Charlie Wilson’s War
Mike Nichols
c. Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams

The Making of Charlie Wilson’s War
Who Is Charlie Wilson?

Going into 2007, the war movie that seemed geared to garner the most respect was Lions for Lambs. Imagine the surprise when the Robert Redford helmed Lions was completely ignored during Awards Season and this Mike Nichols’ flick earned itself an Oscar nomination. Charlie Wilson’s War tells the true story of Texas congressman Charlie Wilson who spearheaded the funding of Afghani rebels in their war against the Soviet Union. Tom Hanks was his usual solid self in his role as the titular character, but it was Philip Seymour Hoffman who knocked another one out of the park as CIA officer Gust Avrakotos. If not for the addition of Javier Bardem in the supporting actor category, this could have been Hoffman’s award to lose. I would say my biggest problem with the movie is the end, where it just kind of concludes with the knowledge that, because our Government works the way it does, we may have helped win the battle, but we are never a country who will make sure there is a happy ending for those we gave aid. I would have preferred the ending they had originally planned where Wilson was watching the news, years after helping win the war covertly, as the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. That would have delivered the message.

The Savages
Tamara Jenkins
c. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney

“About the Savage” featurette
Director’s Snapshots
“The Sun City West Rhythm Tappers” Extended Scene
“Two of a Kind ” Extended Scene

Philip Seymour Hoffman is doing double duty this week, as his second movie to hit the DVD racks is The Savages. Following the recent release of Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, Hoffman might be turning into the new version of Brian Cox. The film, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, tells the story of a brother and sister who are facing the responsibility of caring for their ailing father. Hoffman plays the brother and Laura Linney, who earned an Oscar nomination for her work here, plays the sister. The Independent darling may not have won Oscar gold, but it took home its fair share of other awards – mainly for the screenplay by writer/director Tamara Jenkins. With its inclusion on a large number of Top 10 lists, and a 90% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it looks like Hoffman might have went 3 for 3 for his April DVD release calendar.

Matt Reeves

Commentary by Director Matt Reeves
”The Making of Cloverfield” Featurette
”Cloverfield Visual Effects” Featurette
”I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge” Featurette
”Clover Fun” Featurette
4 Additional Scenes & 2 Alternate Endings
Easter Eggs

I was really interested in this movie, dating back to last July when I saw the original trailer that aired before The Transformers. I was not one of the rabid devotees who tracked the various web sites looking for clues. I am the lazy guy who waits for the news sites to tell me what I need to know. Well, they told me it was a movie called Cloverfield, it was produced by Lost creator J.J. Abrams and it was a giant monster movie. How fucking cool is that? Then they told me it was all handheld camera from a group of kids’ point of view and some called it a nauseating experience watching it in theaters. Well, the wimp that I am decided that, since I get motion sick too damn easily, I should maybe sit this one out. I think I will go ahead and give it a try now because (1) this DVD is loaded and (2) Nick could not stop gushing over it in his review.

The Orphanage
d. Juan Antonio Bayona

“When Laura Grew Up: Constructing The Orphanage” featurette
“Horror in the Unknown: Make-Up” featurette
“Rehearsal Studio” – Director J. A. Bayona with the cast during rehearsals
Video segments about the filmmakers
Still gallery
Theatrical trailers

This is a Guillermo del Toro presentation, so that alone has convinced me to give it a shot. It is made by a group of newcomers – director Juan Antonio Bayona, screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez, director of photography Oscar Faura and composer Fernando Velazquez, so it would come as no surprise to see del Toro’s fingerprints throughout the movie and if you have seen The Devil’s Backbone, you would know that is a good thing for this genre of movie. The tale is about a woman who returns to the manor where she was raised as a child, with the intentions of opening it as a home for wayward children. Unfortunately, she begins to be haunted by visions of the children she used to play with when she was a child there. When her own son disappears, she begins to frantically figure out what is happening. It is supposed to be really damn good, so I will definitely be picking it up for myself this week. You should think about doing the same.

Death of a Cyclist (Criterion Collection)
d. Juan Antonio Bardem

Calle Bardem (2005), a documentary on the revolutionary life and career of director Juan Antonio Bardem
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Marsha Kinder and Bardem’s 1955 call to arms for Spanish cinema

In my review for The Spirit of the Beehive (read it here), I mentioned that Franco’s reign in Spain was a time of censorship by the Spanish government. Films during this era were forced to use allegory and fantasy to disguise any political messages. While The Spirit of the Beehive did not assert an overtly political agenda, the lives of the people affected by the Spanish Civil War were presented in a way to show the feelings of the director towards the regime. While there was no overt political agenda in The Spirit of the Beehive, the same cannot be said of Death of a Cyclist. Released this week by Criterion in a single-disc edition, Juan Antonio Bardem created this film, also known as Age of Infidelity, as a direct attack on the 1950s Spanish Society under Franco’s rule. While it was censored by the government, its message still rings clear despite Bardem’s belief that “Spanish cinema [was] politically futile, socially false, intellectually worthless…

Eclipse Series 10 – Silent Ozu-Three Family Comedies (Tokyo Chorus, I Was Born But…, Passing Fancy) (Criterion Collection)
Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Chorus
I Was Born, But . . .
Passing Fancy

Yasujiro Ozu is one of the greatest Japanese film directors in the countries great cinematic history. He shoots in a unique style, ignoring cinematic devises such as fades, dissolves, tracking shots and pans. He usually just sits his camera, unmoving, and just watches the characters as they move about their business. This is the second Eclipse series dedicated to Ozu, and it includes three of his comedies. One of Ozu’s distinct themes in his films were the young in contemporary Japanese culture as they grow to find themselves faced with their elder’s traditional values. The three films are all silent comedies from early in this great director’s career.


My Boy Jack
d. Brian Kirk
c. Daniel Radcliffe, Kim Cattrall

Deleted Scenes

It’s time to see if Harry Potter can actually act. We have grown to know Daniel Radcliffe as nothing more than the boy with the scar on his forehead. Based on the 1997 British play of the same name, the movie tells the story of a man who is grieving for the loss of his son in World War I. David Haig plays the father in this British based television drama, while Radcliffe plays his son. The play questions the purpose of war, as the father who lost his won in the first World War doesn’t understand the purpose of the death when the second World War begins to gain ground a mere twenty years later. While based on the true story of John Kipling, whose body was never found, the television drama simply used him as the catalyst that would tell the story of the devastation so many families faced in the wars.

Flash Point
d. Wilson Yip
c. Donnie Yen, Collin Chou

3 Deleted Scenes
Feature Length Audio Commentary By Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan
Behind-the-scenes gallery
Collateral Damage: The Making of Flash Point
Flash Point Explored
Perpetual Motion
The Ultimate Fighters
M.M.A. on Display
Promotional Gallery
On Dangerous Ground: An Exclusive Interview With Leading Man and Action Director Donnie Yen
Gala Premiere
Trailers, Teasers, TV Spots

The third collaboration between Wilson Yip and Donnie Wen is Flash Point, a film described as a prequel to Kill Zone, another Yip/Yen collaboration, although the only connection is Yen is playing another incorruptible cop named Ma. What made Kill Zone work so well was the fact that it was an old fashioned kung fu flick with two guys just kicking the crap out of each other. One problem with this film is that much of the movie is action-less and never delivers the balls-to-the-wall action that its predecessor did so well. However, the end of the movie delivers some awesome kung fu fighting action and might make waiting it out worth it. Plus, look at all those damn extras. Dragon Dynasty is making a great name for itself in the kung fu business, and this is another great disc to add to their reputation.

The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto (1968-1979)
The Book of the Dead (Kihachiro Kawamoto)

d. Kihachiro Kawamoto

KINO continues to release some real treasures of cinema history and this month we see a number of films by Kihachiro Kawamoto, a Japanese animator and maker of stop motion animation films and puppets. The shorts included came towards the end of the great animator’s life and includes:

The Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (14 min / 1968 / Color)
A monk orders a young acolyte, who happens to have a fondness for sake, to guard a beautiful cherry blossom tree.
The Demon (8 min / 1972 / Color)
A pair of hunters encounter a ghastly demon in the woods. Escaping by severing the apparition’s arm, they make an even more grisly discovery on the journey home. Based on the 12th-century Japanese medieval legend Konjaku-monogatari.
An Anthropo-Cynical Farce (8 min / 1970 / B&W / In French with optional English subtitles)
A dog race is interrupted by a ringmaster who attaches fish to the animals’ collars and makes them run in circles. The crowd becomes incensed and the ringmaster finds himself in a race for his life.
The Trip (12 min / 1973 / Color / No dialogue)
A young girl sets off on a surreal metaphysical voyage through which she will learn all the pain and joy of life.
A Poet’s Life (19 min / 1974 / Color)
A mysterious meditation on the power of poetic imagination. A worker fired from a factory for demanding higher wages is plagued by ghastly nightmares. Based on a story by novelist Kobo Abe.
Dojoji Temple (19 min / 1976 / Color)
Two pilgrims, an elderly monk and his young disciple, out on a spiritual journey, encounter a mysterious woman whose frenzied passions transform her into a huge white serpent.
House of Flames (19 min / 1979 / Color)
A Japanese “Drama of the Absurd.” A young village woman is torn between two suitors. Out of anguish, she decides to destroy herself. Although her intentions are pure, her death reverberates with shocking consequences.

Sick Nurses
d. Piraphan Laoyont

This week’s cult choice is the interestingly titled Sick Nurses. It is a 2007 Thai horror film that takes place in a hospital where a doctor and his team of nurses sell dead bodies on the black market. When one of the nurses decides she is going to stop and call the police, they kill her. Seven days later the ghost of the victim returns to wreck vengeance on her killers. There are inventive kills, including “death by surgical saws” for lesbian twins Am and Orn. The ghost is not really the typical long haired, blank faced ghost from most Asian cinema, and actually seems to enjoy the killing. It is ultra bloody and should be on the minds of all horror aficionados.


Friday Night Lights: The Second Season
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! – Season 1
Laverne & Shirley – The Fourth Season
Bigfoot Presents Meteor & the Mighty Monster Truck – Vol. 3

TNA Wrestling: Best of TNA 2007


One Missed Call
L.A. Blues
Scared to Death
Starting Out in the Evening
Three Days to Vegas

National Geographic: Six Degrees Could Change the World [Blu-ray]
Shirley Temple – Americas Sweetheart Collection, Vol. 6 (Stowaway / Young People / Wee Willie Winkie)
Trailer Park Boys – The Movie
Sublime (Unrated) [Blu-ray]

Nina’s Heavenly Delights

Hypocrites (1915) / Eleanor’s Catch (1916)
Ocean Waif (1916) / 49-17 (1917)
The Red Kimona (1925)
Hannah Takes the Stairs
Romulus, My Father

British Horror Quadruple Feature (Frightmare / House of Whipcord / The Flesh & Blood Show / Die Screaming Marianne)
Germany, Pale Mother
Totally Baked (Unrated)
Fireworks Wednesday
Black House
Gettin’ Grown
Human Resources
Last Request
Lost Mission
Identity Theft
Merrill’s Marauders
A Date with Judy
Leos Janacek – From the House of Dead / MCO, ASC, Boulez, Chereau (Festival Aix-en-Provence 2007)


Natural Born Killers [Blu-ray] (JUNE 10)

I know Natural Born Killers is a polarizing movie, but it is still one of my favorites with fantastic performances all around and a superb soundtrack that should sound amazing on Blu-ray. That is the good news. The bad news is that the only version available on this release is the original, which means if you upgrade to the high-def version, you should really hang on to your original copy as well. Among the extras are an audio commentary by Stone, a Charlie Rose Show interview with the director, deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer. It will be housed in Warner’s “book”-style packaging, and includes a 42-page booklet with rare production photos, press materials, and an original essay by Stone about the film and its controversies.


Universal is expected to announce the recent theatrical release Doomsday as their inaugural Blu-ray title, with approximately 40 other films following in the latter half of the year.
Other titles singled out for Blu-ray release include the studio’s upcoming films Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Mamma Mia and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Universal’s first move will come on July 22 with three films from the Mummy franchise, including The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and The Scorpion King. Other titles mentioned for Blu-ray releases include Land of the Dead, End of Days, Knocked Up, American Gangster, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Miami Vice and U-571. I personally cannot wait to see Miami Vice in Blu-ray.

Starship Troopers [Blu-ray]

Starship Troopers and its sequel Marauder are both coming to Blu-ray this July. Originally announced for release on Blu-ray last year, Starship Troopers will now receive its Blu-ray release on July 29, along with the release of the video premiere sequel Marauder (day-and-date with the standard DVD). Extras on the original Starship Troopers include all of the bonus features found on the standard DVD release, including an audio commentary with Paul Verhoeven, a making-of documentary, alternate scenes, screen tests and additional behind-the-scenes footage. Marauder will include two audio commentaries of its own with the filmmaking team, and two making-of featurettes. Both will feature exclusive picture-in-picture Bonus View (Profile 1.1) enhanced features, which will include additional commentary, making-of footage, and graphic and text content.


One Missed Call  $19.99
The Orphanage  $19.99
Charlie Wilson’s War  $16.99
The Savages  $16.99
The 11th Hour  $4.99
Sharkwater  $12.99
An Inconvenient Truth  $14.99
Starting Out In The Evening  $19.99
Flashpoint  $15.99
Juno  $19.99
Alvin & The Chipmunks  $19.99
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem  $19.99
There Will Be Blood  $19.99

Cloverfield  $15.99 *
* Best Buy Exclusive: 30 Minute Bonus Sic included

$4.99 DVDs:
Black Sheep, Team America: World Police, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut , Harsh Times, Children Of Men, The Bourne Identity: Extended Edition, The Bourne Supremacy, Scary Movie 4: Unrated, Red Line, Minority Report, Prophecy, Friday The 13th, Derailed: Unrated, Escape From L.A., The Covenant, Cruel Intentions, Miami Vice, The Hitcher (2007), Dune, The Deer Hunter, Snatch, Jurassic Park: Collector’s Edition, Underworld, Underworld: Evolution

$7.99 DVDs:
Free Iron Man Comic Book When You Buy Any Titles From this Section
The Italian Job (Wahlberg / Caine / Theron), Four Brothers, Aeon Flux: Special Collector’s Edition, Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life: Special Collector’s Edition, Event Horizon: Special Collector’s Edition, The Longest Yard (Sandler), Red Eye, Patriot Games, We Were Soldiers, Face/Off: 2 DVD Special Collector’s Edition, The Untouchables: Special Collector’s Edition, Payback: Straight Up – Special Collector’s Edition

$14.99 DVDs:
Bee Movie, Hitman: Unrated, Atonement, Stargate: The Ark Of Truth, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, We Own The Night, Across The Universe: 2 DVD Deluxe Edition, Beowulf: Director’s Cut, Resident Evil: Extinction, Superbad: Unrated Extended Edition, The Darjeeling Limited, The Seeker, 30 Days Of Night, Spiderman 3, The Invasion

BluRay High Definition Discs
One Missed Call  $29.99
The Orphange  $29.99
Walk Hard: 2 Disc Unrated Edition  $29.99
Juno  $34.99
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem  $34.99
Sharkwater  $24.99
Pan’s Labyrinth  $24.99
Rescue Dawn  $24.99
Ocean’s Thirteen  $24.99
Mr. Brooks  $24.99
Ice Age: The Meltdown  $24.99
Night At The Museum  $24.99
Blade Runner  $24.99
XMen: The Last Stand  $24.99
Troy  $19.99
300  $19.99
The Fugutive  $14.99
Beowulf & Grendel  $14.99
3:10 To Yuma  $19.99
The Departed  $19.99
To Kill A King  $14.99
Blue Planet (IMAX)  $14.99
Planet Earth  $64.99

DVD Sets:
Friday Night Lights: Season 2  $19.99
Roswell: The Complete Series  $69.99 each
Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job: Season 1 (10 Eps).  $12.99
Planet Earth  $54.99
Planet Earth: The Blue Planet  $74.99

One Missed Call  $15.99
Charlie Wilson’s War  $15.99
The Orphanage  $19.99
The Savages  $19.99
Cloverfield  $14.99 Premier Price: 5 Days Only
Juno   $19.99
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem   $19.99
There Will Be Blood 1 Disc Theatrical   $19.99
Alvin & The Chipmunks   $19.99
Walk Hard: 2 DVD Unrated Edition   $19.99
Deep Impact  $4.99
The Day After Tomorrow  $4.99
ID4: Independence Day  $4.99
* Circuit City Premiere Price: A Low Price That is in Effect Tuesday – Saturday (5 Days only)

$6.99 DVDs:
We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan, The Warriors: Ultimate Director’s Cut, Collateral, The Italian Job (Wahlberg), Four Brothers, Top Gun: Special Collector’s Edition, Sahara, The Untouchables, Death Wish, The Hunt For Red October, Lawrence Of Arabia, King Kong (Jeff Bridges / Charles Grodin / Jessica Lange), Biker Boyz, 48 Hours / Another 48 Hours Double Feature, Fun With Dick & Jane (Jane Fonda), Kung Fu Hustle: Axe Kickin’ Edition, Meatballs: Special Edition, Stripes: Extended Cut, The Karate Kid II: Maccio vs. Puberty, Zathura: Special Edition

$8.99 DVDs:
Vacancy, Blood & Chocolate, The Grudge 2: Unrated Director’s Cut, Casino Royale, Stealth: Special Edition, Stomp The Yard, Boyz In The Hood: 2 DVD Anniversary Edition, Open Season, Shark Tale, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The WereRabbit, Chicken Run, Monster House, Ghostbusters 1 + 2, Jumani: Deluxe Edition, ZOOM: Academy For Superheroes, Dreamer, A River Runs Through It, Running With Scissors, Stranger Than Fiction, Monty Python & The Holy Grail: Special Edition, Resident Evil / Resident Evil: Apocalypse – Resurrected Edition

$9.99 DVDs:
Free Movie Ticket To See “Made Of Honor With Purchase Of Any Of These DVDs
13 Going On 30 / The Black Book Double Feature
The Wedding Planner / My Best Friend’s Wedding Double Feature
Steel Magnolias / Sleepless In Seattle Double Feature
Loverboy / Lucky Seven Double Feature
Maid In Manhattan / Fools Rush In

One Missed Call  $29.99
The Orphanage  $29.99

$19.99 Blu-Ray Discs:
300, Training Day, Blood Diamond, The Phantom Of The Opera, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Usual Suspects, The Transporter, The Transporter 2, The Devil Wears Prada, The Ant Bully, Ocean’s Thirteen, The Corpse Bride, Troy, March Of The Penguins, Fantastic Four, Rocky, GoodFellas, Men Of Honor, 28 Days Later, Chain Reaction, Planet Of The Apes (Time Burton), The Fugitive, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Departed, The Sentinel (Sutherland), Broken Arrow, Entrapment, Speed, Enter The Dragon, Flyboys, Bullitt, Superman II: Richard Donner Cut, Behind Enemy Lines, Unforgiven, Blade Runner

DVD Sets
Friday Night Lights: Season 2  $19.99
How I Met Your Mother: Season 2  $16.99 (Season 1 on Sale)
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 1 + 2  $16.99
The King Of Queens: Season 9  $16.99
Family Guy: Volume V  $16.99 (Volume III / IV on Sale)
Charmed: Season 2  $16.99 (Season 1 on Sale)
CSI: Season 1  $16.99
Heroes: Season 1  $19.99
The Office: Season 3  $19.99 (Season 2 on Sale)
30 Rock: Season 1  $19.99
My Name Is Earl: Season 2  $19.99 (Season 1 on Sale)
Scrubs: Season 6  $19.99 (Seasons 1 – 5 on Sale)
Entourage: Season 3.2  $19.99 (Season 1 – 3.1 on Sale)

One Missed Call  $16.99
Charlie Wilson’s War  $16.99
The Savages  $19.99

Cloverfield  $16.99
Cloverfield – Exclusive Deluxe Edition  $22.99 *
* Comes With Music CD featuring OK Go, Goldfrapp, Scissors For Lefty and more!

$7.49 DVDs:
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone
Beaches: Special Edition
Click: Special Edition
Music & Lyrics
Batman Begins

$9.99 DVDs:
Open Season
The Notebook
A Night At The Museum
Ocean’s Thirteen

One Missed Called  $29.99
Troy  19.99
The Departed  $19.99
Blue Planet IMAX  $19.99
The Rock  $19.99
Casino Royale  $19.99
The Fifth Element  $19.99
ID4: Independence Day  $19.99
Predator  $19.99

DVD Sets:
Heroes: Season 1  $19.99
The West Wing: Season 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7  $19.99 each
The Office: Season 3  $19.99
Full House: Season 8  $19.99
Frazier: Season 8  $17.99
That 70’s Show : Season 7  $29.99
One Tree Hill: Season 3  $27.99
30 Rock: Season 1  $19.99
Dexter: Season 1  $22.99
Melrose Place: Season 4  $39.99
The Simple Life: Season 5  $9.99
Newhart: Season 1  $27.99
The Tudors: Season 1  $22.99
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 1 + 2  $17.99
Firefly: The Complete Series  $17.99
My Name Is Earl: Season 2  $27.99
COPS: 20th Anniversary Edition  $17.99