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article imageKyra Sedgwick confesses her reasons for leaving 'The Closer' Special

By Earl Dittman     Aug 9, 2012 in Entertainment
After seven great seasons as the lovable Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the extraordinary police drama 'The Closer,' the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress decided it was time to say goodbye to the series while it was still on top. Kyra explains why.
"I think we were in the middle of shooting -- gosh, it must have been Season Six actually -- when I started to contemplate the idea of, 'What will a Season Eight look like?'" Kyra Sedgwick reveals of the initial moment she began thinking it was time to say goodbye to her leading role as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the phenomenally entertaining and ultra-popular hit show The Closer. "Afterwards, it was something that I struggled with for many, many months -- almost a year really -- before I made the tough decision to leave. I just couldn't see myself doing the show past Season Seven. It just felt like time, mostly for me as an artist, time for me to do something else."
Sedgwick didn't experience any personal or divine revelation urging her to walk away from the series that turned her into one of the top female actresses on television. "There really wasn't an epiphany of any kind," the 46-year-old, New York City-born Sedgwick says with a hint of Brenda's Southern accent. "It was just the idea of doing a Season Eight -- I think felt daunting to me and overwhelming, and sort of just didn't feel right. I think as an actor you really kind of just have to follow your instincts. And it was a hard decision because you're putting so many other people out of work and there was just a lot of factors that go into making that kind of decision."
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) and some of the men who help her garner confessions. (l to r) J.K. Simmons ...
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) and some of the men who help her garner confessions. (l to r) J.K. Simmons, Jon Tenney, Sedgwick, Corey Reynolds, G.W. Bailey and Tony Dennison
Warner Bros/TNT
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One of the main factors that influenced Sedgwick's decision was the fact that while she has spent the past eight years filming The Closer (for approximately six to nine months out of each year), she felt as though she was missing some of the most important milestones in the lives of her two children with her husband, actor Kevin Bacon. The Closer was filmed in Los Angeles, and the Bacon/Sedgwick family call New York City home. Her daughter, 20-year-old Sosie Bacon (who appeared as Chief Johnson's troubled niece "Charlie" on several episodes of The Closer) and her 23-year-old Travis Bacon (who had a part in his mom and dad's 2005 film, Loverboy), would see a great deal of their mother on weekends, holidays and long hiatuses while she was filming the show, but for Sedgwick, it just wasn't enough. "When you are a mother, you want to experience everything your children go through," Kyra says softly. "And when they are teenagers, there are so many things they have to deal with for the first time, and I wasn't always there for some of their important school events and ceremonies and some of those life-changing personal moments -- just the little things that go with being a mother of teenagers. I spend as much time with them as I could, but I felt I needed to spend more. I love being a mother, and I felt like it was time I put more time into it. Of course, that meant having to leave The Closer behind, but everyone understood."
Working closely with James Duff, the creator, executive producer and chief writer of The Closer, Kyra and Duff mapped out a way for Chief Johnson to exit the series to everyone's satisfaction. "I feel like it's wonderful that we get to go out on top," the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress admits. "And, I like the fact that James (Duff) had a good long time to close this out in the right way to finish The Closer the way it should be."
Chief Johnson and Lt. Gabriel (Corey Reynolds)
Chief Johnson and Lt. Gabriel (Corey Reynolds)
Warner Bros/TNT
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For the handful of you who may not have seen an episode of the unique police drama The Closer, for the past seven seasons Kyra Sedgwick has portrayed Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a top-notch L.A.P.D. investigator (a Southern belle-sounding cop transplanted from home of Atlanta, Georgia) who put some of Los Angeles’ most brutal killers behind bars -- as the head of the department's Major Crimes Division. With her keen investigative instincts and brilliant interrogation techniques, Brenda often closed her cases by eliciting a confession or cornering a suspect through sometimes-questionable methods.
However, by The Seventh and Final Season of The Closer (available on DVD on August 21), Chief Johnson's career appeared as if it was on the line as a result of her frequently unorthodox methods. Her tactics came under the scrutiny of the L.A.P.D.’s new Chief of Police, who was on the verge of announcing an extensive reorganization that could spell the end of Major Crimes. Despite the whirlwind of controversy building around her, Brenda was determined to continue doing her job the best that she could, and she expected the same of her squad members. Together, they took on some of the toughest cases of their careers, including a massacre that involved an up and coming rapper; a house-sitter who is killed while the family who hired her is on vacation; the death of a cross-dressing minister; a registered offender who is found buried under a retaining wall; the death of a Santa Claus who is killed in a zip-line accident and the murder of an aspiring teenage pop star’s father. Brenda's fate as a police chief, a wife and woman comes to a head in the Season Seven's final episode (which airs on TNT on Monday, August 12).
Joined by her boss and the members of her police squad -- actors J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene and Jon Tenney -- Brenda Leigh Johnson's career and life hangs in the balance during the show's final episode. "James (Duff) wrote one of the most incredible endings -- it's a perfect farewell for Brenda," Sedgwick explains. SPOILER ALERT: If you have seen the commercials for the finale and The Closer spin-off, Major Crimes -- which stars two-time Academy Award-nominee Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galatica), Brenda's sometime ally and thorn-in-the-side cop contemporary, Captain Sharon Raydor -- Brenda Leigh Johnson does not die. In fact, Sedgwick reveals we may not have seen the last of Chief Johnson. Kyra lets out that she might make a few guest appearance on Major Crimes (its first episode airs right after The Closer finale). "I'd love to show up on Major Crimes," Sedgwick says of her chances she may pop up on the spin-off from time to time. "I mean, it's definitely a possibility."
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) and Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell)
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) and Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell)
Warner Bros/TNT
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With three new motion pictures under her belt for release this year and next -- Kill Your Darlings, Chlorine and this fall's horror film, The Possession -- and her hubby of 24 years, Kevin Bacon (who directed several episodes of The Closer), starring in his own police/FBI television thriller, The Following, this fall, Sedgwick is taking a tiny break before moving on with her career and her life. "I will always love having been a part of The Closer," she confesses. "The years I spent on it were some of the best of my career and of my life. I'm really happy with the way we ended it, and I think fans will be happy with it, too. I'll always love Brenda Leigh, she taught me how to be a better actress and to appreciate life. It's been a great time, and I'll always treasure it and the fans who loved it as much as we all did."
Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on  The Closer
Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on 'The Closer'
Warner Bros/TNT
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KYRA SEDGWICK ON THE CLOSER:
What do you hope that people take away from having seen The Closer?
"I feel like I hope that people have higher expectations of where their entertainment dollar can be spent. I feel like we really delivered great stories and great characters, and I hope that this will make them speak out -- encourage them to speak out -- about really good shows and not be satisfied with the norm or the simple things. I also so hope as an actor that they really grew to understand and love this character -- as I love her and her complexities and her passion -- and through the reality of being a woman in this kind of situation, and someone that they could really relate to."
Now, what did you take away from set as your souvenir?
"I didn't take away anything from the set. (laughs) I didn't actually take away any material things. Everyone on that set will -- the cast as well as the crew -- always have a very, very special place in my heart. I was given a beautiful sort of seven-year yearbook from my makeup and my costume team. And they've taken many, many pictures over the years and they interviewed people and they put together this, you know, like a yearbook, but for over the last seven years, and that was a really beautiful, beautiful memento to take away and it's all in there."
Brenda Leigh (Sedgwick) being reprimanded by her boss Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons)
Brenda Leigh (Sedgwick) being reprimanded by her boss Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons)
Warner Bros/TNT
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I've watched your films over the years (Phenomenon, Secondhand Lions, Man On The Ledge), and to me, you've always been a star -- but The Closer put you over the top of the Tinsel Town celebrity scale. We all know who Kyra Sedgwick is, and we'll never forget who you were as Brenda, and the amazing performance that garnered you so many awards. Do you feel a sense of how your career has changed since being on The Closer? After starting the series, did you feel that sense that you had moved up the Hollywood ladder further, or did that something that you paid attention to or even considered?
"I guess we think that it's made a difference in my recognition factor, for sure. And I think that people know my name now, and I think that's always a good thing. And I think The Closer afforded me the opportunity to really show my wares and show the places that I was capable of going as an actor -- the dark places and the funny places. And I'll never forget that. I mean, that has been an opportunity that I never really knew that I was going to get. This character went everywhere emotionally, and I loved that."
Something that I've always loved about The Closer is the ability of the show to go from, as you said, those dark places to the funny places. And The Closer has been unique that you can do that in one episode where you can be laughing out loud one second and the next minute you're thinking, "Oh my gosh, did that really just happen?" and really feel for the characters and what they're going through. It's something that continued throughout the final six episodes. But, is the final episode going to be a pretty dramatic ending for the show?
"I would say it's a dramatic ending -- but there's a really fun romp in Episode 2, the second episode of the final six. And yes, there's always an element of humor. I don't think we could do our job as well as we do if we didn't have an element of humor. I mean, there's always a gallows humor within any kind of law enforcement. With cops, they always have gallows humor, but there's also just the interpersonal, recognizable things about each other -- when you're with a family or a cast for a long time. There's a lot of interpersonal winks and people are still who they are, even in the midst of the most dramatic circumstances. So, there are still a lot of laughs and a lot of good character fun stuff."
Brenda Leigh (Sedgwick) with her FBI husband Fritz (Jon Tenney)
Brenda Leigh (Sedgwick) with her FBI husband Fritz (Jon Tenney)
Warner Bros/TNT
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As you look back on the last season, do you have a favorite episode or a favorite story arc that will stand out in your memory?
"That's always so tough for me. I feel like we have so many years to choose from it's hard to pull out some favorites. I'm always most intrigued and feel most satisfied by the character arcs. And by those I mean some of the character arcs with Fritz and Brenda. I loved the their whole courtship, and then when he finally asks her to marry him in that doctor's office, in between tears of realizing that's she's suffering from peri-menopausal symptoms brought out on by just stress -- that have to be operated on. He asked her to marry her in the most inopportune moment, but it's beautiful and funny and wonderful. I loved the whole cat arc, getting the cat and her not wanting the cat, and then the cat becoming an intrinsic part of her life, and then the eventual demise of the cat."
What about Brenda's parents?
"I loved the parents. I loved the fact that, no matter what age you are, when your parents come to visit you're suddenly that 12-year old kid again who hasn't learned anything -- who hasn't changed at all. And I so appreciated being able to see that side of Brenda."
Chief Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) with Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) on  The Closer
Chief Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) with Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) on 'The Closer'
Warner Bros/TNT
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And her squad members?
"I loved the personal moments with some of her squad. Like when Detective Raymond Sanchez's brother died and she had to be there for him in a very special and different way. Moments when she had to have Gabriel turn in his badge and his gun after he beats up the pedophile. I thought that was very difficult for her and he was her favorite. And I loved that personal moment, so those were among my favorites."
Did you leaving The Closer have anything to do with your hubby, Kevin (Bacon), getting his TV series, The Following?
"No, it was before Kevin got his gig.
How do you feel about Kevin (Bacon) getting his own show -- The Following (created by Kevin Williamson, the man behind The Vampire Diaries and the Scream film franchise)?
"I'm thrilled for him. I mean, I think it's such a satisfying venue and it's so exciting to work to stick with a character for many years if you get that opportunity. And it's so wonderful to work with a family. I mean, Kevin's always been very loyal and very much a family-oriented person, and I think that for those of us who like to have recognizable faces and people that we love and that support us and help us to do our very best work around us, it's really - it's a unique opportunity and I'm thrilled for him. I'm really excited."
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) leads her Major Crimes Division on another case
Chief Johnson (Sedgwick) leads her Major Crimes Division on another case
Warner Bros/TNT
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When The Closer became the first original programming from TNT, over seven years ago, it was hailed as sort of a groundbreaking show and Brenda was really kind of a revolutionary female character. What do you guys think will be the legacy of this show after it's over? How will people remember it?
"Again, I hope that they will think of it as -- I mean, I see her as a significant and sentinel character in the lexicon of female characters ever played for a long period of time, whether it's a movie series or a
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Warner Bros/TNT
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television series. I think we broke a lot of ground and I think that we were able to consistently weave exciting storylines with deep and resonating character arcs. And I think that that's something that's very hard to do, especially in a procedural. And I think that we accomplished that."
The Closer: The Complete Seventh and Final Season DVD Bonus Features: "Confessions of The Closer" – Roundtable wrap up with the creators and cast of The Closer; Police Files: Unaired Scenes and a Gag Reel. ON THE NET: For photos, clips, bios and more about The Closer, visit the Official TNT Site @ www.tntdrama.com/series/closer/
The Closer: The Complete Seventh and Final Season DVD will be available on August 21, 2012.
The final episode of The Closer airs on Monday, August 12, 2012 at 9:00 EST/8:00 CST on the TNT Network in the United States (In Canada, check local listings)
The premiere episode of Major Crimes, airs the same night, August 12, following The Closer finale at 10:00 EST/9:00 CST. (In Canada, check local listings)
NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY & DVD:
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Warner Bros
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Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Book
The anniversary edition of the film Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss called a "technical knockout" is showcased in premium Blu-ray Book packaging with 44 pages that include a personal letter and intimate reflections from star Matthew Modine, as well as behind-the-scenes photos specifically selected for this release. A superb ensemble falls in for Kubrick’s brilliant saga about the Vietnam War and the dehumanizing process that turns people into trained killers. The scathing indictment of a film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay (1988). Pvt. J.T. 'Joker' Davis (Matthew Modine), Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin), Pvt. Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio), Eightball (Dorian Harewood) and Pvt. Cowboy (Arliss Howard) are some of the Marine recruits experiencing boot-camp hell under the punishing command of the foul-mouthed Gny. Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey).
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Warner Bros
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The action is savage, the story unsparing, and the dialogue is spiked with scathing humor, as the raw grit and brutal drama of the Vietnam War comes through loud and clear. Blu-Ray Bonus Features: Commentary by Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey and critic/screenwriter Jay Cocks; "Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes" - A Documentary that sheds light on the genius and "rhythm of the genius" at work; "Full Metal Jacket: Between Good and Evil" featurette and Theatrical Trailer. ON THE NET: Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FullMetalJacketOfficial * View clips from Full Metal Jacket: "Pray" @http://youtu.be/oxUYalO_YvI "Semper Fi" @ http://youtu.be/5BznUaWfaz4 "Section 8" @ http://youtu.be/LjXadFaSAJM and "Roll 34" @ http://youtu.be/N0Hqdgav-2k
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Magnolia
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Marley
Director, Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland, One Day In September), returns to his roots with the compelling story of Bob Marley in the insightful documentary Marley. The visually stunning movie that made its world premiere at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, includes interviews with family members Rita, Ziggy and Cedella Marley as well as Bob Marley’s band mates ‘The Wailers’. Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. Marley tells the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, legend, and the man, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances, never before seen performances and music, and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best. Blu-Ray Bonus Features: "Around the World"; Extended Interview with Bunny Wailer: Children's Memories: Additional Interviews With David "Ziggy" Marley, Stephen Marley and Cedella Marley; Listening to "I'm Loose"; Photo Gallery; Commentary with Director Kevin Macdonald and David "Ziggy" Marley and the Theatrical Trailer. ON THE NET: See trailers, clips and read more about Bob Marley at his Official Site @ www.bobmarley.com/marley_the_movie.php * For more about Marley (The Movie), the Official Site is @ www.magpictures.com/marley * Also there are hundreds of Bob Marley videos and live performance clips on YouTube. Just type in "Bob Marley" and have a jammin' good time.
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Warner Bros
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Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets
Another round of justice has been served. Watch Young Justice battle villains and fight crime in this 2-disc, 14 episode collection. Back for another round, Robin, Superboy, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Miss Martian and Artemis join forces to take down some of the universe's most dangerous foes. From India to Cadmus Labs, these super-powered sidekicks must think fast and use teamwork in their never-ending fight against The Light. Join the team as they battle the likes of the ruthless assassin Cheshire, the Lord of Chaos Klarion, the brutally powerful Sportsmaster and the deceptive Parasite. In battles that test their loyalties and reveal hidden secrets, Young Justice must use their incredible crime-fighting powers to come together and defeat their toughest enemies yet! DVD Bonus Feature: All-New Digital Comic. ON THE NET: To view clips from Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets, "Failsafe" -- Artemis is Gone @ http://youtu.be/kdOXfHg99lA * "Failsafe" -- We Stand Ready @ http://youtu.be/kNxozqvx0KI * "Usual Suspects" -- The Hero Thing Wasn't Working Out @ http://youtu.be/qTeLaqWnau0 and "Cold Hearted" -- The League and the Team Side by Side@ http://youtu.be/NqM61LHfUv0 * To order a copy of the DVD online, head to the WB Shop @ http://bit.ly/NTNn4l
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Warner Bros
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Dr. Seuss's The Cat In The Hat: Deluxe Edition
There’s never a dull moment when the delightfully mischievous Cat in the Hat drops in for a visit. Get set for laughs and good times with one of Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters in the original animated TV special Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat in this fully re-mastered deluxe edition set. While their mother is out on a shopping errand, Dick and Sally are stuck indoors on a dull, rainy day, with nothing to do. Their dreary afternoon, however takes an unexpected turn when they’re paid a visit by a charismatic, six-foot tall, hat-wearing cat, who invites himself in to search for his misplaced “moss-covered, three-handled family gredunza.” Employing the “Calculatus Eliminatus” method, the children help the Cat in the Hat look for his missing keepsake but in the process, leave the house in a mess. Mr. Krinkelbein, the family’s wise pet goldfish, who in effort to look out for the kids’ best interest, protests the Cat in the Hat’s shenanigans and orders him to leave. The Cat in the Hat, however, preoccupied with finding his missing “gredunza,” enlists the help of his best friends, Thing One and Thing Two, to help with the search but the pair only manage to bring the house into further disarray. Unfazed by the chaos that’s slowly unfolding around them, Dick and Sally are captivated by the Cat in the Hat and his madcap, whimsical ways. They pass the afternoon in sheer delight, singing happy songs and engaging playful mayhem with their uninvited guest. Even the cynical Mr. Krinkelbein is won over by the Cat’s infectious charm. Everyone is having way too much fun to notice the house is a complete mess! That’s until Dick and Sally hear their mother coming home. How in the world will they clean up the enormous mess before she walks through the front door? Blu-Ray & DVD Bonus Features: Two additional Dr. Seuss classics: "Daisy-Head Mayzie" and "The Hoober-Bloob Highway." ON THE NET: For more information on the Blu-ray and DVD, head to the WBShop @ www.wbshop.com * Check out clips on YouTube, just type in "Dr. Seuss' Cat In The Hat."
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Universal
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Parenthood: Season 3
Parenthood returns for its third season with 18 funny, surprising and always true-to-life episodes. Big changes and big decisions await the colorful Braverman family, from welcoming a new family member and celebrating a new business venture to dealing with family illness and preparing for the future. Parenthood features a stellar ensemble cast including Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Mae Whitman, Erika Christensen, Joy Bryant, Sarah Ramos, Savannah Paige Rae, Dax Shepard, Peter Krause and Sam Jaeger. Season Three features such guest stars as Jason Ritter (The Event), John Corbett (Sex and the City) and music sensation Cee Lo Green. Parenthood may be the toughest job you'll ever love, but it's a whole lot more fun with this family around... DVD Bonus Features: Deleted Storyline - "Drew Seeks Out Extracurricular Opportunities"; Deleted Scenes and Audio Commentaries. ON THE NET: For episodes, clips, bios and more, go the Official Parenthood Site @ www.nbc.com/parenthood/
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Lionsgate
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William & Catherine: A Royal Romance
Mark your calendar for a royal engagement! A fairy tale come true, William & Catherine: A Royal Romance chronicles the story of the young love shared between Prince William (Dan Amboyer, Law & Order) and Kate Middleton (Alice St. Clair, Sarah's Key). A now iconic romance, their courtship resulted in a wedding celebration that was one of the most-watched television events in history. At a pivotal point in their courtship, William takes to heart the advice of his mother, the late Princess Diana (Lesley Harcourt), which she bestowed in an interview before her untimely death. The message she left for her eldest son: hold on to the love of your life, and protect it with all of your heart. The film includes a top ensemble cast including multiple Oscar nominee Jane Alexander (Kramer vs. Kramer) as Queen Elizabeth II, Primetime Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Alias) as William's father Prince Charles and Primetime Emmy-winner Jean Smart (24) as Camilla Parker Bowles. ON THE NET: For behind the scenes photos, clips and more, head to the Official Hallmark Site @ http://hallmarkchannel.com/williamandcatherine/
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Universal
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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
The colorful and captivating world of Dr. Seuss bursts onto the screen as never before in the hilarious and captivating adventure that transports viewers into a fantastical landscape imagined by Dr. Seuss and vividly brought to life by Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team at Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me). Directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) from -- adapted from the 1971 children’s classic -- the film is an imaginative journey that begins in the town of Thneedville, where twelve-year-old Ted will do anything to find a real live Truffula Tree in order to impress the girl of his dreams. As he embarks on his journey, Ted discovers the incredible story of the Lorax, a grumpy but charming creature who speaks for the trees. Featuring the voice talents of Danny DeVito (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who lends his unmistakable voice to the Lorax, with Ed Helms (The Hangover) as his enigmatic nemesis, the Once-ler. The all-star cast also includes Zac Efron (High School Musical) as Ted, an idealistic 12-year-old searching for the Lorax; Grammy Award-winner Taylor Swift (Valentine’s Day) as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams; Rob Riggle (The Hangover) as the villainous O’Hare; Jenny Slate (SNL) as Ted’s protective mother; and five-time Emmy Award-winner Betty White (The Proposal) as Ted’s wise Grammy Norma. The Lorax 3D Combo Packs and Blu-Ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy) Bonus Features: Three delightfully entertaining mini movies not shown in theaters "Serenade" - Two Bar-ba-loots -- one love shy and the other suave and confident -- battle for the heart of their would-be sweetheart with the help of a colorful cast of characters, including the Humming-Fish and Swomme-Swans, "Wagon-Ho" - Two Bar-ba-loots take The Once-ler’s wagon on a ride they won’t soon forget and "Forces of Nature" - Determined to scare The Once-ler out of Truffula Valley, The Lorax decides to create the illusion of ominous forces of nature; Making of the Mini Movies; Deleted Scene; "Seuss To Screen" featurette; "Seuss It Up!" Tutorial; "Truffula Run" Game: "Let It Grow" Sing-Along (Karaoke-style); Feature Commentary with Co-Directors Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda' "Once-Lers Wagon"; Ultraviolet - download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones; Digital Copy; uHear; pocket BLU APP; Video Timeline; Mobile-To-Go; Browse Titles and Keyboard. BLU-RAY ONLY: Get Out Of Town Game; O’Hare TV and Expedition to Truffula Valley. ON THE NET: To view a trailer of the new mini movies, visit http://youtu.be/3DXU1348PHg * Or head to Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Official Site @ www.theloraxmovie.com
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Paramount
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Clue
Was it Colonel Mustard in the study with a gun? Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the rope? Or did the butler do it? Prepare for murder, madness, mystery and mayhem in the killer comedy Clue. Based on the world-famous Parker Brothers board game, Clue boasts an all-star cast including Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Michael McKean and Lesley Ann Warren. When six guests arrive at a strange house they soon discover that they have more in common than they suspected, including the fact that they are all being blackmailed by the mysterious Mr. Boddy. But when their host turns up dead and the accusations fly, it’s anyone’s guess who done it. With seven suspects, six weapons, five bodies and three endings, Clue is an uproarious mystery that will keep you guessing -- and laughing -- until the very end. Blu-Ray Bonus Features: Three completely Alternate Endings -- with an option to watch them all or have them played randomly -- as well as the theatrical trailer. ON THE NET: For clips from Clue, visit YouTube and type in "Clue Movie."
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CBS/Paramount
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Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season - Volume One
The hair-trigger frontier action continues in Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season - Volume One on three discs, featuring 19 episodes jam-packed with the excitement that fueled the best-loved, longest-running TV Western of all time. Digitally-remastered for exceptional picture quality and sound, James Arness stars as strong-willed hero U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon, along with Dennis Weaver as dedicated deputy Chester Goode, Amanda Blake as saloon queen Miss Kitty, and Milburn Stone's cantankerous Dodge City medicine man Doc Adams. Together, they'll do their part to clean up their corner of Kansas taking on corrupt sheriffs, shady widows and an assortment of murders, thieves and con artists, all in the name of the ongoing Westward expansion. The glorious spirit and epic legend of the Old West come alive in this multi-Emmy Award winning series where schemers and outlaws meet their match in The Man with the Badge. ON THE NET: For more on the history of Gunsmoke, head to Wikipedia @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunsmoke * If you'd like to know more about the guns used on the show, go to www.gunsmokeguns.com * Find videos, photos, actor and character bios, episode guides and more @ www.tvland.com/shows/gunsmoke
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Lionsgate
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Blue Like Jazz
One boy’s faith is tested on a journey to self -discovery in Blue Like Jazz. Based on The New York Times best-selling novel that swept the nation, Blue Like Jazz brings Donald Miller’s semi-autobiographical stories and reflections to life, following his path to self-discovery and progressive views on faith. Directed and co-written by Grammy Award nominee Steve Taylor (The Second Chance), Blue Like Jazz is also co-written by Miller and Ben Pearson (The Second Chance). Known for his Christian singing/songwriting and record producing, Taylor eloquently delves into the intricacies of friendships, faith and finding one’s self to reveal that everybody belongs somewhere. Marshall Allman (True Blood) gives a solid performance as Don, a pious nineteen-year-old, who uproots himself from his Southern Baptist upbringing and ventures to Portland where one new experience after another teaches him the true meaning of life. Blue Like Jazz also stars Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries), Tania Raymonde (Lost), Justin Welborn (Body of Proof) with Eric Lange (Victorious), Jason Marsden (Transformers: Rescue Bots), Will McKinney (Super Zeroes) and Jenny Littleton (Deadline).This film was also made possible by a dedicated fan base that refused to let this project fall through the cracks. With the “Save Blue Like Jazz” Kickstarter grassroots campaign, fans raised $350,000 in one month to bring this project into theaters. Blu-ray/DVD Bonus Features: Audio commentary with Author/Co-Writer Donald Miller, Cinematographer Ben Pearson and Co-Writer/Director Steve Taylor; Making Blue Like Jazz; Master Class: Directing Actors on Set; Deleted Scenes; Photo Gallery; The Featurettes - “Save Blue Like Jazz," “The Cast," “The Animator," “This is My Story” & “The Music” and Theatrical Trailer. ON THE NET: Visit the Blue Like Jazz Official Site @ www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com
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Sony
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Bel Ami
Robert Pattinson (Twilight franchise, Water For Elephants) joins Academy Award-nominees Uma Thurman (Best Actress, Pulp Fiction, 1994) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Best Actress, The English Patient, 1996) and Golden Globe-nominee Christina Ricci (Pan Am, Monster) in Bel Ami. The film follows penniless soldier Georges Duroy (Pattinson), who has returned to Paris from the war around the turn of the century. Duroy quickly learns that by using his wit and powers of seduction, he can improve his financial and social status. Based on Guy de Maupassant's classic novel, this tale of temptation and obsession chronicles Georges Duroy's (Robert Pattinson) rise to power from his meager beginnings as a penniless ex-soldier by using the city's most influential and wealthy women. Set in turn of the century Paris, Duroy seduces Madame de Marelle (Ricci) then marries Madeleine Forestier (Thurman), a former comrade's wife. Fueled by his insatiable quest and lustful greed, Duroy conquers Madame Walter (Thomas), only to learn that every conquest is marred by betrayal and that true love eludes him. DVD Bonus Feature: "Bel Ami: Behind the Scenes" featurette. ON THE NET: To see the trailer and five key scenes, go to www.mtv.com/news/articles/1676438
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HBO
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Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1
Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1 is a timely and fast-paced series fueled by breakneck action and heart-pounding suspense is available in one boxed set with three ways to watch -- Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download. Strike Back, the first of several new, adrenaline-charged original dramas to premiere on the network, marked Cinemax's best performance in its time slot in nearly six years. When a resourceful international terrorist group plots a major attack involving a cache of weapons of mass destruction, a charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative joins forces with a stealth British military unit to stop them. Set in exotic locations such as India, South Africa, England and Chechnya, the series is headlined by two rising stars: Philip Winchester (Camelot) as Michael Stonebridge, a British sergeant on the elite counter-terrorism team; and Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) as Damien Scott, a former U.S. Delta Force operative who was disgraced and discharged on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Rounding out the international cast are Amanda Mealing (Holby City), Eve Birthistle (Silent Witness), Jimi Mistry (Blood Diamond) Rhashan Stone (Episodes) and Richard Armitage (The Hobbit). Strike Back marks the first time HBO/Cinemax has worked with the UK's British Sky Broadcasting Limited to produce an original series. It is a continuation of the six-episode series that aired on Sky in 2010, which was based on the novels of Chris Ryan, the pen name of a real-life former British Special Forces operative. Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Feature:Audio Commentaries from Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton, Liam Cunningham, Amanda Mealing and executive producer Daniel Percival. ON THE NET: For photos, video, bios and more, visit Cinemax's Strike Force Official Site @ www.cinemax.com/strike-back (Season Two of Strike Force premieres on Cinemax on August 17)
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Lionsgate
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Knock On Wood 2
Based on found footage, the sequel Knock On Wood 2 -- a terrifying, killer paranormal thriller -- features a cast of newcomers that includes Aiden Cardei, Jordan Elizabeth, Beckett West (Breakfast with Scot) and Stephanie Lovie. The story of Knock On Wood 2 begins on October 31, 2010, when four friends, living in Los Angeles, decide to go on a self-made tour of haunted Hollywood houses and famous celebrity murders hoping to capture these famous ghosts on camera. After several uneventful ghost hunts they came upon a house known as 1666. They have been missing ever since. One year later their film was found miles away from their last known location. Their footage was compiled and made into a movie. DVD Bonus Features: Interviews with the cast and crew. ON THE NET: For clips from Knock On Wood 2, head to YouTube and type in "Knock On Wood 2" for several scenes and sequences.
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Disney
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Let It Shine: Extended Edition
Cyrus DeBarge (Tyler James Williams) loves music. Leading the choir at his father's church by day, while working as a busboy at a teen club by night, Cyrus is a talented rapper with just one thing holding him back -- his lack of confidence. When a local music show announces that pop star Roxie (Coco Jones) -- Cyrus's former classmate and schoolboy crush -- is judging a contest looking for the next big single, Cyrus submits a track. Much to his surprise, Cyrus wins, but he allows his ultra-confident best friend Kris (Trevor Jackson) to take all the credit while he fades into the background, feeding him lyrics and rhymes. However, Cyrus's music works too well, and when Kris finds himself getting Roxie's affections and musical acclaim, Cyrus has to learn to speak up for himself. Will he take his rightful place on the stage and in Roxie's heart? The Let It Shine: Extended Edition also features an exclusive scene where Cyrus takes on his nemesis, "Bling", in his first-ever rap battle, available only on Disney DVD. The truth is in the music. ON THE NET: For video clips, games, photos and more, click to the Disney Channel Official Site @ http://tv.disney.go.com/disneychannel/originalmovies/letitshine
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Acorn
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The Sinking Of The Laconia
A remarkable true story of heroism, heartbreak, and unexpected humanity during the midst of World War II, the thrilling and thought-provoking drama, The Sinking of the Laconia, features rising stars Ken Duken (Inglourious Basterds), Andrew Buchan (Garrow’s Law), and Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity, Run Lola Run), as well as Lindsay Duncan (Rome) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy). In September 1942 at the height of the battle for the Atlantic, a German U-boat torpedoed the RMS Laconia, sinking the British ship without knowing that it carried more than 2,000 passengers, many of them civilians. What followed is a tale of humanity and heroism unlike any other in the midst of one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. Adapted by award-winning screenwriter Alan Bleasdale (G.B.H.), he dramatizes the incident with deft characterizations, narrative subtlety, and moral complexity. The miniseries was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best drama serial in 2011. DVD Bonus Features: The Documentary Featurette “The Sinking of the Laconia: Survivors’ Stories." ON THE NET: For more on The Sinking Of The Laconia visit www.AcornOnline.com.
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Acorn
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Garrow's Law, Series 3
Pairing sharp scripts and compelling performances with authentic historical detail, this is the conclusion to the riveting BBC courtroom drama, Garrow’s Law, Series 3. Andrew Buchan (The Sinking of the Laconia, Cranford) stars as virtuous barrister William Garrow, a man unafraid to confront the injustices of the 18th century English legal system. At the Old Bailey, pioneering barrister Garrow continues to fight an uphill battle for prisoners’ rights. The French Revolution has made the state more determined than ever to hold on to power, and Garrow’s own circumstances are dire. Now living with Lady Sarah Hill (Lyndsey Marshal), he is impoverished and ostracized by his peers. Separated from her husband, the vengeful MP Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves), Lady Sarah has no rights in the eyes of the law. On top of it all, Garrow’s mentor and friend, John Southouse (Alun Armstrong), takes ill. The cases Garrow takes are especially risky. Defending a would-be assassin of King George III, he challenges the legal definition of madness. He also exposes weavers’ horrible working conditions and puts British colonial governance on trial. Meanwhile, a proposition tests Garrow’s professional integrity -- but could give Lady Sarah what she desperately desires. Winner of a Royal Television Society award for best history program, the series also stars Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, New Tricks), Rupert Graves (Sherlock, The Forsyte Saga) and Lyndsey Marshal (Rome, Being Human, The Hours). DVD Bonus Features: "Garrow’s Law: From Dark to Dusk" featurette; Photo Gallery and Cast Filmographies. ON THE NET: To learn more on Garrow's Law and to find earlier DVDs of Garrow's Law, go to www.AcornOnline.com, $39.99.
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Shout! Factory
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My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding
My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding features five episodes that every pony will love, including “A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1,” “A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2,” “Hearts And Hooves Day,” “Sweet & Elite,” and “The Best Night Ever.” When it’s announced that Twilight Sparkle’s older brother, Shining Armor, is set to marry Princess Celestia’s niece, Cadence, all the ponies in Equestria should be celebrating. But there’s one pony in Ponyville who’s not so thrilled with the news — Twilight Sparkle! Why is the young unicorn so concerned? And will the royal wedding go off without a hitch? Find out in the two-part special, and then join us for the perfect after-party — in three more My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episodes. The My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network in the US. DVD Bonus Features: A Coloring sheet and more! ON THE NET: See clips, play games and enjoy much more on the Official HUB site @ www.hubworld.com/my-little-pony/shows/friendship-is-magic
NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY:
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Touchstone/WDSHE
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Adventures In Babysitting 25th Anniversary Edition
Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with the 25th Anniversary Edition of Adventures In Babysitting, starring Academy Award-nominee Elisabeth Shue (Best Actress, 1995, Leaving Las Vegas). Experience all the laughter and excitement in a whole new way on Blu-ray with a sensational new digital restoration! When Chris Parker (Shue) agrees to babysit, she expects a night of TV... and boredom. But when her frantic friend calls and pleads to be rescued from a downtown Chicago bus station, Chris and the kids pack up and leave their safe suburban surroundings for the heart of the big city. It's a frighteningly funny expedition no one will forget! Directed by Chris Columbus, Adventures In Babysitting features a stellar cast that includes Penelope Ann Miller, Vincent D'Onofrio, John Chandler, Keith Coogan, Lolita Davidovitch and George Newbern. ON THE NET: Head to YouTube and type in "Adventures In Babysitting" for clips from the film.
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Hollywood/WDSHE
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Grosse Pointe Blank 15th Anniversary Edition
Celebrate the 15th anniversary of a killer comedy hit -- now available on Blu-ray for the first time with a sensational new digital restoration. John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Academy Award-nominees Minnie Driver (Best Supporting Actress, 1997, Good Will Hunting) and Dan Akyroyd (Best Supporting Actor, 1989, Driving Miss Daisy) are hilarious in this surefire knockout, loaded with action and laughs. Martin Blank is a hit man stuck in a career rut when his 10-year high school reunion gives him the chance to rekindle an old flame and pull off one final job. Things are looking up until his arch rival joins the party, aiming to blow the competition away. Pull the trigger on big fun with the George Armitage-directed Grosse Pointe Blank, which also stars Alan Arkin, Joan Cusack, Hank Azaria and Jeremy Piven. ON THE NET: For clips from the film, go to YouTube and type in "Grosse Pointe Blank."
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Hollywood/WDSHE
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High Fidelity
Join John Cusack and Jack Black in a comedy sure to make your all-time Top-Five List. Experience all the laughter and drama of the Stephen Frears-directed High Fidelity on Blu-ray for the first time, complete with a new digital restoration. Rob Gordon's (Cusack) semi-failing record store isn't the only thing in his life that's floundering. When his longtime girlfriend walks out on him, Rob's needle skips the love groove, and he is forced to examine his past romantic failures in his own unique way. Based on the book by Nick Hornby, give High Fidelity -- which also stars Lisa Bonet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Sara Gilbert and Bruce Springsteen -- a spin, because it rocks. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Conversations With Writer/Co-Producer John Cusack And Director Stephen Frears and Deleted Scenes. ON THE NET: Surf to YouTube and type in "High Fidelity" for clips from the film.
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Touchstone/WDSHE
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The Preacher's Wife
Send your spirits soaring with director Penny Marshall's The Preacher's Wife, complete with a new digital restoration and enhanced picture and sound. Two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor - Training Day & Best Supporting Actor - Glory) and the late, world-renowned pop recording artist Whitney Houston star in this uplifting film, brimming with laughter, romance and an inspiring soundtrack. When a charming angel named Dudley is sent to Earth to help a young minister and his beautiful wife revive their marriage, the last thing anyone expects is for Dudley to fall in love with the preacher's wife! In addition to Washington and Houston, the film also stars Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Loretta Devine, Justin Pierre Edmund and Lionel Richie. Enjoy every magical twist in this delightful romantic comedy, featuring nine songs by Grammy Award-winner Whitney Houston, including Billboard's Top 10 hit "I Believe In You And Me." Bonus Feature: Production Featurette. ON THE NET. Click to YouTube to see clips from The Preacher's Wife by typing in the film's title.
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Touchstone/WDSHE
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Romy And Michele's High School Reunion 15th Anniversary Edition
It's time to kick up your heels and celebrate the 15th anniversary of a hilarious comedy hit starring Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino (Best Supporting Actress, 1995, Mighty Aphrodite) and Emmy Award-winner Lisa Kudrow (Outstanding Supporting Actress, 1998, Friends). Experience the fun, the laughs and the sizzling soundtrack like never before with an all-new digital restoration. Romy and Michele are carefree party girls who reinvent themselves for their 10-year high school reunion. Their plan is working perfectly until a former classmate (Janeane Garofalo) blabs their real story to everyone. But Romy and Michele have one more big surprise up their sleeves. This is one reunion you won't want to miss. Directed by David Mirkin, the film's cast also includes Alan Cumming, Julia Campbell, Camryn Manheim, Justin Theroux, Jacob Vargas and Tate Taylor Join the party! Bonus Feature: Production Featurette ON THE NET: Go to YouTube and type in "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion" for clips from the film.
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