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Entertainment Headline News

The Smurfs Makes its Blu-ray/DVD Debut

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will have families everywhere singing a happy song on Friday, Dec. 2 when Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action animated worldwide hit feature film, The Smurfs, becomes available on Blu-ray 3D, DVD, digital, and a limited edition 3-Disc Holiday Gift Set.

Prime Headline News

Transformers Prime – Darkness Rising Comes to DVD

On December 6, 2011, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro, will release TRANSFORMERS PRIME – DARKNESS RISING DVD, featuring the entire five action-packed episodes edited together in a seamless, riveting movie and special bonus content that includes animatics and a special look at concept designs for characters and backgrounds.

Headline News

Nozomi Releases Revolutionary Girl Utena on DVD

Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and its Nozomi Entertainment division are pleased to announce REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA: The Apocalypse Saga DVD Set L.E. (Remastered Box Set 3) will be available on December 6, 2011.

Media Headline News

DHX Media Goes On Asian Selling Spree

DHX Media, a leading international producer and distributor of television programming and interactive content, has signed a raft of deals from its catalogue of kids entertainment with broadcasters in Asia as it prepares to attend this year’s Asia Television Forum.

Animation Headline News

39th Annie Award Nominations Announced

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced nominations today for its 39th Annual Annie Awards recognizing the year’s best in the field of animation.

Headline News

Robot Chicken Duo Form Animation Company

Seth Green and Matthew Senreich of Stoopid Monkey Prods., who created ROBOT CHICKEN, and Buddy Systems’ John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner have teamed up to form a joint stop-motion animation studio called Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, reports


LIFE, ABOVE ALL (2011) (***1/2)

This is not the first AIDS message film to come out of Africa and it probably won't be that last. It touches on many of the issues that the Oscar nominated African film YESTERDAY tackled. But what makes this film different is its perspective. The innocent children of the pandemic are at the center. It's tale of struggle and sacrifice works on the audience slowly reaching a power crescendo.

In the first scene, tweenaged Chanda (Khomotso Manyaka) is buying a coffin for her dead infant sister. Her mother Lillian (Lerato Mvelase) is too grief stricken to leave the house. Her stepfather Jonah (Aubrey Poolo) is passed out drunk at a bar with another woman. He has taken all the family's money so Chandra has to go recover it in order to pay for the funeral. Lillian's friend Mrs. Tafa (Harriet Lenabe, HOTEL RWANDA) reminds Chanda that the baby died of influenza so no one will talk. No one shall dare say what they think it really was.


Blu-ray: LIFE, ABOVE ALL (2011)

Read my review of LIFE, ABOVE ALL

This 1080p MPEG-4 AVC transfer of Oliver Schmitz's South African film is rich with detail. The color palette glows with earthly tones from the golden brown dirt streets to clay buildings of the towns. Black levels are solid. African skin tones are so often either too shadowed or blown out, but here they come through beautifully natural. The clarity of the image allows for details to pop whether it be the contours of the actors' faces or the fabrics of the clothing. The picture is so clear that one gets the sense of added depth in the frame. As for digital anomalies, they are nonexistent.


HESHER (2011) (**1/2)

In so many ways this film reminded me of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE – it has a fascinating, unique central character that needs a better movie around him. Hesher and Napoleon are both slightly unlikable, but compelling misfits, but in completely opposite ways. Napoleon is the quintessential nerd, while Hesher is the quintessential anarchist. He really doesn't give a…

Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50) meets the film's young protagonist T.J. (Devin Brochu, IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH) when the boy inadvertently alerts the cops to the long-haired metal head crashing at a house under construction. As a result, this 20-something loner decides to haunt this young boy day and night. He comes to his house and moves right in. He follows him to school. If T.J. tries to tell him to go away, Hesher threatens very seriously all sorts of violence on him. Covered in tattoos including a giant middle finger on his back and a stick figure blowing out his brains on his chest, Hesher is a force of nature.

Entertainment Headline News

Rainmaker Ent. Announces Hollywood Representation With Circle Of Confusion

Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer of Rainmaker Entertainment (TSX:RNK), the Vancouver based multifaceted animation studio, has hired formidable New York and LA-based management and production firm Circle of Confusion to support the company’s expansion of its current slate of animated feature films.

Headline News

FOX Announces Napoleon Dynamite Debut, Bob's Burgers Return

FOX is announcing 2011-2012 midseason premiere dates for new and returning series, including the return of AMERICAN IDOL; the debuts of new dramas TOUCH, ALCATRAZ and THE FINDER; and the launch of new animated series NAPOLEON DYNAMITE.