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More News: July 2010

This Week's Releases (July 27)
From the Big Screen:

"Clash of the Titans" and "Repo Men." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

From TV to Video: (7/27)

"Dog The Bounty Hunter: Crime Is on the Run" (2009-10) features eight episodes, $19.95 from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Everything You Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars But Were Afraid to Ask" (2010) is a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of some of gay adult cinema's hottest talents; two-disc set with seven episodes, $24.98 from E1 Entertainment ... "Hunter: The Complete Series" (1984-91) is a 28-disc set with 152 episodes (including those from Seasons 4-7, which have never been on DVD), $99.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... photo "G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero -- The Movie Special Collectors Edition" (1983) is an animated feature with the voice talent of Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, Bill Ratner, Michael Bell and Chris Latta. Available as a single-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack; from Shout! Factory ... "Jesse Stone: No Remorse" (2010)is the latest telefilm starring Tom Selleck as Police Chief Jesse Stone; from Sony ... "Life After People: The Complete Season Two" (2009) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.95 from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Sergeant Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show -- The First Season" (1955-56) is a five-disc set with 34 episodes, $42.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Stargate Universe (SGU 1.5)" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with the final 10 episodes of season one, $29.98 from MGM ... "21 Jump Street: The Complete Series" (1987-91) is an 18-disc set with 103 episodes, $69.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "21 Jump Street: The Complete Third Season" (1988-89) is a four-disc set with 20 episodes, $14.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/27)

"Operation: Endgame" (2010) stars Zach Galifianakis, Emilie de Ravin, Maggie Q, Odette Yustman, Rob Corddry, Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Brandon T. Jackson, Jeffrey Tambor, Joe Anderson, Beth Grant and Bob Odenkirk in a dry action-comedy about two teams of government assassins working out of a top-secret underground facility using code names from the Tarot deck. When a new hire -- The Fool -- arrives for his first day at work to find that the boss has been killed under mysterious circumstances, he must find the killer before the whole place blows up. From Anchor Bay ... photo In the wry 1980s period comedy drama "Accidents Happen" (2009), starring Geena Davis, Harrison Gilbertson, Harry Cook and Joel Tobeck, a dysfunctional New England family relies on the son prone to witnessing horrible accidents to get them though the hard times. From Image Entertainment ... A young woman moves to a remote house to try to get over her bizarre phobia but quickly discovers that her fears have followed her in "The Uninvited" (2009), starring Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks; from IFC Films ... After rogue nuclear tests by Iran set off devastating earthquakes and a sudden spike in life-threatening solar radiation levels, a desperate U.S. government turns to the only scientist who may hold the key to survival in "Deadly Shift (aka Polar Opposites)" (2008), starring Charles Shaughnessy, Tracy Nelson, Beth Grant and Ken Barnett; from E1 Entertainment) ... "Ray Bradbury's Chrysalis" (2008), starring John Klemantaski, Darren Kendrick, Glen Vaughan, is a post-apocalyptic tale based on Ray Bradbury's 1946 story, "Chrysalis," first published in Amazing Stories Magazine. In a futuristic, post-Word War III devastated Earth, a scientist falls ill and mysteriously begins to mutate into something plant-like. Is it a new human evolution or something far more sinister? From E1 Entertainment ... In the supernatural thriller "Don't Look Up" (2009), starring Henry Thomas, Kevin Corrigan, Reshad Strik and Lothaire Bluteau, paranormal visionary Marcus Reed sets out to remake a cursed horror film in Transylvania. But while on set, a fierce supernatural force is released from the celluloid and rips open a window of terror, summoning the wrath of evil spirits. Remake of horror master Hideo Nakata's 1996 "Joyu-rei" (the creator of "The Ring" and "Dark Water"). From E1 Entertainment.

More B-Films: The trio behind the cult hit "Kill Zone" -- director Wilson Yip, star Donnie Yen and action choreographer Sammo Hung -- reteam for the smash Hong Kong hit "Ip Man" (2008). Wing Chun grandmaster Ip (Donnie Yen) cements his reputation after defeating a roving band of kung fu masters who have come to his village to challenge him and the other marshal arts masters, but when the Japanese occupy his hometown during the Sino-Japan war (1937), he is forced to work as a coolie in a factory and participate in brutal sparring matches for the enemy's amusement. photo He demonstrates his superior fighting skills by defeating his opponents despite being heavily outnumbered and wins the admiration of the Japanese Colonel, Mr. Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), who challenges Ip to a championship fight. The outcome of the match inspires the Chinese villagers to rise up and defeat their oppressors. From Well Go USA ... In "Rain" (2008), starring Renel Brown, Nicki Micheaux and CCH Pounder, a spirited 14-year-old girl travels to the big city to find the mother who abandoned her, only to discover that she's now a drug-addicted prostitute living in the worst part of the city; from Image Entertainment ... "Loose Screws" (1985) is the Canuxploitation-teen-sex-comedy sequel to "Screwballs." This mid-80s pubescent romp follows the horny high jinks of four boys forced to attend summer school at Cockswell Academy under the watchful eye of Principal Arsenault.From Severin Films ... In "The Job" (2009), starring Patrick Flueger, Ron Perlman, Joe Pantoliano and Taryn Manning, a guy looking to find employment and marry the love of his life gets in over his head when a fast-talking temp agent lands him a job that may require some killer instincts; from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

On the Indie Front: (7/27)

photo Lab technician Virgil Gurdies struggles to choose between his true love, Angie, and his newfound quest to create the greatest goat cheese the world has ever known in "Artois the Goat" (2009), starring Mark Scheibmeir, Sydney Andrews, Stephen Taylor Fry and Dan Braverman; from IndiePix Films ... Moving back and forth in time to present repeated scenes from various characters' points of view, the drama "2:37" (2006 -- Australia), starring Teresa Palmer, Frank Sweet and Sam Harris, covers one awful day at an Australian high school: An unidentified student has been found dead in a restroom, an apparent suicide, and the movie then unfolds to reveal what led up to the tragedy, focusing on six students who each harbor a secret, including a popular jock, an awkward outcast, a fragile beauty, an academic overachiever and a closet homosexual. From IFC Films.

Foreign: (7/27)

photo "Joy" (1983 -- French) is an erotic classic that became an international sensation in the early 1980s thanks to its daring depiction of sexuality, seductive tone and stylish, sensuous settings. The film explores one woman's voyage of sexual discovery. Based on the scandalous 1981 memoir of an international supermodel whose passion for men, women and strangers -- in any combination -- shatters every sexual taboo. Restored from the original negatives and contain footage previously unreleased in the U.S. Fittingly, "Joy" was restored using a print discovered in the screening room of a Paris brothel ... "Joy and Joan " (1985 -- French) is the sequel to "Joy," restored from a print seized in a Marseilles vice raid. Both are from Severin Films ... "Vincere" (2009 -- Italian) is the little-known story of the personal life and rise to power of Benito Mussolini, focusing on the woman he loved passionately, scorned, denounced and then wrote out of history. From IFC Films ... Winner of four Cesar awards, including best picture and director, Abdellatif Kechiche's "The Secret of the Grain" (2007) is a stirring drama about the daily joys and struggles of a bustling French-Arab family. It has the texture of a documentary but a classic, almost Shakespearean structure: when patriarch Slimane acts on his wish to open a port-side restaurant specializing in his ex-wife's fish couscous, the extended clan's passions and problems explode in riveting drama, leading to an engrossing, suspenseful climax. With sensitivity and grit, "The Secret of the Grain" celebrates the role food plays in family life and gets to the core of contemporary immigrant experience. From The Criterion Collection.

For the Family: (7/27)

In "Barney: Furry Friends" (2010), kids join Barney, Baby Bop, BJ and their playground friends for some tail-wagging adventures as they learn about dogs and cats; $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Acceptance" (2009) is a Lifetime Original Movie about a bright, blue-haired young girl who runs the gauntlet of college applications, admissions essays, advanced placement exams, and an insanely overly ambitious mother, as she awaits word on her acceptance at her dream college; stars Mae Whitman, Joan Cusack, Brigid Brannagh and Deepti Daryanani. From RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment.

Special Interest: (7/27)

    There's an abundance of documentaries coming your way this week:

  • "The Art of the Steal" (2009) It may be unknown to most people, but in the art world, the Barnes Foundation (in Merion, Penn.) is a legendary repository of some of the finest paintings ever produced. This documentary tells how the private museum's $25 billion of art holdings has become the focus of a bitter, decades-long battle involving artists, politicians and powerful philanthropists. The film reveals how this private collection of paintings became the envy of the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other major institutions -- and the prize in a battle between one man's vision and the forces of commerce and politics. From IFC Films.
  • "Parting Ways: An Unauthorized Story on Life After The Beatles" (2010) photo Documentary explores John Lennon's work with Yoko Ono; Paul McCartney's solo career and decade as front man of Wings; George Harrison's music with The Traveling Wilburys and his work as a film producer; and Ringo Starr's solo albums as wells as his acting. $14.98. Extras: Four featurettes: "Stella," a look at McCartney's fashionista daughter; "Yogi," exploring the group's brief collaboration with the Indian transcendentalist Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; "Yoko," examining Ono's relationship with Lennon; and "Beatle-Mania," a look at fan hysteria. From Infinity Entertainment Group.
  • "Huxley on Huxley" (2009) Compelling glimpse of Laura Huxley's life with Aldous Huxley (literary giant, author of "Brave New World"), as well as Huxley's revolutionary and provocative work that had a major influence on American and contemporary cultural history and such key figures as The Beatles, The Doors and Timothy Leary. Narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring interviews with such luminaries as John Densmore, Michael Murphy, Nick Nolte and Ram Dass. $29.95 from Docurama Films.
  • Four documentaries from Mill Creek Entertainment, $14.98 each: "Crime Inc.: History's Famed Offenders" (2010) The real stories behind notorious criminal masterminds, including those the Watergate villains, Al Capone, The Black Dahlia crime, Ted Bundy, O.J. Simpson, more ... "The Dawn of War" (2010) Eleven-part series chronicles the first half of World War II in a masterfully scripted presentation filled with rare and authentic archive footage ... "Railroads: Tracks Across America" (2010) Documentary collection of 36 fascinating features chronicling the development of the railroad industry from the first transcontinental line, freight and Pullman cars, to modern diesel engines ... "Victory by Air" (2010) Compilation includes five documentary features providing a complete historical overview of combat aircraft from 1900 to 1945.
  • "Shine: An Unauthorized Story on Beyonce" (2010) Documentary on the singer, actress, dancer, designer, diva. $14.98 from Infinity Entertainment Group.

    "Batman: Under the Red Hood" (2010) features the voices of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris, John DiMaggio, Jason Issacs in this latest entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies. Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life. Available as a single DVD, two-disc DVD and Blu-ray disc. From Warner.

    This Week's Releases (July 20)
    From the Big Screen:

    "Cop Out," "The Losers," "Mother" and "The Runaways." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles: (7/20)

    photo There's two important films from the creative team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger due this week from The Criterion Collection. First up is "Black Narcissus" (1947), an explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh. A group of nuns -- played by some of Britain's best actresses, including Deborah Kerr, Flora Robson and Jean Simmons -- struggle to establish a convent in the snowcapped Himalayas; isolation, extreme weather, altitude, and culture clashes all conspire to drive the well-intentioned missionaries mad. A darkly grand film that won Oscars for its set design and for its cinematography by Jack Cardiff, "Black Narcissus" is one of the greatest achievements by two of cinema's true visionaries. Next is "The Red Shoes" (1948) "The Red Shoes," the singular fantasia from Powell and Pressburger that is cinema's quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor visual feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina romantically torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, now dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist. Both films feature new, restored high-definition digital transfers and the regular complement of Criterion goodies as bonus features.

    photo Shout! Factory, meanwhile, has released a pair of 1980s Roger Corman-produced sci-fi cult classics, both under the Roger Corman's Cult Classics label. The best of the pair is "Forbidden World (Mutant)" (1982), starring Jesse Vint, June Chadwick, Dawn Dunlap, Linden Chiles,, Fox Harris, Michael Bowen and Scott Paulin. This outright 'Alien' clone is a definite guilty pleasure. On the remote planet of Xarbia, a scientific experiment has gone horrifically wrong, and a cloned being has mutated into a man-eating organism. A soldier-of-fortune and his robotic aide is dispatched to eliminate the problem, but he gets more than he bargained for as the body count rises. There's plenty of gratuitous gore, unexpected nudity, surprising bits of black comedy, and an assortment of inspired and inventive special effects -- all made on a bargain basement budget. The film has been restored and is presented in both the theatrical and never-before-seen director's cut. In all likelihood you've never seen this on the big screen or on DVD (if you've seen in at all, most likely it's in a chopped-up version some late night on the Syfy Channel) so this is a great opportunity to view a fun and inventive sci-fi pulp film for the first time. And by all means get the stunning Blu-ray edition. The second Roger Corman's Cult Classics release is "Galaxy of Terror" (1981), starring Edward Albert, Zalman King, Ray Walston, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Taaffe O'Connell and Grace Zabriskie, a somewhat muddled and outing about a rescue space ship crew that meets up with the horrors projected by their own imaginations. Still worthy to add to your collection for its nascent special effects and psychedelic mind games.

    photo In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concluded that the war was based on decades of lies, and leaked 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world. Hailed as a hero, vilified as a traitor, and ostracized by even his closest colleagues, Ellsberg risked life in prison to stop a war he helped plan. "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" (2009) is the riveting story of one man's profound crisis of conscience that shook a nation, its courts, its free press and its presidency to the core. It is also an acutely timely and piercing look at the world of government secrecy in wartime as revealed by the ultimate insider. Marked by a landmark Supreme Court battle between America's greatest newspapers and its president, this political thriller of a documentary unravels a saga that leads directly to Watergate, Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. From First Run Features.

    From TV to Video: (7/20)

    photo "Being Human: Season One" (2009) is a two-disc set with six episodes of the BBC series about a vampire, werewolf and ghost who share a flat in Totterdown, Bristol; from BBC/Warner ... "Degrassi: The Next Generation, Season 9" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 19 episodes, $26.98 from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment ... "Jersey Shore: Season One<" (2009-10), a three-disc set with 11 episodes, $19.98 from MTV/Paramount ... "Look Around You: Season One" (2009-10) is the BAFTA-nominated hit UK comedy series that first premiered on BBC America and aired on Adult Swim in the U.S. this past winter; follows presenters Jack Morgan (Robert Popper) and Peter Packard (Peter Serafinowicz) as they guide viewers through a series of gloriously deadpan experiments. $24.98 from BBC ... "My Boys: Seasons 2 & 3" (2008-09) is a three-disc set with 18 episodes, $34.95 from Sony ... "Vampire Knight: Volume 1" (2008) includes four original and uncut episodes of the anime series, $24.98 from Warner.

    Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/20)

    "Elvis & Annabelle" (2007) stars Blake Lively, Max Minghella, Joe Mantegna, Keith Carradine and Mary Steenburgen in a romance about a beauty pageant candidate who dies on the runway and comes back to life -- mysteriously -- at the mortuary owned by the family of an embittered young man; the pair fall in love but the question remains: after death has brought them together, will life tear them apart? From The Weinstein Co./Vivendi Entertainment ... A young woman's hunt for her missing sister takes her to a strange cult -- known as The Collective -- living in a deconsecrated cathedral in New York City in "The Collective" (2008), starring Kelly Overton, Laura Allen and Shane McRae; from Vanguard Cinema ... Three stories overlap in "The Fragility of Seconds" (2008)in which three men, strangers to each other, arrive on the eve of the annual parade in honor of Mexico's Pancho Villa, in the dusty border town of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico; one to collect his sister Elena and her child to give them a chance for a better life in Texas; an FBI agent turned reclusive burnout, looking to disappear from his professional life of violence and despair; and a grifter just released from the Ojinaga prison days before the parade; from Vanguard Cinema ... photo In "Tenderloin" (2009), starring Kurt Yaeger, Charles Branklyn, Jack Indiana and Tina Huang, an angry and wounded Iraq War vet moves into San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin neighborhood to lose himself in drinking, but finds instead a closer relationship with his young son, a tenement hotel full of exquisitely odd characters, and a red-hot lady; from Vanguard Cinema ... "Tin Man" (2007) stars Zooey Deschanel, Richard Dreyfuss, Neal McDonough, Alan Cumming, Raoul Trujillo and Kathleen Robertson in a cyber-twisted update of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz": A leather-clad, soul-sucking sorceress named Azkadellia has scorched the once-beautiful O.Z. into a desolate wasteland, and its only hope is with an "outsider" named DG, a young Midwestern woman whose troubling dreams have summoned her to the doomed paradise; from Vivendi Entertainment ... A mercenary surgeon and a sociopathic business man and his demonic staff will stop at nothing to prevail in the sale of black market body parts in "Sutures" (2009), starring Andrew Prine, Jason London, Carlos Lauchu, Allison Lange and Kate French, from MTI Home Video ... In "The Outside" (2009), starring Michael Graziadei, Nicky Whelan, Nia Peeples, Rob Moran, plus cameos by some of today's best surfers, a young surfer finds himself at the center of the pro surf circuit where he encounters an unscrupulous sports agent, major endorsements and wild parties -- but he also finds that the life of celerityhood comes with a price; from Monarch Home Video.

    On the Indie Front: (7/20)

    In "X's and O's" (2007), starring Clayne Crawford, Judy Marte, Warren Christie and Sarah Wright, a tight-knit group of San Francisco friends navigate the real world, post-college dating scene; from Rivercoast Films.

    Foreign: (7/20)

    photo In the uplifting drama "Entre nos" (2009 -- Spanish) a young woman, Mariana, leaves her impoverished hometown in Bogota, Colombia, with her two young children, Gabriel and Andrea, and heads to the U.S. to be reunited with her husband. Soon after her arrival her husband abandons the family and, with all her options closing in on her, Mariana turns to the city's trash in order to put food on the table. With Gabriel and Andrea working beside her collecting cans, the family finds the most stability they have known since their arrival. And it is during these heartbreaking moments that the family triumphs; from IndiePix Films.

    For the Family: (7/20)

    photo "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame: Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season One" (1999-2000) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.98 from Warner ... "Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to School" (2010) includes eight new-to-DVD episodes in which beloved family dog Martha and her family discover hundreds of new words to teach children; $14.99 from Paramount/PBS Kids ... "Music, Music Everywhere" (2010) includes five musical episodes for the pre-school set: "Barney: Play Piano With Me," "Bob the Builder: Roley's Important Job," "Thomas & Friends: Tuneful Toots," "Kipper: Arnold's rum," and "Angelina Ballerina: Angelina's Musical Day." $14.98, includes a bonus music CD; from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Super Why! Attack of the Eraser" (2010) features four new educational adventures in which Super Why and his super friends practice spelling, use the power to read and investigate rhyming words in order to change the outcome of the story and save the day; from Paramount/PBS Kids.

    Special Interest: (7/20)

    photo In "White House Revealed" (2009), the Smithsonian Networks takes you on an insider's tour -- where most visitors can't go -- to meet the people who make the world's most famous house a home, with fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories; narrated by Martin Sheen. $14.98 from Infinity Entertainment Group ... It was just 30 years ago that Mount St. Helens revealed her earthly glory, causing colossal devastation to everything in her path. Today, the seemingly dormant mountain and the uninhabited landscape that surrounds it are coming back to life, and scientists are trying to determine the reason. NOVA's "Mt. St. Helens: Back From the Dead" (2010) takes audiences on an intriguing exploration deep into Mount St. Helens for a better understanding of what's causing the new volcanic activity and how to track future eruptions. $24.99 from PBS Distribution ... In "Ground War" (2009), PBS takes viewers on a thousand year journey through the history of warfare -- from trebuchets that once broke down walls to missiles that wipe out buildings -- following the fascinating punch and counterpunch of battle tactics and new technologies. $24.98 from PBS Distribution.

    Aliens Hatch on Blu-ray

    photo (July 15) Under the headline "ON BLU-RAY, EVERYONE WILL HEAR YOU SCREAM," 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment just announced an October 26 (North American) release for the "Alien Anthology," a six-disc Blu-ray set with theatrical, director's cut and special editions of all four "Alien" films. According to the release, the studio has united the material from every home video release of the "Alien" saga including the 1991/1992 laserdisc releases, the 1999 "Legacy" release and 2003's groundbreaking "Alien Quadrilogy" release into one complete Blu-ray collection. The set also includes two versions of each film and over four hours of previously unreleased exclusive material such as original screentests of Sigourney Weaver prior to filming the original "Alien," unseen deleted scenes, thousands of still photographs from the Fox archives, the previously unseen original cut of "Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien3," and much, much more. The fifth disc includes five hours of additional video Enhancement Pods created exclusively for this collection, presenting behind-the-scenes footage, raw dailies and interview outtakes from all four films. And the sixth disc is an archive of pre-production, production and post-production featurettes on the four films. Price: $139.99. Read the press release here.

    This Week's Releases (July 13)
    From the Big Screen:

    "Greenberg," "Chloe," "Our Family Wedding" and "The Bounty Hunter." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles: (7/13)

    photo Legendary Hollywood tough guys and femme fatales collide in eight smoldering suspense classics, all new to DVD in the latest Film Noir four-disc set from Warner, "The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5." Titles include "Cornered" (1945) with Dick Powell; "Desperate" (1947), directed by Anthony Mann and starring Steve Brodie; "The Phenix City Story" (1955); "Dial 1119" (1950); "Armored Car Robbery" (1950), directed by Richard Fleischer; "Crime in the Streets" (1956), directed by Don Siegel and starring John Cassavetes; "Deadline at Dawn" (1946) and "Backfire "(1950), directed by Vincent Sherman and starring Gordon MacRae, Edmond O'Brien and Virginia Mayo. $49.92.

    From TV to Video: (7/13)

    "Psych: The Complete Fourth Season" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Saving Grace The Final Season" (2009) is a five-disc set with 19 episodes, $49.98 from Fox ... "Street Hawk: The Complete Series" (1985) is a four-disc set with all 12 episodes, plus the pilot episode, $39.97 from Shout! Factory ... "White Collar Season One" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 14 episodes, $69.99 from Fox.

    Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/13)

    In "The Greatest" (2009) starring Carey Mulligan, Aaron Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon and Johnny Simmons, a grief-stricken couple whose family has been pushed to the breaking point by the accidental death of their oldest son, Bennett, are forced to explore the depths of their empathy when a young woman shows up a few months later announcing that she's pregnant with Bennett's child; from National Entertainment Media photo ... In "Caught in the Crossfire" (2010), two detectives investigating a gang-related crime find themselves targeted by both gang members and crooked cops, starring Chris Klein, Adam Rodriguez, 50 Cent, Christine Lakin and Michael Matthias; from Lionsgate ... "Middle of Nowhere" (2008), starring Susan Sarandon, Anton Yelchin, Eva Amurri, Justin Chatwin, Scott A. Martin and Willa Holland, is a melodrama about two teenage girls, trapped in a small town and under the thumb of their dysfunctional mother (who squanders one of the daughters' chances to go to college by running up credit cards in the girl's name, wrecking her credit) who enter into dysfunctional relationships with two rich boys; from Image Entertainment ... A music executive with no idea how to satisfy his girlfriend, turns to advice from his fellow musician pals as well as adult film legend Jenna Jameson (playing herself), but finds time running out when his girl's handsome childhood friend appears in "How to Make Love to a Woman" (2010), starring Josh Meyers, Krysten Ritter and Ian Somerhalder; from E1 Entertainment ... "Parasomnia" (2008) is a thriller about a woman who suffers from a bizarre medical condition that keeps her in an almost constant dream state, the art student who falls in love with her, and the terrifying mass murderer who's attempting to take possession of her mind, starring Cherilyn Wilson, Dylan Purcell and Jeffrey Combs; from E1 Entertainment.

    On the Indie Front: (7/13)

    photo A compulsive gambler (Steve Buscemi) has finally beaten the habit, started a new life, and said farewell to Las Vegas for good ..or so he thought ... until his new boss sends him back to Sin City to investigate a shady insurance claim, putting all the chips back on the table in "Saint John of Las Vegas" (2009), an indie comedy starring Steve Buscemi, Sarah Silverman, Romany Malco, Peter Dinklage, John Cho, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Tim Blake Nelson; from Vivendi Entertainment ... Facing tight finances, uncertain jobs and wild kids, a married couple find themselves in a strange predicament when the wife's doctors advise her that a medical condition will prevent them from having sex for an entire year in "My Year Without Sex" (2009 --Australia), starring Sacha Horler, Matt Day, Jonathan Segat and Portia Bradley; from Strand Releasing.

    Foreign: (7/13)

    "Zift" (2008 -- Bulgaria) is Eastern European film noir at its grittiest. The black & white thriller takes place in the early 1960s and follows a Bulgarian man known as Moth who has been paroled after serving time for a murder he didn't commit; he finds himself photo at the whim of a strange and disorienting land, a shadow world of killers, con men, agents, outcasts, old partners and a former lover turned femme fatale; from IFC Films ... "Vivere" (2007 -- Germany) is a romantic drama about three women on the run, saving each other, and, ultimately, saving themselves. On Christmas Eve, Francesca sets out for Rotterdam in order to find her little sister, who has run off with her musician boyfriend. On the way, she picks up Gerlinde, a heartbroken older woman at the end of her rope; from E1 Entertainment ... A young woman's quest for sexual fulfillment brings her to unimagined heights, as she beds countless strangers, becomes mistress to a man in a committed relationship, then the kept woman of a rich businessman, and ultimately a high-priced prostitute who may have found true love at last in "Diary of a Nymphomaniac" (2008 -- Spanish), from IFC Films ... In "Girl by the Lake" (2007 -- Italy), the body of a young woman is found in a small and quiet town in North Italy and a detective from the nearby main city is called upon to solve the mystery. Based on Karin Fossum's series of award-winning mystery novels; from IFC Films.

    For the Family: (7/13)

    "The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest for the Infinity Sword! Volume 1" (2009) includes the first six episodes from the first season of this action-packed animated series featuring super-stylized versions of Marvel Comic's popular characters photo (including Captain America, Silver Surfer, Thor, Hulk, Wolverine and Iron Man) with a comedic twist; $14.93 from Shout! Factory ... "SpongeBob SquarePants: Triton's Revenge" (2010) features seven SpongeBob episodes, including "The Clash of Triton," in which SpongeBob's attempt to humor King Neptune at his 5,000th birthday celebration at the Krusty Krab goes awry; $16.99 from Nick/Paramount ... "The Backyardigans: Operation Elephant Drop" (2010) contains four new-to-DVD episode of The Backyardigans, in which five high-spirited neighbors meet in their adjoining backyards and use their imaginations to transform themselves into different locations for epic adventures; $16.98 from Nick/Paramount ... "Nickelodeon: First Day of School" (2010) features five episodes from Nick series: "Dora the Explorer: First Day of School," "Go, Diego, Go!: Linda the Librarian," "Blue's Clues: Blue Takes You to School," "The Wonder Pets!: Off to School/Save the Pangaroo" and "Ni Hao, Kai-lan: Lulu Day"; $16.99 from Paramount ... "Caillou: Caillou's Fun Outside" (2010) includes four new-to-DVD episodes featuring 14 fun-filled outdoor adventures; $14.99 Paramount/PBS Kids ... "Thomas & Friends: Creaky Cranky" (2010) features four new episodes with the railroad gang from Sodor: "Creaky Cranky," "Tickled Pink," "Steamy Sodor" and "Early Bird"; $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

    Special Interest: (7/13)

    "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVIII" is a collectible four-disc box set with "Lost Continent," "Crash of the Moons," "The Beast of Yucca Flats" and "Jack Frost." $59.97 from Shout! Factory ... "Saving Marriage" (2006) is a documentary about the struggle to legalize same-sex marriage in Massachusetts; $24.98 from E1 Entertainment.

    'Max Headroom' Returns From the Future

    [] (July 10) The folks over at Shout! Factory are peering 20 minutes into the future with the August 10 release of the much-anticipated "Max Headroom: The Complete Series," a five-disc set with all 14 episodes for $49.97. Extras include "Live on Network 23: The Story of Max Headroom" featurette; "Looking Back at the Future" roundtable discussion with stars Amanda Pays, Jeffrey Tambor, Concetta Tomei and Chris Young, moderated by Max Headroom superfan and creator of "The Middleman" Javier Grillo-Marxuach; "The Big-Time Blanks" featurette with Morgan Sheppard and Concetta Tomei; "The Science Behind The Fiction" featurette; "Producing Dystopia" featurette; "The Writers Remember" featurette and more. Read more about "Max Headroom."

    Coming Soon

    photo (July 8) Mere mortals (including an 11-year-old sword-wielding "Hit-Girl") put on superhero costumes and go after the bad guys in Lionsgate's "Kick-Ass," arriving August 3 ... Michael Caine stars as "Harry Brown," a mild-mannered older man whose neighborhood comes under siege by a gang of teens, and who takes the law in his own hands to clean up the streets, due August 31 from Sony ... Michael Douglas's life hits rock bottom in Anchor Bay's "Solitary Man," due September 7 ... and Queen Latifah is "Just Wright" as she falls for her NBA all-star employer in the romantic comedy from Fox, due September 14. Blu-ray coming attractions: Lionsgate will release new Blu-ray versions of the classic "The Third Man" and directors Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Delicatessen" on September 14.

    This Week's Releases (July 6)
    From the Big Screen:

    "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "A Single Man" and "Brooklyn's Finest." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles: (7/6)

    "Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II:" Sony and Martin Scorsese's non-profit film preservation organization, The Film Foundation, partner once again to bring five more noir photo films to DVD for the first time, fully-restored and re-mastered. In this second volume, renowned directors Fritz Lang, Phil Karlson and Irving Lerner are joined by Jacques Tourneur and Richard Quine to take viewers on a dark journey among low-lifes and mobsters, cops and gun molls, and the dim-witted, hapless pawns who forever changed the landscape of cinema, and whose doomed paths are as disturbing today as when they were first committed to film. Fritz Lang's "Human Desire" (1954), starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford; "Pushover" (1954), starring Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, E.G. Marshall, Philip Carey and Dorothy Malone; Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall" (1957), starring Brian Keith, Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft; "The Brothers Rico" (1957), starring Richard Conti, Dianne Foster and James Darren; and "City of Fear" (1958), starring Vince Edwards. Extras include featurettes "Martin Scorsese on The Brothers Rico," "Pulp Paranoia" with Christopher Nolan, "Terror and Desire" with Emily Mortimer as well as the original theatrical trailers. The five-disc set goes for $59.95 ... ... "Gamera vs. Barugon -- Special Edition" (1966) is the second film in the original Gamera series, here loveingly restored in a widescreen presentation of the original movie, made from an all-new HD master; extras includea collectible reversible cover, a booklet featuring an essay by actor Kojiro Hongo, commentary, publicity galleries, more; from Shout! Factory.

    From TV to Video: (7/6)

    "Classic Doctor Who" features five classic Doctor Who adventures: "The Time Monster" (the Jon Pertwee years 1970-1974), "The Space Museum/The Chase" (the William Hartnell years 1963-66), "Underworld" and "The Horns of Nimon" (the Tom Baker years 1974-1981); $24.98 each from BBC/Warner ... "Dragnet 1968: Season 2" (1968) is a six-disc set with 28 episodes, $44.99 from Shout! Factory ... photo "ER: The Complete Thirteenth Season" (2006-07) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $49.98 from Warner ... "Everybody Loves Raymond: Seasons 8 & 9" (2003-05) is a nine-disc set with 38 episodes, $27.98 from HBO ... "Get Smart: Seasons 3-4" (1967-69) is an eight-disc set with 52 episodes, $27.98 from HBO ... "Have Gun Will Travel: The Fourth Season, Volume 2" (1961) is a three-disc set with 19 episodes, $39.99 from Paramount ... "Life on Mars: The Complete UK Collection" (2006-07) is an eight-disc set with all 18 episodes, $79.99 from Acorn Media ... "Rhoda: Season 3" (1976-77) is a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.93 from Vivendi ... "Touching Evil: The Complete Collection" (1997-99) is a five-disc set with all 16 episodes of the U.K. series that inspired the 2004 U.S. series starring Jeffrey Donovan, Vera Farmiga and Bradley Cooper; $79.99 from Acorn Media.

    Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/6)

    In "Bitten" (2008), starring Jason Mewes and Erica Cox, a lovelorn paramedic rescues a woman left for dead after a deadly assault and takes her home to mend after she refuses to go to the hospital. photoAs he begins to fall for her, one thing gets in the way: she appears to be a vampire; from Vivendi Entertainment/RHI Entertainment ... In the near future, robotic cameras -- Eyeborgs -- created to protect citizens from terrorism instead seemingly are involved in a series of odd murders, leading an agent for the Department of Homeland Security to investigate links between the Eyeborg computer network and a presidential assassination plot in the appropriately named "Eyeborgs" (2009), starring Adrian Paul, Megan Blake and Luke Eberl; from Image Entertainment ... "Return to Lonesome Dove" (1993) stars Jon Voight, Barbara Hershey, Reese Witherspoon, Rick Schroder and Louis Gossett Jr. in the Larry McMurtry adventure that follows three ex-Texas Rangers through riotous battles, deadly gunfights, soaring triumphs and shattered dreams, in a two-disc set from Vivendi Entertainment.

    Just Announced

    photo (July 2) October is shaping up to be quite a month for Blu-ray reissues. In addition to the October 5 releases of "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," "The Maltese Falcon," "Psycho" and "The Exorcist," add in "Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy," a three-movie set that includes a new six-part retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, director Robert Zemeckis, producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, plus executive producer Steven Spielberg; and "Elf Ultimate Collector's Edition," which comes packed in a collectible holiday tin filled with an Elf CD soundtrack sampler, a festive holiday stocking, gift tags and a magnetic picture frame. Read more about "Back to the Future" and "Elf."

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    July 1, 2010
    OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).