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article imageBlu-ray/DVD Essentials: Bogart's best to DiCaprio's 'Wolf' Special

By Earl Dittman     Apr 7, 2014 in Entertainment
From contemporary hits ('The Wolf Of Wall Street,' 'Out Of The Furnace') to Hollywood classics ('Casablanca'), there are a number of exciting motion pictures and dynamic cable series ('Atlantis,' 'Californication') now available for you to own.
Unforgettable. Brilliant. Timeless. These terms more than accurately describe Casablanca, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of Sierra Madre, actor Humphrey Bogart's greatest motion pictures. For the true cinema lover, all four films have been assembled together in the astonishing The Best Of Bogart Collection.
A fan of this past year's Best Picture nominees? Then, director Martin Scorsese's latest modern-day epic about American greed, The Wolf Of Wall Street, is a must-see, featuring amazing Academy Award-nominated performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Additionally, the absorbing drama, Out Of The Furnace, showcases the incomparable talents of Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Willem Dafoe.
The new BBC series, Atlantis, has become a big hit with sci-fi/fantasy aficionados and the release of Season One on disc should attract even more action junkies. Of course, is you are a follower of David Duchovny’s provocative Showtime offering, Californication (which begins its seventh season this month), the sixth season offering is required viewing. Looking for more than a few laughs? The first two seasons of the hilarious Comedy Central show Key & Peele are now available on as a Blu-ray combo pack.
Packed with non-stop martial arts antics, Chinese Zodiac should please all the millions of die-hard Jackie Chan kung-fu fans. The big screen version of the thrilling and insightful series Walking With Dinosaurs is a treat for the whole family, while the smart and sexy coming-of-age indie tale, Geography Club, is a mature comedy that should not be missed.
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Paramount
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Legendary director Martin Scorsese delivers another cinematic landmark with The Wolf Of Wall Street. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter), The Wolf Of Wall Street has appeared on over 25 Top Ten Best Films of 2013 lists. Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his career and earned a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a young stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills, where corruption is king and more is never enough. Based on an outrageous true story of American excess, The Wolf Of Wall Street also stars Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin and Margot Robbie. Blu-ray (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Bonus Feature: "The Wolf Pack" - Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and other cast and crew discuss the incredible journey of making the film. Follow them as they reveal the real story behind Jordan Belfort’s rise to power and how they depicted his world of lavish excess, perseverance and ultimately betrayal.
The Best Of Bogart Collection
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Warner Bros
This collection brings together four of the most important films in the career of cinematic icon Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen, Maltese Falcon, Treasure of Sierra Madre and Casablanca in a breathtaking Blu-ray package that includes hours of special features and reproduction art cards from each film. Blu-ray Bonus Features: The Maltese Falcon - Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax; "The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird Breakdowns of 1941'; Studio blooper reel; Makeup tests; "Becoming Attractions: The trailers of Humphrey Bogart Warner Night at the Movies 1941' short subjects gallery and Audio-only bonus: 3 radio show adaptations. Casablanca - Commentary by Roger Ebert; Commentary by historian Rudy Behlmer; Introduction by Lauren Bacall; Additional scenes & outtakes; Scoring session outtakes; "Bacall On Bogart"; "You Must Remember This: A Tribute To Casablanca"; "As Time Goes By: The Children Remember"; Production research gallery; Homage cartoon Carrotblanca; "Who Holds Tomorrow?': Premiere episode from 1955 Warner Bros. Presents TV series adaptation of Casablanca; Audio-only bonus: Radio production with the movie's 3 key stars and Theatrical trailers. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax; "Discovering Treasure: The Story of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"; Documentary profile "John Huston"; "Warner Night at the Movies 1948" short subjects gallery: Leonard Matlin introduction, Newsreel, 2 classic cartoons, Comedy Short, Theatrical Trailers and Audio-only bonus: Radio show with the movie's original stars. The African Queen - "Embracing Chaos: Making the African Queen."
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Comedy Central/Paramount
Key & Peele: Seasons 1 & 2
The critically-acclaimed Key & Peele Seasons 1 & 2 combo give viewers no choice but to laugh again at the duo’s hilarious way of examining life in a provocative and irreverent way, through a combination of filmed sketches and live stage segments. From gangsters sharing a passion for Twilight, to the flamboyant East/West College Bowl players introducing themselves, to racist superheroes, Key & Peele showcase their chemistry, camaraderie, and unique point of view, born of their shared background and experience growing up biracial in a not quite post-racial world. Blu-ray Bonus Features: More from Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator; Outtakes; Vandaveon and Mike: Critiquer’s Corner; Live at South Beach Comedy Festival and Audio Commentaries.
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Universal
Chinese Zodiac
Jackie Chan stars as Asian Hawk, a master adventurer tasked with retrieving lost bronze heads, originally a part of an ancient Chinese collection of zodiac busts. While wealthy entrepreneur Lawrence (Oliver Platt) dangles an enormous reward for such a find, Hawk deploys his array of high tech devices as he travels the world to help unearth the missing relics. Caught between a monster payday and the restoration of China's past, Hawk jumps into battle, using his death-defying skills to help thwart Lawrence's destructive plans, while hoping to secure the remaining bronze heads before it's too late. (Blu-ray + UltraViolet)
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Fox
Out Of The Furnace
From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and powerful drama about family, fate, circumstance and justice. Russell Baze (Oscar-winner Christian Bale) leads a dead-end life - he works a meaningless steel mill job all day, and cares for his terminally ill father at night. When Russell's brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from Iraq, he is lured into one of the Northeast's most ruthless crime rings and mysteriously disappears. When the police fail to solve the case, Russell puts his life at risk in order to seek justice for his brother. This absorbing film features a knockout cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard. Blu-ray (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Bonus Features: "Inspiration: The stars of Out Of The Furnace reveal what inspired them to become actors"; A Conversation with co-writer / director Scott Cooper; "Crafting The Fight Scenes" and "The Music Of Out Of The Furnace."
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Fox
Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie
The BBC television series Walking With Dinosaurs strides its way to the big screen with this live-action/CG-animated feature film following a courageous young dinosaur on an incredible adventure through the prehistoric world. The gigantic voice talents of Justin Long (Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise) and John Leguizamo (Ice Age franchise) take you on a thrilling prehistoric journey the whole family will enjoy! In a time when dinosaurs rule the Earth, the smallest of the pack - a playful Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi - embarks on the biggest adventure of his life. As he tries to find his place in a spectacular world filled with fun-loving friends and a few dangerous foes, Patchi will discover the courage he needs to become the leader of the herd... and a hero for the ages. Directed by Barry Cook, Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie also includes the vocal talents of Charlie Rowe and Karl Urban.
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Showtime/Paramount
Californication: The Sixth Season
The hit series, Californication (which returns on-air for a seventh season in this month on Showtime), continues to garner fans, with an average of three million viewers making the sixth season the show’s highest rated yet. Golden Globe-winner David Duchovny stars as incorrigible writer Hank Moody whose salacious behavior never ceases to turn his life upside down in unexpected ways. In the sixth season, Hank tries to collaborate on a rock opera based on his book with a famous rock star while taking up with his beautiful muse; Charlie and Stu compete for the affections of Marcy; Marcy falls under the spell of a seriously radical feminist; and Becca drops out of college to become a writer. Also starring Natascha McElhone, Madeleine Martin, Evan Handler and Pamela Adlon. Californication: The Sixth Season includes a host of notable guest appearances including Marilyn Manson, Maggie Grace, Jorge Garcia, Tim Minchin and Rob Lowe. Bonus Features: Ray Donovan Episodes 1 & 2; The Borgias: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2 (via eBridge technology); Dexter: Season 8, Episodes 1 & 2 (via eBridge technology) and House of Lies: Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2 (via eBridge technology).
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BBC
Atlantis: Season One
Atlantis is an original and epic drama based around the stories of Greek mythology and the lost city of Atlantis. Jason, who is in his early 20s, is our entry into this world; when we first meet him he is living in contemporary Britain but in the first episode he is sucked into a vortex and transported back to the city of Atlantis. Jason is thrust into a time and place he thought only existed in stories, but he soon finds himself becoming firm friends with the legendary Pythagoras and Hercules. Alongside his new found friends Jason sets out on a series of adventures to understand more about his mysterious past and to discover his true destiny. Along the way he meets, befriends and fights all the famous figures from Greek mythology; in one episode he kills the fearsome Minotaur, in another we find out how Medusa was created. This is a series that combines action and humor, romance and mythology, spectacle and surprise.
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Breaking Glass
Geography Club
Geography Club is a smart, fast, moving and funny account of contemporary teenagers as they discover their own sexual identities, dreams and values and not merely live out their parents' desires and ambitions. A group of open-minded high-school students form a clandestine after-school support group where they can be free to discuss their sexuality in this adolescent comedy based on Brent Hartinger's bestselling young-adult novel of the same name. Although at first the idea of labeling their group the Geography Club seemed like the perfect cover for their frank discussions, some of the more popular participants are forced to choose between staying in the closet, or embracing their true sexuality after the group's true purpose becomes public knowledge. Cameron Deane Stewart, Justin Deeley, and Nikki Blonsky head up a cast also featuring Scott Bakula, Marin Hinkle, and Ana Gasteyer.
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