THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
I wrote last month that the DVD release of The Assassination of Jesse James was getting the same shitty treatment it got with its theatrical release. With all the positive reviews and recommendations it received crap in the way of support by Warner Brothers. When it is released on DVD February 05, it will be bare-boned and leaving its fans scratching their heads at the distributor’s lack of care. However, there is a small light at the end of the rainbow. A few weeks after the initial release (February 26 to be precise) the movie will get its high definition release and both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will get their own versions. The HD-DVD will be a combo disc and both it and the Blu-Ray version will include a 30-minute Death of an Outlaw documentary that explores the roots of the legend of Jesse James and how he became a man that so many people remain interested in talking about 100 years after his death. It really isn’t much, and I would have preferred a documentary over the film itself, commentary by director Andrew Dominik or something from Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. However, it is more than the regular DVD gives us and we can still hold out hope for a better release if this initial version sells well.
12 ANGRY MEN
This movie really does not feel like it is 50 years old. The story almost entirely takes place in one room as a jury deliberates the fate of a man accused of murder. The movie contains great acting from the likes of Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden and Henry Fonda with perfect direction by a master, Sidney Lumet. There is only so much you can do inside one room, and the actors really tell a great story while the camera travels the room with a precise perfection that never allows you to grow bored. This is a movie that holds up as well today as it did when it was released and is better than many of the court dramas that litter our televisions. The extras are slight, but include a Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: The Making Of 12 Angry Men featurette and an Inside The Jury Room featurette. The real feature is the movie itself and if you do not own it yet, this would be a good time to invest in a true classic. The movie will be released on March 04.
BONNIE AND CLYDE
One of the greatest movies of an era that reinvented cinema in the 1970s will receive a great special edition on March 25. A two-disc special edition of Bonnie and Clyde, which stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, will receive a re-mastered presentation. This new release will include a History Channel Documentary – Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, a 3-part Making of Bonnie and Clyde (Bonnie and Clyde’s Gang, The Reality and Myth of Bonnie and Clyde, and Releasing Bonnie and Clyde), Warren Beatty Wardrobe Tests, deleted scenes (The Road to Mineloa, and Outlaws), and trailers. An Ultimate Collector’s Edition will also be available. This will include all the above features, along with a 36-page hardcover book of rare, behind-the-scenes photos, a 24-page reproduction of the original 1967 press book and a special mail-in poster offer. Simultaneous HD DVD and Blu-Ray versions of Bonnie and Clyde will also be released.
Maybe the greatest Bill Murray comedy of all time is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary with a pretty good special edition release. Bill Murray plays a man who wakes up every day, and finds that he must keep reliving the same day over and over again. Released on January 29, extras will include an audio commentary with Director Harold Ramis, a Weight of Time Documentary, The Study of Groundhogs: A Real Life Look at Marmots featurette, A Different Day: An Interview with Harold Ramis and deleted scenes. This DVD release seems a lot better than the more recent releases of Meatballs and Stripes.
David Lynch is known for his strange and confusing films. Since his debut release Eraserhead, Lynch has built a solid fan base that grows with each subsequent movie. With critically acclaimed movies such as Elephant Man to his more polarized efforts such as Lost Highway, Lynch can never be accused of unoriginality. Lost Highway has been lost in the U.S. for years now but finally gets its due with this release. The only extra feature is a 10-Part Multi-Angle Interview with David Lynch. This is a must-own for any Lynch fan and is a very welcome addition to any DVD collection. The DVD will be released March 25.
Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, a difficult actor can’t get anyone to hire him anymore. Not having worked months, he eventually he dresses in drag and auditions for a role in a soap opera as ‘Dorothy Michaels’ and eventually wins the part. The 1982 comedy will get its special edition release with not so special extras – A Better Man: The Making of Tootsie featurette, deleted scenes, and Dustin Hoffman screen test footage. If you love the movie, it’s a nice pickup but if you want something special, you might have to keep waiting. The release date is February 05.
To end this week’s Coming Soon column, I present you with this:
On January 22, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings to you: Missionary Man, starring and directed by DOLPH LUNDGREN! The only extra features are 6 deleted scenes, but like that really matters anyway.