The Muppets Announce Blu-Ray Release Date

It’s time to start the music as The Muppets are coming home on Blu-Ray and DVD. Jason Segel stars and co-wrote the franchise’s reboot with Nick Stoller (check out our exclusive interview). The film arrived in November 2011 to great fanfare and now you can witness it at home when it debuts March 20.

The Muppets Blu-Ray
An added treat offered in the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack is the full soundtrack! What else can fans expect from The Muppets home video?

For one, Disney is introducing a new feature to the Blu-Ray library called “Disney Intermission” that allows viewers to pause the film and have the Muppets characters appear on the screen and entertain until the movie is continued.

A slew of behind-the-scenes extras are featured as is a hilarious blooper reel. According to the film’s stars, this is the moment Muppets fans have been waiting for.

“Blu-ray is a great way to bring the Muppets into your home without having to worry about cleaning up after us,” said Kermit the Frog. “The behind-the-scenes extras are a revealing tell-all look at what it took to bring our movie to the big screen. It’s a must-see for fans of bloopers, flubs and slip-ups – which pretty much describes our act.”

Miss Piggy, never one to keep her opinions to herself, adds her two cents. “Now you can watch moi whenever you want! Ooh! Lucky vous!”

Final Poster for The Hunger Games: Katniss Close-Up

The release date for The Hunger Games must be getting close as Lionsgate has released what they say is the final poster for the film. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is front and center on the new one sheet for the film based on Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster book trilogy.

The Hunger Games Final Poster
The Hunger Games poster contains the tagline, “The world will be watching.” Although it refers to the storyline in the film, it easily could serve as a double meaning for the sentiment towards the film itself. The movie is one of the most anticipated of 2012 and to say “The world will be watching” is an understatement.

March 23 is when audiences will finally get to see the flick that stars Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland.

Stay with Movie Fanatic for your chance to attend the premiere for the film!

Red Tails Movie Review: History Soars

George Lucas has taken two decades to bring Red Tails to the big screen. The true story of the first legion of African American fighter pilots is at its least a powerful lesson in history. At its best it features some of the most incredible air fighting footage we’ve seen on the big screen.

Tristin Wilds, Nate Parker and Ne-Yo in Red Tails
The film begins with a quote from an Army College study about how African Americans lack the tools necessary to be a capable fighting force. Of course we know it to be nonsense, and Lucas and director Anthony Hemingway spend the next two hours putting the proof in the pudding in the form of a rousing tale of bravery and sacrifice in the name of country, personal pride and breaking down the barriers of blatant racism.

The Tuskegee airmen were part of an “experiment” by a few forward thinking Pentagon brass that was almost not allowed to flourish. In Red Tails, Terrence Howard is Colonel A.J. Bullard. He is the man charged with convincing those in charge to give his airmen a chance at battling on the front lines instead of running missions chasing down German trucks carrying weapons on Italian roads.

In Italy, where they are stationed, we see those missions. The men are talented and excel at their tasks, but keenly know their role in winning the war is limited. Cuba Gooding Jr. is Major Emmanuel Stance and his charge is difficult: Maintain morale for his troops, despite what they know is a thankless job for a country that doesn’t see them as equals.

Red Tails does a solid job of setting up the situation, but truly shifts into high gear when the men are allowed to take part in a mission providing air cover for a beach landing of ground troops. They succeed, and even achieve success in a manner that the Pentagon can now not ignore.

The cast who portray the airmen and the ground crew who keep them flying is top notch. Particularly impressive is the work done by Tristan Wilds (90210) as Ray “Junior” Gannon and Nate Parker as Marty “Easy” Julian, the troupe’s leader in the sky.
Perhaps because of Lucas’ involvement, there are shades of Star Wars, particularly in the air battle scenes. With the advancement in technology, those dogfights are breathtaking. But, the film does feel at times a little amateur in its presentation of character development and plot movement. That doesn’t limit Red Tails’ power. It is a truly inspiring tale that is a must-see for teens everywhere (the film is rated PG-13 for violence, or it would be a must-see for all kids). For them, it may be hard to imagine a world where anyone wasn’t allowed to pursue their dreams, much less a skill in which they excel.

Audiences know that these real life heroes would return from war adorned with medals for their valor. Yet, they would go back to a life of segregation and discrimination that would not ease for decades to come. In one particular scene, the hope of a future that could be is expertly captured. After securing the safe mission of a legion of bombers, the crew of those massive planes sees the Red Tails, as they are called because of their planes’ red tails, outside an officer’s club. Where previously one of the Tuskegee airmen got in a bar fight for trying to enter the all-white club, they are now taken in and bought drinks. The moments inside that bar where the two races share drinks and war stories give us a glimpse into the future that might be, and that is Red Tails’ greatest triumph.

They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its failures. Witnessing those intimate moments in that bar between men who are soldiers first, and white and black men second, provides that lesson learned and is the greatest of Red Tails’ merits.

Weekend Movie Preview: January 20, 2012

Full-on action is represented in Haywire, sci-fi gets its due in Underworld Awakening and Red Tails, an important lesson in American history, all headline this week’s edition of the weekend movie preview.

Haywire: Steven Soderbergh’s first foray in the action movie genre hits a home run in a film that announces the arrival of a new star in Gina Carano. As Soderbergh always does, he scores a superstar ensemble cast in Haywire including Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Michael Douglas in the story of a highly trained operative (Carano) who is betrayed and comes back to seek vengeance. Check out our Haywire review for more on this outstanding film.

Red Tails: George Lucas serves as executive producer in the true life tale of the World War II Tuskegee airmen and their heroic efforts to turn the tide of the war. Like Haywire, Red Tails possesses an ensemble cast, led by Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. The air fighting sequences are beyond impressive and its lessons are many. As we state in our Red Tails review, the movie shows how history can soar.

Underworld Awakening: Kate Beckinsale is back in black in the fourth installment of the Underworld franchise. The actress’ character Selene awakes in a landscape that finds that humans have discovered the vampires and their adversaries the Lycans and have launched an all-out effort to eradicate both. Awakening did not screen for critics, but check back with Movie Fanatic later today for our review.

First Still from Resident Evil: Retribution

After premiering the first trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution, Movie Fanatic can now present the film’s premiere still. Who else would be spotlighted but Milla Jovovich and her alter ego Alice, who appears to be in the midst of battling against the evil creatures spawned by the Umbrella Corporation’s experiment gone awry.

Milla Jovovich Stars in Resident Evil: Retribution
Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth installment in the film franchise that began in 2002 from Jovovich and her husband, director Paul W.S. Anderson. The latest flick in the series also brings back one of the stars of that first film in Michelle Rodriguez (check out a video of Rodriguez at work on the set).

The film — based on the wildly popular video game series — lands in U.S. theaters September 14.