Now Available to Own: Cinderella, Empire, Fullmetal Alchemist, and More

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of September 15, 2015. Every Tuesday we run down new movie, television, and video game releases that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, as well as some slick deals that can save you some coin. New on shelves this week are Cinderella, Empire, Fullmetal Alchemist, Love & Mercy, and more.

cinderella movie 2015

Movies on Blu-ray

Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh) Rated PG [112 min] – When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger in the woods. Starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, and Helena Bonham Carter (Watch the trailer)

I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw the live-action adaptation of Cinderella in theaters earlier this year. After my first viewing, I rewatched the original 1950 animated film and was shocked at how bad it is. It’s not that it’s too childish, there just isn’t much of a plot or story. Cinderella’s arc in the animated feature is very linear and the movie focuses more on the mice wanting to protect and help Cindy from her step family. What I enjoy about the live-action adaptation is that it puts more weight and humanity into the character of Cinderella. There’s more to resonate with her and more to the story than just love at first sight. It’s still somewhat a part of the story, but Kenneth Brannagh makes it at least seem like the Prince finds more to like about Cinderella than just her looks, but not so much vice versa. Lily James is also really excellent. I could have done without Helena Bonham Carter though.

Special features include:

  • A Fairy Tale Comes to Life: Filmmakers and cast reflect on Cinderella‘s enduring power, along with the many joys and challenges of bringing this iconic tale to life.
  • Costume Test Fun: See the work of Academy Award-winning® Costume Designer Sandy Powell (The Aviator, 2004) and share some lighthearted moments with the cast.
  • Staging The Ball: You’re invited behind the scenes for the making of the Palace Ball sequence, including its spectacular set, stunning costumes and more. It’s a lavish and massive undertaking…and a magical day on set.
  • Ella’s Furry Friends: Discover how the movie’s animal stars honed their memorable performances.
  • Alternate Opening, Ella’s Childhood: View moments from Ella’s idyllic childhood that do not appear in the movie. Introduction by Branagh.
  • Frozen Fever: It’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever – but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.
  • Deleted Scenes with introduction by Kenneth Branagh (DMA Exclusive)

Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [120 min] – In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Starring John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Giamatti

As far as biopics go, Love & Mercy is fairly well done but maintains the genre’s vanilla flavor. I do like that it’s more of character piece rather than showcasing events around Brian Wilson. All the performances are terrific, especially from Paul Dano. And of course the iconic Beachboys music. What I would have wanted more from Love & Mercy is for John Cusack’s older Wilson to have something else to do rather than him being a tortured character.

Special features include:

  • A California Story: Creating the Look of Love & Mercy” Featurette
  • “A-Side/B-Side: Portraying the Life of Brian Wilson” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary with director/producer Bill Pohlad and executive producer/co-writer Oren Moverman

Furious 7: Extended Cut (James Wan) Rated PG-13 [137 min] – Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, and Kurt Russell (Watch the trailer)

This movie is silly. I can only imagine this extended edition being even sillier. And if you’re really bold you can get the Fast & Furious 1-7 Limited Edition Collection.

Special features include:

  • Extended Cut of the Film
  • Back to the Starting Line: Producer Neal Moritz, Chris Morgan and the cast join franchise newcomer director James Wan as they look back at how far the franchise has come bring the latest installment to life.
  • Race Wars: Furious 7 brings the crew back to Race Wars, the iconic, fictional racing event from the very first film. Vin Diesel and a couple hundred friends are back for a full-throttle celebration of all things Fast with special guest-star Iggy Azalea, behind-the-scenes footage of the cars, the sweat and the girls.
  • Snatch and Grab: A behind the scenes look at shooting one of the premier action sequences in the franchise’s history.
  • Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride
  • The Cars of Furious: The car coordinator and his team join the cast and filmmakers for a closer look at the film’s spectacular cars.
  • Flying Cars: People jump out of planes all the time, but not while sitting behind the wheel of a car. This entertaining featurette shows how the Furious 7 team pulled off this jaw-dropping sequence.
  • Tower Jumps: A look at how one of the most exciting stunt sequences of the film, the Abu Dhabi tower jumps, became a reality.
  • Inside the Fight: A combination of fight training footage and interviews takes viewers inside the fierce hand-to-hand fights.
  • Talking Fast: Director James Wan and the cast of Furious 7 break down the movie’s most memorable moments and chat about how the Fast franchise has evolved over the years.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • “See You Again” Official Music Video Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

fullmetal alchemist 2003 complete series

Television Series

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eighth Season (Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady)  A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory. Starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar

I’ve given The Big Bang Theory a handful of chances despite my prejudice against the grating, pandering garbage that it is. And now in its eighth season, The Big Bang Theory continues to be that steaming pile but only now more stale. Sheldon is a terrible character who is unrelatable with sidekicks who hardly get enough to do to really resonate with them. I wish this series would end.

Special features include:

  • Shooting Stars: BBT on BBT
  • 2014 The Big Bang Theory Comic-Con Panel
  • Constellation Prize
  • Here’s To You, Carol Ann Susi
  • It’s A Quark… It’s An Atom… It’s the #BBTSuperfans!
  • Gag Reel

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Series (Seiji Mizushima) Rated TV-PG [24 min] – The Elric brothers’ deciding to perform a forbidden human transmutation to bring their dead mother back, they end up losing their bodies. Now Edward must find the chemical privileges to restore their body back.Starring Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke, and Romi Pak

I’m pretty glad I’ve held out for the Blu-ray release of the first Fullmetal Alchemist series. Although it’s not as epic as FMA: Brotherhood it’s still pretty decent. It’s definitely essential viewing before you watch Brotherhood. The Limited Collector’s Edition is insanely awesome, but at almost $300 it’s way too much money.

Special features include:

  • Episode Commentaries
  • The Transmutation of a Phenomenon: An Inside Look
  • Japanese Commercial
  • L’Arc~en~Ciel “Ready Steady Go” Video
  • Ura Hagane: Comedic Previews
  • Textless Opening Songs: Melissa, Ready Steady Go, Undo, Rewrite
  • Textless Closing Songs: Indelible Sin, To the Other Side of the Door, Motherland, I Will
  • U.S.Trailer
  • Trailers

Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection (Many Directors) [Various Lengths] – Take a bow, Charlie Brown! Now fans have a front-row seat to a showcase of the most prestigious Peanuts features ever assembled into one collection. Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection includes 11 animated television specials on two discs brilliantly remastered in all-new 4K Ultra HD transfers to DVD. All of the specials featured in this release were recognized with either an Emmy Award win or nomination.  It’s a collection full of big laughs, best friends and life lessons that will delight the whole family. Starring the many voices throughout the ages of The Peanuts gang.

This is a fabulous collection to own of one of the best, good-spirited pieces of entertainment out there. It’s great to be able to relive the specials I’ve seen and digest the ones I’ve never had the opportunity to. Peanuts is so wholesome to watch that you forget that about entertainment like this that doesn’t play to anything sinister or ill-willed toward the characters. A coming of age story that anyone can relate to.

The 11-animated specials collection include:

  • You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown
  • She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown
  • It’s Magic, Charlie Brown
  • Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown
  • Is this Goodbye, Charlie Brown?
  • Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown
  • What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?
  • It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown
  • Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown
  • Why, Charlie Brown, Why?
  • You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown

Empire: The Complete First Season (Lee Daniels, Danny Strong) Rated TV-14 [42 min] – A father, who runs a successful music business, is diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and has to choose one of his three sons to take over when he dies. Starring Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday, and Bryshere Y. Gray

I haven’t seen Empire yet, but I am intrigued by the buzz around the one they call Cookie, played by Emmy nominee Taraji P. J Henson.

Special features include:

  • 11 Uncut Music Performances
  • Smollett (Jamal Lyon), Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah McNeill (Tiana) Uncut Music Performance
  • You’re So Beautiful – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • Drip Drop (DIRTY i-Tunes) – Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah McNeill (Tiana) Uncut Music Performance
  • What is Love Video Medley – feat. Veronika Bozeman
  • Featurette: Empire: It’s in the Music
  • Featurette: The Empire of Style
  • Special Feature: Commentary on the “Pilot”

NCIS: The Complete Twelfth Season [DVD Only] (Donald P. Bellisario, Don McGill) Rated TV-14 [60 min] – The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Washington DC Major Case Response Team, led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Starring Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, and Pauley Perrette

This season released earlier on DVD and now that it’s on Blu-ray you can avoid buying this terrible show on a different format!

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary by Sean Murray, Terrence O’Hara and Christopher J. Waild
  • Audio Commentary by Rocky Carroll, Jennifer A. Corbett and Mark Horowitz
  • Audio Commentary by Mark Harmon, Bethany Rooney and Joe Spano
  • Pre-Flight Jitters: Shooting on Location
  • Bad to the Bone
  • Table for Ten
  • Rocky Carroll: Director
  • #1 Drama in the World
  • Inside Season 12
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes

Continue reading for more titles, video games, and Blu-ray deals–>>

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