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July Highlights:

Lord of the DVDs:
The big noise at video stores will be the New Line release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) in VHS ($22.94) and two-disc DVD ($29.95). Disc 1 contains both widescreen and fullscreen versions with Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound. Disc 2 contains more than two hours of additional content, including an exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of the second film in the trilogy, "The Two Towers"; three in-depth programs that reveal the secrets behind the production, including "Welcome to Middle-earth," "The Quest for the Ring" and "A Passage to Middle-earth"; 15 featurettes originally created for lordoftherings.net, which explore the locales and cultures of Middle-earth and include interviews with cast members; original theatrical trailers and TV spots; Enya "May It Be" music video; preview of Electronic Arts' video game, "The Two Towers"; an inside look at the four-disc Special Extended DVD Edition of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," which will be released November 12 as a four-disc set with more than six hours of extras ($39.99); DVD-ROM content.

On the TV Set(s):
There's several DVD sets of TV shows being released this month. On August 6 Columbia TriStar will release two-disc DVD sets of "The Jeffersons - Season 1" and "Sanford and Son -- Season 1." Fox, meanwhile, will release on that day "The Simpsons Season Two DVD Collection," a four-disc set with 22 episodes (and commentary), with such extras as an interview with James Brooks and Matt Groening, "Do the Bartman" director's cut music video, "Deep Deep Trouble" music video, David Silverman on the "Creation of an Episode," Butterfinger commercials, Easter eggs, early drawings, gallery of animation and magazine covers, more; $49.98. On August 27 HBO will release "The Sopranos: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set of all 13 third season episodes with extras that include commentaries by writer/actor Michael Imperioli (Episode 9), episode director Steve Buscemi (Episode 11) and series creator David Chase (Episode 12), a behind-the-scenes featurette ("A Day on the Set of the Sopranos"), recaps of Seasons 1 and 2, episodic synopses, more; $99.98. (A five-volume VHS set will also be available for $99.98).

For Collectors:
On August 6 Paramount will release to DVD "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- The Director's Edition" (1982), starring William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei and Ricardo Montalban. The two-disc set includes the expanded 116-minute director's cut, commentary by director Nicholas Meyer, text commentary by "Star Trek Encyclopedia" co-author Michael Okuda, "The Captain's Log" featuring new cast and crew interviews, "Designing Khan" featurette, "The Visual Effects of Star Trek II," original interviews with cast members, "The Star Trek Universe -- A Novel Approach by Julia Ecklar and Greg Cox."

Warner is releasing four nifty films on DVD on August 6: "The Swarm" (1978), directed by Irwin Allen and starring Henry Fonda, Michael Caine, Richard Chamberlain, Richard Widmark and Slim Pickens, with commentary by Caine and a behind-the-scenes documentary; "Them!" (1954), directed by Gordon Douglas and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon and James Arness; "Time After Time" (1979), directed by Nicholas Meyer and starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen; and "Wolfen" (1981), directed by Micahel Wadleigh and starring Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines and Tom Noonan. (Warner).

Do the Tarantino DVD Dance:
Under the Miramax Collector's Series banner, Buena Vista will release two special editions of Quentin Tarantino films, on August 20: "Jackie Brown" and "Pulp Fiction." On August 27, Artisan Home Entertainment will release a special edition of "Reservoir Dogs."

"Jackie Brown Collector's Edition" (1997), starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Bridget Fonda, Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker, is a two-disc set with an introduction by Tarantino; "How It Went" documentary; "A Look Back at Jackie Brown" interview with Tarantino; "Chicks With Guns" video; deleted and alternate scenes with Tarantino introductions (Jackie and Sheronda extended scene, Michael & Pam, Louis & Ordell walk into the Cockatoo Lounge, Jackie sets up Ordell, alternate take "For Your Eyes Only," alternate opening credit sequence); Siskel and Ebert "At the Movies" "Jackie Brown" review; "Jackie Brown" on MTV ("Jackie Brown" promotional contest, "MTV Live" with the cast); still galleries; reviews and articles; trivia game; screenplay viewer; classic Pam Grier movie trailers; classic Robert Forster movie trailers; classic Pam Grier radio spots; DVD-ROM extras; $29.99.

"Pulp Fiction Collector's Edition" (1994), starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette and Christopher Walken, is a two-disc set with five deleted scenes with introductions by Tarantino (drug deal monologue, Mia & Vincent, Esmerelda cab scene, Monster Joe's Truck and Tow, Extended Jack Rabbit Slim's scene); behind-the-scenes featurette; Pulp Fiction still gallery; poster; location scouting; blueprints for Jack Rabbit Slim's; set construction; logo designs, props and memorabilia; special photography; Siskel and Ebert "At the Movies -- The Tarantino Generation"; Independent Spirit Awards: Michael Moore interviews Tarantino, producer Lawrence Bender and Jackson; Cannes Film Festival: Palm d'Or Award ceremony and acceptance speech; PBS "Charlie Rose" show interview with Tarantino; original documentary "Tarantino Fiction"; new production design featurette; trivia game; screenplay viewer; reviews and articles; behind-the-scenes montage: Jack Rabbit Slim's and Butch hits Marsellus; DVD-ROM extras; $29.99.

"Reservoir Dogs 10th Anniversary Special Edition" (1992), starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Christopher Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Randy Brooks and Quentin Tarantino. The two-disc set is packaged with five different box-art design covers: one each with Mr. Pink, Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Brown and Mr. Blond. Each box cover will have a swinging flap with the character's bio, as well as an eight-page booklet with more information about the character. Goodies on the two-discs will be the same for all five versions. Extras: Select scene commentaries with the filmmakers, cast and critics; "Real Life Reservoir Dogs" documentary; documentary on the getaway cars; film noir retrospective; tribute to indie filmmakers, writers and directors who inspired the movie as well as to the late Tierney, who played Joe Cabot; deleted scenes; outtakes; two alternate camera angle takes of the notorious ear-cutting scene; interviews with Tarantino, cast and crew; poster gallery; Dolby and DTS; $26.98. (Artisan).

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More Video News

From TV to Video:
National Geographic Home Video will release on August 27 the fascinating documentary "Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West" -- narrated by Jeff Bridges -- that dramatizes the remarkable and perilous journey undertaken by the Corps of Discovery 200 years ago, to the Pacific Ocean and back; $14.95 VHS, $19.98 DVD ... A&E Home Video will release an A&E Studios Original Movie "Poirot: Evil Under the Sun" ($19.95 VHS and DVD) and "Poirot: The Complete Collection," a boxed set featuring four feature- length Hercule Poirot whodunits ("The Murder of Roger Ackroyd," "Lord Edgware Dies," "Murder in Mesopotamia" and "Evil Under the Sun"), in both VHS and DVD four volume sets, $49.95 and $59.95 respectively; due August 27 ... New to DVD from A&E are The Royal Shakespeare Company's nine-hour adaptation of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" (four-disc set for $79.95) and the last two seasons (fourth and fifth) of "Upstairs Downstairs" on four-disc sets for $79.95 each; all due August 27 ... And on August 27, National Geographic Home Video will release the documentary, "Inside the Pentagon," $14.95 VHS and $19.98 DVD.

For Kids:
For pre-teens Warner Home Video will release two volumes (five episodes each) of "So Little Time," the latest TV series starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The VHS versions ($14.94) contain behind-the-scenes featurettes on each episode; the DVDs ($19.98) contain an extra episode as well as bloopers, trivia quizzes and photo galleries; due August 13.

For pre-schoolers, this month brings a joyful bouquet of videos: Barney's latest direct-to-video, "Barney's Round and Round We Go" has the purple dinosaur and friends heading out to Pop Wheeley's wheel factory to learn about different modes of transportation and safety tips, $14.95 VHS and $16.99 DVD, due August 27 from HIT ... "Meet Joe" is the latest Blue's Clues' VHS, introducing Joe, the brand-new host of the perennial kids favorite, $9.95 due August 27 from Paramount ... On August 27 Buena Vista will release "The Schoolhouse Rock Special 30th Anniversary Edition DVD," a two-disc set that includes every song (and much, much more) from the landmark series that teaches kids the fundamentals of math, grammar, science, history and money, $29.99 ... The folks at Disney have put together three Halloween kids releases: a double feature Pooh DVD, "Winnie the Pooh: FrankenPooh/Spookable Pooh" ($24.99), "The Book of Pooh: Just Say Boo!" ($12.99 VHS only) and "Rolie Polie Olie: A Spookie Ookie Halloween" ($12.99 VHS only), all due August 27 ... Paramount has on hand the latest Little Bear video, "Little Bear: Snacktime Tales," featuring four "cooking and eating" episodes, $9.95 VHS, due August 27 ... And Anchor Bay will release on August 20 three new entries in its Mighty Machines series: "Mighty Machines at the Construction Site," "Mighty Machines in the Harbor" and "Mighty Machines at the Race Track," $9.99 each; a limited amount of the videos will come packed with free bonus toys relating to each title for the same suggested retail price, while supplies last.

Special Interest:
The historic speeches of four of the last century's most notable speakers debuts in a two-disc DVD boxed set from MPI Home Video: "The Speeches Collection Volume 1" contains some of the most famous addresses of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, available now for $39.98.

"Flash Frames: The Best of Internet Animation" celebrates the work of more than 30 of the world's most innovative media artists using the Flash computer program. Artists range from veteran Stan Lee and cutting-edge cult hero Joe Cartoon and include Flash music videos from Todd Rundgren, DJ Spooky, Supreme Beings of Leisure and more; $19.95 from Music Video Distributors.

The essential reggae concert film, "Bob Marley: Live in Concert," comes to home video August 27 in a new, extended director's cut featuring 15 of the musical icon's greatest songs (in 5.1 Surround on the DVD version) as well as footage from Marley's 1981 funeral in Kingston, Jamaica; the DVD also includes a Marley discography with album art, a biography, optional subtitle lyrics for all 15 songs; $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD from Docurama.

Anime: Based on the popular Korean comic book of the same name, Manga Entertainment will release on DVD August 27 "Red Hawk," an action-packed feudal martial arts adventure that takes place in the land of Chungwon, pitting a powerful gang, The Camelia Blossoms, and their powerful ultimate "Weapon of Death," against villagers and their defender, Red Hawk; $24.95 DVD only. Also on that day Manga will release "Tokyo Revelation," a macabre tale of dark forces, sinister magic and horrible demons set loose in modern-day Tokyo, $24.95 DVD.

The 'B': Other Releases

In "Crocodile 2: Death Swamp," a hijacked airplane crash lands in a Mexican swamp, subjecting the survivors (good guys and bad guys alike) to the whims of a 30-foot crocodile who has acquired a taste for human blood. Stars Martin Kove, Heidi Noelle Lenhart, Steve Moreno and Jon Sklaroff. Lions Gate, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Deadly Scavengers," a genetic researcher and his daughter, working at an isolated mountain lab, accidentally create a big, dangerous, hungry bug. When the experiment's corporate underwriters suddenly lose contact with the lab, a team of mercenaries is sent in to locate the missing scientists. As they hike to the lab, they come across bloody human carnage -- evidence of a monster .. still lurking out there. Eclectic DVD, 2002, NR, DVD only.

In "Vicious Circle," writer Rane Kendo is lured by a world of greed and fame after his once thought- provoking novel is turned into a best-selling romantic bloodbath book series and hit TV show, "The King of the Street." Torn between the two worlds in his mind, Rane becomes trapped in the gritty underworld of his gangland characters and must break the vicious circle of death and fear before his work destroys all that he cares about. Stars Bradley Gregg, J.C. White Shirt, Susan K. Brigham. York Latino, 2002, NR, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Project Viper," a 10- year experiment to marry gene microbiology and computers results in V.I.P.E.R., a creature designed to survive in -- and dominate -- any climate imaginable. One V.I.P.E.R. is sent on an abortive mission to Mars, resulting in the death of the space shuttle crew. Another V.I.P.E.R. is stolen and is set on the loose and since the creature is programmed to take over every environment it encounters, look out Earthlings! Stars Patrick Muldoon and Theresa Russell. Lions Gate, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Women in Film" revolves around three sordid tales of women in Hollywood. Sara is a casting agent dealing with a blind infant. Gina is a wannabe movie star masseuse who steals "energy" from her famous clients. Phyllis is a film producer who mothers her films as much as she mothers her children. The inside dish on tantalizing tinseltown. Stars Beverly D'Angelo, Portia De Rossi, Marianne Jean-Baptiste. Lions Gate, 2001, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

In "Repli-Kate," a young geneticist creates the world's first cloning machine but is a moron with women. So when he accidentally clones a smart and beautiful journalism student name Kate, he takes the opportunity to train her in the finer things of life: pizza, sports, beer and sex. But when the original Kate gets a story assignment that takes her to the cloning lab, a series of close calls, near misses and mistaken identities threatens the scientist's project. Stars Ali Landry, Desmond Askew, Eugene Levy, James Roday. Spartan Home Entertainment, 2002, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Wrestling With Alligators," set in 1959 during a blissful summer of innocence, is the coming of age story of a teenage girl who has her first romance with a carnival worker. Meanwhile, her widowed roommate is pregnant by a garage worker she doesn't love or want to be with. Both women struggle with choices of pregnancy, abortion, career and loyalty in times that perhaps weren't as simple or innocent as memory recalls. Stars Aleksa Palladino, Joley Richardson, Claire Bloom, Jay Sanders. Vanguard, 1998, NR, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

"Chelsea Walls": The Chelsea Hotel used to be the place to live for New York artists. Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Bob Dylan, Jim Hendrix; they all passed through the hotel's halls. To this day, even though the iron facade has become rusty, new dreamers come every day, hoping to ne inspired by the ghosts of the past. "Chelsea Walls" tells five stories set in a single day at the Chelsea, involving an ensemble cast of some 30 characters. Director: Ethan Hawke. Stars: Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Sean Leonard, Natasha Richardson, Uma Thurman, Mark Webber, Steve Zahn. Lions Gate, 2002, R, priced for rental, DVD day and date.

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July 25, 2002