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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Trance'

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 08:33

Have you ever wanted to participate in a high-stakes art heist?  How about go down a hypnotic rabbit hole of secrets, distortions, and illusions within your own mind?

Now that Trance is available on Blu-ray, you can vicariously do all that and more, tripping balls on a whacked-out thrill ride right from the comfort of your own home or the convenience of your preferred portable device.

Times change, but Sylvester Stallone is apparently forever.

VHS gives way to DVD, and definition gets higher, but Stallone endures, somehow continuing to kick every ass in his path even at sixty-seven years old.  His latest and most ass-kickingest adventure, Bullet to the Head, is now available in high definition on Blu-ray.

IAR Blu-ray Preview: '42'

Monday, 15 July 2013 09:03

One of this year's biggest and best surprises, 42, is stealing bases on its way home.

The film, a biography of American icon Jackie Robinson, slides into high definition on Blu-ray this Tuesday, July 16th.

Cancel that hotel room on the Strip. 

You don't have to drive through the desert shouting "Vegas, baby" in order to see the finest magical illusions in Las Vegas, because The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is now available on Blu-ray.  Rather than navigating mazelike casinos, sidewalk flappers, and desert heat, audiences can now partake in a cartoon version of the Vegas magic scene from the comfort of home.

William Shakespeare, meet Joss WhedonBill, this is JossJoss, Bill.

Much Ado About Nothing, currently in limited release, proves that these two wordsmiths are great tastes that taste great together.

With the new film, the writer-director of The Avengers and creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer takes on the most famous playwright in the history of the English language.  Using the original text of Shakespeare's sturdy comedy, Whedon moves the action to contemporary California, but keeps the language and story intact.

That story concerns two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero.  While Claudio and his lady share a gooier, more sentimental view of romance, the older, wiser Benedick and Beatrice both dismiss notions of romance and love.  Nonetheless, the two are clearly enamored of one another, and their witty, often barbed, back and forth is the engine on which Much Ado About Nothing runs.  As the comedy and incident pile up around them, Benedick and Beatrice gradually let down their respective guards.

Whedon shot this take on Shakespeare under unusual circumstances, filming in his own home for under two weeks.  At the Los Angeles press day, the famously loquacious writer-director discussed what drew him to the material and the unconventional production.  He was joined by stars Amy Acker (The Cabin in the Woods) and Alex Denisof (TV's Angel), along with fan favorites Clark Gregg (The Avengers) and Nathan Fillion (Serenity).

IAR was on hand to catch the director and cast's thoughts on adapting Shakespeare, remembering lines, playing comedy, shooting in black and white, rehearsal, and how Whedon is not like Shakespeare.

Today, you can partake in a swashbuckling adventure, and you don't even have to climb a beanstalk.

As of Tuesday, June 18th, Jack the Giant Slayer is available on Blu-ray, brings an imaginative fantasy realm straight into your living room, complete with lumbering giants, huge action setpieces, and endless derring-do, all presented in stunning high definition picture and sound.

Following the Yellow Brick Road has never been easier.

As of Tuesday, June 11th, Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful is available to purchase on Blu-ray, bringing the magic of L. Frank Baum's fantasy landscape right into your living room with the sharpest possible high definition visual and audio quality.

Here we are in the dog days of summer, as event movies attempt to outdo each other with unbelievably expensive spectacle, but the most sensational action around isn't at a theater near you.  It's on Blu-ray.

Enter the Dragon hits Blu-ray today, June 11th, as an extras-packed Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray celebrates the 40th anniversary of a true martial arts classic, the final film Bruce Lee completed before his tragic death.

This Friday, June 14th, Superman soars onscreen once again in Man of Steel.

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the pulpy pages of early comics a full seventy-five years ago, Superman marked the introduction of the superhero as we know it.  The Last Son of Krypton has proven malleable, changing appropriately along with the culture of which he's been a huge part for almost a century now.  But this neon god has also retained his core qualities, the essential elements that continue to strike a mythological chord.

With Man of Steel, the filmmakers are tasked with not only delivering an epic summer movie featuring all the necessary spectacle, but also with reinvigorating Superman cinematically.  In this modern age of abundant superheroics, many people mistakenly believe Clark Kent and his alter ego irretrievably passe and old fashioned.  In order to correct that notion, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer – along with producers such as Deborah Snyder, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, and Emma Thomas – tell Superman's origin story without extensive reinvention. 

Instead, Snyder and company infuse Kal-El and the supporting characters with often-unexplored emotional perspectives.  Also, the 300 and Watchmen director brings his facility with eye-catching action to the biggest possible canvas, a story that runs the gamut from war on an alien world to truly superpowered battles that alter the landscape here on Earth.

Executing the filmmakers' vision of a revitalized Man of Tomorrow is a supremely talented cast of actors, many of whom were on hand at the Los Angeles press day for Man of SteelHenry Cavill (Immortals) is the actor carrying Man of Steel as Superman, joined by Amy Adams (The Master) as Lois Lane.  They were joined at the press conference by Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Diane Lane (Secretariat), and Antje Traue (Pandorum).  The group was uniformly enthusiastic in discussing their individual characters and Man of Steel as a whole.

Cinematically, college and comedy go together like peanut butter and jelly.  On June 21st, Disney and Pixar are heading to college together for Monsters University, the latest release from the reigning champ of contemporary animation.

Not only is Pixar tackling collegiate tropes with typically nimble comedic flare, but they're abiding by the axiomatic truth that monsters make any story better.  Especially when they're monsters you already know and love.  James P. "Sulley" Sullivan and Mike Wazowski are back, twelve years after making their screen debut in 2001's Monsters Inc.  In that critical and commercial hit, our heroes are the most prolific professional scarers at the titular company, providing energy for all Monstropolis and loving their jobs day in, day out. 

Monsters University is Pixar's first prequel, traveling back to before Sulley and Mike were best friends.  As freshmen at Monsters U., in fact, the two develop an immediate dislike for one another, as Sulley's party animal attitude immediately clashes with Mike's uptight studiousness.  When they both end up in a Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of misfits and oddballs, they must work together to lead their frat brothers to victory in the Greek Games, growing from boys to monsters in the process.

John Goodman (Argo) and Billy Crystal (Parental Guidance) return to once again voice Sulley and Mike, respectively.  In typical Pixar fashion, though, the film boasts a supporting cast of remarkable talents lending their voices, from Helen Mirren (Red 2) to Steve Buscemi (HBO's Boardwalk Empire) through Charlie Day (Pacific Rim), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed), Nathan Fillion (Serenity), Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), Joel Murray (AMC's Mad Men), John Krasinski (NBC's The Office), and Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil).

Despite that tremendous cast, the Los Angeles press day for Monsters University found just John Goodman and Billy Crystal hosting a group of entertainment journalists from all over the world.  IAR was among those in attendance, and we're happy to report back with Goodman and Crystal's thoughts on their new director, Revenge of the Nerds, relating to their monstrous characters, and their own college experiences

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