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Welcome to a new Special Edition. The banner you see above the column was designed by message board poster Litmus Configuration. I think it looks pretty cool. Also, be on the lookout on Thanksgiving Day for a Black Friday Bargain Bin special edition.


New Releases

Buy Me!The biggest mainstream release for the week is Live Free or Die Hard. I have heard mixed reviews about the movie [Note from Nick: It sucked]. People I know seemed to like it. One friend even said the action stayed crazy and high paced but the movie was intelligent like Die Hard with a Vengeance, which I liked quite a bit. However, much of the talk online focused on the fact that it was a big pop corn action movie, but not really so much a “Die Hard” movie. There was also a lot of bitching about how they made the movie PG-13 to, you know, make as much money as possible by opening it up to everyone to go see. Damn them all. Well, the big news on this release is that it will be released in both the theatrical version as well as a new Unrated Cut of the film. The Unrated version will be a 2-Disc special edition as well. Is that big news? Check this out. They are releasing all four Die Hard movies on Blu-Ray as well. That is pretty cool, except the Blu-Ray version of the new movie is the theatrical version but it will include the special features of the 2-Disc version. You win some, you lose some.

Special Features

  • Commentary by Bruce Willis, Director Len Wiseman and Editor Nicolas De Toth
  • Music Video – “Die Hard” by Guyz Nite
  • Behind-the-Scenes with Guyz Nite
  • Analog Hero in a Digital World: Making of Live Free or Die Hard documentary (Two-Disc Unrated Edition)
  • Yippee-Ki-Yay Mother F*****! – One-on-One Conversation with Bruce Willis & Kevin Smith (23 minutes) (Two-Disc Unrated Edition)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents Fox Legacy (Two-Disc Unrated Edition)
  • Theatrical trailer (Two-Disc Unrated Edition)


Buy Me!When Francis Ford Coppola was making Apocalypse Now!, he went through an apocalypse of his own. Despite warnings from Roger Corman not to go shoot the movie in the Philippines, Coppola went ahead and went out to the Philippines and went through more troubles than you could ever imagine. There were typhoons, diseases that sent many of the cast and crew home and a heart attack that almost killed Martin Sheen. The production was held up due to the firing of Harvey Keitel and the unprofessional conduct by Marlon Brando. Finally there was the nervous breakdown by Coppola himself that almost led to the end of his marriage and threats of suicide. Hearts of Darkness – A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse is quite possibly the greatest Making-Of documentary I have ever seen and one that I have wanted to own since I first viewed it. Finally, this week it is being released, and will include a commentary track by Coppola himself. This is the DVD that everyone needs to grab this week. It’s that damn good.


Buy Me!The original Hairspray was a 1988 film by cult filmmaker John Waters. It might be best known as Waters most widely accessible film at that time, as most of his features were Rated X up to that point. The remake that we get this week might be best known as the film that featured John Travolta as a rather large woman. The movie is based on the musical stage show that was based on the original Waters’ film, following in the confusing footsteps of The Producers. I don’t know how it turned out, but the DVD release looks pretty sweet. You get your choice of the single disc bare boned edition, the 2-Disc “Shake and Shimmy” Edition, a 2-Disc DVD gift set and a Blu-Ray edition that includes everything that is on the 2-Disc release plus a few extras of its own. There will also be an HD-DVD release next year.

Special Features

  • Feature-length audio commentary with director-choreographer Adam Shankman and star Nikki Blonsky (2-Disc Edition)
  • Feature-length audio commentary with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (2-Disc Edition)
  • Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary with Adam Shankman and Nikki Blonsky (2-Disc Edition)
  • You Can’t Stop the Beat: The Long Journey of Hairspray documentary (2-Disc Edition)
  • Step by Step: The Dances of Hairspray featurette offering how-to-dance instruction (2-Disc Edition)
  • Hairspray Extensions featurette, giving viewers dance breakdowns (2-Disc Edition)
  • Jump to a song with optional sing-along feature (2-Disc Edition)
  • The Roots of Hairspray featurette (2-Disc Edition)
  • Theatrical trailer (2-Disc Edition)
  • "Link Lime" or "Penny Pink" metal locker (Gift Set Only)
  • Hairspray 2-Disc "Shake and Shimmy" DVD Edition (Gift Set Only)
  • Hairspray tote bag (Gift Set Only)
  • 6 sticker sheets and 2 perforated card sheets to personalize your locker (Gift Set Only)
  • Special picture-in-picture making-of (Blu-Ray Exclusive)


Buy Me!I know absolutely nothing about Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection, save for what I have just read about it. Because of my lack of knowledge on the subject, I will just give you the information from its official web site:

Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse. Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife in the living room, holding his daughter. The film offers no solutions; it merely presents life — sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and gentle humor. Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts in a series of weekends on a budget of less than $10,000, most of which was grant money. Finished in 1977 and shown sporadically, its reputation grew and grew until it won a prize at the 1981 Berlin International Film Festival. Since then, the Library of Congress has declared it a national treasure as one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry and the National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the “100 Essential Films” of all time. However, due to the expense of the music rights, the film was never shown theatrically or made available on video. It has only been seen on poor quality 16mm prints at few and far between museum and festival showings. Now, thirty years after its debut, the new 35mm print of Killer of Sheep, brilliantly restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive, is ready for its long-awaited international release.

Special Features

  • Charles Burnett’s acclaimed short films, Several Friends (1969), The Horse (1973) and When It Rains (1995).
  • Burnett’s latest short film, Quiet as Kept (2007) about a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Killer of Sheep commentary track with Charles Burnett and Richard Peña, Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
  • Both versions of My Brother’s Wedding.
  • Killer of Sheep cast reunion video by Ross Lipman.
  • Liner notes by Armond White.
  • Killer of Sheep trailer


Buy Me!Back when I first started the Special Edition column, the boss man showed his displeasure in me for failing to notice the release of some Godzilla releases. Well, this is for Nick Nunziata. This week presents a great box set entitled the Godzilla Collection. The eight-disc collector’s set includes Gojira, Godzilla, King of the Monsters (2 Discs), Godzilla Raids Again, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Invasion of Astro-Monster, All Monsters Attack and the 20th anniversary kaiju thriller Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). In each disc you get not only the cut Americanized version but you also get the uncut original Japanese version. All of these movies have recently had releases except for All Monsters Attack and Terror of Mechagodzilla. If you already bought the others, those two titles will be released separately next year.


Buy Me!There have been quite a few editions of Nosferatu released over the years. The copy I own is on a compilation called The Masterworks of the German Horror Cinema. From the looks of it, I will be upgrading to this new version. This original Dracula based film changed its name due to being unable to secure the rights from the Stoker estate. It remains one of the better films to come from the German Expressionistic era. Backed by an orchestral performance of Hans Erdmann’s 1922 score (recordedin 5.1 stereo surround), this Kino International edition is derived from a new high-definition transfer of the masterpiece, with unprecedented visual clarity and historical faithfulness to the original release version. This double-disc collection presents the film with the original German intertitles as well as with newly-translated English intertitles. Accompanying the film is a 52-minute documentary by Luciano Berriatúa which provides a detailed account of the production and explores the filmmakers’ involvement in the occult. I’m just as excited about the inclusion of the short films, especially The Last Laugh and Faust.

Special Features

  • The Language of Shadows, a 52-minute making-of documentary
  • Nosferatu: An Historic Film Meets Digital Restoration, a 3-minute documentary
  • Lengthy excerpts from other films by F.W. Murnau: Journey Into the Night (1920), The Haunted Castle (1921), Phantom (1922), The Finances of the Grand Duke (1924), The Last Laugh (1924), Tartuffe (1925), Faust (1926), and Tabu (1931)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Scene Comparison


Criterion is also releasing two DVDs this week, including Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes and Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel.

Buy Me! Buy Me!

Special Features (The Lady Vanishes)

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
  • Crook’s Tour, a 1941 feature-length Charters and Caldicott adventure, available for the first time on home video, starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne reprising their beloved The Lady Vanishes roles
  • Excerpts from François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock
    Mystery Train, a new video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
  • Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
  • PLUS: New essays by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr

Special Features (Sawdust and Tinsel)

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the film, featuring five minutes of material not included in previous U.S. editions
  • Audio commentary by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Video introduction by Bergman from 2003
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic John Simon and an appreciation by filmmaker Catherine Breillat


Buy Me!Finally, there are two re-releases this week. First up, Hudson Hawk finally gets the special edition treatment it deserves. The under-appreciated comedy stars Bruce Willis as a thief who is blackmailed to commit one last crime. Many people hate the movie because of its juvenile humor, but that is the exact reason I love it so much. Many people also say a movie like this does not deserve a special release. To those people, I just have to say that you are wrong. It will include a Director’s Commentary, Featurette – My Journey To Minerva with Sandra Bernhard, Deleted Scenes, Hudson Hawk Trivia Track, Featurette – The Story of Hudson Hawk with Bruce Willis and the Music Video – "Hudson Hawk Theme" by Dr. John. Now, we also have a special edition that does not even deserve to be mentioned. Titanic (10th Anniversary Edition) is being released this week and while yes, the movie did make enough money for James Cameron to never have to work again, but this release is as ridiculous as the Princess Bride release from last week. The DVD is a 2-Disc release and is nothing compared to the Three-Disc Collector’s Edition that is still available to buy on Amazon for under $10. And, hey, there was a 4-Disc edition two years ago. Is this just leading to an eventual bare boned edition to be released in 2009?


Television on DVD

Mission Impossible – The Third TV Season
The Wild Wild West – Third Season
Teen Titans – The Complete Fourth Season (DC Comics Kids Collection)
The Universe – The Complete Season One (History Channel)
The Batman – The Complete Fourth Season (DC Comics Kids Collection)
Gene Simmons Family Jewels – Complete Season Two
Love American Style – Season 1, Vol. 1
Ice Road Truckers – The Complete Season 1 (History Channel)
The Doris Day Show – Season 5
Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1, Part 2 Box Set
Queer as Folk – The Complete Series
Dr. Katz Professional Therapist – The Complete Series
Charles in Charge: Complete Second Season
Chappelle’s Show – The Series Collection


The High Def Revolution

Star Trek The Original Series – The Complete First Season (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD)
David Gilmour: Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall [Blu-ray]
Tremors [HD DVD]
Bad Santa – The Unrated Version and Director’s Cut (Unrated) [Blu-ray]
Pathfinder [Blu-ray]


Other Discs to Drop Some Cash On

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Eric Claptin: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007, Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Collector’s Edition), Nirvana: Unplugged in New York, Little Britain – Abroad, Inside the Actors Studio: Johnny Depp, Rescue Dawn, Helvertica, Bill Maher – The Decider, Santa Baby, I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition, Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. – 2nd Gig (Complete Collection), Walking Tall, Film Noir: Five Classics from the Studio Vaults (Scarlet Street/Contraband/Strange Impersonation/They Made Me A Fugitive/The Hitch-Hiker), Angel-A, RFK Must Die – The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, TNA Wrestling Presents: TNA Wrestling Year 1, Beat the Drum, The Ritchie Boys, Stir Of Echoes 2: The Homecoming, Broken, 2 Days In The Valley, Zombie Town, Sin, It Happened at Nightmare Inn, King Faux




Live Free or Die Hard $16.99 (Tuesday & Wednesday only)
Live Free or Die Hard: 2 Disc Set $22.99 (Tuesday & Wednesday only)
Die Hard 1-3 Steelbook editions $19.99 each
Hairspray $16.99 (Tuesday & Wednesday only)
Hairspray: Shake & Shimmy Edition $22.99 (Tuesday & Wednesday only)
Hairspray Gift Set $39.99 (Tuesday & Wednesday only)
Hairspray Blu-Ray $34.99
Santa Clause 3 Blu-Ray $29.99
Tigger & Pooh’s Super Sleuth Christmas Movie $17.99 (Sunday-Wednesday Only)
Santa Clause $16.99
Santa Clause 2 $16.99

$4.99 each
Domino, Just Friends, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Training Day, A Scanner Darkly

$7.99 each
The Green Mile (2 Disc), Superman Returns (2 Disc), The Departed (2 Disc), Blood Diamond (2 Disc), V for Vendetta (2 Disc)

$9.99 each
Hot Fuzz, Mr. Brooks, Little Miss Sunshine, Breach, Pathfinder: Unrated

Shrek the Third $19.99
Over the Hedge $12.99
Flushed Away $12.99
(Free Shrek the Third Activity Book with purchase of any Dreamworks Animation DVD)


HD DVD (Buy 2 Get 1 Free) – $29.99 each
Mission: Impossible III
The Bourne Supremacy
The Departed
Knocked Up
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Blades of Glory
Happy Feet

Blu-Ray (Buy 2 Get 1 Free) – $24.99 each
The Fifth Element
House of Flying Daggers
Into the Blue
Donnie Brasco

Blu-Ray (Buy 2 Get 1 Free) – $29.99 each
Casino Royale
Ghost Rider
Underworld: Evolution
Talladega Nights

Live Free or Die Hard – $14.99
Live Free or Die Hard: 2 Disc – $24.99
Live Free or Die Hard Blu-Ray – $29.99
**Free $5 Gift Card with purchase of Die Hard 1, 2, 3 or the Special Edition DVD**
Rescue Dawn $17.99 (**Save $5 with purchase of this and Live Free or Die Hard DVD**)

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $14.99

Hairspray $14.99
Hairspray: Shake & Shimmy Edition $22.99
Hairspray Blu-Ray $29.99
* 2 for $20 if you purchase both Hairspray movies

Santa Clause 3 $17.99 (**Free Snow Globe Keychain**)
Santa Clause $9.99
Santa Clause 2 $9.99
Tigger & Pooh’s Super Sleuth Christmas Movie $17.99
Titanic: 10th Anniversary Edition $12.99
CSI: Season 7 $59.99
Chappelle’s Show Collection $34.99 (**Free $5 Gift Card with Purchase**)
American Hustle: The Movie $17.99 (**Free Money Clip**)

$4.99 each
Staying Alive, Urban Cowboy, Grease 2, The General’s Daughter, Footloose (old Version)

$9.99 each
Face/Off (2 disc), Flashdance (Collector’s Edition), She’s the Man, Grease, Saturday Night Fever ((Collector’s Edition)

$2.99 each
Carlito’s Way: Rise of Power, Along Came a Spider, The Sum of All Fears, Once Upon a Time in China, Cliffhanger(Collector’s Edition), Godzilla (old Version), The Score, Panic Room (Superbit), Derailed, Monster, Catch Me if You Can, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle: Unrated, Changing Lanes, Indecent Proposal, Rules of Engagement, And Justice for All, Patch Adams, The Truman Show, Wimbledon, Forces of Nature, Dance with Me, Prime, The Sweetest Thing, Scary Movie 4 Unrated, Accepted, Entrapment, K-19: the Widowmaker, Amistad, Tigerland, Kiss the Girls, Sling Blade, The Relic, While You Were Sleeping, White Men Can’t Jump, Bridget Jones Diary, Orange County, 10 Things I Hate About You, Sliding Doors, Anna and the King, The Legend of Bagger Vance, American Dreamz, 48 Hours, Saving Silverman, School Daze, The First Wives Club, 28 Days, Money Train, The Toy, Black Beauty, Thomas and the Magic Railroad, K-Pax, Good Burger, Submerged, Universal Soldier: the Return, In Good Company, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Used Cars, Bringing out the Dead

$8.99 each
Hot Fuzz, Breach, Dreamgirls, Babel, Flags of Our Fathers, Freedom Writers, Charlotte’s Web, Flushed Away. Ice Age: the Meltdown

$12.99 each
Disturbia, Shooter, Deju Vu, Blades of Glory, Wild Hogs, Norbit, The Jungle Book, Meet the Robinsons, Peter Pan (Disney)

Box Sets
The Closer: Season 1 or 2 $14.99 each
Curb Your Enthusiam : Season 1-5 $14.99 each
24: Seasons 1-5 $18.99 each
My Name is Earl: Season 1 $18.99
Star Wars Trilogy (4 Disc) $24.99
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 3 $29.99
Desperate Housewives: Season 3 $29.99
Ugly Betty: Season 1 $29.99
Brothers and Sisters: Season 1 $29.99

Hairspray $15.99
Hairspray: Shake & Shimmy Edition $22.99
Hairspray Blu-Ray $29.99
Live Free or Die Hard Blu-Ray $29.99
Live Free or Die Hard: Deluxe Edition $22.99
Santa Clause 3 Blu-Ray $29.99
Santa Clause 3 pack (Contains all 3 Santa Clause 3 films) $32.99 (Target Exclusive)
Rescue Dawn $19.99
Tigger & Pooh Super Sleuth Christmas Movie $17.99
CSI: : Season 7 $59.99 (Free $10 Target Gift Card with purchase of this CSI)
Chappelle’s Show collection $37.99 (Free $5 Target Gift Card with purchase of this DVD)

Other prices:
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 3 $29.99
Ugly Betty: Season 1 $29.99
Brothers and Sisters: Season 1 $29.99
Desperate Housewives: Season 3 $29.99
Jungle Book $14.99
Wild Hogs $14.99
DejuVu $14.99
Bridge to Terabithia $14.99
Peter Pan (Disney) $14.99
Die Hard Trilogy $19.99