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OnVideo OldNews October 2001

Old News Is Good News or Who Wants to Read Yesterday's Newspapers?

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October News

This month all the news for film lovers is on the DVD front, with a wild slate of collectible releases:

October 2: "Fiddler on the Roof 30th Anniversary Edition" (1971). Directed by Norman Jewison and starring Topol and Leonard Frey. With commentary by Jewison and Topol, documentary on Jewison, new introduction by Jewison, Tevye's dream sequence in color with an introduction by Jewison, Jewison reading the stories of Sholom Aleichem, historical photo gallery, storyboards. From MGM.

October 2: "The Terminator Special Edition" (1984). Directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Michael Biehn. Digital transfer from high-def master; 5.1 stereo remix; with deleted scenes with commentary by Cameron; documentary "Other Voices" with new interviews with Cameron, Biehn, producer Gale Anne Hurd; retrospective interviews with Schwarzenegger and Hamilton; original mono soundtrack; packaged with hologram cover image. From MGM.

October 9: "The Godfather DVD Collection." With commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola; extra disc with three hours of bonus material that includes: "Francis Ford Coppola's Notebook," an inside look at Coppola and the creative process taking "The Godfather" from book to screen; "On Location" with Academy Award-winning art director and set director Dean Tavoularis; "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" 73-minute documentary; "The Godfather Behind the Scenes 1971" featurette; additional scenes added to later versions of I and II, presented within a timeline of events from 1898 forward that chronicles the Corleones and real-life events; "The Cinematography of The Godfather" featuring Gordon Willis; two "The Music of The Godfather featurettes looking at the musical contributions of Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola; "Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting"; storyboards; "The Corleone Family Tree" character and cast bios; Academy Award acceptance speeches; photo galleries; trailers; $105 from Paramount.

October 9: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Platinum Collection" (1937). Digitally remastered and restored, with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Two-disc set with four-hours of bonus material, including a music video of Barbra Streisand singing "Someday My Prince Will Come," recorded for the DVD; commentary by Walt Disney pieced together from hours of archival recordings; "Still the Fairest of Them All: The Making of Snow White"; "Dopey's Wild Mine Ride" game; "Goddess of Spring" animated short; "Snow White's Wishing Well" (Walt Disney biographical timeline, Snow White production timeline, Brothers Grimm original version of Snow White, storyboard-to-film comparisons); "The Queen's Castle" (Virtual gallery 3-D animated environment of the queen's castle, early camera tests, character voice talent); "The Queen's Dungeon" (abandoned concepts, restoration of Snow White featurette); "The Dwarf's Mine" (deleted scenes including the cut song "Music in Your Soup"); "The Dwarf's Cottage" (Los Angeles theatrical premiere, eight decades of trailers, two black and white shorts: "A Trip Through the Walt Disney Studios" and "How Disney Cartoons Are Made," publicity materials, vintage audio programs); more. From Disney.

October 9: Three classic New Wave films from Jean-Luc Godard: "Breathless" (1960), starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg; "Le Petit Soldat" (1963), starring Michael Subor and Anna Karina; and "Les Carabiniers" (1963), starring Albert Juross, Maruno Mase, Catherine Ribeiro and Genevieve Galea; from Fox Lorber for $24.98 each.

October 23: "Dumbo Special 60th Anniversary Edition" (1941). Digitally remastered and restored with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, commentary, art gallery, original Walt Disney TV introduction, "Celebrating Dumbo" featurette (the origins and history of Dumbo), storybook, cartoon shorts, singalongs, production materials, more. From Disney.

October 23: "From Here to Eternity Special Edition" (1953). Directed by Fred Zinnemann and staring Frank Sinatra, Donna Reed, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Warden. Commentary by Zinnemann's son, Tim Zinnemann, and Alvin Sargent, longtime friend of the director and a featured player in "From Here to Eternity"; "The Making of From Here to Eternity" featurette; "Excerpts from Fred Zinnemann -- As I See It" featurette; from Columbia TriStar $24.95.

October 23: "On the Waterfront Special Edition" (1954). Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden and Leif Erikson. Commentary by film critic/writer Richard Schickel and Kazan biographer Jeff Young, "Contender: Mastering the Method" featurette, Kazan interview, vintage photo gallery; from Columbia TriStar $24.95.

October 23: "Monty Python and the Holy Grail Special Edition" (1975). Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, and starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Two disc set. Disc one: High definition widescreen presentation with pink frilly edges. Soundtrack in glorious 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles for people who don't like the film (taken from Shakespeare's Henry IV, part II). On-screen screenplay: Read the screenplay while you watch the film. Enlightening commentaries by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, plus general complaints and back-biting by John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. Extraordinary animated menus with very loud stereo sound. Fascinating scene selection feature: all-moving, all-singing, all-tax-avoidance. Exciting "Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature. A special version for the hard of hearing. A glorious extra 24 seconds absolutely free. Mono soundtrack in glorious old-fashioned mono. Disc two: Three mindless sing-alongs. Join Michael Palin and Terry Jones in their special documentary: "The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations." "How to Use Your Coconuts" (an educational film). "Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles). "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" in Lego. "On Location With the Pythons," genuine 18-minute location report made in 1974 by BBC Film Night (broadcast December 19, 1974). Interactive cast directory: Discover just how many roles Michael Palin plays. Tons of Terry Gilliam's original sketches plus posters. Behind-the-scenes photos: Hitherto unseen by human eyes. A Load of old rubbish: A surprise package of mystery items specially included for the mentally challenged. Unused locations. How the directors' recce used up the budget. Unused ideas. Plus theatrical trailers and, of course, Weblinks for real nurds. From Columbia TriStar.

Also due this month from Home Vision/Criterion Collection are classics "The Ruling Class" (1972), directed by Peter Medak and starring Peter O'Toole and Alastair Sim; "Shanghai Express" (1932), directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich and Clive Brook; "Haxan" (Witchcraft Through the Ages) (1922), directed by Benjamin Christiansen; "Notorious" (1946) directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains; and "Rashomon" (1951), directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo; $39.95 each.

If you want the best in image and sound without all the frills, Columbia TriStar has just initiated its Superbit Collection, which remasters DVD at the highest-bit rate digital encoding possible with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. The company's philosophy: sacrifice all the extras for better sound and picture, The first five releases (already available in standard DVD editions): "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Johnny Mnemonic," "The Fifth Element," "Air Force One" and "Desperado," due October 9 at $27.96 each.

And don't forget the month's monster DVD release: "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" (1999) two-disc set on October 16. Disc one: Scene-specific commentary by director George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, special effects experts. Disc two: Deleted scenes documentary with seven new sequences completed just for the DVD release, including extended Podrace scenes; an hour-long documentary "The Beginning," that takes audiences behind the scenes and inside Lucasfilm and ILM during the production of "Episode I"; multi-angle storyboard-to-animatic-to finished product option available in various key action sequences, including the submarine and Podrace sequences; five behind-the-scenes featurettes that explore the story line, design, costumes, visual effects and fight scenes; 12-part Web documentary chronicling the production; "Duel of the Fates" music video; production photo gallery with special caption feature; theatrical posters and print campaigns from around the world; theatrical teaser and launch trailers, and seven TV spots; more. Suggested retail price: $29.98, from Fox.

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More October Video News

From TV to Video:
On October 2 Paramount will release "The Best of I Love Lucy," two volumes of the 10 best "I Love Lucy" episodes, as voted upon by consumers in an Internet poll. Vol. 1 includes "Lucy Does a TV Commercial," "Lucy's Italian Movie," "Lucy Does the Tango," "The Freezer" and "Harpo Marx." Vol. 2 includes "Job Switching," "L.A. At Last!" "Lucy is Enceinte," "The Ballet" and "Ethel's Home Town." Each volume sells for $12,95; a two-pack set of both volumes sells for $25.90 and includes the American Masters documentary "Finding Lucy." VHS only.

On October 30 Acorn Media will release "Cadfael: The Raven in the Foregate," starring Derek Jacobi as the intuitive 12 century detective in this ongoing PBS "Mystery!" series, on DVD. With behind-the-scenes comments by Jacobi, production scrapbook, more. Acorn Media.

For Kids:
"Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase" is the latest in the Scooby-Doo franchise. Here Scooby and the gang face their most electrifying case ever when they're zapped into a high-tech computer game based on their own Mystery Inc. adventures. While pursuing the Phantom Computer Virus through the 10 levels of the video game, the gang travels from prehistoric past to space-age future and even manages to meet up with their own digital doubles along the way. From Warner, $19.96 VHS SRP, due October 9.

Columbia TriStar will release on October 23 the first two volumes of the Kids' WB! Saturday morning cartoon "Jackie Chan Adventures": "The Power Within" and "The Day of the Dragon," with two episodes each, for $12.95; a DVD, "The Search for the Talismans," featuring three episodes, will be available for $19.95.

Special Interest:
Universal is pumping out Andrew Lloyd Webber this month. Available on October 30 will be "Cats Ultimate Edition," a two-disc set, with interviews with Webber, stage director Trevor Nunn, choreographer Gillian Lynne, set designer John Napier and producers Cameron Mackintosh and Gerry Sheonfeld, mini-feature on makeup designer Karen Dawson (including making up three of the actors before a performance), $26.98 DVD; "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Royal Albert Hall Celebration," with performances from Webber's greatest productions, with guest stars Glenn Close, Sarah Brightman, Antonio Banderas, Donny Osmond, $24.98 DVD; and the "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Spotlight Performance Boxed Set," with "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Cats," "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Royal Albert Hall Celebration," $49.98 VHS, $89.98 DVD.

Universal will also release "Michael Flatley Gold," featuring Flatley's greatest dancing routines, on October 30 at $19.98 VHS, $24.98 DVD.

Columbia will release on October 16 "Sarah Brightman in Concert" (2001), featuring Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Antonio Banderas, recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1997, $24.95 DVD.

Columbia has also put together a large skein of Cirque du Soleil releases, including "Journey of Man," October 9; "A Baroque Odyssey," "Saltimbanco," "La Nouvelle Experience," "Le Cirque Reinvente" and "La Magic Continue," due October 30; $19.95 VHS, $24.95 DVD each.

Pioneer Entertainment has several musical treats this month: "The Judy Garland Show: Just Judy," featuring the best of Judy Garland's legendary solos from her 1963-1964 television series, boasting 28 songs, $19.98, due October 16 on DVD; "Psychedelic Furs: Live From House of Blues." the group's 2001 reunion concert, due October 16, $19.98 VHS, $24.98 Dolby DVD, $29.98 DTS DVD; and "Queen: We Will Rock You," featuring 22 of Queen's hit songs, due October $19.98 VHS, $24.98 Dolby DVD, $29.98 DTS DVD (The DVDs include photo gallery, discography, commentary, trivia game, band biography and timeline, Easter eggs.

Another musical feast this month is "The Songmakers Collection," an in-depth look at the group of mostly teenagers who created the pop music of the early 1960s, including Carole King, Dionne Warwick, Neil Sedaka, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Bobby Darin, Doc Pomus, Paul Simon and Neil Diamond, available from A&E Home Video in a two-DVD set for $39.95 and a four-cassette VHS set for $39.95.

Documentaries: On October 2 Warner will release the "Imax Space Collection," which includes "Destiny in Space," "Mission to Mir," and "Hail Columbia!" $14.95 each VHS, $19.95 DVD; a five-volume collection including all three above plus "Blue Planet" and "The Dream Is Alive" will be available for $75.92 VHS, $98.92 DVD. ... Columbia TriStar will release on DVD on October 9 "Goldwyn," a two-hour look at entertainment mogul Samuel Goldwyn, based on A. Scott Berg's biography "Goldwyn: A Biography," and narrated by Dustin Hoffman, $24.95. ... "W.I.S.O.R.," a fascinating look at the real-life exploits of a team of visionary scientists and engineers as they design and build the futuristic subterranean robo-welder W.I.S.O.R. (Welding and Inspection Steam Operations Robot), created to travel beneath cities to repair decaying steam pipes, $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD, from New Video's Docurama label (800-314-8822 or www.docurama.com). ... Cigarettes take a big hit in two documentaries: "The Last Cigarette," a fascinating look at smoking in the 20th century, including the acceptance of cigarettes in films (and by film stars), cigarette ads, the House of Representatives' hearings on cigarettes and health hazards, anti-smoking films, and more, from New Yorker Video, $29.95 VHS; and "Search for a Safe Cigarette," a WGBH Boston Video documentary on the tobacco industry's response to attacks on smoking, $19.95 VHS (800-949-8670 or www.wgbh.org).

The 'B' Side: Other October Releases

"Boogeymen" is a "butcher's dozen" (18) of "only the best" scene excerpts from horror flicks, including "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Halloween," "Candyman," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "I know What You Did Last Summer," "Wishmaster," "Hellraiser," "Puppetmaster," "Leprechaun," "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday," "Scream," "Phantasm," more. The DVD features onscreen animated trivia and production notes, audio commentaries by the original film actors, interactive trivia games, character backstories and more. Flixmix/Universal, 2001, $14.98 VHS, DVD day and date.

"Tremors 3: Back to Perfection" is the second sequel to cult favorite "Tremors" and has Michael Gross returning as gun-toting survivalist Burt Gummer, coming home to Perfection, Nevada, to find the town overrun by tourists checking out the Graboid Tours complete with cheesy special effects. No one expects the giant worms to ever come back -- but, natch, they do, and this time they're mutating into something more lethal and impossible to stop than ever before. Gummer can't wait to start killing some worms, but wait -- the Graboids have been declared an endangered species. Oops! Stars Michael Gross, Charlotte Stewart, Shawn Christian, Susan Chuang, Ariana Richards, Robert Jaynea and Tony Genaro. Universal, 2001, PG, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Dead Sexy" former Playboy Playmate of the Year Shannon Tweed plays detective Kate McBain, hot on the trail of a serial killer who has murdered four of Los Angeles' sexiest high-class hookers. Naturally she falls for a guy who may very well be the killer. Stars Shannon Tweed, John Enos, Kenneth White, Eric Keith and Mary Shannon. Columbia TriStar, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "On the Borderline," a young couple on a cross-country trip anxious to start a new life in California get stranded on the Mexican border. When all their money is stolen, they get involved in the only job made available to them -- smuggling illegal aliens into the States. Caught between the law and the bad guys, the pair try to collect their earnings before trouble catches up with them. Stars Eric Mabius, Marley Shelton, Elizabeth Pena, Bill Sage and R. Lee Ermey. Avalanche Home Entertainment, 2000, NR, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Children of the Corn: Revelation" a woman searching for her grandmother who has mysteriously disappeared from her home in the rundown Hampton Arms complex discovers that the buildings were erected on the site of the children of the corn's first uprising. Sixth in the direct-to-video series. Stars Claudette Mink, Kyle Cassie and Michael Ironside. Dimension, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"2103 The Deadly Wake" is a sci-fi thriller set on the high seas that involves a sexually spirited entity that dominates and pleases the crew. As the crew navigates with a secret cargo, they realize they are pawns delivering biological weapons, and they must choose to fight -- or die -- together. Stars Malcolm McDowell and Michael Pare. York/Maverick, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Borough of Kings," Brooklyn means trouble for aspiring actor Jimmy O'Conner. His ambition is to get out and avoid the criminal lifestyle that has seduced his childhood friend. He finally gets his chance when a famed Broadway director offers him a part in a play. But leaving the neighborhood alive becomes almost impossible when he stumbles on a brutal murder -- and becomes a marked man. Will culture win out? Stars Olympia Dukakis, Philip Bosco, Jim Stanek and Joseph Lyle Taylor. Avalanche Home Entertainment, 1998, NR, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Replicant," a heinous serial killer (Van Damme) is stalking the streets of Chicago. Detective Jake Riley (Michael Rooker) has come very close to catching him, but the killer has always eluded him. Then, just when Jake retires from the force, the U.S. National Security Agency asks him to take part in a secret new project: Using DNA technology, a genetic clone of the killer has been created, with the ability to see into the killer's mind. Jake accepts the challenge of teaming up with the potentially dangerous replicant (Van Damme in another double role). Direct-to-video. Directed by Hong Kong action pro Ringo Lam. Stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michael Rooker. Artisan, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Christina's House" is a typical "this house is really bad" horror flick about normal family whose normal life is disrupted when dead bodies start popping up in their house. Normal Christina (Allison Lange) must figure out who -- or what -- is lurking within the walls, turning every room into a death chamber -- and calling her for its nest victim. Stars Brendan Fehr, Brad Rowe, John Savage, Allison Lange and Lorne Stewart. MGM, 1999, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Styx" is a heist caper about an expert safecracker who gave up his life of crime after narrowly escaping an armored car explosion. But now his gambler brother is in deep with the loan sharks and the only way to save him is to join his crew for the heist of the century. Stars Peter Weller, Bryan Brown and Angus MacFadyen. Avalanche Home Entertainment, 2000, NR, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Route 666" is a horror thriller about a pair of special agents who cut through a condemned, desolate highway known as Route 666 while tracking a suspect, discovering a danger far worse than deadly twists and turns. Years ago, it seems, a notorious chain gang was killed in a horrific roadside murder, and the highway still echoes with its brutal legacy. Now the pair must face a terrifying reality -- there's no escape and no way to deny the secret behind the force haunting this bleak wasteland. Stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Lori Petty and Steven Williams. Studio Home Entertainment, 2000, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Road Rage (aka A Friday Night Date)" is an actioner about a young couple (Casper Van Dien and Danielle Brett) who are thrust into a cat and mouse race for survival in the middle of nowhere when they accidentally cut off a giant pickup truck. Stars Casper Van Dien, Danielle Brett and Joseph Griffin. Paramount, 2000, NR, priced for rental.

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