Tagged: Warner Home Video

Batmania Returns in 2014

The much anticipated home video release of the 1966-1968 Batman teleivsion series has been confirmed by Warner Home Video. A complete box set of the trend-setting 104 episodes will be out later this year in a date to be determined.

The announcement was made on the Conan O’Brien Show complete with a breaking news tweet.

Conan O'Brien tweets Batman TV Series coming via WBHELast year, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox reached an agreement to allow licensing from the ABC series to begin which spawned action figures, Barbie & Ken Collector’s Set, the well-received comic book Batman ’66 from DC Entertainment, and related merchandise. There were high hopes that the DVD announcement would be made at last summer’s Comic-Con International but it was not to be.

No details have yet been released regarding how this arrangement was completed but it has been long understood that there were legal entanglements between DC, 20th Century Fox, and Greenway Productions, the latter being William Dozier’s production company which actually created the pop series.

Dozier had been asked to turn some comic hero into a television series and after attempts with others failed, they settled on Batman, whose sales had been slipping for years as the static art from co-creator Bob Kane and his ghosts failed to keep up with the maturing look of comic books and the writing had gone down hill, mired in science fiction concepts unbefitting the world’s greatest detective.

He decided to play it as straight as he could and with Lorenzo Semple, Jr. at the typewriter, they came up with an approach that worked. The story would be split in two, with the first thirty minute part concluding on a cliffhanger with Dozier’s own narration promising results if fans merely tuned in “same bat time, same bat channel”. One show split up ion this manner had not been done before but ABC, then a distant third in the ratings, was desperate to try anything.

The series arrived on January 12, 1966 after being in development for less than a year. However, it shattered the ratings charts and became an instant smash success, spawning countless forms of apparel, books, records, and other collectibles. It turned journeyman actor Adam West into   a superstar and newcomer Burt Ward into a youthful sex symbol. All manner of actors, actresses, and celebrities clamored to play villains on the series or make cameo appearances during the famed climbs up buildings.

The series arrived at a time when pop culture was enjoying a colorful renaissance, inspired in part by an art movement fronted by Andy Warhol and a renewed interest in super-hero comics. It used odd camera angles, a bright colorful palette (at a time when color TV was still considered something new), and had jazzy music. Kids adored the action sequences while adults cackled at the corny jokes and seemingly ludicrous plots. There was something for everyone.

The show quickly spawned a big budget film which arrived in August 1966, between the first and second seasons, allowing the producers to add a Bat boat and Batcopter to the growing arsenal of bat-themed weapons. It also pitted the Dynamic Duo against a quarter of foes, something heretofore untried on the series.

By that fall, though, the bloom had quickly faded and ABC was scrambling to find ways to sustain interest in the series. They asked DC for a Batgirl and rather than resurrect Kathy Kane, editor Julie Schwartz and art director Carmine Infantino created Barbara Gordon, who was introduced in Detective Comics #369 that November. Yvonne Craig, a dancer turned actress, nabbed the role and became an object of lust for young boys everywhere when she arrived the following September.

Even though ABC reduced the series to a single night, the ratings continued to plummet and the show was canceled, airing its final episode in March 1968. Soon after it went into syndication and it has been playing on some channel, somewhere ever since.

Man of Steel Infographic Traces Route from Krypton to Earth

MOS_LAK_4in1_ALL_PREIn advance of next week’s release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel on Blu-ray and DVD, Warner Home Video has released this infographic. This tells you al you need to know about Krypton, or at least the world as depicted in this past summer’s reimagining of the Action Ace. The film has grossed over $662 million worldwide, which, given its production budget of $225 million, means it is on the cusp of profitability. Ancillary sales, including the domestic home video release, should push it into the black before the year is out. Box Office Mojo notes that it may not have soared to the heights anticipated by Warner Bros and its DC Entertainment subsidiary. In dollars, it ranks tenth as a comic book adaptation, although it is the top grossing Superman film dating all the way back to Superman and the Mole Men.

Rotten Tomatoes says the film was perceived as only 56% fresh, dubbed by major media critics as too somber. Richard Roeper, for example, noted, “There’s very little humor or joy in this Superman story.” Fans were divided over this sterile and somber version of the archetypal superhero, sharply criticism the filmmakers and DC for letting Superman commit murder. In comparison, this weekend’s Thor: The Dark World is already trending at a strong 75% fresh.

DC Entertainment has bet a lot on this interpretation, letting it be known that this should be considered the first installment in a unified DC Cinemaverse. Already shooting for a summer 2015 release is a sequel which will include a Caped Crusader owing much to Frank Miller’s groundbreaking The Dark Knight Returns. Fans already have their knives sharpened for flaying Ben Affleck’s performance as the Darknight Detective without seeing a single frame of film, a habit that can be traced back to the first announcement of Michael Keaton donning the cape and cowl. The sequel is also rumored to be introducing Diana, the Princess of Themyscira with current theory being that Jamie Alexander, Lady Sif in the Thor series, is in talks with the studio.

What is expected to follow would be a Justice League movie while DC and Warner have been coy about whether or not the television reality seen in Arrow and its intended Flash spinoff would also be set in the same reality. Given the success of Disney, Marvel and ABC has had with integrating Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the feature films, one would think they would follow suit.

Look for our Man of Steel review next week.

REVIEW: Robot Chicken DC Comics Special

RobotChicken_DCComicsSpecial_BLURobot Chicken has had some fun with the DC Universe ever since the series premiered on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As a result, a DC-centric special was inevitable and it aired back in the winter. Now out on DVD from Warner Home Video, the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special is a fast-paced laugh riot for comic book fans.

The RC crew, headed by cocreators Seth Green and Brecken Mayer are on hand, aided, abetted, and egged on by DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Interestingly, Zeb Wells, who normally writes for Marvel, never for DC, is ion hand to direct the special. On the surface, they cleverly make this appealing to mainstream viewers by basing the look, feel, and sound to mimic the Super Friends animated series, using sound effects from other animated projects. But once the special gets underway, you glimpse tons of characters only comic readers would know, and that’s fun, because you don’t need to know the arcane details. Still, one of the funniest bits involves the foe Mr. Banjo, voiced by Alfred Molina, who admits it was his favorite part on the special.

And the voices help sell this. Molina is joined by Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Megan Fox, Abe Benrubi, Tara Strong, Clare Grant, and the hilarious, foul-mouthed Alex Borstein.

The 23 minutes zip by, tied together by the usual ribbing Aquaman gets but this time, he gets so frustrated he turns to the Legion of Doom and offers his help in taking down the JLA. Another running gag, that never gets old, is the sudden arrival of Bane, who picks up Batman, breaks his back and departs.

Given how short the running time, it’s pretty impressive the disc comes with two hours’ worth of extras, notably funny writer commentaries and slightly less funny actor commentaries. There’s also The Making of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special that runs nearly as long as the show itself and gives you a good idea of what goes into making one of these episodes. There are some outtakes as the actors flub lines and deleted sketches, that get introduced and you learn why they didn’t make the cut. These, at least, got turned into animatics before being cut and one, the heroes needing the bathroom after eating Green Arrow’s chili, was borderline offensive while Booster Gold debating time traveling to kill Hitler with the JSA felt inappropriate (I guess you still shouldn’t make fun of the Holocaust).

Another extra takes you on an incomplete, mildly incoherent tour of DC Entertainment’s new Burbank offices, which makes it look like a fun place to work. The disc is rounded out with Robot Chicken DC Comics Special’s Aquaman Origin Story, Chicken Nuggets, Stoopid Alter Egos, and 5.2 Questions.

Warner Home Video to Release The Hobbit on Disc in March

HBBT_BDComboBurbank, CA, February 5, 2013 – From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving on Digital Download on March 12  and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-Disc DVD Special Edition on March 19  from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. All disc versions feature UltraVioletÔ and more than 130 minutes of bonus content. The first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is nominated for three Academy Awards*, is an epic adventure that immerses audiences once again in the fantastical world of Middle-earth. The March 19 home entertainment release will be followed by an Extended Edition available just in time for the holidays.

In addition, Peter Jackson will host a live first look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern/Noon Pacific. Content will be streamed live and an edited version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website. Access to the live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet code available by purchasing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. Select digital retailers will issue access codes upon purchase of the film.  Visit www.thehobbit.com/sneak for more information.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as Old Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The international ensemble cast also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett and Conan Stevens.

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 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 is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on December 14, 2012, with the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug releasing December 13, 2013, and the third film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, slated for July 18, 2014.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be available on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99, on 5-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, and on 2-Disc DVD Special Edition for $28.98. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, and the theatrical version in standard definition on DVD. The 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition on Blu-ray, the theatrical version of the film in 2D high definition on Blu-ray and the theatrical version in standard definition on DVD.  The Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and the 2-Disc DVD Special Edition all 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.*

SYNOPSIS

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.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and DVD Special Edition contain the following special features:

  • Full Suite of Peter Jackson’s Production Videos. Enter Middle-earth of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Academy Award-winning Director Peter Jackson takes you behind the scenes, on location and amidst the star-studded cast in a series of video journals that puts you in the forefront of latest in filmmaking with more than two hours of additional content. Highlights of the journals include:
    • Start of Production
    • Location Scouting
    • Filming in 3D
    • Post-production Overview
    • Wellington World Premiere

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On March 12, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be available for download from online retailers including iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon, Vudu and CinemaNow.

On March 19, the film will also available digitally in High Definition (HD) VOD and Standard Definition (SD) VOD from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS

PRODUCT                                                                            SRP

Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack                                                         $44.95

Blu-ray Combo Pack                                                               $35.99

2-Disc Amaray Special Edition (WS)                                     $28.98

EST Release Date:  March 12, 2013

Standard Street Date: March 19, 2013

DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish,

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish

Running Time: 169 minutes

Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images

DLBY/SURR   DLBY/DGTL   [CC]

REVIEW: The Princess Bride – 25th Anniversary Edition

Hard to believe it’s been a quarter of a century since The Princess Bride was released to theaters. By then, I had adored William Goldman’s novel which was its basis and over time, as it hit cable then home video, it was watched repeatedly in my house. As a result, the kids grew up with it a part of their lives and they came to adore it with equal ardor. Sadly, when I tried to interest my eighth graders in seeing it recently, they stared blankly.

The conceit in the novel is that Goldman was giving us the “good parts” version of S. Morgenstern’s fantasy tale and that is adapted to the film as a grandfather (Peter Falk) reads the book to his sick grandson (Fred Savage). The rest of the fable involves the romance between beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) and dashing Westley (Cary Elwes) and the trials and tribulations that kept them apart – until the end when they finally kissed, one of the five greatest kisses ever recorded in history (or so we’re told). Between meeting and kissing, there are swordfights aplenty, death, resurrection, magic, cowardice, giants, tricksters, weird locales, and much more. Girls can love the romance, the boys can adore the action and both can laugh at the comical performances and clever dialogue.

Rob Reiner’s casting was pitch perfect as was his deft direction so all the elements came together to make an instant, enduring classic. With Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Andre the Giant, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing as it turns out and it’s a joy to see it one more time, in the 125th anniversary Blu-ray release from Warner Home Video. Reiner could have gone overboard with the humor but he reaches the edge of slapstick and pulls back time after time.

Given how often this has been previously released on DVD and Blu-ray, it’s comforting to see most of the extra features carried over here including both audio commentaries (Reiner and Goldman), The Art of Fencing (7:00), Cary Elwes’ Video Diary (4:00), a look at the Dread Pirate Roberts (12:00), twin pieces on the fantasy roots (26:00), a Makeup (11:00) piece; and “Untold Tales” (9:00). New to this edition is a 25th Anniversary Chat with Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Rob Reiner (15:00) and Entering the Zeitgeist (15:00), examining the film’s role in today’s pop culture.

If you own one of the earlier versions, you may not need this but if you don’t have this on the shelf, this is well worth you (and your children’s) attention.

REVIEW: Chernobyl Diaries

Producer Oren Peli commanded our attention with the interesting Paranormal Activity, but has since proven to be a lot less interesting to watch. His subsequent works have lacked flaw or much suspense or originality. His latest disappointment is the post-apocalyptic Chernobyl Diaries, which is a horror film using the Russian nuclear disaster as the catalyst. The film, out on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video, lets down the viewer by not being good, scary, or by having anything to say about nuclear reactors at a time when the topic is bubbling up once again as we scramble for alternative energy sources.

The basics of the story show a group of friends take an “Extreme Tour” of Prypiat, the town next door to the fabled power plant which exploded in 1986 and currently sits buried under concrete. When they somehow get stranded from the tour, you know nothing good will come of this decision. Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko), the tour guide, is the one to make the inane decision to spend the night rather than hike through the night the twelve miles to get help or find appropriate shelter. In a thankfully brief eighty-six minutes, we watch several get killed and a few lucky ones survive. Ho hum.

Peli knows how to scare us, having made his name with Paranormal Activity but he and Bradley Parker reuse all the same techniques in a new setting, recycling without any benefit to the audience. At least visually they make things look and feel bleak with Hungary and Serbia standing in for poor Prypiat.

This film was shot on the cheap, reportedly $1 million, which may explain the lack of adequate script or solid cast to convince us something bad is really going on. The quartet of kids is led by singer Jesse McCartney and Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, neither of whom are bad enough to deserve Razzies, just bland. They run, they hide, they get hunted by who-knows-what, which miraculously transforms into I-don’t-care long before the fifty minute mark.

Before he is allowed to shot another movie, Peli needs to convince us he has something to say or something to show us. Right now, we’ve seen it all and have little need to come back for more.

The movie looks and sounds fine on the transfer. The Combo Pack offers us the Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet along with a few extras including Uri’s Extreme Tours Infomercial (1:19); Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video (2:25); a single deleted scene and an alternate ending that doesn’t help.

Watch the first clip from “The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1”

Warner Home Video has releases the first official clip from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, is produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives September 25, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™.

But really– they couldn’t get Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley to do the cover?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0_l-5Kf488[/youtube]

Preview: “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1”

The first issue of Batman: The Dark Knight Ret...Don’t give us any more of “The Dark Knight Rises”… if you’ve been reading comics for a while, you know what the original stuff was, from Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley. And now, DC Animation (via MTV) is giving us our first glimpse at what looks to be a very faithful adaptation of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, pt. 1″.

Get More: MTV Shows

You know the story…

…it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new…and old.

The film stars Peter Weller as Batman, is David Selby as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter as Robin, Wade Williams as Two-Face, and Michael McKean as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. The film is directed by Jay Oliva, written by Bob Goodman and executive produced by Sam Register and the legendary Bruce Timm.

“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1” hits Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD and download on September 25, 2012 from Warner Home Video. “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2” is due in early 2013.

via MTV Geek – Exclusive Premiere: ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1′ Trailer.

Win a Copy of Wrath of the Titans Blu-ray Combo Pack

After last year’s success with the remake of Clash of the Titans, a sequel seemed inevitable. Now, Warner Home Video is releasing Wrath of the Titans, starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson on Tuesday, June 26. We have partnered with WHV to host a contest with one copy of the Blu-ray combo pack to be given away. Please note, we are not able to ship to PO Box addresses and winners must be within the United States.

A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kaken, Perseus (Worthington) the demigod son of Zeus (Neeson) is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston). The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus’ godly son, Ares (Edgar Ramrez), switch loyalties and make a deal, with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans’ strength grows stronger as Zeus’ remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth. Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s demigod son, Argenor (Toby Kebbell), and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL50159536F59BCD8D[/youtube]

To win, tell us about your favorite Greek god or goddess and why. Your post has to be received by 11:59 p.m., Saturday, June 30. The judgment of ComicMix will be final.

Win a Copy of Deliverance on Blu-ray

Few films were as atmospheric and downright scary as Deliverance when it was released in 1972. Director John Boorman made an indelible mark on film history with this film which features amazing performances by Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, and James Dickey. Four city men on a weekend canoe trip pit their nerve and muscle against the churning waters of a wild Georgia river — where only three are “delivered” from the heart-pounding experience. These days, most remember the terrific music but forget just how tension-filled the rest of the film was.

A new Blu-ray edition of this seminal film is being released by Warner Home Video on June 26.  We have partnered with WHV to host a contest with one copy of the disc to be given away. Please note, we are not able to ship to PO Box addresses and winners must be within the United States.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/qdi4msopIBw[/youtube]

In 2008, Deliverance was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Pick one of these three qualities and tell us why the film deserves these accolades. Post your comment by 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 29. The judgment of ComicMix will be final.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/AYFRF3rYtW0[/youtube]