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More News: August 2010

This Week's Releases (August 31)
From the Big Screen:

"Harry Brown," "Marmaduke" and "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?" For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

Hot Blu-ray Releases: (8/31)

Fans have been clamoring for a Blu-ray release of "The Evil Dead," the influential and groundbreaking Sam Raimi-directed horror film from 1981 -- and Anchor Bay Entertainment has heeded the call. photo This has got to be one of the scariest films of all time -- one that holds up some 30 years after its initial release. Given the low-budget and fast shooting schedule, "The Evil Dead" puts more modern outings to shame for its sheer force of horror. The high-def format and Dolby TrueHD sound will scare your socks off. If you don't own a copy of "The Evil Dead," shame on you. If you own a previous DVD edition and have a Blu-ray player, you need to upgrade to this version. Not only has the film been remastered into an all-new 1080p anamorphic 1:85 version (supervised by Raimi), the set includes a remastered director-composed 1:33 aspect ratio version of the original, which should warm the cockles of purists' hearts seeking the holy quail of authenticity. And there's a second disc loaded with featurettes and interviews.

Fans of Will Ferrell and his anchorman alter ego Ron Burgundy will jump for joy for "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy -- The 'Rich Mahogany' Edition," a two-disc Blu-ray set that brings together everything-Ron Burgundy in one nice, tidy, high-def package. photo For the first time this set offers the theatrical and unrated extended versions of 2004's "Anchorman" as well as the "alternate film" companion to "Anchorman," "Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie," a feature-length film compiled from dropped sub-plots and alternate takes. The set also includes "The Many Months of Burgundy," Ron's personal 32-page diary as well as a set of 12 trading cards. If you're a Ron Burgundy fan, you can't do without this collection. This Blu-ray edition offers great picture clarity and sound and enough bonus features to take your mind off real news for hours on end. And the Will Ferrell-Christina Applegate spanking scene at the end of "Lost Movie" is definitely worth the price of admission.

From TV to Video: (8/31)

"Brothers & Sisters: The Complete Fourth Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "FlashForward: The Complete Series" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.99 from Disney ... "House: Season Six" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 31 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... photo "iCarly: iSpace Out" (2010) features six episodes of the very popular Nickelodeon series, $16.99 from Paramount ... "The Judy Garland Show: Volume Five" (1963-64) is a medley-filled two-episode set with guest stars Steve Allen, Mel Torme, Jayne Meadows and Diahann Carroll, restored and digitally remastered from the original videotapes and digitally remixed sound in 5.1 surround sound; $19.98 from Infinity Entertainment ... "The Middle" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $44.98 from Warner ... "NCIS: Los Angeles -- The First Season" (2009) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Parenthood: Season One" (2010) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Sons of Anarchy Season Two" (2009) four-disc set with 13 episodes, $59.98 from Fox ... "The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (8/31)

In "The Red Riding Trilogy" (2009), three films come together to form one overwhelming cinematic experience about a mysterious -- and perhaps related -- series of gruesome crimes in Northern England. Based on events that occurred over a turbulent decade in the West Riding district of Yorkshire, England, the films present a dark and disturbing world of serial murders, child abductions and police corruption. photo The three films are connected by recurring events and characters, chiefly a deeply conflicted police detective, Maurice Jobson (David Morrissey), and ruthless high-ranking official Harold Angus (Jim Carter). Three directors use a different method for each film: Julian Jarrold ("Becoming Jane") shoots in 16mm film for 1974; James Marsh ("Man on Wire") in 35mm for 1980; and Anand Tucker ("Leap Year," "Shopgirl") in digital video for 1983. In the end, they've created a modern crime epic in which no one escapes undamaged. From IFC Films and MPI Media Group ... In "Tormented" (2009), starring Alex Pettyfer, April Pearson, Dimitri Leonidas and Calvin Dean, a bullied teenager comes back from the dead to take revenge on his classmates; from IFC Films ... In "Beatdown" (2010), a respected street fighter finds himself the target of dangerous gangsters who murdered his brother and hides out at his father's house in a small Southern town, where he soon gets involved in the local underground cage-fighting circuit and devises a way to get revenge; stars Rudy Youngblood, Michael Bisping, Susie Abromeit, Eric Balfour and Danny Trejo; from Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front: (8/31)

There's four indie outings from IFC Films this week: Bijou Phillips, Christopher Masterson and Lauren German star in "Made for Each Other" (2009), photo a comedy about an upstanding, hard-working young man who cheats on his beautiful new wife -- and then desperately searches for someone for her to cheat on him with ... "French Film" (2008), starring Hugh Bonneville, Victoria Hamilton, Douglas Henshall and Anne-Marie Duff, is a comedy about how French and English cultures differ in their attitudes on relationships ... In "A Quiet Little Marriage" (2008), starring Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Cy Carter, Jimmi Simpson and Michael O'Neill, the future looks bright for a young and attractive Los Angeles couple, but beneath the surface of their wonderful life is a tangle of secrets, lies and pain ... Two complete strangers, Anna and Stephen, are brought together by chance by an elderly man who waits for his wife on a train station platform in "The Waiting Room" (2007), starring Anne-Marie Duff and Rupert Graves.

Foreign: (8/31)

photo "OSS 117: Lost in Rio" (2009 -- French) is a sequel to the 2006 satirical spy spoof "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies," which was a smash in its native France and a cult hit in the U.S. "Lost in Rio" once again stars French comedy sensation Jean Dujardin as the ever-absurd Agent OSS 117. In his latest outing, it's 1967 and OSS 117's mission finds him partnering with a sexy Israeli Mossad agent (Lousie Monot) and traveling to swinging Rio de Janeiro to track down a roll of elusive microfilm and capture a high-ranking Nazi officer (Rudiger Vogler) who has gone into exile in Brazil. From Music Box Films.

For the Family: (8/31)

"Go, Diego, Go!: Diego's Ultimate Rescue League" (2010)features three new-to-DVD episodes with the Animal Rescue League as they help Diego and his friends undergo a test to earn a World Rescuers' patch; help Bottlenose become an ocean animal rescuer by saving the ocean animals from a tsunami-like wave and a devastating oil spill; and climb a treacherous mountain to reunite Prince Vicuna with his parents, $16.99 from Paramount ... Fox has two new Strawberry Shortcake features: "Strawberry Shortcake: The Glimmerberry Ball Movie and Strawberry Shortcake: Berrywood Here We Come" (2010), $14.98 each.

Special Interest: (8/31)

photo Cinema Libre has two releases this week that deal with important issues in the news: "Water Wars: When Drought, Flood and Greed Collide" (2009) is a timely documentary (particularly in the face of the current, immense flooding in Pakistan) that uncovers critical water issues facing humanity. It takes the viewer from the floods and droughts in Bangladesh, to dam building in India, water management in the Netherlands and the latest wake-up call in America: the Katrina disaster and the drought in the Southwest. "For My Wife ... " (2008) is a feature documentary chronicling the making of an activist. After the tragic death of her wife, Charlene Strong was thrust into the spotlight becoming a powerful voice for the equal rights of same-sex couples and their families, resulting in the passage of Washington State's historic Domestic Partnership legislation. $19.95 each.

October Blu-ray: "RoboCop,"
"Moulin Rouge!" and "Romeo+Juliet"

photo (August 27) Get ready for some genre-bending releases this October: First up is the "RoboCop Trilogy," featuring all three films starring the half human-half robot Detroit cop; the series, of course, was kicked off by Paul Verhoeven's spectacular sci-fi reimagining of the human-robot interface. Next up are two films from Baz Luhrmann: "Moulin Rouge!," his reinvention of the movie musical, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor; and "William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet," which sees the star-crossed lovers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes)in the modern world of Verona Beach where Romeo drives a car and Juliet packs a gun. 'RoboCop" (from MGM) blasts home on October 5; "Moulin Rouge!" and "William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet" (from Fox) arrive October 19.

Rebooted 'Predators' Takes Hunt
to DVD, Blu-ray

photo (August 24) The latest installment in the Predators franchise will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on October 19 from Fox, loaded with an armada of bonus features. The Robert Rodriguez-produced sci-fi flick stars Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as a group of hunters -- mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts and death squad members -- who in turn become the prey for a new breed of alien Predators. The DVD includes commentary, a pair of "Motion Comics" exploring the Predator backstory, and a production featurette; the Blu-ray disc adds "Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn" six-part featurette ("Bloodline," "De-cloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain," "Intelligent Design: The Hunting Camp," "Predators as Prey," "Yuatja Transformed," "Rite of Passage"); "The Chosen" featurette; Fox Movie Channel presents "Making a Scene"; deleted and extended scenes; BD-Live extras: Exclusive "Predators" features; and "Live Lookup" powered by IMDB.

This Week's Releases (August 24)
From the Big Screen:

"The Back-Up Plan" and "City Island." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (8/24)

photo Vienna-born, New York-raised Josef von Sternberg ("Shanghai Express," "Morocco") directed some of the most influential, extraordinarily stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his star-making collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, Sternberg began his movie career during the final years of the silent era, dazzling audiences and critics with his films' dark visions and innovative cinematography. The titles "Three Silent Classics by Josef Von Sternberg", made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of Sternberg's greatest works, gritty evocations of gangster life ("Underworld"; 1927), the Russian Revolution ("The Last Command"; 1928) and working-class desperation ("The Docks of New York"; 1928) made into shadowy movie spectacle. New, restored high-definition digital transfers. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Video: (8/24)

"Ax Men: The Complete Season Three" (2010) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $34.95 frpm A&E Home Entertainment ... "The Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection" (2007-09) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.99 from HBO Home Video ... "Gangland: Season Five" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 11 episodes, $34.9 from A&E ... "Gossip Girl: The Complete Third Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... photo "Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season" (2010) is a five-disc set with 16 episodes $79.99 from Disney ... "Lost: The Complete Collection" (2004-10) is a 37-disc set, $229.99 from Disney ... "NCIS: The Seventh Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "90210: The Second Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $47.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "The Patty Duke Show: The Complete Third Season" (1965-66) is a six-disc set with 32 episodes, $39.97 from Shout! Factory ... "Pawn Stars: The Complete Season Two" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 32 episodes, $24.95 from A&E ... "Private" (2009 -- TV)follows the drama, romance and deadly thrills at the exclusive Easton Academy private school, from NewVideo/Flatiron Film Co. ... "Red vs. Blue Season 7: Recreation" (2010) is the Web series based on the "Halo" video game, $19.95 from New Video/Flatiron Film Co. ... "The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season" (2009) is a four-disc set with 22 episodes, packed in a collectible molded head packaging featuring Ralph Wiggum, $59.99 from Fox.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (8/24)

"Survival of the Dead" (2009) is the latest film from George A. Romero (creator of the "Night of the Living Dead" franchise); it picks up where his last outing, "Diary of the Dead," leaves off: in a nightmarish world where humans are the minority and zombies rule. Set on an island off the coast of North America, two powerful families maintain an impression of order in the wake of a zombie epidemic, but are at opposite extremes: One believes that the undead must be destroyed without exception, while the other family insists that afflicted loved ones be kept "alive" until a cure is found to bring their relatives back to their human state. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... photo "The Square" (2010), starring David Roberts, Claire van der Boom, Joel Edgerton and Anthony Hayes, is a sinister tale centering on an adulterous couple whose scheming leads to arson, blackmail and murder; from Sony ... In "The Bad Mother's Handbook" (2007), starring Robert Pattinson, Catherine Tate, Holly Grainger, Anne Reid and Steve John Shepherd, a young man helps a friend with her pregnancy and finds himself on a memorable nine-month journey with three independent, outspoken women; from Lionsgate ... "Dorian Gray" (2009) stars Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, Rebecca Hall and Ben Chaplin in a new horror adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1891 hedonistic best-seller "The Picture of Dorian Gray"; from National Entertainment Media ... In "Addicted to Her Love (aka Love Is the Drug)" (2006), starring John Patrick Amedori, Lizzy Caplan, D.J. Cotrona, Daryl Hannah and Jonathon Trent, an outsider at a new school falls for a girl who travels in an elite circle and finds that he can make friends with the group by supplying them with drugs from the pharmacy he works at -- with dire consequences; from E1 Entertainment ... A young man unwittingly follows his girl into a sexual addiction recovery group where he meets a host of oddball characters, including a man who has a thing for condiments and a newly celibate martial artist in "Group Sex<" (2010), starring Henry Winkler, Tom Arnold, Greg Grunberg, Lisa Lampanelli and James Denton; from Monarch Home Video ... photo Three young Americans encounter vampires and the supernatural in modern Eastern Europe in "Metamorphosis" (2007), starring Christopher Lambert, Corey Sevier and Irena A. Hoffman, from MTI Home Video ... An eccentric modern-day dandy obsessed by the power of art and visual imagery to mold the behavior and psychology of the individual orchestrates an elaborate series of staged visual events for the sole purpose of subliminally influencing the life of a harmless, down-to-earth graphic designer ... events that begin to take on the cruel and sinister overtones, in "Dark Night" (2005); from Vanguard Cinema) ... While on their first indie tour, a rock group's bus gets stranded on a country road, where they meet up with some strange farm inhabitants -- members of a half-pig/half-human science experiment, who want to add the rockers to their group in "Squeal" (2008); from E1 Entertainment ... "Four Stories of St. Julian" (2009) is an unconventional thriller that takes place entirely inside an elevator: four strangers get stuck in an elevator in the St Julian building, a decrepit, inner-city building that was once a respected hospital but is now home to the city's downtrodden and corrupt; from Vanguard Cinema.

On the Indie Front: (8/24)

In "One Night" (2008), starring Melissa Leo, Michael Muhney, Bill Sage and Robert Clohessy, a group of New Yorkers venture into Friday night unaware that their lives are about to change as they convene at the same music venue, where their lives intersect in ways both humorous and poignant; from Vanguard Cinema ... "Dream Boy" (2008), starring Stephan Bender, Maximillian Roeg, Randy Wayne, Owen Beckman, Diana Scarwid, Rooney Mara and Rickie Lee Jones, chronicles the relationship between two gay teenagers in the rural South in the late '70s; from E1 Entertainment.

For the Family: (8/24)

photo "Nickelodeon Favorites: Happy Halloween" (2009) fetures six Halloween-themed episodes, one each from "Dora the Explorer," "Go, Diego, Go!, " "Wonder Pets!," "Yo Gabba Gabba," "Blue's Clues" and "Ni Hao, Kai-lan," $16.99 from Paramount ... "Adventures at School" (2009) is an essential back-to-school library for kids ages 3 to 9 includes 14 tales on three discs: "Crazy Hair Day ... And More Back to School Stories," "The Teacher From the Black Lagoon ... And More School Stories," and "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day ... And More School Time Stories." $24.95 from Scholastic StorybookTreasures ... "Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes" (2010) is an original animated movie, $19.98 from Warner.

Special Interest: (8/24)

Here's a DVD not to be ignored: "The Age of Stupid" (2009): The year is 2055. The Earth is devastated. One man (Pete Postlethwaite) remains in "The Global Archive," a vast storage facility protecting all of humanity's collective achievements. Based on mainstream scientific projections from the present day, the film focuses on the archivist as he tries to work out why we didn't save ourselves while we still had the chance. He flips through a startling array of news clips, interviews and scientific reports from our current time, each its own way a warning sign of the destruction that is looming if we don't change our current consumption practices. $29.95 from Docurama ... photo Also from Docurama is "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg" (2009), an eye-opening documentary about television pioneer Gertrude Berg, the entertainment genius and entrepreneur who wrote, starred in and produced the first successful American sitcom, "The Goldbergs," and charmed a nation. Traces Berg's rise to stardom from her childhood in New York to her early radio days to her enormously influential sitcom, "The Goldbergs" (1949-56), which brought Berg the first Best Actress Emmy in history. Berg's passion and incredible productivity paved the way for a wide variety of causes, including women in entertainment, Jewish-American identity and actors' rights, but she is most celebrated for singlehandedly proving that the American family transcends social, religious and economic divisions. $29.95. ... "Instant Expert Series" is a new line of informative DVDs that offer a quick, authoritative guide to essential subjects, for students and lifelong learners. Each DVD includes an interactive quiz, printed study materials, discussion questions, more. First entries in the series, $14.95 each: "Ancient History: Egypt", "World History: The French Revolution," "American History: The Mayflower," "America History: Ben Franklin," "Arts and Literature: Beowulf," "Science and Technology: The Story of Oil." From A&E Home Entertainment.

Sunday, August 22: "The Expendables" Remains Box Office Champ

Wednesday, August 18: "Date Night" Scores on DVD, topping sales, rentals and Blu-ray charts.

Just Announced: "Toy Story 3"

photo (August 18) That $400 million juggernaut known as "Toy Story 3" will jump into the DVD toy chest on November 2 with three separate editions: A single-disc DVD ($29.99), a two-disc Blu-ray set (one Blu-ray disc, one disc with digital copy) for $39.99, and a four-disc Blu-ray Disc/DVD Combo Pack (with two Blu-ray discs, a digital copy, and a standard DVD) for $45.99. The folks at Disney have added a bevy of features on the DVD: "Day and Night" theatrical short, "The Gang's All Here, Toys!" epilogue, "Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure," "Paths to Pixar: Editorial," "Studio Stories: 'Where's Gordon,' 'Cereal Bar,' 'Clean Start'," "A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land." The Blu-ray version adds "Cine-explore" by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson, "Beyond the Toybox" commentary track, "Beginnings With Michael Arndt," "Bonnie's Playtime" story roundtable, "Roundin' Up a Western Opening," "Goodbye Andy," "The Accidental Toymakers of Pixar," "Life of a Short," "Making of Day and Night," "Ken's Dating tips," "Lotso commercials," "Dancing With the Stars at Pixar," "Toy Story Trivia Dash" game, Alex Syntek music video.

This Week's Releases (August 17)
From the Big Screen:

"The Last Song" and "Furry Vengeance." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (8/17)

Two groundbreaking films come to the fore this week: "Orlando Special Edition" (1993), starring Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane, is writer-director Sally Potter's Oscar-nominated and visually stunning film, based on Virginia Woolf's gender-bending novel "Orlando: A Biography." photo A witty, dream-like period piece with lavish sets, stunning costumes and cameos by Scottish pop singer Jimmy Somerville, of Bronski Beat, and English writer and queer cultural icon Quentin Crisp, author of "The Naked Civil Servant." "Orlando" is the story of an aristocrat's journey through time, spanning over four centuries, first as a man, then as a woman, as Orlando never ages, from the era of Queen Elizabeth I to the 20th century. From Sony ... Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, Marcel Camus' "Black Orpheus" (Orfeu negro) (1959) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the 20th-century madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. With its eye-popping photography and ravishing, epochal soundtrack, "Black Orpheus" was a cultural event, kicking off the bossa nova craze that set hi-fi's across America spinning. In a two-disc set with new, restored high-definition digital transfer. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Video: (8/17)

photo "Cougar Town: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.99 from Disney ... "Dexter: The Fourth Season" (2009) is a four-disc set with 12 episodes, $49.99 from Paramount ... "Father Knows Best: Season 5" (1958-59) is a five-disc set with 38 episodes, $34.99 from Shout! Factory ... "Friday Night Lights: The Fourth Season" (2009-10) is three-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 Universal ... "One Tree Hill: The Complete Seventh Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 20 episodes, $39.99 from Disney.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (8/17)

In "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" (2008 -- South Korea), director Kim Ji-woon, a master of modern horror thanks to "A Tale of Two Sisters" and "3 Extremes II," turns to pure, high-octane thrills in this wild take on Sergio Leone's Clint Eastwood classic "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." One of the most expensive films ever made in South Korea; from IFC Films and MPI Media Group ... photo '70s England is in full swing as three outcast friends find themselves drinking, joking, fighting and chasing girls, while dreaming of escape from their blue-collar hometown of Cemetery Junction in the appropriately named comedy "Cemetery Junction" (2009), written and directed by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant, and starring Felicity Jones, Matthew Goode, Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson; from Sony ... "Dark and Stormy Night" (2009) stars Daniel Roebuck, Jennifer Blaire, Dan Conroy, Brian Howe and Fay Masterson in a loving lampoon of the classic "old-dark house" thrillers. Set in the 1930s, this Larry Blamire-directed film begins with the family of the deceased (and very rich) Sinas Cavinder gathered for the reading of his will in a gloomy old mansion, complete with secret passageways, portraits with the eyes cut out and, of course, a gorilla. They soon find themselves being murdered by a mysterious hooded phantom; from Shout! Factory ... A college freshman who has been groomed from birth to continue her mother's legacy by joining the Delta house decides to pledge their rival, the Kappas, creating an all-out rivalry and fight-to-the-finish competition in "Sorority Wars" (2009), starring Lucy Hale, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Faith Ford and Amanda Schull; from RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment ... "The Lost Skeleton Returns Again" (2009) stars Fay Masterson, Brian Howe, Andrew Parks, Susan McConnell, Jennifer Blaire and Dan Conroy in a clever, over-the-top sequel to "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra," which brilliantly spoofed no-budget sci-fi movies of the 50s; here old friends and new enemies schlep into the Amazon jungle in search of yet another rare element, Jerranium 90; from Shout! Factory ... "Burning Bright" (2010), starring Briana Evigan, Charlie Tahan and Garret Dillahunt, is a thriller centered on a young woman and her autistic little brother who are trapped in a house with a ravenous tiger during a hurricane; from Lionsgate ... Sean Bean, Chris Hemsworth, Victoria Profeta star in "Ca$h" (2010), a thriller about a married couple with financial problems who have a case of money literally fall into their hands (while the husband is driving his old Buick below an overpass, a case falls onto the hood of the car and he finds $600,000 inside). They have the time of their lives ... until the owners of the cash come after the ill-gotten gain; from Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front: (8/17)

photo In the Wild West town of Mudbug, Sheriff Sugar Wolf arrives to confront an over-the-top villain, deranged gambler Big Baby Chips in "Big Money Rustlas" (2010), starring Shaggy 2 Dope, Violent J, Tom Sizemore, Jason Mewes, Ron Jeremy, Brigitte Nielsen, Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges; from Psychopathic Records, Vivendi Entertainment and Fontana Distribution ... In "The City of Your Final Destination" (2009), starring Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Metwally and Hiroyuki Sanada, an Iranian-American student wins a grant to write a biography of the Hispanic author Jules Gund, and he travels to Uruguay to convince the family to give him permission. He finds more than he expected when he meets the writer's brother (Hopkins), wife (Linney) and mistress (Gainsbourg); from Screen Media Films.

Foreign: (8/17)

In "Spring Fever" (2009 -- China), Wang Ping's wife suspects him of adultery, so she hires Lou Haitao to spy on him and discovers that her husband's lover is a man, Jian Cheng. Luo Haitao and his girlfriend, Li Jing, form a torrid love triangle with the male lover, marking the beginning of a journey into the confines of jealousy and obsessive love highlighted by asphyxiating sultry nights of physical abandon that exalts the senses. Winner of the Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival; from Strand Releasing.

For the Family: (8/17)

"Madeline's Halloween & Other Spooky Tales" (1993) features five episodes from the animated series based on the popular children's books: "Madeline's Halloween"; "Madeline and the Mean, Nasty Horrible Hats"; "Madeline and the Mummy"; "Madeline and the Haunted Castle"; and "Madeline and the Spider Lady." $12.99 from Shout! Factory.


Special Interest: (8/17)

In "Four Seasons Lodge" (2009), an aging group of Holocaust survivors-- haunted by the past but driven by an unquenchable passion for living -- gathers each summer at an idyllic hideaway in the Catskills, where they savor tightly bonded friendships, find new love and celebrate their survival; from First Run Features ... "Prodigy: An Unauthorized Story on Tiger Woods" (2010) is a documentary on the legendary golfer, $14.98 from Infinity Entertainment.

Just Announced: Killers, Babies, Lovers and Cowboys

photo (August 15) Upcoming releases: September 7: Spy comedy "Killers" starring Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara, on DVD and Blu-ray with "Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes With the Cast of Killers" featurette, gag reel, deleted and alternate/extended scenes, from Lionsgate ... September 14: Romance "Letters to Julia" starring Vanessa Redgrave, Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, Chris Egan and Franco Nero, on DVD and DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, with deleted and extended scenes, commentary, "The Making of Letters to Juliet: In Italia," from Summit Entertainment ... September 28: "Babies," the documentary look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, with the bonus feature "The Babies: Three Years Later," from Universal ... October 12: Graphic novel-to-big-screen "Jonah Hex," starring Josh Brolin, John Malkovich and Megan Fox, available as a single DVD and DVD/Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack; the Blu-ray version offers "The Weird Western Tales of Jonah Hex," "The Inside Story of Jonah Hex," additional scenes, from Warner.

Wednesday, August 11: Lionsgate has a "Kick-Ass" week, topping DVD sales, rentals and Blu-ray charts.

Monday, August 9: "The Karate Kid" kicks its way to home video on October 5 with alternate ending, interactive Chinese lessons, Justin Bieber music video. Read the press release.

This Week's Releases (August 10)
From the Big Screen:

"Date Night," "Death at a Funeral" and "The Joneses." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (8/10)

photo The folks over at Shout! Factory are peering 20 minutes into the future with 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.

From TV to Video: (8/10)

"Numb3rs: The Sixth Season" (2009) is a four-disc set with the last season's 16 episodes, $57.99, from Paramount ... "Trauma: Season 1" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 18 episodes, $39.98 from Universal.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (8/10)

photo "The Diplomat" (2009) stars Dougray Scott, Rachael Blake, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Richard Roxburgh, Claire Forlani and Don Hany in a British thriller: Scotland Yard Commander Julie Hales has discovered that British diplomat Ian Porter has dangerous ties to a notorious Russian trafficker in heroin. But the stakes are raised when an attempt on Porter's life leads Hales to a terrifying new discovery: a nuclear bomb previously belonging to the Soviet Union is missing and in the hands of the enemy. From Vivendi Entertainment ... "Triage" (2009) stars Colin Farrell, Juliet Stevenson, Paz Vega and Jamie Sives in an exploration of guilt, forgiveness and love that revolves around the shocking tale of a battle-scarred war photographer who returns from covering the fighting in Kurdistan -- without his colleagues -- as an entirely different person. From National Entertainment Media ... In a future world where the wealthy can have their brains implanted in clones so they can be immortal, a bounty hunter is called in to track down a rogue clone in "Clone Hunter" (2009), starring Ben Thomas, Angela Funk and David Ian Lee. From Lifesize Entertainment ... Teenage twins battle dark forces hidden beneath Auckland, New Zealand's volcanoes in "Under the Mountain" (2009), starring Tom Cameron, Sophie McBride, Oliver Driver, Leon Wadham and Sam Neil. From Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front: (8/10)

photo In "The Good Heart" (2009), starring Brian Cox, Paul Dano and Stephanie Szostak, Jacques, the curmudgeonly owner of a gritty New York dive bar that serves as a home to a motley assortment of professional drinkers, meets Lucas, a homeless young man who has already given up on life, he takes him under his wing, schooling him in the male-centric laws of the alcoholic clubhouse: no new customers, no fraternizing with customers, and absolutely no women. However, when Lucas insists they help a distraught and beautiful young woman who shows up at the bar seeking shelter, their unlikely friendship is put to the test. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... Ashley Judd shines as a talented music professor forced to come to terms with her debilitating depression; she finds solace through her friendship with Mathilda, a kindred spirit struggling with bipolar disorder in "Helen" (2009), also starring Lauren Lee Smith and Goran Visnjic. From E1 Entertainment ... Three guys tell the stories of how they met the loves of their lives, and how they managed to completely screw up the relationships in "Say Goodnight" (2008), starring Aaron Paul, Carly Pope, Shannon Lucio, Smith Cho, Rob Benedict, David Monahan and Christopher Gessner. From MTI Home Video.

Foreign: (8/10)

"My Name Is Khan" (2009 -- India) stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in a Bollywood romance about an Indian man with a unique way of looking at the world who moves to San Francisco and meets a vivacious single mother; they form a special bond and fall in love against all odds, but fate and tragedy conspire to tear them apart, from Fox ... When her best friend Coca gets pregnant and needs a male to act as her fiance, Manuela -- born a man but living as a woman -- is persuaded to put on her former male persona and pretend to be the father-to-be of Coca's child in "Manuela & Manuel" (2007 -- Puerto Rico) , starring Humberto Busto and Elena Iguina, from E1 Entertainment.

Special Interest: (8/10)

photo Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? From the producers of "Who Killed the Electric Car" comes "Tapped" (2009), a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. A couple of eye-opening facts about the business of water in our country: Each year, Americans buy 29 billion single-serve bottles of water. To transport that water we use over 18 million barrels of oil. And, in 2007, water was an $11.5 billion business. $19.98 from The Disinformation Company.

New Releases: 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' 'Sex and the City'

photo (August 9) Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema label has nightmares and dreams in store for you come this October. On October 5, New Line will release the reboot of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," starring Jackie Earle Haley as the inimitable Freddy Krueger; the Blu-ray Disc version includes an alternate ending. Then, on October 26, the studio will release "Sex and the City 2," the $96 million sequel starring everyone's favorite girls (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall); extras include "The Style of Sex and the City 2" and "The Men of Sex and the City." Also on October 26 Lionsgate will release the grim but superb "Winter's Bone," a harrowing tale about a 17-year-old Ozark Mountain girl who hacks through dangerous social terrain to hunt down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Sunday, August 8: "Other Guys" Beat Dream Team at Box Office

Celebrate Halloween With Frank-N-Furter

photo(August 7) 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a thrill for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" fans -- and they are legion (the film still plays the midnight circuit in most major cities) -- on October 19 the studio will release a Blu-ray Disc edition of the film to celebrate its 35th anniversary. An adaptation from Richard O'Brien's British musical horror comedy/rock opera, produced by Lou Adler and Michael White, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" features revered performances by Tim Curry as the bizarre and self-proclaimed "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania," and Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as Brad and Janet, a couple who find themselves lost on a cold, rainy night. The madcap, musical mayhem begins when the couple takes refuge in the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter as he is about to unveil his greatest creation -- and have a bit of fun with his reluctant guests. The release boasts a newly-restored high definition transfer and 7.1 audio and includes a host of cool features, including "Rocky-oke: Sing It!," "The Midnight Experience: The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture-in-Picture Show, Vintage Callback Track, Prop Box," "Don't Dream It, Be It: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part I," "An-tic-i-pation: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part II," deleted musical scenes and outtakes, alternate credit ending and misprint ending, packaged in a collectible 24-page book; $34.99.

New Releases: More Zombies, a 'Prince of Persia' and a bikini-clad star warrior

photo (August 4) Those pesky zombies just keep coming: On August 24 Magnolia Home Entertainment will release the latest chapter in George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" franchise, "Survival of the Dead" ... I'll refrain from calling this film a dog, but Fox has announced -- on very short notice -- that the lukewarm-grossing "Marmaduke" will arrive on August 31 ... Jake Gyllenhaal shows off his pecs in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," due September 14 from Disney ... On September 28, Universal will release the outrageous comedy "Get Him to the Greek," starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand ... and for you cult film worshipers, Shout! Factory will release a long-awaited restored version of "StarCrash," featuring the adventures of brave, bikini-clad star warrior Stella Star in outer space, on September 14.

This Week's Releases (August 3)
From the Big Screen:

"The Ghost Writer," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," "Kick-Ass" and "A Prophet." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (8/3)

There's so much cool stuff coming out this week we don't know where to start -- but let's begin with a star who's acting career has long been underrated: Kim Novak. She was beautiful to look at, could be cold and soft at the same time, and was a top box office draw from the mid-1950s to 1960s. She had some smash hits and wonderful roles (especially in "Vertigo" and "Strangers When We Meet"), but her career was hampered by too many duds. photo "The Kim Novak Collection" is a three-disc set with five of Novak's best-known films, fully restored and remastered, including two new to DVD: "Picnic" (1955) starring William Holden, Rosalind Russell, Cliff Robertson and Susan Strasberg; "Jeanne Eagels" (1957) with Agnes Moorehead and Jeff Chandler (DVD debut); "Pal Joey" (1957) starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth; "Bell Book and Candle" (1958) starring James Stewart, Jack Lemmon Elsa Lanchester; Paddy Chayefsky's "Middle of the Night" (1959) starring Frederick March (DVD debut). $39.95 from Sony ... Warner Home Video is celebrating the 75th (75!) birthday of another icon, Elvis Presley, with two offerings: The restored and remastered Blu-ray and DVD versions of "Elvis on Tour" (1972), the Golden Globe-winning documentary that followed Elvis on a 15-city tour of the United States in 1972; $19.96 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray. The company also has put together "The Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection," a boxed set with 17 Elvis films, including the new "Elvis on Tour" as well as "Jailhouse Rock," "Viva Las Vegas," "It Happened at the World's Fair," "Kissin' Cousins," "Girl Happy," "Tickle Me," "Harum Scarum," "Spin Out," "Double Trouble," "Stay Away, Joe," "Speedway," "Live a Little, Love a Little," "Charro!" "The Trouble With Girls," "Elvis: That's the Way It Is" documentary, "This Is Elvis" documentary; $74.92. ... Errol Flynn was one of the "bad boys" of cinema, having fun on screen and off, but could he ever act. "Errol Flynn Adventures, TCM Spotlight" is a five-disc set with five restored and remastered Errol Flynn classics debuting on DVD. The collection includes: "Desperate Journey" (1942), "Northern Pursuit" (1943), "Uncertain Glory" (1944), "Objective, Burma!" (1945), all directed by the legendary Raoul Walsh, and "Edge of Darkness"(1943), directed by Lewis Milestone. These films show Flynn at his best as an action-hero; $42.92 from Warner.

More Collectibles: Guilty pleasure time: Shout! Factory is pushing out four cult films this week: "Humanoids From the Deep" (1980), one of the best worst films of all time, photostarring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel and Vic Morrow, in a new high-definition transfer of the uncut international version presented in anamorphic widescreen, and loaded with extras; "Piranha" (1978), director Joe Dante's take on underwater carnivores, starring Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon and Barry Brown, presented in anamorphic widescreen for the first time; and "Deathsport/BattleTruck Collector's Edition" with "Deathsport" (1978), starring David Carradine, Claudia Jennings, Richard Lynch and William Smithers, and "BattleTruck" (released theatrically as "Warlords of the 21st Century" in 1982).

Years before Akira Kurosawa changed the face of cinema with such iconic works as "Rashomon," "Seven Samurai" and "Yojimbo," he made his start in the Japanese film industry with four popular and exceptional works, created while World War II was raging. "Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa" bring together four of those rare early films, all gripping dramas: "Sanshiro Sugata" (1943) and "Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two" (1945), a two-part martial arts saga; "The Most Beautiful" (1944), a portrait of female volunteers helping the war effort; and" The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail," a kabuki-derived tale of deception. A bare-bones set, $59.95 from The Criterion Collection.

Glowing Blu-ray: (8/3)

There's some nice Blu-ray product coming out this week: "The Breakfast Club 25th Anniversary Edition " (1985), photo directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason, with a "Sincerely Yours" 12-part documentary with Nelson, Hall, Sheedy and other cast members as they reflect on the making of "The Breakfast Club"; from Universal ... "Road to Perdition" (2002), directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds and Jennifer Jason Leigh, with new bonus features that include a Sam Mendes feature introduction, "A Cinematic Life: The Art & Influence of Conrad Hall," and "The Library: A Further Exploration of the World of Road to Perdition"; from Paramount ... And, lastly, Disney has put together a special edition of "James and the Giant Peach" (1996), directed by Henry Selick with the voices of Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves, Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes, Pete Postlethwaite, Susan Sarandon, Paul Terry, David Thewlis, for Blu-ray and standard DVD consumption.

From TV to Video: (8/3)

"Days That Shook the World: Season Three" (2005) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes of the BBC/History Channel series that looks at landmark events in history; $29.98 from BBC/Warner ... "Heroes: Season 4" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 18 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Mercy: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell -- Volume 3" is a single disc with Will Ferrell's funniest and best sketches from "Saturday Night Live," from Universal.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (8/3)

photo "After.Life" (2009) stars Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci and Justin Long in a creepy, low-key and thought-provoking thriller on the slim boundaries between life and death. After a car accident, a young woman (Ricci) is seemingly caught between life and death and a funeral director (Neeson) who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead to the afterlife, but who also just might be intent on burying her alive. Is she alive, like she thinks, or is she really dead, just waiting to be buried. From Anchor Bay ... In (2010), starring Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, a couple on the brink of divorce decide to sell their home and have an open house, but a "potential buyer" kidnaps them and tortures them in their basement; from Lionsgate ... "To Save a Life" (2009) is an inspirational drama about a popular teen who tries to help high school outcasts after a childhood friend tragically dies; from Sony.

On the Indie Front: (8/3)

"Happiness Runs' (2010), starring Mark L. Young, Andie MacDowell, Rutger Hauer, Hanna Hall and Jesse Plemons, is a coming-of-age tale about a young man growing up on a Utopian commune, where he's faced with the challenge to either submit to his community's ideals or to escape. Although his mother funds the collective that preaches a lifestyle of free love and out-of-body meditations, the sudden reappearance of his childhood love forces him to create a desperate plot to save them both and escape the polygamous cult. From Strand Releasing.

For the Family: (8/3)

"Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Rosemary Wells Collection" is a two-disc set that features eight of Rosemary Wells best-loved stories: photo "Max's Chocolate Chicken," "Max's Christmas," "Morris's Disappearing Dog," "Otto Runs for President," "Noisy Nora," "Emily's First 100 Days Of School," "Voyage to the Bunny Planet," "Reading to Your Bunny." Since the beloved "Noisy Nora" was first published in 1973, Rosemary Wells has become one of our most treasured author-illustrators. With a career spanning more than 40 years and 120 books, the estimable Wells has delighted children and adults alike with such unforgettable characters as Max, Ruby, and Nora, the attention-seeking mouse. $19.95 from Scholastic Storybook Treasures... "Curious George: Back to School" (2010) includes eight episodes of the PBS KIDS TV series in which George discovers that you can learn new things at school, at home and everywhere in between, $16.98 from Universal ... "Dora's Big Birthday Adventure" (2010) is a music-filled, movie-length adventure that has Dora and Boots set out on a whirlwind adventure through Magic Storybook Land, with guest stars Rosie Perez as La Bruja (the witch), John Leguizamo as the Flying Monkeys and Hector Elizondo as the Wishing Wizzle. Includes two other episodes and a DVD game. $16.99 from Nick/Paramount.

Special Interest: (8/3)

photo "The Dungeon Masters" (2008) is a documentary set against the backdrop of crumbling middle-class America, about three struggling adults (two men and a woman) who devote their lives to Dungeons & Dragons, the storied role-playing game. One player is a sanitation worker who lures friends into a "Sphere of Annihilation." Another is an evil "drow-elf" displaced by Hurricane Katrina. And one is a failed supervillain who starts a cable access show involving ninjas, puppets and a cooking segment. But the baroque fantasies of these three clash with their mundane real lives, and they gradually come to realize that the game's imaginary triumphs can't completely mask the very real disappointments of life. $19.98 from FilmBuff/MPI Media Group.

'Inception' Keeps Eyeballs Open at No. 1

photo (August 1) No, you're not dreaming: "Inception" has topped the box office for a third straight week, becoming only the third movie this year to accomplish that feat (after "Alice in Wonderland" and "Shrek Forever After"), according to a report at Inside Movies. The Leonardo DiCaprio-Christopher Nolan actioner won the top spot (with $27.5 million domestically) even though the weekend saw three new wide-release movies, one of which ("Dinner for Schmucks") opened fairly strong in second place ($23.3 million). The other two ('Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,' with $12.5 million, and 'Charlie St. Cloud,' notching 12.1 million) fell by the wayside. Angelina Jolie's female superspy "Salt" also fought off the other newcomers, moving down to No. 3 with $19.3 million, while the animated "Despicable Me" took fourth with $15.5 millions.

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