Posts tagged DVD
If you’re a Doctor Who fan, it’s very likely that you have either already bought this set (released November 22) or it is on your holiday wish list. However, just in case you’re still on the fence, I have to say that the BBC has once again put together a fabulous series collection that is worth every penny.
First off, a synopsis of the DVD set:
The 6-disc set combines all 13 episodes of the new season from award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock, The Adventures of Tintin), along with the 2010 Holiday Special, A Christmas Carol, starring Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon, plus hours of bonus features. The series follows the adventures of the Doctor, a mysterious traveler who journeys throughout all of time and space, picking up companions along the way. ©BAFTA nominee Matt Smith (the Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory) and Alex Kingston (River Song) are back when the Doctor faces his date with death and learns a lot more about the mysterious River Song. Guest stars include Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Notting Hill), supermodel Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), James Corden (Gavin & Stacey,The History Boys), and David Walliams (Little Britain, Come Fly With Me). Catch a surprise appearance by NBC’s Meredith Vieira in the series finale as well as Michael Sheen (The Twilight Saga, Midnight in Paris), who voices a character in Neil Gaiman’s episode and Imelda Staunton (Cranford, Vera Drake), who voices a character in Tom MacRae’s episode. Executive producers are Piers Wenger (Upstairs Downstairs, Ashes to Ashes) and Beth Willis (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes). Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1, Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2 and Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol are also available for purchase separately on DVD and Blu-ray.
The synopsis reminds you about all the awesome guest stars/writers they had throughout the sixth series, but it doesn’t elaborate on all the great bonus features in this DVD set. Not only does the DVD set contain all of the Doctor Who Confidential episodes for series six, but it also provides plenty of commentaries, prequels to specific episodes, four different “Monster Files” that aired throughout the season, and two Comic Relief sketches. Basically, almost every Doctor Who special that aired on BBC over the last year is present in this DVD collection. Just in case re-watching all of the episodes wasn’t enough of the Doctor for you.
My favorite special is the Doctor Who Confidential for last year’s Christmas episode. It’s longer than your average Doctor Who Confidential episode (almost an hour), and it offers us (amongst other things) a glimpse of the table read for “A Christmas Carol.” I love seeing the giddy excitement on Matt Smith’s face when he reads with Michael Gambon, and hearing Steven Moffat read his own stage directions. I’m a sucker for “behind-the-scenes” footage, and the Doctor Who Confidential episodes provide plenty of it.
Series Six of Doctor Who was full of awesome, including Neil Gaiman, Mark Sheppard, and a wonderfully intricate overarching story-arc involving the “death of the Doctor.” Steven Moffat yet again drives us crazy with twists and turns throughout the series; providing some answers to long-standing questions and, of course, posing new ones. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Alex Kingston have great chemistry as a whole and compliment each other (and the scripts) perfectly throughout the season. Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next season to start. In the meantime, I strongly recommend that every Doctor Who fan checks out this DVD/Blu-Ray series, if for no other reason than to watch out the awesome bonus features.
In case you need just a little more convincing, here’s the trailer:
I have a little nerd confession for you: I am obsessed with Peanuts. I know it is slightly old-school but I can’t help it. I’ve always loved Snoopy and will forever be a sucker for any new DVD that highlights that adorably awesome dog.
Around this time of year I always love watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Warner Bros’ Happiness Is…Peanuts: Snow Days. Snow Days is not centered on any specific holiday, but instead features a TV special and an episode from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show. From the official press release for this DVD:
Everyone’s favorite Peanuts gang is at it again in Happiness is…Peanuts: Snow Days. Follow Snoopy and gang in an episode from The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show and the newly remastered classic She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown TV special all on one DVD!
Only the first of these two ‘features’ includes a story specifically set around Christmas, thus making this DVD a perfect watch for any time during the winter season. In the episode from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show, there are three short stories: one featuring a Christmas play, one featuring a Valentine’s Day story, and a third that focuses entirely on the fun qualities of Snoopy (via an essay from Peppermint Patty). In the short film, She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty practices for a figure skating competition with the help of her ‘pro coach,’ Snoopy.
Obviously the animation is nothing like the realistic-looking, computer animated films that we have grown accustomed to over the last decade. The characters and backgrounds are animated in a simple, 2D style. Additionally, the plots are far from intricate and rarely involve more than one story-line. Nevertheless, there is something wonderfully timeless about the Peanuts (at least for me). Snoopy’s personality and wide variety of ‘skills’ makes him the perfect dog and best friend to all of the Peanuts characters. When he is yelling at Patty in a nonsensical stream of grunts and screams in She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, you can’t help but want to hug him. Furthermore, you can’t help but smile at the doom-and-gloom of Charlie Brown, or the semi-snarky humor of Marcy. Each Peanut character embodies personality traits that can be found in people at any age, which makes them easy to (loosely) identify with at different points in each story.
Again, I know this DVD is likely to be met with some hesitation by children nowadays given it’s out-dated animation style and simplicity of humor. Regardless, I think every little kid should watch at least one Peanuts cartoon, if for no other reason than to experience the awesomeness that is Snoopy.
In the meantime, here is a little sneak peak of She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown:
Since Halloween is steadily approaching, I figured I would suggest a few films that are definitely not made for children but have taken both the horror and sci-fi genres to a different level within the last few years.
I had the absolute pleasure of going to see Attack the Block earlier this month in Plainville, CT. I follow Edgar Wright on twitter and when he announced that the release was widening into my area, I had to go. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World instilled a little faith in Mr. Wright.
Each movie was a genre movie. It wasn’t a comedy trying to itch that genre niche. They are genre movies that have incredibly funny moments in them. They show a great nod to comedy, but display an intense love for the genre in the storyline.
I’m sure some people are saying “he only produced Attack the Block”. You’re correct. I still have faith in something that Edgar Wright would put his name on.
Faith bolstered, Mr. Wright.
Attack the Block is a science fiction thriller written and directed by Joe Cornish. It is the tale of a teenage gang that takes it upon themselves to defend their council housing in Lambeth from alien invaders.
The first few minutes of the movie established how unsavory the youth had become when we witness them mugging a nurse as she is walking home. The mugging is interrupted by something crashing from the sky into a parked car. The gang leader Moses goes to check it out and is attacked by a creature that he kills with the help of his friends.
What proceeds is absolute chaos. Throughout the area, the sky is lit up with fireworks, masking the illuminated single creature transporters crashing against the Earth and everything built on it.
Joe Cornish’s directorial debut is not something to be missed. His vision is well executed with phenomenal performances by John Boyega (Moses), Jodie Whittaker (Sam), and Luke Treadaway (Brewis, who I had taken to calling “British Butters”). The cinematographer, Thomas Townend, kept the pace with dynamic shots and exceptional angles.
I am beyond pleased with this movie. The aliens were actually alien and something that I had never seen before. Initially, when I saw the second alien in the movie I threw my hands up in the air because I thought it was so cheesy. Then it opened its mouth and I screamed “AWESOME!” in the theater.
(Make note: I am a horrible person to go to a movie with.)
All of the special effects were marvelous as well. Some scenes were perfect homage to scenes from the past. There are moments where you know what’s happening to these characters off the screen is more terrifying than the blood spatter you see. My favorite weapon was only used briefly as a defensive maneuver (motorbike).
The ending was exactly what needed to happen and I was not disappointed at all. I absolutely loved Sam and how she spoke with the boys in the gang. Brewis was the character where you could see someone following him just to play a sad trombone “wah wah” whenever he opened his mouth. Nick Frost was hysterical as the skeezy drug dealer for the block. There is a moment between him and Brewis where the entire theater laughed.
I loathe spoiling any of the story for you, so I suggest you get your hands on it. Attack the Block is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Attack the Block will kick you in your face with awesome.