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Gray Areas Magazine


GRAY AREAS MAGAZINE DVD REVIEWS FEBRUARY 1999


REVIEWS BY NETTA GILBOA & CHRISTOPHER SCHANOT

 

DVD titles are reviewed using either a Panasonic A110 or a Creative Labs Encore PC-DVD (using the latest drivers) which is installed in a Pentium II 300 mhz with 64mb RAM running Windows98. All titles are recent releases, even though some are of the films are years old. Because DVD is a new medium, older titles are being released as new product. This will be true for some time to come.

BAD BOYS (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 104 minutes) Sean Penn, Esai Morales and Ally Sheedy star in this captivating film about a criminal who lands in jail, where he is forced to confront his worst enemy who is also there at the same time. Both are determined to kill each other. The DVD contains a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film (16:9), 2.0 Dolby Surround sound, and chapter search. Surely one of Penn's best films, this will appeal to his many fans as well as those who like action and prison films.

BEVERLY HILLS BORDELLO 1 (NuTech Digital, Inc.) Originally produced for cable television, this erotic series is about the many patrons of a bordello based in Beverly Hills, California. This volume has three episodes which run about 30 minutes each. Tastefully done, this is highly recommended for those women viewers who prefer a plot and softcore love scenes.

BOOGEY MAN, THE/DEVONSVILLE TERROR, THE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 165 minutes total) Offering two full-length horror films both directed by Ulli Lommel and starring Suzanna Love on one disc, this includes The Boogey Man and The Devonsville Terror. The Boogey Man is about two siblings who witness a tragedy and are still trying desperately to forget about it 20 years later. The Devonsville Terror involves a town which was cursed by a witch in 1683 right before she was burned at the stake. 300 years later, to the day, three strangers arrive in the town and when odd events start to occur people wonder whether the curse has returned to haunt them. Both films are offered in a widescreen presentation (1.85:1), with Dolby Digital Mono sound, and chapter search. The Boogey Man also includes two TV spots. This is a great value for those who enjoy horror and suspense films.

CARDIAC ARREST (Digital Versatile Disc, Ltd.) Police in San Francisco are baffled when victims turn up whose hearts have been surgically removed. This horror movie explores a black market in human hearts. The DVD contains only chapter search but the film speaks for itself. This should interest horror fans more interested in madness than in monsters.

CHAPLIN: THE COLLECTION (Madacy Entertainment Group, Inc., 240 minutes) This budget priced boxed set contains five discs which are also available individually. Included are 14 comedy classics which feature Charlie Chaplin's memorable comedy skits. They are: Sunnyside, Hot Finish, Knock Out, A Day's Pleasure, Between Showers, Kid Auto Races in Venice, The Rival Mashers, A Night Out, The Good For Nothing, Charlie's Recreation, Work, Cruel Cruel Love, A Film Johnny and Triple Trouble. The DVDs include Dolby Digital sound, chapter search, trivia questions, a Chaplin biography, memorabilia page and a section on Chaplin's leading ladies. I had never seen many of these films and highly recommend this to anyone who likes slapstick comedy, Chaplin's other work or film history in general. Highly recommended.

DANGEROUS GAMES (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Directed by Paul Thomas, this adult film stars Jenteal, Melissa Hill, Alex Sanders, Steven St. Croix. Selena and Mona Demoan. The plot involves a film crew with a director who is having sex with his leading lady, a crew who tries to sabotage the production and a leading man who is a cheating stud. The DVD also includes multiple angle technology so you can select how you wish to view the sex scenes, no regional coding, interactive menus, chapter search, interactive telephone sex, previews of other Vivid titles, information about the Vivid girls, footage of the AVN awards show, and digital stereo sound. The flip side of the disc includes an interactive playroom, MTV ads, outtakes and bloopers from various Vivid films and previews of other titles. Inside the box is a paper poster of the Vivid girls as well as a paper catalog of other Vivid titles available. This is both tasteful and well done with a definite plot and highly recommended to adult film fans.

DAY OF THE ANIMALS (NuTech Digital, Inc.) Christopher George, Leslie Nielsen, and Lynda Day George star in this horror film about a group of nature hikers who become terrorized by animals after the earth's ozone layer has changed drastically and become dangerous. Full of ties to ecology and potential problems with ignoring environmental conservation, this film was almost ahead of its time when originally released. If you like horror films involving creatures you will like this one too.

DIFFERENT STROKES (NuTech Digital, Inc.) Bentley Mitchum, Dana Plato and Landon Hall star in this erotic film about what happens when the female in a romantic couple meets another female she becomes interested in. Dana Plato, who appeared in the TV show Different Strokes appears nude here and the film carrys an R rating. It's well done and deals fairly with a difficult subject. Worth seeing for those interested in bisexuality, lesbianism, menage a trois, and/or fans of Dana Plato.

DUEL IN THE SUN (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 128 minutes) Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotten star in this epic western love story produced by the same person who produced Gone With The Wind. Two brothers compete for the attention of the same woman and in the process encounter lots of betrayal, watch a love-hate relationship develop and battle in desert shoot-outs. The DVD contains a full-frame presentation of the film, Dolby Digital sound, chapter search, full-color graphics on the disc itself and a paper replica of the original theatrical poster. Definitely a better than average western, this will be enjoyed by fans of the genre, or of Gregory Peck, or those who like plots full of romance.

EASY (NuTech Ditigal, Inc.) Jessie St. James, Richard Pacheco, Georgina Spelvin and Desiree Cousteau star in this adult film about a teacher who loves sex so much she enjoys being raped and ends up having sex with so many of her students that she ends up leaving teaching. One of the classic adult films of all time, this film is greatly enhanced by the actors in it who took a weak story line and made the performances they gave so memorable that the film cannot be ignored. Highly recommended to those who want to see actresses that seem to be enjoying their work, as well as to those who are already fans of any or all of these actors, this will probably appeal to couples as well. For those who have never seen St. James act this is one of her best films and it's hard for most of today's girls to hold a candle to her performance here.

EROTIC DANCER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Originally broadcast as a pay-per-view special, this contest was held at the Flamingo Hilton in Reno, Nevada and features a collection of competing strippers as well as special appearances by stars such as Krystal Towers, Lisa Ann Corpora, Adara Michaels and Heather Foxx. Already a best selling title, this will delight those who enjoy the art of striptease as well as those curious as to what it's all about. There is nothing here to offend unless you're opposed to the concept, and this is well done with extrememly high production values which give you a ringside seat even better than actually being there. The DVD also includes a wealth of extras including an interactive tour, fantasy rooms, erotic stills of the dancers featured, no regional coding, interactive menus, and previews of other titles. This is highly recommended. For those even marginally interested in the topic, it will not disappoint.

ERUPTION (NuTech Digital, Inc.) John Holmes, Leslie Bovee and Susan Hart star in this classic 1970s adult film. Shot in Hawaii at the peak of the actors careers, this adult title has high production values, a plot and has been fixed up for DVD to include multiple camera angles during the sex scenes. Highly recommended for couples, Holmes fans and those who like sex scenes which are shot outdoors.

EVIL DEAD, THE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 85 minutes) One of the most sought after horror films comes to DVD with five different packages each featuring a clear case which showcases the picture disc inside. The plot involves a group of college students who stay in a shack in which they discover an ancient incantation which allows demons to possess the living. One by one the students die until finally only one is left. He must now defend himself against them while also trying to uncover how to send them back to where they came from. Full of superb special effects unheard of at the time for such a low budget film, this has spawned sequels which are as beloved as this original film. The DVD contains a full-frame presentation of the film (1.33:1), a transfer supervised by the director and star of the film, chapter search and the original theatrical trailer. This highly recommended film is not to be missed if you are a horror fan!

FANTASTIC PLANET (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 72 minutes) Intended for adults, but sure to delight children as well, this animated sci-fi film won the 1973 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix Award. The plot involves a struggle for freedom in the future by a race called Oms. On the planet of Ygam, Oms are kept as pets for the children of Traags who rule the land. The Oms revolt and try to hit the Traags in thier most vulnerable spot which is a moon which orbits around their home. The DVD includes a wealth of extras including a widescreen presentation of the film (1.66:1), Dolby Digital Mono sound, talents bios, theatrical trailer, French language track, and three early shorts by the director inluding "Les Dents Du Singe/Monkey's Teeth," "Les Temps Morts/Dead Times," and "Les Escargots/The Snails." If you have already seen this film you're sure to want to own it and if you haven't it's a winner for all ages. Highly recommended for those interested in animation, sci-fi, and/or quality programing for their children.

FATAL FURY: THE MOTION PICTURE (Pioneer Home Entertainment (USA) L.P., 100 minutes) Based on a bestselling video game, this Japanese Anime title is about someone who seeks ancient armor which will make him super powerful and allow him to seek revenge on those who persecuted his ancestors ages ago. Meanwhile his sister enlists the aid of a martial arts legend to try to stop him. He is one piece of armor away from having the full set which will make him invincible and the film focuses on the battle between good and evil to see whether or not he can be stopped. The DVD contains bilingual languages and English subtitles, Dolby Digital sound, interactive menus, original Japanese theatrical trailers, character profiles and conceptual drawings. This is rated 13 and up, but I thought it was very well done and would interest people of all ages. Highly recommended for those who like either anime films or who have played the video game.

FETISHES (Simitar Entertainment, Inc., 87 minutes) Originally shown on HBO, this documentary explores the world of commerical bondage sessions by interviewing dominatrixes and their customers at Pandora's Box in New York. Criticized for only showing the most shocking desires in this underground scene, such as men who dress up in baby diapers, or who wish to walk around like a dog, and Jewish men who wish to be abused by Nazi women, this is nonetheless a very accurate and unflinching look at why some people do what they do. Directed by Nick Broomfield whose film Kurt & Courtney is equally provocative, this is highly recommended for anyone interested in bondage, the related industry of prostitution, deviance in general, and/or inside looks into places rarely seen.

FLINTSTONES, THE (Universal Home Video, Inc., 91 minutes) The classic animated TV show comes to life and stars John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Elizabeth Perkins, Rosie O'Donnell and Elizabeth Taylor. Made by people who clearly loved the show and paid attention to even the slightest of details, this film is a winner and possibly the best such film converting the expectations people have of their favorite TV characters into something entirely different. The plot involves Fred winning an aptitude test at work and then being used as the fall guy in an embezzlement scheme by one of the other executives at the rock quarry. The DVD offers an anamorphic widescreen presentation (1.85:1), 5.1 Surround sound, a commentary track by director Brian Levant, a documentary called Discovering Bedrock, teaser and theatrical trailers, production photos, concept sketches from the art department, and an MCA soundtrack presentation. Inside the box is a small booklet as well. Highly recommended for fans of either the actors involved, the original TV show and/or sight gag comedy.

FRESHMAN FANTASIES #4 (Digital Playground, 120+ minutes) This highly successful adult series is back with more girls and more scenes including several filmed outdoors. The DVD includes a digitally remastered print of the film, 5.1 Digital Surround sound, behind the scenes photos, a slide show, no regional coding, chapter search, parental lock and a Strip Blackjack game for those who have DVD drives inside their computers.

FRIGHT NIGHT HORROR CLASSICS (Madacy Entertainment Group, Inc., 234 minutes) This boxed set contains three discs with the films Night Of The Living Dead, Dementia 13 and Revolt of the Zombies. Filmed in black and white, all three of these are classic horror films which paved the way for today's slasher films full of special effects and star names. Dementia 13 is about an Irish castle which is stalked by an axe murderer. Revolt of the Zombies is about soldiers who, through the use of a stupor-inducing potion, have been brought back to life to create an undead army. Night of the Living Dead is about seven people barricaded in a farmhouse while zomies roam outside all around them. Budget priced and also available as three separate discs, the DVDs also contain Dolby Digital sound, a director biography, chapter search and factual sections on the Voodoo religion and the various tools of black magic. Well done!

GIRL ON A MOTORCYCLE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 91 minutes) Marianne Faithful and Alain Delon star in this erotic film which was originally released in the USA as the severely edited, R rated film Naked Under Leather. Included here is the uncensored European version of this cult film, which is about a bored housewife who decided to leave her husband for an old lover. En route to him she rides through Europe on a Harley wearing only a fur-lined jumpsuit. While riding she has fantasies about her lover and it is presumably these scenes which were cut most. The DVD offers a widescreen presentation of the film (1.66:1), Dolby Digital Mono sound, audio commentary track by director Jack Cardiff, theatrical trailer, talent biographies, chapter search, still photo gallery and full-color graphics on the disc face. Sure to delight those into leather, motorcycles, cult films, censored films and/or those who admire Faithful's work, this will also appeal to those interested in erotica that doesn't focus on penetration. Well done.

GREGORY DARK'S SEX FREAKS (NuTech Digital, Inc.) One of the most interesting adult films of all time, this stars a cast of 45 adult stars including Nici Sterling, Tom Byron, Alex Sanders, and Stephanie Swift. The plot involves a man who who has power over every woman he meets except one. Offering all sorts of costumes, innovative scenes, and use of a midget, a snake and an overweight woman, this manages to hold your attention from beginning to end and left me eager to see more of Darks' films. The DVD offers no extras, but none are needed, as the film is satisfying enough. Highly recommended for adult fans tired of the same old thing.

HAPPINESS (Trimark Home Video, 139 minutes) Jane Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle, Jon Lovitz and Camryn Manheim star in this very humorous film which connects several people with lonely lives who are each searching for happiness. One is a married housewife, one is on the rebound after a breakup, and one takes calls from an obscene phone caller for kicks. The DVD contains a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, foreign subtitles, cast and crew information and chapter search. This film was listed on many top films of the year lists for 1998, and with good reason. Don't miss it!

HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 124 minutes) Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs and Whoopi Goldberg star in this film about two old friends who go to Jamaica together to relax and catch up on their friendship. One of them meets a man there and learns how to be in love again. Definitely a woman's film, this comedy is one of the few to ever offer black actresses the lead roles. It's poignant and heartwarming, and as the story unfolds it's really about overcoming loneliness and bonding, and is something anyone of any race or sex can relate to. The DVD offers a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), interactive menus, chapter search, 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, a featurette about the film, original theatrical trailer and Spanish subtitles. Well done.

IMPULSE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 93 minutes) Tim Matheson, Meg Tilly and Hume Cronyn star in this film about two people who are somehow spared the fate of everyone else in the town in which they live. After watching the whole town become transformed somehow so that they cannot control their most basic primitive urges anymore, the two people spared begin searching for answers as to why only they aren't reacting this way. The DVD contains a full-frame presentation of the film and the disc itself contains full-color graphics. This very unusual plot is complimented by good acting and is quite well done.

INSIDE CANDY SAMPLES (NuTech Digital, Inc.) Candy Samples, Herschel Savage, Steve Drake and Jessica Wylde star in this classic adult film about a sex therapist with a full caseload of people who need help with their sex lives. She dispenses advice, lessons in technique and offers herself sexually as well. Released during a time when most of the female stars were given movies to be in called "Inside YourNameHere," all of which were supposed to contain information based on their real backgrounds and lovers, this one at least doesn't pretend to be more than it is. Directed by Drea this offers hot performances, a plot for those who seek one, and multiple angle technology has been added to the DVD allowing you to select the angle to watch the film from. Well done.

LAST EMPEROR, THE (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 218 minutes) Peter O'Toole and John Lone star in this epic film by director Bernardo Bertolucci about an emperor in China during a time of great political upheaval. This film won 9 Academy awards and is offered here in a director's cut which includes an additional hour of footage not shown in theatres.The DVD contains a digitally mastered widescreen presentation of the film (4:3), 2.0 Dolby Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, theatrical trailer, production notes and cast and crew information. This will delight those interested in epic films, Chinese culture, and world history, and is a superb disc worthy of the film.

MAFIA! (Touchstone Home Video, 87 minutes) One of those rare films that gets better each time you view it, this comedy spoof stars Jay Mohr, Lloyd Bridges, Olympia Dukakis and Christina Applegate. The plot involves a retiring Godfather who must choose his succesor from amongst his two sons, one of whom is a war hero and one of whom is a raving psychotic. The film manages to spoof all sorts of other movies from Forrest Gump to The Lost World. The DVD includes a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film, 5.1 Dolby Ditital audio, a short production featurette and chapter search. Highly recommended to comedy fans as well as those who love slapstick and spoofs.

MANIC BEHAVIOR (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Raylene, Bobby Vitale and Nick East star in this adult title directed by Dyanna Lauren. The plot involves a manic female who suffers from compulsive behavior which often lands her in court. The DVD includes a wealth of extras including multiple angle technology, interactive phone sex, previews of other Vivid titles, outtakes from Vivid films, footage from the AVN awards show, no regional coding, chapter search, interactive menus, etc. Inside the box is a paper poster of the Vivid girls as well. Well done with a definite plot for those who prefer one.

MARVIN'S ROOM (Miramax Home Entertainment, 98 minutes) Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton and Robert DeNiro star in this drama about a family in which the father needs care and the two sisters must decide what is best for him now that one of them is ill as well. It's about examining choices, grappling with whether to accept resposibility, and questioning what a family really is and how much one owes those who have raised you. It's hard to decide which actor is best here given the awesome range of talent this cast has. My vote is for DeNiro, shown in a small role in which he plays a compassionate doctor so unlike most of his other characters. The DVD includes a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Surround sound, and chapter search. Well done and poignant, this will interest those who love films about moral dilemmas, dramas and/or enjoy any or all of these actors.

MUSIC FOR MONTSERRAT (Image Entertainment, 112 minutes) It's hard to resist this music title which gives a portion of the sales of the disc to the Monserrat Foundation. Starring Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Carl Perkins, Arrow, Paul McCartney and Sting, this concert was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall benefit concert of the same name on Sept. 15, 1997. The artists each perform solo and all join together during "Hey Jude" and "Kansas City." Other highlights include Clapton and Knopfler performing "Layla," Knopfler, Clapton and Sting performing "Money For Nothing" and Clapton, Knopfler, McCartney and Phil Collins performing "Golden Slumbers." With great sound and video, this is highly recommended for anyone who likes classic rock, love songs and radio hits.

NICE, THE NAUGHTY AND THE BAD, THE (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Chasey Lane, Jeanna Fine, Jill Kelly, Tom Byron, and Joey Silvera star in this adult title about a person with three separate personalities who suffers from multiple personality disorder. It's got a unique plot, top actors, and high production values. The DVD also includes multiple angle technology so you can choose from which angle to view sex scenes, digital stereo sound, interactive phone sex, interactive menus, outtakes from other Vivid films, previews of Vivid films, no regional coding, footage of the AVN awards and more. Highly recommended for those interested in adult films.

NOTHING TO HIDE (NuTech Digital, Inc.) John Leslie, Erica Boyer and Richard Pacheco star in this superb classic adult film. Winner of seven Erotica awards including Best Picture, the film was directed by Anothony Spinelli and has a great plot, good actors and high production values. The DVD offers multiple angles for all of the sex scenes and offers chapter search as well. This is a highly recommended addition to an adult film collection. Surely one of the best films made, this makes an excellent choice for couples, female viewers and males who like a good storyline rather than just action scenes.

PERMANENT MIDNIGHT (Artisan Entertainment, Inc. 88 minutes) Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley and Janeane Garofalo star in this film about a hot TV script writer who learns firsthand about the dark side of those who find success in Hollywood. The DVD contains a digitally mastered widescreen version of the film (16:9), 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, deleted scenes, director's commentary track, interactive menus, chapter search, theatrical trailer, cast and crew information and production notes. Based on the autobiography of the same name, this superb film offers great plot, acting and lots of extras on the disc. Highly recommended.

PROPHECY, THE (Dimension Home Video, 97 minutes) Christopher Walken stars in this chilling thriller about a homicide detective who uncovers a prophecy being fulfilled. He joins forces with an elementary school teacher and they battle the angel Gabriel (Walken) to try to save Earth while time is running out. The DVD includes a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film (2.35:1), Ultra-Stereo and chapter search. This will appeal to those who like films like The Omen and The Exorcist, or classic battles between good and evil.

PUSSYMAN 1: THE SEARCH (Digital Playground) A superb cast of 14 adult film stars appear in this new series. They include Tom Byron, Porsche Lynn, Joey Silvera, Marc Wallice, Steve Drake and Lilly Xene. Full of nonstop sex, extreme closeups and actors who appear to really want to be there, this title is far better than the run-of-the-mill one expects from this genre. The DVD includes a digitally remastered print of the film, 5.1 Digital Surround sound, behind the scenes photos, a slide show, no regional coding, parental lock, chapter search and, for those with DVD players inside their computers, a game of Strip Blackjack as well. Well done and proving again that Digital Playground consistantly releases high quality product in an industry where that is not always the case.

RETURN OF TORI WELLES, THE (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Adult film star Tori Welles, in her first film back from retirement, stars along with Herschel Savage, Sydney Steele and Bobby Bliss in this shot on film title which was directed by Guillermo Brown and produced by Paul Thomas.The film is about a frustrated wife whose husband prefers watching porn films to being with her. The wife allows herself to start enjoying and learning from the actresses in the films and improves her marriage as a result. The DVD includes a wealth of extras including no regional coding, previews of other Vivid titles, interactive phone sex, interactive menus, chapter search, outtakes from other Vivid films, footage of the AVN awards show and multiple angle technology which allows you to choose from what angle you would prefer to watch the sex scenes. This is highly recommended, both to Welles fans and to those who like adult titles which contain a strong plot. Inside the box is a paper poster of the Vivid girls and a paper catalog of other Vivid titles available on DVD.

ROUNDERS (Miramax Home Entertainment, 121 minutes) Matt Damon and Edward Norton star in this superb film that takes place inside the subculture of underground gambling, card games, and loan sharks. It's about a retired gambler forced to play again to help a friend out who has gotten in way over his head. Offering a great script, great cast, unique plot and enough information about gambling to make the film interesting even to those who don't care to bet, this film is a winner that holds your attention from start to finish. The DVD includes a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film (2.35:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, theatrical trailer and chapter search. Highly recommended.

SERIOUSLY ANAL (Digital Playground) Max Hardcore, Alex Sanders, Kaitlyn Ashley and Jon Dough are among those who star in this adult title full of nontop sex scenes. This is well done, with no time wasted developing a story line, and delivers exactly what viewers would expect from the title. The DVD includes a digitally remastered print of the film, 5.1 Digital Surround sound, a slide show, behind the scenes photos, parental lock, no regional coding, chapter search, and a Strip Blackjack game for those with DVD drives inside their computers. Well done and highly recommended for those interested in adult films.

SHALAKO (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 113 minutes) Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot star in this western film about a group of European aristocrats who wind up in an Indian reservation which breaks a treaty and is illegal. One of the women gets attacked by an Apache and a scout for the U.S. army tries to save her and help the aristocrats get away from the reservation. The DVD includes choice of either a widescreen presentation of the film (2.35:1) or pan and scan version, Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. The box contains a four page photo booklet as well. This classic, unrated film should make a lot of Connery's fans happy.

SHOOTING FISH (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 93 minutes) Kate Beckinsale, Dan Futterman and Stuart Townsend star in this comedy film about two con men who scam people and then keep the money until they meet a woman who is broke and needs cash for a good cause. They fall for her and it changes all of their lives profoundly. The DVD offers a widescreen presentation of the film (2.35:1), interactive menus, chapter search, Spanish subtitles, and the original theatrical trailer.

SHUT UP AND BLOW ME (Digital Playground) This wall-to-wall adult title includes 15 scenes and features such actors as Johnni Black, Alexandra Silk, Alyssa Allure and Sindee Coxx. While some of the women are clearly acting it up for the cameras, others seem most sincere and enthusiastic as they perform. This title surely delivers the kind of scenes viewers are seeking, and does so better than most other titles in the genre. The DVD features a digitally remastered version of the film, 5.1 Digital Surround sound, a slide show, behind the scenes photos, no regional coding, chapter search, parental lock and a Strip Blackjack game for those who have DVD drives inside their computers. Highly recommended if you enjoy adult titles full of action instead of plot.

SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 91 minutes) One of the funniest films of the year, this poignant look at a troubled family stars Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and Natasha Lyonne. It's about a teenage girl growing up in the 70s and trying to remain in the Beverly Hills, CA school district despite her family's poverty. Cursed with two brothers, a father who has trouble working, a cousin she has to babysit, and a long history of oddball neighbors, the film explores her day-to-day life and experiences. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, Spanish subtitles and the original theatrical trailer. I loved this and hope you do too!

STRAW DOGS (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 118 minutes) Directed by Sam Peckinpah, this highly controversial film stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as a couple sick of crime and violence in the United States who decide to seek a more peaceful life in rural England. They hire some workers to repair their barn and the men begin to harass the couple. Full of explicit violence, a very famous rape scene, and incredible edge-of-your-seat suspense, this film is banned in the UK to this day and was cut when originally shown in the U.S. The uncut version is offered here and the DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.77:1) along with Dolby Digital sound, chapter search and full color graphics on the disc face. Highly recommended for fans of Hoffman, those who have never seen the film before or who have only seen it chopped up, and those who are interested in film history and/or violence and censorship issues.

SUCKER: THE VAMPIRE (Troma Entertainment, Inc.) In this modern day vampire film, a rock star seduces groupies and kills them. He contracts a rare and deadly virus and must be cured or else suffer a fate even worse than death. Full of horror, comedy, satire, special effects and extra features, as well as music by bands such as Blue Meanies, Agent Orange and Groovie Ghoulies, this DVD marks another winner from Troma. The DVD includes a digitally mastered presentation of the film, a commentary by the director and lead actor, interactive menus, a Troma Intelligence Test, an interactive tour of Troma Studios, theatrical trailers, trailers for other Troma releases, link to the Troma web page, and Troma's Edge TV clips. This will amuse vampire lovers, fans of cult films,and fans of other Troma films.

SUDDENLY (Madacy Entertainment Group, Inc., 75 minutes) Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason and Nancy Gates star in this thriller, shot in black and white, about the leader of a team of three assassins who have been hired to murder the president when he visits a small town. The DVD includes Dolby Digital sound, chapter search, a reproduction of the original lobby poster, interactive trivia, and a biography of Frank Sinatra. This is budget priced at under ten dollars making it an excellent value for those who love Sinatra, thrillers or older, classic Hollywood films.

SUZIE SUPERSTAR (NuTech Digital, Inc.) Shauna Grant, John Leslie, Sharon Mitchell, Joey Silvera and Ron Jeremy star in this classic adult film which has been reissued on DVD. The plot involves a rock singer who although successful enough to be at the top of the charts is not seeing the money since she is locked into a nasty contract giving it all to her manager. She devises a scheme to get out of her contract and stay in the business. Offering a great plot, high production values, stars at the height of their careers, good music and believable sex scenes, this title is a winner for those who enjoy these actors and/or adult films with a strong plot. Given Hustler's highest rating, named Best Picture of the Year by Adam Film World, and given three Erotica awards, this film delivers without disappointing. Highly recommended.

TENCHI IN TOKYO: A NEW FRIEND (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 75 minutes) Offering 3 episodes of the popular anime show, this includes episodes 5-7 titled "Money! Money! Money!," "Play Date," and "The Day We Met." The plot involves a group of girls who wish to move to Tokyo to be with Tenchi who now lives there. The mean Yugi tries to sabotage their attempts to get jobs and to raise money to make the move. The DVD includes interactive menus, 2.0 Dolby Digital sound, chapter search, English subtitles, both Japanese and English languages, and conceptual drawings. An excellent choice for anime fans and children, this will probably be enjoyed by females who most anime is not aimed at. Well done.

TREE'S LOUNGE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 94 minutes) Steve Buscemi, Mimi Rogers, Carol Kane, Debi Mazar and Samuel L. Jackson are among those who star in this slice-of-life film about a man who is down on his luck and spends lots of time in his neighborhood bar. Combining humor, drama and good dialogues, this title will appeal to anyone who likes to hang our in bars or who has ever been involved with the locals in their neighborhood. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Digital sound, a director's commentary track, the original theatrical trailer, chapter search, and a Tree's Lounge music video. Well done.

TROPIC OF EROS (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Jenteal, Missy, Alexandra Silk, Stephanie Swift and Jon Dough star in this adult film set on a deserted Hawaiian island. Directed by Paul Thomas, the plot here involves a beautiful woman who meets a handsome stranger with whom only she can communicate. The DVD is full of extras including multiple angle technology so you can choose what angle to view the sex scenes from, interactive menus, no regional coding, interactive phone sex, information on the many Vivid girls, previews of other Vivid films, outtakes from Vivid films, and footage of the AVN awards show. Ideal for couples, this film has top stars, high production values and a plot.

TWISTED (Digital Playground) Farrah, Nici Sterling, Kaitlyn Ashley, Sindee Coxx, Peter North, Alex Sanders and Johnni Black star in this adult film about a writer of horror stories whose scenarios come to life. A big budget title shot on 35mm film and given 4.5 stars by Adult Video News, this title stands out from the crowd both for video quality as well as for good performances and cinematography. The DVD includes a digitally remastered print of the film, 5.1 Digital Surround sound, behind the scenes photos, a slide show, parental lock, no regional coding, chapter search, and a Strip Blackjack game for those with DVD players inside their computers. Well done.

URBAN LEGEND (Columbia TriStar Home Video, 100 minutes) This superb horror film focuses on a New England school where the students are intrigued by urban legends (stories which spread far and wide and become passed on as truth with slight variations in different places). Someone is murdering the students one by one. The school itself has an urban legend circulating about it and a 25th anniversary celebration is being planned to pay homage to the students murdered then, supposedly at the hands of their Psych professor. Aiming for suspense along with horror, this film succeeds and is recommended to those who like the slasher genre. The DVD includes a filmmakers commentary, Dolby Digital sound, a "Making Of" featurette, French subtitles, choice of widescreen (2.35:1) or standard formats, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is how all DVDs should be released and those who seek out this title and like extras will clearly be handsomly rewarded.

WHERE THE BOYS AREN'T #7 (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Christy Canyon, Janine, Dyanna Lauren, Asia Carrera and Jenna Jameson star in this all-female adult title. The plot involves a singer and a piano player who meet two record company executives. Full of extras, the DVD includes outtakes from Vivid films, information about the Vivid girls, interactive telephone sex, previews of Vivid films, footage of the AVN awards show, interactive menus, chapter search, the use of multiple angle technology so you can select how you wish to view the sex scenes, and no regional coding. The flip side of the disc includes an interactive playroom, and some bonus footage for those with DVD players inside their PCs. Inside the box is a paper catalog of other Vivid titles as well as a paper poster of the Vivid girls. This has a definite plot and will probably appeal most to women viewers, couples, fans of one of the actresses who appear here and those who enjoy lesbian scenes. Well done.

WOODSTOCK JAZZ FESTIVAL: CHICK COREA, PAT METHANY & LEE KONITZ (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 60 minutes) Filmed in 1981 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Creative Music Studio, this music disc features nine songs. Included are: "Arrival," "Left Jab," "We Are," "Berinbam Solo," "Broadway Blues," "The Song Is You," "Impressions," "Stella By Starlight," and "All Blues." The DVD includes Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. A spirited performance makes this title a must for jazz lovers of all ages.

WORLD'S LUCKIEST BLACK MAN, THE (Vivid Interactive, 240 minutes) Filmed in conjunction with Hustler magazine, this unusual adult title features a black man who has sex with 101 different females in a gang bang which was filmed and is presented here. Offering both quantity and quality, this has obvious curiousity value. The DVD also includes no regional coding, interactive menus, chapter search, behind-the-scenes info and much more. A nice variation on the existing films of one man with many women, this is highly recommended to those who would like to imagine themselves in this position.

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