Time for another Special Edition. Look’s like I am up to column number five – a full month into this. Hope you are all enjoying it so far because it’s costing me a lot of money, with me seeing everything coming out and buying everything I can as a result. Ah well, not much else to say at the start here, so away we go.

leakbar

The PrestigeTHE PRESTIGE

In last weeks column (read it here), I mentioned the trend of rival studios making movies in pairs (Capote and Infamous). That trend bucks it’s head here as well. Last year we got two movies based around magicians. While I have not seen The Illusionist, I have seen the very entertaining Chris Nolan directed The Prestige. The movie stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as rival magicians whose seeming goal in life is to one-up each other. In Devin’s review of the movie (read it here), he calls it “a cousin of (Martin) Scorsese’s The Departed in that it’s first and foremost an engaging, well-crafted piece of genre entertainment.” The movie is much like Nolan’s early work on Memento and Following, as it is a puzzle movie with great visuals and a flair for the unusual. The movie tells the story of the two magicians who are trying to destroy each others careers and lives after Jackman’s wife dies in an on-stage mishap. Nolan gives us a glimpse into both men’s lives and you have plenty of reasons to sympathize with both men until the end. Devin said he figured out the ending an hour into the movie, and I figured it out slightly later than that, but that took nothing away from the enjoyment of this great movie. If you only know Chris Nolan from Batman Begins you need to check this one out to see how talented this director really is. If you loved Memento, you already know and this is a great addition to his filmography. The special features don’t sound like a lot, but if The Director’s Notebook is anything like what Nolan gave us on the Insomnia DVD, then it should be a pretty great feature.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The Director’s Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan
The Art of The Prestige featurette

leakbar

BabelBABEL

It was just a few short years ago that Alejandro González Iñárritu was the critical darling. With hits such as Amores Perros and 21 Grams, he was the next big thing. 2006 saw the year that Iñárritu crashed back down to Earth. While fellow filmmakers Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón were starting a cinematic revolution of their own, Iñárritu seemed to have hit a bump in the road of his career. In his review (read it here), Devin compares this movie to his previous films and says “the style is at its most useless, and really only exists to hide the narrative’s gaping holes of logic and reason.” The movie is part of what Iñárritu has referred to as a trilogy. All three movies tell their stories in a non-linear method with several interweaving plot lines. While Amores Perros tells the story of a small community, 21 Grams deals with more National situations and Babel deals with things on a worldwide level. Unfortunately, the style has seemed to grow old over time and Babel is seen as more of a dishonest film, garnering comparisons to last year’s Oscar winner Crash. While both films have their fans, most critics seem to believe that we are told what to believe instead of letting the film lead us naturally to a conclusion of our own. Regardless, Babel remains a strong contender in this years Oscar race and despite its flaws is a film made by a master craftsman that deserves viewings. The DVD looks to be basic with no extras outside of a trailer. This looks like a double dip extravaganza, and I would not be surprised to see it released shortly after the Oscars in the same style that Crash was last year.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Trailer

leakbar

Flushed AwayFLUSHED AWAY

Aardman brings us it’s follow up to the very funny Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Leaving behind its clay models, Aardman moves into the world of CG animation. The movie keeps much of the humor that made Aardman successful, despite the fact that the animation looks strange at times, as clay animation just does not look right when rendered as CG animation. However, as story tellers, Aardman continues to be strong. However, the DVD cover art is promoting this movie as “From the Creators of Shrek.” The studio did not understand what it had with Wallace and Gromit and they continued to mishandle Aardman properties up until their recent split. I am sure that if they promote it as the creators of Wallace and Gromit, they see failure, but to promote it otherwise is just inaccurate advertising. This is not Shrek, and if you go into it expecting that, you won’t have any clue what to expect. What the DVD does offer, however, is some pretty good extras. The feature over the clay animation on Wallace and Gromit was very entertaining and I am interested to see what they have on the Clay to CG featurette here. Enjoy this, because you might not see another Aardman movie for awhile, as they are now working outside the major US studio system once again.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Audio Commentary with Directors David Bowers and Sam Fell
3 Animated Slug Songs (“I Will Always Love You,” “Pump It”, and “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”.)
From Clay to CG: A Technical Journey
Cast Featurette
Behind the Scenes Interactive Tour
DWA Jukebox
Trailers
DREAMWORKS KIDS: Flushed Away Tunes, Build-A-Slug, Learn to Draw Rodd, Set Top Games, A Maze of Pipes

leakbar

Man of the YearMAN OF THE YEAR

Robin Williams astounds me. He can be great. Look at his performances in Insomnia, Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, Mork and Mindy. Then look at what he puts out on a regular basis – RV, Patch Adams, Flubber and now this – Man of the Year. This movie had some stuff going for it. The fact that Williams would be allowed to perform stand up for parts of the movie was great, as he is a pretty funny stand up comedian. Well, unfortunately the stand up acts are just nice breaks from the tedious movie they are part of. Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy must share an agent, because they just don’t know when to say no. Now you have the chance to just say no.

SPECIAL FEATURES

"Commander And Chief" – Video diary on the making of Man of the Year
"Robin Williams – A "Stand Up" Guy" – A behind-the-scenes look at Robin Williams’ on and off-camera riffs

leakbar

SaintsA GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS

Dito Montiel wrote a memoir of his life growing up in New York. All around him, his friends were dropping – either to drugs, to prison or to death. All the while, Montiel survived, and he felt it might nave been because of his saints protecting him through all the hard times. In 2006, Montiel adapted his memoirs into screenplay format and directed a feature film that included some of the best talent he could find. Robert Downey Jr. plays a grown Montiel who is called home to see his dying father (Chazz Palminteri) and we get much of the memoirs through flashbacks. The under appreciated Shia LaBeouf plays Montiel as a youngster, as we see his troubled and dangerous childhood. Devin wrote a great review of the movie (read it here), where he calls the movie a “truly powerful, moving and insightful look at the confusing cusp of adulthood and the scars it leaves you with.” The movie is on par with other coming-of-age New York dramas such as The Basketball Diaries and A Bronx Tale. It is a welcome addition and comes on a pretty nicely stacked DVD.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Director’s commentary
Alternate openings
Four alternate endings
Deleted scenes
Rehearsal scenes
Alternative trailer
Making-of featurette

leakbar

MORE TITLES TO SPEND YOUR CASH ON:

Lots of other titles come out this week, including a pair of Criterion releases, a new film from Christopher Guest, a new Seagal flick, a documentary look at three chicks who don’t much care for our president and a new special edition about some peace loving bald guy.

buy mebuy mebuy me
buy mebuy mebuy me
buy mebuy mebuy me
buy mebuy mebuy me
buy mebuy mebuy me

leakbar

UPCOMING DVD NEWS

scotlandTHE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

The movie that won Forrest Whitaker a Golden Globe and has him as a front runner for an Oscar will be coming to DVD on April 17. The Last King of Scotland, based on actual events and adapted from Giles Foden’s novel follows former African dictator’s (Whitaker) rise to power and subsequent fall from grace. It is told from the point of view of his personal physician. The DVD will include a director’s audio commentary, seven deleted scenes, a Capturing Idi Amin documentary, and a couple of featurettes (Forest Whitaker On Portraying Idi Amin and “Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session – The Last King Of Scotland”

leakbar

eragonERAGON

With no Harry Potter, LOTR or Narnia movies movie on the screens last Christmas, Eragon swooped in to capture the minds and souls of the youth last year. Based on the novel by Christopher Paolini, who traded in his childhood for millions of dollars, the story tells of the last dragon, who must choose its rider, and be led into the final battle between good and evil. The movie is based on that novel, began when Paolini was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Did I mention he traded in meeting actual living girls to write this book? Well, the DVD will be released on March 20. There will be single and double-disc editions. The only extra material on the single-disc will be an audio commentary by director Stefen Fangmeier. The 2-Disc special edition will include that, along with a five-part Inside The Inheritance Trilogy: The Making of Eragon feature, a Random House Digital Novel featuring the first two chapters of the second novel Eldest, an interview with the author talking about Eldest, character profiles, and seven extended/deleted scenes with optional director commentary. Completing the package will be a visual effects showcase for 19 separate film sequences, original animatic sequences, conceptual artwork, an animation guide, storyboards, trailers, and more.

leakbar

rockyROCKY BALBOA

Most people call Rocky Balboa the best Rocky movie since the first. These same people once said Sylvester Stallone was stupid for even thinking of making a new Rocky movie at his age. Oh well, finicky people make the world rotate. They are right, though. About this being the best Rocky movie since the first one, I mean. Stallone took the idea of the original movie and expanded on it here, giving us Rocky as the underdog, the fighter who just wants to prove that he means something, and has him set out to achieve this goal. This is not about winning a fight (Rocky 2), avenging a death (Rocky 3), fighting for your country (Rocky 4) or not even boxing at all (Rocky 5). This is about just proving you are good enough to make a difference, if not to anyone but yourself. It was a great sport’s movie and deserves a great DVD. We get a pretty good one here. Extras will include an audio commentary with Stallone, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a featurette on the computer simulation, a Skill vs. Will: The Making of Rocky Balboa featurette, a Reality in the Ring: Filming Rocky’s Final Fight featurette, bloopers and trailers. It will be released on March 20.

leakbar

E-Mails

The ole’ Special Edition kept up with Deep Discount DVD.com. Normally, I am not a fan of online retailers, but every few months or so they do a 20% off everything sale, and their prices are already lower than Best Buy. Some good money to be saved from those guys…
-Ed

Hi Shawn,

As far as filling a slot that Wal-Mart once occupied, why not bring back deepdiscountdvd.com prices? I buy from them quite often and they always deliver speedily, despite their shipping being free! I know many people still go into a big store to buy their DVDs, but I like to help out the relatively small Internet business. This column gets better every week, keep up the good work.

_Mike M

- Done. I am also going to be looking out for other online specials, starting this month with an incredible Buy One Get One sale at DVDPLANET.COM. I’m gonna try as hard as I can to find the best specials for you each week.

Not sure if anyone has told you, but Darren Aronofsky mentioned in his MySpace blog that The Fountain will be released on May 15th. Keep up the great work on the Special Edition, you’re filling in Newell’s shoes quite well.

- C.A.

Thanks for the e-mail. Here is the statement from the “Darren Aronofsky” MySpace page:

bad news and good news

good news is yes there is a dvd of the film.
the bad news is it won’t be out till may 15th.
i don’t quite understand it all, but that’s the reality. may 15th.

it has a bunch of great stuff on it including a doc of the making of it all by my friend niko.

so stand by. more shit to come.

dsa

It seems like a long ways off, but I hope the disc is stacked. I don’t really trust MySpace pages, so I’ll let you know when I get more news on it.

leakbar

THE BARGAIN BIN

TARGET

Babel – $16.99
Crossover – $19.99
Family Ties – Season 1 – $27.99
Flushed Away – $15.99
For Your Consideration – $16.99
Gandhi – $17.99
Man of the Year – $16.99
Shut Up and Sing – $17.99
The Prestige – $17.99
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – $17.99

$6.50 DVDs: The Fellowship of the Ring, Groundhog Day, Hoosiers, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Charlotte’s Web, Moulin Rouge

$10.00 DVDs: The Family Stone, Just My Luck, Family Guy – Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Aquamarine, Cheaper By the Dozen 2, Schindler’s List

$19.99 Box Sets: That 70’s Show – Season 3, Grey’s Anatomy – Season 1, Friends – Season 10, Full House – Season 5, Everybody Loves Raymond – Season 7, Family Guy – Volume 4, My Name is Earl – Season 1

CIRCUIT CITY

The Prestige – $14.99
The Illusionist – $14.99
Flushed Away – $16.99 (Free Computer Game download with purchase)
For Your Consideration – $16.99
Babel – $16.99
** Circuit City claims there is a 2-Disc Special Edition of Babel for $22.99, but there is no information about this anywhere that I can find **
The New and Improved DX – $17.99 (free 3 month subscription to WWE: The Magazine with purchase)
Man of the Year – $19.99
Crossover – $19.99
Flight of Fury – $19.99
Open Water 2 – $19.99
The Devil Wears Prada – $19.99
The Departed – $19.99
Little Miss Sunshine – $19.99
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – $22.99

$9.99 DVDs: Boogie Nights, Citizen Kane, Unforgiven, Braveheart, Casablanca, Giant, Reds, Magnolia, My Fair Lady, Capote, The High and the Mighty, Amadeus, The Silence of the Lambs, Schindler’s List, Goodfellas, Saving Private Ryan, Seven, Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Gladiator, Hustle & Flow, Ray

BEST BUY

Flushed Away – $15.99 (Free Plush Toy instantly with purchase)
The Prestige – $16.99
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – $16.99
Babel – $16.99
For Your Consideration – $16.99
Waiting for Guffman – $7.50
Best in Show – $7.50
Man of the Year – $16.99
Gandhi 2-Diisc Anniversary Collector’s Edition – $19.99
Open Water 2 – $19.99
Crossover – $19.99
Family Ties, Season One – $29.99
The Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing – $17.99
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – $17.99

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE SPECIAL EDITIONS: All Special Editions are $19.99 with the second free – The Shawshank Redemption, The Philadelphia Story, East of Eden, Batman, True Romance, Gothika, Casablanca, Enter the Dragon, Giant, Seven, Boogie Nights, Bullitt, Rebel Without a Cause, Amadeus, The Phantom of the Opera, King Kong, The Lost Boys, Unforgiven, V For Vendetta, Million Dollar Baby, Heat, Batman Returns, A Room with a View, Constantine, Goodfellas, Chariots of Fire, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Poseidon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, My Fair Lady, Magnolia, Citizen Kane, Mystic River

$4.99 DVD Sale – The Net, The Piano, Starship Troopers, Can’t hardly Wait, Pi, Kids, Hollow Man, Urban Legends: The Final Cut, The Doors, Finding Forrester, Men in Black, The Mothman Prophecies, Dune, Van Wilder, The Temptations, Reservoir Dogs, National Security, House of 1000 Corpses, Enough, Wonderland, Step Into Liquid, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, The Punisher, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Open Water, Little Black Book, The Crying Game, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Audition, Crash, SNL: Anthology – The First Five Years, Saw, The Devil’s Rejects, Murderball, Aristocrats, Lonesome Dove, Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Madea Goes to Jail, Why Did I Get Married?, Down in the Valley

DeepDiscountDVD.com

Flushed Away – $20.79
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – $21.96
Babel – $19.21
For Your Consideration – $20.99
Man of the Year – $21.77
Gandhi 2-Diisc Anniversary Collector’s Edition – $19.66
Open Water 2 – $25.19
Crossover – $20.81
Family Ties, Season One – $29.04
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – $16.31

ASSORTED INTERNET SPECIALS

DVDPLANET.COM

Buy One Get One Free on Select Anchor Bay Titles
Every Season of 21 Jump Street ($17.95-$27.95)
Every Season of 3rd Rock from the Sun ($17.95-$23.97)
Alec Guinness Collection ($35.95)
Astro Boy – The Collection Box Set ($23.95)
Carry On Collection ($53.99)
Season 1 and 2 of Commish ($35.99-$36.95)
Season 1 and 2 of Crime Story ($23.93 each)
Dawn of the Dead – 4 Disc SE ($23.99)
Doctor Who Collection ($23.99)
Every Season of Doogie Howser, M.D. ($17.95-$23.95)
Ealing Studios Comedy Collection ($54.95)
Ealing War Collection ($54.95)
Evil Dead 1 & 2 (33.59)
Evil Dead 2 – Dead By Dawn (Limited) – ($19.19)
Game Over: The Complete Collection – ($11.95)
Various Ghost in the Shell DVDs ($29.95-$59.97)
Greatest American Hero – Deluxe Collector’s ($59.97)
Every Season of Greatest American Hero ($17.95-$17.98)
Every Season of Grounded For Life ($11.95-$23.97)
Every Season of Hercules – The Legendary Journeys ($11.95-$17.95)
Herog/Kinski – ($33.59)
Every Season of Highlander ($29.95 each)
Every Season of Hunter ($17.95 each)
Macross Plus – The Collection ($23.95)
Neon Genesis Evangelion – Death & Rebirth/The End of Evangelion ($29.95)
Once Upon a Time in Italy: The Spaghetti Western Collection ($53.99)
Paul Verhoeven Collection ($53.99)
Peter Sellers Collection ($35.95)
Profit – The Complete Series ($17.95)
Every Season of Renegade ($23.99-$26.97)
Every Season of Rosanne ($17.95-$23.97)
Every Season of Silk Stockings ($17.95-$23.97)
Every Season of Sledge Hammer ($17.95 each)
Sleepaway Camp Survival Kit ($19.19)
Thomas & Friends ($23.99)
Every Season of Three’s Company ($17.95-$23.95)
Every Season of Titus ($17.95 each)
Every Season of Tripping the Rift ($17.95 each)
Werner Herzog Collection ($41.95)
Wim Wenders Collection ($23.99)
Every Season of Xena: Warrior Princess ($29.95-$36.95)

leakbar

Here is something that makes me sad. On March 12, The UK (Region 2) gets the Guillermo Del Toro collection, which includes Cronos (with director’s commentary, a making of, interviews with the director and cinematographer, a stills gallery, sketches, storyboards and a trailer), The Devil’s Backbone (with director’s commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, storyboard to screen sequences, special effects sequence breakdown and a Trailer) and PAN’S LABYRINTH (one disc regular edition with director’s commentary). Well, on the same day, Region 2 also gets a 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION of PAN’S LABYRINTH! It will have director’s commentary, a director’s prologue, the UK and International trailers, The Power of the Myth Featurette on DVD Comics, El Fauno Y Las Hadas Featurette, The Colour & The Shape Featurette, a Director’s Notebook, Storyboard Video Prologue, Notebook Video Prologue, Storyboard/Thumbnail Comparisons and Picture Galleries. However we in the US get to wait until May. And that just sucks.

Next week we get the Alexander Final Cut and Stranger than Fiction. And that is about it. Well, it should be a short column then. Drop me an e-mail at Chud1@starvingdogs.biz and I’ll see you then.