Top 10 Best DVD Movies

Top 10 Best DVD Movies

1. Skyfall 6. Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job The Play
2. Pitch Perfect 7. Alex Cross DVD +
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower 8. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Flight 9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
5. Taken 2 10. Marvel’s The Avengers


1. Skyfall

Skyfall Starring Daniel Craig Judi Dench Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes 2013List Price: $29.98
Price: $16.99
You Save: $12.99 (43%)

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.

2. Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect Starring Anna Kendrick Brittany Snow Anna Camp and Rebel Wilson 2012List Price: $29.98
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.02 (33%)

Everyone loves musical smackdowns–and Pitch Perfect is full of great ones. Pitch Perfect is like Bring It On crossed with the Step Up movies, flavored with a heavy dose of TV’s Glee and the Straight No Chaser boys. All of this is set appealingly on a college campus, with charming actors and a very funny script that will entertain fans, truly, from 10 to 90. The plot in Pitch Perfect follows the character of college freshman Beca (a delightful Anna Kendrick) as she decides to join her school’s a cappella women’s singing group. (Unlike on Glee, where the glee club is populated with outcasts, college a cappella groups are prestigious–and hard to get into.) Fellow singers include Brittany Snow as Chloe and Alexis Knapp as Stacie, a student who’s hilariously slutty and innocent at the same time. The faculty coordinator is Anna Camp, so memorable in The Help, and here both earnest and a bit naive. There’s also a potential love story between Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin), a member of the male group at the same school. And the script, by sometime 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon, is witty, wry, and just silly enough. The rest of the time, the singing and music and routines take center stage, as everyone wants them to. Pitch Perfect is a surprisingly fresh and smart take on young adulthood, with a soundtrack that will have you cheering.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Starring Emma Watson Logan Lerman Ezra Miller and Kate Walsh 2013List Price: $19.98
Price: $12.99
You Save: $6.99 (35%)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower maintains the fine tradition of movies like Running with Scissors and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in its savvy, sensitive telling of high schoolers coming of age and coming to terms. Though it enters some dark emotional territory as freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) connects with a clique of older students, the smart sense of humor threaded throughout is as charming as the heavy stuff is powerful. Charlie enters high school with some serious yet indeterminate psychological problems that have clearly devilled him since childhood. We don’t get to know about the extent of his difficulties until the movie’s final scenes, but they’ve made it hard for him to find friends. A device that comes and goes is Charlie’s voice-over of letters he’s writing to an unknown and unnamed friend that describe the hard shell he’s kept closed around himself. It all starts to change for Charlie–mostly for the better–when he hooks up with the eccentric, iconoclastic senior Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his popular step-sister Sam (Emma Watson). The energetic duo bring Charlie into their fold of friends and introduce him to a world outside himself that is probably exactly what he wanted, even though it’s a place of loyalty, trust, and understanding that had previously been unimaginable in the small confines of his tortured head space. As with all friendships, there are rivalries, boundaries, rifts, and betrayals that ebb and flow as the school year unfolds. Charlie’s inevitable breakdown and the healing that he experiences from having been exposed to such acceptance comes full circle in a neat little package at the end. But there’s plenty of honesty, wit, and genuinely moving emotion expressed along the way. All the young actors commit fully to their well-drawn parts, especially the three leads. This may be the post-Potter role that breaks Watson free to revel in her talent, and Miller is a natural as a grown-up teenager who may have most of it figured out, even though the internal confusion he’s tried so hard to bury still rears its head now and again. Set in the early ’90s, the movie is tinged with peripheral period details that never overpower or insert themselves awkwardly into the action. Music is a big part of the characters’ lives and is equally so in the spirit of the story. The writer-director is Stephen Chbosky, who adapted his own semiautobiographical young adult novel. He does right by his audience in presenting a movie that’s fully adult and gets the little things right for anyone who is or ever was an angsty teenager embroiled in that horrible/wonderful search for self.

4. Flight

Flight Starring Denzel Washington Don Cheadle John Goodman 2013List Price: $29.99
Price: $14.99
You Save: $15.00 (50%)

Few directors can meld high-tech whiz-bang with solid narrative values like Robert Zemeckis, a filmmaker whose best work (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away) stands tall among the blockbusters. Although there have been times when Zemeckis’s insistence on pushing the special effects envelope can end up overshadowing the story being told (as in his animated version of A Christmas Carol), his innate gifts persist: when he’s in the groove, he can show you something you’ve never seen before, as well as a reason to care about it. Flight, the director’s first wholly live-action film in over a decade, serves as a reminder of just how good he can be, featuring both an exquisitely terrifying crash sequence and a fearless central performance from Denzel Washington. John Gatins’s script serves as a bizarro inversion of the Sully Sullenberger tale: when a routine flight over Atlanta goes terrifyingly wrong, the aircraft’s pilot (Washington) saves his passengers with a near-miraculous display of skill. As the investigation into the disaster begins, however, it becomes apparent that its hero’s impromptu bravery hides a multitude of bad habits. Washington does a brilliant job as a man who is all too aware of his feet of clay, subverting his innate nobility to shattering effect. (As in the earlier Training Day, when he goes to the dark side, the shock ripples the screen.) The strength of his central performance is only amplified by some outstanding supporting work from Kelly Reilly (as a recovering heroin addict), Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and a scene-stealing John Goodman, who gets a few lines crass enough to remind you that yes, Zemeckis is the same person who once made the low-taste classic Used Cars. Impressive as the cast is, though, it’s unlikely that things would work nearly as well without the director’s grasp of the material, which shifts between horror, black comedy, and uplifting pathos without missing a beat. In his hands, this potential sap story makes for a smart, worldly addiction saga that blessedly refuses to stay within the usual melodramatic lines. Just don’t ever, ever expect to see it as the in-flight entertainment.

5. Taken 2

Taken 2 Starring Liam Neeson Maggie Grace Famke Janssen and Leland Orser 2013List Price: $29.98
Price: $14.99
You Save: $14.99 (50%)

Coming at a time when the action genre was dominated by shaky-cam Bourne editing shenanigans, 2008’s Taken registered as a pleasantly streamlined surprise: a straight-ahead thriller where the clean, clear style both matched and accentuated Liam Neeson’s ruthless-blunt-object force. Strangely, the sequel feels much more in line with producer Luc (The Transporter, Colombiana) Besson’s other franchises–noisy, chaotically slammed together, and in dazed thrall to its own flash. (If there’s an opportunity for a swooping helicopter shot or a fruit-cart collision, this sucker’s going to go for two.) However, even if it can’t match the impact of its predecessor, the sight of Neeson in righteous revenge mode still carries some considerably addictive juice. Set several years after the events of the first installment, the story finds Neeson’s black-ops professional losing ground with his beloved daughter (Maggie Grace), while forming a tentative rapprochement with his ex-wife (the always welcome Famke Janssen). During a working vacation in Istanbul, their family ties are sorely testing by the appearance of an army of villains with a particular score to settle. Director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) digresses wildly from previous director Pierre Morel’s no-nonsense approach, choosing instead to revel in over-the-top implausibilities; some pleasantly goofy (two words: grenade cartography), and others just sort of baffling (the reprisal of the first film’s famous phone call comes in the middle of a fight scene, while a bunch of armed goons stand around obligingly). Still, even if the narrative rarely makes sense, Neeson keeps things from wandering too far off track, via sheer movie star presence. Craggier and somehow taller than ever, he makes for an ideal Family Man of Action: intriguingly self-contained, tender in repose, and absolutely ferocious when provoked. When he gets going, prepare to feel a little sorry for the bad guys.

6. Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job: The Play

Tyler Perrys Madea Gets a Job The Play Starring Tyler Perry 2013List Price: $19.98
Price: $12.99
You Save: $6.99 (35%)

Tyler Perry’s new musical stage play starring the infamous Mabel Simmons or “Madea” as her fans know her. When a judge orders Madea to do 20 hours of community service at a local retirement home the residents and staff are not ready for Madea’s brand of “the truth”, but all is well that ends well when Madea helps the residence of Easy Rest Retirement Home realize the importance of family, love and forgiveness.

7. Alex Cross [DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]

Alex Cross DVD Digital Copy UltraViolet Starring Tyler Perry Matthew Fox Rachel Nichols and Jean Reno 2013List Price: $29.95
Price: $14.86
You Save: $15.09 (50%)

Having cornered the market on his signature brand of inspirational comedy, Tyler Perry makes a bid for action-movie supremacy with this grisly adaptation of author James Patterson’s most popular character. Loosely based on the 12th novel in the series (2007’s Cross), the plot follows the early days of the title character, a genius police detective/psychologist trying to clean up the mean streets of Detroit while keeping his family out of the line of fire. As he mulls over accepting a job with the FBI, he and his team are forced to match wits with a psychotic contract killer (Matthew Fox), who displays a disturbing commitment towards seeing his job through. Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the FuriousXXX) knows this turf well, delivering an effective mix of creeping thriller sequences and go-for-broke action scenes. (Parents should be warned that the crime scenes glimpsed here push the PG-13 rating to the urpy limits and beyond.) Faced with the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman (who played the character in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider), Perry does a credible job in portraying both the tender and vengeful aspects of his character, even if the script often falls into the trap of having other characters exclaiming how brilliant Cross is, rather than letting the viewers see the deductive process for themselves. Based on his first attempt, any future entries in the franchise appear to be in good hands. Ultimately, however, the other elements of Alex Cross pale in comparison to Fox, who goes all out–and then some–in giving the audience someone to hiss at. He’s shorn down to what appears to be a negative body-fat ratio, and occasionally literally froths at the mouth–and his dedication to creating a villain for the ages quickly overpowers the material. Once this freaky beanpole starts chewing the scenery, you’ll be glad that the filmmakers decided against shooting in 3-D.

8. The Dark Knight Rises (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

The Dark Knight Rises Ultraviolet Digital Copy Starring Christian Bale Michael Caine Gary Oldman 2012List Price: $28.98
Price: $9.99
You Save: $18.99 (66%)

Set eight years after the events of The Dark KnightTDK Rises finds Bruce Wayne broken in spirit and body from his moral and physical battle with the Joker. Gotham City is at peace primarily because Batman took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder, allowing the former district attorney’s memory to remain as a crime-fighting hero rather than the lunatic destructor he became as Two-Face. But that meant Batman’s cape and cowl wound up in cold storage–perhaps for good–with only police commissioner Jim Gordon in possession of the truth. The threat that faces Gotham now is by no means new; as deployed by the intricate script that weaves themes first explored in Batman Begins, fundamental conflicts that predate his own origins are at the heart of the ultimate struggle that will leave Batman and his city either triumphant or in ashes. It is one of the movie’s greatest achievements that we really don’t know which way it will end up until its final exhilarating moments. Intricate may be an understatement in the construction of the script by Nolan and his brother Jonathan. The multilayered story includes a battle for control of Wayne Industries and the decimation of Bruce Wayne’s personal wealth; a destructive yet potentially earth-saving clean energy source; a desolate prison colony on the other side of the globe; terrorist attacks against people, property, and the world’s economic foundation; the redistribution of wealth to the 99 percent; and a virtuoso jewel thief who is identified in every way except name as Catwoman. Played with saucy fun and sexy danger by Anne Hathaway, Selina Kyle is sort of the catalyst (!) for all the plot threads, especially when she whispers into Bruce’s ear at a charity ball some prescient words about a coming storm that will tear Gotham asunder. As unpredictable as it is sometimes hard to follow, the winds of this storm blow in a raft of diverse and extremely compelling new characters (including Selina Kyle) who are all part of a dance that ends with the ballet of a cataclysmic denouement. Among the new faces are Marion Cotillard as a green-energy advocate and Wayne Industries board member and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a devoted Gotham cop who may lead Nolan into a new comic book franchise. The hulking monster Bane, played by Tom Hardy with powerful confidence even under a clawlike mask, is so much more than a villain (and the toughest match yet for Batman’s prowess). Though he ends up being less important to the movie’s moral themes and can’t really match Heath Ledger’s maniacal turn as Joker, his mesmerizing swagger and presence as demonic force personified are an affecting counterpoint to the moral battle that rages within Batman himself. Christian Bale gives his most dynamic performance yet as the tortured hero, and Michael Caine (Alfred), Gary Oldman (Gordon), and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) all return with more gravitas and emotional weight than ever before. Then there’s the action. Punctuated by three or four magnificent set pieces, TDKR deftly mixes the cinematic process of providing information with punches of pow throughout (an airplane-to-airplane kidnap/rescue, an institutional terrorist assault and subsequent chase, and the choreographed crippling of an entire city are the above-mentioned highlights). The added impact of the movie’s extensive Imax footage ups the wow factor, all of it kinetically controlled by Nolan and his top lieutenants Wally Pfister (cinematography), Hans Zimmer (composer), Lee Smith (editor), and Nathan Crowley and Kevin Kavanaugh (production designers). The best recommendation TDKR carries is that it does not leave one wanting for more. At 164 minutes, there’s plenty of nonstop dramatic enthrallment for a single sitting. More important, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction that The Dark Knight Rises leaves as the fulfilling conclusion to an absorbing saga that remains relevant, resonant, and above all thoroughly entertaining.

9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Starring Judi Dench and Bill Nighy 2012List Price: $29.98
Price: $10.00
You Save: $19.98 (67%)

Some of the finest actors in England lend their formidable talents to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a charming fish-out-of-water yarn. The Brits, who include Evelyn (Judi Dench), Muriel (Maggie Smith), Douglas (Bill Nighy), and Graham (Tom Wilkinson), are planning retirement in a less expensive country. After “thorough research on the Internet,” the group chooses what looks to be a grand, peaceful retreat, the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It turns out that the bloom is off this marigold–it’s shabby, antiquated, and as chaotic as the city in India, Jaipur, where it is set. Who can adapt to this very different retirement experience, and who founders? That question lies at the heart of the plot ofThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast is uniformly superb, as the retirees bond and bicker and fall out and then try to encourage one another. And Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) shines as Sonny, the barely-holding-it-together Marigold Hotel manager. Patel and Tena Desae, who plays Sunaina, his girlfriend, are charming yet face adaptation struggles of their own, in a modern-day India still tied strongly to its traditions but rapidly charging into the future. And the young Indians also seem to represent the energetic future, as the Brits represent the old world that’s fast falling. At its heart, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, deftly directed by John Madden, is an uplifting journey, allowing the viewer to feel what the retirees are discovering on the screen. When Evelyn sighs, “Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected,” Muriel crisply replies, “Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is most definitely the good stuff.

10. Marvel’s The Avengers

Marvels The Avengers Starring Robert Downey Jr Chris Evans Mark Ruffalo 2012List Price: $29.99
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.03 (33%)

Blasphemy? Perhaps. But the best thing about what may be the most rousing and well-crafted superhero movie since The Dark Knight is not the boffo action scenes that culminate in a New York City-destroying finale that rivals Michael Bay’s obliteration of the Chicago skyline in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No, the real appeal of The Avengers comes from the quiet moments among a group of decidedly unquiet humans, extra-humans, mutants, and demigods. In no particular order those are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), S.H.I.E.L.D. world-government commander Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and indispensable functionary Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). That’s a superstar lineup both in and out of character, and The Avengers brilliantly integrates the cast of ensemble egos into a story that snaps and crackles–not to mention smashes, trashes, and destroys–at breakneck pace, never sacrificing visual dazzle or hard-earned story dynamics. Writer-director Joss Whedon is no slouch when it comes to being a comic geek and he handles the heavy duty reins with efficient panache. The effects are of course spectacular. They include a monstrous flying aircraft carrier that is home base to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury’s Avenger Initiative; Tony Stark’s gleaming skyscraper in midtown Manhattan; off-world scenes of malignant evil; as well as blindingly apocalyptic fights and the above-mentioned showdown that leaves New York a virtual ruin. Yet it’s the deeply personal conversations and confrontations among the very reluctant team of Avengers that makes the movie pop. Full of humor, snappy dialogue, and little asides that include inside jokes, eye rolls, and personal grudge matches, the script makes these superhumans real beings with sincere passion or feelings of disillusionment. The conviction of the actors as they fully commit to their clever lines gives credibility to what comes off as more than simple banter, even during the more incredible moments among them (of which are many). The plot involves the appearance of Loki, disgraced villain and brother of Thor, who was also a key player in his eponymous movie. Loki has come to Earth to retrieve the Tesseract, a blue-glowing energy cube that is valuable beyond compare to forces good and evil throughout the universe. As Loki, Tom Hiddleston is supremely, yea gloriously appealing as the brilliantly wicked regal charmer who captures minds from S.H.I.E.L.D. and attempts to conquer Earth with the hideous army at his command. To say he is foiled is an understatement. His face-off with the Hulk is one of the giddiest moments in a movie filled with lightheaded mayhem, and is a perfect example of Whedon’s throwaway approach to translating the mythic mystique of the Marvel comics universe. Though at times deadly serious (as deadly serious as an outrageous superhero destructo/fight-fest movie can be, that is), The Avengers is best when it lightens up and lets the fun fly alongside the powerhouse punches. By the way, a single blink-and-you’ll-miss-it powerhouse punch is another moment that makes Hulk the most loveable underdog of a smashing green rage monster ever. That spirit of fun and pure adventure makes The Avengers the greatest kind of escapist Hollywood fantasy $250 million can buy. A blockbuster in the most literal sense.

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Copyright David Masters 2013

 

Top 10 Best DVD Movies December 2012

Top 10 Best DVD Movies December 2012

1. Ted 6. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection
2. The Dark Knight Trilogy 7. Men in Black 3
3. The Hunger Games 2-Disc DVD 8. The Amazing Spider-Man
4. Marvel’s The Avengers 9. Magic Mike
5. The Bourne Legacy 10. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


1. Ted

Ted Starring Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg 2012List Price: $29.98
Price: $16.99
You Save: $12.99 (43%)

Anyone who’s watched Family Guy knows that its creator Seth MacFarlane has a lot of hang-ups. As outrageous as many of them are in their animated TV show forum, they get a real rundown in Ted, MacFarlane’s multi-hyphenate debut in feature films. As the director, producer, cowriter, and voice artist behind the title character, MacFarlane riffs on pop culture, drug culture, religion, sex, bodily functions, and all things ’80s with the kind of abandon that borders on offensive to pretty much anyone–if only it all weren’t so spot-on funny. Ted is an utterly believable CGI teddy bear who comes to life in the arms of a friendless 8-year-old boy named John, who quickly grows up to be Mark Wahlberg. John has made a wish that the pudgy plush be a friend for forever, a deal that they both hold on to with genuine poignancy as the years roll by. Ted grows right along with John in voice, manner, attitude, and bad habits until they’re both unmotivated layabouts who would rather do nothing more than swill beer, smoke dope, and watch the absurdly iconic ’80s movie Flash Gordon over and over again to the exclusion of most everything else in life. John has managed to pick up a girlfriend named Lori (Mila Kunis), who somehow tolerates the pair of them–at least for a little while. Eventually she’s annoyed enough with John for not putting away his childish things, thoughts, and behaviors that she demands Ted move out and let them move on as adults. Among all the conceits that Ted embraces is the fact that this fully anthropomorphized stuffed bear started life as a global celebrity sensation before everyone forgot about him. Now he’s just a blue-collar Boston nobody who sucks on a bong, chases women, and makes dirty jokes at every opportunity while nobody pays attention. This could have been a generic lowbrow buddy movie in the Judd Apatow mold, which might have been a little funny with a human slob in the Ted role. But MacFarlane brings to the remarkably expressive CGI creation an astonishing and often shocking dynamic with his voice characterization and the consistently clever situations, which whiz by in a structure that’s pretty similar to an episode of Family Guy. There are frequent non sequitur digressions and offhanded one-liners that MacFarlane could never get away with on TV. But in the raunchy, anything-goes world of Ted it’s all fair game. In addition to farts, drugs, bodily functions, and all manner of sexual
vulgarity, it’s the slams or homages to the 1980s that are the butt of many of the best zingers or recurring jokes. There are several cameo appearances that may make for delighted double takes. And Sam Jones, the star of the ill-fated Flash Gordon, plays a version of himself that makes a running gag all the more ingenious and demonstrates how far MacFarlane will go to bring comedy down to his level of hilarity. Mark Wahlberg should be commended for being game enough to participate and absolutely shows the comedy chops to make his scenes with Ted come alive. Technically the movie is a wonder as the two-foot Ted blends into the real world with complete believability even as he spouts some of
the most outrageous dialogue this side of The Hangover. Ted may be an acquired taste for those who have a dislike for MacFarlane’s comic sensibility–and there are a lot of people who do. But as a laughable lowbrow adventure that delivers virtually nonstop unexpected laughs with a little heart to back it up, Ted is a surprising comic novelty that may even win over some of the most vituperative MacFarlane haters.

2. The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises)

The Dark Knight Trilogy Batman Begins The Dark Knight The Dark Knight Rises Starring Christian Bale Michael Caine Gary Oldman 2012List Price: $38.99
Price: $17.96
You Save: $21.03 (54%)

  • Bonus content from all three films.

Batman Begins:

Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.

The Dark Knight:

The follow-up to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Heath Ledger stars as archvillain The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

The Dark Knight Rises:

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

3. The Hunger Games [2-Disc DVD + Ultra-Violet Digital Copy]

The Hunger Games 2 Disc DVD Ultra Violet Digital Copy Starring Jennifer Lawrence Josh Hutcherson Liam Hemsworth 2012List Price: $30.98
Price: $9.99
You Save: $20.99 (68%)

Building on her performance as a take-no-prisoners teenager in Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross’s action-oriented adaptation of author-screenwriter Suzanne Collins’s young adult bestseller. Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest–but not too much, warns Panem president Snow (Donald Sutherland), because that would be “dangerous.” Hailing from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right) represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks) and mentor Haymitch (a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson). At first they’re adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules stipulate that only one contestant can win. For those who haven’t read the book, the conclusion is likely to come as a surprise. Before it arrives, Ross (Pleasantville) depicts a society in which the Haves appear to have stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book and the Have-Nots look like refugees from the WPA photographs of Walker Evans. It’s an odd mix, made odder still by frenetic fight scenes where it’s hard to tell who’s doing what to whom. Fortunately, Lawrence and Hutcherson prove a sympathetic match in this crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell.

4. Marvel’s The Avengers

Marvels The Avengers Starring Robert Downey Jr Chris Evans Mark Ruffalo 2012List Price: $29.99
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.03 (33%)

Blasphemy? Perhaps. But the best thing about what may be the most rousing and well-crafted superhero movie since The Dark Knight is not the boffo action scenes that culminate in a New York City-destroying finale that rivals Michael Bay’s obliteration of the Chicago skyline in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No, the real appeal of The Avengers comes from the quiet moments among a group of decidedly unquiet humans, extra-humans, mutants, and demigods. In no particular order those are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), S.H.I.E.L.D. world-government commander Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and indispensable functionary Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). That’s a superstar lineup both in and out of character, and The Avengers brilliantly integrates the cast of ensemble egos into a story that snaps and crackles–not to mention smashes, trashes, and destroys–at breakneck pace, never sacrificing visual dazzle or hard-earned story dynamics. Writer-director Joss Whedon is no slouch when it comes to being a comic geek and he handles the heavy duty reins with efficient panache. The effects are of course spectacular. They include a monstrous flying aircraft carrier that is home base to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury’s Avenger Initiative; Tony Stark’s gleaming skyscraper in midtown Manhattan; off-world scenes of malignant evil; as well as blindingly apocalyptic fights and the above-mentioned showdown that leaves New York a virtual ruin. Yet it’s the deeply personal conversations and confrontations among the very reluctant team of Avengers that makes the movie pop. Full of humor, snappy dialogue, and little asides that include inside jokes, eye rolls, and personal grudge matches, the script makes these superhumans real beings with sincere passion or feelings of disillusionment. The conviction of the actors as they fully commit to their clever lines gives credibility to what comes off as more than simple banter, even during the more incredible moments among them (of which are many). The plot involves the appearance of Loki, disgraced villain and brother of Thor, who was also a key player in his eponymous movie. Loki has come to Earth to retrieve the Tesseract, a blue-glowing energy cube that is valuable beyond compare to forces good and evil throughout the universe. As Loki, Tom Hiddleston is supremely, yea gloriously appealing as the brilliantly wicked regal charmer who captures minds from S.H.I.E.L.D. and attempts to conquer Earth with the hideous army at his command. To say he is foiled is an understatement. His face-off with the Hulk is one of the giddiest moments in a movie filled with lightheaded mayhem, and is a perfect example of Whedon’s throwaway approach to translating the mythic mystique of the Marvel comics universe. Though at times deadly serious (as deadly serious as an outrageous superhero destructo/fight-fest movie can be, that is), The Avengers is best when it lightens up and lets the fun fly alongside the powerhouse punches. By the way, a single blink-and-you’ll-miss-it powerhouse punch is another moment that makes Hulk the most loveable underdog of a smashing green rage monster ever. That spirit of fun and pure adventure makes The Avengers the greatest kind of escapist Hollywood fantasy $250 million can buy. A blockbuster in the most literal sense.

5. The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Legacy Starring Jeremy Renner Rachel Weisz Edward Norton Joan Allen 2012List Price: $29.98
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Sort of a sequel, not quite a reboot–The Bourne Legacy is not easy to peg as a follow-up to the original Matt Damon trilogy. Except for this: it’s a heckuva satisfying spy picture, an ingenious expansion on the Bourne universe that also meets the expectations of a multiplex title circa 2012. (Plenty of action to go with the espionage talk, in other words.) Jeremy Renner takes center stage as Aaron Cross, an agent groomed by the government program that also unleashed Jason Bourne, but with a few new wrinkles. Cross is busy training in Alaska when he’s caught in a tsunami of hurt, thus beginning a frantic search for answers that leads to a mad motorcycle chase through the streets of Manila. He picks up a partner in government doctor Marta Shearing, who is mighty confused herself after nearly being caught in a madman’s bloody rampage. She’s played by Rachel Weisz; like Renner, she lifts her character above the usual genre expectations. Kudos to writer-director Tony Gilroy, who scripted the other Bourne installments–he brings his knack for crafting intelligent, complicated stories and zingy dialogue to good use, while simultaneously announcing himself as a potential James Bond director. Two caveats: the movie’s timeline makes it slightly confusing to sort things out with the ending of The Bourne Ultimatum–at least on first viewing–and the ending itself sneaks up on us a little abruptly. But the movie’s a humdinger anyway: not exactly Bourne again, but something distinct to itself.

6. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection

Harry Potter The Complete 8 Film Collection Starring Daniel Radcliffe Rupert Grint Emma Watson 2011List Price: $78.92
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  • The entire Harry Potter series in one collection!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Here’s an event movie that holds up to being an event. This filmed version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, adapted from the wildly popular book by J.K. Rowling, stunningly brings to life Harry Potter’s world of Hogwarts, the school for young witches and wizards. The greatest strength of the film comes from its faithfulness to the novel, and this new cinematic world is filled with all the details of Rowling’s imagination, thanks to exuberant sets, elaborate costumes, clever makeup and visual effects, and a crème de la crème cast, including Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, and more. Especially fine is the interplay between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his schoolmates Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), as well as his protector, the looming Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). The second-half adventure–involving the titular sorcerer’s stone–doesn’t translate perfectly from page to screen, ultimately because of the film’s fidelity to the novel; this is a case of making a movie for the book’s fans, as opposed to a transcending film. Writer Steve Kloves and director Chris Columbus keep the spooks in check, making this a true family film, and with its resourceful hero wide-eyed and ready, one can’t wait for Harry’s return. Ages 8 and up.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets First sequels are the true test of an enduring movie franchise, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets passes with flying colors. Expanding upon the lavish sets, special effects, and grand adventure of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry involves a darker, more malevolent tale (parents with younger children beware), beginning with the petrified bodies of several Hogwarts students and magical clues leading Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to a 50-year-old mystery in the monster-laden Chamber of Secrets. House elves, squealing mandrakes, giant spiders, and venomous serpents populate this loyal adaptation (by Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus and screenwriter Steve Kloves), and Kenneth Branagh delightfully tops the supreme supporting cast as the vainglorious charlatan Gilderoy Lockhart (be sure to view past the credits for a visual punchline at Lockhart’s expense). At 161 minutes, the film suffers from lack of depth and uneven pacing, and John Williams’ score mostly reprises established themes. The young, fast-growing cast offers ample compensation, however, as does the late Richard Harris in his final screen appearance as Professor Albus Dumbledore. Brimming with cleverness, wonderment, and big-budget splendor, Chamber honors the legacy of J.K. Rowling’s novels.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Some movie-loving wizards must have cast a magic spell on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it’s another grand slam for the Harry Potter franchise. Demonstrating remarkable versatility after the arthouse success of Y Tu Mamá También, director Alfonso Cuarón proves a perfect choice to guide Harry, Hermione, and Ron into treacherous puberty as the now 13-year-old students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry face a new and daunting challenge: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison, and for reasons yet unknown (unless, of course, you’ve read J.K. Rowling’s book, considered by many to be the best in the series), he’s after Harry in a bid for revenge. This dark and dangerous mystery drives the action while Harry (the fast-growing Daniel Radcliffe) and his third-year Hogwarts classmates discover the flying hippogriff Buckbeak (a marvelous CGI creature), the benevolent but enigmatic Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), horrifying black-robed Dementors, sneaky Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), and the wonderful advantage of having a Time-Turner just when you need one. The familiar Hogwarts staff returns in fine form (including the delightful Michael Gambon, replacing the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and Emma Thompson as the goggle-eyed Sybil Trelawney), and even Julie Christie joins this prestigious production for a brief but welcome cameo. Technically dazzling, fast-paced, and chock-full of Rowling’s boundless imagination (loyally adapted by ace screenwriter Steve Kloves), The Prisoner of Azkaban is a Potter-movie classic.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire The latest entry in the Harry Potter saga could be retitled Fast Times at Hogwarts, where finding a date to the winter ball is nearly as terrifying as worrying about Lord Voldemort’s return. Thus, the young wizards’ entry into puberty (and discovery of the opposite sex) opens up a rich mining field to balance out the dark content in the fourth movie (and the stories are only going to get darker). Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) handily takes the directing reins and eases his young cast through awkward growth spurts into true young actors. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe, more sure of himself) has his first girl crush on fellow student Cho Chang (Katie Leung), and has his first big fight with best bud Ron (Rupert Grint). Meanwhile, Ron’s underlying romantic tension with Hermione (Emma Watson) comes to a head over the winter ball, and when she makes one of those girl-into-woman Cinderella entrances, the boys’ reactions indicate they’ve all crossed a threshold. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of wizardry and action in Goblet of Fire. When the deadly Triwizard Tournament is hosted by Hogwarts, Harry finds his name mysteriously submitted (and chosen) to compete against wizards from two neighboring academies, as well as another Hogwarts student. The competition scenes are magnificently shot, with much-improved CGI effects (particularly the underwater challenge). And the climactic confrontation with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, in a brilliant bit of casting) is the most thrilling yet. Goblet, the first installment to get a PG-13 rating, contains some violence as well as disturbing images for kids and some barely shrouded references at sexual awakening (Harry’s bath scene in particular). The 2 1/2-hour film, lean considering it came from a 734-page book, trims out subplots about house-elves (they’re not missed) and gives little screen time to the standard crew of the other Potter films, but adds in more of Britain’s finest actors to the cast, such as Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody and Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter. Michael Gambon, in his second round as Professor Dumbledore, still hasn’t brought audiences around to his interpretation of the role he took over after Richard Harris died, but it’s a small smudge in an otherwise spotless adaptation.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Alas! The fifth Harry Potter film has arrived. The time is long past that this can be considered a simple “children’s” series–though children and adults alike will enjoy it immensely. Starting off from the dark and tragic ending of the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix begins in a somber and angst-filled tone that carries through the entire 138 minutes (the shortest of any HP movie despite being adapted from the longest book). Hopes of winning the Quidditch Cup have been replaced by woes like government corruption, distorted media spin, and the casualties of war. As the themes have matured, so have the primary characters’ acting abilities. Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson), and especially Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) are more convincing than ever–in roles that are more demanding. Harry is deeply traumatized from having witnessed Cedric Diggory’s murder, but he will soon find that this was just another chapter in the continuing loss he will endure. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned and, in an attempt to conceal this catastrophe from the wizarding public, the Ministry of Magic has teamed up with the wizard newspaper The Daily Prophet to smear young Potter and wise Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)–seemingly the only two people in the public eye who believe the Dark Lord has returned. With no one else to stand against the wicked Death Eaters, the Hogwarts headmaster is forced to revive his secret anti-Voldemort society, the Order of the Phoenix. This welcomes back characters like Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), kind Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), fatherly Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), and insidious Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), and introduces a short list of intriguing new faces. In the meantime, a semi-psychotic bureaucrat from the Ministry (brilliantly portrayed by Imelda Staunton) has seized power at Hogwarts, and Harry is forced to form a secret society of his own–lest the other young wizards at his school be left ill-equipped to defend themselves in the looming war between good and evil. In addition, Harry is filled with an inexplicable rage that only his Godfather Sirius seems to be able to understand. This film, though not as frightening as its predecessor, earns its PG-13 rating mostly because of the ever-darkening tone. As always, the loyal fans of J.K. Rowling’s books will suffer huge cuts from the original plot and character developments, but make no mistake: this is a good movie.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince The sixth installment of the Harry Potter series begins right where The Order of the Phoenix left off. The wizarding world is rocked by the news that “He Who Must Not Be Named” has truly returned, and the audience finally knows that Harry is “the Chosen One”–the only wizard who can defeat Lord Voldemort in the end. Dark forces loom around every corner, and now regularly attempt to penetrate the protected walls of Hogwarts School. This is no longer the fun and fascinating world of magic from the first few books—it’s dark, dangerous, and scary. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) suspects Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to be a new Death Eater recruit on a special mission for the Dark Lord. In the meantime, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) seems to have finally removed the shroud of secrecy from Harry about the dark path that lies ahead, and instead provides private lessons to get him prepared. It’s in these intriguing scenes that the dark past of Tom Riddle (a.k.a. Voldemort) is finally revealed. The actors cast as the different young versions of Riddle (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and Frank Dillane) do an eerily fantastic job of portraying the villain as a child. While the previous movies’ many new characters could be slightly overwhelming, only one new key character is introduced this time: Professor Horace Slughorn (with a spot-on performance by Jim Broadbent). Within his mind he holds a key secret in the battle to defeat the Dark Lord, and Harry is tasked by Dumbledore to uncover a memory about Voldemort’s darkest weapon–the Horcrux. Despite the long list of distractions, Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) still try to focus on being teenagers, and audiences will enjoy the budding awkward romances. All of the actors have developed nicely, giving their most convincing performances to date. More dramatic and significant things go down in this movie than any of its predecessors, and the stakes are higher than ever. The creators have been tasked with a practically impossible challenge, as fans of the beloved J.K. Rowling book series desperately want the movies to capture the magic of the books as closely as possible. Alas, the point at which one accepts that these two mediums are very different is the point at which one can truly enjoy these brilliant adaptations. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is no exception: it may be the best film yet. For those who have not read the book, nail-biting entertainment is guaranteed. For those who have, the movie does it justice. The key dramatic scenes, including the cave and the shocking twist in the final chapter, are executed very well. It does a perfect job of setting up the two-part grand finale that is to follow.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I is a brooding, slower-paced film than its predecessors, the result of being just one half of the final story (the last book in the series was split into two movies, released in theaters eight months apart). Because the penultimate film is all buildup before the final showdown between the teen wizard and the evil Voldemort (which does not occur until The Deathly Hallows, Part II), Part I is a road-trip movie, a heist film, a lot of exposition, and more weight on its three young leads, who up until now were sufficiently supported by a revolving door of British thesps throughout the series. Now that all the action takes place outside Hogwarts–no more Potions classes, Gryffindor scarves, or Quidditch matches–Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione), and Rupert Grint (Ron) shoulder the film almost entirely on their own. After a near-fatal ambush by Voldemort’s Death Eaters, the three embark on a quest to find and destroy the remaining five horcruxes (objects that store pieces of Voldemort’s soul). Fortunately, as the story gets more grave–and parents should be warned, there are some scenes too frightening or adult for young children–so does the intensity. David Yates, who directed the Harry Potter films Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince, drags the second half a little, but right along with some of the slower moments are some touching surprises (Harry leading Hermione in a dance, the return of Dobby in a totally non-annoying way). Deathly Hallows, Part I will be the most confusing for those not familiar with the Potter lore, particularly in the shorthand way characters and terminology weave in and out. For the rest of us, though, watching these characters over the last decade and saying farewell to a few faces makes it all bittersweet that the end is near (indeed, an early scene in which Hermione casts a spell that makes her Muggle parents forget her existence, in case she doesn’t return, is particularly emotional). Despite its challenges, Deathly Hallows, Part I succeeds in what it’s most meant to do: whet your appetite for the grand conclusion to the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the film all Harry Potter fans have waited 10 years to see, and the good news is that it’s worth the hype–visually stunning, action packed, faithful to the book, and mature not just in its themes and emotion but in the acting by its cast, some of whom had spent half their lives making Harry Potter movies. Part 2 cuts right to the chase: Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has stolen the Elder Wand, one of the three objects required to give someone power over death (a.k.a. the Deathly Hallows), with the intent to hunt and kill Harry. Meanwhile, Harry’s quest to destroy the rest of the Horcruxes (each containing a bit of Voldemort’s soul) leads him first to a thrilling (and hilarious–love that Polyjuice Potion!) trip to Gringotts Bank, then back to Hogwarts, where a spectacular battle pitting the young students and professors (a showcase of the British thesps who have stolen every scene of the series: Maggie Smith’s McGonagall, Jim Broadbent’s Slughorn, David Thewlis’s Lupin) against a dark army of Dementors, ogres, and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter, with far less crazy eyes to make this round). As predicted all throughout the saga, Harry also has his final showdown with Voldemort–neither can live while the other survives–though the physics of that predicament might need a set of crib notes to explain. But while each installment has become progressively grimmer, this finale is the most balanced between light and dark (the dark is quite dark–several familiar characters die, with one significant death particularly grisly); the humor is sprinkled in at the most welcome times, thanks to the deft adaptation by Steve Kloves (who scribed all but one of the films from J.K. Rowling’s books) and direction by four-time Potter director David Yates. The climactic kiss between Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), capping off a decade of romantic tension, is perfectly tuned to their idiosyncratic relationship, and Daniel Radcliffe has, over the last decade, certainly proven he was the right kid for the job all along. As Prof. Snape, the most perfect of casting choices in the best-cast franchise of all time, Alan Rickman breaks your heart. Only the epilogue (and the lack of chemistry between Harry and love Ginny Weasley, barely present here) stand a little shaky, but no matter: the most lucrative franchise in movie history to date has just reached its conclusion, and it’s done so without losing its soul.

7. Men in Black 3

Men in Black 3 Starring Will Smith Josh Brolin Tommy Lee Jones 2012List Price: $30.99
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In Men in BlackT 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back… in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him — secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)

The Amazing Spider Man UltraViolet Digital Copy Starring Andrew Garfield Emma Stone Rhys Ifans Denis Leary 2012List Price: $30.99
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The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

9. Magic Mike (DVD+UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Magic Mike DVD UltraViolet Digital Copy Starring Channing Tatum Alex Pettyfer Matthew McConaughey 2012List Price: $28.98
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Academy Awardr-winning director Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) unveils the story of Mike (Channing Tatum), an entrepreneur with many talents and loads of charm. Mike spends his days pursuing the American Dream, from roofing houses and detailing cars to designing furniture at his Tampa beach condo. But at night.he’s just magic. The hot headliner in an all-male revue, Magic Mike has been rocking the stage at Club Xquisite for years with his original style and over-the-top dance moves. Magic Mike features the hottest cast of the year: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Cody Horn and Olivia Munn

10. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Starring Robert Downey Jr Jude Law Noomi Rapace Jared Harris 2012List Price: $19.94
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The good news is, Dr. Watson does get married. The bad news is, Sherlock Holmes throws his bride off a moving train. Actually, there’s even worse news than that–but all will be explained in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the sequel to Guy Ritchie’s 2009 hit. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return to their roles as Holmes and Watson, as the duo take on the world’s greatest criminal mind, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), a man whose latest scheme has global implications. Sherlockians who prefer their consulting detective to remain in a traditional mode had best look the other way, for the sequel continues Ritchie’s vision of Holmes as a hard-punching action hero hurtling through a barrage of special effects sequences. If you can go with that, A Game of Shadows actually improves on the first film: the story makes a little more sense (or possibly the whole thing moves so smoothly you don’t notice the illogic), Harris is a delicious villain, and new cast members Noomi Rapace (from the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series) and Stephen Fry (playing Sherlock’s brother Mycroft, who calls his sibling “Sherlie”) add appeal. It’s all frivolous and superficial, but the film’s playful attitude and breathless forward motion are skillfully managed–and the final note adds just the right punctuation.

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Copyright David Masters 2012

 

Top 10 Best Music CDs Albums November 2012

Top 10 Best Music CDs Albums November 2012

1. Red Taylor Swift 6. Rebel Soul – Kid Rock
2. Greatest Hits-Chapter One 7. Music From Another Dimension
3. R.E.D. Ne-Yo 8. Unapologetic [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]
4. Take Me Home One Direction 9. Blown Away Carrie Underwood
5. The Truth About Love Pink 10. King Animal – Soundgarden


1. Red

Price: $13.88

2012 release, the fourth album from the internationally successful singer/songwriter. Swift co-wrote the album with people ”from all different places in music”. Collaborators include Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, Max Martin, Lori McKenna, Ed Sheeran and Mark Foster of Foster The People. Rolling Stone has described the album as ”Swift’s most eclectic set ever, ranging from ‘State Of Grace’, a howling, U2-style epic with reverb-drenched guitars, to a sweet acoustic duet with U.K. singer Ed Sheeran. Another key track even features a Dubstep-inspired bass breakdown. The album’s lead single, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’, became Swift’s first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, recording the highest ever one-week sales figures for a female artist.

Hi, I’m Taylor. I’ve been alive for 21 years now, and I finally have my own kitchen. I’m very excited about this, and generally excited by anything else that falls into the “cute” or “cozy” categories. I learned to play guitar when I was twelve fro m this guy named Ronnie who came over to fix my parents’ computer. I like quilts. But that’s probably because I’m always freezing cold… Read more >

2. Greatest Hits-Chapter One

Price: $5.00

Global superstar Kelly Clarkson is set to release Greatest Hits Chapter 1 on November 19th. This greatest hits compilation will feature three new tracks from Clarkson as well as a compilation of some of her greatest hits to date.
Kelly’s new single, “Catch My Breath” is co-written by Clarkson, Jason Halbert and Eric Olson. She states, “This song represents who I’ve been, what I’ve felt, and where I’m headed as not only an artist but as a 30 year old that is now smart enough to know that it’s time to stop, catch my breath, and be proud of not only what has been accomplished but of all the people that have helped me become the woman I am today.”
Since bursting onto the music scene 10 years ago, Kelly Clarkson has released 5 studio albums (Thankful, Breakaway, My December, All I Ever Wanted, Stronger), sold over 20 million albums worldwide, 10 million albums in the US and has had 10 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. She is the recipient of 2 Grammy Awards, 4 American Music Awards, 3 MTV Video Music Awards, 2 Academy of Country Music Awards, 1 Country Music Association Award and 12 Billboard Music Awards… Read more >

3. R.E.D.

Price: $5.99

Three-time Grammy Award®-winning artist Ne-Yo was explaining the genesis of his new album title, R.E.D., an acronym for Realizing Every Dream. “It came from me stepping outside myself, looking at my life as it is today and realizing that every dream I’ve had from the day I decided I wanted to do music, that I wanted my life to be about music, every dream that I’ve had from then til now… Read more >

4. Take Me Home

Price: $10.99

‘Take Me Home’ sees One Direction collaborating with a whole host of first class writers and producers. As well as reuniting with the likes of Rami Yacoub & Carl Falk and Savan Kotecha, Ed Sheeran and McFly’s Tom Fletcher, the record features input from Dr Luke, Shellback and Toby Gad.
One Direction made US Chart history again by achieving the highest selling first week single sales by a UK artist with “Live While We’re Young.” The lead single from TAKE ME HOME entered the Billboard Digital Track and Song Charts at #1 with over 341k sold in its first week making it the biggest opening week sales for a single by a non-US artist ever… Read more >

5. The Truth About Love

Price: $9.99

P!nk has teamed up with producer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foster The People & The Shins) for the very first time on this release along with long time collaborators Max Martin and Shellback, Billy Mann and Butch Walker. She has also worked with songwriter/producer Dan Wilson (Adele’s Someone Like You). The album is P!nk’s unique take on the different shades of love the dark, the light, the happy and the sad.
Since her debut in 2000, P!nk (Alecia Moore) has released 6 albums (Can’t Take Me Home, M!ssundaztood, Try This, I’m Not Dead, Funhouse, Greatest Hits So Far!!!), sold over 30 million albums, 65 million singles (nearly 20 million digital tracks), over 1 million DVD’s worldwide and has had 11 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. In addition, 15 of P!nk’s singles have reached #1 in at least 1 or more countries. She is the recipient of 3 Grammy Awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 2 MTV Europe Awards, 2 People’s Choice Awards, and many more. P!nk’s last studio album Funhouse debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #1 in the UK, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. The album produced the smash single “So What”, which marked P!nk’s 2nd #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (after “Lady Marmalade”). Her latest album, Greatest Hits So Far… debuted in the Top 10 in over 13 countries and spawned the hit singles, “F**ckin Perfect” which reach # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Raise Your Glass” which marked P!nk’s 3rd #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart… Read more >

6. Rebel Soul

Price: $9.99

Rebel Soul is a return to form for Kid Rock, who with this album cements his place as the premier genre-hopping rock and roller of all time. The album was produced by Kid Rock.

Tracks include Chickens In The Pen, Let s Ride, CATT Boogie, Detroit Michigan, Rebel Soul,  God Save Rock n Roll, Happy New Year, Celebrate, The Mirror, Mr. Rock n Roll, Cucci Galore, Redneck Paradise, Cocaine and Gin, and Midnight Ferry… Read more >

7. Music From Another Dimension

Price: $5.00

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION presents AEROSMITH in ferociously fine form and at the peak of their powers. They’re the only band of their stature with all-original members who are playing better than they ever have before. The album abounds with one highlight after another, including “Out Go The Lights,” “Oh Yeah,” “Luv XXX,” “We All Fall Down,” “Street Jesus” and “Can t Stop Loving You,” on which Tyler duets with Carrie Underwood. The album also includes “Freedom Fighter” which features Johnny Depp on backing vocals.
It marks the band’s 15th studio album and their first studio album of all-new material in 11 years. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and at the band s studio in Massachusetts; it was produced by Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, with the exception of three tracks produced by Tyler and Marti Frederiksen.
“This is the album we wanted to make since the band got back together in 1984,” JOE PERRY says. “Can’t complain about number one singles or album-driven sold-out world tours, as we blaze the Aerosmith trail with our fans. But this is the record that when the five of us are in a room yelling turn up the volume, that room could be 1325 Commonwealth Avenue… Read more >

8. Unapologetic [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]

Price: $12.99

No sooner had world-class megastar Rihanna wrapped up the final show of her sold-out “Last Girl On Earth Tour” in Chicago last week, than she turned her attention to her brand new fifth studio album on Def Jam Recordings. LOUD, set to arrive on November 16th, has been described by insiders as a return to the uptempo dance grooves of her earlier records.

Bonus DVD, Never-before-released footage and Rihanna’s Loud Tour recorded live at London’s O2 Arena… Read more >

9. Blown Away

Price: $7.00

Produced by Mark Bright, the forthcoming album, Blown Away, was featured in Entertainment Weekly’s recent “10 albums we can’t wait for.” This will be the fourth studio album on 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville for the five-time Grammy® winner. The debut single “Good Girl” isco-written by Underwood. Since releasing Some Hearts in 2005, Underwood has sold more than 14 million albums with Some Hearts, 2007’s Carnival Ride, and 2009’s Play On. She s amassed 14 No. 1 singles, six of which she co-wrote, and became the first country artist in history and the only American Idol winner ever to achieve 10 No. 1 singles from their first two albums. Underwood is a five-time Grammy Award winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner, and a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry… Read more >

10. King Animal

Price: $15.68

King Animal is the sixth studio album by American rock band Soundgarden, released on November 12, 2012 on Seven Four Entertainment and Republic Records. Produced by both the band and Adam Kasper, the album is the band’s first in sixteen years, and the first not to be released on A&M Records since 1988’s Ultramega OK. Soundgarden reformed in 2010 after a 13-year hiatus. Following the success of the band’s Telephantasm compilation release that year, Soundgarden had been working on a new album with an indefinite release date. The band went on an extended world tour between the release of Telephantasm and the summer of 2012 before word came out that a new Soundgarden album would be ready for the fall.

“Been Away Too Long” was the first single to be released from King Animal on September 27, 2012. On October 31, “Non-State Actor” was released through the official Soundgarden YouTube channel. The video for the song features an American flag waving back and forth with the King Animal logo replacing the stars… Read more >

Click Here for More Top Selling CDs

Copyright 2012 David Masters

 

Top 10 Best DVD Recorders October 2012

Top 10 Best DVD Recorders October 2012

1. Toshiba DR430 DVD Recorder 6. Magnavox MDR537H 1 TB DVD Recorder
2. Sony VRDMC6 DVDirect DVD Burner 7. Toshiba DVR620 DVD/VHS Recorder
3. Magnavox ZC320MW8 DVD Recorder 8. Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVDR & Hi-Fi VCR
4. Toshiba DR430 1080p Upconversion 9. Fisher DVD Recorder w/MP3 & JPEG
5. LG Code Free Multi Region Recorder 10. MAGNAVOX MDR513H/F7 HDD & DVDR


1. Toshiba DR430 DVD Recorder (Black)

List Price: $119.99
Price: $92.89
You Save: $27.10 (23%)

  • Video up conversion up to 1080p resolution via HDMI
  • Tunerless Single Disc DVD Recorder
  • USB Terminal
  • Dual Format Recording
  • 1 Year and 90 days Labor warranty

With the DR430, converting and archiving your favorite home movies to DVD is simple. You can also experience your DVD movie collection in near HD quality with the DR430’s 1080p up conversion via HDMI. Video up conversion up to 1080p resolution via HDMI takes your current DVDs to a new level, for an amazing viewing experience on today’s HDTVs. One Touch Recording makes recording your favorite show simple. Just connect the DR430 to your cable or satellite box and you are set to record with the push of one button . Multi-format recording and playback provides the utmost in recording media convenience with compatibility with the most popular formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW). Auto Finalize simplifies the recording process by automatically finalizing your recording for playback on standard DVD players. HDMI-CEC makes controlling multiple components easy. Just connect your recorder to other compatible devices using an HDMI cable, and then control them using one remote, no additional programming or setup required! Front DV Input makes it easy to save your precious memories from your camcorder to DVD. Simultaneous Playback and Recording: You can play back a recorded title during current recording or the timer recording on the same disc.

2. Sony VRDMC6 DVDirect Compact Size DVD Burner with AVCHD Recording

List Price: $199.99
Price: $182.45
You Save: $17.54 (9%)

  • Transfer Home movies and digital photos to DVD
  • Record HD video from Sony AVCHD HDD/MS Handycam Camcorders
  • Record digital photos as a slideshow or for storage
  • Connect to any compatible camcorder, VCR or DVR
  • 4:3 Full Screen and 16:9 Wide Screen support

Transfer home movies and digital pictures to DVD, quickly and easily without a PC. Connect with virtually any camcorder, VCR, even DVR for recording video DVDs playable in standard DVD players. Built in slots accept the 5 most common memory cards for recording digital pictures to DVD as a slideshow or for photo storage. Record high definition AVCHD video from Sony HDD or Memory Stick Handycam camcorders to DVD playable in Blu-ray Disc compatible devices. In The Box – DVD Recorder (VRD-MC6); AC Adaptor; AC Power Cord; Warranty Card; Manual.

3. Magnavox ZC320MW8 DVD Recorder

Price: $99.99

  • Records on DVD +R/+RW & -R/-RW
  • Progreesive Scan
  • Compatible Speed x2 to x16 DVD+R/DVD-R
  • Component Video Output
  • S-Video Output/Digital Audio Out (Coaxial)

The perfect DVD Recorder for any set-top box with line-in recording from cable/satellite boxes.

4. Toshiba DR430 1080p Upconversion Progressive Scan DVD±RW Recorder w/USB & HDMI (Black)

Price: $109.99

  • This unit does not include a built-in tuner. An external tuner is required to record television programming.
  • Toshiba DR430 1080p Upconversion DVD RW Recorder General Features: Black color
  • Multi-format DVD recording and playback 1080p Upconversion via HDMI port One-touch timer recording
  • Record up to 12 programs within a month in advance DV dubbing Front DV Input
  • Create chapters at fixed intervals Progressive scan system (switchable On/Off mode)
  • Theater surround sound when connected to speakers compatible with Dolby Digital or DTS

Record your favorite home movies to DVD and enhance them in the process with this Toshiba DR430 DVD RW Recorder! This black DVD recorder supports recording and playback of DVD R and DVD RW discs with the ability to upconvert resolution up to 1080p via the HDMI connection. Turn on the selective progressive scan mode for higher image resolution and less image flickering during playback, too. The built-in USB port allows you to get quick access to JPEG and MP3 files!With an external TV tuner (not included), you can even record TV programs from your cable box or satellite receiver. Set it and forget it! This versatile recorder lets you schedule up to 12 programs to record within a month in advance! Plus, you can easily dub the footage from your digital camcorder directly to DVD with the convenient front panel DV connection. In addition to DVD recording, the DR430 plays JPEG and MP3 files on CD-RW/R discs. Share memories in life-like quality by pairing your HDTV with this 1080 Upconverting Toshiba DR430 DVD RW Recorder.

5. LG RH1777 80 GB Code Free Multi Region DVD Recorder 110-240 Volts for World Wide Use.

Price: $279.99

  • DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DivX, XviD, MP3, WMA, JPEG
  • Plays PAL/NTSC Disc on a PAL TV, NTSC Disc on NTSC TV (Plays PAL disc on NTSC with optional video converter)
  • Composite x 1, S-Video x 1, Component x 1, Analog Audio x 1, Digital Audio Coaxial x 1, Digital Audio Optical x 1, RF x 1
  • S-Video Input, iLINK DV Input
  • PAL B/G, I, D/K TV Tuner (No NTSC Tuner)

Designed for PAL European and Asian TVs / Use where applicable / Not imported by LG USA / Does not carry a LG USA Warranty

6. Magnavox MDR537H 1 TB DVD Recorder/HDD with Digital Tuner (Black)

Price: $332.61

  • Records up to 1252 hours of contents onto 1TB HDD
  • 4-Way Dubbing (HDD->DVD, DVD->HDD, DV->HDD, DV->DVD)
  • Watch, Forward, Rewind or Freeze Live TV while Recording
  • 1080p Up-Conversion
  • HDMI Output

Magnavox MDR537H 1 TB DVD Recorder/HDD with Digital Tuner (Black) 1TB HDD&DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner

7. Toshiba DVR620 DVD/VHS Recorder, Black

List Price: $237.99
Price: $192.42
You Save: $45.57 (19%)

Have both VCR and DVD recording and playback options without the clutter. The versatile DVR620 takes the fuss out of saving your videotapes to DVD and enhances DVD picture quality to near HD with 1080p up conversion via HDMI. Remote included. Plays DVDs from region 1.

8. Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVD Recorder & 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR with Line-In Recording.

List Price: $299.99
Price: $193.48
You Save: $106.51 (36%)

  • 1080 Up-Conversion, Progressive Scan Video Out, No Tuner
  • Five Speed for up to 6-Hours Recording
  • Dolby Digital Stream Out, 2-Way Dubbing (VCR->DVD, DVD->VCR)
  • Satellite Link Recording, S-Video Input / Output, HDMI Output

Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVD Recorder & 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR with Line-In Recording.

9. Fisher DVRF500 DVD Recorder with MP3 and JPEG Playback

List Price: $249.99
Price: $149.99
You Save: $100.00 (40%)

  • Slim profile DVD recorder
  • Records onto DVD+R/RW discs; DVD-R/RW, MP3 CD, Photo CD playback
  • Program up to 15 recordings from your TV at one time
  • 1 composite in, 1 composite out, 1 component out, 1 S-Video out
  • Includes full-function remote control

If you are looking for a basic but solid DVD player and recorder at an affordable price, you need look no farther than the Fisher DVR-F500 Slim Style DVD Recorder. With its slim design, the DVR-F500 measures only 59-millimeters high and complements any home entertainment system. Easily record your own DVDs onto DVD+R/+RW discs, or play multiple forms of media from DVD-R/RW discs to MP3 CDs or photo CDs. The DVR-F500 includes a one-touch timer record that allows up to 15 programs for up to one year. This unit has S-video out, composite and component out capabilities, as well as composite video in and optical and coaxial digital-audio out functionality. With features such as screen saver and parental lock functions, as well as an easy-to-use graphic user interface, the DVR-F500 is a great little DVD recorder for your in-home use and comes with its own full-function remote control.

10. MAGNAVOX MDR513H/F7 HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner, Black

Price: $349.00

  • Records up to 387hrs onto 320GB HDD
  • it has 1080p Up conversion
  • It has 4 Way Dubbing (HDD->DVD, DVD->HDD, DV->HDD, DV-> DVD)
  • It has HDMI Output
  • Built-in ATSC/NTSC Tuner (SD Output)

HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner.Input/Output Connectors: Analog : 2x 2-Channel Audio (RCA), 1x Component Video, 1x Composite Video, 3x S-Video, 1x Analog RF.Digital: 1x HDMI, 1x Digital Coaxial Audio,1x Firewire.With the MDR513H/F7, you could potentially record a TV show to the hard drive, keep it there and delete commercials with the editing features, then save it to a DVD or simply keep it on the hard drive. For convenience purposes it has one-touch recording (OTR)and 1-button dubbing. There are six recording modes with record times from 64-387 minutes on HDD and 60-360 minutes on disc.

Click Here for More Top Selling DVD Recorders

Copyright 2012 David Masters

 

Top 10 Best DVD Movies October 2012

Top 10 Best DVD Movies October 2012

1. Marvel’s The Avengers 6. Battleship
2. Dark Shadows 7. The Lucky One
3. The Hunger Games 2-Disc DVD 8. Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt
4. Snow White and the Huntsman 9. Monumental: America’s National Treasure
5. The Cabin In The Woods 10. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


1. Marvel’s The Avengers

List Price: $29.99
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.03 (33%)

Blasphemy? Perhaps. But the best thing about what may be the most rousing and well-crafted superhero movie since The Dark Knight is not the boffo action scenes that culminate in a New York City-destroying finale that rivals Michael Bay’s obliteration of the Chicago skyline in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No, the real appeal of The Avengers comes from the quiet moments among a group of decidedly unquiet humans, extra-humans, mutants, and demigods. In no particular order those are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), S.H.I.E.L.D. world-government commander Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and indispensable functionary Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). That’s a superstar lineup both in and out of character, and The Avengers brilliantly integrates the cast of ensemble egos into a story that snaps and crackles–not to mention smashes, trashes, and destroys–at breakneck pace, never sacrificing visual dazzle or hard-earned story dynamics. Writer-director Joss Whedon is no slouch when it comes to being a comic geek and he handles the heavy duty reins with efficient panache. The effects are of course spectacular. They include a monstrous flying aircraft carrier that is home base to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury’s Avenger Initiative; Tony Stark’s gleaming skyscraper in midtown Manhattan; off-world scenes of malignant evil; as well as blindingly apocalyptic fights and the above-mentioned showdown that leaves New York a virtual ruin. Yet it’s the deeply personal conversations and confrontations among the very reluctant team of Avengers that makes the movie pop. Full of humor, snappy dialogue, and little asides that include inside jokes, eye rolls, and personal grudge matches, the script makes these superhumans real beings with sincere passion or feelings of disillusionment. The conviction of the actors as they fully commit to their clever lines gives credibility to what comes off as more than simple banter, even during the more incredible moments among them (of which are many). The plot involves the appearance of Loki, disgraced villain and brother of Thor, who was also a key player in his eponymous movie. Loki has come to Earth to retrieve the Tesseract, a blue-glowing energy cube that is valuable beyond compare to forces good and evil throughout the universe. As Loki, Tom Hiddleston is supremely, yea gloriously appealing as the brilliantly wicked regal charmer who captures minds from S.H.I.E.L.D. and attempts to conquer Earth with the hideous army at his command. To say he is foiled is an understatement. His face-off with the Hulk is one of the giddiest moments in a movie filled with lightheaded mayhem, and is a perfect example of Whedon’s throwaway approach to translating the mythic mystique of the Marvel comics universe. Though at times deadly serious (as deadly serious as an outrageous superhero destructo/fight-fest movie can be, that is), The Avengers is best when it lightens up and lets the fun fly alongside the powerhouse punches. By the way, a single blink-and-you’ll-miss-it powerhouse punch is another moment that makes Hulk the most loveable underdog of a smashing green rage monster ever. That spirit of fun and pure adventure makes The Avengers the greatest kind of escapist Hollywood fantasy $250 million can buy. A blockbuster in the most literal sense.

2. Dark Shadows (DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

List Price: $28.98
Price: $14.96
You Save: $14.02 (48%)

The Collinses: Every Family Has Its Demons

From the wonderfully warped imagination of Tim Burton comes the story of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a dashing aristocrat who is turned into a vampire by a jilted lover and entombed for two centuries. Emerging from his coffin into the world of 1972, he returns to his once-majestic home, only to the few dysfunctional descendants of the Collins family who remain. Determined to return his family name to its former glory, Barnabas is thwarted at every turn by his former lover – the seductive witch Angelique (Eva Green) – in this wildly imaginative” (Sam Hallenbeck, NBC-TV adventure).

3. The Hunger Games [2-Disc DVD + Ultra-Violet Digital Copy]

List Price: $30.98
Price: $19.96
You Save: $11.02 (36%)

Building on her performance as a take-no-prisoners teenager in Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross’s action-oriented adaptation of author-screenwriter Suzanne Collins’s young adult bestseller. Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest–but not too much, warns Panem president Snow (Donald Sutherland), because that would be “dangerous.” Hailing from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right) represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks) and mentor Haymitch (a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson). At first they’re adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules stipulate that only one contestant can win. For those who haven’t read the book, the conclusion is likely to come as a surprise. Before it arrives, Ross (Pleasantville) depicts a society in which the Haves appear to have stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book and the Have-Nots look like refugees from the WPA photographs of Walker Evans. It’s an odd mix, made odder still by frenetic fight scenes where it’s hard to tell who’s doing what to whom. Fortunately, Lawrence and Hutcherson prove a sympathetic match in this crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell.

4. Snow White and the Huntsman (Extended Edition)

List Price: $29.98
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.02 (33%)

Definitely not your average retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman is a dark, action-fantasy film that’s based more on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale than the well-known Disney version of the story. It features intriguing concepts, impressive special effects, and some disappointingly lackluster acting. The essence of the “Snow White” story is preserved in this recounting: the queen’s beautiful daughter Snow White, who is heir to the throne, is displaced and persecuted by an evil stepmother after her mother dies. Here, the evil stepmother Ravenna possesses a disturbing power to maintain her own perpetual youth by stealing youthfulness from the hearts of the young and beautiful, but her magic mirror warns that Snow White’s innocence and purity as she comes of age will destroy Ravenna’s chance at immortality. When Snow White escapes from the castle prison, Ravenna hires a downtrodden Huntsman to bring her back so that Ravenna can steal her youth and achieve personal immortality. But Snow White runs into a dark and sinister forest where mushrooms disperse hallucinogenic spores, trees come to life, flocks of bats spring from inanimate objects, and dwarves lurk in the shadows. The roles of the seven dwarves and the Huntsman in this version of the story prove to be quite different from the original, but what remain steadfast are Snow White’s inner strength and absolute goodness, and her stepmother’s innate evilness. This film is full of fascinating imagery that’s brought to life through powerful special effects, great costuming, and captivating cinematography–the scenes in the dark forest and the fairy-filled wilderness beyond are reason enough to see it. Unfortunately, the story moves a bit slowly and the acting by Kristen Stewart (Snow White) and Chris Hemsworth (Huntsman) is rather stoical and passionless and lacks chemistry, though Charlize Theron does stand out as a particularly disturbing Ravenna.

5. The Cabin In The Woods [DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy]

List Price: $29.99
Price: $15.00
You Save: $14.99 (50%)

A rambunctious group of five college friends steal away for a weekend of debauchery in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in a night of endless terror and bloodshed. Sound familiar? Just wait. As the teens begin to exhibit standard horror movie behavior, a group of technicians in a control room are scrutinizing, and sometimes even controlling, every move the terrified kids make! With their efforts continually thwarted by the all powerful eye in the sky, do they have any chance of escape?

6. Battleship

List Price: $29.98
Price: $19.96
You Save: $10.02 (33%)

Following the success of Transformers and G.I. Joe, Hasbro brings another of its beloved properties to the big screen, with explosive and cheerfully improbable results. The situation: Aliens splash down outside Hawaii, surrounding the islands with an impenetrable force field and wreaking havoc on the captive population. While the world outside watches helplessly, a skeleton crew of naval officers and civilians (led by Taylor Kitsch’s cocky washout and Rihanna’s weapons expert) must figure out a way to save the planet while being seriously outgunned. Director Peter Berg, whose previous films The Rundown and Hancock displayed a playful tweaking of genre conventions, keeps things surprisingly high and tight here, depicting military tactics and the chain of command with an honest respect, including casting actual combat veterans in pivotal supporting roles. While such a reverent approach is certainly admirable, it coexists uneasily with the inherent goofiness of the premise, particularly during the climactic scene where the heroes sit down in front of a grid and, yes, fire a missile at B7. (Note: Nobody actually gets to say “You sunk my battleship,” but Liam Neeson, in an extended cameo as an admiral, sure looks like he wants to.) However, while the narrative might be missing a few pieces, Berg’s film undeniably delivers the action-movie goods, staging a number of all-out combat scenes with verve and ingenuity. (Special kudos to whoever designed the main weapon of the aliens, a razor-toothed sphere of gears that chews up the scenery with a tangible sense of delight.) Audiences looking for coherence may need to keep on looking, but Battleship definitely sports the maximum number of bangs for the summer-movie buck. Bring on Kerplunk: The Motion Picture.

7. The Lucky One (DVD+UltraViolet)

List Price: $28.98
Price: $14.96
You Save: $14.02 (48%)

As a tourism advertisement for Louisiana, where filming took place, The Lucky One makes the most of a scenic state. As an opportunity for Zac Efron (High School Musical) to prove his acting mettle, it’s less successful. On his third tour of duty in Iraq, Efron’s Sgt. Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a pretty blonde that reads “keep safe” on the back. After a series of close scrapes, he credits his survival to the memento. Upon his release, Logan retrieves his German shepherd and sets out for North Carolina (it’s never clear how he figures that out as a destination). When he finds Beth (Taylor Schilling), who runs a kennel with her grandmother (Blythe Danner), he doesn’t know how to tell her about the picture, so he takes a job working with the dogs, and befriends her son (Riley Thomas Stewart), a chess prodigy, while inspiring jealousy in her hotheaded ex-husband, Keith (Jay R. Ferguson, who looks more like a marine than Efron). The climactic storm at the end provides the opportunity for Logan to come clean and for Keith to prove he isn’t a complete loser, allowing romance to bloom between the central couple. In drawing from the novel by Nicholas Sparks, Shine‘s Scott Hicks offers a picture-postcard romance that feels too much like a Lifetime movie. Though Efron, who made a stronger impression in Me and Orson Welles, never overacts, his recessive performance renders Logan more opaque than necessary.

8. Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt

List Price: $26.99
Price: $17.86
You Save: $9.13 (34%)

Jesse Stone’s involuntary retirement ends when the young sheriff who replaced him is blown up in the town police car. The loyal staffers who worked for Jesse have abandoned the department and Jesse must try to solve the case on his own.

It’s a big crime, and startling, coming in the film’s first moments amid some mindless chatter between two police officers. Stone isn’t one of them; as the story begins, he is in reluctant exile – “retirement” doesn’t seem like the right word for this fellow – with just his dog for company. But the crime leaves Paradise police chief-less, and the town string pullers ask Stone to put on the chief’s badge again to work the case. Stars Tom Selleck, Kathy Baker, Robert Carradine and William Devane

9. Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure

List Price: $19.95
Price: $14.99
You Save: $4.96 (25%)

Monumental is the story of America’s beginnings. Presented, produced, and starring Kirk Cameron, the 90-minute true story follows this father of six across Europe and the US as he seeks to discover America’s true “national treasure” – the people, places, and principles that made America the freest, most prosperous, and generous nation the world has ever known.

10. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

List Price: $28.98
Price: $9.99
You Save: $18.99 (66%)

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room… until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large – Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) – and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Around the globe, headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon; a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate… No one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events – no one, that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes, who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty. Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead, and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but alter the course of history.

Click Here for More Top Movies

Copyright David Masters 2012

 

Top 10 DVD Movies for May 2012

Top 10 DVD Movies for May 2012

1. One For the Money 6. Captain America: The First Avenger
2. The Vow (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) 7. Chronicle
3. The Grey 8. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I
4. Underworld: Awakening (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) 9. Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol
5. Thor 10. Iron Man 2 (Single-Disc Edition)


1. One For the Money

List Price: $29.95
Price: $14.96
You Save: $14.99 (50%)

A film based on the incredibly popular Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, One for the Money reveals an unexpectedly versatile Katherine Heigl. This model-turned-actress is best known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy and for starring in various lighthearted romantic comedies, but here Heigl takes on the meaty role of Plum, a laid-off lingerie buyer who turns bondswoman in a desperate attempt to pay the rent and put food on the table. Heigl is surprisingly believable as a blue-collar working girl who thinks fast on her feet and is not afraid to throw herself into the middle of even the most dangerous situation–especially if it means getting what she wants. Of course, Stephanie’s impulsiveness manages to get her into all sorts of awkward and potentially life-threatening situations. Throw in her desire for payback against an old boyfriend, a sleazy cousin, a gang of ruthless criminals, a couple of most unexpected allies, and a quirky family who can think of little more than setting her up with a good husband, and you’ve got an enticing blend of drama, action, and comedy. Debbie Reynolds is quite funny as Grandma Mazur, Daniel Sunjata makes a great Ranger, and there’s definitely a nice chemistry between Heigl and Jason O’Mara. Bonus features include an 11-minute making-of featurette, a 10-minute look at some real-life “bond girls,” a gag reel, and one deleted scene.

2. The Vow (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)

List Price: $30.99
Price: $17.96
You Save: $13.03 (42%)

Can true love really conquer all? That is the question hovering over the genuinely touching, affecting drama The Vow. Based on a true story (which itself might have made a great documentary), The Vow is a showcase for the splendid acting talent of Rachel McAdams and a breakthrough role for Channing Tatum, under the deft direction of Michael Sucsy (the feature version of Grey Gardens). The story is deceptively simple: Happy young married couple Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) are, well, happy. Then a car accident puts Paige into a life-threatening coma, and upon awakening, she finds she has lost the previous five years of memories–including of being married to, or ever in love with, her beloved Leo. With lesser actors or with a more heavy-handed director, The Vow might have been predictable, melodramatic, or flat–and yet, the talents of the two stars, and the crisp, light-handed direction, make The Vow an enjoyable, deeply affecting love story. McAdams is as winning as always, reminiscent of her early work in The Notebook, and here, as a brunette, channeling a young Jennifer Garner. But it’s Tatum on whose shoulders The Vow must succeed, and he is a revelation. His persona as a tough guy’s guy is perfect here, as a “softer” actor would have led The Vow straight into Lifetime Movie Network territory. The viewer relates to Leo, including his obvious frustration, discomfort, and even moments of terror. Sam Neill and Jessica Lange (who glowed in Sucsy’s Grey Gardens) make memorable supporting appearances. But it’s McAdams and especially Tatum who make The Vow the believable, delicate, and loving journey it is.

3. The Grey

List Price: $29.98
Price: $16.99
You Save: $12.99 (43%)

The plane crashes (boy, does it crash) in the remote Alaskan nowhere, and the rough-and-tumble oil wildcatters who survive must fight their way to safety. That in itself might be enough from which The Grey could fashion a suspenseful thrill-ride, but the movie has one more ace up its sleeve. Wolves! A pack of them, starving and considerably irritated that these outsiders have blundered into their territory. And while it is true that most real-world wolves are hardly man-eaters, director Joe Carnahan and cowriter Ian Mackenzie Jeffers are really not all that interested in reality. Despite some hair-raising moments and a healthy spattering of gore, The Grey is an existential action picture, and the wolves function only as all-purpose predator (being computer-generated, they never really look real anyway). What’s really at stake are the souls of these men–how they get along together, and how they face death. Yes, there is always something faintly absurd hanging around this movie; it’s like a Jack London story adapted by Luc Besson. But out of its pulpy mash, Carnahan extracts something gutsy. It certainly helps that he’s got the mighty Liam Neeson on board as the most capable of the survivors; Neeson exudes the kind of authority that the average action hero can only play-act. Dallas Roberts and Dermot Mulroney add color, and Frank Grillo jumps off the screen as the most belligerent of the desperate crew. It’s possible for a movie to have an absurd premise yet carve something unexpectedly philosophical out of that: The Incredible Shrinking Man and Rise of the Planet of the Apes come to mind. Add this one to that oddball list.

4. Underworld: Awakening (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)

List Price: $30.99
Price: $17.96
You Save: $13.03 (42%)

Ultimate Vampire Warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

5. Thor

List Price: $29.99
Price: $14.96
You Save: $15.03 (50%)

Of all the folks in long underwear to be tapped for superhero films, Thor would seem to be the most problematic to properly pull off. (Hypothetical Hollywood conversation: “A guy in a tricked-out, easily merchandisable metal suit? Great! An Asgardian God of Thunder who says stuff like thee and thou? Um, is Moon Knight available?”) Thankfully, the resulting film does its source material rather proud, via a committed cast and an approach that doesn’t shy away from the over-the-top superheroics. When you’re dealing with a flying guy wielding a huge hammer, gritty realism can be overrated, really. Blending elements from the celebrated comic arcs by Walter Simonson and J. Michael Straczynski, the story follows the headstrong Thunder God (Chris Hemsworth) as he is banished to Earth and stripped of his powers by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after inadvertently starting a war with a planet of ticked-off Frost Giants. As his traitorous brother Loki (the terrific Tom Hiddleston) schemes in the wings, Thor must redeem himself and save the universe, with the aid of a beautiful scientist (Natalie Portman). Although director Kenneth Branagh certainly doesn’t skimp on the in-jokes and fan-pleasing continuity references (be prepared to stick around after the credits, Marvel fans), his film distinguishes itself by adopting a larger-than-life cosmic Shakespearean air that sets itself apart from both the cerebral, grounded style made fashionable by The Dark Knight and the loose-limbed Rat Packish vibe of the Iron Man series. Glorying in the absolute unreality of its premise, Branagh’s film is a swooping, Jack Kirby-inspired saga that brings the big-budget grins on a consistent basis, as well as tying in with the superhero battle royale The Avengers.

6. Captain America: The First Avenger

List Price: $29.99
Price: $14.68
You Save: $15.31 (51%)

The Marvel Comics superhero Captain America was born of World War II, so if you’re going to do the origin story in a movie you’d better set it in the 1940s. But how, then, to reconcile that hero with the 21st-century mega-blockbuster The Avengers, a 2012 summit meeting of the Marvel giants, where Captain America joins Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk and other super pals? Stick around, and we’ll get to that. In 1943, a sawed-off (but gung-ho) military reject named Steve Rogers is enlisted in a super-secret experiment masterminded by adorable scientist Stanley Tucci and skeptical military bigwig Tommy Lee Jones. Rogers emerges, taller and sporting greatly expanded pectoral muscles, along with a keen ability to bounce back from injury. In both sections Rogers is played by Chris Evans, whose sly humor makes him a good choice for the otherwise stalwart Cap. (Benjamin Button-esque effects create the shrinky Rogers, with Evans’s head attached.) The film comes up with a viable explanation for the red-white-and-blue suit ‘n’ shield–Rogers is initially trotted out as a war bonds fundraiser, in costume–and a rousing first combat mission for our hero, who finally gets fed up with being a poster boy. Director Joe Johnston (The Wolfman) makes a lot of pretty pictures along the way, although the war action goes generic for a while and the climax feels a little rushed. Kudos to Hugo Weaving, who makes his Nazi villain a grand adversary (with, if the ear doesn’t lie, an imitation of Werner Herzog’s accent). If most of the movie is enjoyable, the final 15 minutes or so reveals a curious weakness in the overall design: because Captain America needs to pop up in The Avengers, the resolution of the 1943 story line must include a bridge to the 21st century, which makes for some tortured (and unsatisfying) plot developments. Nevertheless: that shield is really cool.

7. Chronicle

List Price: $29.98
Price: $14.96
You Save: $15.02 (50%)

If you should come upon a glowing, possibly extraterrestrial object buried in a hole, go ahead and touch the thing–you might just get superpowers. Or so it goes for the three high-school buds in Chronicle, an inventive excursion into the teenage sci-fi world. Once affected by the power, the guys exercise the joys of telekinesis: shuffling cars around in parking lots, moving objects in grocery stores, that kind of thing. Oh yeah–they can fly, too: and here director Josh Trank takes wing, in the movie’s giddiest sequence, as the trio zips around the clouds in a glorious wish-fulfillment. It goes without saying that there will be a shadow side to this gift, and that’s where Chronicle, for all its early cleverness, begins to stumble. Broody misfit Andrew (Dane DeHaan), destined to be voted Least Likely to Handle Superpowers Well by his graduating class, is documenting all this with his video camera, which is driving him even crazier (the movie’s in “found footage” style, so everything we see is from a camcorder or security camera, an approach that gets trippy when Andrew realizes he can levitate his camera without having to hold it). Trank and screenwriter Max Landis (son of John) seem to lose inspiration when the last act rolls around, so the movie settles for weightless battles around the Space Needle and a smattering of mass destruction. Still, let’s give Chronicle credit for an offbeat angle, and a handful of memorable scenes.

8. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I (Two-Disc Special Edition)

List Price: $30.99
Price: $12.59
You Save: $18.40 (59%)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 delivers strongly for the rabid fan base who have catapulted the young adult novel series and subsequent movie adaptations to the worldwide phenomenon that it’s become, but it alienates a broader audience with a lack of any real action. Similar to the tone of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the first film of the two-part Twilight conclusion is heavy on romance, love, and turmoil but light on fight scenes and gruesome battles. The movie doesn’t waste any time getting to the goods and opens with Bella and Edward’s much-hyped wedding scene. It works–the vows are efficient and first-time franchise director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) moves the party along quickly and amusingly with a well-edited toast scene and some surprisingly moving moments between Bella and her father, cast standout Billy Burke. The honeymoon plays as a slightly awkward soft-focus made-for-TV movie, with a lot of long moments spent staring in the mirror and some love scenes that feel at once overly intimate and completely passionless. It’s a relief when Bella retches on a bite of chicken she’s cooked herself and quickly concludes she’s pregnant with a potentially demonic baby. From bliss to horror, the Cullens return to Forks, where Bella spends the second half of the movie wasting away and Edward and Jacob are aligned in their anger and frustration over her decision. Throw in some over-the-top scenes with Jacob and his pack–including a strange showdown where the wolves communicate in their canine form by having a passionate nonverbal fight in their minds (a plot point that works much better in print, it’s portrayed in the film via aggressive voice-over)–and the film overshoots intensity and goes straight to silly. The birth scene is horrific, but not as gruesome as in the book, and by the end, Bella has of course survived, though is much altered. The final scene features a delightfully campy Michael Sheen as Volturi leader Aro and makes it clear that the action and fun in Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is ready to start. Fans will just have to wait until Part 2 to get it.

9. Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol

List Price: $29.99
Price: $14.50
You Save: $15.49 (52%)

The second half of the first decade of the 21st century has been kind of tough for Tom Cruise. That’s tough in a way over and above the hardship of living the legacy of one of history’s top movie stars–a job more demanding than any mere mortal could imagine. But after two fruitful collaborations with Steven Spielberg (Minority Report and War of the Worlds), his stature took a beating from the one-two hits of those wacky PR gaffes and that string of relative box-office disappointments (Lions for Lambs, Valkyrie, Knight and Day), which seemed to start with the third installment of his Mission: Impossible franchise in 2006. It’s hard to say with a straight face that taking in only $398 million worldwide is a disappointment, but it was a low for the series, which some later saw as a prelude to his potentially dimming stardom. But on the cusp of turning 50, it looks like Tom Cruise has put the licking behind him and entered a new phase of self-conception with an upcoming array of roles, starting with a more maturely controlled version of superspy Ethan Hunt in the sleek and supercharged Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The things Cruise has done right in M: I part four include toning down his youthful, arrogant preening and letting his castmates share more of the spotlight (Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and Simon Pegg all have some terrifically shiny moments). He also lets the unique creative vision of director Brad Bird shine through in a first live-action outing for the acclaimed helmer of Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. Still looking much younger than his years (that hair! those pecs! those abs!), Cruise is playing more age-appropriately, letting a little wisdom and grace seep into his charisma so the wattage of his mere presence smolders a little deeper. It’s a nice nod to a graying generation that says you can get older and still be cool. All that is not to say he doesn’t play up his action-star chops to the max. In a mostly inconsequential narrative arc that has something to do with purloined nuclear launch codes, an important metal briefcase, satellite uplinks, and global annihilation that leaps from Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai, Cruise is as dangerously nimble as he has ever been. He dangles one-handed from the tallest building in the world, bounds off ledges, springs out of speeding vehicles, tumbles and careens up and down the levels of an automated parking garage, and generally sprints and jumps his way across the movie with only a scratch or bruise to show for it. Also on the outlandish upside is a happily stereotypical villain straight out of Connery-era Bond and as many bleeding-edge gadgets as the art department techno-geeks could dream up. A running gag is that many of these electronic fantasy tools fail at just the wrong moment, which is part of a larger wink acknowledging how utterly preposterous yet ingeniously conceived this behemoth of a movie really is. The gadgetry is not limited just to the miraculous props. Ghost Protocol employs CGI fakery of the highest order from the sub-industry of effects contractors that ratchet up the standard of computing power and software design, one-upping each successive action-adventure extravaganza. The loving detail that goes into blowing up the Kremlin or rendering a photo-realistic sandstorm erupting across the enhanced skyline of an Oz-like desert city is nothing short of miraculous. What’s more astonishing is that Tom Cruise closes the deal with a selling power that’s as new and improved as the laminates on his multi-million-dollar teeth.

10. Iron Man 2 (Single-Disc Edition)

List Price: $19.99
Price: $9.96
You Save: $10.03 (50%)

After the high-flying adventures of the first Iron Man picture, the billionaire arms manufacturer and irrepressible bon vivant Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds himself nursing a hangover. But not like any hangover he’s had before: this one is toxic, a potentially deadly condition resulting from heavy metals (or something) bleeding out of the hardware he’s installed in the middle of his chest. This is the problem Stark needs to solve in Iron Man 2, not to mention the threat from resentful Russian science whiz Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), whose father helped create the Iron Man technology. There’s an even bigger problem for the film: the need to set up a future Marvel Comics movie universe in which a variety of veteran characters will join forces, a requirement that slows down whatever through-line the movie can generate (although fanboys will have a good time digging the clues laid out here). Actually, the main plot is no great shakes: another Iron Man suit is deployed (Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard from the first film, gets to climb inside), Stark continues to bicker with assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and a weaselly business rival (Sam Rockwell) tries to out-do the Iron Man suit with an army of Vanko-designed drones. Mickey Rourke is a letdown, burdened by a wobbly Russian accent and looking skeptical about the genre foolishness around him, and Scarlett Johansson has to wait until the final couple of reels to unleash some butt-kickin’ skills as the future Black Widow. That climax is sufficiently lively, and the initial half-hour, including Stark’s smirky appearance before a Senate committee and a wacky showdown at the Monaco Grand Prix, provides a strong, swift opening. But the lull between these high points is crying for more action and more Downey improv.

Click Here for More Top Movies

Copyright David Masters 2012

 

Top 10 Getting Better Self Help DVDs May 2012

Top 10 Getting Better Self Help DVDs May 2012

Sometimes all we need is a little help to get us from here to there… Here are the top 10 self help DVDs that are helping us all to get a little better:

1. The Anger Toolbox DVD Blueprint 6. Living Well with Bipolar Disorder
2. It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend 7. Dr. Laura Berman Can Help! DVD
3. How to Thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person 8. I Have Roots & Branches: Adoption
4. Hypnosis – Weight Loss Without Dieting 9. The VIP System Makeover Program
5. Living Through Personal Crisis 10. Lesson Booster: Internet Bullies


1. The Anger Toolbox DVD: A Blueprint for Responsible Anger, Boundaries, and Safety

List Price: $29.98
Price: $21.33
You Save: $8.65 (29%)

The Anger Toolbox , DVD by the Haven Learning Library. A Blueprint for responsible anger, boundaries & safety.

Contents include:
• Understanding anger
• Understanding Violence
• responsible anger framework
• responsible anger tools
• safety

This educational DVD by facilitator Dr. Joann Petersen will provide comprehensive theory, discussions and exercises. Learn about the physiological roots of Anger, how to separate Anger from Violence and build better relationships. You will also learn healthy and responsible ways to express your Anger, from small irritants to intense emotions and prevent conflict from escalating to Violence.

Dr. Joann Peterson spent more than 40 years developing anger and violence interventions for children and adults. This program is based on Dr. Peterson’s three-day workshop at The Haven Institute and stands in sharp contrast to other anger management programs because Dr. Peterson believes anger is a feeling or emotional response to hurt, fear, frustration, helplessness and loss. Since those are natural feelings, she teaches the tools to express them responsibly, separate anger from violence, and build safety in all relationships.

2. It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Learning Disabled Child Find Social Success

List Price: $49.98
Price: $48.58
You Save: $1.40 (3%)

Studio: Pbs Release Date: 05/06/2009 Run time: 90 minutes

Drawing on three decades of experience in residential schools, Rick Lavoie provides powerful strategies for teaching friendship skills in the classroom, the homefront, and the community. First, you’ll explore the causes and consequences of “social incompetence.” Then, you’ll gain field-tested advice on how to help children work through daily social struggles and go from being picked on and isolated to becoming accepted and involved.

3. Elaine Aron: A Seminar on Learning How to Thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person. A Guide to Understanding your Sensitivity and Creating a Fuller, Richer Life

Price: $14.95

Highly sensitive people are creative, conscientious and have a rich inner life. However, in order to fully manifest their positive traits, HSPs need to learn how to cope with physical and emotional overstimulation and how to create a balanced life. Dr. Aron succinctly discusses the trait of high sensitivity while providing new guidance and inspiration for those who are familiar with the subject.

In a lively and practical manner, Dr. Aron answers a variety of questions from some of the five hundred participants who attended her landmark seminar in Copenhagen in Spring 2010. Come and enjoy Elaine Aron’s informative seminar. “This DVD will not only be invaluable to the highly sensitive but extremely beneficial for their partners and parents, as well as professionals working with this population” – Ted Zeff. Ph.D. Author of “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide” and “The Strong, Sensitive Boy”

4. Hypnosis – Weight Loss Without Dieting

List Price: $14.98
Price: $11.97
You Save: $3.01 (20%)

Tried Atkins, Detox, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and the Israeli Army diet…with no results? Ready to try hypnosis?

Let hypnotherapist Susan Hepburn assist you in achieving your goals of weight loss by implanting the subconscious messages you need through the process of hypnosis. Susan Hepburn leads the viewer through a series of exercises designed to teach self-hypnosis skills to the viewer so that he or she can curb food cravings, and more easily shed unwanted pounds. Hepburn is a recognized expert in the field of hypnosis, and explains how she has helped numerous people with her methods.

5. Living Through Personal Crisis With Dr Ann Kaiser

List Price: $14.98
Price: $12.97
You Save: $2.01 (13%)

Best-selling author, Dr. Ann Kaiser Stearns brings a powerful message of hope to those dealing with the pain of a loss in this life-changing special, Living Through Personal Crisis. When a loved one dies, a marriage or important relationship ends, a financial or health crisis occurs, or an experience with crime, betrayal, war, even the shattering of a dream – Dr. Stearns shows how you still have a choice in how to live. With her inspirational insight and helpful healing strategies, discover how we can all move beyond the harsh and painful events that have occurred, grow stronger, and still live fulfilling lives.

6. Living Well with Bipolar Disorder: A New Look

Price: $50.00

In this engaging video, six individuals of different ages and backgrounds candidly describe the impact bipolar disorder has had on their lives and the strategies they have learned for dealing with it. Produced in consultation with mood disorder experts Dr. Philip Mitchell and Dr. Meg Smith, the program provides an informative, optimistic discussion of the elements of effective clinical management. Viewers see how individuals can get and stay well by combining medication, counseling or psychotherapy, attention to early warning signs of relapse, and sensible lifestyle choices. The video’s clear factual presentation, vivid first-hand accounts, and nonstigmatizing tone make it an indispensable resource.

7. Dr. Laura Berman Can Help! – Spicing It Up at Home

List Price: $19.95
Price: $3.49
You Save: $16.46 (83%)

Good is within reach! Every couple needs inspiration to keep it fresh in the bedroom.

Dr. Laura Berman lets you in on the secrets to a satisfying sex life, throughout the years.

You’ll learn new ideas for spicing it up and rediscovering passion between you and your partner. I promise you’ll learn something new!

8. I Have Roots & Branches: Personal Reflections on Adoption

List Price: $24.99
Price: $20.39
You Save: $4.60 (18%)

“WINNER: 2004 Film Advisory Board AWARD OF EXCELLENCE!” While the process of adoption has been receiving increasingly greater attention, the feelings of those touched by adoption are often overlooked. Director and executive producer Flory G. Herman, a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys since 1994, takes an intimate look at adoption in this new must-see 47 minute documentary-style film “I Have Roots and Branches”…Personal Reflections on Adoption, a 2004 winner of a prestigious Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence, recognized world-wide for quality family/children’s entertainment. The film conveys a positive, encouraging and honest message about adoption, and is most appropriate for children viewers. Viewers will find out first hand how it feels to have been adopted and discover that all kids have common experiences growing up in their homes, surrounded by the families they know and love. Families formed through adoption, prospective adoptive and birth parents and professionals in the adoption community should not miss this wonderful film. The video is appropriate for schools and libraries as a resource for adoption education.

9. The VIP System Makeover Program: Fabulous Guide to Beauty & Self Esteem

Price: $34.95

Fabulous instructional beauty program for at home use. Learn the hottest beauty techniques of models & celebrities with this 2 Disc DVD set. Taught by modeling instructor, TV Personality, and former licensed talent agent, Yalanda Jacques. Segments include fun, fabulous & easy step-by-step instructions on: Hair & Skin Care, Makeup Application, Poise & Posture, Personality Development, Personal Hygiene, Table Etiquette, Eating with Chopsticks and more! Great for polishing a dull image, and excellent for aspiring young models, singers, actresses, and anyone who wants to look & feel better about their image. Instruction offered by Yalanda & her team of four beauty professionals including two licensed hair stylists, a licensed skin esthetician, and professional makeup artist. Great way to save money and learn how to look fabulous by doing it yourself! 2 Disc DVD Set; Approx 3.5 hours; Special features included.

10. Lesson Booster: Internet Bullies

List Price: $79.95
Price: $69.40
You Save: $10.55 (13%)

These 3 programs teach students the meaning of cyber harassment, why it spells trouble, and how to protect themselves from being a victim. Grade Level: 4-7

Internet Bullies: What Is It?
For many kids, the Internet is an important part of their daily routine. Unfortunately, with the immediacy of the Internet, its anonymity and its easy accessibility, kids are using Instant Messaging, Blogs, e-mail, chat rooms and social networks to spread gossip and rumors to harass and embarrass their peers. In this program, students will come to understand that using the Internet for those purposes is actually bullying.

Internet Bullies: Emotions + Internet = Trouble
Today it’s easy to hurt someone who’s made you angry. You can do it anonymously on the internet. In this segment, students learn that once you put something out on the internet, there’s no taking it back. The program demonstrates how strong emotions and the internet can spell trouble.

Internet Bullies: Keep Yourself Save
Thousands of kids are targeted by bullies. This program demonstrates practical ways for students to protect themselves and restrict the opportunities others have of harassing them online.

Click Here for More Self-Help DVDs

Copyright 2012 David Masters

 

Top 10 Fitness Workout Programs

Top 10 Fitness Workout Programs

1. INSANITY: 60-Day Total Body Workout 6. TurboFire: 90-Day Intense Cardio
2. P90X: Tony Horton’s 90-Day Extreme 7. HIP HOP ABS DVD Set – 6 Workouts Set
3. Zumba Fitness Exhilarate 8. The Complete Physique 57 Workout Kit
4. 10 Minute Trainer: Busiest People Fitness 9. ChaLEAN EXTREME Workout Program
5. Brazil Butt Lift by Beachbody 10. Georges St-Pierre RUSHFIT Ultimate


1. INSANITY: 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Workout DVD Program

List Price: $169.99
Price: $144.80
You Save: $25.19 (15%)

  • Complete set includes a nutrition guide, calender to track your progress, and 10 intense DVDs for a great workout
  • Your personal trainer Shaun T will push you past your limits with 10 workout DVDs packed with plyometric drills
  • Each workout keeps you constantly challenged as you alternate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals performed at your max
  • Perform long bursts of maximum-intensity exercises with short periods of rest
  • Free online support tools help you stay motivated with round-the-clock access to fitness experts and peer support

Shaun T’s Insanity workout is the best of its kind. No other workout can get you these types of results in just 60 days… Guaranteed!Shaun T’s Max Interval Training techniques are a step ahead of every other fitness program ever designed. You get you a lean, muscular body in a short amount of time. The Insanity Workout is a difficult workout, but the results are phenomenal.Brand New, Factory Sealed Box Set. Complete set includes a nutrition guide, calender to track your progress, and 10 intense DVDs that all contain a GREAT workout. You don`t need exercise equipment. All you need is just a little space and a big heart!You will receive:-Elite Nutrition Manual -Fitness Guide -Fit Test Tracker -Workout Calendar 10 Insanity Workout DVDs1: Dig Deeper & Fit Test:To start, Shaun T will put your body to the test and see what you’re made of.2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit:Burn fat with intervals of intense lower-body plyo and sweat-inducing cardio.3: Cardio Power & Resistance:Build lean muscle and upper-body definition with strength-training and insanity workout power moves.4: Cardio Recovery:Shaun T goes easier on you once a week so you’re ready for the next Insanity Workout round.5: Pure Cardio & Abs:Skip the intervals-this nonstop cardio workout is all extreme.6: Cardio Abs:Do explosive intervals of cardio and core moves for rock-hard abs.7: Core Cardio & Balance:Take a break after month 1 of the Insanity workout and gear up for month 2 with this workout.8: Max Interval Circuit:The interval circuit that’s more intense than anything you’ve ever done before.9: Max Interval Plyo:Push your legs ’til they beg for mercy with power and plyo, all at your MAX.10: Max Cardio Conditioning & Abs:Get pushed to your limit with this extreme cardio workout. Click Here fore More Insanity

2. P90X: Tony Horton’s 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout DVD Program

List Price: $150.00
Price: $139.80
You Save: $10.20 (7%)

  • Get lean, bulk up, or grow stronger, with an endless variety of mix-and-match routines to keep you motivated
  • Muscle Confusion technique accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus
  • Collection of 12 highly diverse and intense DVD workouts
  • Also includes comprehensive three-phase nutrition plan, specially designed supplement options
  • Personal trainer Tony Horton will keep you engaged every step of the way

P90X is a revolutionary system of 12 highly intense workouts, designed to transform your body. * Chest and Back * Plyometrics * Shoulders and Arms * Yoga X * Legs and Back * Kenpo X * X Stretch * Core Synergistics * Chest, Shoulders and Triceps * Back and Biceps * Ab Ripper X * Cardio X Extra DVD for a quick overview of the complete P90X Extreme Home Fitness training system is included. To get you started, you will also receive a comprehensive 3-phase nutrition plan, specially designed to help you lose fat; a detailed fitness guide, packed with valuable fitness information to help you get the most out of your program; and a calendar to set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay motivated. Click Here for More P90X

3. Zumba Fitness Exhilarate: The Ultimate Experience DVD Set

List Price: $129.99
Price: $89.85
You Save: $40.04 (31%)

  • Enjoy this revolutionary and highly popular fitness program from the comfort of your own home.
  • Easy-to-follow steps for more than 30 rhythms, including merengue, salsa, reggaeton, calypso, cumbia, hip-hop, and belly dance.
  • Comes with maraca-like Zumba Toning Sticks to sculpt your body while dancing.Two-in-one DVD feature lets you listen to verbal cueing or music only.
  • Easy-to-follow choreography and muscle engaging routines.Workouts include a breakdown of basic steps, a 20-minute “Rush” workout.

Bigger, bolder, and edgier, the Zumba® Fitness Exhilarate DVD collection is revolutionizing the at-home fitness experience by combining raw energy with cutting-edge design, lights, and sounds to take you on an unforgettable, exhilarating journey to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

As Jam-packed with red-hot dance steps, pulsating Latin and international rhythms, and feel-it-to-the-core routines, this invigorating dance-fitness party will have you movin’, rockin’, and shakin’ the weight off to the exotic rhythms of salsa, cumbia, samba, reggaeton, merengue, and more. With music-video style visuals and live musical accompaniment, these multisensory fitness DVDs put you right in the middle of a Zumba® Fitness-Party. And thanks to its nonstop, easy-to-follow choreography and muscle-engaging routines, you’ll torch hundreds of calories per hour and sculpt your body from head to toe–without feeling like you’re working out.

The seven-disc DVD collection features seven total-body workouts and each routine utilizes varying levels of intensity to deliver a body-energizing workout that you’ll want to move to again and again. The set includes breakdowns of basic steps, a 20-minute “Rush” workout, a 45-minute “Activate” workout, the “Ripped” workout featuring the Zumba® Toning program and breakthrough Zumba Sentao program, a 60-minute “Exhilarate” dance-fitness party, the “Mix” workout featuring rhythms from all over the world, and a massive Zumbathon® Fitness-Concert live class. Click Here for More Zumba Fitness

4. 10 Minute Trainer: Tony Horton’s Workout for the Busiest People Fitness DVD Program

Price: $89.95

  • Series of efficient workouts designed to tone body in 10 minutes per day
  • Stacks your fat-burning cardio, total-body toning, and ab exercises into one routine
  • Includes easy-to-follow eating plan that helps you lose weight and tone body
  • Comes with pro-grade resistance bands with Comfort Flex handles
  • Customized workout calendar, bonus abs routine, and on-the-go workout cards

Having trouble finding the time to work out? Turn to Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Training system, a series of ultra-efficient workouts designed to tone and trim your body in just 10 minutes per day. Hosted by personal trainer Tony Horton, the workouts take a unique approach to your fitness. Instead of starting with your cardio and then working your different body parts one at a time like most long workouts, Horton stacks them, so you get your fat-burning cardio, total-body toning and sculpting, and ab workouts at the same time. The breakthrough Super Stacking Technique–which employs resistance bands for maximum efficiency–is like multitasking for your muscles. To further boost your workouts, Horton added an easy-to-follow eating plan that helps you lose weight and tone your body from head to toe. The 10-Minute Training system is ideal for everyone from busy moms and dads to CEOs to traveling business professionals. Click Here for More 10 Minute Trainer

5. Brazil Butt Lift by Beachbody

Price: $7.80

  • Brazil Butt Lift – Workout DVD (English and Spanish)
  • 3-DVD workout system designed to reduce, shape, and lift your behind
  • Proven TriAngle Training method works all 3 major buttocks muscles
  • Combines Brazilian dance, cardio, and signature lower-body sculpting moves
  • Includes such workouts as Bum Bum, High & Tight, Sculpt, and Cardio Attack

Trainer to world-famous supermodels, Leandro Carvalho combines Brazilian dance, cardio, and his own signature lower-body sculpting moves to lift, firm, and shape your behind for a rear view you’ve only dreamed about. Leandro’s proven TriAngle Training method works all three major muscles of the buttocks from multiple angles to reduce your hips and saddlebag area, slim your thighs, and lift your butt without bulking up your thighs. You can even customize the workout plan to turn your current shape into the one you’ve always wanted. Click Here for More Brazil Butt Lift

6. TurboFire: 90-Day Intense Cardio Conditioning & Interval Training Workout DVD Program

Price: $139.99

  • Chalene Johnson’s TurboFire includes 12 workouts on 11 DVDs

TurboFire is the intense new cardio conditioning program from fitness innovator Chalene Johnson. She’ll help you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat and calories than regular cardio does. And with more than 20 smoking-hot music remixes, TurboFire will pick you up and push you past your limits.

Chalene’s New to Class option also gives you the breakdown on how to do each move with the right form.

So forget the excuses. Forget the gym. Now the hottest classes in Southern California come to you. Click Here for More TurboFire

7. HIP HOP ABS DVD Set – 6 Workouts Set

Price: $71.99

  • Get amazing flat abs with hip hop dance moves and diet secrets from Shaun T
  • Burn calories and shed fat with fun, hip dance moves set to music
  • Easy-to-follow weight loss plan can help you lose up to 3 inches off your waist quickly
  • Also includes measurement card, tape measure and 30-day workout calendar

Dance your way to hot, sexy abs and burn fat off your entire body with Shaun T’s fun, exciting dance program, which includes four DVDs, a step-by-step nutrition guide, 30-day workout calendar, and six-day slimdown plan. Workouts include:

(1)SECRETS TO FLAT ABS: Shaun shares his targeted training technique, TILT, TUCK & TIGHTEN, which activates your upper, middle, and lower abs and obliques at the same tiem so you get beautiful, flat, sexy abs!

(2)FAT BURNING CARDIO: This is not your mama’s aerobics video. A mazimum calorie burn that targets your ABS, so you burn off the fat while revealing a tight, toned, sexy midsection. Shaun’s energy, hot music, and exciting moves like the “throw down” and “up-rock” make the time fly by.

(3)AB SCULPT: Are you ready for your very own six-pack? Shaun teaches you the most innovative standing ab and core moves you’ll ever experience! With Shaun’s TILT, TUCK & TIGHTEN technique you’ll really fire up those ab muscles and melt the flab!

(4)TOTAL BODY BURN: This head-to-toe workout combines cardio with total body sculpting, while you target your midsection – so you burn off the fat and reveal a tight, toned body … Say goodbye to love handles and say hello to a slimmer waist and flat, sexy abs!

(5)HIPS, BUNS, AND THIGHS: Slim your upper and lower abs while you target those stubborn lower-body problem areas. Forget boring lunges and dreaded squats – Shaun’s dynamic Hip Hop moves like “the freak” and “drive the car” not only get results but they make it fun! So now you can slim your hips, trim your thighs, lift your booty, and get back into your skinny jeans FAST!

(6)LAST MINUTE ABS: Ready, Set, GO! Just give Shaun 5 minutes and you’re guaranteed an ab workout that’s fast, fun, and effective. Plus, you’ll be singing out loud to this famous tune and before you know it you’re not only done, you’ve got great abs too! Perfect when you’re short on time but still want to work on that six-pack! *BONUS LEARN TO DANCE Routines.

Other items in this package include:

  • Step-by-Step Nutrition Guide:Shaun T shares his secrets for how you can lose weight faster and still eat the foods you love.
  • 30-day workout calendar:You can freestyle your Hip Hop Abs workouts, or follow Shaun T’s schedule designed to get you jaw-dropping abs and to tone your entire body fast.
  • Measurement card & tape measure:Use these tools to chart your progress as the inches melt away.
  • Results on the Run diet guide:You can still eat at your favorite fast food restaurants–guilt free. Shaun T shows you the best stuff to order when you’re on the go.
  • 6-Day SlimDown plan:Want to start losing in a hurry? Jump-start your weight loss with Shaun T’s easy-to-follow plan and lose up to 3 inches off your waist in your first week.
  • Learn to Dance: Shaun T shows you 2 full Hip Hop dance routines that will rev up your metabolism while you learn the latest moves he’s been teaching the hottest names in music for their videos (Take It to the Dance Floor; Last Minute Dance). Click Here for More Hip Hop Abs

8. The Complete Physique 57 Workout Kit 3 Disc Set With Exercise Ball

Price: $59.95

  • Physique 57 Classic Full Body Workout
  • Physique 57 30 Minute Express Full Body Workout
  • Arm & Ab Booster 30 Minute Workout

“It’s transformed my body in ways I never thought possible,” explains Kelly Ripa to Fitness Magazine.

Vogue writes “my jeans fit better, I look stronger and I’m standing straighter”

Departures dubbed it “a core-centric workout that yields rapid results”

Teen Vogue promises “Physique 57 is the best workout”

The New York Times insists “a reshaped behind or tummy awaits.”

You’ll see visible results in only 8 workouts with the vigorous and dynamic Physique 57 exercise method designed to rapidly transform your body.

For years Physique 57 and it’s New York City and Los Angeles studios has been challenging women and men to work their bodies in new and exciting ways using natural body resistance, unique choreography, and motivating music. The Physique 57philosophy is not about getting thinner; it’s about getting the best body you can have, and being strong healthy and active.

Now you can benefit from this focused and dynamic cardiovascular program of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches in your home.

The Complete Physique 57 Workout Kit includes the Classic 57 Minute Workout lead by Physique 57’s Director of Training, Tanya Becker, Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout lead by Tanya Becker, and the Arm and Ab Booster 30 Minute Workoutlead by Physique 57 Director of Training, West Coast, Shelly Knight. These high energy full body workouts on three DVD’s are efficient, effective and never boring.

Start transforming your body today! Click Here for More Complete Physique

9. ChaLEAN EXTREME Workout DVD Program: Burn Fat, Boost Your Metabolism & Get Lean

Price: $139.80

  • PHASE 1: BURN – Burn Circuit 1, Burn Circuit 2, Burn Circuit 3
  • PHASE 2: PUSH – Push Circuit 1, Push Circuit 2, Push Circuit 3
  • PHASE 3: LEAN – Lean Circuit 1, Lean Circuit 2, Lean Circuit 3
  • EXTREME CARDIO: Burn Intervals, Burn It Off, Recharge
  • CORE POWER: Extreme Abs, Ab Burner

The ChaLean Extreme workout DVD Set is a complete weightless and exercise system that works on the basic biological fact that muscle burns fat. The more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Using the ChaLean workout method you can burn up to 60 percent of your body fat in just three months and see visible results every 30 days–guaranteed.

The ChaLean DVD set comes with 15 workout that teach you the proper form and technique for the resistance moves you’ll be doing in the program, whether you’re using weights or bands. The Muscle Burns Fat Guidebook makes it easy to follow the program–equipped with calendars, the guidebook shows you which workout to do each day and how much weight to lift. The Fat-Burning Food Guide shows you what to eat in each phase of the training to maximize fat burning and get the most out of your workout. The Thigh Toner Band adds oomph to your lower body workout for extra toning and the Body Fat Tester measures your month-to-month fat burning progress.

Get ready to burn fat and get lean with ChaLEAN Extreme, the new extreme workout system that transformed everyone in the test group with 3 simple words: MUSCLE BURNS FATTM. It’s a fact. The more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn. You can burn up to 60% of your body fat in just 3 months and see visible results every 30 days!

• Phases mentioned above, plus:
• MUSCLE BURNS FAT GUIDEBOOK with workout calendars to show you which workout to do each day and how much weight to lift. THIGH TONER BAND adds some extra “oomph” to your lower-body resistance training.
• BODY FAT TESTER to measure your body fat at each stage and help you see how much you’ll lose month to month!
• FAT-BURNING FOOD GUIDE shows you what to eat in each phase to maximize fat burning. Chalene’s personal
• EXTREME MOTIVATION AUDIO CD to pump you up! In the “HEALTHY EATS” and KITCHEN MAKEOVER DVD, Chalene shares her personal recipes and nutrition tips to help keep you and your family eating healthily. Click Here for More ChaLean Extreme

10. Georges St-Pierre RUSHFIT 8 Week Ultimate Home Training Program

List Price: $99.99
Price: $79.99
You Save: $20.00 (20%)

  • 7 Workouts on 6 GSP RUSHFIT DVDs
  • GSP RUSHFIT Nutrition Guide
  • GSP RUSHFIT Workout Guide
  • 3 GSP RUSHFIT 8 Week Training Calendars: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
  • Collectors Edition RUSHFIT DVD Slipcase

Workout with Mixed Martial Arts legend and welter-weight champion Georges St-Pierre! RUSHFIT includes over 550 minutes of intense strength, endurance and core training workouts completed over 8 weeks to get in the best shape of your life.
Includes the 4 Primary GSP RUSHFIT Workouts:
* DVD 1: STRENGTH & ENDURANCE WORKOUT
* DVD 2: ABDOMINAL STRENGTH & CORE TRAINING
* DVD 3: THE FIGHT CONDITIONING WORKOUT
* DVD 4: EXPLOSIVE POWER TRAINING
PLUS: GET the following BONUS workout DVDs and content:
* DVD 5: FULL BODY STRENGTH & CONDITIONING WORKOUT
* DVD 6: (2 workouts) BALANCE & AGILITY and STRETCHING FOR FLEXIBILITY
* 3 TRAINING CALENDARS – BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, AND ADVANCED
* FREE RUSHFIT Nutrition Guide * & FREE RUSHFIT Workout Guide.
RUSHFIT is a fast, efficient, effective workout program designed to give you maximum results in the quickest time possible. Full-body MMA-style conditioning circuits are the new standard in advanced training and sport conditioning. Build endurance, increase core strength, and add muscle while burning up calories. Workout alongside Georges St-Pierre as his trainer Erik Owings pushes you and Georges through a series of intense cross training circuits.
The RUSHFIT DVDs are targeted at all fitness levels for both men and women and allow you to increase the intensity and pace over time. Add muscle, get ripped and lean, and drop the extra pounds during this 8 week program that will help you get results – FAST. The ONLY required equipment is a small assortment of dumbbells or hand-held weights ranging from 5lbs to 30lbs. That’s it!
TRAIN LIKE A CHAMPION.
Over $350 value for only $79.99! Learn more at www.gsprushfit.com and watch video previews of each workout and view amazing success stories from men and women that have transformed their bodies with RUSHFIT. Click Here for More Rushfit

Click Here for More Best Selling Fitness Workout Programs

Copyright 2012 David Masters

 

Top 10 Best Selling TV Shows on DVD March 2012

Top 10 Best Selling TV Shows on DVD March 2012

Forget channel surfing and dealing with commercials. Watch the your favorite shows uninterrupted.

1. Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season 6. The Walking Dead: Season One
2. Downton Abbey Unedited UK Version 7. Justified: The Complete Second Season
3. The Big Bang Theory: The First Season 8. Scarecrow and Mrs. King: Third Season
4. True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season 9. Sherlock: Season One
5. Weeds: Season Seven 10. Mad Men: Season Four

1. Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

List Price: $59.99
Price: $33.99
You Save: $26.00 (43%)

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; and all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords, and honest men, all will play the Game of Thrones.

2. Downton Abbey Unedited UK Version

List Price: $34.99
Price: $16.99
You Save: $18.00 (51%)

Downton Abbey — a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape — needs an heir. Dame Maggy Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham matriarch of Downton. Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflapple Lord Crawley. Elizabeth McGovern is his far-sighted American wife, Cora. From Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes. This is the original un-edited UK version of the program.

3. The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season

List Price: $29.98
Price: $17.09
You Save: $12.89 (43%)

University physicists Leonard and Sheldon know whether to use an integral or a differential to solve the area under a curve. But they don’t have a clue about girls. Or dating. Or clothes. Or parties. Or having fun. Or, basically, life. So when a pretty blonde named Penny moves in the apartment across the hall, the guys decide to get an education outside of the classroom. Boys, you have a lot to learn. With series creators Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (The Gilmore Girls) concocting the right mix of logic and lunacy and stars Johnny Galecki (Roseanne) and Jim Parsons (Judging Amy) turning geekdom into Phi Beta fun, The Big Bang Theory is big on laughs. And life.

4. True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season

List Price: $59.98
Price: $41.99
You Save: $17.99 (30%)

True Blood is the sexy, scary, wildly entertaining drama series from Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning Alan Ball (HBO’s Six Feet Under), and based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, True Blood tells the continuing tale of Sookie (Anna Paquin, Golden Globe-winner for this role), a human waitress with telepathic gifts – and a so-far irresistible attraction to 174-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Surrounded by familiar faces – including her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), shape-shifting boss Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), soul-searching pal Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), Tara’s cousin Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis); police chief Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), vampire suitor Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and teen vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) – Sookie faces some new otherworldly threats in this season – as if vampires, werewolves, werepanthers and shapeshifters weren’t enough!

5. Weeds: Season Seven

List Price: $39.98
Price: $18.50
You Save: $21.48 (54%)

Special Features Include:

  • Cast and Crew Commentaries
  • “Uncle Andy’s Tricks of the Trade” mockumentary with Andy’s wisdom and advice for fans.
  • “Puff Puff Pass” Q&A with Jenji Kohan, Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon
  • “Born Botwin” featurette with Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould discussing how their characters have inherited their dubious nature.
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Multi Screen Comparisons

New York, New High! After serving 3 years in the joint, the onetime suburban soccer mom is making a fresh start in New York City and going back to doing what she does best — selling pot. But when some old friends return, they could send everything up in flames.

6. The Walking Dead: Season One

List Price: $39.98
Price: $24.69
You Save: $15.29 (38%)

After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone – ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as ‘the dead’ stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another? AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, survival adventure series from the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the producer of The Terminator and Aliens.

7. Justified: The Complete Second Season

List Price: $39.95
Price: $21.99
You Save: $17.96 (45%)

In the aftermath of the deadly showdown that freed Harlan County from the Crowder family crime reign, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens must now take on even greater criminal forces looking to seize power – including hellbent nemesis Boyd Crowder and the arrival of brutal, new adversary Mags Bennett (Emmy® Winner Margo Martindale). Filled with treacherous twists at every turn… the second season of “Justified” proves “spectacularly entertaining” (TV Guide) and has established itself as a show for the ages.

8. Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete Third Season

List Price: $39.98
Price: $27.99
You Save: $11.99 (30%)

Goodbye, PTA…hello, foreign intrigue! Single mom Amanda King leads a quiet suburban life in Washington DC until the day a dashing stranger shoves a package in her hands with instructions to give it to the man in the red hat. In no time, Amanda is dodging bullets, foiling assassination plots – and finding herself drawn to the dashing stranger, agent Lee Stetson, aka Scarecrow. Of course, Scarecrow has no interest in a ditsy amateur spy, no matter how pretty. But she certainly is handy in a crisis! Share the Season One fun with stars Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner in this fast-paced 5-Disc, 21-Episode Set of the lighthearted series that proves laughs and romance are powerful weapons in the battle to protect national security.

All 22 episodes from season three–including “A Lovely Little Affair,” “Sour Grapes,” “J. Edgar’s Ghost,” “Wrong Number,” and “All the World’s a Stage”–are featured in a five-disc set. Standard; Soundtrack: English. **22 episodes on 5 discs.**

9. Sherlock: Season One

List Price: $34.98
Price: $19.99
You Save: $14.99 (43%)

A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. Co-created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars BAFTA-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking, Amazing Grace) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Love Actually), as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. The iconic details from Conan Doyle’s original books remain–they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed and highly modern-day adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.

10. Mad Men: Season Four

List Price: $49.98
Price: $17.49
You Save: $32.49 (65%)

Welcome to a Mad New World. Season Four of Mad Men, 3-time Emmy® winner for Outstanding Drama Series and winner of 3 consecutive Golden Globes®, returns for a new year rife with possibilities. Last season stunned fans with its cliffhanger finale, as Don Draper’s professional and personal lives unexpectedly imploded. In Season 4, Jon Hamm and the rest of the breakout ensemble continue to captivate us as they grapple with an uncertain new reality.

Click Here for More Best Selling TV Shows

Copyright David Masters

 

Best Blu Ray Movies 2012

Best Blu Ray Movies 2012

What does the top 10 Blu-ray discs say about us?

1. The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy 6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I
2. Hugo Three-disc Combo 7. The Help Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo
3. Ben-Hur 50th Anniversary 8. Tower Heist 2 Disc Blu-ray Combo
4. Puss in Boots Two-disc Blu-ray 9. Midnight in Paris [Blu-ray]
5. The Godfather Coppola Restoration 10. Star Wars: The Complete Saga


1. The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

List Price: $119.98
Price: $69.99
You Save: $49.99 (42%)

The Quest Is Over: All three extended versions in dazzling 1080p and DTS HD-MA 5.1 Audio. Deluxe set includes over 26 Hours of spellbinding behind-the- moviemaking material, including the Rare Costa Botes documentaries, on 15 discs.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition: With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition: In the middle chapter of this historic movie trilogy, the Fellowship is broken but its quest to destroy the One Ring continues. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Extended Edition: The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Click here for more on this 15-disc Collector’s Edition

2. Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)

List Price: $54.99
Price: $27.99
You Save: $27.00 (49%)

In resourceful orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, an Oliver Twist-like charmer), Martin Scorsese finds the perfect vessel for his silver-screen passion: this is a movie about movies (fittingly, the 3-D effects are spectacular). After his clockmaker father (Jude Law) perishes in a museum fire, Hugo goes to live with his Uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), a drunkard who maintains the clocks at a Paris train station. When Claude disappears, Hugo carries on his work and fends for himself by stealing food from area merchants. In his free time, he attempts to repair an automaton his father rescued from the museum, while trying to evade the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), a World War I veteran with no sympathy for lawbreakers. When Georges (Ben Kingsley), a toymaker, catches Hugo stealing parts for his mechanical man, he recruits him as an assistant to repay his debt. If Georges is guarded, his open-hearted ward, Isabelle (Chloë Moretz), introduces Hugo to a kindly bookseller (Christopher Lee), who directs them to a motion-picture museum, where they meet film scholar René (Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Stuhlbarg). In helping unlock the secret of the automaton, they learn about the roots of cinema, starting with the Lumière brothers, and give a forgotten movie pioneer his due, thus illustrating the importance of film preservation, a cause to which the director has dedicated his life. If Scorsese’s adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret isn’t his most autobiographical work, it just may be his most personal. Click here for more information on this 3-disc Blu-ray set

3. Ben-Hur (50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition) [Blu-ray]

List Price: $64.99
Price: $47.99
You Save: $17.00 (26%)

Ben-Hur scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards® in 1959 and, unlike some later rivals, richly deserved every single one. This is epic filmmaking on a scale that had not been seen before and is unlikely ever to be seen again. But it’s not just running time or a cast of thousands that makes an epic, it’s the subject matter, and here the subject–Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and his estrangement from old Roman pal Messala (Stephen Boyd)–is rich, detailed, and sensitively handled. Director William Wyler, who had been a junior assistant on MGM’s original silent version back in 1925, never sacrifices the human focus of the story in favor of spectacle, and is aided immeasurably by Miklos Rozsa’s majestic musical score, arguably the greatest ever written for a Hollywood picture. At four hours it’s a long haul (especially given some of the portentous dialogue), but all in all, Ben-Hur is a great movie, best seen on the biggest screen possible. Click here for more in this 3-disc Blu-ray edition

4. Puss in Boots (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

List Price: $39.99
Price: $19.99
You Save: $20.00 (50%)

In this fractured fairy tale, Jack and Jill have the magic beans and Humpty Dumpty, with the aid of Kitty Softpaws, convinces his old friend Puss in Boots to help him steal the beans so they can climb the beanstalk to get to the golden eggs. Never mind that Humpty Dumpty and Puss in Boots had a falling out years ago, or that Jack and Jill are completely preoccupied by their squabbling over whether or not to have a child–and regardless that Puss in Boots is a wanted cat who’s sworn off his thieving ways, and Kitty Softpaws is a cat burglar who works alone. Comedy abounds in this film, not only in the twists and turns of some classic fairy tales gone awry, but with scenes that range from a litter-box dance fight between crowds of cats to Jack expressing his paternal instincts by strapping on a baby carrier filled with a piglet in a diaper, and, of course, Puss in Boots’ crafty use of his famous sad eyes to get just what he wants. The animation is top-notch (especially in the mass cat scenes), the music is compelling, and the voice talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zack Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris are solid. While considered by some to be a prequel of sorts to the four Shrek films, Puss in Boots is definitely a stand-alone spinoff. What the films do share is a common comedic interpretation of some well-known fairy-tale characters and knack for spinning a funny story that appeals to both kids and adults. While a heightened sense of peril and some extended fight scenes may prove a bit intense for the youngest and most sensitive audience members, Puss in Boots is generally appropriate for ages 7 and older. Click here for more on this 2-disc Blu-ray set

5. The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray]

List Price: $62.99
Price: $58.99
You Save: $4.00 (6%)

Throughout his long, wandering, often distinguished career Francis Ford Coppola has made many films that are good and fine, many more that are flawed but undeniably interesting, and a handful of duds that are worth viewing if only because his personality is so flagrantly absent. Yet he is and always shall be known as the man who directed the Godfather films, a series that has dominated and defined their creator in a way perhaps no other director can understand. Coppola has never been able to leave them alone, whether returning after 15 years to make a trilogy of the diptych, or re-editing the first two films into chronological order for a separate video release as The Godfather Saga. The films are our very own Shakespearean cycle: they tell a tale of a vicious mobster and his extended personal and professional families (once the stuff of righteous moral comeuppance), and they dared to present themselves with an epic sweep and an unapologetically tragic tone. Murder, it turned out, was a serious business. The first film remains a towering achievement, brilliantly cast and conceived. The entry of Michael Corleone into the family business, the transition of power from his father, the ruthless dispatch of his enemies–all this is told with an assurance that is breathtaking to behold. And it turned out to be merely prologue; two years later The Godfather, Part II balanced Michael’s ever-greater acquisition of power and influence during the fall of Cuba with the story of his father’s own youthful rise from immigrant slums. The stakes were higher, the story’s construction more elaborate, and the isolated despair at the end wholly earned. (Has there ever been a cinematic performance greater than Al Pacino’s Michael, so smart and ambitious, marching through the years into what he knows is his own doom with eyes open and hungry?) The Godfather, Part III was mostly written off as an attempted cash-in, but it is a wholly worthy conclusion, less slow than autumnally patient and almost merciless in the way it brings Michael’s past sins crashing down around him even as he tries to redeem himself. Click here for more on this 4-disk Blu-ray set

6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

List Price: $33.99
Price: $19.99
You Save: $14.00 (41%)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 delivers strongly for the rabid fan base who have catapulted the young adult novel series and subsequent movie adaptations to the worldwide phenomenon that it’s become, but it alienates a broader audience with a lack of any real action. Similar to the tone of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the first film of the two-part Twilight conclusion is heavy on romance, love, and turmoil but light on fight scenes and gruesome battles. The movie doesn’t waste any time getting to the goods and opens with Bella and Edward’s much-hyped wedding scene. It works–the vows are efficient and first-time franchise director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) moves the party along quickly and amusingly with a well-edited toast scene and some surprisingly moving moments between Bella and her father, cast standout Billy Burke. The honeymoon plays as a slightly awkward soft-focus made-for-TV movie, with a lot of long moments spent staring in the mirror and some love scenes that feel at once overly intimate and completely passionless. It’s a relief when Bella retches on a bite of chicken she’s cooked herself and quickly concludes she’s pregnant with a potentially demonic baby. From bliss to horror, the Cullens return to Forks, where Bella spends the second half of the movie wasting away and Edward and Jacob are aligned in their anger and frustration over her decision. Throw in some over-the-top scenes with Jacob and his pack–including a strange showdown where the wolves communicate in their canine form by having a passionate nonverbal fight in their minds (a plot point that works much better in print, it’s portrayed in the film via aggressive voice-over)–and the film overshoots intensity and goes straight to silly. The birth scene is horrific, but not as gruesome as in the book, and by the end, Bella has of course survived, though is much altered. The final scene features a delightfully campy Michael Sheen as Volturi leader Aro and makes it clear that the action and fun in Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is ready to start. Fans will just have to wait until Part 2 to get it. Click here for more on this Blu-ray Special Edition

7. The Help (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

List Price: $39.99
Price: $19.99
You Save: $20.00 (50%)

There are male viewers who will enjoy The Help, but Mississippi native Tate Taylor aims his adaptation squarely at the female readers who made Kathryn Stockett’s novel a bestseller. If the multi-character narrative revolves around race relations in the Kennedy-era South, the perspective belongs to the women. Veteran maid Aibileen (Doubt‘s Viola Davis in an Oscar-worthy performance) provides the heartfelt narration that brackets the story. A widow devastated by the death of her son, she takes pride in the 17 children she has helped to raise, but she’s hardly fulfilled. That changes when Skeeter (Easy A‘s Emma Stone) returns home after college. Unlike her peers, Skeeter wants to work, so she gets a job as a newspaper columnist. But she really longs to write about Jackson’s domestics, so she meets with Aibileen in secret–after much cajoling and the promise of anonymity. When Aibileen’s smart-mouthed friend Minny (breakout star Octavia Spencer) breaches her uptight employer’s protocol, Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) gives her the boot, and she ends up in the employ of local outcast Celia (Jessica Chastain, hilarious and heartbreaking), who can’t catch a break due to her dirt-poor origins. After the murder of Medgar Evers, even more maids, Minny among them, bring their stories to Skeeter, leading to a book that scandalizes the town–in a good way. Not since Steel Magnolias has Hollywood produced a Southern woman’s picture more likely to produce buckets of tears (and almost as many laughs). Click here for more on this 2-disc Blu-ray set

8. Tower Heist (2 Disc Blu-ray Combo + DVD + Digital Copy)

List Price: $34.98
Price: $19.99
You Save: $14.99 (43%)

At the center of Tower Heist is a gleaming Ferrari once owned by Steve McQueen, and that’s what the movie is: a sleek machine, tooled for speed. Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) manages a super-high-tech high-rise in the middle of Manhattan, catering to every need of the tower’s residents, including financier Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda). When Shaw gets arrested by the FBI, Kovacs realizes that his staff’s pensions, which he asked Shaw to invest, are lost, and when it looks like Shaw is going to get away with it, Kovacs pulls together a mismatched team (included Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, and Eddie Murphy) to steal the secret stash of cash that the FBI suspects Shaw must have. Tower Heist successfully tweaks all the character clichés just enough so that they are a smooth blend of the familiar and the unexpected. The plot zips along with purring efficiency, alternating predictable turns with surprising ones just enough to keep the pattern-seeking parts of the viewer’s brain hooked. The cast–which also includes Téa Leoni as the lead FBI agent–charms without overdoing it. In essence, director Brett Ratner (the guy behind X-Men: The Last Stand and the Rush Hour series) has honed all of his sloppier tendencies and crafted a skillful piece of mass entertainment. Afterward, the movie’s plot holes and defiance of the laws of physics may irritate, but while it’s unfolding, Tower Heist is a smooth ride. Click here for more details on this 2-disc Blu-ray set

9. Midnight in Paris [Blu-ray]

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Paris is a city that lends itself to daydreaming, to walking the streets and imagining all sorts of magic, a quality that Woody Allen understands perfectly. Midnight in Paris is Allen’s charming reverie about just that quality, with a screenwriter hero named Gil (Owen Wilson) who strolls the lanes of Paris with his head in the clouds and walks right into his own best fantasy. Gil is there with his materialistic fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her unpleasant parents, taking a break from his financially rewarding but spiritually unfulfilling Hollywood career–and he can’t stop thinking that all he wants to do is quit the movies, move to Paris, and write that novel he’s been meaning to finish. You know, be like his heroes in the bohemian Paris of the 1920s. Sure enough, a midnight encounter draws him into the jazzy world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali, and an intense Ernest Hemingway, who promises to bring Gil’s manuscript to Gertrude Stein for review. Gil wakes up every morning back in the real world, but returning to his enchanted Paris proves fairly easy. In the execution of this marvelous fantasia, Allen pursues the idea that people of every generation have always romanticized a previous age as golden (this is in fact explained to us by Michael Sheen’s pedantic art expert), but he also honors Gil’s need to find out certain truths for himself. The movie’s on the side of gentle fantasy, and it has some literary/cinematic in-jokes that call back to the kind of goofy humor Allen created in Love and Death.The film is guilty of the slackness that Allen’s latter-day directing has sometimes shown, and the underwritten roles for McAdams and Marion Cotillard are better acted than written. But the city glows with Allen’s romantic sense of it, and Owen Wilson has just the right nice-guy melancholy to put the idea over. A worthy entry in the Cinema of the Daydream. Click here for more information on this Blu-ray edition

10. Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

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Star Wars: The Complete Blu-ray Saga will feature all six live-action Star Warsfeature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace(32 Years Before Episode IV) Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker, a young slave unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrilling Podrace and with it his freedom as he leaves his home to be trained as a Jedi. The heroes return to Naboo where Anakin and the Queen face massive invasion forces while the two Jedi contend with a deadly foe named Darth Maul. Only then do they realize the invasion is merely the first step in a sinister scheme by the re-emergent forces of darkness known as the Sith.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones(22 Years Before Episode IV) Ten years after the events of the Battle of Naboo, not only has the galaxy undergone significant change, but so have Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala, and Anakin Skywalker as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padmé whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith(19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When the sinister Sith unveil a thousand-year-old plot to rule the galaxy, the Republic crumbles and from its ashes rises the evil Galactic Empire. Jedi hero Anakin Skywalker is seduced by the dark side of the Force to become the Emperor’s new apprentice–Darth Vader. The Jedi are decimated, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda are forced into hiding. The only hope for the galaxy are Anakin’s own offspring.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New HopeNineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke’s Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackLuke Skywalker and his friends have set up a new base on the ice planet of Hoth, but it is not long before their secret location is discovered by the evil Empire. After narrowly escaping, Luke splits off from his friends to seek out a Jedi Master called Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C-3PO seek sanctuary at a city in the Clouds run by Lando Calrissian, an old friend of Han’s. But little do they realize that Darth Vader already awaits them.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (4 years after Episode IV) In the epic conclusion of the saga, the Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor. Click here for more on this Special Edition Blu-ray set

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Copyright 2012 David Masters