Welcome to The Special Edition. I have a small rant. I always like to get the best version of the movies that are available. If there are two versions of a movie, I want the one with the best (and most) extra features. I want commentary tracks and deleted scenes. More than that, I want documentaries and featurettes. Many times, I will revisit the making of documentaries more than I revisit the movie itself.

Lately, I have been getting frustrated with the limited releases of special editions that are released the same day as the regular movies. At times, the special edition was re-called, but if I had been there that Tuesday, I might have grabbed it before it was too late (Jarhead). Other times, I do not have the cash on the day the movies come out and find that the special editions are no longer available after a short time (United 93 apparently had a nifty two disc special edition that is not available anymore – you can get it for around $50 used).

The lesson to be learned is don’t dally around when a “special” or “limited” edition comes out or one-week later you’ll be outta’ luck. This week I had pre-ordered The Departed Two-Disc Special Edition – just in case – from Amazon. Then I saw the Best Buy special casing and cancelled the order, hoping to get one of the limited editions Tuesday morning from Best Buy. Let’s hope I don’t get burned this time around.

BUY THIS NOW !The Departed

One of the best movies of 2006 comes to DVD this Tuesday. Martin Scorsese directs this remake of the great 2002 Hong Kong feature Infernal Affairs. A lot is said about the current trend of studios taking very good foreign films and remaking them in the Hollywood system. The results have always been mixed, even when taking these great foreign flicks and paring them with established critically-acclaimed American directors such as Chris Nolan (Insomnia) and Cameron Crowe (Abre Los Ojos/Vanilla Sky). The trend started to get out of control in the horror genre as we got great horror movies such as The Ring and drek such as The Grudge in this remake system that Hollywood seems to love so much. Maybe it’s a lack of originality, or maybe it’s just the arrogance that we can take masterpieces from other societies and make them better. Well, in the case of The Departed, the last point was accurate. With Scorsese behind the camera, in the genre he is the master of, we get a movie that takes a great original film and makes it a superior piece of cinema. The movie is up for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, and Scorsese finally has the opportunity to capture the Best Director statuette that he has deserved for so many years. The movie is more than just about Martin Scorsese, however. Leonardo DiCaprio received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in this movie, but the men who helped raise this movie the most were the supporting men: Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg received a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role, and he deserved it. While Alan Arkin will probably take the award, Wahlberg deserves it as much as anyone. The story was crisp (albeit a tad bit long) and the direction was great. While there were shot-for-shot duplications between this and the original, Scorsese did enough original work to elevate this to the level of his better movies. It may not be Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, but its right up there. The Departed will be released in a vanilla DVD as well as a wonderful 2-Disc Special Edition. Best Buy is offering the 2-Disc edition in a nice looking limited edition steel box for the same price as everyone else, so that might be where you might want to grab this one at. If you don’t believe me read Nick’s review of the DVD.


• Theatrical Trailer


• Additional scenes with introductions by Martin Scorsese
• Feature-length TCM profile "Scorsese on Scorsese"
• The Story of the Boston Mob: the real-life gangster behind Jack Nicholson’s character
• Crossing Criminal Cultures: how Little Italy’s crime and violence influence Scorsese’s work
• Theatrical Trailer

Buy the ThreeThe Infernal Affairs Trilogy

With the release of The Departed, it was just as good a time as any to re-release the Infernal Affairs trilogy. A great box set was already released in 2002, with each movie getting its own 2-Disc Special Edition. However the release was extremely limited and it will cost you well over a hundred bucks to get it used. This release has nowhere near the exhaustive extra features that its predecessor had, but it still looks pretty nifty. The Departed is a remake of the first movie, the second is a prequel that actually gives a lot of the character development you don’t really get in the first movie and the third is actually the sequel to the first movie, and is really good in its own rights. Infernal Affairs 2 and 3 are also sold separately in their own Special Editions. Infernal Affairs 2 includes seven deleted scenes, a feature length Cantonese commentary with filmmakers and cast (English subtitled), a making-off featurette, a teaser, a trailer and a “confidential file”. Infernal Affairs 3 includes teasers, a trailer and a making-off featurette. From what I can tell, the original movie is released in its regular edition, which includes an alternate ending, behind-the-scenes making of featurette and trailers.


• Making of INFERNAL AFFAIRS 1, 2 & 3
• Confidential file
• Deleted scenes
• Original trailers
• Photo gallery
• Outtakes
• Music video

Don't Steal this BicycleBicycle Thieves (Criterion Edition)

This is a movie that I am really excited to see get the Criterion treatment. A film that I was first exposed to in film school, it tells the story of a man who gets a job posting flyers in post World War II Italy. His bicycle is stolen, making it impossible for him to continue his job and support his wife and son. Finally, when he realizes he will never get his bicycle back, he attempts to steal his own bicycle and is caught and humiliated in front of his peers and more importantly his own son. The movie ends on a very bleak note, with the man and his family facing a very unsure future. Directed by Vittorio De Sica, the movie remains the best known neorealist film, with documentary style camera work and non-professional actors, shot on location. A beautiful, but sad movie about human failures, this is a movie that does not pretend that everything will end with sunshine and roses. This is a great movie deserves a wide audience of more than just film scholars and this is the chance for everyone to catch it. It’s presented on a pristine 2-Disc Special Edition with interviews and a documentary over the film that influenced everyone from Robert Altman to Tim Burton.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Working with De Sica, a collection of new interviews with screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico, actor Enzo Staiola (Bruno), and film scholar Callisto Cosulich
• Life as It Is, a new program on the history of Italian neorealism in cinema, with scholar Mark Shiel
• Documentary on screenwriter and longtime Vittorio De Sica collaborator Cesare Zavattini, directed by Carlo Lizzani
• Optional English dubbed soundtrack
• New and improved English subtitle translation

Police Story 2Police Story 2 (Special Edition)

Just to clear things up before you read the Extra Features – Jackie Chan turned down his chance to do audio commentary for this movie, so instead they got – Brett Ratner. Because, see, he directed Chan in Rush Hour. Well, Now that we have that out of the way, on to Police Story 2. Most Americans only know Jackie Chan as the comic sidekick in such movies as the Rush Hour flicks and the under-appreciated Shanghai movies with Owen Wilson. Everyone knows he is a spectacular martial arts performer who does most of his own stunts, but most casual fans will be shocked when they see how brutal the Police Story movies are. Filmed in 1985, we get Jackie Chan at his prime, doing stunts that no sane human would ever attempt. While not as good as the first film, and somewhat boring at times, it is still a solid action flick (still better than most American action flicks) and one of Jackie Chan’s best films. If you have only seen his recent “buddy movies” you need to check out this and the first Police Story to really appreciate what Jackie Chan is all about. But the question still remains: Brett Ratner?


• Commentary with Brett Ratner and Bey Logan
• ‘Police Story 2: Location Guide’ Featurette
• ‘Stunt Unlimited: The legendary Police Story 2 Stunt Team’ Featurette
• ‘Celebrating the Sequel: A Conversation with Brett Ratner and Bey Logan’ Featurette
• Outtakes
• The Hong Kong theatrical trailer
• A US promotional trailer

Half NelsonHalf Nelson

Half Nelson is another DVD released pre-Oscar ceremony with a nomination on hand. Ryan Gosling received a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal as an inner-city junior high school teacher of primarily black and Hispanic students. He also has a drug problem, and when he is caught smoking crack one day by a thirteen year old student named Drey, his life changes forever. The movie remains low key and never approaches the melodrama of a “Dead Poets Society” or “Dangerous Minds” type story. The film focuses on the teacher losing his own battle with drugs while trying to mentor a student whose family has been torn apart by drug dealing. While the story never tells us why Gosling’s character has reached the lows he has, his acting in the movie brings it to a higher level. He was nominated for his Oscar for a reason, and this movie may be the one that finally pushes him to the A-list, where he has shown he has the talent to be for a long time.


• Filmmakers’ commentary
• Outtakes
• Deleted and extended scenes
• Music Video


Many times, movies have been made in pairs. Remember when Armageddon and Deep Impact came out simultaneously in 1998, and you had to make it clear which “giant asteroid heading towards Earth movie you were talking about”? How about in 1997, when you were talking about volcano movies and people asked if you meant Dante’s Peak or Volcano? Imagine the displeasure of Baz Luhrmann when he learned that all his work on a movie based on the life of
Alexander was for naught, because Oliver Stone was making one too. Well, in 2005 the movie Capote won Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar for his portrayal as author Truman Capote during the writing of the novel In Cold Blood. In 2006, we got the theatrical release of Infamous, which tells the story of author Truman Capote during the writing of the novel In Cold Blood. Sound familiar? Well, this week the movie comes out on DVD, and although I have not seen it, I did see the trailer for it and if you thought Hoffman’s voice was annoying as he mimicked Capote, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Toby Jones’ imitation made my brain want to explode. The big names in this movie are Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock, which kind of confuses me as the movie is about a gay man who develops a friendship with two men being tried for murder. Yet, the three biggest names are all women (Bullock plays Harper Lee by the way). The difference between the two movies (which were made at the same time, with Infamous held back for a year to avoid comparisons – and you see how well that worked) is that Infamous imposes a more overtly gay interpretation on the relationship between Capote and the accused murderer Perry Smith, played by Daniel Craig (ok, I lied about the three most popular names being women – however, Craig, at the time of this production was not well known as James Bond yet). The DVD includes commentary with the director, and I would hope he would acknowledge Capote and hopefully defend his movie in comparison, and since he has not shied away from the comparisons in interviews, that hope might be realized.


• Audio commentary by screenwriter/director Douglas McGrath
• Theatrical trailer

School for ScoundrelsSchool for Scoundrels

I am not sure what to expect from this movie. Billy Bob Thornton is enjoyable in these types of movies, whether they are good or not (see Bad Santa and Bad News Bears for a good one and a not-so-good one that I still enjoyed Billy Bob in). Jon Heder is also developing a nice little niche for himself as the loser slacker, although this is his first actual starring effort since Napoleon Dynamite. And I really think Todd Phillips can direct some good stuff (see Old School). So, what do we have here? Jon Heder plays a meter reader who enrolls in a confidence-building class so he can win the love of the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, his professor (Thornton), sets his sights set on the same girl. The movie, a remake of a 1960 film, received lukewarm reviews at best and flopped at the box office, not even making back the films budget. I am sure they are hoping for Jon Heder’s Napoleon Dynamite fans to push the DVD sales, although if I bought it, it would be for Thornton’s part in the movie. Hard to believe this is being considered one of the top two releases this week, along with The Departed. Times like this makes me really believe the distributors really think the movie buying public is really that dumb.


• Feature commentary with director, writer Todd Phillips and Writer Scott Armstrong
• Gag Reel
• Alternate Ending
• The Making-Of You Didn’t See on TV
• Theatrical Trailer



Deja VuDéjà Vu

Bruckheimer. Whether you have Michael Bay crafting enough explosions and car wrecks to cause retina damage to the average viewer or Gore Verbinski taking a pirate ride at Disney Land and making it a billion dollar thrill ride in the cinemas, one thing you never have a lack of is a roller coaster of a movie with non-stop action, beginning to end. The poster child for Bruckheimer Films is one Tony Scott, the helmer of six Bruckheimer flicks. Beginning with Top Gun in 1986, Tony Scott basically invented the “Bruckheimer Style” during the MTV revolution. His sixth movie, Déjà Vu, a story about an ATF agent (Denzel Washington) who travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered, falling in love with her during the process, is scheduled for an April 24 release date. Extras will include a "Surveillance Window" featurette that takes a behind the scenes look at the film, and a selection of deleted scenes.


Fox has announced a new special edition of Porky’s – the "One Size Fits All Edition”. The movie that I knew as a little kid as “that dirty movie with the boobs” will be available to own from on May 8. For those who don’t know, this movie was American Pie before most that movie’s fans were even born. The plot is simple: set in 1954, a group of Florida teens seek out to lose their virginity and end up running amok of a sleazy night club owner in the process. It also features a very young Kim Cattrall. Extras will include a commentary by director Bob Clark, a “Porky’s Through the Peephole: Bob Clark Looks Back” featurette, a “Porky’s: A Comedy Classic” featurette, the original theatrical trailers, a Porky’s Video Game, a still gallery and TV promos. Also available on May 8th will be the Porky’s Ultimate Collection featuring the Porky’s “One Size Fits All” Edition, Porky’s II: The Next Day
and and the first DVD appearance of Porky’s Revenge. Yes, there was a special edition released last year, yes this is a different edition, and no, I don’t know what was on the first special edition, so I don’t know the differences.

28 Days Later28 Days Later

Just in time for the theatrical release of 28 Weeks Later comes this limited edition of 28 Days Later which stars Cillian Murphy. The film about a London after an infection has made most the population crazed will be available to own on May 01. Extras will be identical to that of the current release, albeit with an exclusive sneak peek at the theatrical sequel 28 Weeks Later through behind-the-scenes footage, and an exclusive “28 Days Later: The Aftermath” animated featurette that bridges the storyline between the two films. As an added bonus for fans, the DVD will also include a Movie Money coupon good for one free admission. If you already have the first one, wait and see what they release when 28 Weeks Later comes to DVD. If you don’t have it yet, this sounds like a good buy in a nifty new case. For those without the first DVD, here are the extras that are repeated here: feature commentary with Danny Boyle and Alex Garland, two featurettes, six deleted scenes, three alternate endings, animated storyboards, the trailer, production stills with commentary by Boyle and a photo gallery with an introduction by Boyle.

The NaturalThe Natural

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced a two-disc director’s cut of one of the greatest sport’s movies of all time, The Natural. Robert Redford stars in the movie as Roy Hobbs, a middle aged batter who comes out of nowhere to lead a losing 1930’s baseball team to the top of the league. The Barry Levinson directed film will be available to own on April 03 in a new 144-minute cut. Extras will include a video introduction from Barry Levinson, a 3-part When Lightning Strikes: Creating the Natural documentary, a For the Love of the movie…and the Game featurette, a Natural Gunned Down: The Stalking of Eddie Waitkus featurette, a Knights in Shining Armor: The Mythology of "The Natural" featurette, and a Heart Of The Natural featurette.

AronofskiA Darren Aronofsky Collection

Lionsgate has announced the upcoming release of A Darren Aronofsky Collection on March 27. The collection will include: Pi and the unrated directors cut of Requiem for a Dream. Special features for Requiem for a Dream are expected to be: a directory commentary, a cinematographer commentary, a making-of documentary, deleted scenes (with optional director commentary) and two featurettes (“Memories, Dreams and Addictions: Ellen Burstyn interviews Hubert Selby, Jr.” and The Anatomy of a Scene). Pi’s extra features will include: a director commentary, an actor commentary, a behind-the-scenes montage, lost scenes and a music video. This boxed set will be made available as a collectable foil ‘O-ring’ package. Information about release of The Fountain has not been made official yet, but I would assume that this release should soon be followed by news of the 2006 masterpiece’s addition to the realm of DVD.



Infamous – $20.99
School for Scoundrels – $20.99
The Departed – $14.99
The Departed 2-Disc Special Edition – $20.49
The Hills, Season One – $24.99
Zoom: Academy for Super Heroes – $20.29
Infernal Affairs Trilogy – $29.99
Infernal Affairs 3 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Infernal Affairs 2 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Police Story 2 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Bicycle Thieves (Criterion Collection) – $29.99
Half Nelson – $17.99
13 (Tzameti) – $22.49
The Butcher Boy – $14.99
Green for Danger (Criterion Collection) – $29.99
Marie Antoinette – $17.99
Masters of Horror: Pelts – $9.99
Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist – $74.99


Infamous – $19.99
School for Scoundrels – $16.99
The Departed – $16.99
The Departed – $22.99 (Target Exclusive Deluxe Edition – includes bonus content and the original script, all packaged together)
The Hills, Season One – $26.99
The Hills, Season One – Deluxe Edition – $29.99
Zoom: Academy for Super Heroes – $19.99
Infernal Affairs Trilogy – $29.99
Infernal Affairs 3 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Infernal Affairs 2 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Police Story 2 (Special Edition) – $13.99
Bicycle Thieves (Criterion Collection) – $29.99
Half Nelson – $17.99
13 (Tzameti) – $22.49
The Butcher Boy – $14.99
Green for Danger (Criterion Collection) – $29.99
Marie Antoinette – $17.99
Masters of Horror: Pelts – $9.99
Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist – $74.99
Napoleon Dynamite – $10.00
RENT – $10.00
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $14.99
Saw III – $14.99
The Devil Wears Prada – $14.99
The Wedding Planner / My Best Friends Wedding – $10.00
Wedding Crashers – $10.00


The Departed – $14.99
The Departed Special Edition – $24.99
School for Scoundrels – $17.99
Marie Antoinette – $19.99
Zoom: Academy for Super Heroes – $19.99
Police Story 2 – $12.99
Infamous – $19.99
The Golden Girls: Season 7 – $29.99 (Save $10 with purchase of Season 7 and any other season)
The Grudge 2 Deluxe Edition – $19.99
Man About Town – $19.99
The Hills, Season One – $27.99 (get $5 Circuit City Gift Card with purchase)
Infernal Affairs 3 (Special Edition) – $15.99
Infernal Affairs 2 (Special Edition) – $15.99
Bicycle Thieves (Criterion Collection) – $34.99
Half Nelson – $22.99
13 (Tzameti) – $19.99
The Butcher Boy – $15.99
Green for Danger (Criterion Collection) – $34.99
Masters of Horror: Pelts – $12.99
Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist – $99.99

Bonus Hollywood Movie Money to see Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s Little Girls” with purchase of these DVDs: Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Class Reunion, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Madea’s Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married, Madea Goes to Jail or Meet the Browns

$12.99 DVDs: The Devil Wears Prada, Step Up, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Invincible, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Cars

$6.99 DVDs: Bridget Jones Diary, Kate & Leopold, Notting Hill, Wedding Planner, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, The Thomas Crown Affair, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Maid in Manhattan, Finding Neverland, Love Actually, Moulin Rouge!, Love & Basketball, Ever After, Elizabethtown, Man on Fire, The Transporter, Forrest Gump, The Untouchables, King Arthur: Director’s Cut, Super Troopers, Die Hard, I Robot, The Godfather

$4.99 DVDs: While You Were Sleeping, What Dreams May Come, Love Jones, Love Story, For Love of the Game, Boomerang, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Hot Chick, Sweet November, Hope Floats, The American President, Urban Cowboy, John Q, Waiting to Exhale, The perfect Storm, My Boss’s Daughter, Duplex, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Heaven Can Wait, The Ladies Man, Forces of Nature, Sliding Doors, Sabrina, Dying Young, Senseless, Stakeout, The Legend of Bagger Vance


The Departed Special Edition (Bonus Steelbook Case) – $22.99 (includes 4 Movie Postcards)
The Departed – $14.99
* When you buy The Departed (Standard Edition), you can get tow of these movies for $20: The Aviator, This Boy’s Life, Mean Streets, Get Carter
Infamous – $14.99 (save $5 instantly when you buy this and The Departed)
Tom Hanks Collection (The Money Pit/The Burbs/Dragnet) – $14.99
Steve Martin Collection (Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid/The Jerk/Lonely Guy) – $14.99
Man About Town – $19.99
Masters of Horror: Pelts – $9.99
The Hills, the complete first season – $24.99
Two-A-Days Ho