Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: All kinds of monsters visit Portland, Oregon (for some reason); a talking orange thing spouts off about the environment while turning its back on the words of its creator; and a young girl who thinks she might just be Dorothy Gale gets asked for help from the rest of the Yellow Brick Road gang.
Season 1 of Grimm is the classic example of a series that starts out unevenly and seems willing to settle for establishing a formula, only to find its footing and expose a much stronger potential. In this sense Grimm is, among other things, an argument for full-length seasons rather than the British system of 6 or 13 episides a year: if Grimm had had only a few months to work with, it would not have stretched and developed enough to prove itself worthy of renewal (and we wouldn't have gotten the last key element of season 1, Bree Turner).
Formats: Blu-Ray and DVD (5 discs each).
The story: The classic Grimms’ fairytales come to life like never before in this series from the producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s descended from a long line of “Grimms,” who are charged with keeping balance between humanity and the creatures of myth. With newly awoken abilities to detect the evil lurking among us, Nick struggles to keep his old life separate and safe as he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries of the Grimm world. Now, watch back-to-back and uninterrupted all 22 Season One episodes of this uniquely evocative series.
Starring: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Claire Coffee, Sharon Sachs, Rian Turner.
Created by: Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf.
Features: Behind-the-scenes featurettes: The World Of Grimm, Making Monsters; Deleted scenes; Gag reel; Exclusive Grimm collector's cards; Blu-ray exclusive Grimm Guide interactive book.
The irony of a movie about saving the environment shilling for SUVs symbolizes the muddy mixed messages of this technically proficient but whimsy-deaf adaptation of one of Dr. Suess's more heartfelt and relevant stories.
Formats: Blu-Ray, DVD, UV Digital Copy, and 3D.
The story: A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Starring: Danny DeVito (The Lorax), Ed Helms (The Once-ler), Zac Efron (Ted), Taylor Swift (Audrey), Betty White (Grammy Norma), Rob Riggle (Mr. O'Hare), Jenny Slate (Ted's Mom), Nasim Pedrad (Once-ler's Mom), Joel Swetow (1st Marketing Guy), Michael Beattie (2nd Marketing Guy), Dave B. Mitchell (1st Commercial Guy), Dempsey Pappion (2nd Commercial Guy), Elmarie Wendel (Aunt Grizelda), Danny Cooksey (Brett/Chet), Stephen Tobolowsky (Uncle Ubb).
Directed by: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda.
Features: Audio Commentary; Mini-Movies (HD, 9 minutes); Making of Mini-Movies (HD, 3 minutes); Deleted Scene (HD, 2 minutes); O-Hare TV (HD); Expedition of Truffula Valley (HD); Seuss to Screen (HD, 4 minutes); Three Kids' Games (HD); "Let It Grow" Sing-Along (HD, 4 minutes).
Just as many people are not aware that there were dozens more Oz books besides the famous one (only some of them written by the prolific Frank Baum), so it is that so many movies about Oz and Oz characters are made that some of them fail to get much notice at all. The original Wizard of Oz is so iconic that sometimes films and adaptations play with the tone or expose the dark elements more visibly (The Wiz, for example), but After the Wizard does embrace that most important element of the journey over the rainbow: innocence and wonder.
The story: A 12-year-old Kansas orphan turns to the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman for help during a difficult time. She imagines that things have not gone well in Oz since the Wizard left and that the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman must travel to Kansas to find Dorothy.
Starring: Jordan Van Vranken (Elizabeth Haskens), Orien Richman (Tin Woodman), Jermel Nakia (Scarecrow), Helen Richman (Mrs. Murphy), Loren Lester (Dr. Edwards), Peter Mark Richman (Charles Samuel Williams), Sue Giosa (Ms. Thomson), P. David Miller (Lion), Nick Stellate (Ticket Seller), Seraiah Carol (Animal Shelter Attendant), Casey Fitzgerald (Young Woman), Sean Orr (Christopher).
Directed by: 'Hugh Gross.
Features: Director's commentary; Interviews with the cast; Featurette: World Premiere in Kansas.