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DVD Releases For April 29, 2008


Excitement and early 20th-century history combine in the action-packed final volume of creator George Lucas' Emmy award-winning THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES, on DVD now.

THE YEARS OF CHANGE provides an engrossing look at history with one of the world's favorite action heroes as a guide -- just in time to prepare fans for the May 22 release of the long-awaited INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

Presented on 10 jam-packed discs, THE YEARS OF CHANGE offers more than 25 hours of entertainment, including seven feature-length episodes and more than 30 entirely new documentaries exploring the people, places and events Indy encounters in his travels -- from the creation of the Middle East to the Broadway boom, the birth of jazz and even the early days of Hollywood.

"This is a different side to Indiana Jones and shows the academic roots behind his affinity for adventure," said Lucas. "The hero we know as 'Indiana' is first and foremost Dr. Jones, a man whose love for history and thirst for knowledge started when he was young, proving that learning about the world can lead to incredible things."

In THE YEARS OF CHANGE, Sean Patrick Flanery (BOONDOCK SAINTS, THE DEAD ZONE) stars as Indy, alongside such acclaimed actors as Anne Heche (MEN IN TREES), Jane Krakowski (30 ROCK) and Jeffrey Wright (CASINO ROYALE).

THE YEARS OF CHANGE is released by Lucasfilm, CBS Home Ent. and Paramount Home Ent. The 10-disc set features a comprehensive assortment of exhaustively researched special features that provide insights into world history.

The acclaimed documentaries were produced over a four-year period by former CBS News producer David Schneider. "It has been an honor to help realize George's vision for the Young Indy DVDs as an in-depth exploration of history with real-life facts that spark viewers' curiosity and inspire them to learn even more," Schneider said. "This set offers more of everything that Indiana Jones fans love: more action, more excitement and more historical information to truly bring the past to life."

THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES DVD collections have received widespread praise from critics. Each of the three volumes features an unprecedented amount of special features that includes interviews with scholars, historians and luminaries from a wide range of disciplines.

A critically acclaimed combination of adventure, romance and history, THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES was shot in 35 countries and utilized the talents of the industry's most distinguished actors, directors and writers, earning 12 Emmy Awards and 27 nominations over the course of its run. In addition, THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES was the first television series to use digital production, pioneering processes that would pave the way for Lucas' own STAR WARS prequels.

The YOUNG INDIANA JONES films also feature the work of some of the industry's biggest names in directing and writing. Series directors include Bille August (LES MISERABLES), Mike Newell (HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE), David Hare (STRAPLESS, screenplays for THE HOURS and DAMAGE), Terry Jones (MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL and THE LIFE OF BRIAN), Deepa Mehta (WATER), Joe Johnston (THE ROCKETEER, JURASSIC PARK III), Nicolas Roeg (THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, DON'T LOOK NOW), and Michael Schultz (CAR WASH, TV's EVERWOOD). Writers include Rosemary Anne Sisson (UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS), Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) and Jonathan Hensleigh (DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE).

THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES complete three-volume collection contains 22 feature-length movies and 94 documentaries, interactive games developed by River Deep, an interactive timeline produced by Terra Incognita Productions and an historical overview by noted author and University of Texas history professor H.W. Brands.

The third of three comprehensive collections, THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES: THE YEARS OF CHANGE is a 10-disc set presented in full screen with Dolby Digital English Stereo and English subtitles. The DVD is Not Rated in the U.S. and rated PG in Canada.

The DVD disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc One: --"Tales of Innocence"In Italy, Indy's espionage work takes him behind enemy lines where he embarks on an important propaganda assignment that he hopes will bring a swift end to the war. Along the way, he engages in a comic rivalry with Ernest Hemingway over the affections of a beautiful Italian girl. After being wounded in action, Indy is transferred to North Africa where he joins the French Foreign Legion. While trying to uncover the identity of a traitor in his own ranks, Indy battles hostile Berber tribesmen and engages in an innocent flirtation with author Edith Wharton.

Companion Historical Documentaries:--Unhealed Wounds: The Life of Ernest Hemingway--The French Foreign Legion: The World's Most Legendary Fighting Force--The Secret Life of Edith Wharton--Lowell Thomas: American Storyteller

Disc Two:--"Masks of Evil"A top secret mission for French Intelligence brings Indy to Istanbul during the First World War. Exploring the city's dark and dangerous streets, he is thrust into a web of betrayal and murder when he discovers a vile plot to assassinate French espionage agents. Evil of a more enduring kind awaits him in Transylvania where he engages in mortal combat with bloodthirsty Vlad the Impaler and his horrific army of the living dead. With his very life at stake, Indy must garner all his strength and wits in order to defeat the fiend and save mankind.

Companion Historical Documentaries:--For the People, Despite the People: The Ataturk Revolution--The Greedy Heart of Halide Edib--The Ottoman Empire: A World of Difference--Dracula: Fact and Fiction

Disc Three:--"Treasure of the Peacock's Eye"The war in Europe ends but a new adventure begins for Indy when a mysterious man's dying words -- "The eye of the peacock!" -- send him on a thrilling treasure hunt for one of Alexander the Great's most treasured possessions. Pursued by a dangerous one-eyed man, Indy follows the trail of the diamond from London to Alexandria to the South Seas where he has a run-in with a murderous band of Chinese pirates. The shipboard battle that ensues is a spectacular display of swords, guns and flying fists. Marooned by the pirates on a remote desert island, Indy is captured by savage headhunters, but before they can turn him into a shrunken head and cannibal stew, he is rescued by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and makes a life-altering decision.

Companion Historical Documentaries:--Bronislaw Malinowski: God Professor--Anthropology: Looking at the Human Condition--New Guinea: Paradise in Peril

Disc Four:--"The Winds of Change"Working as a translator in Paris brings Indy in contact with T.E. Lawrence, Prince Faisal ofArabia and Ho Chi Minh. The brutality of realpolitik devastates the idealistic young Indy, and he returns home only to discover the ugly face of bigotry as encountered by his boyhood friend, Paul Robeson.

Disc Five:Companion Historical Documentaries:--The Best Intentions: The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles--Woodrow Wilson: American Idealist--Gertrude Bell: Iraq's Uncrowned Queen--Ho Chi Minh: The Price of Freedom--Paul Robeson: Scandalize My Name--Robert Goddard: Mr. Rocket Science

Disc Six:--"Mystery of the Blues"Going to college and working in a seedy speakeasy brings Indy into contact with jazz greatSidney Bechet, who teaches him how to play the blues. Unfortunately, he also crosses paths with up-and-coming thug Al Capone and it's only with the assistance of his dorm roommate, future Untouchable Eliot Ness, that Indy is able to solve a vicious murder and prevent himself from ending up in a pair of cement overshoes.

Disc Seven:Companion Historical Documentaries:--Jazz: Rhythms of Freedom--Al "Scarface" Capone: The Original Gangster--Prohibition: America on the Rocks--On the Trail of Eliot Ness--Louis Armstrong: Ambassador of Jazz--Ben Hecht: The Shakespeare of Hollywood--Hellfighters: Harlem's Heroes of World War I

Disc Eight:--"Scandal of 1920"In New York City, Indy covers a lot of ground as he stage-manages a Broadway musical, parties with 5th Avenue high society, reads poetry with Greenwich Village bohemians and trades barbs with the literary wits of the Algonquin Roundtable. Composer George Gershwin accompanies Indy in his adventures as he attempts to ensure that the show goes on despite temperamental stars, malfunctioning props and the fact that he's dating three very different women at the same time. The film includes wonderful production numbers and a marvelous musical score.

Companion Historical Documentaries:--Tin Pan Alley: Soundtrack of America--Wonderful Nonsense: The Algonquin Round Table--Broadway: America Center Stage

Disc Nine:--"Hollywood Follies"While working for a Hollywood movie studio, Indy finds that he is no match for wily, megalomaniacal director Erich von Stroheim when the two lock horns over the ever-increasing budget of Stroheim's film FOOLISH WIVES. Though battered by the film industry, Indy decides to give it one more chance and goes on a location shoot with legendary director John Ford. Ford and his cronies, including aging gunman Wyatt Earp, help him to see the magic of movies and moviemaking, and when an actor is accidentally killed, Indy pitches in to save the film.

Companion Historical Documentaries: --Erich von Stroheim: The Profligate Genius--The Rise of the Moguls: The Men Who Built Hollywood--Irving Thalberg: Hollywood's Boy Wonder--The World of John Ford

Disc Ten (Interactive Disc):Special Features:--Extensive Interactive Timeline that details the history and locations of Indy's adventures and previews footage of the companion documentaries.--Historical Lecture: New Gods for Old--HUNTING FOR TREASURE Interactive Game


The surprise Oscar winner for vfx is out on DVD now. Rhythm & Hues, Cinesite, Framestore CFC, Digital Domain and Rainmaker all contributed vfx to the New Line Home Ent. release on DVD and Blu-ray.

It comes in four versions: Widescreen Single-Disc Edition, New Line Platinum Series Two-Disc Widescreen Edition, Full-Screen Single-Disc Edition and Blu-ray.

Since the publication of the first volume in 1995, Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS has become one of the most beloved and celebrated book series of the past decade. To supervise the all-important visual effects effort, director Chris Weitz enlisted Michael Fink, (BATMAN RETURNS, X-MEN and CONSTANTINE) as senior visual effects supervisor.

For Fink and Visual Effects Producer Susan MacLeod, there were, of course, many technical challenges, most notably figuring out how to manage procedural fur grooming for interaction between animals and humans, and creating a complete 3D-animated sequence (the bear fight) in the middle of a live-action movie. The final cut includes about 1,100-1,200 shots, although total shot count is closer to 1,500 as there were numerous omits and changes.

The story takes place in an alternate world, very similar to ours in many ways, in which humans all have a personal daemon: that is, the physical representation -- in animal form -- of their souls. Featured in more than 500 shots, the daemons were created via 3D animation at Rhythm & Hues (in collaboration with Rhythm & Hues India, which contributed animation lighting and composting on about a third of the shots). The team was led by VFX Supervisor Bill Westenhofer, Co-VFX Supervisor Raymond Chen and VFX Producer Gary Nolin. This represents the studio's most ambitious project in its 20-year history.

There were a lot of similarities in the nature of the work they did between NARNIA and GOLDEN COMPASS, including the creation of a large number of highly detailed character models, a tremendous amount of keyframe animation and large battle scenes requiring the use of Massive for crowd simulation. "The biggest difference was the amount of interaction between the animated characters and the actors. Daemons are often climbing on the person they belong to, and that turned out to be one of our toughest challenges." Westenhofer said.

Read more on VFXWorld's two part GOLDEN COMPASS feature here and here.

Special features on the various DVD and Blu-ray releases include:

--Feature-length audio commentary from writer/director Chris Weitz--Eleven "Making-of" featurettes including "The Armoured Bears" featurette, "The Adaptation" featurette and the "Production Design" featurette--Theatrical and teaser trailers--16x9 widescreen (2.35:1) version of the film--Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete Audio and English 2.0 Stereo Surround--English & Spanish subtitles--Closed captions (Standard Definition only)--Galleries--7.1 DTS-HD Master AudioT (Blu-ray only)--English SDH subtitles (Blu-ray only)--Enhanced visual commentary (Blu-ray only)--Interactive menus (Blu-ray only)--Animated menus (DVD only)


For the first time, the two Academy Award nominated south of the border animated adventures are available together when Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment presents THE CLASSIC CABALLEROS COLLECTION: SALUDOS AMIGOS/THREE CABALLEROS on a two-disc DVD, out now. Celebrate a cinematic Cinco de Mayo with Donald, Goofy and Walt Disney himself in this animated and live action addition to the classic Disney collection.

Embark on thrilling adventures to South America and Mexico with Goofy, Donald Duck and Walt Disney himself as they experience all the music, beauty and excitement Latin America has to offer. In SALUDOS AMIGOS, Walt and his team of artists, musicians, writers and animators say "Adios!" to the U.S. to explore the heart and soul of Latin America. From the Bolivian Andes to the Argentine pampas, watch these four whimsical animated escapades while they travel to fun and exciting places. This delightful international adventure earned three Academy Award nominations in 1943 including Best Musical Score, Best Sound and Best Original Song.

Next, it's Donald's turn to take a fantastic journey through these colorful lands with his friends Joe Carioca and Panchito in THE THREE CABALLEROS. With lighthearted dance and lively music, this dazzling blend of live action and classic Disney animation is a celebration the whole family will enjoy. The film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Musical Score and Best Sound Recording in 1945.

The collection also includes two Donald shorts: CONTRARY CONDOR, 1944 and DON DONALD, 1937. DON DONALD was the first full solo short for Donald Duck and the first appearance of his girlfriend, Donna Duck, who would later become Daisy. In the short, a guitar playing Donald rides his tired burro into a Mexican town where he attempts to woo Donna.

CONTRARY CONDOR features Donald as an egg collector who is mistaken by a mother condor as her baby.

Bonus features also include a Walt Disney interview and "South of the Border With Disney" featurette -- tag along with Disney and friends on a tour of South America. SRP $19.99 U.S.; $24.99 Canada. Rated G for THE THREE CABALLEROS, Not Rated for SALUDOS AMIGOS. Feature run time is 113 minutes.


A new animated fantasy action series -- BUSO RENKIN -- is now out in a DVD box set. The 3-disc set is rated "T+" for Older Teen and features the first 13 episodes (of 26 total) with an estimated retail price of $49.98. The second half of the series is slated for release later this year.

The DVD box set comes in a collector's box with a foil slipcase and features exclusive art prints and features special bonus interviews with the English voice cast and series director.

BUSO RENKIN introduces audiences to Kazuki Muto, a high school student who thinks he's saving a girl from a monster, but it turns out that he's the one who needs saving. Kazuki is stabbed and killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. A girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device, Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, a powerful alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the evil homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator.

BUSO RENKIN is based on a popular 10-volume manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Watsuki also created the notable wandering swordsman drama RUROUNI KENSHIN and the western action series GUN BLAZE WEST. All three series are published domestically by VIZ Media. BUSO RENKIN manga volumes 1-3 were all featured in Bookscan's Top 50 Graphic Novel list in 2007, and in Japan the manga series has sold more than 3.3 million copies.