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DVD REVIEW: STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO (SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO), THE
October 16, 2007
DVD REVIEW: SLOW BURN
October 16, 2007

THE SPECIAL EDITION – 10.15.07

NEW RELEASES

Buy Me!TRANSFORMERS

Read Nick’s DVD review HERE

When I first hear about Transformers, I really did not care at all. I mean, I had the toys as a kid, but I also had G.I. Joes and I don’t care about that upcoming release either. Then the trailer hit and I still was not enthusiastic about it. Michael Bay has made some movies that I love. The Rock. Armageddon. Bad Boys 1 and 2. I love the big budget, crazy action flicks that the man puts out. But since Pearl Harbor, I have just not been that interested in his work. I love the action, but his attempts at more serious subject matter did not really match the mood I am in when I put in one of his flicks. I want explosions. Car chases. Gun fights. More explosions. Well, I have become a huge fan of one Shia LaBeouf and I think maybe he is the reason I got my first taste of interest in this movie. This movie surpassed all my expectations and blew my ass out of the theater. I loved this movie. The Autobots and Decepticons were brilliantly captured. The story was just a thrill ride from beginning to end. It had everything I love about Michael Bay and it had a great performance by LaBeouf. The story may have been hokey at points and the logic may have been flawed at points but that is not why you watch this movie. You watch it to see giant robots blowing the shit out of each other. This movie is summer blockbuster perfection. There are two versions and an HD-DVD version available. Ignore the single disc and get the 2-Disc Special Edition. You will not be disappointed.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Michael Bay
  • The Story Sparks
  • Human Allies
  • I Fight Giant Robots
  • Battleground
  • Rise of the Robots
  • AUTOBOTS Roll Out
  • DECEPTICONS Strike
  • Inside the AllSpark
  • From Script to Sand: The SKORPONOK Desert Attack
  • Concepts
  • Trailers

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mPLANET TERROR

I know a lot of people are down on Robert Rodriguez and many feel that Planet Terror is the weaker movie in the Grindhouse feature presentation. I love Death Proof as much as anyone else, but I also found a lot to love about Planet Terror. I have been a huge Rodriguez fan since his beginning with El Mariachi and have followed his career religiously ever since. The misstep of Shark Boy and Lava Girl aside, I have liked pretty much everything he has done and consider Once Upon a Time in Mexico to be highly over criticized and feel it is just as fun as anything else out there. I also LOVE his DVD presentations, as they are all put together with much love by the man. I feel that Planet Terror has a lot of positives and is a very funny movie. The missing reel should never, ever be shot and added because that moment in the movie is maybe the funniest thing I saw in either of the movies and the trailers (although Nicholas Cage is Fu Manchu is right up there). I hate the fact that they split the two movies up for the DVDs and left off all the trailers but this DVD is just like all of Robert Rodriguez’s DVDs – stacked. If you don’t like Rodriguez there is probably nothing I can do to convince you otherwise, but if you do appreciate the man’s work this is a DVD you cannot pass up.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Feature Length Audio Commentary By Writer/Director Robert Rodriguez
  • Audience Screening Track
  • 10 Minute Film School
  • Sickos, Bullets And Explosions: The Stunts Of Planet Terror
  • The Badass Babes Of Planet Terror
  • Casting Robert Rodriguez’s Son Rebel
  • The Guys Of Planet Terror
  • The Friend, The Doctor And The Real Estate Agent
  • International Poster Gallery and International Trailer

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mA MIGHTY HEART

You know, the only things I know about A Mighty Heart is that Angelina Jolie plays an African American woman, it’s based on a true story and it is prestige Oscar bait. Well, after research I found that the charges against Jolie were not quite completely true. The character she portrays, Mariane Pearl is not African-American, she is bi-racial (she is of Dutch-Jewish, Afro-Latino-Cuban and Chinese Cuban ancestry). The controversy was enough to give the film publicity (no publicity is bad publicity) but not enough to give it box office legs. The film tells the story of Mariane Pearl, a journalist and wife of Daniel Pearl, who was captured and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. While it did not turn into a box office sensation, it did earn rave reviews from Roger Ebert, Larry King and our own Devin Faraci (8.0 out of 10). Hell, that alone should make it worth keeping an out for when award season rolls around.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Journey of Passion: The Making of "A Mighty Heart"
  • Public Service Announcement – Pearl Foundation with Christiane Amanpour
  • Committee to Protect Journalists

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mThe Reaping

It is strange to think that Hilary Swank is a 2-time Oscar winner when I see her starring in a movie like The Reaping. I know she thought she was in an Oscar prestigious movie with Freedom Writers (she was wrong) but with this outing, people will forget her brilliant performance in Boys Don’t Cry very soon and consider her just another female actress, instead of the talent that she can be. Then again, you can do worse following an Oscar win than this (Catwoman). Her next movie sounds like a basic chick flick and the one after that she is the producer of, as well, so I don’t know if this is a sign of decline or just a bump in the road. Anyway, in The Reaping, Swank stars as a former Christian missionary, who specializes in debunking religious phenomena, investigates a small town which seems to be suffering from the 10 biblical plagues. Our own Russ Fischer gives it an outstanding 3.5 out of 10, so take it for what it is. Late night cable fodder. Let Justin Waddell watch it for you. Or you can tune in next week and my review of the DVD will be up for you to read.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Science of the 10 Plagues: The search for scientific explanations
  • The Characters: Cast members reflect
  • A Place Called Haven: Explore this exotic landscape
  • The Reaping – The Seventh Plague: Those creepy bugs
  • AnnaSophia Robb’s Scary Story: The young actress portraying Loren narrates and recreates a scary story she’s written

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mThe Invisible

From the producers of The Sixth Sense and the directed by the writer of Batman Begins. Nick Powell is brutally attacked and left for dead. He is now trapped in a ghostly limbo where no one can see him or hear him. His only chance is a girl named Annie, the one person who might be able to hear him. Together, they must solve the mystery of his murder so he can have a chance to live again. I absolutely loved the trailer and despite its lackluster reviews I really want to see it. Will this have a chance to be another Stir of Echos? For me, that would be a good thing. Stay tuned and check back in the next couple of days and I will have the review up for this DVD.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Over 13 Minutes of Deleted Scenes
  • Music Videos
    • 30 Seconds to Mars – “The Kill”
    • Sparta – “Taking Back Control”
  • Feature Audio Commentary with Director David S. Goyer and Writer Christine Roum
  • Feature Audio Commentary with Writer Mick Davis

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RE-RELEASES AND CLASSICS

mThe Jazz Singer 80th Anniversary Edition (Three-Disc Deluxe Edition)

You ain’t heard nothin’ yet. Those words changed the way we view films today. Before that, you had to read the dialogue as it came onto the screen between shots. Then with the first spoken word in cinema, that all changed. It was more important than color film stock. It was more important than almost any other technological advancement to film since. Sound to film was something that no one had seen – or heard – yet, and those first words to play to the cinema fan’s ears were like magic. Movies would never be the same. There was no going back after Al Jolson spoke those words. Numerous stars of the silent era fell from grace because their voices were not made for the new coming in technology but could you imagine film where you never heard the words “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” or “There’s no place like home …”? If not for the new technology and this movie, those iconic audio images would never have existed. The movie, originally planned to be a silent film with musical interludes to be recorded on a Vitaphone, a new system developed by Bell Laboratories and owned by Warner Brothers. However, Jolson trumped that plan by actually ad-libbing the words that would become immortal. This definitive DVD release is not just a release of the movie that started it all, but it is a celebration of sound in cinema with many features that showcases the originality and wonderment of the new technology. This is a must-own for any student of film history.

Disc 1 – The Movie
All new feature digital transfer and immaculately refurbished soundtrack from restored picture elements and original Vitaphone-Sound-on-Disc recordings
Commentary by film historians Ron Hutchinson and Vince Giordano
Collection of rare cartoons and shorts:
I Love to Sing-a classic 1936 WB parody cartoon directed by Tex Avery
Hollywood Handicap classic M-G-M short with Al Jolson appearance
A Day at Santa Anita classic Technicolor Warner Bros. short with Al Jolson & Ruby Keeler cameo appearance
“Al Jolson in ‘A Plantation Act’ “1926 Vitaphone short made a year prior to The Jazz Singer
An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee
1947 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast starring Al Jolson (audio only)
Al Jolson Trailer Gallery

Disc 2 – The Early Sound Era
All-new feature-length documentary The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk
Two rarely-seen Technicolor excerpts from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929 WB film, most of which is considered lost)
Studio shorts celebrating the early sound era:
Finding His Voice (1929 Western Electric animated promotional short, produced by Max Fleischer)
The Voice That Thrilled The World – Warner Bros. short about sound
Okay for Sound 1946 WB short celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vitaphone
When Talkies Were Young 1955 WB short looking back at the early talkies
The Voice from the Screen 1926 WB ‘demonstration’ film explores the Vitaphone technology and, looks at the making of a Vitaphone short.

Disc 3 – VITAPHONE SHORTS
In Warner Bros. began producing a series of short films which utilized the Vitaphone process. These films ran the gamut from musical theater legends and vaudeville acts, to dramatic vignettes and classical music performances from the most prestigious artists of the era. Most of these were shorts considered lost for decades, until a consortium of archivists and historians joined forces with a goal to restore these magnificent time capsules of entertainment history. Up until now, contemporary audiences have only been able to see these shorts via rare retrospective showings in a few large cities, or through the limited release of a restored handful of the earliest subjects, which were part of a 1996 laserdisc set. This new collection will finally make these amazing rarities available to the thousands of film fans awaiting their DVD debut.
Over 3 1/2 hours worth of rare, historic Vitaphone comedy and music shorts:

Elsie Janis in a Vaudeville Act: “Behind the Lines”
Bernado Depace: “Wizard of the Mandolin”
Van and Schneck: “The Pennant Winning Battery of Songland”
Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields
Hazel Green and Company
The Night Court
The Police Quartette
Ray Mayer & Edith Evans: “When East Meets West”
Adele Rowland: “Stories in Song”
Stoll, Flynn and Company: “The Jazzmania Quintet”
The Ingenues in “The Band Beautiful”
The Foy Family in “Chips off the Old Block”
Dick Rich and His Melodious Monarchs
Gus Arnheim and His Ambassadors [
Shaw and Lee: “The Beau Brummels”
Larry Ceballos’ Roof Garden Revue
Trixie Friganza in “My Bag O’ Tricks”
Green’s Twentieth Century Faydetts
Sol Violinsky: “The Eccentric Entertainer”
Ethel Sinclair and Marge La Marr in “At the Seashore”
Paul Tremaine and His Aristocrats
Baby Rose Marie: “The Child Wonder”
Burns & Allen in “Lambchops “
Joe Frisco in “The Happy Hottentots”

PLUS:
Outstanding Collector’s Edition Bonuses:
Rarely seen behind-the-scenes Photo cards
Original release Lobby card reproductions
Original release Souvenir Program book reproduction
Booklet with vintage document reproductions and DVD features guide
Reproduction of post-premiere telegram from Al Jolson to Jack L. Warner

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mHollow Man (Director’s Cut)

Read Nick’s DVD review HERE

Hollow Man is a guilty pleasure. Yeah, it isn’t a great movie, but it is a lot of fun if you go into it with low expectations and just watch it for a good time. I mean, if you think a good time can include a beautiful woman getting raped by an invisible man. I guess that would be Paul Verhoeven’s idea of a good time. Over the last few months you have seen the re-releases of Showgirls, Robocop, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers. Now add a fifth movie to the ever expanding list of Verhoeven re-released “classics.” I guess he is trying to keep up with Francis Ford Coppola in that department. He already beat Coppola to finally releasing a new movie with Black Book, so just consider this the year of Verhoeven. Since Kevin Bacon spends almost the entire movie invisible, does that actually make Elisabeth Shue the star? Nick reviewed the DVD and said it really ain’t worth the money, but I like the flick and don’t have it yet,

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • HBO Making-of “Anatomy of a Thriller”
  • ”Fleshing Out the Hollow Man” 15 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
  • VFX Picture in Picture Comparisons

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mJingle All The Way

It seemed like for about four years my family would put this movie in the DVD player at one of the holiday gatherings. And, God did they love it. And then at some point, I found myself enjoying it as well. I think about that fact and wonder to myself what caused that change in attitude towards the film? Was it the same broadcasted hypnosis that Arnold Schwarzenegger used to get himself elected to the Governor’s office? Was it some kind of emotional manipulation that was used to make a family gathered together feel like they could connect to the troubled parents and kids in the movie? Was it Sinbad, making me secretly wish deep down that he would just bust loose on the set and show his true colors (which are very much NOT family oriented). Maybe it was the fact that the movie was blasted so hard by critics that I just knew it could not be THAT bad. No. It was Phil Hartman. That’s what I’m telling myself and no one will convince me otherwise.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Turbo Man: Behind the Mask” featurette
  • “The Making of a Hero” featurette
  • “Super Kids” featurette
  • Interactive Set-top Games:
    • Christmas Rush
    • Guess the Gift

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TELEVISION ON DVD

bStudio 60 on the Sunset Strip – The Complete Series
That ’70s Show – Season 7
Medium – The Third Season
Roseanne: The Complete Ninth Season
Ironside – Season 2
Deadliest Catch: Season 2 (3pc)
Wanted: Dead or Alive – Season 3
Hellsing Ultimate Volume 3 Limited Edition
Jonathan Creek – Season Two
Waking the Dead – The Complete Season Two
Mythbusters: Collection 2 (3pc)
Macgyver – The Complete Series
Joe Pro: The Show, The Limo, The Afterparty

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OTHER DVDs TO SPEND YOUR DOUGH ON

AC/DC: Plug Me In (3 disc Limited Edition), The Christmas Blessing, Show Business – The Road to Broadway, Absolutely Fabulous – White Box, The House Without a Christmas Tree, Icons of Horror Collection – Sam Katzman (The Giant Claw / Creature with the Atom Brain / Zombies of Mora Tau / The Werewolf), Charlie and Lola, Vol. 6 – How Many More Minutes Until Christmas, Jimi Hendrix: Live at Monterey, Warren Miller: Off the Grid, The Hoax, My Best Friend, Return to House on Haunted Hill (Unrated), Casshern, Masters of Horror: The Damned Thing, The Other Conquest (La Otra Conquista), Crazy Love, Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?, WWE: Unforgiven 2007, Byron, Normal Adolescent Behavior: Havoc 2, Subway Stories, Killer Wave, Christmas Do-Over, Murder Party, Kings of South Beach, Believers (Unrated Edition), Children Of The Grave

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THE BARGAIN BIN

Best Buy:

Transformers $14.99
Transformers 2-Disc Special Edition $22.99
– Gift Set with 2 figures $29.99
Transformers HD DVD $29.99
*Bonus Lithograph with purchase of the DVD

Grindhouse: Planet Terror (Steelbook) $22.99
Grindhouse: Planet Terror $17.99

The Reaping $17.99
The Reaping (Blu Ray) $29.99
The Reaping (HD DVD) $34.99
Return to the House on Haunted Hill $17.99
Return to the House of Haunted Hill (Blu Ray or HD DVD) $29.99 each
Believers Unrated $17.99
*Save $5 instantly when you buy any two of The Reaping, Return to the House of Haunted Hill or Believers

The Invisible $19.99
The Invisible (Blu Ray) $29.99
The Hoax $19.99
A Mighty Heart $19.99
A Mighty Heart (HD DVD) $29.99
Best Picture Collection (MGM) $19.99

TV On DVD:
Squidbillies: Season One $24.99
Angel: Complete Collection $99.99
Studio 60: Complete Series $39.99
That 70’s Show: Season 7 $36.99
That 70’s Show: Seasons 1-6 on sale for $19.99 each when you buy Season 7.

Disturbia $14.99

$9.99 each
Fantastic 4: Extended Edition, Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Gladiator, Blood Diamond, Pulp Fiction: Collector’s Edition, The Mummy: Collectors Set, Leon the Professional, Reservoir Dogs (Metal Tin), Lock, Stock & Smoking Barrels, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, King Kong, Miami Vice, Jet Li Fearless, Underworld: Evolution, V for Vendetta, Mission: Impossible:Collector’s Edition, Mission: Impossible III, Layer Cake, Braveheart, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Batman Begins, Riddick Trilogy, Serenity, Lucky # Slevin, Red Dawn: Collector’s Edition, Sin City, National Treasure, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: revenge of the Sith, Kingdom of Heaven, Waist Deep, Jaws, Scarface

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE, WHEN YOU BUY ANY OF THESE BLU-RAY DISC MOVIES. $29.99 each
– Invincible
– Chicken Little
– Wild Hogs
– Eight Below
– Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
– Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
– Gone in 60 Seconds
– The Lookout
– Pearl Harbor
– Apocalypto
– DejaVu
– The Guardian
– The Prestige
– Enemy of the State

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CIRCUIT CITY

Transformers $13.99
Transformers 2 disc Special Edition $22.99
Transformers HD DVD $29.99
*Free cap to first 20 customers, Free Digital Download Card for access to over 11 minutes of exclusive footage

Transformers: Eragon $5.99
Transformers: Return of Megatron $5.99

Planet Terror $16.99 with Bonus Movie Cash for "The Mist"
The Invisible $19.99
Believers: Unrated $19.99
The Reaping $19.99
Return to the House on Haunted Hill $19.99
A Mighty Heart $19.99
The Hoax $19.99
The Medium: Season 3 $39.99
That 70’s Show: Season 7 $34.99

Evan Almighty $19.99
Surf’s Up $19.99
1408 $19.99
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $19.99
Knocked Up: Unrated $19.99
Disturbia $13.99

CSI: Seasons 1-5 $34.99 each
CSI: Miami Seasons 1-3 $34.99 each
NCIS: Seasons 1-3 $49.99 each
Criminal Minds: Season 2 $49.99
Ghost Whisperer: Seasons 1-2 $49.99 each
JAG: Season 3 $49.99

$4.99 each
Shaft, Changing Lanes, The Score, The Saint, Drop Zone, Virtuosity, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Hunted, Timeline, Hard Rain, Donavan’s Reef, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Accused, Dragonslayer, Escape from Alcatraz, Rules of Engagement, Naked Gun 21/2, Beverly Hills Cop III, The Golden Child

$6.99 each
War of the Worlds: Special Collector’s Edition, Top Gun: Special Collector’s Edition, Mission: Impossible: Special Collector’s Edition, Mission: Impossible II, Saving Private Ryan, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Hunt for Red October, Death Wish, The Warrior’s, Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, Sahara

$9.99 each
DaVinci Code, Gridiron Gang, Ghostbusters 1&2, Talladega Nights: Unrated, Click, RV, Curse of the Golden Flower, Marie & Antoniette, Boyz in the Hood, Stranger than Fiction, Little Man, Meatballs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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TARGET

Transformers $15.99
Transformers Exclusive Deluxe Edition – World’s first transforming DV Dcase becomes a 15" Optimus Prime Robot. Also has bonus content and all-new comic $24.99
Transformers HD DVD $29.99
***Get a Free $5 Target Giftcard with purchase of Transformers regular DVD and exclusive Transformers Bumblebee toy.***

The Reaping $19.99
Planet Terror $17.99
That 70’s Show: Season 7 $32.99

Family Guy: Vol. 5 $29.99
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 & 2 $19.99
South Park: Season 10 $26.99
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 3 $39.99

Blu-Ray ***BUY 1, GET 1 FREE****
Wild Hogs
Apocalypto
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
More available in store