The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)

 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

©2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and THE HOBBIT, names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.A fellow named Bilbo Baggins lives in the Shire–but perhaps you’ve made his acquaintance already? If you’re familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the films that Peter Jackson wrought from them, of course you have. And here is Bilbo, played again by Ian Holm, shuffling about his hobbit hole and recalling a grand adventure from his past, when he left the Shire with a wizard and some dwarves and found a certain ring and a very peculiar creature named Gollum. This is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which Jackson and his LOTR crew have expanded on from Tolkien’s 1937 novel. And boy, have they expanded: this 169-minute escapade is merely the first of three separate movies made from that one book, and it gets the young Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman) only a little ways into his grand trek. Many loud, garish battles and chases fill the time, along with some (it pains one to say it) fairly tedious adolescent-level humor. Jackson tends to dally with scenes that might have been more effective in half the time, and the bumptious dwarves are some of the least charming characters in the Tolkieniad. Thank goodness, there’s Gollum (played, as before, by the digitally transformed Andy Serkis), who shares a riddle-trading scene with Bilbo that sends genuine shivers up the spine. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf, and a few other LOTR folk make cameos, but the more An Unexpected Journey goes on, the less you sense the magic afoot. Despite the fun moments, this feels like a prologue for the actual movie, which is still to come. (Originally released on many screens in 3-D, the film was also showcased in some theaters in a pioneering format that increased the clarity of the image–or made it look like a soap opera, depending on your receptiveness to the flat, frictionless technology.) –Robert Horton

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Les Misérables (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

Les Misérables (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

 Les Misérables (Two Disc Combo Pack: Blu ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

Hugh Jackman, Academy Awardr winner Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in this critically-acclaimed adaptation of the epic musical phenomenon. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Mis‚rables tells the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe), after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. This enthralling story is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit and “an unforgettable experience” (Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com).Les Misérables is a deeply powerful film that’s rich with raw feeling, the grittiness of life in 19th-century France, and the conflict between right, wrong, and the concept of redemption. Les Misérables takes viewers on an emotionally exhausting journey as it follows ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) after his release from prison. Valjean breaks parole, but he is granted a second chance by a kind bishop. He then moves from place to place throughout France, trying to live an honest life while ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) hunts him relentlessly. Valjean meets the broken-spirited Fantine (Anne Hathaway), promises to care for her daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) as Fantine is about to die, and finds his own life completely changed as a result of that promise. Like the stage play, the film is dark, gritty, and passionate, but it enhances the sense of place in early- to mid-1800s France as a staged version simply cannot. The intricately woven plot is somewhat easier to understand here, thanks to an abundance of visual cues and the camera’s unique ability to focus in so closely on the actors’ faces. In fact, the intimacy of the extreme close-ups used throughout is at once uncomfortable and hugely effective. The vocal performances are generally quite good, especially considering the decision to record them live versus the customary overdubbing. Sure, some of the actors’ voices seem pushed and strained at times, but that fact often only adds to the emotional intensity of the moment. Hathaway’s performance is stellar, both for her vocal prowess and for the depth of feeling conveyed and maintained in her facial expressions throughout even the lengthiest and closest of close-ups. While Crowe seems an odd choice for Javert and is definitely outsung by the other members of the cast, he holds his own when it really counts with solos that are on-pitch and arguably even more powerful for their imperfections. Discerning listeners will not choose the film’s Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack over the full-length London or Broadway cast recordings, but sometimes an outstanding performance isn’t all about musical perfection–the overall Les Misérables film experience is definitely one of those cases. New for the film is the song “Suddenly,” written by the musical’s original composer and lyricist Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. Trivia buffs will note that the bishop is played by Colm Wilkinson, who originally played Valjean in the London and Broadway stage productions, and Whore #1 is played by the original London and Broadway Eponine, Frances Ruffelle. –Tami Horiuchi

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to knowA fellow named Bilbo Baggins lives in the Shire–but perhaps you’ve made his acquaintance already? If you’re familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the films that Peter Jackson wrought from them, of course you have. And here is Bilbo, played again by Ian Holm, shuffling about his hobbit hole and recalling a grand adventure from his past, when he left the Shire with a wizard and some dwarves and found a certain ring and a very peculiar creature named Gollum. This is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which Jackson and his LOTR crew have expanded on from Tolkien’s 1937 novel. And boy, have they expanded: this 169-minute escapade is merely the first of three separate movies made from that one book, and it gets the young Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman) only a little ways into his grand trek. Many loud, garish battles and chases fill the time, along with some (it pains one to say it) fairly tedious adolescent-level humor. Jackson tends to dally with scenes that might have been more effective in half the time, and the bumptious dwarves are some of the least charming characters in the Tolkieniad. Thank goodness, there’s Gollum (played, as before, by the digitally transformed Andy Serkis), who shares a riddle-trading scene with Bilbo that sends genuine shivers up the spine. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf, and a few other LOTR folk make cameos, but the more An Unexpected Journey goes on, the less you sense the magic afoot. Despite the fun moments, this feels like a prologue for the actual movie, which is still to come. (Originally released on many screens in 3-D, the film was also showcased in some theaters in a pioneering format that increased the clarity of the image–or made it look like a soap opera, depending on your receptiveness to the flat, frictionless technology.) –Robert Horton

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Argo (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

Argo (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

 Argo (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

Based on real events the dramatic thriller “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played-information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4 1979 as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran taking 52 Americans hostage. But in the midst of the chaos six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist Tony Mendez to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible it could only happen in the movies

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GoldenEye (Blu-ray)

GoldenEye (Blu-ray)

 GoldenEye (Blu ray)

The effortlessly suave and sophisticated Pierce Brosnan makes his acclaimed debut as Agent 007 in this rip-roaring espionage thriller featuring the most eye-popping opening sequence yet! When an MI6 agent (Sean Bean) turns rogue and plans world domination with a terrifying satellite-borne weapon, Bond must pursue his former ally to Cuba, Monte Carlo, Switzerland and even Russia, all whilst dodging a sexy, deadly femme fatale (Famke Janssen) who will stop at nothing to put the ‘squeeze’ on the intrepid spy!Pierce Brosnan assumed the role of James Bond for the first time in this 17th entry in the series. Brosnan looks a little light on the big screen under any circumstances, and he does take some getting used to as 007. But this busy film keeps him hopping as freelance terrorists from the former Soviet Union get their hands on super-high-tech weapons. The film’s challenge is to bring free-spirited Bond up to date in the age of AIDS and in the aftermath of the cold war, and on both counts director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro) succeeds with a cheeky hint of irony. The best moment in the film is a chase scene that finds Bond tearing up the streets of Moscow in a tank. But Brosnan’s most interesting contributions are reminiscent of the dark streak that occasionally showed up in Sean Connery’s Bond. The DVD release has optional full-screen and widescreen presentations, optional French and Spanish soundtracks, theatrical trailer, Dolby sound. –Tom Keogh

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Here Comes the Boom (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

Here Comes the Boom (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

 Here Comes the Boom (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu ray]

Former collegiate wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old, apathetic high school teacher. When budget cutbacks threaten to cancel some of the school’s programs and lay off its music teacher (Henry Winkler), Scott creates a scheme to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy – most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek). In his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he inspires his students and becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.

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Skyfall

Skyfall

 Skyfall

Daniel Craig is back as James Bond 007 in SKYFALL, the 23rd installment of the longest-running film franchise in history. In SKYFALL, Bond’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past returns to haunt her. 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. When Bond’s latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows – aided only by field agent Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves.

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Star Trek [Blu-ray]

Star Trek [Blu-ray]

 Star Trek [Blu ray]

The future begins with director J.J. Abrams’ reimagining of Star Trek that has taken audiences by storm. When the Romulan Nero comes from the future to take revenge on the Federation, the new recruits of the U.S.S. Enterprise will voyage through unimaginable danger to stop him from destroying everything they know. This is not your father’s Star Trek!J.J. Abrams’ 2009 feature film was billed as “not your father’s Star Trek,” but your father will probably love it anyway. And what’s not to love? It has enough action, emotional impact, humor, and sheer fun for any moviegoer, and Trekkers will enjoy plenty of insider references and a cast that seems ideally suited to portray the characters we know they’ll become later. Both a prequel and a reboot, Star Trek introduces us to James T. Kirk (Chris Pine of The Princess Diaries 2), a sharp but aimless young man who’s prodded by a Starfleet captain, Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), to enlist and make a difference. At the Academy, Kirk runs afoul of a Vulcan commander named Spock (Zachary Quinto of Heroes), but their conflict has to take a back seat when Starfleet, including its new ship, the Enterprise, has to answer an emergency call from Vulcan. What follows is a stirring tale of genocide and revenge launched by a Romulan (Eric Bana) with a particular interest in Spock, and we get to see the familiar crew come together, including McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekhov (Anton Yelchin), and Scottie (Simon Pegg).

The action and visuals make for a spectacular Big-Screen Movie, though the plot by Abrams and his writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who worked together on Transformers and with Abrams on Alias and Mission Impossible III), and his producers (fellow Losties Damon Lindeloff and Bryan Burk) can be a bit of a mind-bender (no surprise there for Lost fans). Hardcore fans with a bone to pick may find faults, but resistance is futile when you can watch Kirk take on the Kobayashi Maru scenario or hear McCoy bark, “Damnit, man, I’m a doctor, not a physicist!” An appearance by Leonard Nimoy and hearing the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry as the voice of the computer simply sweeten the pot. Now comes the hard part: waiting for some sequels to this terrific prequel. –David Horiuchi

Stills from Star Trek (Click for larger image)

ST 1S Star Trek [Blu ray] ST 2S Star Trek [Blu ray] ST 3S Star Trek [Blu ray]
ST 4S Star Trek [Blu ray] ST 5S Star Trek [Blu ray] ST 6S Star Trek [Blu ray]

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The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

 The Lion King (Two Disc Diamond Edition Blu ray / DVD Combo in Blu ray Packaging)

The wait is over. For the first time ever, experience the majesty of Disney’s epic animated masterpiece as it roars off the screen and into your living room on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. With a spectacular digital picture, spine-tingling high definition sound and immersive bonus features—you will feel the love for this critically acclaimed and universally beloved classic like never before.

Embark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba, a lion cub who cannot wait to be king, searches for his destiny in the great “Circle of Life.” You will be thrilled by the breathtaking animation, unforgettable Academy Award®–winning music (1994: Best Original Score; Best Song, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”) and timeless story. The king of all animated films reigns on Disney Blu-ray 3D—magic in a new dimension.

Not an ideal choice for younger kids, this hip and violent animated feature from Disney was nevertheless a huge smash in theaters and on video, and it continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed Broadway production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is sabotaged by a rivalrous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the “circle of life” with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking, and the music is more palatable than in many Disney features. But be cautious: this is too intense for the Rugrat crowd. —Tom Keogh


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Versions of The Lion King on Blu-ray and DVD

B0036TGT3E.01.TZZZZZZZ The Lion King (Two Disc Diamond Edition Blu ray / DVD Combo in Blu ray Packaging)
The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
B004WDRSO2.01.TZZZZZZZ The Lion King (Two Disc Diamond Edition Blu ray / DVD Combo in Blu ray Packaging)
The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in DVD Packaging)
B004WDRT1Y.01.TZZZZZZZ The Lion King (Two Disc Diamond Edition Blu ray / DVD Combo in Blu ray Packaging)
The Lion King (Four-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
B004WDRT7I.01.TZZZZZZZ The Lion King (Two Disc Diamond Edition Blu ray / DVD Combo in Blu ray Packaging)
The Lion King Trilogy (Eight-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
Release Date October 4, 2011 October 4, 2011 October 4, 2011 October 4, 2011
Format/Disc # Blu-ray, DVD DVD, Blu-ray Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy The Lion King includes: Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy

The Lion King 1 ½ includes: DVD, Blu-ray

The Lion King 2 includes: DVD, Blu-ray

Blu-ray 3D No No Yes Yes (The Lion King Only)
Blu-ray Yes Yes Yes Yes
DVD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Digital Copy No No Yes Yes (The Lion King Only)
Bonus Features
4 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes;
Deleted Song;
The Morning Report: Extended scene;
Never-Before-Seen Bloopers;
Disney Second Screen*;
Pride of The Lion King; The Lion King: A Memoir- Don Hahn; Disney Sing Along Mode; Interactive Gallery; Audio Commentary; Disney’s Virtual Vault: Classic DVD Features Powered by BD-Live*

*Not Available in all territories. Features subject to change.

Same as The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging Same as The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) The Lion King: Same as The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

The Lion King 1 ½: Timon and Pumbaa’s Vacation Safari; Deleted Scenes; Timon: Behind the Legend; Before the Beginning: The Making of The Lion King 1 ½; Music Video

The Lion King 2: Timon and Pumbaa’s Insectapedia; “One by One”- Animated Short; Proud of Simba’s Pride; Timon and Pumbaa: Find Out Why; Music Video

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Anna Karenina (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

Anna Karenina (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

 Anna Karenina (Two Disc Combo Pack: Blu ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

Academy Awardr nominee Keira Knightley, Academy Awardr nominee Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson dazzle in this stunning new vision of Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story. At the twilight of an empire, Anna Karenina (Knightley), the beautiful high-ranking wife of one of imperial Russia’s most esteemed men (Law), has it all. But when she meets the dashing cavalry officer Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson), there is a mutual spark of instant attraction that cannot be ignored. She’s immediately swept up in a passionate affair that will shock a nation and change the lives of everyone around her. From acclaimed director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) and Academy Awardr-winning writer Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) comes this visually enchanting masterpiece hailed by critics as “ecstatic” (Time), “rapturous” (MSN Movies) and “a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed!” (The Huffington Post)

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