Screen Junkies » dvd review http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:39:03 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 DVD Review: ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/dvd/dvd-review-scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/dvd/dvd-review-scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 10:49:56 +0000 Reza F. As a recent and thoroughly wide-eyed convert to the cultish Church of Pilgrim, I was no doubt predisposed to drool over every moment of the Scott Pilgrim vs The World DVD bonus features. And drool I did, nearly the whole way through. Come to think of it, there might be something wrong with my mouth.

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As a recent and thoroughly wide-eyed convert to the cultish Church of Pilgrim, I was no doubt predisposed to drool over every moment of the Scott Pilgrim vs The World DVD bonus features. And drool I did, nearly the whole way through. Come to think of it, there might be something wrong with my mouth.

From concept sketches to storyboards to a generous offering of gags, bloopers, and deleted scenes that kept me smiling from start to finish, this first half of the production alone was a worthy supplement to the most original film of the year, and an enticing reason to swap out your Pilgrim torrent for a good old-fashioned store-bought copy.

The features only get better once you dive into the commentary — four separate rounds of discussion including remarks from Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, director Edgar Wright, and creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. Not typically one to sit through two hours of actors and filmmakers talking about themselves, I was genuinely impressed by the level of discussion here; the commentary revealed minute details about the film’s rich visuals that I hadn’t noticed before and nifty factoids about the oh-so-indie musical score, while delving deep into the process behind transplanting the world of Scott Pilgrim from page to screen.

Whether you’re a fan of the film or a staunch and exceedingly hip member of the “the comic book was better than the movie” camp, this is a collection of features worth checking out.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World releases on DVD and Blu-ray November 9th.

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DVD Review: ‘Toy Story 3′ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/dvd/dvd-review-toy-story-3/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/dvd/dvd-review-toy-story-3/#comments Sun, 31 Oct 2010 12:15:03 +0000 Defy Media The Toy Story 3 DVD is packed with special features. After you’re finished rewatching the exceptional third film in the series, take a look at how it all came together. The only downside is after you might be depressed that you don’t work at Pixar. Review after the jump...

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The Toy Story 3 DVD is packed with special features. After you’re finished rewatching the exceptional third film in the series, take a look at how it all came together. The only downside is after you might be depressed that you don’t work at Pixar.

Review after the jump…

Day & Night: Theatrical Short

The clever dialogue-less short that played before Toy Story 3 in theaters is included in the DVD. Like most Pixar films, it teaches a simple lesson, but in a fresh way. I learned that I shouldn’t fear change, and that Vegas is a helluva lot cooler at night.

Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure

Be warned, this feature is a science lesson in disguise. Buzz Lightyear takes us into space and teaches us how the International Space Station navigates and explores the unknown. A good refresher course if you’ve been out of school a few years.

Paths to Pixar: Editorial

The editors on the film explain the basics and art of editing. The editor on an animated film has a degree of control over the filmmaking that an editor on a live action film would never have. If they want a particular shot, they can tell the director to make it happen, as opposed to just having to work with what’s already been shot. Someone needs to keep these Pixar editors in check before a mutiny happens.

Studio Stories: Where’s Gordon?

Andrew Gordon, a Pixar animator, tells of a secret room he found in Pixar Studios that he turned into a swanky lounge. It was not only visited by his bosses, but celebrities, sports stars, and a school soccer teams.

Studio Stories: Cereal Bar

Pixar Studios has a massive cereal bar with any cereal you could ever want. I want to work at Pixar!

Studio Stories: Clean Start

All of the animators shaved their heads and beards at the beginning of Toy Story 3’s production. They then had a contest to see who could let their hair and beards grow back the longest. This was all in the name of camaraderie.

Toys!

The Pixar team explains how they designed all of the toys for the film. The old toys, including Woody and Buzz, got a makeover that utilized the advancement in technology since the previous films.

The Gang’s All Here

A behind the scenes look at the actors who voiced the characters. I watch Michael Keaton behind the mic and all I see is Beetlejuice. It’s also nice to see Tom Hanks and Tim Allen getting along. I heard Hanks slashed his tires during the last Toy Story. That could have just been something I made up though.

A Toy’s Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land

A look at how Disney instituted Toy Story attractions into their various theme parks around the world. If you’ve ever visited Hong Kong Disney, let me know what it’s like riding inside Slinky Dog.

Toy Story 3 releases on Blu-Ray and DVD this Tuesday.

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DVD Review: ‘Scrubs’ Season Nine http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/dvd-review-scrubs-season-nine/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/dvd-review-scrubs-season-nine/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 I can’t believe they cancelled “Scrubs” after only nine seasons. I loved the show the whole way through, and I really liked what they were doing with the new medical...

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I can’t believe they cancelled “Scrubs” after only nine seasons. I loved the show the whole way through, and I really liked what they were doing with the new medical students. I could have seen it going on like a comedy “ER” with a rotating cast of stars. At least we have nine years of abstract hilarity and gut punching emotion in the archives.

The menu screen is a hilarious brochure video for Winston University. That might be one of the most scathing “Scrubs” spoofs they’ve ever done. The six minute “Scrubbing In” featurette is the basic behind the scenes short explaining the new direction of the season. A little late, but I still liked where they were going with it.

The deleted scenes offer more “Scrubs” jokes but Bill Lawrence introduces them all and talks through most of them. Although he says funny things slamming network sponsors or his own cast, it would be nice to just see the scenes. There were some high fives from the Todd and fantasy sequences in there.

“Live from the Golf Cart” features the two campus security guards, in character, but Robert Maschio joins them as The Todd so I’m always happy to see him in character. It’s only two minutes long so it doesn’t get old and it’s a nice extra for uberfans. A short bloopers reel shows the cast mugging and blubbering. No big deal but it’s fun and they kept it brief.
 

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DVD Review: ‘Community’ Season One http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/dvd-review-community-season-one/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/dvd-review-community-season-one/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Remember when we had to wait until a show was a perennial classic, and then they’d start putting out a season at a time on DVD? Heck, remember when they...

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Remember when we had to wait until a show was a perennial classic, and then they’d start putting out a season at a time on DVD? Heck, remember when they started doing TV on DVD? Now we can expect every new show in a ready to own package. “Community” is a good one because the creators can play with the DVD extras the same way they go meta with the sitcom format.

A feature called “Creative Compromises” is just a big fart joke, but it’s funny “Community” style because of how elaborate and meta it is. “Season One Cast Evaluations” is a promising original comedy piece where Dan Harmon evaluates the cast to figure out why the ratings dropped. It feels like improv and it’s not hilarious until Ken Jeong starts giving medical diagnoses on his costars. They intercut audition footage which is always curious to see and compare. I think most of the actors nailed it.

The extras to see are the deleted and alternate scenes because those are just more “Community” riffs. If they did a scene twice, you know Chevy Chase went crazy each time. There are different reels of outtakes on each of the four discs. That’s a lot of flubbed lines or misfired improvs. They say the F word when they mess up and on DVD they don’t bleep it. Joel McHale touches Gillian Jacobs inappropriately too.

3 mini-episodes are the “Study Break” shorts from NBC.com, but I don’t watch those online extras so I’m glad they’re included here. Two of them are pretty funny “Community” style riffs. Every character gets something to do in the 90 second short so it’s a good bonus.

There’s a commentary on every episode by some combination of the cast, creators and directors. The few I selected are pretty straight commentaries. They do analyze the show and refer to Twitter questions and critics’ reports. They keep it fun with some banter but “Community” die hard will appreciate the serious analysis.
 

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DVD Review: ‘Get Him to the Greek’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/dvd-review-get-him-to-the-greek/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/dvd-review-get-him-to-the-greek/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Get Him to the Greek is a half-wadded spitball at the entertainment industry and all things not sacred from Judd Apatow factory of funny. The return of infamous British rock star, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and newcomer music intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) must make it to the famous Greek Theater in 72 Hours or both their careers will be left in the dust. From traveling around London, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles this odd-ball duo leave a trail of drugs, sex, and rock 'n roll behind them. It's when the comedy stops and things get serious that the movie creaks along its way to an ending that dearly holds onto whatever “Jeffery” vapors it has left. With that being said, the DVD/ BluRay release gives us another unrated, post-theatrical look at this comedy, which according the filmmaker's commentary is a push to make comedic movies into a new coined term called “Hard Comedy,” mixing the laughs with dramatic weight. Special features breakdown after the jump...

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Get Him to the Greek is a half-wadded spitball at the entertainment industry and all things not sacred from Judd Apatow factory of funny. The return of infamous British rock star, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and newcomer music intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) must make it to the famou Greek Theater in 72 Hours or both their careers will be left in the dust. From traveling around London, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles this odd-ball duo leave a trail of drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll behind them. It’s when the comedy stops and things get serious that the movie creaks along its way to an ending that dearly holds onto whatever “Jeffery” vapors it has left.

With that being said, the DVD/ BluRay release gives us another unrated, post-theatrical look at this comedy, which according the filmmaker’s commentary is a push to make comedic movies into a new coined term called “Hard Comedy,” mixing the laughs with dramatic weight.

Special features breakdown after the jump…

Deleted Scenes/Extended Scenes:
A lot of these scenes are stand-alone fillers and nothing more. When watching them, you realize or at least appreciated, what the final cut of this movie looked like. A lot the jokes that worked once in the final cut like the surprise Harry Potter cameo, the various Jonah Hill sex/drug use scenes, and more puking scenes, keep coming back or go on way too long. A little scene involving Alanis Morrisette  and Aldous Snow I’m sure sounded funnier on paper than in the actual pay-off. Thankfully these scenes did not make the final cut.

Alternate Opening and Ending:
This part of the DVD shows, the boring original opening with Aldous Snow’s African Child premiere party. A lot of set up for what things are to come in the movie but seeing what they had to work with here makes you appreciate the hilarious music video intro instead. The same goes for a the ending, which is titled “Riding Daphne.” Instead of the Unplugged special at the end of the movie, we meet up with Aaron and Aldous at a forest retreat where Aldous’s new addiction is free base jumping off cliffs and writing songs about Aaron’s fiancée.

Blind Medicine with Sarah Marshall:
Since this movie is spin-off sequel of Forgetting Sarah Marshall we get additional funny little moments from the faux-NBC show, “Blind Medicine” starring Sarah Marshall (Kirsten Bell) and Rick Schroeder. The best line of “Blind Medicine”: “I wish your mind was Braille, Cole. Then I could read it.”

Feature Commentary:
What has to be the strangest commentary recorded, director Nicolas Stroll, Jonah Hill, and Rose Byrne are in studio recording the commentary, Elizabeth Moss and Russell Brand seem to be somewhere on Skype cutting in on the commentary every once in a while. We find out what the cast and director think was the best line in the movie and how Diddy never sleeps. Ever.

Music Videos:
My favorite parts of the movie were these faux-music videos of Aldous Snow and Jackie Q’s. From the opening and very un-P.C. music video of “African Child” to “I Am Jesus” and “Ring Around My Rosy.” We get to see Baby Jesus getting cradle rob, break-dancing guerrilla fighters on fire, and Katy Perry inspired spoofs about getting chili dogged and breaking feminine hymens. Here we get see these hilarious music videos again in the their true Unrated fashion of drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll.

Gag Reel:
Every Apatow factory DVD contains a “Gag Reel,” which is just a series of  uncensored bloopers minus the cornball hosting of Dick Clark. Sometimes these little snippets are funnier than the actual movie. The best thing about this “Gag Reel” is the cast and crew freaking out about a 4.0 magnitude earthquake caught during a take.  Seeing Jonah Hill’s double blubber chin in slow motion, while screaming for his dear life is worth a good belly laugh. The rest is just about Diddy trying not to curse too much during takes.

Line-O-Rama:
Another tradition on the Apatow factory DVDs are the alternate line reads. We see a lot more from the blink or miss them performances of Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll, which if your a fan of their improvisation-based comedy, you’ll have a smile slapped on your face. Russell Brand screams into the camera about how much Lars from Metallica is an a-hole, Jonah Hill gets mocked raped by various chicks, and Diddy can’t help but talk about the furry walls.

Behind-the-Scenes Features:
We get three behind-the-scenes features here with the Get Him to the Greek DVD:

Making of Feature: A typical HBO specials about how everyone was great to work with and how this is a spin-off of Forgetting Sara Marshall.
 
Behind-the-Music: Things get a little more interesting with the making-of music tracks. We find out about how Russell Brand had to learn to sing the word “blow-jobs” correctly. Actor/writer Jason Segel makes his only appearance on the DVD, about how he wrote several Coldplay and Katy Perry inspired songs “Goin’ Down,” “Supertight,” and “My Bangers” for the movie.

The Making of African Child: What might possibly be the worst music video ever made, the cast and crew try with as much deadpan humor explain the reasoning behind “African Child.” It tries to get a touch of Christopher Guest inspired dead-pan humor with the biggest laugh coming from the emotional burnin break dancer and assistant director feelings about working on this music video.
 

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Review: ‘Lost’ Season 6 Blu-Ray http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/review-lost-season-6-blu-ray/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/review-lost-season-6-blu-ray/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 The final season of "Lost" was probably one of the most anticipated seasons of a TV show of all time. Each episode was fiercely debated and often maligned for either not answering enough or providing unsatisfactory answers. Regardless of how you felt about this last season, I think we can all agree that "Lost" is fairly unique among television and helped reintroduce sci-fi back into mainstream primetime (which might be a bad thing. Looking at you "Threshhold," "Invasion," "Flashforward," "V," etc). More after the jump...

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The final season of "Lost" was probably one of the most anticipated seasons of a TV show of all time. Each episode was fiercely debated and often maligned for either not answering enough or providing unsatisfactory answers. Regardless of how you felt about this last season, I think we can all agree that "Lost" is fairly unique among television and helped reintroduce sci-fi back into mainstream primetime (which might be a bad thing. Looking at you "Threshhold," "Invasion," "Flashforward," "V," etc).

More after the jump…

Anyway I finally got a chance to sit down and spend some time with the "Lost" Season 6 Blu-Ray. Since you’ve probably already seen all the episodes, I’ll hit the special features first and then offer up some thoughts on Season 6 (and "Lost" in general) and the season finale.
 
In short though, any "Lost" fan will get some enjoyment out of the special features but you probably won’t revisit them more than once.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES
           
LOST in 8:15: A Crash Course: A recap of Seasons 1-5 for those that have never watched Lost. And if that’s you, what the hell are you doing starting with Season 6?

The New Man in Charge: This is the reason most people will be picking up this disc. It’s the 12-minute epilogue that covers a very tiny, tiny fraction of Ben and Hurley’s time post-Jack. Although said to offer answers it really doesn’t. There’s nothing here you couldn’t have easily guessed. Still, it’s worth a viewing if only to see more of one of the Lost orientation videos and to see Ben and Hurley again. The first scene takes place in the supply depot that outfits the remote supply drops to the island. Ben comes to “downsize” the two Dharma employees and let’s them each ask one question before leaving. The second scene is a visit to the psych hospital to catch up with a cast member we haven’t seen for a while. Hint: he’s grown.
 
Crafting a Final Season: A 40-minute featurette on the making of the final season. It offers some good insight into the story and planning behind Season 6. What’s cool is the interviews with some showrunners of OTHER famous shows: James Burrows, Rob Bowman, Shawn Ryan, and Stephen J Cannell (who says he never once got to intentionally end a show).
 
A Hero’s Journey: A comparison of Joseph Campbell’s work to the Lost mythos and how in a way every character is a hero. Awwww. Skippable.
 
See You in Another Life, Brotha: The best-titled featurette on the disc is a short examination of the parallel flash-sideways universe from Season 6. Worth a view.
 
Lost on Location: This featurette chooses a few of the different large set pieces from the season and does a behind-the-scenes on how they were planned, how they were built and shot, and shows the actors doing their thing. It’s actually pretty interesting for anyone into film-making, not just Losties. Of course, I love a good set visit (hint hint).
 
Deleted Scenes: Nine deleted scenes. I didn’t even know shows had deleted scenes. There’s a reason. They’re all short, and all pretty worthless.
 
Lost Bloopers: How many times can you watch a dramatic actor flub a line and make a face? Blooper reels are only ever funny when it’s comedic actors messing up. And even then it’s rarely worth watching. Definitely skip this. 
 
Lost University: Master’s Program: Apparently I need to both update my firmware and plug in my network cable. I have no idea what this is, but it sounds incredibly nerdy.
 
Audio Commentary: They only did audio commentary on 4 episodes. Weak shit! Anyone who’s listened to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on the post-show podcast knows what to expect: half enlightening, and half annoyingly cutesy/vague. Isn’t it time to spill the beans? The most egregious oversight is the lack of a commentary track for the “The End.” Episodes with commentary and the commentators: “LAX” – Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, “Dr. Linus” – Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Michael Emerson, “Ab Aeterno” – Melinda Hsu Taylor, Gregg Nations and Nestor Carbonell, “Across the Sea” – Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. 

AUDIO/VIDEO

At least for me, there was no appreciable difference from the ABC broadcasts. Audio is strong and the picture is decent, not great. I had a small amount of grain, and although I’ve seen other reviews that said the black levels were good, for me they were actually kind of bad. I noticed watching the finale last night that the commercial transitions were actually kind of jarring now that the actual commercials are removed. I almost wish they’d done some editing tweaks to alleviate this.
 
 
SEASON 6 (Spoilers follow)
 
To talk about Season 6 is really to talk about "Lost" in general. I think that the show by this point was carrying too much pressure and really drowning under their own expectations. They didn’t pace out the answers very well, and dangled clues to mysteries they never even planned on solving. This is annoying, but by far my biggest gripe with "Lost" is that they went from their science vs faith concept (and were very heavy on the science) to pretty much just dealing with faith. Even the flash-sideways, which at first seemed to be some parallel universe concept, was really just the afterlife. Spiritualism, not science. That being said, I felt like Season 6 had some really strong episodes and made some strong emotional pay-offs (and yeah, a few stinkers along the way—this is "Lost" after all).
 
Season 6 culminated with “The End,” which I think is amazing. I know a lot of people were really let-down, but I knew going in that answers were going to be in short supply and adjusted my expectations accordingly. If you’ve only seen it the one time, I definitely recommend watching it again now that you won’t be hoping they explain everything at the last minute. The structure, the acting, and especially the score (has any show had a score this strong?) are incredible.

When Brian isn’t busy yelling at his friends’ wives about Twilight, he writes about movies, TV, art, and other stuff on his site NOTZOMBIES, which has very little to do with zombies.

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