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I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 7, 2012

by Ethan Alter February 7, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Forget White Castle -- Harold and Kumar have entered the Claymation dimension.

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
While the idea of a third Harold & Kumar outing may seem like a desperate cash grab on paper, in practice it actually turns out to be pretty darn funny as Kal Penn and John Cho reprise their roles as the titular misadventure-prone stoners and White Castle aficionados one last time. The bare-bones plot finds Harold and Kumar running all over New York City in order to get their hands on a rare Christmas tree and bumping up against everyone from Russian mobsters to Neil Patrick Harris in the process. (The theatrical release had the added bonus of being 3D enhanced and that cut is available on this special three-disc edition. You can also just pick up the standard 2D version without missing too much, although the movie made surprisingly great use of 3D.) While not up to the level of the first Harold & Kumar feature, this fractured Christmas tale is far superior to their escape from Guantanamo Bay.
Extras: An extended cut of the film and bonus deleted scenes; a featurette about the standout Claymation sequence that comes about halfway through the movie and another short doc about co-star Tom Lennon.
Click here to read our original review

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1
First Harry Potter and now Twilight -- two of the most popular novel/movie franchises around are coming to an end. The boy wizard starred in his final adventure this past summer and in the fall, the first half of Twilight's two-part finale hit theaters, burning up the box office charts as usual. Funny thing is, it's tough to find anyone that actually liked the movie as anything more than a great source of campy humor. Covering the first half of Stephenie Meyer's final tome, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 covers Bella and Edward's wedding, deflowering and subsequent pregnancy.
Extras: An audio commentary with the movie's overqualified director, Bill Condon; a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary and three additional featurettes, including an "official" wedding video of vampish Edward and his lady love Bella.
Click here to read our original review

Lady and the Tramp
Disney's 1955 classic is perhaps most famous for that spaghetti scene, where the titular mutt and the posh object of his affection touch noses while sharing a strand of pasta. But The Lady and the Tramp has other great moments as well, from the "We Are Siamese" number with the scheming Siamese cats that force Lady out into the street to the bone-burying Scottish terrier that pals around with our Tramp. Fun fact: Lady and the Tramp was the last original story the studio produced while Walt Disney was still alive. It wasn't until 1970's The AristoCats that Disney released another movie not based on previously published material.
Extras: The typically lavish spread of Disney extras, including original storyboards, archival recordings of Walt Disney's story meetings, three deleted scenes, a never recorded song, a new making-of documentary and Lady and the Tramp-themed excerpts from the '50s TV series, Disneyland.

Project Nim
Surprisingly omitted from the final list of Best Documentary nominations at this year's Oscars, James Marsh's follow-up to his award-winning doc Man on Wire recounts the odd tale of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee that was raised amongst humans and taught sign language as part of a grand science experiment. When that experiment ended though, Nim's life got considerably more complicated... and tragic. Speaking with many of the men and women that passed through Nim's life, Marsh offers a stirring eulogy for an individual that couldn't speak for himself.
Extras: Marsh contributes a commentary track and two featurettes explore other aspects of the documentary and Nim's story.

Also on DVD:
The classic '70s romance Love Story -- the movie that set the tone for every Nicolas Sparks weepie to follow -- arrives on Blu-ray to teach a whole new generation that love means never having to say you're sorry. The contemporary romance 5 Star Day stars Cam Gigandet as a skeptic obsessed with debunking horoscopes and all things astrology-related and Jena Malone as a woman that shares the exact time and place of his birth, whom he's tracked down to "prove" that astrological matches are B.S. (We could have told him that and spared him the time and effort.) Andrew Lloyd Weber's long-running musical The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall celebrates its 25th anniversary with a staging at London's famous theater. Roland Emmerich tried to stir up trouble (and awards attention) with his Shakespeare-debunking period piece Anonymous but audiences wisely avoided this overbaked, underwritten Amadeus rip-off. Glenn Close just scored an Oscar nod for her role in Albert Nodds but her finest big screen performance remains her star turn in Stephen Frears' terrific Dangerous Liaisons, which finally arrives on Blu-ray. Also making the leap to high-def is A Fish Called Wanda, one of the funniest movies of the '80s, if not of all time.

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