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More News: September 2010
This Week's Releases (September 28)
From the Big Screen:
"Iron Man 2," "Get Him to the Greek" and "Babies." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (9/28)
There's two interesting releases from the folks at Criterion this week: "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" (1983), a captivating, exhilaratingly skewed World War II drama from Nagisa Oshima. David Bowie regally embodies the character Celliers, a high-ranking British officer interned by the Japanese as a POW. Music star Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also composed the film's hypnotic score) plays the camp commander, who becomes obsessed with the mysterious blond major, while Tom Conti is British lieutenant colonel Mr. Lawrence, who tries to bridge the emotional and language divides between his captors and fellow prisoners. "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" is a multilayered, brutal, at times erotic tale of culture clash that was one of Oshima's greatest successes. In a new, restored high-definition master ... After directing two of the most extraordinary movies of the 1970s, "Badlands" and "Days of Heaven," American artist Terrence Malick disappeared from the film world for 20 years, only to resurface in 1998 with "The Thin Red Line," a visionary adaptation of James Jones's 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal. A big-budget, spectacularly mounted epic, "The Thin Red Line" is a deeply philosophical film, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence. In a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer John Toll. Both releases are also available on Blu-ray.
From TV to Video: (9/28)
Acorn Media continues to astonish with their sets of British TV series. This week's releases:
"The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, Set 2." Based on the novels by beloved crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers, the late Ian Carmichael stars as the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey in these wittily scripted and lavishly produced BBC adaptations. The mysteries ranked with "Upstairs, Downstairs" as the most successful series on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s, and the mysteries were so popular they inspired PBS's spin-off series Mystery!. Set 2 includes the final three feature-length mysteries: "Murder Must Advertise," "Five Red Herrings" and "The Nine Tailors" in a three-disc set for $49.99. "Midsomer Murders, Set 16" (2009) Four contemporary, stand-alone mysteries from the top-selling British mystery franchise. Inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, "Midsomer Murders" combines quirky characters and surprising mysteries with postcard-perfect English village settings and the ever-charming John Nettles as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. Four-disc set with "Midsomer Life," "The Magician's Nephew," "Days of Misrule" and "Talking to the Dead"; $49.99.
"The Cleveland Show: The Complete Season One" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, The Tenth Season" (2009-10) is a seven-disc set with 23 episodes, $79.99 from Paramount ... "Ellery Queen Mysteries: The Complete Series" (1975-76) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from E1 Entertainment ... "Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment" (2010) is the most infamous "Family Guy" episode, here uncensored, from Fox ... "Harriet The Spy: Blog Wars" (2010) is a Disney Channel Original movie from 9 Story Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment ... "Legend of the Seeker: The Complete Second and Final Season " (2009) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "Paranormal State: The Complete Season Four"
(2010) is a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $24.95 from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Party Down: Season Two" (2010) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.97 from Anchor Bay ... "Rich Man, Poor Man: The Complete Collection" (1976) is a nine-disc set with all 34 episodes, $79.95 from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Scrubs: The Complete Ninth Season" (2009-10) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.99 from Disney ... "Secret Agent Aka Danger Man The Complete Collection" (1964-67) is an 18-disc set with all 86 episodes, $99.95 from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Top Gear Season 13" (1985) is a four-disc set with 18 episodes, $39.98 from BBC/Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (9/28)
Pick of the week:
"The Killer Inside Me" (2010) is a modern-day film noir about a small-town sheriff up to his neck in murders: his own. When Casey Affleck's sheriff is asked to railroad a talkative prostitute out of town before she makes trouble, he realizes it's easier to just get rid of her for good. Unfortunately, covering up that murder means eliminating more and more people as his problems and complications spiral out of control. Even worse, he's starting to enjoy committing the crimes a lot more than he ever enjoyed dishing out the punishment. Based on the pulp fiction classic by Jim Thompson. Directed by Michael Winterbottem and starring Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Casey Affleck, Simon Baker and Bill Pullman. From IFC/MPI.
"Good" (2009) stars Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Mark Strong in a drama about a German literary professor during the 1930 who advocates compassionate euthanasia and whose novel about the subject is enlisted by the Nazi party to push its agenda; from National Entertainment Media ... "The Prankster" (2010), starring Madison Riley, Maiara Walsh, Robert Adamson, Kurt Fuller and Ken Davitian, is a teen comedy about a secret society that rights the wrongs of high school by pulling sophisticated pranks on deserving oppressors; from Strand Releasing ... Three skiers are stranded on a chair lift and forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death in "Frozen" (2010), starring Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell; from Anchor Bay ... "Suck" (2009), starring Malcolm McDowell, Jessica Pare, Dave Foley, Nicole de Boer, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Moby and Rob Stefaniuk, is a rock-'n'-roll vampire spoof about a bottom-shelf bar band that'll do anything for a record deal-- including joining the undead; from Entertainment One ... "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinksy" (2009) is the true story of the forbidden romance between two of the twentieth century's most fascinating creative geniuses, French fashion designer Coco Chanel and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Stars Mads Mikkelsen, Anna Mouglalis; from Sony.
From IFC/MPI: "Paintball" (2009), about a group of strangers brought together to compete in the ultimate paintball competition -- Only the other side isn't firing balls of paint, they're firing real ammo ... "Perrier's Bounty" (2009), starring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson and Jim Broadbent, is a comedy about a lazy would-be thief who owes local gangster Perrier more money than he can pay and goes on the run when his suicidal neighbor kills one of the goons who comes to collect ... In "7 Days" (2010), a doctor kidnaps, ties up and then methodically extracts every drop of justice from the vile criminal he is convinced raped and killed his little girl ... "Mercy" (2009), starring Scott Caan, Dylan McDermott, Erika Christensen and James Caan, a best-selling novelist (Scott Caan) one-night stands his way through L.A. until he finally meets his match with Mercy, a book critic who calls his romantic bluff.
From Vanguard: "The Brothel" (2008), starring Serena Scott Thomas, Brett Cullen, Grace Zabriskie and Christian Martin, a psychological ghost story about a woman who flees her life in the city after the tragic loss of a lover and buys a haunted brothel to turn it into a hotel ... "Dark Woods" (2009), starring James Russo, Tracy Coogan, John Muscarnero and Mary Kate Wilesa in a psychological thriller about a young couple who move to a secluded cabin to cope with the wife's terminal illness and the young girl they befriend ... "Helen" (2008), about the strange events that befall a young woman enlisted to stand in for a missing teen during a police reconstruction of the girl's last known movements.
On the Indie Front: (9/28)
"Forbidden Lies" (2009) Norma Khouri is a thief, a saint, a seductress and a sociopath -- depending on who is talking. Khouri won fame and fortune with her "true story," "Forbidden Love," about a shocking honor killing in Jordan, and the book was a runaway bestseller, translated into multiple languages. Khouri became the toast of the literary world, at least until July 2004, when esteemed Sydney Morning Herald journalist Malcolm Knox exposed her book as a work of fiction, and her protagonist, Dalia, a figment of her imagination. Following her shocking "outing," Khouri fights for her credibility and offers to go to Jordan to prove that "Dalia" indeed existed and that the incident in question really took place. Is her story fact or fiction? You decide. From IndiePix.
For the Family: (9/28)
For older kids there's "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" (2010) is the ninth entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 Movies. The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight unite once again, this time to battle the powerful forces of Darkseid. Two-disc set from Warner; and "Astonishing X-Men -- Gifted" (2010), the first arc in the three-part "Astonishing X-Men" home entertainment series of Marvel Motion Comics by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, configured as a deluxe DVD with a graphic rich cover and a unique replica of comic book-style plastic sleeve packaging that bridges the comic book to DVD concept; $14.97 from Shout! Factory ... For the little ones there's "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus! ... and More Stories By Mo Willems" (2010), which includes the title story from the acclaimed picture book author as well as "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale" and "Leonardo, the Terrible Monster," $14.95 from Scholastic Storybook Treasures; and "The Ralph Mouse Collection" (2010), which features the award-winning literary adaptations of "The Mouse and the Motorcycle," "Ralph S. Mouse" and "Runanway Ralph" in a three-disc set, $24.95 from Scholastic Storybook Treasures.
Special Interest: (9/28)
"Soundtrack for a Revolution " (2010) is a documentary that tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music-- the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. The film features new performances of the freedom songs by top artists, including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond and Ambassador Andrew Young. From New Video ... "Super Size Me: Special Edition" (2004)is the six-and-one-half anniversary edition of the documentary following Morgan Spurlock's quest to expose the obesity problem facing America and to show how fast food restaurants -- the McDonald's chain, in particular -- have played their part in this epidemic. From Virgil Films & Entertainment.
Box Office Bullish on 'Wall Street'
Greed was indeed good this weekend as Fox's Michael Douglas starrer "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," which co-stars Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan and Josh Brolin, landed atop the domestic box office chart with an estimated $19 million. Oliver Stone's sequel to his original 1987 financial thriller appealed mostly to adults, with Fox claiming 65% of the audience was over 30. The family film offering "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole," from Warner Bros., flew to the second spot with $16.3 million, while the female-oriented "You Again," from Disney, took in $8.3 million. Ben Affleck's heist thriller "The Town" segued into fourth (from No. 1 last week) with $16 million, and teen comedy "Easy A" took in $10.7 million. More box office news.
It's 'Despicable' in December,
Universal has added a pair of hot titles to its fourth quarter release schedule. Arriving December 14 is the $244 million blockbuster "Despicable Me," the animated adventure about the meanest man on Earth, Gru, whose attempt to hijack the moon is thwarted by three little girls. The movie will be released in four configurations: single-disc DVD, a DVD Double Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blue-ray 3D Combo Pack. In addition to a host of bonus features, all but the single DVD will include three new mini-movies starring the Minions: "Home Makeover," "Orientation Day" and "Banana." "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," starring Michael Cera as a rock 'n' roller who must fend off seven evil ex-suitors to win the hand of his true love, comes home November 9. Bonus features include four commentaries, bloopers, alternate scenes, documentaries and much, much more.
'Pilgrim' in November for Universal
This Week's Releases (September 21)
From the Big Screen:
"Robin Hood" and "The Secret in Their Eyes." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
Hot Blu-ray: (9/21)
This week's hot Blu-ray releases include "American Beauty"
(1999), directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley, Allison Janney and Scott Bakula. Bonus features include commentary by Mendes and screenwriter Alan Ball; "American Beauty: Look Closer ..." storyboard presentation with Mendes and director of photography Conrad L. Hall; from Paramount ... "Charade" (1963), directed by Stanley Donen and starring the suave Cary Grant and Givenchy-clad Audrey Hepburn, with a restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Bonus features inlcude commentary featuring Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone, original theatrical trailer, and a booklet featuring an essay by film historian Bruce Eder; from The Criterion Collection ... and "The Peacemaker" (1997) starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. Bonus features: Stunt footage, "From the Cutting Room Floor ..."; from Paramount.
From TV to Video: (9/21)
"Castle: The Complete Second Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "Community: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 25 episodes, $39.95 from Sony ... "Designing Women: The Complete Fourth Season" (1989-90) is a four-disc set with 27 episodes, $44.99 from Shout! Factory ... "Desperate Housewives: The Complete Sixth Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "How I Met Your Mother Season Five" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Human Target: The Complete First Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "The Hunger: The Taste of Terror" is a two-disc set with six episodes from the erotically charged horror series, $14.98 from E1 Entertainment ... "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit -- The Eleventh Year" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "The Mentalist: The Complete Second Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Modern Family: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $49.98 from Fox ... "Saturday Night Live: Best of '09/'10" (2010) is a single-disc from Universal ... "Spartacus: Blood and Sand -- The Complete First Season" (2010) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $59.97 from Anchor Bay ... "30 Rock: Season 4" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Universal ... "Two and a Half Men: The Complete Seventh Season" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $44.98 from Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (9/21)
In "The Experiment" (2010), starring Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Clifton Collins Jr., Cam Gigandet and Maggie Grace, a group of men agree to play inmates and guards in a simulation of life within a state prison as part of a two-week research project. But as the 24 volunteers slip deeper into their roles, power corrupts, fears escalate and the experiment spins horribly out of control; from Sony ... Director Neil Jordan's "Ondine" (2009) stars Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan and Alison Barry in the story of an Irish fisherman, Syracuse, who catches a beautiful and mysterious woman in his trawler nets. At first she seems to be dead, but then comes alive before his eyes and he comes to believe that the woman (Ondine) in fact be a mermaid; soon Ondine and Syracuse fall passionately in love; from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... In "Triple Dog" (2009), starring Brittany Robertson, Alexia Fast, Scout Taylor Compton and Janel Parrish, a group of teenage girls at a sweet 16 sleepover party participate in an escalating game of truth or dare that unravels the truth behind a former student's rumored suicide; from Well Go USA ... Based on a true story, the quirky "Alien Autopsy" (2006) centers around two guys who believe they have film evidence about an alien cover-up and government conspiracy regarding the famed Roswell incident in 1947. What ensues is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for the two unlikely lads from London. Stars Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, Bill Pullma and Harry Dean Stanton. From Warner ... In "(Untitled)" (2009), a comic satire of modern art starring Adam Goldberg, Marley Shelton, Vinnie Jones and Lucy Punch, contemporary art gallerist Madeleine falls for Adrian, a brooding new music composer. The two struggle to find their own artistic success as the streets of Manhattan bombard them with artists, from Adrian's commercial brother to those who use taxidermy and household objects. From Screen Media ... The sequel "Stomp the Yard: Homecoming" (2010) follows Chance Harris (Collins Pennie) as he tries to find a balance between his school, work, relationships and the opportunity to perform at the nationally televised step competition during homecoming weekend; also stars Keith David, Edward Bryan, Pooch Hall and Kiely Williams. From Sony ... "Gamera vs. Gyaos/Gamera vs. Viras Double Features Collector's Edition" and "Gamera vs. Guiron/Gamera vs. Jiger Double Features Collector's Edition" feature all-new anamorphic widescreen transfers with both the original Japanese and infamous English dubbed versions of each film along with publicity galleries; $19.93 each from Shout! Factory.
For the Family: (9/21)
"The Secret of Moonacre" (2008) stars Dakota Blue Richards, Juliet Stevenson, Ioan Gruffudd and Tim Curry in director Gabor Csupo ("Bridge to Terabithia," "The Rugrats") adaptation of Elizabeth Goudge's Carnegie Medal-winning fantasy-adventure novel 'The Little White Horse." After 13-year-old Maria Merryweather's father dies, she is left orphaned and homeless and is forced to leave her luxurious London life to go and live at the mysterious Moonacre Manor with her eccentric uncle Sir Benjamin. Soon Maria finds herself in a crumbling moonlit world and discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and she must unearth the secrets of her past before the 5000th moon rises and Moonacre disappears forever; from Entertainment One ... "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown" (1968) includes the title feature as well as the "Life Is a Circus, Charlie Brown" TV special and a bonus feature, "Snoopy's Ice Home: The Story of the Redwood Empire Ice Arena," $19.9 from Warner ... "Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases Volume 5" is a single-disc with 14 animated adventures, 14.97 from Warner ... "Max & Ruby: Everybunny Loves Winter!"
(2010) features four new winter-themed episodes, $16.99 from Nick/Paramount.
Special Interest: (9/21)
"Directors: Life Behind the Camera" (2009) features 33 legendary directors who reveal intimate and in-depth knowledge about the art of filmmaking and, as well, their own career in the movies. Culled from over 300 hours of interviews, this two-disc, four hour presentation is totally interactive, allowing instant access to a single director, or access to an entire topic involving all directors. Also included are film clips, interviews with guest actors and industry veterans, and biographies and interesting facts about each director.
Robert Altman, Nora Ephron, Penny Marshall, Robert Benton, William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Rob Reiner, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Chris Columbus, Lawrence Kasdan, Ridley Scott, Wes Craven, Spike Lee, Tony Scott, Cameron Crowe, Barry Levinson, Bryan Singer, Frank Darabont, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Demme, David Lynch, Oliver Stone, Richard Donner, Adrian Lyne, Robert Zemeckis, Clint Eastwood, Garry Marshall, David Zucker. $29.95 from First Run Features ... When celebrated scholar Joseph Campbell sat down with veteran journalist Bill Moyers for a discussion about his life's work, the series brought Campbell's theories into popular culture and led to a bestselling companion book. The stimulating conversations between inspirational scholar Joseph Campbell and veteran journalist Bill Moyers created a national sensation when they first aired on PBS in 1988. In lively, expansive dialogues, the two men discussed how myths hold the key to understanding human experience. "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth With Bill Moyers" is a two-volume DVD boxed set that includes several bonus features with selections from Moyers' interview with George Lucas, who credits Campbell with helping to inspire his creation of "Star Wars"; a 12-page viewers guide; and a never-before-released conversation with Campbell from "Bill Moyer's Journal." $49.99 frtom Acorn Media/Athena.
More Special Interest:
"Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train -- Special Commemorative Edition" is an acclaimed film that looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Zinn became an academic rebel and leader of civil disobedience in a time of institutionalized racism and war. His influential writings shine light on and bring voice to factory workers, immigrant laborers, African Americans, Native Americans and the working poor. Narrated by Matt Damon with music by Pearl Jam, Woody Guthrie and Billy Bragg. $24.95 from First Run Features ... "Middletown" (1982) is a six-part film series that documents middle-class life, American values and customs in "Middletown" -- a.k.a. Muncie, Indiana. Inspired by immensely influential Depression-era sociological studies by Robert and Helen Lynd -- "Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture" (1929) and "Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts" (1937) -- this series of films made for PBS in 1982 transform the Middletown studies into an unprecedented overview of American life seen through the prisms of local politics, high school sports, a family business, religion, marriage and divorce, and (at the time still explosively) interracial dating. Four-disc set with a booklet, $44.98 from Icarus Films ... In "Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain" (2009), which originally aired on HBO, an age-obsessed daughter of a plastic surgeon takes a journey through America's $60 Billion a year anti-aging world. In this Alice in Wonderland documentary, the filmmaker spends two years traveling across America visiting doctors, experts and the lives of a cross-section of characters from Minnesota to Texas who've gone to varying lengths to "beat the clock," to paint a funny but troubling portrait of a country that desperately needs to stay young. From Cinema Libre Studio ... "Petty Blue" (2010) is a documentary about the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Fame Richard Petty and his extraordinary family; $19.99 from Paramount.
• Sunday, September 19: Box office: Hot Weekend on the "Town"
Sony Offers Screen Classics On Demand
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has followed Warner Home Video in opening its vaults to offer DVD-on-demand films from their gigantic library of catalog titles. Beginning Sept. 13, Sony will make available more than 100 Columbia Pictures titles as part of its "Screen Classics by Request" program. To order any of the films, consumers can visit www.Columbia-Classics.com, make their selection, and upon purchase, a state-of-the-art manufacturing on demand system creates a made-to-order DVD showcased with original theatrical art when available. Among the titles initially available will be "The Pumpkin Eater" (1964) with Anne Bancroft and Peter Finch, "Footsteps in the Fog" (1955) starring Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons, Sam Wanamaker's "The Executioner" (1970) with George Peppard, "The Juggler" (1953) starring Kirk Douglas, the Sherlock Holmes mystery "A Study in Terror" (1965), "I Never Sang For My Father" (1970) with Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman, and "Les Voleurs" (Thieves, 1996) with Catherine Deneuve. Additional titles will be made available monthly and will retail at $19.94 plus shipping. These types of DVD-on-demand programs allow the studios to bring content to market in a more cost-effective manner, since the titles -- which in many cases might not appeal to a mass-market audience -- are manufactured only in response to customer demand.
This Week's Releases (September 14)
From the Big Screen:
"Prince of Persia," "Letters to Juliet" and "Just Wright." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
Hot Blu-ray: (9/14)
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
(1975) Director: Milos Forman. Stars Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli, Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, Scatman Crothers. 35th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition. Warner Home Video decided to celebrate the 35th anniversary of "Cuckoo's Nest" with a gorgeous Blu-ray rendering of the film, packed in an elaborate box with all kinds of goodies: A 52-page commemorative hard-bound book; reproductions of the original press book; 52 character-inspired playing cards; four mini-reproductions of theatrical posters; a "patient file" of cast/character photo cards. Though Warner just released "Cuckoo" two years ago in a Blu-ray book package, the market for high-def films then was a lot smaller; this version also ups the extras ante. Milos Forman's film, of course, is a masterpiece, a visualization of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel that takes place in a mental institution that serves as a metaphor for the raging culture wars of the 1970s. Other special features in this must-own set: "Completely Cuckoo," a feature-length documentary about the making of the film, in which producer Michael Douglas, Milos Forman and Ken Kesey describe how the movie was made with actors and patients on location in a working mental hospital; commentary by Forman and producers Douglas and Saul Zaentz; new interview with producer Michael Douglas; deleted scenes; original trailer; more.
"The Twilight Zone: Season 1" (1959-60) is a five-disc set with all 36 episodes, in all new 1080p high-definition transfers created from the original camera negatives,with uncompressed PCM audio, remastered from the original magnetic soundtracks. Bonus features include the extremely rare, never-before-released unofficial "The Twilight Zone" pilot, "The Time Element," written by Rod Serling and hosted by Desi Arnaz; 19 new audio commentaries; 18 radio dramas; 34 isolated music scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith and others; commentaries by actors Earl Holliman, Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Martin Milner, Kevin McCarthy, and CBS executive William Self; vintage audio recollections with actors Burgess Meredith and Anne Francis, directors Douglas Heyes and Richard L. Bare, producer Buck Houghton and writer Richard Matheson; Rod Serling audio lectures from Sherwood Oaks College; Rod Serling promos for "Next Week's" show; and much, much more; $99.98 from Image Entertainment.
From TV to Video: (9/14)
"The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season" (2009-10) is a three-disc set with 23 episodes, $44.98 from Warner ... "Bored to Death: The Complete First Season" (2009) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $39.98 HBO Home Video ..
"The Commish -- Season Two" (1992-93) is a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $14.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "Fringe: The Complete Second Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Glee: The Complete First Season" (2009-10) is a seven-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.99 from Fox ... "The Good Wife: Season One" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Grey's Anatomy: Complete Sixth Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, $59.99. from Disney ... "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Five" (2009) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "The League Complete First Season" (2009) is a two-disc set with six episodes, $29.98 from Fox ... "Lonesome Dove Collection" is an eight-disc set with remastered and restored "Lonesome Dove" miniseries, "Return to Lonesome Dove," "Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk," "Larry McMurtry's Streets Of Laredo," from Vivendi Entertainment and RHI Entertainment ... "Private Practice: The Complete Third Season" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "Rules of Engagement: The Complete Third Season" (2009-10) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.95 from Sony.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (9/14)
"StarCrash" (1978) is another in the Shout! Factory's Roger Corman's Cult Classics collection. The cult classic comes to DVD in a new anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1) and DTS HD 5.1 Surround Sound (Blu-ray), Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (DVD).
Brave, bikini-clad star warrior Stella Star (Caroline Munro) and her co-pilot Akton (child evangelist-turned-actor Marjoe Gortner) are pressed into service to thwart the evil Zarth Arn's plot to take over the universe ... "My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done" (2009), the first collaboration between legendary filmmakers David Lynch (producer)and Werner Herzog (director), is a psychological thriller loosely based on the mysterious true crime story of a young stage actor who, obsessed with a Greek tragedy he's rehearsing, slays his own mother with a sword. Stars Michael Shannon, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe, Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier and Brad Dourif; from First Look Studios ... Three guys on the verge of forty head out on a spontaneous road trip adventure when they realize all the best things in their lives happened before they were 20 ... and they need to balance the ledger in "Two Tickets to Paradise" (2006), starring John C. Mcginley, D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly and Ed Harris; from Paramount ... In "Raging Phoenix" (2009 -- Thailand), a group of friends band together to break a violent Thai gang that has been abducting and killing women; from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "The Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms (aka Crippled Avengers)" (1978 -- Hong Kong) is a Shaw Brothers' kung fu cult classic. An evil warlord and his son cripple anyone who crosses their path. Four men who fell victim to their violence -- a blind man, a deaf-mute, a man with no legs and a young man who has lost his sanity -- visit a kung fu master who teaches them deadly fighting skills and ways to overcome their disabilities, and they band together to reclaim their village from the warlord's reign of terror; from Vivendi Entertainment/The Weinstein Company ... "Princess Kaiulani" (2009)is the true story of a Hawaiian princess' attempts to maintain the independence of the island against the threat of American colonization. Stars Q'orianka Kilcher, Barry Pepper, Will Patton and Shaun Evans; from Lionsgate.
In "The Children of USSR" (2007 -- Israel), an underdog Israeli soccer team (made up of immigrants) must fend off local thugs and mean-spirited politicians to win a $10,000 sports prize -- all the while getting to school on time; from SISU Home Entertainment.
For the Family: (9/14)
"Dora the Explorer: Dora's Slumber Party" is a compilation containing six of Dora's bedtime adventures, $16.99 from Nick/Paramount ... "SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments" is a compilation of 10 SpongeBob favorites, $14.99 from (Nick/Paramount ... In the new animated feature "Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare" (2010), the lovable Great Dane and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang explore some mysterious goings-on at a haunted summer camp, $19.98 from Warner ... In the animated "Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale" (2010), Barbie rescues her aunt's failing Paris fashion house with the aid of three fairies, from Universal.
Special Interest: (9/14)
"America: The Story of Us" (2010) is the first television event in nearly 40 years to present a comprehensive telling of America's monumental history, presented in a 12-part series, featuring highly realistic CGI animation, dramatic re-creations and thoughtful insights from some of America's most respected artists, business leaders, academics and intellectuals -- as well as a very special introduction from President Barack Obama. From the revolutionary war that birthed the nation to the civil war that divided it, and to the making of the modern world, the series -- watched by more than 6 million viewers -- tells the extraordinary story of how America was invented, looking at the moments where Americans harnessed technology to advance human progress -- from the rigors of linking the continent by transcontinental railroad, the internet of its day, to triumphing over vertical space through construction of steel structured buildings to putting a man on the moon. Historical events covered include: the arrival of the first English settlers, the Revolutionary War, Native American wars, slavery, westward expansion, economic growth of the North and South, the Civil War, the settling of the Great Plains, the development of modern, industrialized cities, the California Gold Rush and the Western frontier, the Great Depression and the World Wars right up to present day. $39.95 DVD, $49.95 Blu-ray Disc; from A&E Home Entertainment ... "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" (2010) is a documentary portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff, from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah. A tale of international intrigue with Indian casinos, Russian spies, Chinese sweatshops, and a mob-style killing in Miami, this is the story of the way money corrupts our political process; $26.98 from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "Weapons of War: Volume 1" (2010) is a three-disc set that examines the history of warfare and how technology has changed the ways battles are fought: "Ground War" explores the key technological advances that have defined ground warfare through the ages, "Warplane" investigates the 100 years since the Wright brothers first took to the air," "Warship" tells the story of the evolution of the warships, right up to the U.S.' current cutting-edge navy battle groups. $49.99 from PBS Distribution ... "Out of Europe" (2010) is a documentary about a family of Belgium diamond merchants and activists who fled the Holocaust in 1940; from SISU Home Entertainment.
This September marks the 40th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death, and "Classic Artists': Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero" (2010) celebrates the occasion with a look at his career -- from playing backup guitar for Little Richard to making headlines with his history-making performances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Through the words of Jimi's family and a collection of contemporaries and admirers, including Dave Mason (Traffic), Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (Cream), Eric Burdon (The Animals), Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Paul Rodgers (Bad Company) and Bev Bevan (ELO) -- the myth falls away and Jimi Hendrix is brought to life once more. Less a biography than the first film to focus on the music itself and the impetus of the master who created it. From Image Entertainment ... "Rock Prophecies" (2010) is a documentary on photog Robert Knight's 40-year career photographing some of the rock world's biggest legends in their most intimate moments. The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Aerosmith have all been captured through his lens. However, Knight is more than just a famous rock photographer -- he's someone with a genuine passion for music and musicians. Features interviews with and performances by Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, Carlos Santana, Slash, Panic at the Disco, Sick Puppies, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, and Steve Vai, among others. $24.99 from PBS ... "Bill Maher: But I'm Not Wrong" (2010) is a no-holds-barred performance before a packed house in Raleigh, North Carolina; $19.97 from HBO Video ... "Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell" (1987) is a blood-and-guts compilation featuring coming attractions from some 47 classic grindhouse horror flicks. Made in 1987 at the height of the VHS boom, when anyone and everyone was popping anything and everything into their VCRs in search of ever-more twisted thrills and chills, "Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell" was an ambitiously researched and compiled anthology of trailers hyping cult grindhouse and drive-in theater favorites where the blood, guts and gore take center stage.From Virgil Films & Entertainment.
There's four hot-off-the-mat World Wrestling Entertainment releases out now:
• Fatal 4-Way 2010: Relive the historic night when the WWE, World Heavyweight Championship and Divas Championship all changed hands. And, in a bout dedicated to Bret Hart, watch The Hart Dynasty & Natalya prevail over the vicious team of The Usos & Tamina in a Six-Person Mixed Tag Team Match.
• Raw: The Beginning -- The Best of Seasons 1 & 2 (2010): Four-disc set packed with more than 11 hours of matches and highlights from the first two years of Raw.
• Money in the Bank 2010: First instituted at WrestleMania 21, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match has become one of the most prestigious and most anticipated contests in WWE.
• Satan's Prison: The Anthology of the Elimination Chamber (2010): Since its inception at Survivor Series 2002, the Elimination Chamber has hosted some of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Three-disc set with every Elimination Chamber Match contest.
'Bridge on the River Kwai,'
Looks like the fourth quarter Blu-ray release schedule is starting to heat up. In addition to the already announced Blu-ray edtions of "Beauty and the Beast," "The Exorcist," "Mad Max," the "RoboCop Trilogy," "Apocalypse Now," "Psycho," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," the "Alien Anthology," "Back to the Future," "Toy Story 3" and "Fantasia & Fantasia 2000" now add:
'Sound of Music' on Blu-ray
• "The Bridge on the River Kwai Blu-ray Collector's Edition," due Nov. 2 from Sony. The Columbia Pictures 1957 classic has received an extensive 4K restoration from the original negative, with newly remastered 5.1 audio. Available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with such extras as William Holden and Alec Guinness on "The Steve Allen Show"; "The Bridge on the River Kwai Premiere," narrated by William Holden; "Crossing the Bridge Picture-in-Graphics Track" that includes information on the progression of the bridge's construction, the challenges of creating a bridge in the jungle during wartime, the real POW experience; replicas of the original theatrical lobby cards and a 32-page book of on-set and behind the scenes photography.
• "The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition," also due Nov. 2 from Fox, available as a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack ($34.99) and a Limited Edition Collector's Set ($89.99). The film has been restored and remastered in 1080p Hi-Def with 7.1 DTS-HD Sound with such bonus features as "Your Favorite Things": An interactive celebration immersive viewing experience with behind-the-scenes images, on-screen lyrics, trivia track and location quiz; "Music Machine Sing-Along"; commentaries by Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and director Robert Wise; and much more. The Limited Edition Collector's Set includes a 45th anniversary soundtrack, a 100-page "My Favorite Things" scrapbook, snapshots from Salzburg, reproduction of the original 1965 souvenir program, and an exclusive "My Favorite Things" music box with a letter of authenticity.
• "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" due Nov 2 as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo, in an all-new remastered version with upgraded 7.1 DTS-HD master audio and new interactive games, from MGM.
This Week's Releases (September 7)
From the Big Screen:
"Solitary Man," "Killers" and "MacGruber." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (9/7)
For two seasons and over 60 episodes, horror icon Boris Karloff invited television audiences to enjoy captivating tales of suspense, murder, and relentless terror as host of the 1960s anthology series "Thriller." Featuring stories from such master storytellers as Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch, Cornell Woolrich and starring a galaxy of classic television stars, "Thriller" was one of the most chilling television shows ever produced. Now, Image Entertainment has released "Thriller: The Complete Series," a 14-disc Deluxe Box Set. All 67 unforgettable episodes have been remastered, and are presented uncut for the first time since their original broadcasts (on NBC from 1960 to 1962). To sweeten the deal, over 50 hours of bonus features have been exclusively and specially created, with over 24 hours of audio commentaries, over 31 hours of isolated music and effects tracks for select episodes from composers Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens, rare episode promos, extensive promotional and production still galleries and more. And then, of course, there's the "Thriller" of a soundtrack by the great jazz musician and composer Peter Rugolo. SRP is $149.98.So turn out the lights, settle into your couch, and get ready for the host to intone: "As sure as my name is Boris Karloff, this is going to be a THRILLER!"
Here's another wave of two releases in the "TCM Greatest Classic Films" collection, a collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video to present low-priced collections of some of the greatest films of all to serve both serious film buffs and a new generation of movie lovers. Each four-disc set sells for $27.92. (Warner).
- TCM Greatest Classic Films: Gangsters: "High Sierra" (1941), "Little Caesar" (1930), "The Public Enemy" (1931) and "White Heat" (1949).
- TCM Greatest Classic Films: Hammer Horror: "Horror of Dracula" (1958), "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" (1969), "The Curse of Frankenstein" (1957) and "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed!" (1970).
- TCM Greatest Classic Films: Greatest Gangsters Prohibition Era: "The Public Enemy" (1931),
"The Roaring Twenties" (1939), "Little Caesar" (1931), "Smart Money" (1931) (Warner).
Blu-ray Highlights: (9/7)
Warner Home Video has remastered six science fiction action films for Blu-ray release: "Forbidden Planet" (1956), "THX 1138 Director's Cut" (1971), "Mars Attacks!" (1996), "Lost in Space" (1998), "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003) and "A Scanner Darkly" (2006). All come to Blu-ray for the first time except "A Scanner Darkly" and "The Matrix Reloaded," which was previously issued in high-def as part of "The Ultimate Matrix Collection" Blu-ray set. The emphasis here is on the films: The special features on all six releases duplicate the extras on the standard DVD issues. With the exception of "Lost in Space," these films need to be in any film fan or sci-fi geek's library. In particular, "Forbidden Planet," the ultimate thinking-person's sci-fi epic, is a must. It's special effects, ground-breaking all-electronic music score, and superb acting by Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen puts it in the ranks'Mad Max,' 'Apocalypse Now,'
'Fantasia & Fantasia 2000' Set for Blu-ray of all-time great classics -- and it's well-served by its high-def incarnation. Likewise the other films in this sci-fi "wave" of releases: the picture and sound are top notch. If you don't already own these, get them now; if you own them, upgrade, beginning with "Forbidden Planet."
Sony has taken the occasion of the 35th anniversary of "Tommy the Movie" to restore it for Blu-ray. The Who's 1969 rock opera was a smash hit and the 1975 movie -- though not a blockbuster -- was a respectable hit for its day. It's been eight years since "Tommy" last appeared on DVD, so this edition should be welcomed by fans of the group and the film. The color and images are crisp and spectacular, and the sound is amazing: Sony remastered the original 5.0 Quintaphonic surround soundtrack (and also offers a 5.1 soundtrack) providing a wall of five-channel sound that will blast your ears off (and make enemies of your neighbors). The bonus here is Sony's movieIQ+sync featuring a "Tommy" playlist that allows users to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie via BD-Live.
From TV to Video: (9/7)
Boy Meets World: Seasons 1,2 and 3 (1993-96) are available in three-disc sets, $19.98 each from Lionsgate ... "Chuck: The Complete Third Season" (2010) is a five-disc set with 19 episodes, $59.98 Warner ... "Criminal Minds: Fifth Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $55.98 from Paramount ... "Doctor Who: The Creature From the Pit" features three digitally remastered Doctor Who classics: "The Creature From the Pit," "The King's Demons" and "Planet of Fire," $24.98. from Warner ... "Less Than Perfect: Season One" (2002) is a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $24.98 from Lionsgate ... "The Norm Show: The Complete Series" (1999-2001) is an eight-disc set with all 54 episodes, $59.97 from Shout! Factory ... "The Office Season Six" (2009-10) is a five-disc set with 26 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection" is a nine-disc set with all nine feature-length mysteries, $124.99 from Acorn Media ... "Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season" (2009-10) is a six-disc set with 21 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season"
(2009-10) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "thirtysomething: The Complete Final Season" (1990-91) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, mastered from new high-definition transfers, $59.97 from Shout! Factory.
On the Indie Front: (9/7)
"American Cowslip" (2009) is a black comedy about an eccentric living in his childhood home in the California desert community of Blythe who decides to grow the perfect American Cowslip, a stunning, rare flower that will be the centerpiece of his garden and a floral representation of his life -- and maybe even win $10,000.00 in a gardening contest -- to fend off the foreclosure of his house. An exorcism and surrogate moms are thrown in for good measure. Stars Ronnie Gene Blevin, Rip Torn, Val Kilmer, Peter Falk, Diane Ladd, Cloris Leachman, Lin Shaye and Hanna Hall; from E1 Entertainment ... "Caravaggio" (2007) is a portrait of the tumultuous and adventurous life of controversial 17th century Italian master painter Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio; from E1 Entertainment ... When high school valedictorian Chris Johnson's plans for an Ivy League future are suddenly derailed by an unfortunate chem lab explosion, to make amends he must attend -- and survive -- Saturday detention under the watchful eye of the woodshop teacher, an ex-Army Ranger who's more than a little rough around the edges in the comedy "Woodshop" (2010), starring Jesse Ventura, Mitch Pileggi and Scott Cooper Ryan; from 42 Productions ... "John Rabe" (2009), starring Ulrich Tuku, Daniel Bruhl and Steve Buscemi, is a true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38; from Strand Releasing ... "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" (2008) is based on Tennessee Williams play. Set in the Roaring Twenties in a town in Memphis, a young rebellious heiress, Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard), defies the strict protocol of Southern society when she hires the caretaker's son, Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans), to escort her to the major event of the season. When she falls for him, their budding relationship is threatened when a priceless diamond goes missing. Stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Evans, Will Patton, Ann-Margret and Ellen Burstyn; from Screen Media.
For the Family: (9/7)
Fox has added two more DVDs to its wonderful collection of kid-friendly horror tales based on author R.L. Stine's best-selling Goosebumps books series: "Goosebumps: The Blob That Ate Everyone" (2010) and "Goosebumps: Go Eat Worms!"
(2010), each containing three tales and selling for $14.98 ... "Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween Special" (1978) is a feature-length TV special, first time on DVD, $14.97 from Warner ... "Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue -- The Movie"
(2010)is a feature-length movie with the pre-school favorites of Sodor. After building a new Search and Rescue Center, Thomas is rewarded with a trip to the mainland but gets lost at sea and finds himself on the mysterious Misty Island; on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack from Lionsgate.
Special Interest: (9/7)
It's millions of years old. Plato hated it, the Bible discouraged it, scientists avoided it and Victorians thought it could drive you insane. It is also highly contagious and spread by humans. Symptoms, that can affect anyone of any age, may include shortness of breath and gasping for air: laughter. The "Laughology" (2010) documentary takes a look at why we laugh and explores the new scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of laughter; $19.98 from The Disinformation Co. ... "George Lopez: America's Mexican and Tall, Dark & Chicano" (2009) is a two-pack of live performances: "America's Mexican," a solo debut performed live in front of a packed house at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Arizona; and "Tall, Dark & Chicano," at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. $24.98 from HBO Video.
'Mad Max,' 'Apocalypse Now,'
As we segue into the official end-of-summer Labor Day weekend, several interesting new release announcements have crossed our desk. For October 5: MGM will release a Blu-ray version of the granddaddy of all apocalyptic road movies, "Mad Max" (1979), with special features ported over from the DVD; also on that day IFC and MPI Media Group will release the gut-churning "The Human Centipede" -- a film that had incredible Internet buzz but bombed at the box office. On October 19 Anchor Bay will release "Apocalypse Now" on Blu-ray, in two versions: a three-disc "Full Disclosure Edition" and a two-film set; both include "Apocalypse Now" and "Apocalypse Now Redux" but the "Full Disclosure Edition" includes a 48-page book and a copy of the "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" documentary. And, on November 30, Disney will release "Fantasia & Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition" as a four-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (with both films, in DVD and Blu-ray versions) and a two-disc DVD with both films. Check out Glenn Abel's take on the release at DVD Spin Doctor.
'Fantasia & Fantasia 2000' Set for Blu-ray
'Lost' Finds Way to Top of DVD,
If you're not quite convinced that TV rules the world, take a look at last week's DVD sales chart. Three of the top five titles are TV series: "Lost: The Complete Sixth Season," "NCIS: The Seventh Season" and "Dexter: The Fourth Season." In addition, the top two Blu-ray Disc best-sellers are TV shows: "Lost: The Complete Sixth Season" and "Lost: The Complete Collection," the later arriving at No. 2 despite a hefty price tag of $279.99 (street price: $194.99). For more on last weeks DVD sales and rentals, cruise on over to Home Media Magazine.
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October 1, 2010
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).