Welcome to The Special Edition.

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buy meCASINO ROYALE

I’m just going to come right out and say it. Casino Royale was one of the best James Bond movies ever. I said, “one of the …” so give me some kind of break for that. The James Bond franchise had become a parody of itself over the years. What began as Sean Connery being a bad ass killing machine, turned into Roger Moore as a suave, yet slightly comical Double O, who was more about quick one-liners and special gadgets than about the man that Ian Fleming wrote his novels about. When Pierce Brosnan earned the role of James Bond, I applauded since I really believe he was born to play that role. Unfortunately, his movies have been met with critical revolt from both fans and the media and it soon became time for another Bond to step into the tuxedo. That man, the sixth man to portray James Bond, would be Daniel Craig. From the moment the news was released that Craig would be the next Bond, it was met with negativity and criticism. He was too old. He was too scruff. He was too blonde. He would never make a good Bond, the franchise was dead. Well critics – you were wrong. Dead wrong. Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) would reboot the franchise with an adaptation of the first James Bond novel that Ian Fleming wrote, showing us how Bond became the man that we had grown to know in the previous twenty movies. And the movie was a slam-bang blockbuster. This is everything that a James Bond movie should be, with more violence, less strange gadgets, but still enough of what makes Bond special. While a little long, and with one too many endings, the movie was almost perfect. Now, you get the chance to own it and see for yourself. It is cheap for a two-disc special edition, so grab it now and be ready for another release down the line. That’s just the way it is with 007 movies. If you buy it at Target, you will get an extra Making Of disc.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Becoming Bond – An intimate look at how Daniel Craig stepped into the role of the 6th James Bond
Bond Girls Are Forever – A closer look at Bond’s Leading Ladies
James Bond: For Real Documentary
Chris Cornell Music Video, "You Know My Name"

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buy meSHORTBUS

Is this porn? Not really, but you do get pretty damn close in this movie by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Itch). In terms of controversy, you could call it today’s version of Showgirls – except this is actually a good movie. The most sexually, graphic American movie outside of the porn industry, Mitchell directs his cast as they actually have sexual intercourse on camera to tell the story of a group of people all looking for something to fulfill deep needs in each of them. One woman, a relationship therapist, is searching for her first orgasm while another man is suicidal. However, it is not all doom and gloom in the movie. One couple seems to be intent on completing every position possible in one session. We get the dominatrix and the weak slave. We get one of the more creative masturbation scenes you would think of seeing. But outside of the sex, what is the movie about? The shortbus is a type of bohemian sex mixer where music and talk tales place in one room while an orgy of sex takes place in the other. Ok, but what is the movie about? It is a story about human relationships and told in a story that uses graphic sex. Read this interview Devin did with Mitchell and then go out and buy the movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Commentary by the filmmaker and cast
Deleted scenes with commentary
"Gifted and Talented: The Making of Shortbus" featurette
"How to Shoot Sex: A Docu-Primer"
Trailers

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buy meTHE HOLIDAY

I first heard about this movie when I saw the movie poster hanging on the wall at the theater. That was like two months ago and now it is hitting DVD. That tells me it probably was not very successful in theaters. Well, I was surprised to find that while it did under perform in the US ($65m with an $85m budget) it has been a big success outside the United States, doubling the gross ($127.6m). Wow. That makes me ask, what makes this movie so popular outside the United States, and so weakly accepted here. Directed by Nancy Meyers, who quite easily knows how to give female viewers exactly what they want from a movie. The Holiday gives women two different love stories wrapped up all nice and neat in one movie. It’s like two chick flicks for the price of one. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet agree to swap homes for the holidays after meeting over the internet. Ignore the lack of logic here, don’t ask why two women would agree to switch homes when they have never even met, except over the internet, especially since one lived in England and the other in Los Angeles. This is chick flick territory, those kinds of questions should be avoided here at all costs. Just to throw you a curve the men the women will hook up with are Jude Law (of course) and – Jack Black? What? Jack Black as a lead in a romantic comedy? Well, that’s what made me want to see it originally. Until is disappeared from the theaters in the blink of an eye. Here’s another chance to catch it and attempt learn why Europe loved it so much.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Foreign Exchange: The Making of The Holiday
Commentary with writer/director Nancy Meyers and guests

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buy meGHOST: SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION

Ah, the movie where Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg made out is being released as a special edition. For those who don’t know, the movie revolves around the murder of Patrick Swayze and his attempts – as a ghost – to communicate to his wife (Moore) to warn her of danger that she is in. This is done through a medium (Goldberg), and that is where the make out session arises, as Moore makes out with Goldberg, who is channeling the spirit of Swayze, who is … oh, never mind. This movie also represents one of the questions that I missed in a game of Scene It. The question – which movie made the most money in 1990? Ghost, Home Alone or Pretty Woman? Well, every girl in knew in 1990 could pretty much quote all of Pretty Woman, but Home Alone was just a monster success, so that was my guess. Nope. Ghost won out with over $200m. Then it went and won an Academy Award for best original screenplay and best supporting actress for Whoopi. I don’t understand it, but here it is, seventeen years later with a 2-Disc Special Edition. One last thing: is it just me, or does this cover look like a porn or maybe a sexual instruction video?

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Commentary by: Director Jerry Zucker, writer Bruce Rubin
"Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic" featurette
"Inside the Paranormal" featurette
"Alchemy of a Love Scene" featurette
"Cinema’s Great Romances"
Photo gallery
Theatrical Trailer

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buy meHARSH TIMES

Christian Bale continues to work, not letting his big screen success as Batman make him content to rest on his laurels. I consider Bale one of the best actor’s working today and his work here rivals that of his work on The Machinist, Equilibrium and – even further back – American Psycho. Written and directed by David Ayer (who also wrote Training Day), the movie looks at Bale’s “Jim” who has returned from being an Army Ranger in a tour of Afghanistan. He finds his childhood friend Mike (Freddy Rodriguez – soon to be seen in Grind House) and the two set out to relive some of their trouble making youth, despite the protests of Mike’s girlfriend Sylvia (Eva Longoria). The movie then becomes a rites of passage drama where Jim and Mike set out in the violent backdrop of Los Angeles. The movie really has no true plot, and only is a series of incidents, but they are set up well and the movie is a riveting character drama that deserves a viewing now that it is hitting DVD.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Seven deleted scenes
Feature length commentary by David Ayer

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UPCOMING DVD NEWS

panPAN’S LABYRINTH

The US release date for Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth has finally been announced. The film will be available to own in single and double-disc editions on May 15. The full details have yet to be revealed on the extra material, although the two-disc edition will include a director’s prologue, director commentary (del Toro always does good commentary tracks), featurettes, interviews, galleries, storyboards, and DVD-ROM features. This is great news. It missed out on the best foreign film Oscar but with six total nominations and three wins, it proved to the world that del Toro’s movie was just as good as advertised. I can not wait for this release, but the 15th of May will be an expensive day because …

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fountainTHE FOUNTAIN

… Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain will also be released on DVD on May 15. It will be the ultimate film fans wet dream, to get both these movies on the same day. As far as I know, the only extra material will be a six part Inside The Fountain: Death and Rebirth feature exploring the movie’s various periods and settings. That and the cover art is Horrendous. I mean, that cover it just the worst thing they could have done. What is wrong with the nice look of the poster. Why couldn’t they just keep it simple and elegant? It just proves what we knew by the way they released the movie – no one in marketing knows how the hell to sell this movie. That cover is just crap and this movie does not deserve that. Hopefully, the featurette will be really long and detailed and pay the movie the respect it deserves.

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SMOKIN’ ACES

This movie looked fun as hell from the look of the trailer. Smokin’ Aces, which stars Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Peter Berg and Alicia Keys, will be released on DVD on April 17. Extras will include an audio commentary with Writer/Director Joe Carnahan and Editor Robert Frazen, a second commentary with Writer/Director Joe Carnahan, Common, Christopher Holley and Zach Cumer, deleted and extended scenes, outtakes, a Shoot ‘Em Up: Stunts & Effects featurette, a Cowboy Ending featurette, The Line-Up featurette, and The Big Gun featurette.

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phantasm 3phantasmPHANTASM and PHANTASM III

Just in time for Angus Scrimm to make his appearance in the recently announced I Sell the Dead, we get his defining moment released on special edition DVDs. Phantasm, the movie that made all boys scared of mortuary’s, tall men and small silver balls, will be re-released on April 10. The new edition will include audio commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli and stars Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm and Bill Thornbury, Phantasmagoria: The Making of Phantasm, Phantasm: Behind the Scenes, Phantasm: Actors Having a Ball, 6 Deleted Scenes, 1979 Phantasm interview, 1988 Fangoria TV commercial, Angus Scrimm 1989 Convention Appearance, Interview Outtakes, Theatrical Trailers of Phantasm and Phantasm III and TV Spots. Well, skipping over Phantasm II (why?) we get the first release of Phantasm III. This release will include Audio Commentary with Stars Michael Baldwin and Angus Scrimm, Phantasm III: Behind the Scenes, Trailers for Phantasm and Phantasm III and the Screenplay (DVD-ROM). While it is exciting to get these special releases, it is still disappointing to know that the UK already got an amazing Phantasm Sphere Collection, which came in a nifty Sphere case and included all four movies and a special bonus disc. Why are we not getting this?

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virginThe 40-Year Old Virgin: Unrated

Double dip time for The 40-Year Old Virgin fans. A two-disc special edition of The 40-Year-Old Virgin which stars Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen will be released on May 22. The unrated cut will be included – and will include a Directing the Virgin video diary feature, the cast auditions, unedited takes of Steve Carell, outtakes from the poker scene, a Reel Comedy Roundtable, and more. The set will also include a sneak peak of Knocked Up (from the director of 40 Year Old Virgin), along with a ticket to see the film.

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buy meDREAMGIRLS

This is the movie that made Jennifer Hudson a star and gave Eddie Murphy a chance for an Oscar. Dreamgirls, the Golden Globe winner for best musical or comedy picture, will be released on May 01. The movie stared American Idol loser and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and co-stared Golden Globe winner Eddie Murphy as well as Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, and Beyoncé Knowles. The movie will be released in a single disc as well as a double disc special edition. Extras on the single-disc will include an exclusive never before seen performance from Jennifer Hudson, 12 extended musical numbers/alternate scenes, and a Beyonce "Listen" music video. The two-disc "Showstopper" edition will include that along with 12 never before seen musical numbers, behind the scenes footage, a "Building the Dream" featurette, Beyonce, Jennifer and Anika auditions/screen tests, and much more.

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queenTHE QUEEN

Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth II following the death of Princess Diana, The Queen will be released on April 24. The award winning film, directed by Stephen Frears, provides a behind-the-scenes insight of the interactions between Queen Elizabeth II and Tony Blair and how they dealt with the turmoil and public sentiment following the tragedy. Special features will include: a making-of featurette and a feature length commentary by: Stephen Frears, writer Peter Morgan and author of "Majesty," Robert Lacey.

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THE BARGAIN BIN

TARGET

Flicka $14.99
Gridiron Gang $14.99
The Illusionist $14.99
Chronicles Of Narnia $14.99
The Dukes Of Hazzard: The Beginning (Unrated) $15.99
The Holiday $15.99
Love Wrecked $14.99
Harsh Times $19.99
Sublime: Uncut Target Exclusive $16.99
Casino Royale $15.99
Casino Royale: Deluxe Edition $22.99 – Comes With Bonus “Making Of” DVD
Barbie Fairytopia: The Magic Of The Rainbow $14.99 – Comes With Free Stickers
Love Lucy: Season 7 – 9 $29.99
Without A Trace: Season 2 $39.99
Ghost Collector’s Edition $11.19
Shortbus $19.59

CIRCUIT CITY

BORAT 19.99
MI:III $13.99
The Holiday $17.99
The Dukes Of Hazzard: The Beginning (Unrated) $17.99
Sublime $19.99
Love Wrecked $14.99
Peter Pan: 2 DVD Platinum Edition $19.99
Barbie Fairytopia: The Magic Of The Rainbow $12.99
Casino Royale $13.99 – Free Casino Royale collectible coin with purchase
Harsh Times $17.99 – Free 3 song music download with purchase
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
Thunderball $7.99
Goldfinger $7.99
Bosom Buddies: Season 1 $27.99
Ghost $12.99
Shortbus $22.99

$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

BEST BUY

The Departed $15.99
Harsh Times $19.99
Sublime: Unrated $19.99
The Dukes Of Hazzard: The Beginning – Unrated $19.99
Barbie Fairytopia: The Magic Of The Rainbow $12.99
Casino Royale $15.99 – Free James Bond Aston Martin DBS Toy Car with Casino Royale purchase
Casino Royale Blu-Ray $29.99 – Free James Bond Aston Martin DBS Toy Car with Casino Royale purchase
The Holiday $16.99 – 2 for $20 when you buy The Holiday with either Maid in Manhattan or My Best Friend’s Wedding
Without A Trace: Season 2 $39.99
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Pack $16.99
Shortbus $24.99
Ghost $9.99

- Save $3 Instantly when you purchase Casino Royale and any of these 007 DVDs: Thunderball, License To Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Goldfinger, Goldeneye, The Spy Who Loved Me

$4.99 each: Scooby-Doo, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, After The Sunset, Birth, Now & Then, Critters, Twister, Three Amigos, Two Weeks Notice, The Mummy Lives, The Hitman, Bloodsport, Mystic River, American Me, U-571: Collector’s Edition, Wimbledon, Runaway Bride, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Minority Report, I Am Sam, Orange County, Rock Star, Reality Bites: 10th Anniversary Edition, Road Trip: Unrated, Absolute Power

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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.