Welcome to The Special Edition.

Children of MenCHILDREN OF MEN

The best movie released last year was Children of Men. No offense to Oscar winner The Departed and no offense to Pan’s Labyrinth for it’s cinematography award, but Children of Men was my number one pick in both of those categories. The fact that it was not even nominated for best picture, while Little Miss Sunshine was, shows that despite my overall pleasure in this years winners, the Academy still knows how to piss me off. The car attack alone made this movie deserving of the nomination for cinematography, but the café explosion, the extreme long shots and all the other wonderful things Director Alfonso Cuarón did in this wonderfully bleak look at the future earned him a spot as one of the best director’s in the world at this point in time. The storyline is simple. There had not been a baby born in the world for 18-years. Nations had fallen to chaos and the only country left standing is Britain. Clive Owen stars as a man who is chosen by activist leader Julianne Moore wto help a woman who turns up pregnant. However, while both the government and the freedom fighters want the baby for their own personal goals, the woman just wants to be taken to safety to be allowed to deliver her baby and keep it. I was so worried that this DVD version would be as bare as the R2 version that is already out. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the ample extras offered here including the extra I wanted more than any other: a mini-documentary breaking down both the café explosion and the attack on the car showing how the filmmakers created the sequences. I am so jacked about this release and you should be too. Get this movie the minute the stores open. If you have not seen it yet, you owe it to yourself.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Possibility of Hope – A chilling documentary features the world’s leading futurists and philosophers examining social and economic shifts that find expression in Children of Men
  • Theo and Julian – In exclusive on-set interviews, actors Clive Owen and Julianne Moore offer up insights and secrets about the complex and compelling characters they have created in Children of Men
  • Futuristic Designs – Director Alfonso Cuarón created an original and dynamic vision of the future for this film. Follow his vision as it goes from concept to seething cinematic life in this featurette
  • Visual Effects: Creating the Baby – Uncover the incredible visual effects used to create a life-like baby in the film
  • Men Under Attack – Children of Men features amazingly realistic scenes of the chaos and violence and groundbreaking, Oscar-nominated cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. This mini-documentary breaks down two of the most terrifying scenes in the film – the café explosion and a car under violent attack from all sides – to show how the filmmakers created the sequences
  • Children of Men Comments by Slavoj Zizek

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Happy FeetHAPPY FEET

Yes, Monster House was a great movie. Yes, it would have been cool to see an off-beat movie like A Scanner Darkly take the Oscar. But I absolutely loved Happy Feet. I was so happy when it won the Oscar, maybe not because it beat Monster House, but because it beat the Pixar movie Cars. I love Pixar as much as the next person, but the movies should win based on their own merits, not based on their distributor’s acclaim. Happy Feet was just so much fun to watch. I found myself smiling through the entire movie. The songs were pretty creative in their placement. The humor was spot on most of the way through, and it was not completely dumbed down just for the kids. Animated movies get a lot of shit around here. Maybe because they are coming out a lot quicker than they used to and are causing a saturation in the marketplace. Maybe it is because we just don’t remember what it was like to be a kid. Even movies that gear the humor towards adults, as well as kids, get slapped around. Well, there was only one thing about Happy Feet that bothered me (and it was not Robin Williams). When the movie turned all ecological at the end, it just seemed to be a strange shift in tone that took the movie somewhere it did not need to go. But as long as the movie was being what it was at its best moments, a coming of age story with fun songs and a great voice cast, it hit a lot more than it missed. I do believe it was the best animated kid’s movie of the year. Unfortunately, the DVD is based solely towards the kids. Expect a double-dip in the future, as this one contains no behinds the scenes making of featurettes. Disappointing DVD for a great movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • 2 NEW fully animated additional sequences “Mumble meets a Blue Whale” and “A Happy Feet Moment”
  • ”Dance like a Penguin: Stomp to the Beat” featurette – Take a private dance lesson with Savion Glover (the motion capture dancer for the film)
  • Gia’s “Hit Me Up” Music Video
  • Prine’s “The Song of the Heart” Music Video
  • Classic Cartoon “I Love to Singa”

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The ShieldTHE SHIELD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

You probably noticed since I started writing the column that I don’t talk much about TV releases. Well, that’s not because I don’t love TV, the last few months have been underwhelming with a series of releases that I really had nothing to say about. Well, that changes this week. The best show on TV is about to release arguably it’s best and most gut wrenching season yet. The fifth season of The Shield was originally announced to be it’s last season. Well, things changed. Shawn Ryan decided to keep the train chugging along and in season five all bets were off. Without spoiling too much of the season for those who have not watched it, the Strike Team changed and nothing will ever be the same. Rumors have the show stretching out to seven seasons, meaning this next season (to start airing in June [actually, the new season is supposed to begin airing on April 03 – NEXT WEEK!]) should be the ramifications of the heart wrenching season finale, and the seventh should lead to the eventual downfall of the entire team. For those who have not watched the show, The Strike Team is a special units police division in Los Angeles. It is based loosely on the infamous Rampart CRASH unit that brought the division to its knees in 1998. It is a cop show like no other, as the police officers will beat, kill and maim criminals to get their point across, sell drugs and allow prostitution to get the more dangerous criminals behind bars, steal to help set up their own personal “retirement funds” and go as far as to kill other police officers to keep their noses clean. Yet, you cheer for these men as they go. That was until Season Five when they stepped over the line. If you have not watched The Shield get the previous four seasons and see what makes it great and then buy this season – the best series on television last year. It features a masterful season long performance by Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker as well. By the way, this set might have the most extras I have seen on a TV set yet. Yeah, I want Children of Men, but I want this just as bad.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Commentary on 10 of the 11 episodes:

  • “Extraction” – Commentary by DJ Caruso, Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Kenneth Johnson, David Rees Snell & Kurt Sutter
  • “Enemy of Good” – Commentary by Catherine Dent, Guy Ferland, Paula Garces & Michael Jaces
  • “Jailbait” – Commentary by Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Kenneth Johnson, Scott Rosenbaum & David Rees Snell
  • “Tapa Boca” – Commentary by Liz Craft, Sarah Fain, Paula Garces, Laura Harring & Jay Karnes
  • “Trophy” – Commentary by Catherine Dent, Laura Harring, Benito Martinez & CCH Pounder
  • “Man Inside” – Commentary by Adam Fierro, Jay Karnes, Emily Lewis, CCH Pounder & Cathy Cahlin Ryan
  • “Kavanuagh” – Commentary by Jay Karnes and Shawn Ryan
  • “Smoked” – Commentary by David Marciano, Glen Mazzara, Cathy Cahlin Ryan & David Rees Snell
  • “Of Mice & Lem” – Commentary by Anthony Anderson, Gwenyth Horder-Payton, Michael Jace, Kenneth Johnson, Benito Martinez & CCH Pounder
  • “Post Partum” – Commentary by Walton Goggins, Kenneth Johnson & Shawn Ryan
  • 25 Deleted Scenes w/ Optional Commentary by Shawn Ryan
  • Season 6 Prequel
  • Delivering the Baby: Making of Episode 511
  • The Shield Television Academy Panel
  • I.A.D
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making A Scene
  • Scott Brazil Tribute
  • Music Video
  • Promos

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PursuitTHE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

I was in Louisiana last December and while at a large outdoor mall, I overheard a group of high school kids talking about going to the movies. Well, all the girls were unanimous about what movie they preferred. It was the Will Smith feature, The Pursuit of Happyness. By the way, I refuse to allow my spell checker to recognize that word. Well, this is the perfect feel good movie for anyone who doesn’t think too hard. You have Will Smith, in the “based on a true story” tale of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman in little needed medical bone density scanners whose wife leaves him when he decides to try for a stockbroker internship where one in twenty has a chance of a lucrative full time career. Chris gains custody of his son and the two struggle through homelessness, jail time, tax seizure and the overall punishing despair in a quest that would make Gardner a respected millionaire. Well, that I a great inspirational story, as long as you don’t ask the important questions such as what kind of father would fight to keep his son from living a better life with his mother, instead allowing him to sleep on bathroom floors in subway stations? But if you ask those questions, this movie is not really for you. The true life story is an inspiration, and Will Smith makes everything he is in better than it would have been otherwise, but as a movie, it is just a below average tale of rags to riches.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • "Father and Son: Onscreen and Off"
  • "The Man Behind the Movie: A Conversation with Chris Gardner"
  • Making Pursuit: An Italian Take on the American Dream
  • Inside the Rubik’s Cube
  • Audio commentary with director

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TajVAN WILDER – THE RISE OF TAJ

Van Wilder was a great, fun little comedy that was carried on the very charismatic shoulders of one Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds took a movie that was not very different than every other teen comedy out there and made it something more, something immensely enjoyable. So, what is the first thing they do when they make a sequel to the 2002 hit? They get rid of Ryan Reynolds and focus the movie on his protégé from the first movie, Taj (Kal Penn). A movie that could have just as easily gone straight to video, it was instead a theatrical flop that proved that no matter how funny Penn can be (see Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), he can not save this movie from the void left by Reynolds departure. Basically, Taj has learned the way of cool from Van Wilder and has moved on to Oxford University in London and takes on a protégé of his own.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Union Jack-Offs: The Making of the Rise of Taj
  • On Set in Romania: Kal Penn Tours The Barn
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • "Get Steady" Music Video featuring Jonny Lives!
  • "Heads Will Roll" Music Video featuring Marion Raven

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MORE TITLES TO SPEND YOUR CASH ON:

Buy Me!Buy Me!
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UPCOMING DVD NEWS

BloodBLOOD AND CHOCOLATE

I remember going to see Rocky Balboa on Christmas Day. Before the movie, we watched the trailers and I played the game I like to play everytime I go to the movies, and that is to guess (or recognize) the trailers before the movie and yell out the movie title. Well, a movie came up and I had no idea what it was. Then the title of the movie was revealed and the entire theater broke out in laughter. That movie, Blood and Chocolate, will be available to own on DVD May 29. Not only is the movie produced by the team who made Underworld and The Covenant, it is basically the same type of movie as both. Vivian is a werewolf who spends her days working in a chocolate shop and nights in the city’s underground clubs. She falls in love with a human, yet being a killer werewolf herself, has to protect him from both herself and her fellow werewolves at the same time. Extras will include an audio commentary with Director Katja von Garnier, 15 deleted scenes, and preview trailers for other Sony releases. A Blu-ray release will also be available the same day.

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StompSTOMP THE YARD

This was a movie that I just didn’t have the desire to see, but my wife was very interested in seing it. See, I thought it was just another movie about young people dancing. However, she viewed it in a more interesting concept, as she attended college in Louisiana where this type of fraternity and step competition was popular. I guess the appeal in this movie might be determined by your knowledge of the concept. Stomp the Yard will be available to own in separate widescreen and full screen editions on May 15. Each disc will include a filmmaker audio commentary, a Battles Rivals Brothers featurette, two extended dance sequences (Get Buck & Opening Battle), a deleted scene (The Clean Up), and a selection of outtakes. A Blu-ray release will also be available the same day

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BigBIG – EXTENDED EDITION

When I was in Las Vegas last year, I took my wife to Caesar’s Palace to shop. I mentioned that there was a toy store I wanted to go to. She asked why, and I told her it was the toy store from the movie Big with the giant piano you could dance on to play music. She looked at me like I was crazy and I knew I had to train her well in the ways of the movie world. The store, FAO Schwartz, has been a stop every time I go to the Caesar’s Palace shopping mall. When we’re lucky, we can see the employees playing the instrument. It brings back great memories of a really fun movie. Well, on May 8, Big will be released in an extended edition. The Extended Cut has a listed running time of 120-minutes (compared to 104-minutes on the Theatrical Cut). The features on this two-disc set include BIG Brainstorming – An audio documentary by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg using archival audio material of the original creation of the script, 10 Deleted Scenes with Optional Intro by Peny Marshall, BACKSTORY: BIG, Carnival Party Newswrap, Zoltar Easter Egg, TV Spots and two trailers.

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MajorMAJOR LEAGUE – WILD THING EDITION

I was first alerted to this release on our message boards (HERE). Major League is a movie that I will always stop to watch when it is on TV. I loved the first movie so much, I went to see the second one in the theaters (so disappointed). Well, the movie that introduced us to such great characters as Willie Mays Hayes, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Harry Doyle and Pedro Cerrano will be released in a special edition on April 10. Forget comedies, this is one of my favorite baseball movies ever. I couldn’t watch 24 for the longest time, because every time one Mr. David Palmer would show up on screen, I would yell “Well, Fuck You Jobu!” Juvenile? I know. Screw you. The DVD will include Commentary by Writer/Director David Ward and Producer Chris Chesser, new interviews with Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berenger, Dennis Haysbert, Bob Uecker and more, A Major League Look at MAJOR LEAGUE, Bob Uecker: Just A Bit Outside, Alternate Ending with Filmmaker Introduction, A Tour of Cerrano’s Locker and a Photo Gallery.

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four 2 diskFANTASTIC FOUR – 2-DISC EXTENDED EDITION

I disagree with a lot of people who considered the Fantastic Four to be a disaster. I especially disagree with the people who think that the movie does not share the same spirit as the comic. I was a huge Fantastic Four fan as a collector and the movie is exactly what the comic was. Fantastic Four was not the X-Men. It was not about struggle to fit in and be a part of the world. Fantastic Four is more along the lines of Spiderman, except without the teen angst the web head lived with. The Fantastic Four was simply a fun, cheesy book about a family who happened to have super powers. Sure, there were points in the team’s history where they went dark. Sue’s pregnancy with Franklin. The trips to the Negative Zone. But what the comic really was, was the life of Marvel’s first family. The movie touched perfectly on Johnny Storm’s arrogance and I feel his characterization (and the acting of Chris Evans) was one of the things in the movie I liked best. Sure, it could have used less angst between Reed and Sue. The Thing was not very convincing looking. But for summer fun, Fantastic Four delivered. Now, just in time for the release of the second movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer, it is time to re-release the original in a 2-Disc Extended Edition. The DVD will be out on June 05 and while  most of the bonus material found on the second disc will be familiar to anyone who bought the two-disc edition available outside of the USA, the extended cut (20-minutes longer than the theatrical version) is exclusive to this edition. The original version will also be available on this edition. Extras will include Cast Commentary by Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis (Theatrical Version), Director/Producer/Writer Commentary by Tim Story, Avi Arad, Kevin Feige, Michael France, and Mark Frost (Theatrical & Extended Versions), Extended & Deleted Scenes, the Theatrical Teaser, the Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Fantastic 4 Rise of The Silver Surfer trailer, Silver Surfer featurette, Heroes Are Born: Making of Fantastic Four – Feature-length documentary, The Baxter Building: Declassified, Multi-angle Animatic to Scene Study, Two Featurettes (The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine and Jack Kirby – Storyteller), Visiting the Stately Ross Museum, Gallery (50 stills), From Comic Book to Film and Still Galleries. The set also contains a “Custom Stan Lee Comic Book” with 2 all-new stories written exclusively for this DVD release.

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THE BARGAIN BIN

TARGET

Curse Of The Golden Flower – $19.99
IMAX: Deep Sea – $17.99
Children OF Men – $17.99
Happy Feet – $15.99
Happy Feet Blu-Ray – $24.99
Happy Feet: Deluxe Edition – $22.99 – Deluxe Edition has collectible 3-D cover and National Geographic penguin DVD
The Pursuit Of Happyness – $15.99
The Pursuit Of Happyness : Deluxe Edition – $22.99 – Deluxe Edition comes with 2 bonus discs, including behind the scenes and the book on CD
Full House: Season 6 – $21.99

$10.00 DVDs: March Of The Penguins, Aquamarine, Shrek 2, She’s The Man, My Best Friend’s Wedding / The Wedding Planner Double Feature

CIRCUIT CITY

Turistas: Unrated – 17.99
Children Of Men – $17.99
Curse Of The Golden Flower – $19.99

Van Wilder: The Rise Of Taj Unrated – $17.99
Eragon – $19.99
Rocky Balboa – $19.99
Casino Royale – $19.99
Blood Diamond – $19.99
Cinderella 3 – $12.99
Cinderella – $12.99
Alice In Wonderland – $12.99
Chicken Little – $12.99
Kronk’s All New Groove – $12.99
After Dark Horrorfest: Wicked Little Somethings – $12.99
After Dark Horrorfest: The Gravedancers – $12.99
After Dark Horrorfest: Unrest – $12.99
Happy Feet – $13.99 – Free Happy Feet watch with purchase
The Pursuit Of Happyness – $13.99

Hitch – Purchase with Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
The Legend Of Bagger Vance – Purchase with Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
I, Robot - Purchase with Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
Full House: Season 6 – $21.99
The Addams Family: Volume II – $19.99
Friends: Season 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 – $19.99 each
The Shield: Season 5 – $39.99 – Free $5 Circuit City Gift Card with purchase

$9.49 DVDS: March Of The Penguins, Click: Special Edition, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl, Just My Luck, Iron Man, Aquamarine, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, The Hills Have Eyes: Unrated, Night Watch, Unknown, Sherry Baby, Police Story 2

3 DVDs for $15: The Talented Mr. Ripley, A Simple Plan, The Best Man, SNL: Best Of Eddie Murphy, The Sweetest Thing: Unrated, School Daze, Urban Cowboy, U-571: Collector’s Edition, S.W.A.T., Waterworld, Anaconda, Red Dragon, Wimbledon, Stephen King: Silver Bullet, Big Trouble In Little China, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, The Tuskegee Airman, The General’s Daughter, Amistad, Sugar Hill, Juice, Booty Call, Charlies’ Angels: Unrated, 28 Days, Saving Silverman, Cheech & Chong: Nice Dreams, Sleeping With The Enemy, Monster, Arlington Road, Miller’s Crossing, Night Of The Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

BEST BUY

Curse of The Golden Flower – $19.99
Bill Engvall: 15 Degrees Off Cool – $14.99
Children Of Men – $17.99
Happy Feet – $16.99 – Best Buy Exclusive Sticker Book with purchase
Happy Feet Blu-Ray – $29.99
Happy Feet HD-DVD – $34.99
March Of The Penguins – $14.99 – Buy with Happy Feetfor $25
The Pursuit Of Happyness – $16.99
The Pursuit Of Happyness Blu-Ray – $29.99
Bad Boys: Special Edition – $9.99 – Buy with The Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
Bad Boys II – $9.99 – Buy with The Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
Men In Black: Deluxe Edition – $9.99 – Buy with The Pursuit Of Happyness and get both DVDs for $20
Turistas: Unrated – $19.99 – Includes bonus Disc
Van Wilder: The Rise Of Taj – Unrated – $19.99  – Buy with Turistas: Unrated and get $5 Off transaction
The Addams Family : Volume II – $17.99
Full House: Season 6 – $26.99
The Shield: Season 5 – $39.99 – Buy The Shield: Season 5 and any previous Shield Season set and get $15 off the transaction

$9.99 DVDs:  Free Blades Of Glory Movie Cash Instantly when you purchase any of the DVDs listed – Team America World Police: Uncensored & Unrated, Old School, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy – Unrated, Nacho Libre, The Longest Yard (2005), South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Mean Girls, Road Trip: Unrated, Eurotrip: Unrated, Zoolander, A Night At The Roxbury

3 DVDs for $30:  Free Charlotte’s Web DVD Carrying Case Instantly when you buy 3 or more DVDs from these listed –Madagascar, Shrek, Dreamer, Go Diego Go: The Great Dinosaur Rescue, Charlotte’s Web 2, The Adventures Of Pete & Pete: Season 1, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Yours, Mine & Ours, Max & Ruby: Afternoons With Max & Ruby, Dora The Explorer: Musical School Days, Wallace & Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, Spongebob Squarepants: Fear Of a Krabby Patty, Blue’s Clues: Blue’s Room – Alphabet Power, Wallace & Gromit: Three Amazing Adventures, All You’ve Got, Spongebob Squarepants: Where’s Gary?, Avatar The Last Airbender: Book 1 Water – Volume II, Avatar The Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth – Volume I, The Backyardigans: Surf’s Up, Dora The Explorer: We’re A Team!, My Little Pony: The Runaway Rainbow, The Backyardigans: Polka Palace Party

2 DVDs For $25 — OR — 7 DVDs For $60:  Regular Price $14.99 EACH: Penny Dreadful, The Hamiltons, Wicked Little Things, Unrest, The Gravedancers, Dark Ride, Reincarnation

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That’s about it for the week in DVD. Get out there and buy Children of Men and the fifth season of The Shield. It’s the best recommendations I have been able to make you so far. Flip me an e-mail at Chud1@starvingdogs.biz with any questions or comments and I’ll see you next week.