Welcome to The Special Edition. This is my 12th column, and I’m pretty proud that as much as I procrastinate, I have not missed a week since taking over this little spot on the website. Here’s to the next twelve columns.

I’ll go ahead and take the time here to welcome Jeremy Smith to the site as a full timer. This guy is a hell of a writer and brings the goods every time. It’s great to have him aboard. Keep your eyes on the site, Nick has a lot of good shit on the way. This place is about to blow up.

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Good ShepherdTHE GOOD SHEPHERD
d. Robert De Niro
c. Matt Damon, Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin, Angelina Jolie

Robert DeNiro directs this film about the creation of the CIA. It is DeNiro’s second directorial attempt after A Bronx Tale and stars Matt Damon as Edward Wilson, a young man who, as a member of the infamous Skull and Bones Society (the same one that Bush was a member of) is brought in to help form the organization that would later grow into the CIA. Wilson is based in part on James Jesus Angleton, the long serving director of the CIA’s counter-intelligence staff. He would fall victim to intense paranoia later in his career, but this movie never really goes into that part of the man’s life. Rumor has DeNiro wanting to make a sequel, and if that goes into the breakdown of the Wilson character, that would be pretty compelling stuff. Not to say that this movie is not compelling, as DeNiro pieces together a pretty nice little movie, but the substance is not really as deep as I would have liked from a movie dealing with one of the most controversial organizations in the United States. This is a good flick, but it really leaves you wanting more. Hopefully, we will get it. And then hopefully we’ll get a DVD that has some decent extras. This movie is screaming for featurettes and has almost nothing.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Deleted Scenes

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VolverVOLVER
d. Pedro Almodóvar
c. Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas

Volver is the movie that reunited director Pedro Almodóvar with his self professed muse Penélope Cruz. It was also the movie that reminded us how talented Cruz could be with the right script, earning her an Academy Award nomination. The movie is about death, murder, tragedy, comedy and is all directed by a man who is be considered one of the premiere directors working today. Volver (“to return”) begins the movie with a group of women tending the gravestones of family members. We learn about the tragic fire that took the life of Raimunda’s (Cruz) parents. Soon after the death of her Aunt Paula, Raimunda’s sister Sole (Lola Duenas) sees the ghost of her dead mother in the trunk of her car, with luggage, intending to stay with Sole for awhile. The movie is about death and the culture that surrounds death in the region of La Mancha, where Almodóvar was born. The movie has some extras including a commentary by Almodóvar and Cruz that should be fantastic. It is also being released as a Blu Ray release the same day.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Commentary with Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz
- AFI Tribute to Penélope Cruz
- Director and cast interviews
- Making of featurette
- Photo gallery

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The NaturalTHE NATURAL: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT
d. Barry Levinson
c. Robert Redford, Wilford Brimley, Glenn Close

I love me a good baseball movie. I was walking through my living room yesterday and Field of Dreams was on the TV. I stopped and began to watch and actually stood there and watched the movie through to the end. I consider Bull Durham to be one of the best sport’s movies of all time, baseball or not. For Love of the Game is another baseball movie that I can’t see without stopping to watch it through to the end. I mentioned in last week’s column how excited I was to see Major League getting the special edition. Now this week we get the release of The Robert Redford vehicle, The Natural. Based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud, The Natural tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a man who wants nothing more out of life than to be the best baseball player in the world. His dreams are cut short when he is shot in the stomach while on his way to try out for the Cubs. The movie picks up fifteen years later and follows Hobbs as he achieves his dreams playing for the New York Knights as the oldest rookie in baseball. While many complain that the movie is unfaithful to the book (in the book, Roy does not hit the homerun and live happily ever after, he strikes out and is disgraced for life), the movie is still a great sport’s movie with the hero triumphing over great odds to win. The scene where he hits the home runs into the lights, causing a chain reaction of sparks falling as he rounds the bases is one that can not be forgotten. The director’s cut adds fifteen extra minutes to the movie and it is loaded with great extras.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Featurette: A Natural Gunned Down: The Stalking of Eddie Waitkus
- Featurette: Clubhouse Conversations
- Featurette: Extra Innings 1: Slow Motion
- Featurette: Extra Innings 2: Uniform Color
- Featurette: Extra Innings 3: The Sandberg Game
- Featurette: Extra Innings 4: The President’s Question
- Featurette: Knights in Shining Armor: The Mythology of The Natural
- Featurette: The Heart of The Natural
- Featurette: When Lightning Strikes: Creating The Natural Part 1 – Pre-Game: A Novelist Steps Up to the Plate
- Featurette: When Lightning Strikes: Creating The Natural Part 2 – The Line-Up: Assembling the Movie-Making Team
- Featurette: When Lightning Strikes: Creating The Natural Part 3 – Let’s Play Ball: Filming the Show
- Video Introduction by Barry Levinson

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Death of a PresidentDEATH OF A PRESIDENT
d. Gabriel Range

I was really interested in seeing this movie. Even after Russ Fischer’s bad review (read it here), I still have a desire to see it. The movie is about the assassination of President George W. Bush. It is shot as a pseudo-documentary that is shown one-year after the murder of the president. Dick Cheney takes over the role of president and a Syrian man is the prime suspect in the assassination. This leads to racial tensions, an attempt to start a new Patriot Act and strained relations between the United States and the rest of the world. Fischer said the movie has really nothing in it’s head for us to contemplate. It sounds to me like a movie that actually pushes an anti-war message and is a precautionary tale by the filmmakers to express what they feel is the results of the current state of the union. It is all political and, to be honest, a little preachy sounding. Hillary Clinton called the movie despicable and said she believed it is absolutely outrageous “that anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario.” I can’t agree with that narrow minded way of thinking. The fact that two of America’s biggest cinema chains, Regal and Cinemark, refused to screen the film, made me want to see it more. Hollywood Cinemas did show the movie, and it showed in my town, but I never made it out to see it. Well, I get the chance now. I always say that you should see a movie to judge for yourself if it is good or not. I am pretty sure Fischer is right in his description of the film. I just want to see it for myself.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Director’s commentary
- Filmmakers’ commentary
- Interviews
- Trailer gallery

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Black X-MasBLACK CHRISTMAS
d. Glen Morgan
c. Katie Cassidy,
Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert

Black Christmas (1974) was a movie that spawned a legacy of the movies that would follow. The story, taking place in a sorority house, where a number of girls prepare a party, unaware of the maniac living upstairs. The horror was evoked on the type of people you would learn over the years of Nightmares and Fridays that would follow. Girls interested in sex were the ones to awaken the madness of the killer. The horror series that this movie would spawn however, was Halloween in 1978. John Carpenter’s movie was based on a script that was written as a direct sequel to the 1974 film. Carpenter would change the movie to introduce his character of Michael Myers, but the seeds were still sown in the earlier film. Enough with the classic horror films. 2006 saw the continued interest in remaking old horror films. The Omen. The Wickerman. The Hitcher. Now, Black Christmas. The original movie may have been historically important, but it was not that great. The remake was horrible. It was stupid. It was uninspired. And it is now being released on DVD. Oh, joy. The unrated edition is five minutes longer – be warned.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Deleted scenes
- Three alternate endings
- Two behind the scenes featurettes
- Trailers

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MORE TITLES TO SPEND YOUR CASH ON:

Buy Me!Buy Me!Buy Me!
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UPCOMING DVD NEWS

Trading Placescoming to americaCOMING TO AMERICA
and
TRADING PLACES

Paramount Home Entertainment has announced new collector’s editions of Coming to America (The Soul Glow Edition) and Trading Places (The Looking Good, Feeling Good Edition). Each will be available to own on June 05. Coming to America, while a movie that I quite enjoy, will always be remembered by me as the movie that began Eddie Murphy’s descent into attempting to play every character in the movie all by himself. That is not a good thing. Sure you get Arsenio Hall in maybe his only decent cinema appearance (or four), but what you really get it Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem, Clarence, Randy Watson, Saul, Larry, Mo, Curly, Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Snap, Crackle and Pop all in the same movie. Darth Vader makes an appearance as well. Trading Places cashed in on the Saturday Night Live hysteria as Dan Aykroyd and Murphy star as two men who – wait for it – trade places with each other. Unlike Coming to America, Trading Places holds up pretty well today, with very funny and quality performances by both stars. Both movies are directed by John Landis. These special editions might be worth the cash. Extras on Coming to America will include a Coming Together of America featurette, a Costumes of Coming to America featurette, a Many Faces of Rick Baker featurette, another featurette on the musical talents of Nile Rodgers, and a Vintage Sit-Down With Eddie and Arsenio. Trading Places will include a making of featurette, a deleted scene, and three further featurettes (Trading Stories, Dressing the Part, and The Trade in Trading Places). Blu-ray and HD DVD releases will also be available for each title.

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MEATBALLS

Not to be outdone, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has jumped on the bandwagon of releasing special editions of old comedy “classics” and have announced a new special edition of the Ivan Reitman directed comedy Meatballs which stars Bill Murray in his feature film and starring role debut. Talk about movies that don’t hold up well. You can see Reitman had something to offer, but it was not until Stripes two years later, and Ghostbusters after that, that we were able to see how great he could be. This movie was just a product of the times. Bill Murray plays a “wacky summer camp counselor” for mischievous kids. Murray uses his unique brand of offbeat comedy to raise the self-esteem of the more sensitive campers while at the same time trying to tame the unruly misfits. Murray was loaded with charisma, and would shine in Stripes and Caddyshack. This might be a good buy to see where the greatness began. It will be released June 05. The film itself has been digitally re-mastered and extras will include an audio commentary with director Reitman, along with a Summer Camp: The Making of Meatballs documentary. A Blu-ray release will be available separately. I don’t know what the cover looks like yet, or what ridiculous title they will attach to it.

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number 23THE NUMBER 23

Ah, the movie that made Jim Carrey fire his agent. I was actually wanting to see this movie when I saw the trailer. Then CHUD.com informed me of the problems surrounding the plot. Then Devin told me that if I went to see it I would be pitied, and if I liked it I would be despised (read his review here). Luckily, he gave away all the twists and turns in his article, so I would not be curious at all. And, yes, after reading his description, it was very incredibly stupid. I was disappointed. I wanted to like it. The Number 23 will be released on July 17. Both rated and unrated cuts of the film will be included, along with a director commentary, deleted scenes with director commentary, a Making of the Number 23 documentary, and a Creating the World of Fingerling featurette. Completing the package will be a Number 23 Enigma featurette, a How to Do Your Numbers feature, behind the scenes branching featurettes (Original End, Original Idea, 23’s in the Movie, 23’s on the Set, Theory of Cupcakes, Fingerlings Tattoo, The 23rd Day of Shooting, Mayans End of the World, Magical Quality of #5, VFX – Storyboard, VFX – Suicide Blonde Fall, VFX – Chapter 23, VFX – Writing in Room 23), and trailers. This puppy is stacked. But it’s like putting whip cream and a cherry on a pile of shit.

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flagsFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (2-Disc Special Edition)

Back on February 05, I warned you to be careful when buying Flags of Our Fathers, calling it a “DVD that pretty much screams double dip.” Well, the double dip has been announced. The two-disc collector’s edition of Flags of our Fathers will be released on May 22, just about three months after the original release. Extras will include an introduction to the film by Eastwood, a Words on the Page featurette, a Six Brave Men featurette, a Raising the Flag featurette, as well as featurettes on the visual effects and the historical facts surrounding the film. Separate HD DVD and Blu-ray releases will also be available. I will say this again though: BEWARE! Letters from Iwo Jima has not been announced yet, and I would not be surprised to see this special edition packaged with the SE of Iwo Jima for a lower price than you would pay for them separately.

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you doTHAT THING YOU DO (EXTENDED CUT)

I mentioned last week that Tom Hank’s BIG was about to be released in an extended edition. Well, available on the same day (May 08) will be an extended cut of That Thing You Do which was written and directed by Hanks. The film (with an additional 39 minutes included) tells the story of the band The Oneders (sound it out) and their rise to the top of the music world, surrounding their one hit, That Thing You Do. Tom Hanks stars as the bands agent, who helps the band on it’s rise in the ratings as the British Invasion gets underway in the early ‘60s. This is a movie that I have been rediscovering as it replays on TV endlessly lately. Sure it’s light weight, but it is also very enjoyable, and I am interested to see what the restored footage brings to the table. Extras will include a “Making That Thing You Do” featurette, "The Story Of The Wonders” featurette, a That Thing You Do Reunion, "The Wonders – Big in Japan” featurette, and “The Making of That Thing You Do” HBO first look. Completing the package will be “That Thing You Do Title Song Submissions”, and TV spots and theatrical trailers. I may have been a bit hard earlier on Meatballs and Coming to America, but I guess it is all about your personal tastes. I like That Thing You Do, so maybe that explains it.

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THE BARGAIN BIN

TARGET

Jump In!: Freestyle Edition – $17.99
The Naked Brothers Band – $12.99
Dora The Explorer: Shy Rainbow – $12.99
Black Xmas – $19.99
Volver – $19.99
Opal Dream – $19.99
The Good Shepard – $16.99
Happy Feet – $17.99
Flushed Away – $14.99
Everyone’s Hero – $14.99
Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties – $14.99
Open Season – $17.99
Eragon – $17.99
Cinderella III – $17.99
Peter Pan: 2 DVD Platinum Edition – $17.99
The Nativity Story – $17.99
The Pursuit Of Happyness – $17.99
Dora The Explorer : Egg Hunt – $7.99
Curious George – $14.99
Barnyard – $14.99
Chicken Little – $14.99
It’s The Easter Beagl, Charlie Brown – $7.99
Max & Ruby: Springtime For Max & Ruby – $7.99
Peter Cottontail: The Movie – $7.99
Thomas & Friends: Calling All Engines (Limited Edition) – $7.99
Barbie As The Princess & The Pauper – $7.99
Pokemon Ranger: Temple Of The Sea – $16.99 – Target Exclusive Music CD
Charlotte’s Web – $16.99 – Target Exclusive: Free Full length novel of Charlotte’s Web & bookmark with purchase of the DVD

Mind Of Mencia: Season 2 – $16.99
Twin Peaks: Season 2 – $39.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series – $89.99
Sex And The City: The Compete Series – $139.99
Monk: Season 4 – $32.99
The Simpsons: Season 9 – $24.99
Martin: Season 1 – $22.99
24: Season 5 – $29.99
The Office: Season 2 – $29.99
Family Guy: Volume IV – $19.99
Beverly Hills 90210 : Season 1 – $27.99
Friends: Season 10 – $19.99
Everybody Loves Raymond: Season 7 – $19.99
Full House: Season 5 – $19.99
Scrubs: Season 1 – $27.99
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 1 – $17.99
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 2 Uncut – $39.99
The Hills: Season 1 – $19.99
Entourage: Season 2 – $24.99
Entourage: Season 3 – Part I – $24.99 – Target Exclusive postcards included featuring your favorite Entourage guys

$10.00 DVDs: Little Miss Sunshine, Ice Age: The Meltdown, The Devil Wears Prada, The Marine, Flyboys, The Illusionist, A Good Year, Flicka, John Tucker Must Die, X- Men 3: The Last Stand

CIRCUIT CITY

The Good Shepherd – $17.99
Black Xmas – $17.99
Volver – $19.99
Dancing With The Stars: Cardio Dance – $12.99
Pokemon Ranger: Temple Of The Sea – $14.99
The Natural: Special Edition – $17.99
Happy Feet – $19.99
Rocky Balboa – $19.99
Casino Royale – $19.99
The Pursuit Of Happyness – $19.99
Flyboys – $11.99
The Illusionist – $11.99
Monster House – $11.99
Crank – $11.99
Flushed Away – $14.99
Charlotte’s Web – $14.99
Charlotte’s Web: Deluxe Edition – $19.99 – Circuit City Exclusive: Free 64 page coloring & activity book with purchase
Jump In: Freestyle Edition – $12.99 – Buy with High School Musical: Encore Edition and get both DVDs for $20
High School Musical: Encore Edition – $12.99 – Buy with Jump In! Freestyle Edition and get both DVDs for $20
Mind Of Mencia: Season 2 – $17.99
Twin Peaks: Season 2 – $39.99
Stargate: Atlantis – Season 1 – $17.99
Stargate: SG1 – Season 1 – $17.99
Angel: Season 1 – $17.99
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 1 – $17.99
Dead Like Me: Season 1 – $17.99
Arrested Development: Season 1 – $17.99
That 70’s Show: Season 1 – $17.99
Futurama: Season 1 – $17.99
The Girls Next Door: Season 1 – $17.99
Stacked: The Complete Series – $17.99
The Addams Family: Volume I – $19.99
St. Elsewhere: Season 1 – $17.99
The Pretender: Season 1 – $17.99
Entourage: Season 1 – $21.99
Entourage: Season 2 – $21.99
Entourage: Season 3.1 – $21.99 – Free Entourage keychain with purchase

$4.99 DVDS: The Wedding Singer (1st Pressing), Austin Power: International Man Of Mystery, The Whole Nine Yards, About Schmidt, Little Nicky: Special Edition, Three Amigos, Doc Hollywood, Money Talks, Martin Lawrence: You So Crazy, Twister, Tango & Cash, Purple Rain (1st Pressing), Queen Of The Damned, Cradle 2 The Grave, The Lost Boys (1st Pressing), I Am Sam, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, You’ve Got Mail, Angel Eyes, After The Sunset, Message In A Bottle, Cellular, Rock Star, The Astronaut’s Wife, The Pelcan Brief, Empire Of The Sun, Dreamcatcher, Dangerous Ground, Fallen, Mystic River (1st Pressing), A Perfect Murder: Special Edition, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Bloodsport, Murder By Numbers, Cobra, On Deadly Ground, Lost In Space, Frantic, True Crime, Most Wanted

$6.99 DVDS: Antz, Labryinth, The Indian In The Cupboard, Casper, Flubber, 13 Going pn 30: Fun & Flirty Edition, Guess Who, Fried Green Tomatoes: Collector’s Edition, Forrest Gump, American Beauty, The Gospel: Special Edition, The Fifth Element (1st Pressing), Equilibrium, Black Dawn, Any Given Sunday

$9.99 DVDS: Free Plush Bunny with purchase of ANY of these DVDs – Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Winnie The Pooh: Springtime With Roo, It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, Dora The Explorer: Egg Hunt, That’s So Suite Life Of Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana: Livin’ The Rock Star Life, Disney Princess Sing Along Songs – Volume II: Enchanted Tea Party, Disney Princess Stores: Volume I, Dora The Explorer: Musical School Days, Dora The Explorer: World Adventure!, The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody: Taking Over The Tipton, My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade, Little Einsteins: Legend Of The Golden Pyramid, My Little Pony: A Very Pony Place, Go Diego Go: The Great Jaguar Rescue, Go Diego Go: The Great Dinosaur Rescue, Dinosaur, Bratz: Fashion Policez, Avatar, The Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth – Volume I, Avatar, The Last Airbender: Book 1 Water – Volume V, Spongebob Squarepants: A Whale Of A Birthday, The Muppet Movie, School House Rock, Space Jam, Cats & Dogs

BEST BUY

The Good Shepherd – $16.99
The Good Shepherd HD-DVD – $34.99
Flushed Away – $16.99
Volver – $19.99
Black Xmas: Unrated – $19.99
The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie – $9.99
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown – $12.99
Charlotte’s Web – $16.99
It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown – $12.99 – Buy Charlotte’s Web and get this title for $6.99
Dora The Explorer: Egg Hunt – $12.99 – Buy Charlotte’s Web and get this title for $6.99
Dora The Explorer: Great Dinosaur Rescue – $12.99 – Buy Charlotte’s Web and get this title for $6.99
Max & Ruby: Easter With Max & Ruby – $12.99 – Buy Charlotte’s Web and get this title for $6.99
Jump In!: Freestyle Edition – $17.99
The Cheetah Girls 2: Cheetah-licious Edition – $17.99 – Buy Jump In!: Freestyle Edition and get this title for $9.99
High School Musical: Encore Edition – $17.99 - Buy Jump In!: Freestyle Edition and get this title for $9.99
Hannah Montana: Livin’ The Rock Star Life – $17.99 – Buy Jump In!: Freestyle Edition and get this title for $9.99
The Natural: Director’s Cut – $16.99
The Natural: Director’s Cut Gift Set – $22.99 – Includes New York Knights cap, Roy Hobbs “autographed baseball” and baseball trading cards
The Lost Room – $14.99
Tom Goes To The Mayor – $26.99
She-Ra: Princess Of Power: Season 1 – Volume II – $24.99
The Wire: Season 1 – $24.99
ROME – $59.99
The Sopranos: Season 4 / 5 / 6.1 – $54.99 each
Seinfeld: Season 1 + 2 / 3 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 – $19.99 each
Rescue Me: Season 1 / 2 – $19.99 each
Dawson’s Creek: Season 6 – $19.99
Party Of Five: Season 2 – $19.99
The King Of Queens: Season 5 – $19.99
Starsky & Hutch: Season 4 – $19.99
Married With Children: Season 5 – $19.99
Bewitched: Season 3 – $19.99
Charlie’s Angels: Season 3 – $19.99
Boondocks: Season 1 – Uncut & Uncensored – $19.99
Mind Of Mencia: Season 2 – $16.99 – Comes with Bonus Disc
Entourage: Season 3.1 – $22.99
Entourage: Season 1 / 2 – $22.99 each

$9.99 Each:  Fun With Dick & Jane (Jim Carrey), RV, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, Ultimate Avengers 2, Ice Age, Robots, Jumanji: Deluxe Edition, Father Of The Bride: 15th Anniversary Edition, Pink Panther: Special Edition (Steve Martin), Pretty Woman: 15th Anniversary Edition, Hoodwinked, Nanny McPhee, Barbie: Magic Of Pegasus, Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia, Benchwarmers, Sherrybaby, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Romancing The Stone: Special Edition, King Kong (Peter Jackson), The Greatest Game Ever Played, REDS: Special Collector’s Edition, Tron: 20th Anniversary Edition, Aeon Flux: Special Collector’s Edition (Charlize Theron), Ultraviolet: Unrated Extended Cut, Zathura: Special Edition, Dead Poet’s Society: Special Edition, The Mummy Collector’s Set (3 Movies), Munich, Legends Of The Fall: Special Edition, Memoirs Of A Geisha

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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.