part 2) (22:24)
Season 2, Episode 11: Hulk Buster (22:16)
Season 2, Episode 10: Empowered (22:19)
Season 2, Episode 12: Hands of the Mandarin (Part 1) (22:18)
Season 2, Episode 13: Hands of the Mandarin (Part 2) (22:18)

(see review)  Netflix / IMDB

Sherlock Holmes [2-Disc Blu-ray] by Directed by Guy Ritchie (Warner Home Video 25 April 2010 / $35.99) -

The hangman did his job, Dr. Watson declared the condemned man dead... yet Lord Blackwood has emerged from the tomb to assert his deadly will over 1890 London. Is he in league with the forces of Hell itself? Is the whole Empire in peril? It's a mystery macabre -- and only Sherlock Holmes can master it.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law put memorable imprints on Holmes and Watson in this bold new reimagining that makes the legendary sleuth a daring man of action as well as a peerless man of intellect. Baffling clues, astonishing Holmesian deductions, nimble repartee, catch-your-breath scenes of one slam thing after another -- director Guy Ritchie helms the excitement reintroducing the great detective to the world. Meet the new Sherlock Holmes!

Blu-ray disc:
Promo for Digital Copy on Select Blu-ray discs and DVDs (0:54)
The Clint Eastwood Collection on DVD and Download (2:22)
Invictus on Blu-ray and DVD (2:25)

Sherlock Holmes (128:24)

WB Maximum Movie Mode (requires BonusView or BD-Live enabled Blu-ray Disc Player) Director Guy Ritchie delves into the world of Sherlock Holmes while you watch the movie. Comes with Picture-in-Picture, Storyboard Comparisons, Still Galleries, Focus Points, and Timelines.

"Focus Points" with Guy Ritchie (Director), Sarah Greenwood (Production Designer), Steve Clark-Hall (Co-Producer), Jude Law (Dr. John Watson), Katie Spencer (Set Decorator), Joel Silver (Producer), Jenny Beavan (Costume Designer), Susan Downey (Producer), Mark Strong (Lord Blackwood), Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Rachel McAdams (Irene Adler), Lionel Wigram (Story By/Producer), Franklin Henson (Stunt Coordinator), Eric Oram (Fight Consultant), Andrew Jack (Dialect Coach), various attendees of the annual Baker St. Irregulars Weekend in New York City, David Stuart Davies (Writer/Editor), Otto Penzler (Mysterious Bookshop), and Roger Johnson (Editor) (31:17)

"Behind The Story: Sherlock Holmes Reinvented" with Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Robert Downey Jr., Steve Clark-Hall, Joel Silver, Susan Downey, Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams (14:06)

Warner Bros. BD-Live (requires BD-Live enabled Blu-ray Disc Player)

Combo disc (DVD/Digital Copy):
Sherlock Holmes (128:24)

Digital Copy for PC and Mac

(see review)  Netflix / IMDB

X-Men, Volume Five (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection) by Various Directors (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 12 May 2010 / $23.99) -

Product Description:
The original tales of Marvel comic books come to life in Volume 5 of the X-MEN collection. Relive the action of the popular animated series in this collectible compilation of X-MEN adventures. The X-MEN must turn to their arch-nemesis, Magneto, in an effort to save the life of Professor Xavier! Watch the action unfold in the final episode Graduation Day, and don't miss a moment of X-MEN excitement in this 2-disc set, complete with 14 riveting episodes. Complete your X-MEN collection with this must-own series.

Disc 1:
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (July 16, 2010) (2:32)
Coming Soon To Blu-ray Disc and DVD: When In Rome (Amazon: June 15, 2010) (1:22)
Promo for Disney on Blu-ray (1:01)

Episode 63: Phalanx Covenant, Part One (Season Five) (20:27)
Episode 64: Phalanx Covenant, Part Two (Season Five) (21:28)
Episode 65: A Deal With The Devil (Season Three) (20:27)
Episode 66: No Mutant Is An Island (Season Three) (21:24)
Episode 67: Longshot (Season Three) (19:57)
Episode 68: Bloodlines (Season Four) (20:27)

Sneak Peeks:
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (July 16, 2010) (2:32)
Coming Soon To Blu-ray Disc and DVD: When In Rome (Amazon: June 15, 2010) (1:22)
Promo for Disney on Blu-ray (1:02)
Trailer for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (This Summer: May 28, 2010) (2:31)
Promo for James and the Giant Peach: Special Edition (On Disney Blu-ray and DVD) (1:01)

Disc 2:
Episode 69: Storm Front, Part I (Season Five) (20:27)
Episode 70: Storm Front, Part II (Season Five) (21:19)
Episode 71: Jubilee's Fairytale Theatre (Season Five) (19:56)
Episode 72: The Fifth Horseman (Season Five) (19:57)
Episode 73: Old Soldiers (Season Five) (19:57)
Episode 74: Descent (Season Five) (19:57)
Episode 75: Hidden Agendas (Season Five) (19:57)
Episode 76: Graduation Day (Season Five) (19:56)

(see review)  Netflix / IMDB

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