Elvis on Tour
Manufacturer: WarnerBrothers Brand: Warner Manufacturing Model: 7527487
15 cities. 15 nights. Catch him if you can! The show is over but the fans cry out for what every Elvis Presley fan wants. More! Then, an announcer speaks the words the packed house doesnâ€™t want to hear: "Elvis has left the building." But what an incredible show lingers in minds and hearts. Elvis on Tour is the Golden Globe-winning Best Documentary chronicle of Presley's whirlwind 15-cities/15-nights 1972 tour. They are nights to remember, paced here with more than 25 numbers that embrace the rocker Elvis, the gospel Elvis, the ballad Elvis, even the kung-fu Elvis. In between tour stops come more moments to treasure--montage sequences (supervised by Martin Scorsese) showcasing Presley's early career and movies. More! After the solid success of Elvis: That's the Way It Is, and with his career as a movie actor having reached a standstill, Elvis Presley undertook a second concert documentary. Elvis on Tour trails after the King on a few concert dates in 1972, as he powers through a curious set list that downplays the classic hits in favor of the likes of "Polk Salad Annie" and "Proud Mary." Rehearsal footage, preshow jitters, and after-hours sessions singing gospel with the gang are included; most revealing is a sequence that follows Elvis off stage and into his waiting limo, where he towels off in exhaustion, cracks a few jokes, and listens to the praise of the entourage. These glimpses are a logical counterpoint to the concert material; less explicable is the rundown of Elvis's early years, which hardly fits the subject at hand--and frankly reminds us that Elvis looks pale and just a bit puffy at this moment in his life. The fun stuff includes a workout on the still-new "Burning Love" (Elvis has to read from a lyric sheet), committed takes on "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "I Got a Woman," and a spirited "Never Been to Spain," a song that fits Elvis's taste for simple, dramatic builds. That, and Elvis giving a stage introduction to "the guy that gives me my water and my scarves and so forth." The movie's structure feels a little random, not that that will matter to fans. At times it catches the King looking undeniably weary of it all, except in those moments when a song really catches him (certainly during the gospel moments) and you see just how utterly "in the music" he was. The split-screen approach is intact, and the film's "montage supervisor" was a young fellow named Martin Scorsese. Note about this 2010 edition: The original song that played under the opening credits, a cover of "Johnny B. Goode," has been replaced (apparently due to rights issues) with a live "Don't Be Cruel." --Robert Horton
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family (Play) [DVD]
Manufacturer: Lions Gate Brand: Lionsgate Model: 15173274
Shirley has important news for her family, but she has five grown children with different lifestyles and finds it difficult to get them and the kids all together. So in steps Madea, the Matriarch General, to put the family's life in perspective with a hilarious twist on financial difficulties, drugs and, most important, family secrets. The next generation has a lot to learn. In her own way, Madea expresses how deliverance wonâ€™t change you to be someone else, but will allow you to be who you really are. Ainâ€™t nothing like family! Tyler Perry, juggling top-rated sitcoms and films that bear his name above the title (not to mention projects such as Precious to which he lends his considerable clout to get made), is the newest hardest-working man in show business. Somehow in 2010 he found time to write, direct, and star in this heartfelt theatrical project--his first in five years--inspired by his late mother and featuring his signature character Madea. He did 125 shows in 126 days. Exhaustion forced him to cancel the remainder of the tour, but the cameras were rolling for this enthusiastically received rafter-rattling performance. Big Happy Family delivers everything to be expected from a Perry play: bruising family dysfunction, physical comedy, soul-stirring gospel uplift, and Oprah-style empowerment. Chandra Currelley-Young stars as Shirley, who learns she is dying of cancer. She tries to tell her family, but they are too wrapped up in their own melodramas to pay her any mind. There's the son who turns to selling drugs to keep his gold-digging girlfriend, the daughter who is unlucky in love, and another daughter too involved in her career. Weighing in on the sidelines is Madea, who, about 90 minutes in, stops the show to go "off-script" to weigh in on marriage, manhood, and even the housing crisis. Big Happy Family is broadly written and acted, the character types way beyond stereo. But Perry's positive populist messages about family, self-respect, and keeping the faith hit home with his appreciative audience. Perry has joked in interviews about wanting to kill off Madea, but like Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner before him, he seems to have made peace with the character that put him on the map. During the emotional curtain call, he tells the crowd that his mother told him, "Don't stop doing Madeaâ€¦ I'll keep doing it as long as you want to keep seeing it." That could be awhile. --Donald Liebenson
Black Swan [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Fox Searchlight Brand: 20TH Century Fox Color: color
â€œYou canâ€™t tear your eyes awayâ€ (Entertainment Weekly) from this â€œwicked, psychosexual thrillerâ€ (Daily Variety) starring Academy AwardÂ® Winner Natalie Portman and directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler). Portman delivers â€œthe performance of her careerâ€ (Vanity Fair ) as Nina, a stunningly talented but dangerously unstable ballerina on the verge of stardom. Pushed to the breaking point by her driven artistic director (Vincent Cassel) and the threat posed by a seductive rival dancer (Mila Kunis), Ninaâ€™s tenuous grip on reality starts to slip away â€“ plunging her into a waking nightmare.
Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 (Two-Disc Super Jewel Case)
Manufacturer: Rhino Records Brand: WEA
Often credited as being one of the all-time greatest guitarists, and known amongst his peers as one of the all-time greatest collaborators. The ultimate Clapton collaboration took place on June 26, 2010 at Chicago's Toyota Park. For one day only, Clapton gathered the past, present, and future of guitar music onto one stage for an incredible all-day musical event in front of a crowd of over 27,000. The third Crossroads Guitar Festival was a sold out, 11-hour tour de force with all profits benefiting The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by Clapton for chemically dependent persons.Rhino Entertainment captured every epic note from that blistering summer day in Chicago, and will release over 4 hours of footage in High Definition on 'CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2010.' Fans around the world will have a chance to experience many of the festival's greatest moments, including performances by Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Steve Winwood, BB King, Jeff Beck, Sheryl Crow, Buddy Guy and many others, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and candid interviews with the performers. -Housed in a Super-Jewel Case (an upgraded design of the standard CD jewel case packaging, with rounded corners and a unique locking clasp).DVD track-listing:Disc 1-Bill Murray Introduction with Eric Clapton1. Sonny Landreth with Eric Clapton-Promise Land2. Sonny Landreth-Z Rider-SLIDE GUITAR3. Robert Randolph and the Family Band-Traveling Shoes4. Joe Bonamassa & Pino Daniele with Robert Randolph-Going Down-Bill Murray Introduces Robert Cray5. Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughn & Hubert Sumlin-Killing Floor6. Jimmie Vaughn, Robert Cray & Hubert Sumlin-Six Stings Down-TEXAS BLUES-Bill Murray Introduces ZZ Top7. ZZ Top-Waiting For the Bus8. ZZ Top-Jesus Just Left Chicago9. Doyle Bramhall II-Gypsy Blood10. Doyle Bramhall II-In My Time Of Dying11. Gary Clark Jr-Bright Lights12. Sheryl Crow with Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Doyle Bramhall II & Gary Clark Jr-Long Road Home13. Sheryl Crow with Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II & Gary Clark Jr-Our Love Is Fading14. Bert Jansch-Blackwaterside15. Stefan Grossman with Keb Mo-Mississippi Blues16. Stefan Grossman with Keb Mo-Roll 'N' Tumble-COUNTRY MUSIC-Bill Murray Introduces Vince Gill17. Vince Gill, Keb Mo, James Burton, Earl Klugh, Albert Lee-One More Last Chance18. Vince Gill, James Burton, Albert Lee, Keb Mo, Earl Klugh-Mystery Train19. Vince Gill, Keb Mo, Albert Lee, James Burton, Earl Klugh & Sheryl Crow-Lay Down Sally20. Earl Klugh-Angelina21. Earl Klugh-Vonetta-Bill Murray Introduces John Mayer22. John Mayer Trio-Who Did You Think I Was23. John Mayer Trio-Ain't No SunshineDisc 2-Bill Murray Introduces Derek Trucks1. Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band-Midnight In Harlem2. Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band featuring Warren Haynes-Comin' Home3. Warren Haynes-Soulshine4. David Hidalgo and Cesar Rojas featuring Derek Trucks-Don't Keep Me Wondering5. Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band featuring Warren Haynes, David Hidalgo,...
Great Performances: Macbeth
Manufacturer: PBS Home Video
Director Rupert Goold adapts his gripping stage production of Macbeth - with Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood reprising their Tony-nominated performances - into this edgy film adaptation, which relocates the bloody action to a nameless 20th-century netherworld.
Les Miserables in Concert
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA) Model: 16478315
Experience the event of a lifetime with this spectacular 25th anniversary celebration of one of the most popular musicals ever written, Les MisÃ©rables. Honoring 25 years of this incredible show, this momentous film captures the excitement of two magnificent sold-out performances that were watched live around the world. With a phenomenal all-star cast, including pop star Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers), TonyÂ® Award winner Lea Salonga (the voice of Disneyâ€™s Mulan and Princess Jasmine), and over 500 additional artists and musicians, revel in the songs of the unforgettable characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. Fifteen years after the historic 10th anniversary concert, the international musical sensation Les MisÃ©rables returned for a 25th anniversary concert at London's O2 Arena in October 2010. Like the previous concert, it presents an all-star cast, this time taken from two different 2010 London productions as well as the original 1985 cast. The singers stand at microphones wearing costumes, backed by a huge chorus and three video screens showing some action that can't be represented on stage, though the stage is transformed into a set for some key scenes, such as in the ThÃ©nardiers' bar and at the barricade. And as it has for 25 years, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel SchÃ¶nberg's score vividly captures the passion of Victor Hugo's epic tale of post-Revolutionary France, combining tear-jerking ballads ("I Dreamed a Dream," "Bring Him Home") and rousing anthems ("Do You Hear the People Sing"). The cast is nearly all excellent, including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Norm Lewis as Javert, Matt Lucas as ThÃ©nardier, Jenny Galloway as Madame ThÃ©nardier (reprising her role from 1995), and Katie Hall as Cosette. Teen pop star Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) seems to have been cast as Marius for box-office appeal, however. Though he has the right look and hits the right notes, his voice is weak compared to the rest of the cast and throughout the show he seems to wear the same look of earnest worry, eyes fixed on the horizon as if reading a teleprompter. After playing Eponine in the 1995 concert, Lea Salonga is now Fantine, and while she sings well, the part really calls for more vocal power. Comparing the 1995 concert and 2010, the newer one has superior audio and video, but the earlier one has the stronger cast top to bottom, anchored by many of the legendary performers who helped make Les Mis the sensation it still is today. In acknowledgment of that, after the final scene of the 2010 concert ends, many of the original cast members enter the stage for a thrilling encore. "Bring Him Home" unites original Valjean Colm Wilkinson with John Owen-Jones, Simon Bowman, and Alfi Boe, then Michael Ball, Frances Ruffelle, Alun Armstrong, and others join the cast for "One Day More." (It's hard not to be moved when Ball looks around the stage and sings his line, "My place is here, I fight with you.") Producer Cameron Macki...
Les Miserables: The 25th Anniversary Concert [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment Brand: Unknown Model: MHV61118326BR Color: color
Experience the event of a lifetime with this spectacular 25th anniversary celebration of one of the most popular musicals ever written, Les MisÃ©rables. Honoring 25 years of this incredible show, this momentous film captures the excitement of two magnificent sold-out performances that were watched live around the world. With a phenomenal all-star cast, including pop star Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers), TonyÂ® Award winner Lea Salonga (the voice of Disneyâ€™s Mulan and Princess Jasmine), and over 500 additional artists and musicians, revel in the songs of the unforgettable characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution.
The Big Bang Theory: Season 5
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video Brand: Warner Manufacturing Model: 883929221943
In the television series, The Big Bang Theory, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) are both brilliant physicists working at CalTech in Pasadena, California. They are colleagues, best friends, and roommates, although in all capacities their relationship is always tested primarily by Sheldon's regimented, deeply eccentric, and non-conventional ways. They are also friends with their CalTech colleagues mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). The foursome spend their time working on their individual work projects, playing video games, watching science-fiction movies, or reading comic books. As they are self-professed nerds, all have little or no luck with popular women. When Penny, a pretty woman and an aspiring actress originally from Omaha, moves into the apartment across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon's, Leonard has another aspiration in life, namely to get Penny (Kaley Cuoco) to be his girlfriend. The Big Bang Theory: Season 5 is available on DVD in a 3 disc box set. The fifth season of The Big Bang Theory settles into a solid, enjoyable groove. The original quintet of four nerds and a pretty girl has been complemented by two nerd girls, creating a dynamic social world that retains all the social awkwardness needed for comic effect. Much of the season revolves around relationships: Howard (Simon Helberg) is engaged to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), though that bond is tested by everything from Howard getting commissioned to be an astronaut to online revelations of Howard's former sleaziness; Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) start dating again, this time as "Leonard & Penny 2.0," promising to treat problems as bugs that can be reported and fixed; and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) formalize their relationship with--what else?--a contract, though a dissatisfied Amy later decides to make Sheldon a better boyfriend through sneaky behavior modification. But some of the most delightful bits come from Raj (Kunal Nayyar), the show's remaining singleton, whose ambiguous sexuality flavors everything he says. Nayyar's performance grows increasingly charming, as does Bialik's; in addition to her grappling with Sheldon's impermeable narcissism, the strange undercurrent of lust in Amy's friendship with Penny stirs up comic anxiety. And of course Sheldon never fails to delight as, among other things, he lets all his decisions be determined by a roll of the dice; treats Leonard as "SchrÃ¶dinger's Friend"; and embraces chaos in his life by playing bongos in the middle of the night and wearing Tuesday pajamas on Thursday night. All in all, though season five feels less surprising than previous seasons, the quality of the writing and performances remains high. The extras on The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season are unremarkable, except for a featurette about the series' director and designers, which shows a different side of n...
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