Welcome to The Special Edition. I apologize for last week’s half ass column. Things just got a little crazy here and I didn’t have enough time to give you the quality that I strive to offer each and every week. I plan on making up for it this week.
Before I get into the week’s DVD releases, I’m going to say a little about the Oscars. This year was the best Oscars I can remember for quite some time, based on the winners. First, Martin Scorsese winning his first Oscar for directing, and being given it by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola was outstanding and the highlight of the evening. The standing ovation and Scorsese himself thanking everyone who told him they were cheering for him was amazing. When The Departed won the best picture it capped off a great night.
Forrest Whitaker was outstanding in his acceptance of best actor, and the reactions of his fellow nominees were class acts all around. Last King of Scotland will be released on April 17, and then everyone can see what all the accolades Mr. Whitaker has received were all for. Jennifer Hudson was touched, as can be expected with her best supporting actress nod for Dreamgirls. Her rise to the top was capped off on the night when she actually out sang Beyonce during the ceremony. Helen Mirren was a good win as well for best actress. Alan Arkin might not have been the best choice for best supporting actor, but was not a huge surprise. Any way you look at it, this year was a pretty good Oscars, and I applaud the academy for it’s decisions for at least this year.
Enough about that, lets get to this week’s DVD offerings.
One nomination at the Oscars this year that surprised people was the inclusion of Borat in the adapted screenplay category. How can a movie that shows Borat going around the country and exposing the stupidity of certain sects of Americans be an “adapted screenplay”? Well, it was based on a character that Sacha Baron Cohen created years before on the Ali G Show, making it an adaptation of that skit. And it is an adaptation because there was a script written for his character desribing what to do to set up the situations, and then the reactions are filmed as well. Regardless, the movie turned out to be a huge success and was one of the more entertaining movies of the year. This DVD almost did not see the light of day as people around the country tried to sue the producers and stop the sale of the DVD because it showed them to be stupid, but lucky for us a judge decided they prove the fact by just being alive and allowed us the pleasure of seeing the DVD as-is.
Five extended/deleted scenes
Deleted footage montage, featuring never-before-seen clips
Publicity Tour Montage, including appearances at The Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes, Comic-Con and others
Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly) brings us Fast Food Nation, an ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences. The tag line that the film makers want us to remember is “Do you want lies with that?” I guess that tells you right there that this just might be a little more preachy than Super Size Me. The movie is based on the novel, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser which is a journalistic investigation into the development of American fast food and the manufacturing horrors that goes into making it. Linklater said he wanted to make a fiction film that was based in that world, but not a full adaptation, which he felt would be too much of a documentary. Co-wrote with Schlosser, much of the film focuses on the illegal immigrants who work in the loosely regulated meat-packing industry. Greg Kinnear also stars as a fast-food chain marketing manager, trying frantically to discover the source of stomach-turning contamination in the company’s meat. The film takes a side in the debate against fast food and has been sourly received by many critics. The movie turned out to be a disappointment by the usually reliable Linklater, but we still got A Scanner Darkly to tide us over.
Commentary with Director Richard Linklater and Writer Eric Schlosser
Manufacturing Fast Food Nation Featurette
The Meatrix Flash Animation Short
The Meatrix II Flash Animation Short
The Meatrix II 1/2 Flash Animation Short
The Backwards Hamburger Flash Animation Short
This may sound strange, but I had a lot of hope for this movie. The trailers looked horrible. The movie looked like complete trash. Yet, over and over in my head I simply remembered one thing. Director Bob Odenkirk brought us Mr. Show with Bob and David. There had to be something in here that was good. With Odenkirk directing and Will Arnett and Dax Shepard starring, it had a chance. I just keep telling myself that. Shepard plays a convict who has been in jail on and off for his whole life – usually because of the same judge. He hatches a scheme to screw the judge, but the judge dies first. So he goes after the judge’s son, played by Will Arnett, and gets him tossed in prison. Hijinks ensue. The film flopped. Yet I keep telling myself, it had a chance. The DVD includes the rated and unrated versions.
You’ll believe a boy can fly. Or something like that. This classic Disney masterpiece is being re-released in a two-disc special edition. You can relive the story of the boy who would never grow up and his little fairy friend Tinker Bell as they lead the children of Neverland against the evil Captain Hook. Forget the 2003 movie and the annoyingly bad 1991 Hook. This is the movie that tells the story best. The disc is lovingly recreated with a complete digital restoration and a new 5.1 Enhanced home theater mix. The extras includes stuff for the kids and adults alike. The kids get their games and songs while the adults get the making of featurettes. The discs are stacked and as with all Disney releases are only available for a limited time.
Camp Never Land Games – Explore Never Land With All-New Multi-Level Games
Alternate Opening “The Peter Pan That Almost Was” – Experience the story beginning in Neverland
In Walt’s Words – Why I Made Peter Pan – Details Walt Disney’s thoughts and experiences from the first time he saw Peter Pan and how he instantly connected with this magical story Sneak Peek At The Upcoming Tinker Bell Movie
You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan
Peter’s Playful Prank DVD Story Book
Magical Environment – Take Flight With Peter Pan Above the London Skyline in your own home
Revenge of the Nerds
You might’ve been called a spazz, or a dork, or a geek. Any of you that have ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down, whether you think you’re a nerd or not, why don’t you just come down here and join us. The mantra for one of the classic movies of my childhood. Now, all four Revenge of the Nerds movies are being re-released. First up, we got a new special edition (The We’ve Got Bush Edition) of the original classic. A group of misfits led by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards decides to start their own fraternity after being rejected by every house on campus. Chaos results, with a brains vs. brawn battle, as the football team jocks try to run the nerds off campus. The movie was a classic in the time of Porky’s and I think it is still very humorous today. The sequels are about the level of the Police Academy sequels, meaning not very good, but maybe good for nostalgic purposes. If you want all of them, you’re in luck as they are all released in a special “The Atomic Wedgie Collection”, which brings all three sequels in addition to the new special edition of the first movie. You get Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, where the nerds head to Florida for more persecution. Next is Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation, a TV movie where Ted McGinley and Robert Carradine return as adults, yet still at odds. Finally, Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love was another TV movie which focuses on Booger, who wants to get married, but finds nerd hate in his fiancées family. The original is the only one with special features.
Commentary by Jeff Kanew, Robert Caradine, Timothy Busfield & Curtis Armstrong
Featurette: "I’m A Nerd and I’m Pretty Proud Of It"
6 Deleted Scenes
Revenge of the Nerds TV Pilot
MORE TITLES TO SPEND YOUR CASH ON:
UPCOMING DVD NEWS
Volver earned star Penélope Cruz an Oscar Nomination for her role as a young woman struggling to raise her daughter while dealing with the ghost of her own mother. This Pedro Almodovar directed film will be released on April 03. The film itself will be presented with a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. English subtitles will be provided. Extras include a commentary with Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz, an AFI Tribute to Penélope Cruz, director and cast interviews, a making of featurette, and a photo gallery. A Blu-ray release with identical features will be available as well.
Little Children received three Oscar nominations but won nothing. Kate Winslet, a five time nominee – zero time winner – stars in the film about – well about life. If you want to know more than that read Devin’s review here, where he calls it one of the best movies of the year, with fantastic performances from all. Then buy the movie and see what all the talk is all about. It comes out April 24 and as far as I know no extra material will be included. That’s too bad because I would love to see a full featurette on Jackie Earle Haley and a commentary by Todd Field. Maybe we’ll get a special edition double dip down the line, but looking at In The Bedroom, this might be the best we can hope for.
I saw the Mel Gibson-directed Apocalypto the week before it was released theatrically. Mel Gibson attended the premiere and introduced the movie to us before it showed. He also brought along two of his stars: Rudy Youngblood and Dalia Hernandez. Even in the introduction, Gibson made the film sound more important than it really was. The people who organized the event went on and on about how the film is an important piece of filmmaking. I politely disagree. The movie is pure summer popcorn entertainment. Youngblood plays a Mayan who is captured, almost killed, escapes and must race back to save his pregnant wife and child. It is an action flick with chases, gory kills and a bombastic score. It is very entertaining, but it is not the important message film they want you to believe it is. The DVD will be available to own May 22. Extras will include an audio commentary with Mel Gibson and co-writer Farhad Safinia, a Becoming Mayan: Making Apocalypto featurette, and a deleted scene with optional commentary by Mel Gibson and Farhad Safinia.
In 1991, Oliver Stone brought us JFK, a look at the assignation of John Kennedy. It was brilliant filmmaking and was an entertaining film to boot. Now, fifteen years later we get a film called Bobby that looked at the final day in the life of John’s kid brother Robert Kennedy who fell to an assassin as well. Instead of Oliver Stone we get this version directed by Emilio Estevez. Don’t dismiss it though. Estevez, whose directing resume reads such films as the disappointing Rated X and the so-so Men at Work, put together a very nice film here. Listen to the talent list: Harry Belafonte, Nick Cannon, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LeBeouf, Lindsey Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone and Elijah Wood. Wow. I mean, just – wow. The movie looks at the last day of Bobby’s life at the hotel he would die in. The DVD will be available April 10. No word yet on the extras.
Much of the early word of mouth for this movie was that it was the “Justin Timberlake movie” – and that made me want to see it for what reason? Well, the word is that Timberlake was pretty damn good in the movie. Based on a true story, director Nick Cassavetes brings us a movie that is based on the life of the youngest man ever put on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The movie was held up for a while because the trial for Jesse James Hollywood was still going on and the movie seemed a little too close to reality for the defense, and they argued that it would sway a jury. The judge watched the movie and allowed it to be released in theaters and on May 01 it will be released on DVD. Extras will include A Cautionary Tale: The Making of Alpha Dog featurette, and a Witness Timeline. A HD DVD Combo release will also be available separately and features will be identical.
In 1986, The Hitcher was released and showed what a badass Rutger Hauer was as he ripped Jennifer Jason Leigh in half for his own amusement. Twenty-some years later and we get the remake from Michael Bay’s horror remake machine, Platinum Dunes, which also brought us The Amityville Horror and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This time, Rutger is replaced by Sean Bean and C. Thomas Howell is replaced by Sophia Bush. Ok, so far so good. The problem is that it does not repeat the success of the first movie. It just does not hold up and will join the list of remakes that inevitable fall short of the classics they are based on. I read an interesting idea. Buy the movie, replace the disc with the original DVD and give it to a friend who has never seen the original to watch. I like that. The Hitcher will be released May 01. Extras will include deleted scenes, a Road Kill: The Ultimate Car Crash featurette, a Fuel Your Fear: The Making of The Hitcher featurette, a Chronicles of a Killer featurette, and a Dead End feature. A HD DVD combo release will also be available. Lets hope the special edition of the original will follow shortly.
The very entertaining Johnny Depp/Al Pacino vehicle, Donnie Brasco, will be re-released in an extended cut May 08. The movie, which is teetering close to the line of too many releases, will include 20 additional minutes. There has already been a double dip with the special edition and this a triple dip will include a director audio commentary, and an exclusive Donnie Brasco: Out from the Shadows featurette. Both of those was on the special edition and I wonder if the “extended cut” is just re-adding the five deleted scenes from that double dip edition. The deleted scenes there included commentary as well. I wonder also if the commentary will be the original commentary with the deleted scene commentary added in, or if there is a new commentary track recorded for this release. I would guess it is the same one. We’ll see.
THE BARGAIN BIN
Fast Food Nation $15.99
Veggie Tales: Moe & The Big Exit $9.99
Let’s Go To Prison $19.99
Peter Pan: 2 DVD Platinum Edition $15.99 – Light Up Pin included with Peter Pan DVD – Pin looks upper left quadrant of DVD cover and shows Peter Pan & Tinkerbelle
The Office: Season 1 $17.99
Seinfeld: Season 4 $17.99
24: Season 1 $17.99
Firefly: The Complete Series $17.99
WEEDS: Season 1 $17.99
That 70’s Show: Season 3 $17.99
Northern Exposure: Season 6 $34.99
South Park: Season 9 $32.99 – receive a Free $5 Target gift card with purchase
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch: Season 1 $29.99 – receive a Free $5 Target gift card with purchase
$7.50 DVDs: Remember The Titans, Million Dollar Baby: 2 DVD Special Edition, Snatch, Chicago (1st Pressing), The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, The Legend Of Zorro: Special Edition
$10.00 DVDs: Munich, Failure To Launch, She’s The Man, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl, Clerks: Collector’s Series, Ghostbusters 1 & 2
The Holiday $17.99
The Dukes Of Hazzard: The Beginning (Unrated) $17.99
Love Wrecked $14.99
Peter Pan: 2 DVD Platinum Edition $19.99
Barbie Fairytopia: The Magic Of The Rainbow $12.99
Harsh Times $17.99 – Free 3 song music download with purchase of Harsh Times on DVD
Ultimate James Bond Collection: Volume I $54.99
Ultimate James Bond Collection: Volume II $54.99
Ultimate James Bond Collection: Volume III $54.99
Ultimate James Bond Collection: Volume IV $54.99
The Spy Who Loved Me $7.99
Bosom Buddies: Season 1 $27.99
$5.49 DVDs: Hitch, Wild Things: Unrated Edition, White Chicks, 50 First Dates, Anger Management, Big Daddy, A League Of Their Own, Close Encounters: Collector’s Edition, Vampires, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Identity: Special Edition, Poetic Justice, The Last Dragon, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, A Knight’s Tale: Special Edition, Higher Learning, Sense & Sensibility, Donnie Brasco: Special Edition, Christine: Special Edition, Are We There Yet?, Fright Night, Groundhog Day: Special Edition, Something’s Gotta Give, Baby Boy
The Guardian $29.99
Black Hawk Down $29.99
Borat : Set For Make Very Niiice Gift $19.99 – Exclusive T-Shirt Included on pack when you buy the Borat Gift Pack
Peter Pan: 2 DVD Platinum Edition $16.99 – Get a Peter Pan Lunch Box for only $4.99 when you buy Peter Pan on DVD / Free Peter Pan Pirates Hero Figure when you buy Peter Pan on DVD (Figures shown in ad are Peter Pan , Wendy and Captain Hook) / Save $3 Instantly on any Disney DVD when you purchase DVD on the same receipt as Peter Pan
Little Miss Sunshine $14.99
Let’s Go To Prison $17.99
Fast Food Nation $19.99
Wrestlemania III: WWE Chmpionship Edition $17.99
SNL: The Best Of Steve Martin $9.99
Ali G: Indahouse $9.99
Mary Poppins: 2 DVD Set $16.99
Titan Quest $19.99
Da Ali G Show: Season 1 / 2 $16.99 each
Da Ali G Show: The Complete Series $29.99
Northern Exposure: Season 6 $34.99
Stargate: Atlantis – Season 2 $34.99
Moonlighting: Season 5 $22.99
South Park: Season 9 $29.99
South Park: Season 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 $19.99 each
South Park: Season 6 / 7 / 8 $24.99 each
3 DVDs for $30 or 6 DVDs for $50: The Sword & The Stone, Hannah Montana: Livin’ The Rock Star Life, Alice In Wonderland, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Rescuers Down Under, The Cheetah Girls, A Goofy Movie, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Little Einsteins: Mission: Celebration!, Old Yeller, The Princess Diaries, Read It & Weep: Zapped Edition, The Rescuers, That’s So Raven: Raven’s Makeover Madness, The Suite Life, That’s So Suite Life Hannah Montana: Mixed Up Mashed Up Edition, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Dinosaur, Princess Stories: Volume I, Princess Stories: Volume II, Escape From Witch Mountain / Return From Witch Mountain Double Feature, Herbie: Fully Loaded
The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection (Strangers on a Train Two-Disc Edition / North by Northwest / Dial M for Murder / Foreign Correspondent / Suspicion / The Wrong Man / Stage Fright / I Confess / Mr. and Mrs. Smith) – $52.97 at Amazon.com
DEEP DISCOUNT DVD – THE CRITERIAN COLLECTION: SAVE UP TO 40%
Yojimbo/Sanjuro – $41.97
Seven Samurai – $29.97
Bicycle Thief – $23.97
49th Parallel – $23.97
Pandora’s Box – $23.97
Green for Danger – $23.97
Fires on a Plain – $17.97
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs – $23.97
Monsters and Madmen – $47.97
Burmese Harp – $17.97
Fallen Idol – $17.97
Rashomon – $23.97
Brazil – $17.97
Double Life of Veronique – $23.97
Beales Of Grey Gardens – $11.97
Throne of Blood – $23.97
Amarcord – $23.97
Le Samourai – $17.97
Dazed and Confused – $23.97
Mouchette – $23.97
and many more …
That’s about it for the week in DVD. Flip me an e-mail at Chud1@starvingdogs.biz with any questions or comments and I’ll see you next week with the release of Casino Royale.