10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (Touchstone Home Video, 97 minutes) Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larry Miller and Larisa Oleynik star in this captivating comedy which will suck you in immediately and keep you amused from start to end. One of the best high school films ever made, this is about the attempts of a guy to date a girl who is not allowed to date until her sister feels ready to do so too. He is forced to set up the sister in order to get what he wants which isn't at all easy to do, and paying someone to date the sister creates all sorts of other complications as well. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, French language track, theatrical trailer and chapter search. Highly recommended if you enjoy high school films and/or romantic comedy.
AQUARIA (DVD International, 900 minutes) One of the first DVD-18 discs, this whopping 15 hour dual-layered double-sided DVD offers 60 varieties of fish in five different aquariums with four separate audio tracks. Ideal for fish lovers and those who enjoy relaxation tapes, this offers a relaxation music track, a serenity music track, the bubbling sounds of an aquarium and the sound of surf on a sandy beach. The DVD includes 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, a fishography on each species included, screensavers from each tank, a fish calendar and choice of anamorphic widescreen, letterboxed widescreen or 4x3 standard presentations. Ideal for those considering setting up an aquarium or who have one they wish to add to, as well as those who love fish but don't want the expense and hassles, this includes exotic, freshwater, coral reef, natural and classic tanks. You can also set the disc up to play continuously if you wish to fall asleep to it, or use it as background while entertaining. There are a number of other fish DVDs available, but each is unique enough that they are all worth having. Highly recommended for fish lovers of all ages.
ARLINGTON ROAD (Columbia TriStar Home Video, 117 minutes) Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis and Robert Gossett star in this thriller about a college professor whose wife is killed by a right-wing group because of her work as an FBI agent. He becomes obsessed with these groups and notices that his new neighbors act suspiciously and appear to have ties to the very type of groups he despises. Is he paranoid? Or is there a conspiracy occurring right on his very own street? The DVD contains a digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen print of the film (2.35:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, commentary track with the director and Jeff Bridges, alternate ending, making-of featurette, interactive menus, production notes, theatrical trailers, talent files, and chapter search. One of those rare films that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you thinking about the gray world we live on, this is highly recommended to those interested in the actors, conspiracy theories, and/or compelling thrillers.
ARMY OF DARKNESS (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 81 minutes) Although this horror film was already available on DVD, this new version is THX certified and digitally mastered and includes several extra features while the original version just offered the film by itself. The film is a sequel to The Evil Dead but stands alone even if you have not seen that yet. The plot involves a man going back in time to England's Dark Ages where he must fight an army of Deadites in order to rescue a girl and prevent the Deadites from taking over the world. Offering incredible special effects, this will appeal to those who enjoy cult movies and humorous horror films. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.66:1, enhanced for 16x9 TVs) or standard presentations of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, theatrical trailer, a featurette called "The Men Behind The Army," the original ending to the film, talent bios and chapter search. Also available is a limited edition two-disc set which offers even more extras such as a commentary track, deleted scenes and storyboards, and is recommended to those who already know and love the film or to those who enjoy collecting discs destined to go out-of-print. This is one of our favorite horror film and is highly recommended no matter which version you select. If you already own the earlier DVD it is absolutely worth upgrading to this copy.
ARMY OF ONE (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 102 minutes) Dolph Lundgren, George Segal, Kristian Alfonso and Michelle Phillips star in this action film about a man whose partner is killed during a botched heist. He grabs a hostage and runs for his life and the film contains a plot that will hold your interest, superb stunts, great special effects and lots of bullets towards the climax. The DVD contains a digitally mastered standard presentation of the film, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This will appeal to Dolph's many fans as well as those who like the action genre in general.
BEARS AND I, THE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 90 minutes) Patrick Wayne, Chief Dan George, Andrew Duggan and Michael Ansara star in this family film about a war veteran who goes camping and befriends three bear cubs and some local Indians. He begins to raise the cubs and helps the Indians battle to keep their land. The Indians help him realize he needs to let the bears be so they can learn to survive in the wilderness without relying on him. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.85:1) or standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital sound, and chapter search. This will delight animal lovers, and those interested in Indians and human rights and is one of those rare films the whole family can watch together. Highly recommended to those with children, and those who are disgusted by most of today's violent movie fare.
BEST OF INTIMATE SESSIONS, THE (York Entertainment, 100 minutes) Available in two volumes, each with three episodes, this series is about sexually frustrated women who explore new partners. Volume one focuses on Suzan who becomes involved with her neighbors from across the street, Celeste who becomes involved with her roommates, and Elena who becomes involved with the cook in her father's restaurant. The DVD contain 5.1 Surround sound audio, theatrical trailer, interactive menus and chapter search. Ideal for women and couples interested in softcore erotica, this is full of romance, seduction and passion. Well done.
BIG DADDY (Columbia TriStar Home Video, 93 minutes) Adam Sandler stars in this humorous and heartwarming film about a guy whose girlfriend isn't too impressed with his potential as a mature adult ready to handle commitment. In an attempt to try to prove her wrong, he adopts a five-year-old in need of a parent and discovers he has bitten off far more than he can chew. She's not impressed, and then he finds he can't ditch the kid as quickly as he now wishes to. Forced to be a parent he finds to his surprise that he learns as much from the experience, or more, than the child does. One of Sandler's better roles, this has a great script and good casting of Cole and Dylan Sprouse as the little tyke. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.85:1) and standard presentations of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, two music videos by Sheryl Crow and Garbage, theatrical and bonus trailers, talent files, "Making of Big Daddy" which aired on HBO, and chapter search. Highly recommended for Sandler fans, parents of all ages, and those considering becoming parents anytime soon.
BITTERSWEET (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 96 minutes) Angie Everhart, Brian Wimmer, James Russo and Eric Roberts star in this revenge film about a woman who serves four years in jail rather than turn her boyfriend in even after he shoots her when the robbery they commit goes sour. She then seeks revenge with the help of a police officer who is interested in her ex-boyfriend's boss as he is the head of a major crime ring. The DVD contains a digitally mastered standard presentation of the film, interactive menus, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is more interesting than most revenge films since the victim has a valid motive rather than just being emotionally disturbed as most of the women in this genre of film usually are portrayed. Well done.
BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, THE (Artisan Home Entertainment Inc., 87 minutes) This phenomenal hit film was filmed with handheld cameras using no tripod and cost only $22,000 to produce. The premise is that three students go into the woods to make a student film which researches a legend of witchcraft in a small town. They never return. The film was not actually made by students and the word got out pretty quickly it was a hoax, but that does not stop the film from still scaring the daylights out of most people who see it. While the film has almost no gore and shows no violence, it manages to effectively use psychological manipulation to scare the audience and sets a new direction for horror films in the future. Additionally, it has spawned a slew of spoof films, and renewed interest in other similar handheld projects which is also to its credit. The DVD contains a standard presentation of the film, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, audio commentary track, interactive menus, extra footage, production notes, theatrical teaser and trailers, cast and crew information, section on mythology, a documentary called "Curse of the Blair Witch" and chapter search. For those with DVD players inside their PCs there is also website access, a map, and excerpts from the dossier and comic book. A must for those interested in film, film history, horror and psychological thrillers and/or witchcraft, this is highly recommended not only for the film itself but also for its impact on the film industry.
BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 97 minutes) In the sequel to the cult horror film Re-Animator, a team of doctors turn the dead into new life. Combining the legs of a hooker with the womb of a virgin and the heart of one of the doctors' dead girlfriend, they create a monster that they then unleash upon her mate. Offering an incredible wealth of extra features, the DVD includes choice of R-rated or Unrated versions of the film as well as choice of matted widescreen or standard presentations of the film. In addition, there is an audio commentary track, Dolby digital audio, a deleted scene, behind-the-scenes footage, previously unseen photos, prop gallery, conceptual drawings, promotional materials and publications, detailed coverage of the makeup effects, and chapter search. This will appeal to those who enjoyed the original film, fans of monster movies, those interested in makeup, special effects and gore, and those who enjoy cult films.
CANDLESHOE (Anchor Bay Entertainment Inc., 101 minutes) Jodie Foster, David Niven and Helen Hayes star in this family film about a street urchin who is taken by a local detective to meet a scheming Englishman who wants to obtain a fortune in gold hidden in a wealthy estate called Candleshoe. Foster's character is told that she is an heir to the estate who vanished in infancy after her parents died. When she arrives at the estate and meets the residents she discovers a lot more going on than she bargained for. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.66:1) or standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital sound, and chapter search. While a bit dated, this film has a lot of things going for it including strong acting, seeing Jodie Foster as a child, lots of action, and an absorbing children's film with a female heroine.
CASSANDRA CROSSING, THE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 132 minutes) Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Martin Sheen, O.J. Simpson and Lee Strasberg star in this edge-of-your-seat disaster film about a train full of 1000 passengers who are exposed to plague by a terrorist who gets on board to flee the police. The terrorist is removed, and dies, but the train has been diverted to the Cassandra Crossing where it is destined to plunge and kill all aboard. The train is flooded with oxygen and passengers start to recover but the decision to have them die is not reversed. Can one man save the passengers in time? The DVD contains a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Digital sound, and chapter search. This is one of the best disaster films available on DVD and is highly recommended to those who enjoy the genre, hate beaurocracy and/or enjoy any of the actors.
CHILDREN OF THE CORN 666: ISAAC'S RETURN (Dimension Home Video, 82 minutes) John Franklin, Nancy Allen, Stacy Keach, and Alix Koromzay star in this sixth episode of the horror film series based on a Stephen King story. This doesn't really require that you have seen the other films in the series and concentrates on a woman who picks up a dark stranger while on a trip hoping to locate her birth mother. She has no idea that she is being used as part of a mission to fulfill a 19-year-old prophecy made by the cult leader who has been a central figure in all of these films. Offering horror and suspense, this chapter brings back Isaac the cult leader in a terrifying return. The DVD contains a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio and chapter search. This will delight fans of the original film and/or any other films in the series, and will also amuse those interested in modern horror films in general.
CORAL SEA DREAMING (DVD International/Mill Reef Entertainment, 82 minutes) Filmed in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, this undersea adventure offers a close look at over 300 sea creatures including dolphins, starfish, coral, turtles and exotic fish. You can even turn on subtitles to identify each of them! Ideal for those of us who enjoy fish but don't dive, and for divers who want to check out the area before actually going, this will also appeal to those who enjoy relaxation tapes and/or something to use in the background while they entertain. The DVD contains original music by Tania Rose, Dolby Digital sound, and chapter search. Those with DVD players inside their PCs can also enjoy a screen saver and 30 high-resolution still photos which are included. This is extremely well done and will delight you no matter how many other travel and underwater discs you already own.
DIRTY DANCING (Artisan Home Entertainment Inc., 105 minutes) Patrick Swayze, Cynthia Rhodes and Jennifer Grey star in this terrific love story which is full of superb dancing scenes. It's about a teenager who, while vacationing with her parents, meets and falls in love with a hotel dance instructor. Re-released in a lavish collector's edition, this contains a digitally mastered widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, audio commentary track, behind-the-scenes making of featurette, three music videos, interactive menus, theatrical trailer, production notes, Dirty Dancing "Live In Concert," cast and crew information and chapter search. Inside the box is an eight-page booklet as well as a catalog of other Artisan titles available. This is a must for dance lovers, as well as anyone who enjoys romance films in general. Well done.
DR. DOLITTLE (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 85 minutes) Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Albert Brooks, Garry Shandling and Ellen DeGeneres star in this entertaining comedy which the whole family can enjoy together. It's about a very special doctor who learns at an early age that he can communicate with animals. He becomes a vet, and is highly sought after although some of his patients and their problems turn his own life upside down. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, Spanish subtitles, interactive menus, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is a must for Murphy's many fans, animal lovers of all ages and those who enjoy lighthearted comedy films in general.
DR. HOOK AND THE MEDICINE SHOW: THE BEST OF MUSIKLADEN LIVE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 45 minutes) Recorded in Germany in 1974, this Beat Club TV show episode contains nine songs. They are: "Sylvia's Mother," "Marie Lavaux," "Yodel," "Cops and Robbers," "Carry Me, Carrie," "Penicillin Penny," "Roland The Roadie," "Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball" and "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone." The DVD contains Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This cult band, which has almost no video footage of them in existence, never looked or sounded better. This is recommended to anyone interested in music to party to, and/or wishing to collect the entire Musikladen series.
ESCAPE VELOCITY (York Entertainment, 100 minutes) Set in the future, this sci-fi film stars Patrick Bergin, Wendy Crewson and Peter Outerbridge. The plot involves a team of researchers who are studying the death of a Red Giant Star until find a man who has been in suspended animation for fifteen years in a stasis pod. He turns out to be a killer, who does not work alone, and suddenly the researchers have their hands full trying to survive. The DVD contains a standard presentation of the film, 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, Spanish subtitles, theatrical trailer, interactive menu, star bios and chapter search. This will appeal to those who enjoy sci-fi horror films and films set in space.
EXISTENZ (Dimension Home Video, 97 minutes) David Cronenberg directed this sci-fi thriller which stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm and Willem Dafoe. The plot involves a virtual reality game system that someone is trying to keep from hitting the market. In order to protect herself, and the game, a designer and her assistant enter the game and real life begins to merge with fantasy. The DVD contains a print of the film (1.77:1) which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, Dolby Digital Surround sound, theatrical trailer, and chapter search. Highly recommended to fans of Cronenberg, virtual reality, and/or special effects.
FACES OF DEATH (Gorgon Video/MPI Home Video, 155 minutes) Many years ago this film was released on VHS and caused not only a huge sensation because of the brutal violence shown, but also because of the amount of sequels and imitations it spawned. Consistently one of the top VHS rental titles, the original film is now on DVD along with a new program called "Faces of Death: Fact or Fiction?" which analyzes whether the infamous scenes were faked or not. Included in this look at the many guises of death are an electrocution, cultists dining on human organs, an alligator attack, a suicide jumper leaping, a pit bull fight, clubbing of baby seals, a man setting himself on fire, an autopsy and a visit to a slaughterhouse. The DVD contains both programs (which are uncut), Spanish subtitles, Dolby Digital Stereo sound, trailer and chapter search. While clearly not for everyone, this will delight horror and gore fans, those who love cult movies and oddities, and those who collect titles they hope will go out-of-print and command huge sums of money as their VHS counterparts have done. Highly recommended, especially for those who have always wondered whether the footage is real or not and can finally see the included documentary which answers their concerns. Also new, on VHS only alas, is The Strange & The Gruesome, which is a 54 minute documentary that highlights repulsive footage including eye and dental surgeries, body mutilation, circumcision, suicide and animal slaughter. Those collecting oddities and gore will not want to miss this either.
FOOLISH (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 84 minutes) Master P, Eddie Griffin and Andrew Dice Clay star in this urban comedy about a rising comedian whose manager wants to sell him out and whose brother is pressuring him to open up a comedy club. Things change quickly when his brother pisses off the neighborhood's drug lord. Can the two survive long enough to make their dreams come true? The DVD contains a digitally mastered standard presentation of the film which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs (16:9), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, director's commentary track, interactive menus, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, cast and crew information, production notes and chapter search. This will appeal to those interested in stand-up comedy, hood films and/or fans of rap superstar Master P.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2 (Dimension Home Video, 88 minutes) Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins, Duane Whitaker and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen star in this sequel to the popular horror film about a Mexican club filled with vampires. This time around a gang of bank robbers heads to Mexico with blueprints for the perfect heist. One of them stops in to the wrong bar, crosses one of the vampires and gets turned. The last fully human criminal must join forces with a sheriff in order to kill the vampires and try to survive. This is full of action, special effects and should appeal to those who saw the original film and/or who enjoy vampire films. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Digital audio and chapter search.
GOLDENEYE (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 130 minutes) Pierce Brosnan steps in to play James Bond in this action film about a satellite system which falls into the hands of an ally-turned-enemy and this time out Bond must save the world from falling prey to an attack by this weapon. Filmed in Russia, England, Switzerland, Puerto Rico and the French Riviera, this includes a title song written by U2 and performed by Tina Turner. Special effects includes a bungee jump with a 640 foot drop, a BMW Z3 Roadster equipped with an ejector seat and an emergency parachute braking system, and a destructive tank chase scene. Gadgets used include a pen that becomes a grenade, a laser-emitting watch that becomes an arming device, and a silver tray which also serves as an X-ray document scanner. The DVD includes a widescreen print of the film which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, audio commentary track, making of featurette called "The GoldenEye Video Journal," a documentary called "The World of 007," Tina Turner music video, a behind-the-scenes featurette, theatrical trailers and TV spots, chapter search and a paper booklet inside the box which details production notes. Highly recommended to action lovers, this is far better quality and has more extras than the previous release of this film and is absolutely worth upgrading if you own the earlier release.
GOLDFINGER (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 110 minutes) Sean Connery plays James Bond in this film in which Bond must prevent a powerful criminal from detonating an atomic bomb in Fort Knox, emptying it, and obliterating the world's economy. Special effects include a woman's corpse which was painted gold, footage of Fort Knox which all had to be faked since they were denied permission to even see the restricted gold depository, much less film there, and Bond's near castration by Goldfinger's laser beam. Gadgets include an Aston Martin DB 5 vehicle that offers a smoke screen, bulletproof shield, ejector seat and rotating license plate with three alternate tag numbers. The title song is performed by Shirley Massey and one of the most memorable Bond girls ever, Pussy Galore, is played by Honor Blackman. The DVD includes a widescreen print of the film which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, Dolby Digital mono sound, two audio commentary tracks, a documentary called "The Making Of Goldfinger," a documentary called "The Goldfinger Phenomenon," behind-the-scenes still gallery, publicity featurette, radio interviews done by Sean Connery to promote the film, theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots, and chapter search. Inside the box are a collector's booklet with production notes and offers for Bond merchandise and a free DVD if three Bond titles are purchased. This title was previously released on DVD and if you have it this is well worth replacing your copy with as it contains a better print of the film and far more extras. Highly recommended to Bond fans, Sean Connery fans and those who enjoy action films in general.
HALLOWEEN (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 92 minutes) The popular horror film has been fully restored and now carries THX certification and a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound soundtrack. Jamie Lee Curtis has never looked and sounded better than she does here, and the disc now contains additional extras not available on the earlier release of this disc. The DVD contains choice of a widescreen presentation of the film (2.35:1) which has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs or standard presentation which has been reformatted to fit 4x3 TVs, a featurette called "Halloween Unmasked 2000," talent bios, original theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots, behind-the-scenes still gallery, still and poster gallery, and chapter search. Inside the box is a photo postcard. Also available is a limited edition two-disc set that also includes the version of the film which aired on television and which adds 12 minutes of footage. Never seen before in widescreen, that version has now been enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The front of both packages has morphing cover art so that as you move the box the image on it changes. This is highly recommended to horror fans and if you have the original DVD release you will definitely want to upgrade to this. Collectors and completists will want the two-disc set which is limited to 30,000 copies, but either one will be equally worth having if you don't presently own this or if you only own the original release.
HELL IN THE PACIFIC (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 102 minutes) Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune star in this film set during World War II. It's about a Japanese Naval Officer on an island and a U.S. Marine Fighter whose plane has been shot down and who ends up on the island too. They stalk each other but eventually have to join forces in order to build a raft to get off the island. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (2.35:1) and standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital stereo sound, an alternate ending and chapter search. This will appeal to those who enjoy war films as well as fans of actor Lee Marvin.
HELL NIGHT (Anchor Bay Entertainment Inc., 102 minutes) Linda Blair star in this horror film about a fraternity initiation rite in which four pledges have to spend the night in a house where 12 years ago to the day the previous resident murdered his family. As members of the group begin disappearing, you are left to determine whether this is a sick practical joke, a copycat killer, or the original killer coming back for more blood. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), audio commentary track with Linda Blair, the director and the two producers, Dolby Digital mono sound, theatrical trailer, TV spots and chapter search. This is a classic, popular horror title and great care has been given in order to produce a top-notch disc that collectors will be proud to own.
HIGHWAY HITCHER (York Entertainment, 100 minutes) William Forsythe, James LeGros, Nancy Allen and Elizabeth Pena star in this horror film about a man in desperate need of a vacation who decides to take a road trip to Reno to gamble. He almost hits a broken down vehicle and its driver and then gives the driver a ride. He regrets it almost immediately upon hearing the man has murdered a woman and dumps the guy at the next stop. However, due to a mudslide, the road ahead is blocked and he is forced to spend the night at a motel. He picks up a sexy barmaid and expects a night of passion but then sees the man's suitcase and realizes he has not gotten away from the killer at all. The DVD contains 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, interactive menus, Spanish subtitles, theatrical trailer, star bios and chapter search. Fans of films like The Hitcher will enjoy this, as well as those who enjoy psychological terror. Well done.
HOME ALONE (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 103 minutes) Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Candy, Catherine O'Hara and John Heard star in this John Hughes comedy about a family that accidentally leaves their son behind when they go off on a vacation. When two burglars try to rob the house, the son foils their plans and sets up an impressive array of booby traps to make sure he wins. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Surround sound, interactive menus, theatrical trailer, and chapter search. Ideal for those who love children, slapstick comedy, and lighthearted comedy, this is well done and while it's not very intellectually deep, it will still amuse and entertain you and it holds up to repeated viewing.
HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 120 minutes) Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Tim Curry, John Heard and Catherine O'Hara star in this sequel which takes place in New York. This time the child ends up alone in the Big Apple where the same burglars he foiled last time are planning a huge heist. On to them, he sets up more traps and once again foils their plans. While parts of this are quite unbelievable, it's still humorous and will appeal to those who enjoyed the first film. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Surround sound, interactive menus, theatrical trailer, and chapter search.
IPCRESS FILE, THE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 107 minutes) Michael Caine stars in this thriller which is based on the book by Len Deighton. The plot involves an ex-thief who is now working as a secret agent and is called in to investigate after a group of scientists are kidnapped. One at a time they disappear, and then reappear seemingly useless after apparently having been brainwashed. His only lead is a tape which has the word Ipcress written on it. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (2.35:1) which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, audio commentary track, still gallery, theatrical trailer, Dolby Digital mono sound, talent bios and chapter search. This is the film that made Michael Caine a star, and it's highly recommended for fans of his work, of author Deighton, and/or of thrillers in general.
JOAN OF ARC (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 180 minutes) Leelee Sobieski, Chad Willett, Jacqueline Bisset, Olympia Dukakis, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter O'Toole and Shirley MacLaine star in this epic drama which was originally made for television. This is the story of Joan of Arc, who at age 17 became a freedom fighter for her country after she convinced the king to allow her to command an army into battle. The DVD contains a digitally mastered 16:9 print of the film which has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, production notes, cast and crew information and chapter search. This is a must for those interested in history, female heroines, any of the actors and/or the epic film genre.
KRAKATOA EAST OF JAVA (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 131 minutes) Brian Keith, Diane Baker and Maximilian Schell star in this disaster film about an island which erupts causing a giant tidal wave. A group of passengers seeking sunken treasure find the treasure, a fortune in pearls, and just as they are dividing it they all become endangered and must fight to survive. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (2.35:1) and standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital mono sound and chapter search. Beautiful scenery and good special effects make this a classic disaster film that is recommended to those who enjoy the genre.
LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 93 minutes) Ken Russell directed this cult horror film which stars Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg and was based on a novel by Bram Stoker. The plot involves a man who returns to his country castle in England where an archaeology student shows him a massive reptilian skull and an ancient worship site he has discovered on the property. The man recognizes the clues as giving credibility to a legend that an ancient white worm dragon had once been slain there. Soon after the man's girlfriend disappears and he is forced to explore the worm's lair in an attempt to find her. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), Dolby Digital sound, audio commentary track with director Ken Russell, theatrical trailer, behind-the-scenes photographs, and chapter search. Well done.
LIVE AND LET DIE (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 121 minutes) Finally released on DVD, one of my favorite James Bond films stars Roger Moore as Bond, Jane Seymour and a title song by Paul McCartney and Wings. The plot involves Bond's showdown with a major drug lord who is bent on eliminating Bond and conquering the world. Along the way the viewer is treated to a great stunt involving crocodiles, another involving hand-gliding and one in which the top layer of a double-decker bus is removed by a low overpass. Voodoo in Louisiana is also touched upon with the use of tarot card readings, and Bond has several impressive gadgets such as a magnetic watch with built-in buzz saw, a "Felix lighter" and an anti-surveillance bug detector. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film enhanced for 16x9 TVs, Dolby Digital mono sound, two different audio commentary tracks, a documentary called "Inside Live And Let Die," behind-the-scenes still photo gallery with 150 images, behind-the-scenes footage called "On The Set With Roger Moore," theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots and a Milk Board commercial, chapter search and an eight-page paper booklet which is included inside the box along with a sweepstakes entry, flyer for Bond merchandise and more. Highly recommended and available either individually or as part of a boxed set with all seven new titles.
MARS: THE RED PLANET (DVD International, 90 minutes) Those interested in space will delight in this disc which focuses on the planet Mars. One can either watch the program or select one of the 1000+ media elements to focus on. There are four slide shows, interactive maps with over 900 chapters and 8000 menu links, a gallery of space art, and information on Mars missions. Included are 3D glasses so you can check each rock visited by the Sojourner Rover, and over 200 Easter eggs to keep you challenged. Those with DVD players inside their PCs can also enjoy over 100 images that are usable as screensavers. The DVD contains 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound and 60 minutes of narration. If you are curious, this is probably as close as you will get to visiting the galaxy and even if you have other space discs, this one is unique. Well done.
MELVIN AND HOWARD (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 95 minutes) Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards and Paul LeMat star in this comedy directed by Jonathan Demme. Out in the Nevada desert, a man picks up another man and gives him a ride. Eight years later, the hitchhiker he picked up turns out to have been Howard Hughes who, upon dying, turns out to have left him his multi-billion dollar fortune. The film then focuses on how he handles overnight wealth and fame. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1) which has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs, audio commentary track, theatrical trailer, Dolby Digital mono sound, talent bios and chapter search. Winner of two academy awards for best screenplay and best supporting actress, this is a superb film that will hold your interest and make you think about the gray areas of friendship and wealth.
MONKEY SHINES: AN EXPERIMENT IN FEAR (MGM Home Entertainment Inc., 114 minutes) George A. Romero wrote and directed this powerful thriller that stars Jason Beghe and Janine Turner. The plot involves a paralyzed man who is given a trained monkey which amuses, entertains and assists him. However, the monkey turns out to also be able to read his thoughts, and she begins stalking, hurting and killing the people in his life in attempt to be his sole companion. The DVD contains choice of widescreen and standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital Surround sound, French subtitles, theatrical trailer and chapter search. Inside the box is a booklet with production notes. This is a powerful film about what can happen when one messes with Mother Nature and the dangers of animal experimentation. A must for Romero fans, monkey lovers and/or those interested in animals assisting the handicapped. Highly recommended.
NAPOLEON AND SAMANTHA (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 91 minutes) Jodie Foster stars in her first role ever here, along with Johnny Whitaker, Michael Douglas and a trained lion. This family film is about a boy who lives with his grandfather and a former circus lion named Major. When his grandfather dies he joins up with Foster's character to trek towards the home of an adult who might agree to take care of them. The children learn to survive in the wilderness, take care of each other and not run away from responsibilities. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.85:1) and standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital audio and chapter search. This is highly recommended to Jodie Foster fans, as well as those who seek quality family films the whole family can watch together.
NELSON, WILLIE: GREATEST HITS LIVE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 60 minutes) Filmed at the Austin Opera House in Texas, this captures 18 of Willie's best-known hits performed live on a night when he was in great form. Included are: "Georgia," "On The Road Again," "Always On My Mind," "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground," "City Of New Orleans" and "To All The Girls I've Loved Before." The DVD includes Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This is highly recommended to Nelson's many fans and to others who are only familiar with a few of his songs. This is a rare disc that can be played repeatedly without feeling like you have seen it too many times. Well done.
NOTORIOUS (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 102 minutes) Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman star in this suspenseful film-noir romantic thriller about a woman whose father is a Nazi spy and who falls in love with an American intelligence agent interested in stopping the Nazi regime. He asks her to befriend a particular Nazi mastermind which she agrees to, but then puts her own life in danger as she gets closer and closer to her subject. The DVD contains a standard presentation of the film, Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This will appeal to those who collect Hitchcock, are interested in the holocaust and/or who love classic masterpieces.
OUT-OF-TOWNERS, THE (Paramount Home Video, 90 minutes) Steve Martin, John Cleese and Goldie Hawn star in this comedy which is a remake of an older film about a couple who arrive in New York and have everything possible go wrong with their trip. I loved the original film, and this one is quite different but equally good. The DVD contains an anamorphic widescreen presentation of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is recommended to those who have ever had travel plans go awry, fans of the actors, and those in the mood for a light comedy to unwind to.
PARADINE CASE, THE (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc. 114 minutes) Gregory Peck Ann Todd and Ethel Barrymore star in this dramatic film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The plot involves a woman accused of murdering her husband through the use of poison hires an attorney who finds himself attracted to her despite being happily married. As he becomes more enamored with her he convinces himself she is innocent, even though all clues point to the contrary. The DVD contains a standard presentation of the film, Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This is not one of Hitchcock's best films as it focuses more on the romance than the criminal case and some scenes appear a bit dated today as well. Still, a good Hitchcock film is better than a great film by most other directors, and so this is still well worth having.
PHANTASM (MGM Home Entertainment Inc., 88 minutes) This horror fantasy film is a cult classic, and the first film in a series, about a small town in which an evil presence from another dimension appears and begins to reanimate the dead and ship them back to his own dimension as his slaves. Some of the townspeople start noticing the missing bodies and the strange happenings at the local cemetery. Full of special effects that include encounters with flying metal sphere killing machines and evil miniature monsters, this will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you eager to see more. The DVD contains a widescreen presentation of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, audio commentary track, ten minutes of deleted scenes, interviews, theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots, behind-the-scenes footage, still gallery, and chapter search. Inside the box is a paper booklet with production notes. Highly recommended for all horror and gore fans.
PICTURE WINDOWS (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 95 minutes) Three directors are featured here each telling a story that takes a provocative look at life and love. Norman Jewison, Peter Bogdanovich and Jonathan Kaplan direct three segments that star Alan Arkin, George Segal, Brooke Adams, Sally Kirkland and Michael Lerner. In "Soir Bleu" a circus clown is in love with the abused wife of the circus manager. He ultimately acts on his love with tragic consequences. In "Song of Songs" a middle-aged baker has both a wife and a mistress and in a twist of fate he is taught the difference between true romance and mere passion. In "Language of the Heart" a young ballerina and a talented street musician have their dreams come true. The DVD contains Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This will appeal to those who enjoy vignettes, varied themes in short segments, and fans of the stars and/or directors. Well done.
RAGE, THE: CARRIE 2 (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 105 minutes) Jason London, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron, Zachery Ty Bryan and Amy Irving star in this sequel which is based on an original story by Stephen King. This time the plot involves yet another high school and yet another unhappy female high school student. Far better than it sounds, this is more than just an updated remake. The plot is quite realistic, and this has far better special effects. This is better than the original film and does not require that you have read the book or have seen the other film to appreciate it. The DVD contains choice of widescreen and standard presentations of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, alternate ending, audio commentary track, deleted scenes, French subtitles, and chapter search. Inside the box is a paper booklet with production notes. Highly recommended to those who enjoyed the original film, high school movies and/or horror films.
RAWHEAD REX (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 89 minutes) Featuring a screenplay by Clive Barker, this unusual horror film is about a demon held in check by an ancient seal. When the seal is broken after a field is plowed, Rawhead Rex gets loose. An American historian visiting the town in Ireland where this is happening stumbles onto a series of stained glass windows in a local church which illustrate Rawhead Rex's last reign of terror. However, one of the pieces of glass is missing and, of course, it displays how the monster was defeated. Can the piece of glass be located before no one in the area is left alive? The DVD contains Dolby Digital audio and chapter search. Highly recommended to Clive Barker fans, and those who love gory monster movies and/or horror films in general.
REBECCA (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 130 minutes) One of Hitchcock's best film, this stars Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1940. As strong a film today as when it first appeared, this is about a woman on vacation who meets a man who has recently lost his wife. They fall in love and get married, but when she returns to his estate she discovers that the old wife still has quite a hold on everyone there. The DVD includes a standard presentation of the film, Dolby Digital audio and chapter search. This is highly recommended to those who like thrillers, romance films and/or the rare classic masterpiece.
SHERLOCK HOLMES, CONSULTING DETECTIVE VOLUME 1 (DVD International/Infinite Ventures, Inc.) This classic computer adventure game comes to DVD and allows you to solve three mysteries using any standard DVD player. Included are "The Case of the Mummy's Curse," "The Case of the Tin Soldier," and "The Case of the Mystified Murderess." Suitable for the entire family, this has no regional coding and includes an eight-page instruction booklet. If you get stuck there are many hint sites accessible on the World Wide Web which will offer tips and/or walkthroughs to the episodes and there is a hint book for the game out as well although you shouldn't need it. This is your chance to match wits with the great Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street and see how well you do on your own as a detective. Highly recommended.
SHORT ISSUE 5: DIVERSITY (DVDMAGS, Inc., distributed by Warner Home Video, 137 minutes) This DVD-only magazine contains award-winning short films which are united by a broad theme each issue. This disc contains six films including Silent Rain In The Ninth, Multi-Facial, Buy My Film, That Strange Person, The Job, and Erik Friedlander. Notable themes include gambling, commercial success, racism and the joys of performing. Steven Spielberg cast Vin Diesel in Saving Private Ryan after seeing the Multi-Facial film. The DVD includes 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, several commentary tracks, several alternate audio tracks, and chapter search. This is highly recommended to those who already own the previous titles in this series, fans of short films, animation, film students and those who like to celebrate diversity in career choices, and in the arts.
SLC PUNK (Columbia TriStar Home Video, 97 minutes) Matthew Lillard, Michael Goorjian and Annabeth Gish star in this cult comedy about a punk rocker with blue hair stuck in Utah who has a choice of attending Harvard Law School or keeping his hair color and non-stop partying lifestyle which includes stealing cars and beating up rednecks. Can he find a way to grow up without selling out his values? The DVD includes a digitally mastered widescreen print of the film (2.35:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, isolated music track, production notes, foreign subtitles, audio commentary track, theatrical trailers, comic book and chapter search. While a work of fiction, this is heavily based on the real-life experiences of the writer/director, and will appeal to anyone interested in the punk lifestyle, cult films, and/or trying to be different in a town that values other choices. Well done.
SMOKE SIGNALS (Miramax Home Entertainment, 89 minutes) Adam Beach and Evan Adams star in this film comedy about two Native Americans who travel to Phoenix to retrieve the ashes of one of the father of one of the boys. Although his son holds a grudge against the old man, his friends help him resolve it and teach him the meaning of friendship. The DVD contains a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is an ideal film for the family to watch together, or for anyone interested in buddy films and/or Native Americans. A distinguished winner of the Sundance Film Festival this is a sleeper that is funny enough to be one of the year's best films. Well done.
SPELLBOUND (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 111 minutes) Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star in this romantic thriller directed by Hitchcock and featuring a dream sequence done by Salvador Dali. Based on the book The House of Dr. Edwardes, this is a very Freudian tale about a man who can't remember anything about his recent past and who develops a relationship with a colleague at the mental asylum which he heads. She decides he is a paranoid amnesiac imposter and trys to both cure him and solve the mystery of where the real employee is. The DVD contains a standard presentation of the film, Dolby Digital sound and chapter search. This is one of Hitchcock's best films and is highly recommended to those who like his work, are interested in Salvador Dali's art, and/or enjoy romantic thrillers in general.
SPIRITUAL EARTH: ALOHA WAVES (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 28 minutes) Whether you're a surf fan, beach lover, new ager who enjoys meditation tapes, or are simply looking for something to throw on for background music while you host a romantic dinner, this will surely hit the spot. Filmed in Hawaii by Denjiro H. Sato, a top photographer of the surfing world, this shows surf, waves, whirls, bubbles, endless water, and even waves seen from underwater. Part of a new series released by Pioneer, this offers Dolby Digital sound, incredibly soothing music, chapter search and a paper bio of Sato that is inside the box. Highly recommended.
TEX (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 102 minutes) Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez and Jim Metzler star in this coming-of-age adventure which is based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. Growing up with little parental guidance, the two main characters bond and face adolescence together. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (1.85:1) and standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital mono sound, and chapter search. This will appeal to teenagers and those who recall adolescence, fans of the actors and those who have read the book.
THIRTEENTH FLOOR, THE (Columbia TriStar Home Video, 100 minutes) Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol and Vincent D'Onofrio star in this sci-fi thriller about three scientists who create a virtual reality program. One of them is suspiciously murdered and the remaining two must find the killer. The barriers between reality and fantasy blur and keep the viewer in suspense about who's who and what's what. This excellent film, like The Matrix, serves to make the viewer question how real the world they live in actually is. The DVD contains choice of widescreen (2.35:1) or standard presentations of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, audio commentary track, production notes, theatrical trailer, previews of other titles, special effects gallery, conceptual art galley, music video by the Cardigans, talent files, and chapter search. Those with DVD players inside their PCs can also enjoy a web link. Well done.
THUMBELINA (Warner Home Video, 86 minutes) The classic Hans Christian Anderson tale has been animated by Don Bluth and enhanced with music by Barry Manilow. Ideal for the whole family to watch together, as well as animation lovers of all ages, this is about a tiny girl who meets a tiny prince and finds happiness until she is kidnapped by a group of toads, a beetle and a mole. She must find her way home which is a lot easier said than done given her small stature. The DVD includes choice of widescreen or standard presentations of the film, Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, theatrical trailer, French subtitles and chapter search. Not much animation exists aimed at females, and this is highly recommended to animation lovers, Manilow fans and those who collect Don Bluth films as well.
THUNDERBALL (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 130 minutes) Sean Connery and Claudine Auger star in this James Bond film which contains lots of underwater footage. This time out Bond must stop a madman threatening to send the world into a nuclear holocaust. Special effects include the destruction of a boat which shattered windows 30 miles away in Nassau and an underwater battle which took six days to shoot. Bond's toys include a rocket suit, an underwater jet pack and a yacht named the Disco Volante. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film enhanced for 16x9 TVs, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, two audio commentary tracks, a documentary called "The Making of Thunderball," a second documentary called "The Thunderball Phenomenon," a featurette called "Inside Thunderball," behind-the-scenes photo gallery with 150 images, theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots, French subtitles and chapter search. Inside the box are a paper booklet on the making of the film, flyers for merchandise, a coupon for a free disc with purchase of any three Bond titles, etc. Highly recommended.
TOMORROW NEVER DIES (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 117 minutes) Pierce Brosnan and Teri Hatcher star in this James Bond film whose title song was sung by Sheryl Crow. This time out Bond must stop a media mogul who is staging international incidents to pit people against each other. Stunts include an explosive parking garage car chase, a leap from a Saigon high-rise, and a motorcycle chase. Bond's toys this outing include a souped-up BMW with rocket launchers under the sunroof and cable cutters concealed behind the BMW emblem on the hood, and an Omega watch which holds an explosives detonator. One of the most financially successful films in the series, this also stars Michelle Yeoh as a female partner with her own arsenal of gadgets and martial arts skills. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film which has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, two audio commentary tracks, a documentary on the Bond series entitled "Secrets Of 007," a digital effects reel, Sheryl Crow music video, theatrical and teaser trailers, storyboard overlay which compares action concepts with final film footage, and chapter search. Inside the box is a paper booklet about the making of the film, merchandise offers, a sweepstakes entry, etc. Highly recommended.
TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 103 minutes) James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird and Dennis Wilson star in this long out-of-print cult film about drag-racing drifters. Featuring the only acting roles musicians Taylor and Wilson ever did, this also includes a great soundtrack with music by the Doors and Kris Kristofferson. This road film includes many plot twists and unexpected turns and is a must for fans of these actors or those who like road films. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (2.35:1) which has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, audio commentary track, a documentary on the director called "Monte Hellman: American Auteur," theatrical trailer, talent bios and chapter search. Well done.
WALLACE & GROMIT: THE FIRST THREE ADVENTURES (BBC Video/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) While this will amuse children, it's animation intended for adults. Included are three episodes entitled "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," and "A Close Shave." The episodes focus on a man and his dog who must constantly battle villains and other people who get in their way of simply enjoying themselves. The DVD includes a presentation of the cartoons with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, Dolby Surround sound, interactive menus, Spanish subtitles, four earlier animations by Nick Park that predate these, excerpts from "Inside The Wrong Trousers" and BBC Christmas Interstitials, chapter search and a paper booklet which offers merchandise including a wall clock, alarm clock and watch of the characters. These are very amusing cartoons which will appeal equally to those who are already die-hard fans and those who have never heard of them before. Highly recommended.
WIZARD OF OZ, THE (Warner Home Video, 101 minutes) This classic family film stars Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, and Jack Haley. Named the best family film of all time by the American Film Institute, this contains a newly restored print of the film and is also chock full of extras. The disc far surpasses the previously released DVD of the film and is a must both for those who already have that as well as those who have yet to buy a copy. Available as a single disc or in a boxed collection with additional paper materials, the DVD itself now includes a digitally remastered print of the film in its original aspect ratio, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, a behind-the-scenes documentary which is hosted by Angela Lansbury, vintage movie and cartoon clips, theatrical trailers, outtake musical numbers, newsreel excerpts, cast interviews, interactive menus, French subtitles, shooting script, an audio program of radio broadcasts and original recording session material, and chapter search. Inside the box are two booklets on how to get the most out of the DVD and the audio segments, and a sweepstakes entry. Highly recommended to film lovers of all ages. This is your chance to see the Yellow Brick Road, monkeys, ruby slippers, munchkins and witches in all of their splendor.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (Touchstone Home Video, 104 minutes) Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd star in this unforgettable film which combines live action with animation in a world where Toons and people live side by side. Winner of four Academy Awards, this film is so special that Disney and Warner Brothers characters appear on the screen at the same time which has never happened before or since, and virtually every great cartoon character you can name (from any movie studio) is celebrated here as well. The plot is a mystery about a man, a woman and a rabbit. While viewable by children this was definitely made for adults and the astonishing special effects are enjoyable no matter how many times you have seen the film before. The DVD includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, French language track, theatrical trailer and chapter search. This is an absolute must for animation fans, those looking for a film the whole family can enjoy together, fans of mystery films and/or fans of the actors.
YES: MUSIKLADEN LIVE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 20 minutes) While this is so short in length one wonders why several bands weren't put on the same disc, this is still a bargain for those who enjoy the music of Yes. Originally broadcast in 1969 and 1971, here are classic, vintage performances of "All Good People," "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and "Yours Is No Disgrace." Filmed in Germany and aired on the Beat Club TV show, this offers superb musical and audio quality that will make Yes fans salivate. The DVD contains Dolby Digital audio and chapter search. Highly recommended to Yes fans as well as those interested in building a music library of the entire Musikladen series.