DVD Review “Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set”

Actors: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillian
Number of discs: 41
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 20, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

BBC Home Entertainment is answering the prayers of every Doctor Who fan just in time for the holiday season with the release of “Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set”. This limited edition Doctor Who collector’s box feature over 70 hours of “Doctor Who” amazing-ness plus many more of special features. The set also includes a collectible 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver, three original art cards and the comic book, “Doctor Who at Comic Con.” To honest I was a little disappointed with the packaging since it is a bit of a pain to open and close. Also in order to get to the comic book and card, you need to remove all of the contents. The 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver alone is a $30 value and is overall pretty rad to play with. The three original art cards are super cool as well and will look nice in a frame. Lastly, the comic book included “Doctor Who at Comic Con”, is a nice addition as well. This should satisfy all fans of the series but if you have been purchasing each series DVD as it has been released, the extra disc and goodies might not be worth the price.

This gift set includes the series in it’s DVD format spread out of 41 sci-fi packed discs. There are no Blu-ray’s included though. We all know that first few series of “Doctor Who” were shot on standard definition video, but since the 11th Doctor they have been releasing them on Blu-ray. So in this gift set, I understand them including only DVD to keep it uniform but I still prefer my Blu-ray releases of Series 5 and 6. So we get Series 1-6 and The Complete Specials (The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) included in their previously released packaging. Series 1-4 has never been released on Blu-ray and are currently only available on DVD. While Series 5-6 and The Complete Specials are also currently available on Blu-ray.

This gift set also includes a DVD of never-before-released specials including: “The Women of Doctor Who”, “The Timey – Wimey of Doctor Who” and “The Destinations of Doctor Who”. “The Women of Doctor Who” looks at the great women behind ever time lord. “The Timey – Wimey of Doctor Who” looks into what timey-wimey is exactly with star Arthur Darvill. “The Destinations of Doctor Who” takes up in a time machine to the travels through the universe, you never know where you”ll end up including the year 5 billion. These specials have all originally aired on BBC America but have never-before-released on DVD. They are must have for all “Whovians”.

Series 1 includes all 13 episodes of the BBC sci-fi classic, which served as the reboot for the show. It was written by Russell T. Davies and starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. His joins up with companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) to save the world. I liked Eccleson as the Doctor but something was a little off about the way he portrayed him. Episodes included are: “Rose”; “The End of the World”; “The Unquiet Dead”; “Aliens of London”; “World War Three”; “Dalek”; “The Long Game”; “Father”s Day”; “The Empty Child”; “The Doctor Dances”; “Boom Town”; “Bad Wolf”; and “The Parting of the Ways”.

Series 2 included all 14 episodes, primarily written by Russell T. Davies. It also introduces a new Doctor, played by David Tennant. In this series, it features the tenth Doctor continuing to travel with companion Rose Tyler. I liked Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor but Tennant taking over was simply brilliant. Episodes included are: “The Christmas Invasion,” “New Earth,” “Tooth And Claw,” “School Reunion,” “The Girl In The Fireplace,” “Rise Of The Cybermen,” “TheAge of Steel,” “The Idiot”s Lantern,” “The Impossible Planet,” “The Satan Pit,” “Love & Monsters,” “Fear Her,” “Army Of Ghosts” and “Doomsday.” This series really has some of the best episodes to date.

Series 3 includes all 14 episodes and stars David Tennant as the Doctor with companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) after Rose Tyler became stuck in the parallel world..forever. I was never a fan of this series but it has seen grown on me, since it packs some wonderful intense episodes. Episodes included are: “Smith and Jones”, “The Shakespeare Code”, “Gridlock”, “Daleks in Manhattan”, “Evolution of the Daleks”, “The Lazarus Experiment”, “42”, “Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”, “Blink”, “Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, “Last of the Timelords” and the 2006 Christmas special “The Runaway Bride”, starring Catharine Tate.

Series 4 includes all 14 episodes and continues David Tennant playing the Doctor, in his last go around (until the specials) with yet another companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who appeared first in “The Runaway Bride”. Episodes included are: “Partners in Crime”, “The Fires of Pompeii”, “Planet of the Ood”, “The Sontaran Stratagem”, “The Poison Sky”, “The Doctor”s Daughter”, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”, “Silence in the Library”, “Forest of the Dead”, “Midnight”, “Turn Left”, “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey”s End”. Overall decent season but not a big fan of Catherine Tate but at least we get more Rose Tyler. Also very sad to see the end of Tennant playing the Doctor.

Series 5 includes all 13 episodes and begins the next wave of the franchise with Matt Smith taking over as The Doctor and Karen Gillan, as his companion, Amy Pond. This is by far one of my favorite seasons as a whole, in sense of the storyline. Episodes included are: “The Eleventh Hour”, “The Beast Below”, “Victory of the Daleks”, “The Time of Angels”, “Flesh and Stone”, “The Vampires of Venice”, “Amy’s Choice”, “The Hungry Earth”, “Cold Blood”, “Vincent and the Doctor”, “The Lodger”, “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”. This series is just a wonderful introduction to the companion and really dives the story right from the beginning.

Series 6 includes all 13 episodes and returns the adventures with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. Also joining them is Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams and Alex Kingston as River Song. This season started with the death of the Doctor, which ran through the whole series. Definitely an exciting arc for the show. Episodes included are: “A Christmas Carol”, “The Impossible Astronaut”, “Day Of The Moon”, “The Curse Of The Black Spot”, “The Doctor’s Wife”, “The Rebel Flesh”, “The Almost People”, “A Good Man Goes To War”, “Let’s Kill Hitler”, “Night Terrors”, “The Girl Who Waited”, “The God Complex”, “Closing Time”, “The Wedding Of River Song”. These episodes reveal quite a lot of the series. Matt Smith is quickly becoming my favorite Doctor. Amy Pond is also my favorite companion to date.

Series 1 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, numerous making-of featurettes, video diary with Piper and an interview with Eccleston. Series 2 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, video diaries with Tennant, Doctor Who Confidential and Picture-in-picture commentary on The Girl in the Fireplace, The Age of Steel, The Impossible Planet, and Doomsday. Series 3 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, Doctor Who Confidential, Music and Monsters, Freema’s tour of the studio, David Tennant’s Video Diaries, Deleted scenes and Outtakes. Series 4 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, Doctor Who Confidential; video diaries with Tennant; Deleted scenes; Teasers and trailers; Retrospective featurette and Children in Need “Time Crash”. Series 5 special features include audio commentaries from cast/crew; newly filmed scenes written by Steven Moffat, called “Meanwhile in the Tardis”; Doctor Who Confidential; Monster Files; Outtakes; video diaries and Teasers and trailers. Series 6 special features include audio commentaries from cast/crew; five Night and the Doctor specially recorded scenes and episode prequels; two sketches recorded for the UK’s Comic Relief charity event; Monster Files; Doctor Who Confidential and BBC1 Trails.

I highly recommend this limited edition gift set if you are just being introduced to this show or if you have never purchased any of the previously released DVDs. If you are looking for something to hold you over until “Doctor Who” returns next year with the second part of series seven, which features a new companion joining the 11th Doctor. Until then…enjoy revisiting this fun and exciting series.

3D Blu-ray Review “Titanic: Limited 3D Edition”

Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet
Number of discs: 4
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 10, 2012
Running Time: 194 minutes

Titanic 3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

When you hear the word 3D conversion, most avid film-goers will cringe. Though you can relax with this film since the 3D is nothing short of amazing and breathtaking. The film looks like it was even originally shot in 3D. The 1080p presentation is easily one of the best on the Blu-ray format. As is the film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, definitely the highest of high definition audio presentations. I mean what else did you expect honestly from Mr. James Cameron. The film is the second highest grossing film to Cameron’s latest “Avatar” and deserves such an amazing presentation. Within this four-disc combo pack, the breakdown of the discs are as follows: Disc one is the Blu-ray 3D movie- part one, Disc two is the Blu-ray 3D movie- Part Two, disc three contains a standard Blu-ray (with the film in 2D) + three filmmaker commentaries and disc four includes the bulk of the special features with never before seen footage. Lastly there is also a Digital Copy included (wish it was Ultraviolet though).

To be honest knowing how much love that Cameron put into this 3D conversion that there are no 3D bonus content included on the 3D discs. Nonetheless this release is extremely jam-packed with special features. The first disc including the three audio commentary tracks, all from 2005. I guess everything was said well the first time so no need to revisit it for this release. I would have liked to seen Cameron do a track just on the 3D of the film. On disc three, we get three commentary tracks. The first is with James Cameron and he covers all aspects of the film from beginning to end. This is obviously a must-listen commentary track, no question. Next up. there is an audio commentary from Historians Don Lynch and Ken Marschal. This is a very technical and thorough commentary track but still a must for all people interested in the history of the Titanic.

Lastly, there is an packed audio commentary with a crazy amount of cast and crew, also from 2005. This is single biggest commentary track that I have ever seen, so I going to try and split it up. There are 15 members of the cast participated, including primary cast of Gloria Stuart, Kate Winslet, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates. Also included is Bernard Hill, Danny Nucci, Ioan Gruffudd, Lewis Abernathy, Jason Barry, Jeanette Goldstein, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis and Victor Garber. On the production side there is Executive Producer Rae Sanchini, Producer John Landau, Second Unit Director Steve Quale, First Assistant Director Josh McLaglen, Camera Operator/Steadicam Jimmy Muro, Director of Photography Russell Carpenter, Costume Designer Deborah Scott, 4-Ward/VFX Supervisor Robert Skotak, Art Director Martin Laing, Production Designer Peter Lamont, Unit Production Manager Kevin De La Noy, Digital Domain-VFX Supervisor Rob Legato and Stunt Coordinator Simon Crane. Composer James Horner, Music Editor Joe Rand, Re-Recording Mixer Gary Rydstrom and Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer Christopher Boyes cover the sound of the film, as well as its music and score. Some miscellaneous crew including Deep Dive Technology Coordinator Ralph White, Core Extra Ellen Mower, Core Extra Judy Prestininzi and Etiquette Coach Lynne Hockney. Most had been recorded separately and later edited together, but they are well edited and works well.

Moving on to disc four, we get the bulk of the special features starting off with two fantastic documentaries.  The first is called “Reflections on Titanic”, runs just over an hour long.  It is a four-part look at the this epic film. Cast and crew speak on setting the sinking of the ship against a classic romance. The feature covers the film before it’s release, during its releases and evening leading into its 3D conversion and 3D premiere. Easily one of my favorite features.  Next up with have “Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron”, which runs just over an hour and a half.  I had watched this prior on the Bio Channel, I believe.  I wasn’t a big fan of it but it still deserves to be checked out. It features James Cameron and eight other field  experts discussing what really happened to the RMS Titanic.

There are about an hour of deleted and extended scenes, all which include optional commentary from James Cameron.  These also are the last of the extras to be presented in HD.  The rest are all in 480p standard definition. There are 31 production behind-the-scenes short featurettes, each running about 1-3 minutes. Included are “Upside Down Wreck Miniature”, “1912 Morph Transition VFX”, “Digital People”, and “Iceberg/Deck VFX”, just to name a few of my favorites. Continuing with the production side of the extras, “Construction Timelapse” is a look into the making of the ship with optional Ed Marsh commentary. “Deep Dive Presentation” is a narrated tour with James Cameron through the wreckage of the Titanic. “$200,000,001: A Ship’s Odyssey” is a montage of behind-the-scenes footage from the crew, basically a long gag reel. There are three featurettes on the “Videomatics” including an intro, “Sinking Sequence” and “Deep Dive”.  There are also four short but sweet featurettes focusing on the “Visual Effects” with “VFX Shot Breakdown: “Engine Room””, “VFX How-To For “I’m Flying”” and “VFX How-To For “First Class Lounge”” and lastly, “Titanic Sinking Simulation”.

Rounding up these astounding amount of extras, we get to some of the archive material.  There is a music video for “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.  There are many trailers and TV spots included as well as a still gallery. There is a reproduction of his script included, storyboards, photographs, as well as concept posters and one sheets from both the 1997 and 2012 releases. Lastly there are Titanic Parodies including the MTV’s ‘1998 Movie Awards’ Skit, Saturday Night Live’ Skit from January 9, 1999 and ‘Titanic’ in 30 Seconds. So overall, this release is obviously a MUST-PURCHASE!!! One of my favorite releases of the entire year! I can finally enjoy the film in not only HD but also 3D, while not having to worry about getting up many times to use the bathroom.

 

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Comic Images’ Limited Edition Gold Lamé Plush C3PO Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

In honor of San Diego Comic Con this week, Comic Images and Media Mikes are teaming up to giveaway one of their brand new limited edition first-ever C3PO Super Deformed Plush. This is a 14” limited edition Super Deformed Plush made of gold lamé that will only be available at Comic Con and Celebration.  This is a special and super rare giveaway for the biggest “Star Wars” fans.

If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite quote from “Star Wars” seriesThis giveaway will be open until Friday July 27th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out a winner and alert via email.

If you are hitting up SDCC this year but sure to visit the Comic Images booth (#2913B), where Yoda, Darth and Chewy join Spidey and Frankenstein to rein supreme in all their geekdom.  For more information about Comic Images product line, visit www.ComicImages.com.

Blu-ray Review “Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition”

Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Running Time: 102 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Warner Bros. is becoming know for releasing these amazing Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-rays. They did it last year with both “Ben-Hur” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, both which were two of my favorite releases of the year. This 70th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray release of “Casablanca” comes packaged in a large rectangle box and is jam packed with amazing collectibles. Inside the box, you get 3-disc Digipak with two Blu-rays and a standard DVD. There is a simply breathtaking 62-page hardcover book with rare production notes and really great behind-the-scenes photos and drawings. There are four drink coasters included but not just loose, they come in a sweet faux-leather collectable box. Lastly there is a 21 x 15-inch 1942 French theatrical mini movie poster. All that amazing stuff is just inside the box, we haven’t even talked about the more than thirteen hours of special features and the amazing Blu-ray transfer yet.

The video presentation of this 70 year old film looks beyond fantastic and really shines on Blu-ray. You can thank this stunning 1080p transfer to an all-new 4K scan and a very in-depth frame by frame restoration. The audio a decent DTS-HD Master Audio Mono 1.0 track. Even though it is a restored single-channel mix, I felt that the audio was great but just a little lacking with the dialogue. Overall still very impressive audio and visual, nonetheless.

The special features are split over two Blu-rays and the main downfall to this otherwise amazing release is that most are in standard definition. There are two commentaries, though none with principal cast or crew. The first with film critic Roger Ebert and the second with historian Rudy Behlmer. Both are still very interesting though and informative. The only HD feature on disc one is “Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic”, which runs about 35 minutes and is a newly produced documentary. Many notable talent speak about the film, its impact including like Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin and Rudy Behlmer. There is an introduction by Lauren Bacall speaking about Casablanca’s enduring appeal. “Warner Night at the Movies” runs just under an hour and dives into the 1940s experience of “Casablanca”. “Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart” runs just over 80 minutes and is a solid documentary on Bogart. “You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca” runs about 35 minutes and carries a bit of repeat from the last documentary on the film but still worth a watch. “As Time Goes By: The Children Remember” features Stephen Bogart and Pia Lindstrom as they discuss their parents and the effect the film has had on them. There is about 75 minutes of audio-only content including a 1943 “Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast”, a “VOX Pop Radio Broadcast” from 1947, a series of “Scoring Stage Sessions” featuring alternate versions of the a few songs. There is some additional footage included along with some deleted scenes, as well as outtakes, “Who Holds Tomorrow” (a “Casablanca” television remake), and “Carrotblanca,” a Looney Tunes parody of the film. Lastly on disc one there are the film’s original theatrical trailer and theatrical re-release trailer as well.

The second Blu-ray of special features contains less features but more content. “The Brothers Warner” is an hour and a half feature on Harry Warner and his brothers. It really goes behind the scenes about the brothers and about their process for creating films. It is also presented in high definition. The next feature is a real zinger racking in at almost five hours. “You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story” is a five-hour documentary from director Richard Schickel and narrator Clint Eastwood. It focuses on Warner Bros, obviously. It is split over a few chapters include “A Rising Power (1923-1937),” “War and Peace (1937-1949),” “Age of Anxiety (1950-1969),” “Starting Over (1970-1990)” and “A Living Tradition (1988-2008)”. Lastly there is a feature, which runs about an hour called “Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul” and looks into this legacy.

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Synopsis: Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you’re wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one – especially Victor’s wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo’s transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more – personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance. Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Casablanca marks its 70th anniversary as a beloved favorite with so many bonuses that no matter how often you’ve seen it, this beautiful 70th Anniversary (Limited and Numbered) Edition looks like yet another beginning of a beautiful friendship with an unforgettable classic.

 

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“Scarface” Blu-Ray Giveaway [ENDED]

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To showcase the Blu-Ray release of “Scarface”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of this amazing set. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite favorite gangster film. This giveaway will be open until Tuesday August 30th at Noon, Eastern Time. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

8-20-11 – *The FREE TICKETS  have been all distributed for the ONE NIGHT ONLY SPECIAL EVENT *

Tony Montana, the world’s most ruthless and notorious gangster, is coming to the big screen for only one night as NCM Fathom and Universal Studios Home Entertainment bring you the Scarface Special Event. With Al Pacino’s legendary portrayal of Tony Montana and unforgettable action scenes, Scarface has anchored its spot as one of the best and most influential gangster films ever made. This one night event comes to movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, August 31st at 7:30pm (local time).

The event will begin with a mini featurette that will include interviews with popular filmmakers and talent on how this cult classic has influenced society and filmmaking through the years.

TICKETING: Tickets on sale NOW! Enter your zip code to purchase tickets for this event. Limited seats available – buy your tickets today! Don’t miss this epic one night event on the big screen on August 31st and celebrate the first-ever Blu-Ray™ release of Scarface on September 6th.

Scarface Limited Edition Steelbook – Special Features:
10 collectible Art Cards
Bonus Disc of the Original 1932 “Scarface”
Digital Copy of Scarface (1983) (expires 9/30/2012)
U-Control: Scarface Scoreboard
U-Control: Picture in Picture
The Scarface Phenomenon
The World of Tony Montana
Deleted Scenes
The Rebirth, The Acting, The Creating
Scarface: The TV Version
Scarface at The Palms
The Making of Scarface: The Video Game

“Gettysburg/Gods and Generals” Limited Collector’s Edition Event Footage

On July 22nd, there was a star studded gala four day special event in Manassas, VA (the site of the War’s start) to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with a theatrical premiere of the new Gods and Generals Extended Director’s Cut.

The event included talent such as Gods and Generals stars Bruce Boxleitner (Lt. General James Longstreet), C. Thomas Howell (Sergeant Thomas Chamberlain), Frankie Faison (Jim Lewis), Brian Mallon (Maj. General Winfield Scott Hancock), Alex Hyde-White (Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside) and Donzaleigh Abernathy (Martha) Patrick Gorman (General John Bell Hood) and John Castle (Old Penn), James I. Roberston, Jr. Director Ron Maxwell introduced the film, new footage, and video segments focused on embracing the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage area and sharing it with future generations. He also lead a panel with the film’s stars and historical advisers.

Check out the following below from the “Gettysburg/Gods and Generals Limited Collector’s Edition Event Footage”