Deleted Scene: Thor Fights While Loki Sneers

Here is a brief fight sequence that was deleted from the theatrical version of Thor: The Dark World. In it, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battles some Asgardian guards to escape the palace with a captive Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Clearly, the scene was left unfinished, as the “heroic” sound effects have not been added.

Thor: The Dark World is out on DVD/Blu-ray and whatever other technology is out there…

UPDATED! Before ‘The Day of the Doctor’ Comes the Night…

dayofthedoctorHQWhen the DOCTOR WHO anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor” is released on DVD, there will be even more Matt Smith and David Tennant material to love: a mini episode called “The Night of the Doctor,” with a running time of 6:54 has been approved for inclusion on the home release.

The question now is, will we see this material before the home release, which is slated for Dec. 2? And if we do get to see it, then when? I’m thinking that a very good place for that mini episode to air would be the annual Children in Need special. It airs on Nov. 15, just a week before the actual Nov. 23 anniversary itself, so the timing would be perfect.

ETA: Hang on! This just in! Another mini episode, this one titled “The Last Day” and clocking in at 3:57 has ben announced! So that’s two mini eps related to “The Day of the Doctor”! No official word on when either one will air.

DOCTOR WHO, River and the Planet of the Rain Gods

Just as you probably are, I’m sitting by my mailbox awaiting my copy of the DOCTOR WHO series seven box set, and while waiting we could use some entertainment. Enter: YouTube, which features one of the minisodes included in the box set to bridge the gap between episodes or, as in this case, merely to entertain.

Enjoy “Rain Gods,” featuring River Song (Alex Kingston) and in which Matt Smith reminds us why his departure from the title role is such a tragedy…

On the plus side, the complete seventh series will help pass the time until the 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor,” on Nov. 23.

Teaser for Missing Episode Set for ‘Zygons’ DVD?

"Terror of the Zygons"

“Terror of the Zygons”

This week kicks off with a colorful new rumor about the reputedly recovered missing DOCTOR WHO stories: Footage from “The Enemy of the World,” a lost Patrick Troughton Second Doctor episode, will be included on the September DVD release of “The Terror of the Zygons” as a way to announce/ promote the return of the 90 presumed-destroyed episodes.

If true — and we know how big an if that is — this would be very exciting and sure to boost sales of the Zygons disc far beyond what is already expected to be a popular release. But how credible is this particular rumor? Of all the rumors swirling around this issue (and they are all unsubstantiated), this is not very believable to me. The DOCTOR WHO DVD packages are very impressive, packed with content that clearly takes months to put together, so I have a problem believing that something so significant as a teaser for a returned story could be kept a complete secret during that process. I would like it to be true, but it seems like a reach.

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Ice Warriors To Be Reanimated — via Animation!

When the classic DOCTOR WHO story “The Ice Warriors” is released on DVD this Aug. 26, fans will see the whole story — including the missing episodes two and three! How? Via the magic of animation, of course.

Several classic stories with missing chapters have been reconstructed using new animation drawn to match existing sound recordings (the recent “The Reign of Terror” being the latest). And now Patrick Troughton and the Martian lizards are getting the animated treatment.

Here is a work-in-progress clip:

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“Honest Trailer” Parodies Prometheus

Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated, somewhat underwhelming Prometheus is available on Blu-ray/DVD today, packing a bunch of alternate and deleted scenes, commentaries and all the usual good stuff to this kinda/sorta/more or less prequel to the Alien franchise.

I enjoyed Prometheus for what it was — probably because I was the only person in the world who didn’t expect Scott to answer all the questions in the Alien universe — and I posted a review to that effect after I saw it in the theater. I am looking forward to watching the Blu-ray because I want to see what was left out. Interestingly, Scott refused to cut together an extended version of the movie for this release, because he says the version seen in theaters is his “director’s cut.” So the extra  footage is on the disc, just not edited into the movie.

To have a little fun with the movie, here is a so-called “Honest Trailer” that pokes holes in the regular trailer with a cynical voice-over telling us what we’re not really going to see…

My favorite line is the bit about the woman “who can only run in straight lines” — I was practically shouting in the theater for her to “take a hard right! Or a left, even!”

Inconceivable! The Princess Bride Turns 25!

Difficult as it may be to believe, it’s true: Just as surely as the R.O.U.S. do exist, The Princess Bride was released in 1987, and that remarkable event is marked with today’s 25th anniversary Blu-ray release of Rob Reiner’s all-time classic love story.

Filled with action, adventure, a beautiful heroine, stalwart heroes, contemptible villains, a real-life giant and silly, colorful characters of every stripe, The Princess Bride is a fairy tale that can be enjoyed by everyone — even if there is a bit of (hide your eyes, boys) kissing.

In a framing sequence, a Grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a story to his ill Grandson (Fred Savage) about a fairy-tale world, wherein the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm with her childhood friend, Westley (Cary Elwes), until he goes to sea and is drowned. Distraught, Buttercup accepts the proposal of the sinister Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), who decides she is of more political use dead than alive, so he orders three rogues to kill her: the brainy Vizzini (Wallace Shawn, in the role of his life), swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) — who is actually more interested in revenge against the six-fingered man who killed his father than kidnapping — and the giant Fezzik (played the late André the Giant). The trio instead kidnaps Buttercup — and find themselves followed by the legendary Dread Pirate Roberts. One by one the masked Roberts defeats the rogues and then flees with Buttercup, who eventually deduces that Roberts is the presumed-dead Westley in disguise.

When Buttercup is recaptured and Westley is tortured to death by the prince’s six-fingered associate, Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), it’s up to the reformed Fezzik, Inigo and a (mostly) dead Westley to prevent her from being married to Humperdinck. But to do that, they’re gonna need a miracle — Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), in fact!

The script, by William Goldman from his own novel, is airtight and razor-sharp, packed with more quotable lines than should be able to fit in a 98-minute movie. This film is essentially perfect, from the wonderful cast (even in bit parts) to the music to the sensitive but not sentimental direction by Reiner.

And now we can get a nice clean transfer on Blu-ray. Perhaps the highlight of the package is “The Princess Bride: The Untold Tales,” which features behind-the-scenes clips from stars Wright, Patinkin, Savage, Sarandon and Guest.

“What I wouldn’t give for a Holocaust Cloak…” Well, no cloak, but the other Blu-ray special features include:

True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon

Audio Commentaries

As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride

The Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Pirate of the Seven Seas

Miraculous Makeup and More

The Avengers (2012)

It’s not hyperbole to call The Avengers the greatest superhero movie of all time — better than Captain America: The First Avenger, better than The Dark Knight, and better than Spider-Man 2. And the best superhero movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD starting today.

The cardinal sin of most superhero movies is that producers change too much from the page and the screen, and then crowd the story with too many characters (especially villains) that all have to be introduced. So how does Avengers — a movie featuring six heroes, a villain, a host of supporting characters and an entire top-secret international organization — manage to not only avoiding becoming an overstuffed muddle, but pull it all off brilliantly?

One name: Joss Whedon.
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Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

It’s not hard to figure out why Snow White and the Huntsman — released on DVD and Blu-ray today — disappointed at the box office earlier this year: It’s a disappointing movie, because it could have been so much more. Whatever it was, it was not the feminist reimagining of the fairy tale that the studio marketing promised.

You should realize your grrrl power movie is in trouble when the biggest change to the well-trod Brothers Grimm story is elevating the male huntsman from a bit player to a leading role. Snow White’s importance still stems from her beauty more than her ability to lug around a sword and her handy knowledge of the castle sewer system. True, she is not as passive as character in the Disney version (no housework for this riot grrrl!), but she still needs rescuing by a strong man — and she’s not exactly a compelling, sympathetic heroine one can easily root for, preferring a sneer to a smile.
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“Lost” Sucker Punch Rehearsal Footage

Regular readers of my blog know it’s no secret that I love Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch – probably more than most people in the country. I gave it a positive review when it was released in theaters, and even wrote a piece defending it from the rabid criticism the film generated.

Now, I’ve just come across the web page that features footage for one of the lost musical numbers from the movie. As you probably remember, in “Brothel Life,” the girls at Lennox House practiced dance steps for elaborate musical pieces. Sadly, these productions were cut from the theatrical release, and only one (set to “Love Is the Drug”) was restored on the Blu-ray release. In this brief clip, the film’s choreographer, Paul Baker, conducts a dress rehearsal with Jena Malone. Her character, Rocket, is dressed as a sexy nurse, and begins this snippet dancing inside a giant hypodermic needle! Too bad that didn’t make it into the movie.

Hopefully all of the girls’ individual production numbers will surface at some point! For now, let’s watch Rocket work it…