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DVDs July 17-23, 2001  Print E-mail
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by AVRev.com   
Tuesday, 17 July 2001

ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Home Vision/Criterion) is director Douglas Sirk’s 1955 melodrama starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, with English subtitles. Extras include a BBC documentary on Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s illustrated essay on Sirk and a stills archive. The film predates MPAA ratings.

THE CAVEMAN’S VALENTINE (Universal Studios Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, is director Kasi Lemmons slightly hallucinogenic mystery about a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) investigating a murder. Colm Feore also stars. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound format is English DTS and English Dolby Digital 5.1, with English subtitles. MPAA rating is R (language, sexuality, some violence).

DIE HARD: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) is a six-disc boxed set (two discs per film), encompassing 1988’s original DIE HARD (directed by John McTiernan), 1990’s DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER (directed by Renny Harlin) and 1995’s DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE (McTiernan again), all starring Bruce Willis as police officer John McClane, who has a knack for turning up in the explosively wrong place at the right time. All films are in 2.35:1 aspect ratio; sound formats on all the films are English DTS, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English and Spanish subtitles. Extras include all those found on the previous solo special editions of the films. DIE HARD comes with "the cutting room" and "sound mixing studio" for re-editing and remixing scenes, deleted and extended scenes, "branching" version with the extended power shutdown sequence edited back into the film, full-length screenplay, audio commentary by director McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia, audio commentary by visual effects producer Richard Edlund, an outtake reel, newscasts, a stills gallery, DVD-ROM features and other elements. DIE HARDER comes with an audio commentary by director Harlin, two making-of featurettes, a video storyboard gallery, production vignettes and DVD-ROM features. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE contains an alternate ending, audio commentary by director McTiernan, an interview with Bruce Willis, the TV special "A Night to Die For," HBO’s "first look" documentary, production featurettes about working on specific sequences, a blooper reel, Easter eggs and a stills gallery. MPAA rating on the films is R.

DOUBLE TAKE (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is director George Gallo’s action/crime comedy about a straight-laced New York businessman forced to swap identities with a petty con man. Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones star. Aspect ratio is widescreen; no sound format information available; there are English subtitles. MPAA rating is PG-13 (violence, language).

THE FAMILY MAN (Universal Studios Home Video), released theatrically last year, stars Nicolas Cage as a driven businessman who suddenly wakes up in an alternate reality where he has a wife (Tea Leoni) and kids. Don Cheadle also stars; Brett Ratner directs. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English DTS, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French, with English subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from director Ratner and writers David Diamond and David Weissman, an audio commentary from producer Marc Abraham, an audio commentary on the music score by composer Danny Elfman, a making-of featurette, a "spotlight on location" featurette, Seal’s "This Could Be Heaven" music video, a "script to screen" feature, production notes, the trailer and a "Hi Jack" montage. MPAA rating is PG-13 (sensuality, some language).

THE GIFT (Paramount Home Entertainment) is a taut thriller about a matter-of-fact psychic young widow (Cate Blanchett) living in a small town in Georgia who is unwillingly drawn into a murder investigation. The film has some highly effective scares and engaging characters. Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear and Hilary Swank co-star; Sam Raimi directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Dolby Surround, with English subtitles. Extras include interviews with the cast and crew, Neko Case & Her Boyfriends’ music video "Furnace Room Lullaby" and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R (violence, language, sexuality/nudity).

MOMMIE DEAREST (Paramount Home Entertainment) is the 1981 biodrama of Joan Crawford starring Faye Dunaway as the flamboyant star. The film has achieved camp cult status for some distinctive, over-the-top scenes. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Mono. Extras include a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

MY MAN GODFREY (Home Vision/Criterion) is director Gregory La Cava’s acclaimed 1936 romantic farce starring Carole Lombard and William Powell. Aspect ratio on the black-and-white film is 1.33:1 (full-screen); sound format is English Dolby Digital Mono, with English subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from film historian Bob Gilpin, outtakes, a photo gallery, the complete 1938 Lux Radio Theatre audio version starring Lombard and Powell and the theatrical trailer. The film predates MPAA ratings.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 3 (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) stars Jet Li as a martial arts master who travels to Peking to enter a contest and foil an assassination attempt. Tsui Hark directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound formats are Cantonese, Mandarin and dubbed English in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Mono, with English, Spanish and French subtitles. Extras include filmographies on the cast and director and the trailer. MPAA rating is R.

SAVING SILVERMAN (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a mean-spirited comedy about two friends (Steve Zahn and Jack Black) who go to extreme lengths to save their pal Silverman (Jason Biggs) from a disastrous romance with a control freak (Amanda Peet). Dennis Dugan directs. Aspect ratios are widescreen and 1.33:1 full-screen; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English 2.0 Dolby Surround and French, with English and French subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from director Dugan, an outtakes reel, theatrical trailers, production notes and filmographies. Film is available in both R and PG-13 versions.

SUGAR & SPICE (New Line Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, arrives on DVD in an "extended version" with scenes not included in the theatrical cut. The comedy involves a group of high-school cheerleaders who take to armed robbery when one of their number needs some financial help. Marley Shelton, James Marsden, Mena Suvari, Rachel Blanchard, Melissa George, Alexandra Holden, Sara Marsh and Marla Sokoloff star; Francine McDougall directs. Aspect ratios are widescreen and 1.33:1 full-screen; sound formats are English Dolby 5.1 Surround and English Dolby 2.0 Stereo Surround, with English subtitles. Extras include four deleted scenes, cast and crew filmographies, the theatrical trailer and DVD-ROM content. MPAA rating is PG-13 (language, sex-related humor, thematic elements).

WRITTEN ON THE WIND (Home Vision/Criterion) is a melodrama starring Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Malone (who won the Supporting Actress Oscar for her work here) and Robert Stack (who was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar) under Douglas Sirk’s direction. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, with English subtitles. Extras include a production and publicity stills gallery, behind-the-scenes-photos and an extensive filmography on Sirk. The film predates MPAA ratings.







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