March 14, 2013

DVD Releases

'Hitchcock' / 'Life of Pi' / 'Rise of the Guardians' / 'Ripper Street'

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Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi."

Fox 2000

Suggested retail price: $26.50

"WILLOW," starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer. This 1988 favorite from then-fledgling director Ron Howard finds the titular diminutive farmer (Davis, "Return of the Jedi") saddled with protecting an infant whom prophecy dictates will end the reign of evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). Lending questionable assistance is Madmartigan (Kilmer, in one of his most amusing roles), a somewhat less-than-sane swordsman from a rival clan. A nostalgic blast from the past for parents and a fun family adventure for newcomers besides. Special features include commentary from Howard and the personal video diary of Davis. Rated PG. Running time: 2:06

Suggested retail price: $24.99

VIDEOPORT PICK

"SOUND CITY," documentary. Any topic can be a worthy subject for a documentary if the filmmaker has enough passion for his or her material -- even a wood-paneled, dilapidated shack of a studio moldering in an industrial park somewhere in California. This is "Sound City," and one wouldn't know it to look at it, but some of rock's most esteemed and notorious acts have recorded some of their finest work there, from Fleetwood Mac to Metallica.

One such band was Nirvana, who happened to record a little album you might have heard of called "Nevermind" there back in the early '90s, and drummer Dave Grohl has not only assembled vintage footage of and current interviews with many of the artists who recorded there, but actually purchased the beloved custom-made mixing board that gave "Sound City" the distinctive, raw analog qualities its supporters favored. Not rated; contains language. Running time: 1:48 Suggested retail price: $18.98; Blu-ray $24.98

- Courtesy of Videoport

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