March 2, 2010 - New DVD and Video Releases:
Some people believe the ancient Maya predicted the world would come to an end in the year 2012, and that's one idea behind this big-budget disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day). In 2012 a prolonged period of extreme solar activity causes Earth's core to heat up, resulting in catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis. But huge ships have been prepared that may save a tiny percentage of humankind. Actors appearing in the movie include John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson.
Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) wrote and directed this hand-drawn animated movie. Among the voices heard are Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Tina Fey and Betty White. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," Ponyo is set in modern-day Japan. Sosuke (voice of Frankie Jonas of the Jonas Brothers family) is a little boy who lives with his mom (voice of Tina Fey) by the sea. There he befriends a half-human, half-fish female named Ponyo (voice of Noah Cyrus, Miley's sister), and they have adventures, including a tremendous typhoon.
Adapted from Maurice Sendak's illustrated children's book, this live-action movie was directed by Spike Jonze and written by Jonze and Dave Eggers. The main character, who is about nine years old in the film, is a boy named Max, played by child actor Max Records. After an argument with his mom (Catherine Keener), Max escapes into his imagination, where he flees to an island inhabited by six creatures with horns, claws and teeth. Their faces are animated via CGI, and they are voiced by well-known actors, including James Gandolfini, Lauren Ambrose and Chris Cooper.