Aisle Seat 3-D Edition Latest Blu-Rays Reviewed Plus: HELLBOY II, Paramount Classics & More
Unless you grew up in the ‘50s or early ‘80s, 3-D has --
until recently -- been one of those filmmaking novelties that seemed
like the bygone product of another era. Produced more as a means to get
movie-goers into their seats than any kind of added artistic filmmaking
component, the format did have its share of successes (“Creature
From the Black Lagoon” or “Dial M For Murder” to name
a pair), but otherwise was comprised of mostly disposable sci-fi/horror
outings that relied heavily on the third dimension for whatever
entertainment value they held.
Things, recently, have been changing: the success of numerous
“special event” movies like the 3D “Nightmare Before
Christmas,” or Disney’s “Hanna Montana” concert
movie, have brought 3D back into the mainstream. Time will tell,
though, if this resurrection is just another flash in the pan done
every generation or so to test the format’s validity, or if it
means 3D really is here to stay (having projects like Tim
Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and James
Cameron’s “Avatar” on the horizon can only help).
One of last summer’s surprise box-office hits, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (**½, 92 mins., 2008, PG; Warner),
was one of the rare Hollywood films these days to display a great deal
of “legs” after its opening weekend. Though the picture
managed just $19 million over its first three days, the film played
through the entire summer, ultimately grossing $100 million
domestically and scoring another hit for star/executive producer
This 90-minute Walden Media/New Line co-production isn’t a great
adventure movie by any means, but it is a watchable family film that,
when viewed in 3D, offers ample entertainment for sci-fi/fantasy fans.
The Michael Weiss-Jennifer Flackett-Mark Levin script follows teacher
Fraser, young nephew Josh Hutcherson and mountain tour guide Anita
Briem on an odyssey into the Earth’s core as the trio hunt for
Hutcherson’s lost father. En route they encounter prehistoric
plants and animals, dinosaurs, lost caverns and mine carts and
basically everything in between.
The film, directed by Eric Brevig, is fairly simplistic and
doesn’t offer much in the way of character development or
compelling drama, but the 3D effects -- at least theatrically -- were
quite effective and made the effort a fun “popcorn movie”
if nothing else.
Alas, it doesn’t help that current television technology still
can’t display theatrical 3D on home displays, relying instead on
the old analygraph (red/green) set-up to achieve its three-dimensional
effects. Warner’s Blu-Ray edition of “Journey” does
the same, presenting a 2D version of the movie along with an analygraph
3D version with four pairs of included glasses. The bad news is that,
predictably, this 3D edition doesn’t favorably compare to the
theatrical 3D with its polarized lenses, but the surprising aspect is
that the Blu-Ray’s 3D is still fairly effective. Some dimensional
depth of field effects are on-hand throughout -- in fact they’re
more effective than any analygraph 3D format presentation I’ve
seen on video before. Whether it’s because of the high-definition
VC-1 encoded transfer or the sheer fact that we’re now watching
on higher-definition displays than before, the 3D is fairly satisfying
and much better than I anticipated it being.
Warner has rounded out the disc with commentary from Fraser and Brevig,
three featurettes (in HD), and a plain 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack.
Also out from Warner in 3D is a new Blu-Ray release of the 2004 Robert Zemeckis adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s book THE POLAR EXPRESS (**½, 100 mins., 2005, G, Warner).
Centering on the recollections of a young boy just old enough to have
his doubts about the existence of Santa Claus, “The Polar
Express” offers Tom Hanks playing no less than five different
“roles”: the boy, his father, the conductor of a magical
train that transports our young hero to the North Pole, a ghostly hobo
who rides on top of it, and Santa himself. While at the North Pole, our
nameless protagonist (dubbed “Hero Boy”) -- along with the
other children onboard the Polar Express -- learn something about the
true meaning of Christmas and the ability to believe.
Meticulously designed with the most capable CGI available today,
“The Polar Express” is a strange film: a warm-hearted
holiday fantasy with creepy, half-human/half-animated performances set
against a fully animated cinematic world, and a story that would have
been more effective as a half-hour TV special as opposed to a
100-minute theatrical feature.
latter is unsurprising, since Van Allsburg’s beloved
children’s book is only a few dozen pages, and screenwriters
Zemeckis and William Broyles, Jr. had to artificially lengthen the
material for the big screen. Still, what’s disappointing is the
manner in which the filmmakers expand the story: after a strong start,
the journey to the North Pole feels endless, with saccharine Alan
Silvestri-Glen Ballard songs, an out-of-place Steven Tyler performance
near the end, uninteresting side characters, and a succession of
“action” sequences that do, admittedly, show off the
film’s amazing visuals.
Ultimately, despite all the good intentions and the evocative visual
design of the film (its characters notwithstanding), “The Polar
Express” isn’t the perennial classic one might have hoped.
I kept on thinking that the movie would have worked better either as a
live-action fantasy (or at least with live, real actors set against the
CGI backdrops), or a fully animated work, where animators could have
used their own imaginations instead of having to adhere (at least
partially) to the human “captured” performances. Instead,
the picture exists somewhere in the netherworld between the two -- a
fusion that may, in fact, date the picture badly for future generations.
Warner’s new 3D edition of the movie boasts a similar
presentation to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” above:
both 2D and 3D versions are on-hand, the latter offering a decent
enough analygraph 3D version with four pairs of glasses included. The
effects are a bit more limited than “Journey,” being most
effective when conveying depth of field effects (i.e. when characters
are spaced differently against the backdrops), but again, if
you’re expecting another old-fashioned analygraph 3D movie you
might be pleasantly surprised with the results.
A smattering of extras from prior DVD and Blu-Ray editions are also
on-hand here, with the added benefit of a “Smokey and
Steamer” song that was cut from theaters. Of further interest for
Blu-Ray fans is the inclusion of a new Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, easily
besting the ordinary Dolby Digital 5.1 track from the prior BD release. Also New on Blu-Ray
For my money, the summer’s best movie wasn’t “The
Dark Knight,” “Iron Man” or any other conventional
Instead, Guillermo Del Toro’s spectacularly entertaining HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (***½, 120 mins., 2008, PG-13; Universal)
fit the bill as the season’s most satisfying feature: an
elaborate and superior sequel to Del Toro’s prior adaptation of
Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse comic book character, who -- as
embodied by Ron Perlman -- is anything but a conventional super-hero.
This freewheeling fantasy finds Hellboy (Perlman), Liz (Selma Blair),
and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, here voicing his character as well) trying
to track down a elf king (Luke Goss) who’s desperate to
re-assemble a massive “Golden Army” of automatons that
could wipe out humanity. In order to do so, he needs to find his sister
(Anna Walton), who possesses the last shard of a magical crown
that’s all that stands in the way of the dying elfen race making
one last stand against the human world.
The marvelous “Hellboy II” is packed with action, loads of
humor and colorful characters, fascinating creatures and dazzling F/X
to spare. Del Toro had a bigger budget and more freedom here than he
did with the original “Hellboy” and it shows at every turn:
this is a more confident and relaxed movie with a straightforward
script (by Del Toro himself, working from a story he co-authored with
Mignola) and engaging performances, from the three leads to Jeffrey
Tambor as our lead trio’s constantly frustrated FBI supervisor to
“Family Guy”’s Seth MacFarlane voicing a mysterious
German commander with bizarre supernatural powers.
In a summer that was populated with sequels and remakes, “Hellboy
II” is that rare follow-up that really clicks, from the story to
the characters and even Danny Elfman’s fine score. It’s all
capped by a memorable Hellboy/Abe/Barry Manilow sing-along that ranks
as one of the year’s goofiest, and more endearing, scenes.
Universal is launching “Hellboy II” on Blu-Ray next week in
a dynamic package. The VC-1 encoded transfer is outstanding, capturing
all of the colorful action of the movie in a flawless HD presentation.
DTS Master Audio sound likewise compliments a powerhouse audio
presentation, while loads of extras shed insight into Del Toro’s
creative process: a two-hour documentary, “In Service of the
Demon,” extensively profiles the film, while deleted scenes, a
production workshop “puppet theater” featurette, two
different commentaries (one with Del Toro, another with members of the
cast), an interactive “Schufften Goggle View” and other
goodies (some of which will be available on BD Live next week) make for
a dynamite supplemental package.
“Hellboy II” is one of Del Toro’s best and rates as
one of the most sheerly entertaining recent films of its kind.
Don’t miss it!
Also new on Blu-Ray this week is GET SMART (**½, 110 mins., 2008, PG-13; Warner), the big-screen updating of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry’s classic ‘60s TV comedy.
Steve Carell makes for about as satisfying a Maxwell Smart as one could
hope for, with “The Office” star affably filling the shoes
of Don Adams. Unfortunately, Anne Hathaway isn’t what I had in
mind as Agent 99, coming across almost like Carell’s daughter in
an odd bit of (mis)casting that doesn’t pay off.
There are a few laughs here and there, but the Tom J. Astle-Matt Ember
script plays it safe for the most part, offering a bevy of veterans
including Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, Bill Murray and James Caan a few
lines while director Peter Segal cranks out fairly routine action
Warner’s Blu-Ray disc offers a strong VC-1 encoded transfer with
5.1 Dolby Digital audio (no lossless here), with extras including a
litany of alternate lines which can be incorporated into the movie,
plus the requisite Making Of featurettes and a gag reel.
PLANET OF THE APES: 35th Anniversary Edition (****, 112 mins., 1968; Fox): Blu-Ray
edition of the original and best film in the "Planet of the Apes"
series boasts a superb AVC encoded transfer and DTS Master Audio sound
as well as a cavalcade of extras from prior releases, including a
commentary track by Jerry Goldsmith.
Goldsmith is on-hand to talk about his experience working with Franklin
F. Schaffner, utilizing early synthesizers and divulging some of the
tricks he employed to create the movie's unusual soundscape. The
composer is candid about his relationship with the filmmaker and the
strengths and weaknesses of the movie, including the decision to play
the climactic twist ending without music (Goldsmith says that Charlton
Heston was a bit over the top by himself, and didn't need any score to
For other supplements, the BD is content to rework other extras from
past releases, including a strong text commentary track (filled with
excellent anecdotes), and a secondary audio commentary with Kim Hunter,
John Chambers, and the late Roddy McDowall, which obviously was cobbled
together from old interviews. While this might have been a good idea,
the track is so sporadic in nature that you might think someone made a
mistake in the editing department (long stretches of time go by with no
commentary at all).
Far better is the inclusion of the outstanding "Behind the Planet of
the Apes" two-hour documentary. This is the same special that AMC
produced for the Apes' 30th Anniversary several years ago, but it's
still the best single program made about the creation of the series.
Also on-hand are a handful of vintage featurettes and trailers, from a
NATO reel to nearly 20 minutes of Roddy McDowall's home movies, which
are in surprisingly excellent condition. All of the newer featurettes
produced for the last DVD edition are also reprieved here, along with
new interactive content, resulting in a jam-packed, terrific release
for all “Apes” enthusiasts.
Fox has also released all of the sequels in HD (including
“Conquest” in a reportedly “uncut” version),
yet only sent the original film on Blu-Ray for reviewers to take a peak
at. Hopefully the other discs -- which were supposed to include
isolated soundtracks in 5.1 DTS Master Audio for the sequels -- offer a
similarly satisfying package as this first high-definition trip to the
“Planet of the Apes.”
FUTURAMA: Bender’s Game (87 mins., 2008; Fox):
Latest made-for-video follow-up to Matt Groening’s short-lived
but beloved (in certain circles) “Futurama” series hits
Blu-Ray this week in a fine package, from an AVC encoded transfer to
DTS Master Audio sound and numerous extras: one deleted scene,
commentary by the creators, a video commentary track, featurettes,
outtakes and other goodies for “Futurama” fans. Paramount Centennial Collections
Not to be outdone by Universal’s recent Legacy Editions of
Hitchcock classics “Rear Window,” “Psycho” and
“Vertigo,” Paramount is heading back into Golden Age
territory with three double-disc “Centennial Collection”
releases of studio classics “Sunset Boulevard, “
”Roman Holiday” and “Sabrina” coming next week.
All three films have been treated to new high-definition derived
transfers and look crisp for their respective ages, though I
don’t have the original discs on-hand to tell you how much of an
upgrade these are on their past DVD incarnations.
The delightful 1953 William Wyler comedy ROMAN HOLIDAY
with Audrey Hepburn as a princess who runs away from her royal
responsibilities -- and falls for American journalist Gregory Peck
along the way -- was previously issued in a fine Paramount DVD with a
few extra features. The “Centennial” edition reprises the
prior DVD’s documentary and adds several fresh featurettes
into the mix, including two different retrospectives on Hepburn’s
work at Paramount, a restoration comparison, a tribute to Dalton
Trumbo, a costume design featurette, trailers and other galleries.
Hepburn also lit up the screen in Billy Wilder’s 1954 SABRINA,even
if she was playing opposite a somewhat miscast Humphrey Bogart (still,
there’s more chemistry there than the Julia Ormond-Harrison Ford
teaming in Sydney Pollack’s pleasant yet stilted 1995 remake).
Documentaries on Hepburn (this time focusing on her status as a
“Fashion Icon”), William Holden, the film proper, the
cinematography, a restoration comparison and other goodies round out
Wilder’s classic 1950 melodrama SUNSET BOULEVARD
receives the grandest treatment of the trio, even if much of it is
recycled from the prior DVD release. A new documentary is on-hand
recounting the production, as are featurettes on William Holden and
Joseph Wambaugh (recounting his fondness for the picture), while
profiles of composer Franz Waxman (in an excellent 15-minute
featurette), costume designer Edith Head, the original trailer, and
script pages from the movie’s morgue prologue are carried over
from the earlier DVD.
Each disc contains the same “Paramount in the ‘50s”
retrospective featurette and an eight-page booklet inside each package.
New TV on DVD
CHUCK: Season 1 Blu-Ray (556 mins., 2007-08; Warner): One
of NBC’s few successes from the strike-plagued 2007-08 season,
the affable “Chuck” stars Zachary Levi as a normal,
everyday guy who works at a Best Buy-like chain and lives a fairly drab
existence. One day, an old friend sends him an email that turns out to
be a group of government secrets that improbably become permanently
etched into Chuck’s mind. Needing to access that information both
the CIA and NSA come calling to protect their newfound charge, the
former in the form of lovely Yvonne Strahovski as an agent who quickly
falls for our geeky hero.
McG and Josh Schwartz co-produced this engaging series which starts off
a bit on the slow side but picks up steam about midway through its
first 13 episodes. The interplay between Levi and Strahovski is playful
and engaging, though the stories tend to be a bit on the routine side.
Still, if you stick with it, “Chuck” comes together nicely
and offers a solid mix of comedy, romance and adventure with a likeable
Warner’s Blu-Ray box-set of “Chuck” follows the
studio’s standard DVD release from a month ago and boasts
enhanced, VC-1 encoded HD transfers that are top notch throughout. The
5.1 Dolby Digital sound is also perfectly okay, while extras include
deleted scenes, a gag reel, behind-the-scenes featurettes and
interviews, and several “web originated mini-featurettes.”
SUPERNATURAL: Season 3 Blu-Ray (651 mins., 2007-08; Warner):
After selling his soul to the Crossroad Demon in exchange for his
brother’s life, Dean (Jensen Ackles) lives life to the brim while
still traveling the country with sibling Sam (Jared Padalecki),
tracking down newly unleashed demons from hell and other assorted
creatures of the night along the way. This CW series continues to
garner decent ratings at a time when its network is basically on life
support, and “Supernatural” fans will devour this
third-season Blu-Ray set, sporting nifty VC-1 encoded transfers and 5.1
Dolby Digital soundtracks. A decent assortment of extras include a gag
reel, featurettes and interviews, making for a nice package all told,
even if only 16 episodes are on-hand due to last season’s strike.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE: Season 2 (481 mins., 2006-07;
Warner): It hasn’t been a happy run for the stars of
“Seinfeld” after the iconic NBC sitcom ended its long run;
Jason Alexander appeared in several failed standalone shows, while
Michael Richards...yeah, let’s just let that one slide, shall we?
Julia Louis-Dreyfus at least was able to garner some measure of success
from her CBS series “The New Adventures of Old Christine,”
which has become something of a moderate hit on the network. Season 2
of the show (2006-07) offers 22 episodes of the series in 16:9
transfers and 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks, with bonus unaired scenes
and a gag reel.
FAMILY GUY: Volume 6 (274 mins., 2007-08; Fox):
Fox’s latest DVD compilation of Seth MacFarlane’s
uproarious Sunday night animated series culls together episodes from
the second half of its 2007 campaign, through basically the mid-point
of this past year (i.e. March 2007 through January ‘08). Though
the laughs can be scattershot at times, some gems populate this batch
of 12 shows, including “No Meals on Wheels” (Peter Griffin
opens a restaurant), “No Chris Left Behind” (featuring
another brawl between Peter and his nemesis, the Giant Chicken, which
runs on forever), and “McStroke.” It’s curious that
Fox didn’t bother to include the final four episodes of the 07-08
season, since the studio could then issue proper “seasonal”
sets from this point forth, but I assume there’s a method to
their marketing madness splitting up episodes in this kind of random
fashion. A good smattering of extras includes commentaries on several
episodes, the 100th episode special, and deleted scenes plus superb
full-screen transfers and 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Season 3 (429 mins., 2007-08; Fox):
Amidst the writers strike and rumors that star Colbie Smulders would be
playing Wonder Woman (speculation which has failed to translate into
anything official), this very likeable CBS sitcom chugged along in its
third season, continuing to garner strong Monday night ratings for its
network. Season three, newly out on DVD, offers the series’
complete third season in fine 16:9 (1.78) widescreen transfers and 5.1
Dolby Digital soundtracks, offering amusing guest star turns from
Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Heidi Klum and Enrique Iglesias among
others. Ample special features include commentaries, behind the scenes
featurettes, an unrated gag reel and music videos.
REAPER: Season 1 (810 mins., 2008; Lionsgate):
Wacky, offbeat series follows a 21-year-old slacker who finds out that
his parents sold his soul to the devil, making him a type of bounty
hunter for Old Scratch himself (the highly entertaining Ray Wise). This
engaging, better-than-you-might-think CW series arrives on DVD this
month for the first time, where its producers are hoping it will pick
up some fans: the show was only renewed for 13 second-season episodes,
which are slated to be broadcast sometime at mid-season. In the
meantime, Lionsgate’s DVD box-set of “Reaper”’s
first season should satisfy fans and newcomers alike with commentaries,
deleted scenes, the requisite gag reel, 16:9 (1.78) widescreen
transfers and 2.0 stereo soundtracks comprising the package.
MIND OF MENCIA: Season 4 (220 mins., 2008; Paramount): Comedian
Carlos Mencia’s entertaining Comedy Central series -- a mix of
stand-up routines, filmed bits and “man on the street”
interviews -- returns to DVD in a double-disc Season 4 set. Uncensored
episodes are on-hand along with bloopers, deleted and extended
sequences and a pair of featurettes, while full-screen transfers and
2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks round out the presentation. Holiday Corner
If you haven’t noticed by now, holiday displays are up in stores
across the country, so that must mean a bevy of new Christmas-related
DVDs are on the way as well. Here’s our first (of likely several)
Aisle Seat round-up of new yuletide discs for the season: THIS CHRISTMAS DVD & Blu-Ray (***, 119 mins., 2007, PG-13; Sony):
Quite watchable domestic family drama (albeit with a bit too much
sexual content for young viewers) focuses on family matriarch
Ma’Dere (Lorette Devine) and her boyfriend (Delroy Lindo), who
bring their diverse group of kids together for a memorable, if hectic,
Preston A. Whitmore II wrote and directed “This Christmas,”
and sprinkles the warm tale with musical interludes to help off-set
some of the more formulaic, melodramatic aspects of his story. The
ensemble cast, which also includes Regina King, Idris Elba and pop
singer Chris Brown, is just fine and the movie has an enormous heart
which, ultimately, makes it a fine addition to holiday viewing --
especially in lieu of recent studio-produced garbage like
“Christmas With the Cranks,” “Deck the Halls”
and the seemingly putrid upcoming “Four Christmases” with
Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.
Sony’s DVD offers a pleasing 16:9 (2.35) widescreen transfer with
5.1 Dolby Digital sound, while the AVC-encoded HD transfer of the
Blu-Ray platter is predictably even more satisfying, capped off by
superb Dolby TrueHD audio. Extras spread across both platforms include
deleted and extended scenes, a Making Of special, music video and cast
commentary with Regina King and co-stars Sharon Leal and Lauren London.
Certainly “This Christmas” is a major step up from another new Christmas offering from Sony, THE PERFECT HOLIDAY (**, 96 mins., 2007, PG; Sony),
starring Morris Chestnut as a mall Santa who falls for a single mother
(Gabrielle Union) in a fairly hackneyed tale with a supporting cast
that deserved better material (Terence Howard, Queen Latifah, and
Charlie Murphy among them).
Sony’s DVD includes a fine 16:9 (1.85) transfer, 5.1 Dolby
Digital sound, commentary from producer Mike Elliott and two Making Of
NOELLE (**½, 90 mins., 2007, PG; Paramount):
Low-key independent film from writer-director David Wall offers a
mostly well-balanced meditation on Catholicism and faith as it follows
authoritarian priest Jonathan Keene (Wall himself) as he travels to a
snowy Cape Cod to shut down a parish with a dwindling amount of church
goers. He soon falls for a pregnant parishoner (Kerry Wall, the
director’s wife) and reassesses his priorities in this
“Christian” movie that’s a good deal more authentic
and less heavy-handed, for the most part, than most religious-based
pictures I’ve sampled of late. Certainly a labor of love on the
part of the director, “Noelle” is a well-acted and
atmospheric tale complimented by a fine, equally unobtrusive score by
Andrew Ingkavet. Paramount’s DVD includes a fine 16:9 (1.85)
transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
SHREK THE HALLS (22 mins., 2007; Dreamworks/Paramount):
Cute network TV special, a follow up to “Shrek the Third,”
finds Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and company ribbing various holiday
traditions and putting their own spin on the perennial animated
yuletide cartoon. It’s not likely to replace “A Charlie
Brown Christmas” but it’s a good deal more satisfying than
the last “Shrek” feature, at nearly one-third of the
running time. Dreamworks’ DVD includes both widescreen and
full-screen transfers with Dolby Digital audio, two featurettes and
interactive games for the kids. Also on DVD & Blu-Ray
KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL (***, 100 mins., 2008, G; Warner):
Well-acted and highly enjoyable family movie based on the
“American Girl” doll line finds Abigail Breslin as a girl
growing up during the Great Depression and the shenanigans that ensue
when her parents (Julia Ormond and Chris O’Donnell) have to take
in boarders in order to make ends meet. A marvelous supporting cast
(Glenne Hadley, Jane Krakowski, Stanley Tucci, Joan Cusack and Wallace
Shawn) makes this leisurely paced, warmhearted film ideal for both kids
and adults alike, complete with a fine Joseph Vitarelli score and
direction by Patricia Rozema that never strikes a wrong note.
Warner’s Blu-Ray release includes a colorful VC-1 encoded
transfer but pretty much nothing else of note, from the vanilla 5.1
Dolby Digital soundtrack down to a trailer gallery for other
“American Girl” video features.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: Special Edition (**, 91 mins., 2007, PG; Fox):
Unlikely box-office behemoth (over $200 million domestic and $356
million worldwide) is an innocuous kiddie effort with Jason Lee as Dave
Seville, who uncovers a pop music phenomena in a trio of chipmunks
named Alvin, Simon and Theodore.Director Tim Hill previously directed
the second "Garfield" film and certainly has the expertise to fashion a
CGI kids romp, which "Alvin" most definitely is. Lee, David Cross and
Justin Long are just the straight men basically for the Chipmunks,
whose colorful antics pushed this slight and only occasionally goofy
effort into smash-hit territory. Still, kids ought to warm to it on
video just as they did in theaters.
Fox’s original DVD and Blu-Ray efforts were short on extras but
the studio has rectified that -- at least on the DVD side -- with a new
Special Edition offering deleted scenes, music videos, several
featurettes, a 16:9 (1.85) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
LOVE SONGS (95 mins., 2008, Not Rated; IFC/Genius): Christophe
Honoré’s French tribute to his country’s colorful
musicals of the ‘60s offers Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier and
Clotilde Hesme as lovers in a dreamy Parisian souffle with 14 songs by
composer Alex Beaupain and others carrying the drama. IFC’s
American DVD of “Les Chansons D'amour” includes a fine 16:9
transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital French audio.
WU: THE STORY OF THE WU TANG CLAN (79 mins., 2008; Paramount):
Hip-hop enthusiasts will appreciate this feature-length documentary
profiling the rise and fall of the Wu Tang Clan. Paramount’s DVD
includes a widescreen transfer with 2.0 stereo sound and bonus extended
interviews, a music video and other extras. NEXT
TIME: STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS and BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES hit DVD and Blu-Ray. Until
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