New On DVD This Week: Robotech, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, SilverHawks


Long before the current live action Transformers franchise took over the box office and introduced giant alien robots to a new generation, there was a sweeping animated sci-fi epic that delivered “mecha” to the masses: ‘Robotech.’ Arriving on U.S. airwaves in the mid-80s via syndication, the legendary space opera – one of the very first anime imports — helped to usher in the multi-billion dollar anime industry and now, through the cult classic curators at A+E Networks Home Entertainment, the influential series is reborn on DVD. Working in close conjunction with original Robotech producer Harmony Gold, the franchise will be available in a handsomely-designed collector’s set featuring all 85 re-mastered episodes of the engaging and dramatic anime classic. The specially-priced 17-disc setl also features four exclusive bonus discs with more than 10 hours of bonus content – much of which is new to DVD. A sweeping science-fiction anime epic, ‘Robotech’ was set at the turn of the millennium, when a mysterious spacecraft crash-landed on a South Pacific island. The secrets of alien knowledge aboard this vessel were unlocked, leading to the development of “Robotechnology” and the creation of a vast arsenal of robotic “mecha” to defend the Earth against the alien threats that would eventually strike, attempting to lay claim to the mysterious power source known as “protoculture.” Told through the eyes of characters caught in a successive series of three extraterrestrial invasions, the saga was the first anime series that many fans had seen, and is often credited with the explosion of anime fandom that continues to grow in the U.S. today. Buy the complete series right here.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

This magical film starring Gene Wilder in one of his most famous roles, now dazzles as a delectable Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD combo in double-wide giftset packaging, perfect for holiday gift-giving. ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition‘ contains over an hour of extras, including Mel Stuart’s Wonkavision, a brand new interview with the director; a new-to-DVD featurette on author Roald Dahl; a 144-page production book reprint filled with production photos and notes, and archival letters. Sweet premiums like a retro Wonka Bar-shaped tin box with scented pencils and eraser and a limited time Golden Ticket Instant Win Game piece for a chance to enter and win a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, CA., to complete the tasty offering. Just like in the movie, five (5) Grand Prize winners will receive a very special trip for themselves plus a guest. In honor of the 40th Anniversary, 40 limited run posters of the original theatrical one-sheet will also be given away as Runner-up Prizes. Fans can visit for more details. Buy the 40th anniversary collector’s edition Blu-ray/DVD set right here.


Partly Metal, Partly Real And All Heroes! ‘SilverHawks,’ the space-age successors to the ThunderCats are back, in this long anticipated second volume full of sci-fi cyber heroics. Animated by the same production company that handled ThunderCats and featuring many of the same voice actors, SilverHawks pits a team of cybernetically enhanced heroes against interstellar crime lord Mon*Star and his minions. New SilverHawks Condor, Moonstryker, and Flashback (a SilverHawk from the future!) join the fight alongside Commander Stargazer, Quicksilver and company in this 33 episode, 4-Disc collection. Buy the Season 1, Volume 2 DVD at

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Films are proud to present ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,’ the number one worldwide box office success of 2011 – making over $1 billion globally, in stunning high definition Blu-ray, eye popping Blu-ray 3D (a first for the legendary franchise) and Movie Download. Setting sail on an ocean full of hi-def adventures, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides debuts in a Limited Edition 5-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray 3D + 2-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD + 1- Disc Digital Copy), a 2-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD), and for the ultimate fan a 15- Disc Four Movie Collection. Additionally the movie will be available in 3D and High-Definition Movie Download. The Limited Edition 5-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack includes hours of bonus materials offering fans a deeper dive inside Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides including immersive Disney Second Screen technology, exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences, Fountain of Youth mythology, an extensive look at mermaids, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, and much more. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Rob Marshall (Nine, Chicago), and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, National Treasure 2, Mask of Zorro), ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ is the latest addition to the incredibly successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that has for years entertained audiences of all ages with its thrilling adventures, hi-tech special effects and unique storylines. Back as Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp (Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Alice in Wonderland) returns leading a sensational cast of talents that includes Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech), Ian McShane (HBO’s “Deadwood”) and more. Buy the Blu-ray 3D combo pack right here.


Earthlings prepare for the return of the Visitors! Queen Anna and her alien followers hatch their secret plans in Season 2 of ‘V,’ now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Known for its stunning special effects, the sci-fi series’ second season is filled with hovering spaceships and jaw-dropping moments of the Visitors morphing into reptilian forms. In addition to all 10 episodes, the two-disc Blu-ray set also includes an hour of extra bonus content including the two behind-the-scenes featurettes “The Arc of the Story: Mining the Human Emotion,” and “A Visual Masterpiece for the Small Screen.” The second season of ‘V’ reveals Queen Anna’s (Morena Baccarin) master plan to claim Earth as her own. Meanwhile, FBI counterterrorism agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell), conflicted Visitor Ryan Nichols, disillusioned priest Father Jack Landry and others join an underground unit of resistance fighters called the Fifth Column that are attempting to put a stop to the Visitors before it’s too late. Buy the Season 2 Blu-ray right here.

Pawn Stars

The history of money-lending dates back thousands of years. Long before the History hit series ‘Pawn Stars,’ pawnbrokers helped people make ends meet by providing loans in exchange for personal items of value. And, there is no better example of today’s pawnbrokers than the Harrison family’s Gold and Silver Pawn shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas – the modern day Mecca for people in need of quick cash. Here, three generations of Harrison men clash with friendly camaraderie over items from classic cars to samurai swords and, here, everything has a history, and everything has a price. And you never know what’s going to walk through the door… ‘Pawn Stars’ continues to be a huge success for History, averaging 5.4 MM viewers per episodes, making it the highest rated series in the network’s history! And, in ‘Pawn Stars’ Volume 3, the Harrison boys haggle over a penny made by Paul Revere, battle plans for Iwo Jima, a 1939 Allied Forces World War II plane and a human shrunken head. Buy the Volume 3 DVD right here.

Batman: Year One

‘Batman: Year One’ is based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham. TV stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) provide the core voices for ‘Batman: Year One.’ Three-time Emmy Award winner Cranston gives voice to young Jim Gordon, while McKenzie makes his animated voiceover debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Fanboy favorites Dushku and Sackhoff fill the roles of Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Detective Sarah Essen, respectively. Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack right here.

Bad Teacher

A booze-swilling, pot-smoking, hard-swearing seventh-grade teacher rallies to get out of the classroom for good by wrangling a rich substitute teacher into marriage in ‘Bad Teacher,’ this comedy from director Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Cynical teacher Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) hates her job. She can’t wait for the day she finds a man who makes enough cash to let her walk away from her life of middle-school misery, and when her fiancé cancels their wedding plans, her frantic search intensifies. Just when it starts to look like Elizabeth will have to muscle her way through another semester of skull-crushing hangovers, however, handsome substitute Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) shows up at school sporting a fancy wristwatch and the promise of a care-free future. Buy the Blu-ray right here.


It’s a time of adjustment for all, as Casey and Evan find themselves classmates in CRU Law School, Ashleigh becomes overwhelmed by life in the big city, Rebecca and Calvin take control of their houses, Cappie has declared a major and even Dale has decided to make serious life changes in ‘Greek‘ Volume 6. Can life at CRU ever be the same? The fourth and final chapter of the hit ABC Family series comes to an emotional close in this special 3-disc set, concluding with the extended finale, never broadcast. Bonus Features include “Looking Back at Greek With the Cast,” “A Study Break With Aaron Hill (“Beaver”)”, “Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Series Finale,” and “A Very Special Q&A.” Buy the Volume 6 DVD right here.

Happiness Is…Peanuts: Snow Days

‘Happiness is…Peanuts: Snow Days’ – The newest Peanuts collection of stories celebrates everyone’s favorite thing about a long chilly winter: snow days. This DVD is comprised of one newly remastered classic Peanuts television special, She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown and one episode of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show. In She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty trains for a figure skating competition with Snoopy as her tough coach, and crafty costume designer. The smiles continue with three short tales from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show including: The Play; Sweet Babboo! and Snoopy’s Story. It may get cold outside but the Peanuts kids are sure to bring lots of warmth and happiness into everyone’s homes this winter. Buy the DVD right here.

The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher

Gain insight into the life of the controversial and inspiring woman who led the United Kingdom for more than ten years with the BBC release ‘The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher,’ now available on DVD. Featuring three outstanding productions – The Long Walk to Finchley, The Falkland’s Play and Margaret – on two discs, this fascinating collection follows the political career of the former Prime Minister. Andrea Riseborough (Made in Dagenham, Happy Go Lucky), Patricia Hodge (The Legacy of Reginald Perrin, Miranda) and Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who, Rome) respectively tackle the role of the Iron Lady in these films. Arriving at retail on October 18, The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher is a must-own DVD set for all history buffs and Anglophiles alike. The intriguing film reveals her steely determination as an ambitious twenty-something research chemist on the first rungs of the ladder to Parliament. Eager to speak her mind and be selected to a “winnable” Tory seat in the 1950s, The Long Walk to Finchley imagines what might have gone on behind the scenes during Thatcher’s ten-year struggle to gain a seat in Parliament. Buy the DVD right here.


Follow the wild and hilarious adventures of ‘CatDog‘ — a pair of conjoined twins unlike any you’ve ever seen before! Prim and proper, Cat is the very definition of culture, while Dog is the very definition of … well … chasing cars. But despite their two very different personalities, CatDog are the best of friends, sticking to one another — literally — through thick and thin, even when it comes to facing off against their devious neighbor Winslow and the rough ’n’ tough gang of Greaser Dogs. Buy the Season 1, Part 1 DVD right here.

Attack on Leningrad

Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Academy Award nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl star in ‘Attack on Leningrad,’ a soaring, action-packed journey of heroism and sacrifice based on a harrowing true story from WWII’s deadliest siege lasting three horrific years. When young British journalist Kate Daivs (Sorvino) is trapped within the devastated city of Leningrad during the infamous Nazi siege in the winter of 1941, she desperately fights to uncover the horrors of the Third Reich. While isolated within the famished city and separated from her lover, American journalist Phillip Parker (Byrne), she befriends Nina Tsvetkova, a member of the Leningrad militia, and two Russian children. While struggling to survive the brutality of the Nazi siege, together they fight for their lives, surrounded by death, starvation, and the bullets of war. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Last Circus

‘The Last Circus’ follows Javier, a second generation clown who dreams to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Happy Clown but has seen too much tragedy and suffering in his life to be anything but its counterpart. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown, he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown, Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. Included in the ménage is Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat and the abused wife of Sergio. Javier quickly falls deeply in love with her and attempts to rescue her from her tyrannical Happy Clown husband, however, Natalia is torn between her affection for Javier and her violent lust for Sergio. Buy the Blu-ray right here.


Showgirls aren’t the only hot things in Sin City. Take a rare and uncensored peek into the personal and professional lives of the sexiest men in Las Vegas when the steamy reality series ‘Gigolos‘: The First Season. The provocative yet surprisingly truthful and heartfelt series follows high-end gigolos: adrenaline junkie Jimmy, single dad Steven, gym rat Nick, veteran Brace and newcomer Vin, all of whom find themselves in unexpected positions as they juggle the responsibilities of relationships, friendships and family with the demands of the many women in their lives. It’s a wild ride for these real-life gigolos who are always ready for a good time. Buy the Season 1 DVD right here.

The Guns of Navarone

The Guns of Navarone‘ are huge Nazi cannons, installed on an Aegean island behind enemy lines. Anthony Quayle is the officer assigned by the British to lead a task force to put the guns out of commission. When Quayle is injured, the mission winds up in the relatively inexperienced hands of Gregory Peck. There’s little love lost between Peck, explosives expert David Niven and Greek patriot Anthony Quinn, especially when it becomes known that there’s a traitor in their midst. Resistance leader Irene Papas weeds out the traitor, but there’s still those guns to take care of. Filmed on location in Rhodes and distinguished by Oscar-winning special effects, Guns of Navarone (based on Alistair MacLean’s best-seller was a major box-office hit of 1961. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Craig Ferguson: Does This Need to be Said?

Filmed at the Polk Theater in Nashville, Ferguson explains his love for “friendly cussing” and the frustration he feels when he cannot use certain “naughty” words on the ‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.’ In ‘Craig Ferguson: Does This Need to be Said,’ his second one-hour special to air on Comedy Central, Ferguson explains what sex education was like growing up in Scotland, how celebrity scandals make for easy work days and how terrifying it was to meet “Bond-like” villain, Dick Cheney, while hosting the White House Correspondents dinner. Buy the DVD right here.

Captain America/Captain America II: Death Too Soon

When former Marine Steve Rogers is in an accident, his only hope for recovery is an injection of the FLAG superserum — created years ago by his own father — which enhances each of his senses, as well as gives him great strength and fast reflexes. And to help him bring his attackers to justice, a government agency outfits him with a motorcycle and powerful shield, then turns the newly formed Captain America loose on the nation’s enemies. Reb Brown and Len Birman star. Captain America returns to carry on the legacy of his father and defend the country — this time, however, he faces off against the terrorist known only as Miguel and the threat of a chemical agent that rapidly ages those who come in contact with it in ‘Captain America II: Death Too Soon.’ Buy the double feature DVD right here.

The Captains

Since first soaring onto television screens in the mid-1960s, ‘Star Trek’ has become one of the most beloved franchises of all time. As the iconic series celebrates its 45th Anniversary, Entertainment One presents ‘The Captains,’ a feature-length documentary written and directed by William Shatner that “boldly goes where no man has gone before,” giving viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of the most durable and profitable franchises in entertainment history, as well as the men and women who have made the Star Trek brand an international phenomenon since 1966. Following one of the most engaging media personalities of our time, ‘The Captains’ chronicles Shatner’s quest to answer one burning question: why, in spite of his myriad stage, screen, and television credits, as well as his numerous Emmys and Golden Globe Awards, does one role in his career loom so large that it nearly eclipses all others? Buy the DVD right here.

The Real L Word

The Real L Word,’ the totally unscripted Showtime reality series about being young, gay and out in L.A., is back for a hotter-than-ever second season. Wild child Whitney is joined by an all-new cast of girlfriends, and they’re ready to stir up some heartbreaking, girl taking and troublemaking while trying to find success in the city of angels. Whether it’s love or lust, make ups or break ups, it’s a non-stop ride of addictive fun. Buy the Season 2 DVD right here.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

‘Page One: The Inside Story Of The New York Times’ deftly gains unprecedented access to The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk. With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt, Page One: The Inside Story Of The New York Times chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. Writers such as Brian Stelter, Tim Arango and, and the salty but brilliant David Carr track print journalism’s metamorphosis even as their own paper struggles to stay vital and solvent. Meanwhile, their editors and publishers grapple with existential challenges from players like WikiLeaks, new platforms ranging from Twitter to tablet computers, and readers’ expectations that news online should be free. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

American Pickers

In small towns, and along America’s back roads, treasures are waiting to be uncovered— valuable relics from our history that are hidden in junk piles, buried in barns and stacked in garages. It takes experts to find them – and turn rust to riches. Join A+E Networks Home Entertainment on a road trip of treasure-laden proportions in ‘American Pickers‘ Volume 2 which includes eight fan-favorite episodes on two discs — sure to please treasure-seeking viewers everywhere! In the second DVD installment of this top-rated series, ‘American Pickers’ follows two of the most skilled “pickers”— Mike Wolfe, owner of Antique Archaeology, and his business partner, Frank Fritz— as they hunt down objects with historical, collectible and pop culture value that have been long forgotten by their owners. Along the way, they meet people whose own stories open a window into American lives and history. In Volume 2, Mike and Frank try to strike a deal with NASCAR Champion Ryan Newman, explore the appropriately named Pickens, South Carolina and try to buy a 300-pound boot. Buy the Volume 2 DVD right here.

Monte Carlo

Bon Voyage! Take a journey across the ocean with a trio of friends who make front page headlines when a dream trip turns into a hilarious case of mistaken identity. The delightful jet-setting comedy ‘Monte Carlo‘ is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Produced by Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, The Stepford Wives), ‘Monte Carlo’ takes you on a fanciful ride through the picturesque sights of Europe – with three charming girls in tow! Actress and pop sensation Selena Gomez (Ramona and Beezus, ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’) lights up the screen as Grace, a high-spirited high school graduate looking forward to a vacation in Paris with her best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy, ‘Melrose Place’), and stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester, ‘Gossip Girl’). Just as the girls think their trip is ruined when their hyperactive tour guide leaves them behind, Grace is mistaken for a wealthy socialite and the trio is whisked away to Monte Carlo for a thrilling week of glitz, glam, and unforgettable fun. Buy the DVD right here.

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment invites you to “check the rhime” in ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,’ now available on DVD. The documentary is the passion project of first-time director Michael Rapaport (Copland, Higher Learning, Mighty Aphrodite) and chronicles the past, present and uncertain future of the influential hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest and its members, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White. This fab-four innovatively mixed jazz infused soundscapes with Afro-centric rhymes to create a new sound that kicked off the hip hop movement that still dominates the music landscape today. The edgy film features up-close and personal interviews with the members of the group and a menagerie of the hip hop elite including Pharrell, Pete Rock, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers and Common – all of whom expressed adoration, respect, and gratitude to the group for their major contributions to music. ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest’ is bustin’ with bonus tracks which include a commentary with director Michael Rapaport, three featurettes, deleted scenes and extended and alternate scenes. Buy the DVD right here.

Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40

Poking fun at his much-publicized brouhaha with Southwest Airlines, writer, director, actor and ardent podcaster Kevin Smith declares himself too fat for his 40th birthday in a hilarious Q-and-A session with his rabidly loyal fans. Filmed at the Count Basie Theater in Smith’s hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey, this two-hour comedy special spotlights not only Smith’s self-deprecating sense of humor, but also his fondness (and true gift) for spinning a good yarn. Part concert and part Q&A session, ‘Too Fat For 40’ finds Smith recounting tales about smoking pot with Seth Rogen, working with Bruce Willis on the critically reviled film Cop Out and more. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Gift of the Magi

Learn the true meaning of the holiday season with the family film that proves all you need is love with the inspirational Hallmark Channel ‘Gift Of The Magi,’ now available on DVD. With the impending holidays, struggling newlyweds Jim (Mark Webber, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Della (Marla Sokoloff, “The Practice”) are challenged when seeking the perfect gift for their first Christmas together. Della is an amateur photographer who wants nothing more than to get a professional zoom lens for her camera to take better pictures of the man she loves. Jim’s most prized possession is his 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Convertible that he has been fixing up. While attempting to make enough money to buy the perfect gift for one another, the couple loses site of what Christmas is about and soon discover that the true joy of the holiday is not the gifts they give but the love they have for each other. Buy the DVD right here.

The Clowns

RaroVideo US’s restored version of Federico Fellini’s ‘The Clowns,’ one of the director’s final masterpieces, is now available on Blu-ray for the first time ever in the U.S. The DVD extras contain a rare and exclusive short film by Fellini, a video essay on the genesis of the film and a 50 page booklet with exclusive Fellini drawings. Hard-to-find, this 1970 film melds memoir and documentary into a circus of fiction and reality where Fellini delights in the role of ringmaster. The carnival-sounding score composed by Nino Rota, and an appearance by Anita Ekberg (star of Fellini’s 1960’s masterpiece La Dolce Vita), enhances the Fellini-esque experience. Buy the DVD right here.

Peter, Paul and Mary

The PBS special ‘Peter, Paul and Mary – the Holiday Concert’ aired for many years nationwide, providing a unifying holiday tradition for many in North America. The special was released many years ago on VHS but it has long been out of print. Many people on message boards, and Peter, Paul and Mary’s fan sites have spoken fondly of this special, which featured the trio at their very best, hoping one day it would see the light of day. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the special, the surviving members of Peter, Paul and Mary have decided to re-release it on DVD. Buy the DVD right here.

Top Shot

In ‘Top Shot: Reloaded – the Complete Season 2,’ sixteen fearless marksmen once again take aim for the $100,000 prize and the title of ‘Top Shot.’ Featuring an all-new cast of 14 men and 2 women, who face more intense challenges and surprising twists inspired by history, trials include shooting from the back of a moving vehicle, shooting while hanging from a 125-foot crane or while being turned upside down. Across all 13 Season Two episodes on 4 discs, home viewers will see the iconic “Tommy Gun” and .44 Magnum in explosive action. But this season doesn’t just feature firearms — the marksmen’s skills will also be tested with tomahawks, compound bows, and blow guns! High-speed HD cameras capture the skillful execution of each test in extreme slow motion. Survivor contestant Colby Donaldson returns as host of History’s first elimination series where every contender must possess speed, precision and skill. In the end, only one can be the ‘Top Shot.’ Buy the Season 2 DVD right here.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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