Tagged: DVD

Emily S. Whitten: John DiMaggio’s I Know That Voice

whitten-art-130924-150x144-8383146At Dragon Con a few weeks ago, I was delighted to catch up with voice actor John DiMaggio (a.k.a. Bender from Futurama) once again. John was at the con for several voice actor and Futurama panels, and also to continue spreading the word about his new voice actor documentary, I Know That Voice, which I interviewed him and the other producers about during San Diego Comic-Con.  John was actually selling limited collector’s edition/advance copies of the documentary at the con, so not only did I check in with him on further documentary news, but I also snagged a copy of the film! Read on for our short I Know That Voice follow-up interview, and my review of the documentary!

What has the reception to the I Know That Voice documentary been at Dragon Con, and have you sold some of the advance copies?

It’s been really wonderful. People know about it; people are excited about it. I’ve been able to sell some copies; I wish I could sell more, but there are only a certain amount that we are going to sell that’ll be collectors’ items. But we’re working on a distribution deal right now, with a company called Go Digital, and another company called In Demand. This is all in negotiation; but In Demand wants to release it for a month on cable stations, to expose it, and they’ll plug it. And then we’re going to release it digitally on all the VoD (Video on Demand) platforms, like iTunes, Amazon, Hulu – everything. So that will be in December of this year. We’re getting it out there! People are going to be able to see it!

Will we be seeing any extras on the DVD?

Right now, our special con edition of the film is just that – it’s just the film, with no chapters, and no special anything to it; but yes, there are absolutely going to be extras on the final DVD. It will have all sorts of bonus features. It will have chapters; it will have extra interviews with some of the people that we interviewed – I mean, we had over 150 interviews, so we couldn’t, naturally, fit all of that into the documentary. So we’ve got extra stuff – extra clips from a whole bunch of people that we’ve interviewed. Also, we have our Comic-Con panel at San Diego, where we talked about it – which was great. So we have that on video for everybody. When I get back to Los Angeles after Dragon Con, we’re going to do a commentary reel; so Tommy Reid and Larry Shapiro, the producer and director, and I, are going to do that. There might be some outtakes, I’m not sure. Lots of stuff!

That sounds great! Any other details you’d like to share?

Well – the reason I got these special con editions done was because I personally felt that we were dangling this in front of everybody for so long; and the thing is that we only had a tenth or a twentieth of the movie done when we originally did the trailer, and that was awhile ago. We announced it, and people were like, “Okay! Well where is it?” and we were like, “Well…we’re making it. Sorry!” So now we have it, and I wanted to get it to the people that really want it; the fans.  I wanted to do it. I really felt the need to let everybody know that it’s done. And here it is!

And of course we’re still going to honor our pre-order, on our VIP list on the website. I have enough copies for them; but we’re also going to have the final DVD done within the next month and a half; so if they want to wait, they can get the first dibs on that. If they want, I have these con copies, and I can get them to them. If they are on the preorder list, they can let us know. When I get back to L.A., what we’ll probably do is send out a newsletter or set up a PayPal site or something like that, and we’ll post that on the site and on the Facebook page. But we want everybody to know. And it’s funny, because Larry was saying to me, “John, they’re going to want special features! They’re going to want all this stuff.” And yeah, they are going to want it. But what they want is the film, mostly.

Well, and I’m going to buy the final copy, too.

See that’s the thing; people will keep buying it. If they like it, they’re going to buy the final one. And either is okay. I just needed proof that this thing was done, for the fans, and for me, too. But everything is all a go for the final product to come out soon; and it’s really exciting. I’m just hoping that the fans respond; and I think that they have here, and that they will continue to. When people know about it and hear about it, they’re thrilled; and that’s all I can ask.

•     •     •     •     •

Review – I Know That Voice

Voice actors are a fascinating contradiction in the entertainment industry. They are simultaneously loved by millions and recognized by few. Whereas passing an on-screen actor on the street is cause enough for most people to snap pictures or call a friend to share who they just spotted, those same people could be standing next to one of their favorite “voices” at a grocery store and never realize it. They could have a whole conversation with voice actor John DiMaggio and not know that they were talking to one of the lead actors of their favorite animated show – unless, of course, DiMaggio suddenly told them to “Bite my shiny metal ass!” in the voice of Bender from Futurama. Then they might fall over in happy shock.

Despite the anonymity of the industry, the men and women who give voice to thousands of animated characters are some of the most talented, versatile, and hard-working  members of the entertainment industry. This is what executive producer DiMaggio, producer and director Larry Shapiro, and producer Tommy Reid wanted to showcase in their upcoming documentary, I Know That Voice. DiMaggio says, “I wanted to honor these people. I wanted to show that my peers are…an incredibly talented bunch… I wanted to show them as champions of the industry.”

To do this, the documentary’s producers interviewed over 150 voice actors, casting and voice directors, creators, producers, voice teachers, and other luminaries about their experiences in the animation industry. These interviews are used in the film to explore every aspect of the voice acting profession, including its history; starting out in the business; taking on “legacy voices” first created by other voice actors; developing new characters; and the traits that delineate voice acting from on-screen acting, such as possessing the skills of musicality, physicality, and versatility. The documentary also explores the experience of celebrity for a group of extraordinarily talented people primarily known for voices that may not even sound like their own.

It’s not often that I watch a documentary with a constant smile and a frequent sense of wonder and delight – but that is what happened while watching I Know That Voice, which runs the gamut from serious discussions to whimsical humor. In large part, this is due to the main focus of the film, the actors themselves. As a whole, the titans of this industry come across as uniformly intelligent and clever, well-spoken, hard-working, dedicated, talented, wickedly funny, and warm and humble people. In discussing their work, they show a great respect for the industry and their peers, reverence for inspirations such as Mel Blanc and Daws Butler, and appreciation for the part they get to play in bringing animated characters to life for their fans.

This attitude is mirrored by the creators and directors who are also featured, and who clearly appreciate the talent inherent in successful voice actors. Emmy-winning voice director Ginny McSwain asks in her interview, “Does anybody realize how brilliant these actors are? Because they have to get every cryptic expression that you would do on camera, on a mic. They’re storytellers. That’s their gift.” Another director opines that these people are “the best method actors” in Hollywood; and I wouldn’t disagree.

Amongst those best-of-the-best featured in this film are legends like June Foray, Stan Freberg, and Mel Blanc (via archival footage and an interview with his son, Noel Blanc). Then there are beloved voices that I first encountered during my childhood and adolescence, like Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Maurice LaMarche, Nancy Cartwright, Jim Cummings, and Billy West. And voices I’ve become better acquainted with as an adult, like Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, and Nolan North. If those names don’t ring a bell, I could instead say: Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha; Tosh the Goofy Gopher; Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and a ton of other Looney Tunes characters; Yakko Warner, Pinky, and Raphael; Wakko Warner, Roger Rabbit, and Ironhide; The Brain, Calculon, and Kif Kroker; Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, and Chuckie Finster; Darkwing Duck, Monterey Jack, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too; Ren, Stimpy, Doug Funnie, Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, and Dr. Zoidberg; Azula, Vicky, and Catwoman; Bender Bending Rodriguez, Marcus Fenix, and Jake the Dog; and Superboy, The Kraang, and Deadpool.

If that seems like a dizzying list of characters, it’s only a tiny fraction of what each of those actors has voiced; and only a small selection of the large and talented group featured in this documentary. And seeing these amazing people break down how to do the difficult voice of Porky Pig, or what elements went into creating the beloved voice of Dr. Zoidberg, is a real treat; as is getting to see the faces behind the voices we know and love. We also get to see glimpses of the industry through the eyes of the working actor in the studio, which is fascinating to witness.

I Know That Voice is highly entertaining, as well as educational. For those who are fans of the industry, the documentary offers the rare opportunity to see all of your favorite voice actors discuss their craft in a comprehensive manner and do some of their most popular voices. For those unfamiliar with this aspect of the entertainment industry, this is an excellent introduction – and if you’re not a fan of these people at the beginning of the documentary, you will be by the end. For they are indeed champions of the industry, and it’s a joy to see a documentary like this celebrating them and exploring their craft.

Until next time, Servo Lectio!




Win a Copy of Leverage Season Five!

leverage spine packshotLet there be little doubt that we here are ComicMix loved the Leverage television series. Heck, we still miss it. Our friends at 2oth Century Home Entertainment want to spread the love by letting us give away two sets of the fifth and final season of the TNT series.

Leverage focuses on a team led by former insurance investigator turned thief, Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton).  Together, they try to level the playing field for people whose lives have been destroyed by the rich and powerful.  In the final season, the team will be forced to face changing personal dynamics as the relationship between Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Hardison

(Aldis Hodge) heats up, and Nate continues to struggle with inner demons.  Among their upcoming jobs, they will target a conniving shipping executive (guest star Cary Elwes); wealthy scientist; an ex-hockey-player-turned-team-owner (guest star Treat Williams); a corrupt restaurateur; and a corrupt businessman (guest star Matthew Lillard).  In addition, the team will once again face their nemesis, insurance-investigator-turned Interpol-agent Jim Sterling  (guest star Mark Sheppard).

To score your own copy of the DVD, answer this question:

What did Nate Ford do for a living prior to resorting to thievery?

  1. Banker
  2. Insurance Investigator
  3. Surfing Instructor
  4. Engineer

All submissions are due no later than 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, September 18. The decision of the ComicMix judges is final and the contest is open to United States and Canadian fans only.

Be sure to follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter  @FoxHomeEnt for the latest Blu-ray & DVD releases.

REVIEW: The Great Gatsby

Gatsby BlurayWhen I read The Great Gatsby in AP English back in 1975, I knew it was considered a literary classic but didn’t fall in love with it, despite East Egg’s source material, Great Neck, was nearby. It was a world of the wealthy and decadent that didn’t make sense to me. More recently, though, I reread it for the first time in preparation for my teaching career. With some experience, age, and wisdom, I came to see F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose in a new light. I certainly got to appreciate that this was a fresh take class, wealth, and The American Dream.

So, when I heard director Baz Luhrmann was going to bring his visual sensibilities to bringing the novel to the silver screen, I thought this could be a wonderful treat, matching the imaginativeness of his Romeo & Juliet and verve from Moulin Rouge. The casting — from Tobey Maguire’s Nick to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby – sounded spot on, mixing big names with less familiar ones. That it would be shot in 3-D sounded daring but if anyone could turn a novel into a spectacle, it was Luhrmann.

The resulting film, released last May and out this week on home video, proved interesting but ultimately disappointing. It could be, I and others, expected too much from the director or he just didn’t see the world of Jay Gatsby the way we did. It received mixed reviews and tepid box office for what should have been a box office smash.

Part of the problem could be that he amped things up too much. In what could have been an interesting indictment of the 1920’s one percenters, he chose instead to make things so lavish, so big, so indulgent that it staggered the imagination. Compare the party scenes he shot with the ones glimpsed in the trailer for the 1926 silent adaptation, just a few years after the book’s initial publication. Luhrmann made everything so out of scale, perhaps because of the intended 3-D wow factor, that it felt less like a story and more like a fairy tale (or cautionary tale).

thegreatgatsby8Nick Caraway (Maguire) is the audience’s representative as he slowly gets sucked into the world of the ultra-rich, ultra-secretive Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio). More stories exist about him than actual facts but over the course of the story, we learn that he went from rags to riches through nefarious means and intends to reclaim Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who is clearly in a loveless marriage with the rough and tumble Tom (Joel Edgerton). There are parties, fights, flirtations, fast cars, loose women, and gallons of champagne until things suddenly come to a stop with a finality that signaled the end of the Roaring Twenties.

Of course, the novel’s entire story had to be condensed and even the final cut got further trimmed as Luhrmann honed in tighter and tighter on the relationship between Nick and Jay. There are 27 minutes of deleted scenes with the director explaining how delightful they were but needed to go to remain on topic.

The movie looks right with an amazing eye for detail from dresses to jewelry to wallpaper. As usual, the soundtrack is a living thing, a mixture of period era jazz and modern rap, pulsing to a beat that defined a generation. The performances are solid but not revelatory although credit goes to Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki for breathing some life into their supporting roles as, respectively, Myrtle and Jordan.

Gatsby DaisyThe movie is available in a variety of formats but the combo pack with Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet is the one most likely to be purchased and the one reviewed. The bonus features are of course on the high definition disc. The transfer is stunning in its color and clarity, living up to the expectations where Luhrmann rarely disappoints. Similarly, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track properly conveys the aural feel of the era and the music subtly plays away, creating a nice sense of place.

There are a series of short bonus features, mostly Luhrmann talking with plenty of clips from the film and source material. There’s an overview, The Greatness of Gatsby (9:14), then some behind-the-scenes footage called Within and Without with Tobey Maguire (8:41). A highlight is a look at The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby (12:17) as the director, composer Craig Armstrong, Jay-Z, Florence Welch (of Florence & the Machine), Lana Del Rey, Bryan Ferry and The XX discuss how the soundtrack came together. A fine companion piece is The Jazz Age” (15:43), lifting liberally from Ric Burns’ New York documentary.

Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the ‘20s (16:22) has Luhrmann’s wife, and the film’s Costume Designer Catherine Martin reveal how they worked closely with Brooks Brothers, Tiffany & Co. and Prada to revive the look, largely thanks to archival designs and pieces in the various archives.

The author gets his due in Fitzgerald’s Visual Poetry (6:55) which also touches on the 3-D process. Then we have four more short behind-the-scenes looks under the umbrella title Gatsby Revealed.

Man of Steel Blu-ray Boasts 4 Hours of Bonus Material

MOS_3DBD Combo_2D SKEW (7-30)Burbank, CA, August 19, 2013 – The fate of mankind is in the hands of one man when Man of Steel arrives onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD 2-disc Special Edition, 3D Limited Collector’s Edition and Digital Download on November 12 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. In “Man of Steel,” Clark Kent is forced to confront his extraterrestrial past and embrace his hidden powers when Earth is threatened with destruction.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Kal-El under the direction of Zack Snyder.

The film also stars four-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (The Master, 2012), Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, 2008), Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, 1990), Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (Unfaithful, 2002), Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993), Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, 1992).

Man of Steel is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters served as executive producers.

Man of Steel will be available on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99, on DVD 2-disc Special Edition for $28.98, and as a 3D Limited Collector’s Edition for $59.99.  The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition and standard definition; the DVD 2-disc Special Edition features the theatrical version in standard definition; and the 3D Limited Collector’s Edition features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition, and also includes a limited release metal “S” glyph with lucite glass stand.  The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD 2-disc Special Edition and 3D Limited Collector’s Edition include UltraViolet* which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players. 


A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth.  As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.  But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.


MOS_3DBD Combo_Premium_BeautyShotMan of Steel Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3D Limited Collector’s Edition contain the following special features:

  • Journey of Discovery: Creating “Man of Steel” – This immersive feature-length experience allows you to watch the movie with director Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and others as they share the incredible journey to re-imagine Superman.
  • Strong Characters, Legendary Roles – Explore the legendary characters of the Superman mythology and how they have evolved in this new iteration of the Superman story.
  • All-Out Action – Go inside the intense training regimen that sculpted Henry Cavill into the Man of Steel and Michael Shannon and Antje Traue into his Kyptonian nemeses.  Includes interviews with cast and crew.
  • Krypton Decoded – Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent, age 13) gives the lowdown on all the amazing Krypton tech, weapons and spaceships featured in “Man of Steel.”
  • Planet Krypton – The world’s first exploration of Krypton and its lost society.

Man of Steel DVD 2-disc Special Edition contains the following special features:

  • Strong Characters, Legendary Roles
  • All-Out Action
  • Krypton Decoded


On November 12, Man of Steel will be available for download in HD or standard definition from online retailers including but not limited to iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon, Vudu, CinemaNow and more…

The film will also be available digitally in High Definition (HD) VOD and Standard Definition (SD) VOD from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles and broadband customers including Amazon, iTunes, etc.


*UltraViolet allows you to collect, watch and share movies and TV shows in a whole new way.  Available with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs, DVDs and Digital Downloads, UltraViolet lets you create a digital collection of movies and TV shows.  Services such as Flixster and VUDU allow you to instantly stream and download UltraViolet content across a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.  Restrictions and limitations apply.  Go to ultraviolet.flixster.com/info for details.  For more information on compatible devices go to wb.com/ultravioletdevices.  Restrictions and limitations apply.  Go to ultraviolet.flixter.com/info for details.



PRODUCT                                                                            SRP

Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack                                                         $44.95

Blu-ray Combo Pack                                                               $35.99

2-disc Amaray (WS)                                                               $28.98

3D Limited Collector’s Edition                                              $59.99


Standard Street Date: November 12, 2013

DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Thai

BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin

3D BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Cantonese, Chinese (Traditional), Thai

BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified)

3D BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Running Time: 143 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction and for some language


World War Z Blu-ray to Include Unrated Cut

WWZ_BD_3D_FNIt feels a little fast for us, especially considering how well it performed at the box office,but here’s the formal details for home video release of Paramount Pictures’ World War Z.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  – August 2, 2013 –  “The suspense is killer!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) in the fast-paced, pulse-pounding epic WORLD WAR Z, debuting on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand on September 17, 2013.  The pandemic begins one week early on Digital September 10th.  Due to overwhelming demand, the film has been digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3D format and will be released in select IMAX theaters domestically for an exclusive one-week running beginning today.

Starring international superstar Brad Pitt and based on the best-selling and wildly popular novel, WORLD WAR Z took audiences by storm and was hailed by critics as   “thrilling, epic and spectacular” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly) and the “most gratifying action spectacle in years!” (David Denby, The New Yorker).  The tense and thrilling film follows a former United Nations investigator (Pitt) as he helps stop the chaotic pandemic that has gripped populations around the world.  WORLD WAR Z features stunning visual effects and edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that take the Zombie apocalypse phenomenon to a more extreme and electrifying level.

“I’m really excited for fans to see the new unrated version of WORLD WAR Z on Blu-ray,” said producer and star Brad Pitt.  “We were thrilled with the audience response to the film in theaters and wanted to give viewers even more of the action and intensity that they loved when they watch the film at home.”

WORLD WAR Z will be available on Blu-ray Combo or Blu-ray 3D Combo with an Unrated Cut packed with even more thrills and action too intense for theaters, along with the theatrical version of the film.  The combo packs feature UltraViolet™ and boast in-depth looks at the making of the film, the seamless blending of practical and digital effects, the science behind the Zombie outbreak and much more.  The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD.

WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:


  • Feature film in high definition (Unrated version)
  • Origins—The filmmakers discuss collaborating with renowned actor/producer Brad Pitt to create a Zombie film the likes of which have never been seen.
  • Looking to Science—Explore the scientific realities of Zombie behavior in nature and learn more about Zombies in literature and film.
  • WWZ: Production
    • Outbreak—Go on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s breathtaking first attack in Philadelphia.
  • The Journey Begins—Delve deeper into Gerry’s fight for survival during the dramatic escape in South Korea.
  • Behind The Wall—Explore the epic scene in Jerusalem and discover the incredible logistics of creating the elaborate stunts and crowd sequences.
  • Camouflage—Experience the final confrontation between Gerry and the Zombies and discover the phenomenal scope of the film’s production.


  • Feature film in standard definition (Theatrical version)


WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes all of the above, as well as the theatrical version of the film in high definition and 3D on a disc presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.


The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the theatrical version of the film in standard definition.

The Blu-ray releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

Details Announced for The Hobbit Extended Edition

hob_seeBurbank, Calif., July 31, 2013 – Fans of Middle-earth will have the opportunity to gain a broader experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, when the epic fantasy adventure is released as an Extended Edition on Digital Download October 22nd and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on November 5th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, this new cut includes 13 minutes of extra film footage that extends individual scenes, making this the must-see, definitive version for fans. All disc versions of the Extended Edition include nearly nine hours of new bonus features and will be available just ahead of the December 13 theatrical release of the second film of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

“I’m thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features,” said Jackson. “It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set ($54.98 SRP) that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition; a 3-disc Blu-ray ($35.99) and a 5-disc DVD ($34.99) The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD all include UltraVioletTM which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the Extended Edition in high definition to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*

The nearly nine hours of new special features boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, and “The Appendices,” a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy. Complete special feature details are provided below.

The first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit,The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was nominated for three Academy Awards®[i].




The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him; he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.


New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  All three films in The Hobbit Trilogy, also including The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production.  Warner Bros. Pictures handled worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution handled by MGM.




  • Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
  • The Appendices – A multi-part chronological history of the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
    • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth




The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition

Street Date: November 5, 2013

Order Due Date: October 1, 2013

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 184 mins.

Blu-ray 3D: $54.98 SRP

Blu-ray: $35.99 SRP

DVD: $34.99 SRP

Enter To Win Film Festival Favorite Twixt

twixtb_packagingblurayWritten and directed by legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather franchise, Apocalypse Now) as an homage to his lifelong love of the horror genre, the terrifying Gothic horror experience TWIXT arrives on Blu-ray and DVD July 23 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  A film festival favorite, the visually compelling film starring Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning and Bruce Dern has been screened to rave reviews at prestigious festivals including Toronto Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, San Diego Comic-Con, and the European Union Film Festival, among others.

TWIXT follows Hall Baltimore (Kilmer), a writer on a book tour who uncovers a disturbing murder that could be source material for his next novel.  But as Hall investigates the killing, he finds himself confronted by chilling nightmares, including the ghost of a young girl (Fanning). As he uncovers more horrifying revelations, Hall discovers that the story has more to do with his own life than he could ever have imagined.

The TWIXT Blu-ray and DVD includes an exclusive forty minute documentary on the making of the film by Gia Coppola.

ComicMix has two copies to give away and all we need you to do is answer the question below by 11:59 p.m., Monday, July 22. The decision of our staff will be final. Open only to US and Canadian readers. In order to win your very own copy of Twixt on Blu-ray, simply answer the following question:

Which actor portrays Hal Baltimore in the film?

  • Val Kilmer
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Kurt Russel
  • Jeff Bridges

Star Trek Into Darkness hits Digital August 20, Disc September 10

Star Trek Into Darkness: Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris PineLove it or hate it, there’s no denying that Star Trek Into Darkness was a box office smash, ensuring a third installment in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary in 2016. As it winds down its theatrical run, Paramount Home Video has announced that the movie will be available digitally on August 20, three weeks prior to the home video release. This is an increasing trend among movie releases and slightly alters the release windows for a film’s natural life.

Here are the details:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  –  Lauded by critics as “a sleek, thrilling epic” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly), “a clever, exhilarating action adventure” (Claudia Puig, USA Today) and “stratospherically entertaining” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), director J.J. Abrams’ phenomenal global sensation STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS makes its highly-anticipated debut on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand on September 10, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Fans can be the first to own the film on Digital when it arrives three weeks early on August 20th.  Boasting “spectacular visual effects” (Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer) and “one of the best villains in recent memory” (Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News) STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS delighted audiences around the world, earning a coveted A CinemaScore.

“I’m excited for viewers at home to check out Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray and DVD,” said J.J. Abrams.  “They did a great job and I’m thrilled with how everything looks and sounds.  We also have some really fun behind-the-scenes special features that we shot on the Red and created entirely in-house at Bad Robot.  They really look amazing and unlike anything I’ve seen on DVD or Blu-ray before.”  Abrams added “I hope fans enjoy seeing the process that went into making the movie and the truly amazing work of our most spectacular cast and crew.”

Star Trek Into Darkness poster-xlargeThe STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray/DVD and Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo packs with UltraViolet™ are bursting with behind-the-scenes material detailing how the filmmakers delivered a rousing epic filled with both spectacle and soul.  For the first time, the special features included in the combo packs were produced entirely by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and captured in spectacular high quality on Red Epic cameras for a uniquely intimate perspective of the filmmakers’ process.

Written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, the film follows the crew of the Enterprise as a shocking act of terror on Earth sends them on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice.  STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS features an outstanding ensemble cast including John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Peter Weller and Anton Yelchin.


The STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:


  • Feature film in high definition
  • Creating the Red Planet – Experience the creation of a never-before-seen alien world, as featured in the action-packed opening sequence of the film.
  • Attack on Starfleet – Go behind the scenes with the cast and filmmakers and witness the creation of the shocking attack on Starfleet Headquarters.
  • The Klingon Home World – Discover the stunning world of Kronos, and see how the filmmakers reinvented the Klingons for a new generation.
  • The Enemy of My Enemy – Find out how, and why, the identity of the film’s true villain was kept a mystery to the very end.
  • Ship to Ship – An in-depth and thrilling look at the filming of the iconic space jump sequence, which both defied the laws of physics and pushed the limits of visual effects.
  • Brawl by the Bay – Sit in with Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch as they revisit their intense preparation for the film’s breathtaking climax.
  • Continuing the Mission – An inspiring look at the partnership between the film’s crew and the organization that assists returning veterans to find meaningful ways to contribute on the home front.


  • Feature film in standard definition

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes all of the above, as well as the film in high definition and 3D on a disc presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.


The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

The Blu-ray releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

The Avengers Get a Big Finish Rebirth

Big Finish Productions has announced their latest audio series based on The Avengers.

Press Release:


Big Finish Productions is delighted to announce that it has signed a license with STUDIOCANAL to produce full cast audio productions of 12 lost episodes of the classic TV series The Avengers.

Discover the very beginning of this television classic, as we meet John Steed for the first time! Lost for over fifty years, the missing episodes have been lovingly recreated on audio from the original scripts.

The Avengers first launched in 1961, and starred Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee as the elusive and suave John Steed. Beginning with the murder of Keel’s fiancée, and his sworn intent to avenge her death, that first year comprised 26 episodes. Sadly, only two of them exist in their entirety as film prints (Girl on the Trapeze and The Frighteners), while just the first act remains of the opening episode, Hot Snow.

Working from the surviving scripts, Big Finish will be presenting the adaptations in three four-disc box sets. The scripts will be adapted, with minimal changes, by John Dorney, the director is Ken Bentley and the producer is David Richardson. The executive producers are Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

“We are absolutely thrilled to add this wonderful series to our catalogue,” says David Richardson, “and we look forward to faithfully recreating those classic lost episodes. We have two brilliant, high-profile actors for the roles of Dr Keel and John Steed – look out for an announcement of the casting once recording begins in July.”

Patrick Macnee as John Steed

“This opportunity confirms the enduring appeal of this classic TV series and the resonance of the SC collection in the context of British Film and Pop culture,” says John Rodden, General Manager Home Entertainment at STUDIOCANAL.

Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes will be released in January 2014 (and includes a full recreation of Hot Snow), with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015.

Each person who pre-orders will be entered into a draw to win a copy of The Avengers: Series 1 and 2 on DVD box set, containing the remaining three first series episodes.

Learn more about Big Finish and The Avengers here.

REVIEW: Movie 43

REVIEW: Movie 43

M43_BD_SpineGrowing up in the 1970s, there were plenty of movie parodies that broke down into two camps: the really smart ones that required a familiarity with film and culture (Blazing Saddles, et. al.) and those that were outrageous fun (Kentucky Fried Movie, The Groove Tube). The latter also showcased up and coming talent before and behind the camera, shooting on a shoestring so the studio had a low-risk offering. The other thing the latter films offered were the vignette approach, letting different creative types strut their stuff, making for an uneven but generally entertaining experience.

That same approach was recently used (and Kentucky Fried Movie cited as an inspiration) to mount the not very good Movie 43, out now on disc from 20th Century Home Entertainment. The difference is that it was made by a ton of talented, pedigreed cast and crew yet still managed to be offensive, unfunny, and amusing. The overall production lacked wit and the directors didn’t get much out of their cast.

The film is framed with a demented man (Dennis Quaid) threatening a studio exec (Greg Kinnear) with death unless he heard his pitches for the ultimate feel good movie. Each pitch led to a vignette and then back to the frame where things were escalated. In some ways, the frame is the most interesting aspect of the film as we got to see the Stockholm syndrome play itself out.

As it turns out, the most polished of the short pieces was the first and was shot to secure everyone else’s participation. A woman (Kate Winslet) goes out on a blind date with the city’s most eligible bachelor (Hugh Jackman) and as they sit to dinner, she realizes he has testicles attached to this neck. Everyone is oblivious to this physical manifestation but she cannot take her eyes off them and supposed hilarity ensues.

There are 12 directors and 43 actors (get it?) so the shorts are wildly inconsistent but often tread just over the line of good taste with crude language, playing with social mores and taboos, and never quite knowing when to end it. The cast is game although none are given a chance to play with their screen types, instead, are asked to inhabit genuinely clueless or unlikeable characters. A recurring theme in the sketches is how clueless (and tasteless) some people are so rather than guffaw you tend to go “ewwww”. The worst may be the faux-Batman (Jason Sudekis)’s description of faux-Supergirl (Kristen Bell)’s nether region to an embarrassed Robin (Justin Long). The set-up is amusing but played all wrong so is annoying rather than funny (and totally wastes John Hodgeman as the Penguin). Runner up is Chloë Grace Moretz in the uncomfortable situation where she has her first period in a household of male clichés who freak out or don’t know how to handle the delicate situation (although it ends with them watching a commercial that is actually funny).

The package comes with a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy. Perhaps most interesting is the Blu-ray which comes with an alternate version, one shown overseas, that uses a different framing sequence running several minutes longer, and is less funny. The sole other extra is a cut sketch with Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub as parents asking an off-screen investigator to help find their missing daughter, who was glimpsed on a  Girls Gone Wild-style video Mr. Shalhoub just happened to order and repeatedly watch. The gimmick is that girl has a tendency to flash the camera in Christmas cards, high school yearbooks, etc. A short with Anton Yelchin as a necrophiliac was shot and promised for the disc but is missing.

A great premise, gathering some of today’s funniest people (headed by Peter Farrelly) and top stars to have some fun, goes nowhere and is not as clever as the crew think it is. A serious misfire of a film which sank without a trace at the box office.