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More DVD News: July 2011
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From the Big Screen This Week:
July 26-August 1: "Source Code" and "Trust." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (7/26)
Highlight of the week is The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray release of "High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku)" (1963). Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in this highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosowa. Adapting Ed McBain's detective novel "King's Ransom," Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on class and contemporary Japanese society. High-definition digital restoration, with original four-track surround sound presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. Bonus features include commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series "Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create"; rare video interview with actor Toshiro Mifune; video interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki, who plays the kidnapper; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and a reprinted on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.
From TV to Video: (7/26)
"Conan the Adventurer: Season One" (1992) is a two-disc set with 13 animated episodes, $19.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Dennis the Menace: Season Two" (1960-61) is a five-disc set with 38 episodes, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Three" (2011) is a four-disk set with 13 uncensored episodes, $26.99 from MTV/Paramount.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/26)
In "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" (2010). starring Brandon Routh, Taye Diggs, Peter Stormare, Sam Huntington and Kurt Angle, Dylan Dog is a supernatural detective who will go where the living dare not: facing friend and foe alike in the monster infested backstreets of New Orleans. Armed with an edgy wit and an arsenal of silver and wood-tipped bullets, Dylan must solve a series of murders before an epic war ensues between his werewolf, vampire and zombie clients. From Fox ... In "Bio-Dead" (2009), starring Matthew Norton, Derek Long and Tony Williams, a biological disaster in Southern California has left behind a 4,000 square mile contaminated wasteland known as "The Zone." While searching for survivors of the disaster, a hazmat team discover a mysterious building, and as they explore the enormous structure, the would-be rescuers realize they are not alone. Trapped inside the claustrophobic, maze-like structure and experiencing terrifying hallucinations, the team is forced to fight for their lives against their flesh-hungry attacker ... and each other. From Entertainment One ... Two friends head out for the open road but their pleasure trip takes a surprising turn when they become entangled in a plan involving political blackmail, corruption, and dirty money in "Born to Ride" (2011), starring Casper Van Dien, Patrick Muldoon, William Forsythe and Theresa Russell. From Image Entertainment ... A bounty hunter and his Apache captive must fight off a horde of the undead after a meteor lands in Jamestown California in 1849 during the gold rush, turning the population into blood-thirsty mutants in "The Dead and the Damned" (2010), starring David A. Lockhart, Camille Montgomery, Rick Mora and Robert Amstler. From Inception Media Group ... "Matrimony"
(2007 -- China) is a supernatural horror thriller about a married woman who allows the ghost of her husband's first love to enter her body to win him over -- with unforeseen consequences. From Palisades Tartan/Asia Extreme ... In "We Are What We Are" (2010 -- Mexico), the patriarch of a family passes away and the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: The preparation of the rituals, the hunting, and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals. From IFC Films ... An archeology professor unearths a dangerous artifact, unwittingly releasing a creature that is able to kill with the power of its bone-splitting scream in "Scream of the Banshee" (2011), starring Lauren Holly, Lance Henriksen. A Syfy Channel After Dark original from Lionsgate ... A group of unlucky reality show contestants must survive the night in a haunted jail in "The Task"
(2010), starring Tom Payne, Texas Battle, Amara Karan. Another Syfy Channel After Dark original from Lionsgate.
On the Indie Front: (7/26)
"Team America" meets "Inglourious Basterds" in "Jackboots on Whitehall"
(2010), a supermarionation World War II farce about a Nazi invasion of England, with the voices of Ewan McGregor, Alan Cumming, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Richard E. Grant. From Flatiron Films/New Video ... In "American Bully" (2009), starring Matt O'Leary, Marshall Allman, John Savage, Paul Ben-Victor and Natasha Henstridge, a middle-American teenage boy who is affected by 9/11, terrorism, and the war in Iraq becomes involved in an isolated high school altercation that escalates into a hate crime that shocks the entire nation. From Green Apple Entertainment ... Francis and his best pal Marie both fall for the same aloof guy, Nicolas, but the closer they get to their obscure object of desire, the more unobtainable he seems to become -- and the more frayed the best friends' bond becomes in "Heartbeats" (2010 -- Canada), starring Monia Chokri, Niels Schneider, Xavier Dolan. From IFC Films ... In "Mark of Love" (2009), starring Bryan Price and Caitlin M. Shultz, a fun-loving, serial monogamist signs up for a karate class to fill his spare time, only to find that he's been duped by a group of women seeking men to date. When he tries to leave, they offer him cash to give them insights into dating but, instead, he learns more than he imparts to the women. From Cinema Libre Studio.
A 13-year-old boy is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a British paratrooper in Nazi-occupied Holland in 1945 in "Winter in Wartime"
(2008 -- Netherlands), starring Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick Van Wageningen, Jamie Campbell Bower and Raymond Thiry. From Sony ... By interweaving three main story lines -- involving a lonely man and the office workers across the way, the people in a local park, and those in a nearby home-improvement store -- director Bruno Podalydes (who directed the "Montmartre" segment of the omnibus hit "Paris, I Love You") presents a sprawling, gently comedic canvas of modern life in a wealthy French town in "Park Benches"
(2009 -- France), starring Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet, Pierre Arditi and Chiara Mastroianni. From MPI Home Video ..."The Conqueror"
(2009 -- Russia) is based on the tale "Taras Bulba" by acclaimed Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol; set in the 16th century, this is a story about Ukraine's Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing Polish armies. From Entertainment One.
For the Family: (7/26)
"Supernatural: The Anime Series" (2010) is a Japanese re-imagining of the U.S. TV series in anime style; three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Warner ... "The Young Artists Collection" is a three-disc collection featuring animated adaptations from 17 award-winning and beloved books for every aspiring young artist, musician or performer, narrated by celebrities such as Zach Braff, James Earl Jones, Mary Beth Hurt and a singing performance from Aretha Franklin; $24.95. Three DVDs -- "Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin ... and More Stores For Young Musicians," "The Dot ... and More Stories For Young Artists" and "Shrinking Violet ... and More Stories For Young Performers" will be available separately for $14.95 each. From Scholastic Storybook Treasures ... "Shaun the Sheep: Animal Antics" (2011) features seven wild and hairy farm adventures in which Shaun and his barnyard buddies deal with a fiendish fox, attempt some clever catering, take to the links, run a farmer's market, stage a daring rooster rescue and more. $14.98 from Lionsgate.
Special Interest: (7/26)
"Omnibus: American Profiles" is an historic two-disc collection featuring 14 segments of TV's ground-breaking cultural magazine Omnibus (hosted by Alastair Cooke), examining the iconic people and places that have helped to shape American pop culture and society. Across six hours of acclaimed programming, Omnibus explores the lives of luminaries such as LIFE Magazine photographer Phillipe Halsman, authors William Faulkner, James Thurber and E.B. White, Frank Lloyd Wright, Pearl Buck, the "greatest fighter of the 20th Century" Sugar Ray Robinson, and conductor Leonard Bernstein and places, such as The New York Times and Grand Central Station and "The Museum that Ought to Be," featuring Dr. Seuss. $34.98. from Entertainment One ... "The Anger" (1963) taps into topics from the 1950s and the early 1960s, such as racism, the Middle East, Cuba, Stalinism, the Atomic bomb, and the death of Marilyn Monroe. The directors and commentators of "The Anger," two of the most important opinion makers and intellectuals in post-WWII Europe, employ documentary footage from the era and an accompanying commentary, in which they attempt to answer, quite elegantly and poetically, the existential question: Why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish, and fear? The film is in two completely separate parts, and the directors of these respective sections, left-wing film director and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and the conservative journalist and film director Giovanni Guareschi, offer the viewer contrasting analyses of, and prescriptions for modern society. From RaroVideo/Entertainment One ... "The Death of Andy Kaufman" (2008) explores the many mysteries and theories surrounding Andy Kaufman's death, using exclusive interviews with family and friends, rare performances by Kaufman, and the filmmaker's own personal investigation to get closer to understanding the mind and the myth of one of the most celebrated and mysterious performance artists all time -- and hopefully to answer the burning question: Did Kaufman fake his own death? From MVD Entertainment ... In "Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?" (2010), award-winning director Saul Landau embarks on an in-depth exploration of Miami-Havana politics through the story of the Cuban 5, a group of spies sent by the Castro government to infiltrate violent right-wing terrorist organizations in Miami. When the spies turned over evidence of U.S.-based terrorism to the FBI, they themselves were arrested, tried, and convicted in Florida courts. Meanwhile, the confessed anti-Castro terrorists, who planned and implemented decades of assassinations and sabotage backed by Washington, live freely in Florida. From Cinema Libre Studio.
This Week's Releases (July 19)
From the Big Screen:
"Limitless," "Potich" and "Take Me Home Tonight." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (7/19)
Highlight of the week is The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray release of "Beauty and the Beast"(1946), the sublime adaptation by Jean Cocteau of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's fairy-tale masterpiece -- in which the true love of a beautiful girl melts the heart of a feral but gentle beast. It's a landmark feat of motion picture fantasy, with unforgettably romantic performances by Jean Marais and Josette Day. The spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in "Beauty and the Beast" (La Belle et la Bete) have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder. The film is presented in a high-definition digital transfer from restored film elements, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Bonus features inlcude composer Philip Glass's opera "La Belle et la Bete," presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio as an alternate soundtrack; two commentaries: one by film historian Arthur Knight and one by writer and cultural historian Christopher Frayling; "Screening at the Majestic," a 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew; interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan; rare behind-the-scenes photos and publicity stills; film restoration demonstration; original trailer, directed and narrated by director Jean Cocteau, plus restoration trailer from 1995; and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien, a piece on the film by Cocteau, excerpts from Francis Steegmuller's 1970 book" Cocteau: A Biography," and an introduction to Glass's opera by the composer.
From TV to Video: (7/19)
"Conan The Adventurer: Season One" (1992) is a two-disc set with 13 animated episodes, $19.93. from Shout! Factory ... "Dennis the Menace: Season Two" (1960-61) is a five-disc set with 38 episodes, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "The Girls Next Door: Season Six" (2011) is a two-disc set introducing Hugh Hefner's most recent trio of girlfriends and including footage not seen on E! $24.98 from MPI Media Group ... "Hey Dude: Season 1" (1989) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes of the Nickelodeon series, from Shout! Factory ... "Melrose Place: The Sixth Season, Volume Two" (1998) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $42.99 from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount ... "Top Gear: The Complete First Season"
(2010) includes nine episodes of the American version of the hit British car series, from BBC/Warner ... "Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series" is available as a 14-disc DVD set, $119.98, and a 12-disc Blu-ray set, $129.99; with more than 10 hours of bonus features, from BBC/Warner ... Justice League sidekicks Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Miss Martian and Artemis team to battle evil in "Young Justice: Season One, Volume One" (2010-11), $14.97 from Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/19)
Frozen in the ice for decades, Captain America is freed to battle arch-criminal the Red Skull, who wants to assassinate the president of the United States in this version of the comic book "Captain America" (1990), starring Matt Salinger, Scott Paulin, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Michael Nouri and Melinda Dillon. From MGM ... In "Tekken" (2010), set in the year 2039, world wars have destroyed everything and territories are run by corporations, the mightiest of which is Tekken. In the midst of the ruined society, a young man with street smarts and raw fighting skills is driven by vengeance to defeat the world's most elite fighters in the greatest tournament ever known and become the "King of Iron Fist." From Anchor Bay ... In "House of the Rising Sun" (2011), starring Dave Bautista, Amy Smart, Dominic Purcell, Danny Trejo and Craig Fairbrass, an ex-cop -- now working security at a New Orleans strip club -- gets implicated in the robbery of the club and the murder of the owner's son, and most strike out on his own to clear his name, staying one step ahead of the police and the mob. From Lionsgate.
On the Indie Front: (7/19)
Still recovering from unimaginable tragedy, wheelchair-bound singer Jane (Zellweger) and firefighter Joey (Whitaker) embark on an unforgettable road trip to New Orleans to find the son she gave up for adoption in "My Own Love Song" (2010), starring Renee Zellweger, Forest Whitaker, Madeline Zima and Nick Nolte. Features an original soundtrack by Bob Dylan.From Inception Media Group ... An escapee from an alcohol rehab clinic passes himself off as an alien from outer space, becoming an instant local celebrity and getting all the beer he wants, a nice place to live, and the endless attentions of the women of the small Irish town of Ballymoran in "Zonad" (2009), starring Simon Delaney, Janice Byrne, Donna Dent, Kevin Maher and Geoff Minogue. From FilmBuff/MPI Media Group ... An English girls boarding school is thrown into disarray when a wild and self-confident transfer student arrives from Spain in "Cracks" (2010), starring Eva Green, Juno Temple, Maria Valverde and Imogen Poots. From IFC Films ... At their father's 70th birthday, a dysfunctional family comes to term with a thinly-veiled expose of a novel written by the youngest son in the black comedy "Peep World"
(2010), starring Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson, Ron Rifkin and Lesley Ann Warren. From IFC Films.
For the Family: (7/19)
"Clifford the Big Red Dog: Dog Days of Summer" (2011) features five Clifford episodes in which the oversized dog has adventures with his friends and learns big lessons about friendship, loyalty and ways to take positive action and make the world a better place. $14.98 from Lionsgate ... "The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $19.97 from Warner ... Gorillas, grizzly bears, hippos and more pack the brand new DVD "Go, Diego, Go!: Fiercest Animal Rescues!" (2011), which includes a never-before-seen double-length adventure "Fiercest Animals!" as well as "Cotton-top Tamarin Cave Rescue" and "Pampas and Friends Help the Rescue Center." $16.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount.
Special Interest: (7/19)
Another great week for documentaries:
"Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune"
(2010) As our country continues to embroil itself in foreign wars, "Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune" is a timely and relevant tribute to an unlikely American hero. Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure -- a contradiction that eventually tore him apart. From youthful idealism to rage to pessimism, the arch of Ochs' life paralleled that of the times, and the anger, satire and righteous indignation that drove his music also drove him to dark despair. In this brilliantly constructed film, interview and performance footage of Ochs is illuminated by the ruminations of Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens and others. From First Run Features.
"The Kids Grow Up" (2009) is a humorous and deeply moving documentary look at father-daughter relationships, modern-day parenting, marriage and the looming empty nest by award-winning director Doug Block. $29.95 from Docurama.
"Dive! Living Off America's Waste"
(2009) Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food -- 263 million pounds a day! Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary "Dive!" follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food -- resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action. From First Run features.
(2011) Documentary follows five ventriloquists or "vents" over the course of a year to tell their story about their passion for the performance and how they found a life with a dummy. Thirteen year-old Dylan dreams of a life on stage with his puppet, while his dad wishes he would be more athletic and join the football team. A former Miss Ohio beauty queen longs to make it on to a cruise-ship while Dan, a veteran cruise-ship entertainer, struggles to find more balance in his home life. Wilma just loves to entertain people, taking her dummies with her to the senior home or a local Walmart. Lastly, comes the most successful of the five, Terry Fator, a struggling vent who went on to win the second season of "America's Got Talent" and a five-year, $100 million contract to perform each night at the Mirage Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.
(2011) PBS Frontline program investigation. Behind the strike that killed Osama bin Laden was one of the U.S. military's best kept secrets: An extraordinary campaign by elite U.S. soldiers to take out thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. A six-month investigation went inside the military's kill/capture operations to discover new evidence of the program's impact -- and its costs. From PBS Distribution.
"Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird"
(2011) After more than half a century, "To Kill a Mockingbird" remains a beloved bestseller and one of the most influential American novel of the 20th Century. Nearly 1 million copies are sold each year and the novel has been translated into more than 40 languages. The film version, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, won a trio of Academy Awards. Behind it all was a young Southern girl named Nelle Harper Lee, who once said that all she wanted to be is the Jane Austen of South Alabama. This documentary explores Lee's life and unravels some of the mysteries surrounding her, including why she never published again. Extras: Extended interviews with Mary Badham, James McBride and Oprah Winfrey, director interview and biography. From First Run features
"Brave New Voices 2010"
(2011) HBO special taped at the 2010 Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Slam Championship at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Rosario Dawson, featuring the verbal adrenalin of the final four competing teams from Denver, Albuquerque, the California Bay Area and New York City. $19.96. (HBO Home Entertainment).
This Week's Releases (July 12)
From the Big Screen:
"Insidious," "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Miral" and "Rango." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (7/12)
There's two classic cult films due this week from the folks at the Shout! Factory:
"Battle Beyond the Stars"
(1980) Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Darlanne Fluegel, Sybil Danning, Sam Jaffe, Jeff Corey, Morgan Woodward, Marta Kristen, Julia Duffy 30th Anniversary Special Edition. A long time ago, in a studio far far away (actually 1980 in Venice, Calif.), Roger Corman gathered together a fledgling team of filmmakers (John Sayles, James Cameron, James Horner, Gale Ann Hurd) to make one of the best low-budget science fiction films of all time, "Battle Beyond the Stars," a space opera that managed to playfully borrow from "Star Wars" and "The Magnificent Seven," to come up with an enduring cult classic. Long out of print, "Battle Beyond the Stars" has been meticulously restored with a new anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1) from the internegative, boasting a new 5.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, and featuring a galaxy of extras, including commentary by Sayles and Corman; a new interview with actor Richard Thomas; a behind-the-scenes technical featurette and much more.
(1977) George Peppard, Jan-Michael Vincent, Dominique Sanda, Paul Winfield, Jackie Earle Haley. The world is devastated by a nuclear holocaust, causing the Earth to tilt on its axis and bringing vast meteorological chaos. As the weather stabilizes, mutated insects start to emerge, preying on the survivors. The surviving crew at a U.S. Air Force bomb shelter in the Mojave Desert picks up radio signals coming from Albany. The commander, Major Eugene Denton (George Peppard), unveils two armored vehicles he has constructed and announces a plan to cross "Damnation Alley," the hundred-mile-wide strip between areas of radiation hazard, to join the survivors. The journey also is beset by giant mutated cockroaches, storms and crazed survivalists, making for some hair-raising escapes in this post-apocalyptic thriller. "Damnation Alley" has been out-of-print on VHS for several years, causing passionate fans to highly anticipate its debut on DVD and Blu-ray.
TCM and Warner Home Video again team for more collections of great films by great stars at collectible prices ($27.92 per four-film set). This week they're sending out:
"TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Elizabeth Taylor" with
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Father of the Bride," "Butterfield 8," "The Sandpiper"
"TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Lucille Ball" with
"The Long, Long Trailer," "Forever Darling," "Room Service," "Du Barry Was a Lady"
"TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Burt Lancaster" with
"Local Hero," "Seven Days in May," "Executive Action," "The Flame and the Arrow"
"TCM Greatest Classic Films: Shakespeare" with
"A Midsummer's Night's Dream," "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet," "Antony and Cleopatra"
"TCM Greatest Classic Films: Literary Romance" with
"Little Women," "Pride and Prejudice," "Madame Bovary," "Anna Karenina"
From TV to Video: (7/12)
"Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 6," featuring three all-new movies starring David Suchet (premiering on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! on June 19, June 26, and July 3): "Three Act Tragedy," "The Clocks" And "Hallowe'en Party," $49.99 from Acorn Media ... "Damages: Complete Third Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $45.99 from Sony ... "Doctor Who: The Awakening -- Episode 132" (1984) is Classic Doctor Who, digitally remastered, starring Peter Davison, $24.98 from BBC/Warner ... "Doctor Who: The Gunfighters -- Episode 25"
(1966) is Classic Doctor Who, digitally remastered, with William Hartnell, $24.98 from BBC/Warner ... "Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season" (2010) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "ER: The Complete Fifteenth Season" (2008-09) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Warner ... "MI-5: Volume 9" (2010) is a three-disc set with nine episodes, $39.98 from BBC/Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's (7/12):
"[REC] 2" (2010 -- Spain) is a sequel to the international smash hit that inspired the film "Quarantine." Picks up 15 minutes after the first film, back in the quarantined apartment building where a terrifying virus runs rampant. What medics and SWAT team find inside lies beyond the scope of medical science --
a demonic nightmare more terrifying than they could possibly imagine. From Sony ... "Women in Prison Triple Feature" is a two-disc set with "Chained Heat" (1983, uncut, remastered, starring Linda Blair, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, Tamara Dobson and Stella Stevens); "Red Heat" (1985, starring Linda Blair and Sylvia Kristel); "Jungle Warriors" (1984, starring Sybil Danning, Nina Van Pallandt and John Vernon). From Mr. Skin/Panik House Entertainment/CAV Distributing ... In "Dinocroc vs. Supergator" (2010), starring David Carradine, Corey Landis, Amy Rasimas, Rib Hillis, a mad scientist meddling with the laws of nature deep within the secret island laboratory of an unscrupulous biotech corporation turns his attention from mutating fruits and vegetables to alligators, crocodiles and dinosaurs. When two of his most terrifying creations get loose on the tropical island paradise, their ravenous appetite for scientists, tourists, mercenaries and swimsuit models keeps growing. From Anchor Bay ... In "Maneater" (2009), starring Dean Cain, Stephen Lunsford, Nicole Moore and Shea Curry., a former FBI profiler, now a sheriff of a small town and a single parent of a high school-aged daughter, begins to profile a series of unexplained murders only to learn that the monster he's profiling may be himself. From Entertainment One.
On the Indie Front: (7/12)
In "Brother's Justice" (2010), starring Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher and Jon Favreau, actor Dax Shepard makes the decision to abandon comedy in pursuit of his true dream: to become an internationally-renown martial arts star. Without any formal martial arts training, or any real funding for his "blockbuster" action movie script, Dax enlists the help of his buddies, and together they work towards Dax's true passion while facing rejection at every turn. With maniacal conviction, Dax journeys on a bizarre path that becomes increasingly nonsensical and destructive, all at the expense and exploitation of his personal and professional relationships. From Well Go USA ... A woman suffering from Disassociative Identity Disorder tries to piece her life back together and begins to videotape herself on a daily basis; her shrink fights to aid her in her effort to discern the real people in her life from those conjured up by her disorder in"Waking Madison" (2010), starring Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Roemer, Will Patton, Imogen Poots, Taryn Manning and Frances Conroy. From Entertainment One.
"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" (2010 -- Thailand) is a unique tale of a man embracing life's greatest mystery. Choosing to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside, Boonmee is visited by his dead wife (a ghost) and his lost son (a strange hairy beast with red glowing eyes) who come to guide him to his final resting place, a cave where his first soul began. With a wry sense of humor and a humanist spirit, "Uncle Boonmee," one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, is a magical tale of reincarnation, karma and nature. From Strand Releasing.
For the Family: (7/12)
"Yo Gabba Gabba: Party in a Box" (2011) is a three-DVD box set with "Birthday Boogie," "Clubhouse" and "Dancey Dance Bunch" that explores everything from animals and new foods to birthdays and dress-up. Special guests include Erykah Badu, The Ting Tings, and Elijah Wood. Each disc includes four episodes. $24.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount ... "Thomas & Friends: Thomas in Charge" (2011) includes four new adventures with Thomas and his railroad friends on the Island of Sodor: the title episode plus "Henry's Good Deeds," "O the Indignity" and "A Blooming Mess." $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Dora the Explorer: Dora's Big Party Pack" (2011) is a three-disc box set: "Dora the Explorer: Dora's Big Birthday Adventure," "Dora the Explorer: Super Silly Fiesta" and "Dora the Explorer: It's A Party!" Includes a Dora and Diego cake recipe card (while supplies last). $24.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount ... "Thundercats: The Original Series Season One, Part One" (1985) is a two-disc set with 12 episodes, $19.97 from Warner ... In "Barney: 1-2-3 Learn" (2011), Barney and his friends teach pre-schoolers about shapes, numbers and letters. $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.
Special Interest: (7/12)
After the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster, four independent volunteers raced off to Sri Lanka to see if they could help. With little money or experience they arrived in the main city, meeting each other by fate. They rented a van, filled it with supplies and drove off along the coast. They stumbled into Peraliya, a tribal village devastated by a 40 foot tsunami wave, which left more than 2,500 people dead. The volunteers set up a first aid station and quickly found themselves in charge of a refugee camp caring for over 3,000 people. What was originally a two-week journey spiraled into a year-long odyssey of hope, heartbreak and setbacks as the villagers slowly began to rise up against them when the world's donated tsunami money never materialized. The volunteers broke every rule in the "Disaster Aid Book" and out of the rubble an entire village was re-born. Documenting their own efforts, Alison Thompson & Oscar Gubernati present "The Third Wave"
(2007), an in-depth look at the heartbreak, the joy, and the astonishing impact behind their diligent crusade. In the end the message is clear -- the only element needed for volunteerism is the drive and the determination in your heart. Presented by Sean Penn and executive produced by Morgan Spurlock and Joe Amodei. From Virgil Films & Entertainment.
New Release: 'West Side Story' Dances to Blu-ray Nov. 15
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film "West Side Story" returns in Hi-Def from 20th Centiry Fox and MGM. With a record-breaking 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental production not only featured the timeless lyrics from master American composer Stephen Sondheim, but a brilliant score from Leonard Bernstein, and beautiful direction from Robert Wise. "West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition" boasts hundreds of hours of restoration, new 7.1 digital audio, and a collection of bonus features spotlighting the harmonious songs and elaborate dances of the original film. Available as a two-disc set and a limited edition Blu-ray Gift Set with two-Disc Blu-ray, newly restored DVD and tribute CD along with photo book and other collectibles. Bonus features include the new "Pow! The Dances of West Side Story," in which cast members, contemporary filmmakers, dancers and choreographers analyze and illuminate the film's famous dance sequences; the new "A Place for Us: West Side Story's Legacy," a look back at the iconic film and the impact it has had all over the world; song specific commentary by lyricist Stephen Sondheim; "Music Machine," which allows viewers to go straight to their favorite musical numbers; "West Side Memories"; storyboard to film comparison montage; and a set of trailers: the original theatrical trailer, original issue trailer, reissue trailer, animated trailer.
From the Big Screen This Week:
July 5-11: "Hobo With a Shotgun," "Of Gods and Men" and "13 Assassins." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (7/5)
With "Cowboys & Aliens" poised to land July 29 in the country's movie theaters, Shout! Factory has unleashed a suspicious precursor: "Oblivion"
(1994), starring Jimmy F. Skaggs, Andrew Divoff, Julie Newmar, Richard Joseph Paul, Carel Struycken, Meg Foster, George Takei. On a frontier light years from the O.K. Corral, a bizarre gang of futuristic desperado have their sights set on turning the tumbleweed town of Oblivion into their own private playground. Their lizardlike leader, Redeye, pumps lawman Marshall Stone full of lead in a deadly shootout just outside of Miss Kitty's Kat House and begins terrorizing the town's inhabitants. Meanwhile, Stone's long-lost pacifist son Zack and his "native" sidekick Buteo are escorted into town by the eerie undertaker Gaunt to pay their respects at the Marshall's funeral. Rendered helpless by Redeye, a tough-as-nails Cyborg Deputy and the Marshall's old friend Doc Valentine team with Zack to take back the troubled town in a final unearthly showdown ... On the Blu-ray front, Sony is releasing the director's cut of "Das Boot" (1981), newly remastered with 60 minutes added to the original version, which was nominated in 1982 for six Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Effects/Sound Effects Editing and Best Sound. The film also introduced German star Jurgen Prochnow to American audiences. Also included in the two-disc set is the original theatrical version of the film and almost three hours of all-new Blu-ray exclusive special features, including a retrospective documentary with director Wolfgang Petersen. Read more about "Das Boot."
From TV to Video: (7/5)
"The Cape: The Complete Series" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, from Universal ... "Delocated! Seasons I & II" (2009-10) features 18 episodes of the Adult Swim series, $29.98 from Warner ... "Dynasty: The Fifth Season, Volume One" (1984-85) is a four-disc set with 15 episodes, $39.99 from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount ... "Dynasty: The Fifth Season, Volume Two"
(1984-85) is a four-disc set with 14 episodes, $39.99 from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount ... "Eureka: Season 4.0" (2010) is a two-disc set, $29.98 from Universal ... "Mannix: Season Five" (1971-72) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount ... "Victorious: Season One, Volume One" (2010) is a two-disc set with the first 10 episodes, $19.99 from Nick/Paramount.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (7/5)
"Wake Wood" (2011), starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall, is the first feature film presentation in more than three decades from Hammer Films. The parents of a 9-year-old girl killed in a savage dog attack move to the remote rural Irish community of Wake Wood, where they're introduced to a bizarre pagan ritual that will bring the girl back from the grave -- but for three days only. From Dark Sky Films/MPI Media Group ... "The Frankenstein Syndrome" (2010), starring Tiffany Shepis, Louis Mandylor, Patti Tindall, Scott Anthony Leet and Ed Lauter, is a modern re-imagining of Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein," wherein a beautiful young stem-cell researcher, Elizabeth Barnes (Shepis) joins a secret research group attempting to develop a stem-cell based universal healing serum -- and ends up developing a serum that can bring the dead back to life -- but with horrific results. From MTI Home Video ... In "Ferocious Planet" (2011), starring Joe Flanigan, John Rhys-Davies and Catherine Walker, a groundbreaking device is created by the government to glimpse into alternate universes but malfunctions on its first presentation, inadvertently transporting a group of observers into a nightmarish new dimension populated with fearsome, man-eating creatures after their blood. A Syfy Channel movie from RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment.
For the Family: (7/5)
"Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures V2" features 14 Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by Hanna-Barbera, Chuck Jones and others, $14.97 from Warner ... "Transformers: The Japanese Collection -- Headmasters" is the first part of the rare Japanese trilogy that followed the popular "Generation 1" animated series. Available for the first time in North America, this collectible four-DVD set features the complete action-packed episodes from the Headmasters series and contains the original Japanese language tracks along with updated English subtitles, a rare art gallery and more; $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... In "Fireman Sam: Brave New Rescues" (2011), Fireman Sam is back for more heroic adventures in fire safety: "Cry Wolf," "Blow Me Down," "Dilys' Big Surprise," "Model Plane," "Open Day" and "Mike's Rocket"; $9.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Preschool Fun" (2011) is a new collection of eight episodes from preschool favorites Barney, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Kipper and Timmy Time; $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.
Special Interest: (7/5)
"America the Story of Us" features six DVD singles of the History series exploring America's monumental history, featuring highly realistic CGI animation (the most ambitious CGI the network has ever applied to a historical narrative), dramatic re-creations and thoughtful insights from some of America's most respected artists, business leaders, academics and intellectuals. From the revolutionary war that birthed the nation to the civil war that divided it, and to the making of the modern world, "America the Story of Us" is an epic, dramatic, heartbreaking and triumphant journey that reminds us that American history truly belongs to we, the people. The six volumes: "Rebels," "Westward," "The Civil War," "Boom," "Rise of a Superpower," "Millennium." $14.95 each from History ... "The Making of the President: The 1960s" (2011) is the long-awaited home video debut of the landmark campaign documentaries that forever changed the landscape of political journalism by offering a full and in-depth look at the tumultuous presidential campaigns of 1960, 1964, and 1968. The programs are based on the bestselling books by Theodore H. White. Produced by David L. Wolper. Three-volume set, $59.99 from Athena/Acorn Media ... "Trailers From Hell Volume 2" (2010) showcases 20 of the kind of rare vintage trailers popularized on the well-trafficked, award-winning website, www.trailersfromhell.com, but these are all brand new and exclusive to this DVD. Concentrating on a wild mix of horror, science fiction, action, comedy and fantasy films, viewers can watch the trailers both in their original versions or accompanied by amusing and informative commentaries from esteemed genre gurus such as directors Joe Dante ("Piranha," "Gremlins"), Mick Garris ("The Stand"), John Landis ("An American Werewolf in London"), Guillermo Del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth") and more. $19.93 from Shout! Factory.
What better way to relax after a fun-filled Fourth of July then with three new DVDs from that bastion of the all-American sport of wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment:
- "The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro"
(2011) WCW was a long-standing rival of WWE and attempted to take the battle to Monday nights with "Monday Nitro," a show that competed directly with "Monday Night Raw" for six years, creating a wealth of famous in-ring moments for sports entertainment fans. Now, for the first time ever, the greatest moments and matches in the history of "Monday Nitro" are collected here, a three-disc set that captures the best of WCW from the show that almost ended WWE. Stars: Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Randy Savage, The Giant, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Scott Steiner, Eric Bischoff, Diamond Dallas. $29.93. (World Wrestling Entertainment).
"WWE: Over The Limit 2011"
(2011) This night of World Wrestling Entertainment action features such popular grapplers as Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and John Cena facing off inside the squared-circle. (World Wrestling Entertainment). $24.95. Also available on Blu-ray Disc.
"Extreme Rules 2011"
(2011) This evening of pay-per-view World Wrestling Entertainment action, which transpired the same night that Osama Bin Laden was killed by American forces, features a last man standing match between Randy Orton and C.M. Punk, a tag-team title tilt with Big Show and Kane taking on Wade Barrett and Ezekial Jackson, and a three-way cage match between The Miz, John Cena, and John Morrison. $24.95. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (World Wrestling Entertainment).
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July 1, 2011
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).