DVD of the Week: 'Up'! Plus: Gift Sets of 'Mamma Mia' & 'Cars'

Yet another masterwork from the Pixar folks, Up dominated the summer box office and will no doubt come through at Oscar time, and for good reason, thanks to gorgeous animation and pitch-perfect writing and dialogue that will bring tears and laughter--sometimes both at the same time.

The story begins when an annoying 8-year-old stows away on an old widower's floating house, which he's rigged with thousands of balloons to be able to drift to South America, the land his wife always wanted to see. The more adult message of life, death and hope might escape the young ones, but they'll be plenty amused by the antics of all involved once they touch ground.  Quite possibly nothing tops Up's first four minutes, though: a beautifully animated montage set to music with no words that tells the story of Carl and Ellie's lifelong romance, dreams, joys, and tragedy. If you don't get teary, something's missing--and it might just be your heart. Extras include: featurettes on the filmmakers' trek to the fantastic South American range after which the cartoon's was modeled, and "Partly Cloudy," the short shown before the movie in theaters.

Other new releases:

The Ugly Truth Katherine Heigl stars as a romantically challenged TV producer who meets her match in the arrogant TV personality played by Gerard Butler. You might think this harks back to old-school battle of the sexes movies, until the vibrating panties fall on the floor.

Spread Ashton Kutcher is a freeloading grifter who charms his way into the city's richest cougars' hearts, until he finds himself forced to choose between love or money.

The Accidental Husband Comedy of errors involving Uma Thurman as a radio DJ whose bad advice to an engaged couple leads to disaster with her own impending nuptials.

New on Blu-ray/Special Collections:

Mamma Mia! The Movie Gift Set "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" shouts this box set's cover, and fans of the movie will no doubt raise the cry for this 2-disc DVD/Blu-ray special edition that includes the complete soundtrack, collectible book and extras like deleted numbers, sing-alongs and commentary.

Cars Ultimate Gift Pack Perfect for the little ones in your life come Christmastime, this gift pack includes both Blu-ray and DVD editions of the Pixar favorite, plus two miniature die-cast cars from the movie: the racecar Lightning McQueen and Mater the tow truck. The BD version includes a fun, interactive "Carfinder Game" that allows you to find hundreds more car characters.

Godzilla You might not remember what this 1998 release starring Matthew Broderick and directed by 2012's Roland Emmerich looked like, it was so dark and muddy--most of it took place in the rain at night. The Blu-ray release improves this somewhat. But what you'll be blown away by is the amazing job Sony did with the sound.

The General When you think of silent film stars, Charlie Chaplin comes to mind, but this release will remind you of the legendary Buster Keaton, whose stunt-laden Civil War movie The General is consistently ranked among the most groundbreaking films ever made. Features: Filmed intros from Gloria Swanson and Orson Welles and a montage of Keaton's many train sequences. The transfer, mastered in HD from the original negatives, looks Amazing.

Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut Will you watch the Watchmen, again? Hey, why not? This new release weaves the animated story-within-a-story "Tales from the Black Freighter" within the actual movie, creating a true version of Zack Snyder's vision. Check out an exclusive clip here. Features: New commentary and almost 3 hours of extras, plus the Complete Motion Comic--a visual presentation of all 12 chapters of the graphic novel.

Monsters, Inc. Debuting on Blu-ray, another Pixar classic comes to vivid life. All-new features include an interactive game in which you find out what's hidden behind the door...trivia questions? Mini-games? Puzzles? Do your best and you might become the next Monsters, Inc. employee!

 

 

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