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DVDs Sept. 18-Oct. 1, 2001  Print E-mail
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by Abbie Bernstein   
Friday, 28 September 2001

ALONG CAME A SPIDER (Paramount Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a tale of a deceptive kidnapping, with at least one expert plot twist. Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter and Michael Wincott star under Lee Tamahori’s direction. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Dolby Surround, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R (violence and language).

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Universal Studios Home Video) is the 20th anniversary DVD release of director/writer John Landis’ bloody, hilarious, touching, influential and altogether wonderful 1981 horror comedy, starring David Naughton as the title character, with Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English DTS 5.1 Surround and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, with Spanish and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include a new interview with filmmaker Landis, an interview with Oscar-winning makeup designer Rick Baker, an audio commentary track with actors Naughton and Dunne, a making-of featurette, a featurette on making a mold of Naughton’s arm, outtakes, storyboards, a photo montage, production notes, cast and filmmaker biographies and DVD-ROM content. MPAA rating is R.

BASIC INSTINCT: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Artisan Entertainment) is a new unrated cut of director Paul Verhoeven’s 1992 thriller about a San Francisco police detective (Michael Douglas) who has an affair with a suspected female serial killer (Sharon Stone). Jeanne Tripplehorn and George Dzundza also star. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English closed-captioning. Extras include the interpolation of previously deleted scenes, audio commentary by director Verhoeven and cinematographer Jan De Bont, a making-of featurette, a montage comparing the theatrical and TV versions of the film, a photo gallery, commentary with critic Camille Paglia, storyboards and production notes. This cut is unrated by the MPAA (the theatrical version is R).

CAPE FEAR (1962) (Universal Studios Home Video) is being released on DVD in two different versions, made almost 30 years apart, both concerning an vengeful ex-con wreaking havoc on the family of a lawyer. The 1962 version stars Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, directed by J. Lee Thompson. Aspect ratio is black-and-white widescreen; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0, with English closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette, production notes, a stills gallery with score by Bernard Hermann and a poster gallery. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

CAPE FEAR (1991) (Universal Studios Home Video) is the 1991 remake starring Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange, with Juliette Lewis in her first major feature role, directed by Martin Scorsese. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 5.1, with English closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette, deleted footage, interviews with Scorsese, De Niro, Lange and Nolte and a script-to-screen feature. MPAA rating is R.

CROCODILE DUNDEE (Paramount Home Entertainment) is the amiable 1986 comedy about a rural Australian crocodile hunter (Paul Hogan) who winds up accompanying a journalist (Linda Kozlowski) to Manhattan. Peter Faiman directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Stereo and French Mono, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.

CROCODILE DUNDEE II (Paramount Home Entertainment) is the 1988 continuation of the adventures of Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) and girlfriend Sue (Linda Kozlowski), hiding out from drug dealers in the Australian Outback. John Cornell directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Stereo, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES (Paramount Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is the continuation of the adventures of the title character in the title city. Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski return to their roles; Simon Wincer directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound format is English Dolby Digital 5.1, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG (language and brief violence).

DRIVEN (Warner Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, is a drama about the race car circuit, starring Sylvester Stallone and Kip Pardue, directed by Renny Harlin. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English closed-captioning. Extras include an audio commentary by director Harlin, deleted and extended scenes with commentary by actor Stallone, a making-of featurette, a featurette on the visual effects, Jo Dee Messina’s music video "Burn" and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.

FATHER GOOSE (Republic Studios) is a 1964 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant as a beach bum who finds himself sheltering a teacher, played by Leslie Caron, and her schoolgirl charges. Ralph Nelson directs; the screenplay by Peter Stone and Frank Tarloff won an Oscar. No aspect ratio or sound format information is available; there is English closed-captioning. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

THE FORSAKEN (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, finds two youths battling a tribe of hedonistic vampires in the U.S. Southwest. Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr and Johnathon Schaech star; J.S. Cardone directs. Aspect ratios are widescreen 1.85:1 and full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include an audio commentary from director Cardone, two making-of featurettes, deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING (Paramount Home Entertainment) is the 1985 installment of the slasher series, starring John Shepherd, Melanie Kinnaman and Shavar Ross, one of the lesser editions (although it does narratively tie in with Parts 4 and 6). Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Mono and French Dolby Digital Mono, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6: JASON LIVES (Paramount Home Entertainment), released theatrically in 1986, is actually one of the highlights of the FRIDAY series, directed by Tom McLaughlin and starring Thom Mathews and Jennifer Cooke trying to get rid of undead serial killer Jason Voorhees. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats and English Dolby Digital Surround and French Mono, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

THE GRASS IS GREENER (Republic Studios) is a 1960 feature directed by Stanley Donen, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as a couple tempted by, respectively, Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum. No aspect ratio or sound format information is available; there is English closed-captioning. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

HAMLET: BROADWAY THEATRE ARCHIVE (Image Entertainment) is a taped version of the 1990 stage production of William Shakespeare’s classic play, starring and directed by Kevin Kline. Diane Venora also stars. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. There is no MPAA rating.

IRMA LA DOUCE (MGM/UA Home Entertainment) is director Billy Wilder’s 1963 comedy/drama about a straight-laced man (Jack Lemmon) in love with a French prostitute (Shirley MacLaine). Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Mono, French Dolby Digital Mono and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono, with Spanish and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (MGM/UA Home Entertainment) comes to DVD with a new transfer from the 161-minute 35mm print of Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy about strangers engaged in a cross-country race for big bucks, starring Spencer Tracy and Milton Berle. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English, Spanish and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include a 60-minute making-of documentary, one hour of extended scenes and the 1970 reissue trailer. MPAA rating is G.

KINGDOM COME (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a comedy about a family coming together for a funeral, starring LL Cool J, Whoopi Goldberg, Jada Pinkett Smith and Loretta Devine, directed by Doug McHenry. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 5.1, with English and Spanish subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include an audio commentary from director McHenry, Kirk Franklin’s "Thank You" music video, the theatrical trailer and TV spots. MPAA rating is PG.

A KNIGHT’S TALE (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is an enjoyable period action tale about a young English squire (Heath Ledger) who pretends to be of noble birth so that he can compete in jousting tournaments. The movie drew some controversy for its use of contemporary rock music in the score. Rufus Sewell, Mark Addy and Paul Bettany (a scene-stealer as historical figure Geoffrey Chaucer) also star for writer/director Brian Helgeland. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include audio commentary from filmmaker Helgeland and actor Bettany, a making-of featurette, 11 other behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes with introductions by Helgeland, Robbie Williams and Queen’s "We Are the Champions" music video, production notes, filmographies and trailers. MPAA rating is PG-13.

LET IT RIDE (Paramount Home Entertainment) stars Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr in a 1989 film about a compulsive gambler on a winning streak at the race track. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Stereo, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.

LORD OF THE RINGS (Warner Home Video) – no, not the live-action epic slated for the big-screen later this year, but Ralph Bakshi’s animated 1978 animated film that covers roughly the first half of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy. John Hurt and Christopher Guard are among the voice cast. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French Dolby Digital Mono, with English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and Mandarin subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include highlights on Tolkien and the filmmakers and a TV spot. MPAA rating is PG.

THE LUZHIN DEFENSE (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is director Marleen Gorris’ drama about a socially backward but brilliant Russian chess prodigy (John Turturro) falling in love at a tournament in Italy in the 1920s. Emily Watson also stars. Aspect ratios are widescreen anamorphic and full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English, Spanish and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include audio commentary from director Gorris, a making-of featurette, filmographies and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.

THE MASK OF ZORRO: SPECIAL EDITION (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is a two-disc release of director Martin Campbell’s exciting action/adventure set in old California, about a Mexican-American Robin Hood figure (Antonio Banderas). Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones also star; Bob Anderson did the remarkable sword choreography. Aspect ratio is widescreen 2.35:1 and full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English DTS, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Thai subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include audio commentary from director Campbell, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, Tina Arena and Mark Anthony’s "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You" music video, publicity portraits, a costume design gallery, theatrical trailers and TV spots. MPAA rating is PG-13.

ONE NIGHT AT McCOOL’S (USA Films), released theatrically earlier this year, is an unfunny black comedy about the mayhem that ensues when an acquisitive young woman (Liv Tyler) gets a diverse bunch of men (Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, John Goodman, Paul Reiser) in her thrall. Aspect ratio is widescreen, sound format is English Dolby, with English closed-captioning. MPAA rating is R.

OPERATION PETTICOAT (Republic Studios) is director Blake Edwards’ 1959 comedy about efforts to restore a submarine, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. No format information is available. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

PET SEMATARY 2 (Paramount Home Entertainment), directed by Mary Lambert, is a 1992 sequel to the original film based on Stephen King’s novel about a burial ground with horrifically restorative powers. The follow-up arguably makes more dramatic sense than the first feature. Anthony Edwards, Edward Furlong and Clancy Brown star. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; soundformats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Stereo, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R (strong horror violence, sexuality, language).

SAYONARA (MGM/UA Home Entertainment) is director Joshua Logan’s 1957 romantic war drama starring Marlon Brando and Ricardo Montalban. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Mono, French Dolby Digital Mono and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono, with Spanish and French subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

61* (HBO Films), shown earlier this year, is director Billy Crystal’s acclaimed fact-based drama about the baseball controversy surrounding the hit statistics of Roger Maris. Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane star. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English closed-captioning. Extras include an hour-long making-of documentary, historical information, player biographies and statistics, the 1961 home run list and the trailer. There is no MPAA rating.

SOMEONE LIKE YOU (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a Manhattan romantic comedy starring Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman and Greg Kinnear. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound format is English Dolby Digital, with English closed-captioning. MPAA rating is PG-13.

SPY KIDS (Dimension Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, is director/writer Robert Rodriguez’s sprightly James Bond spoof for kids, with Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino as a kidnapped couple of ex-espionage agents whose children try to rescue them. Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo also star. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English and Spanish subtitles and English closed-captioning. MPAA rating is PG.

STAR TREK VOL. 33 (Paramount Home Entertainment) contains two episodes, "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," in which the Enterprise encounters a spaceship inhabited by people who think they’re on a planet, and "Day of the Dove," in which an energy force tries to get the Enterprise crew and Klingons to kill each other. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital remixed for 5.1 Surround, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the original broadcast preview trailers. There is no MPAA rating (G rating in Canada).

STAR TREK VOL. 34 (Paramount Home Entertainment) contains two episodes, "Plato’s Stepchildren," in which Kirk and company are held by telekinetic aliens (features the famous quasi-kiss between Kirk and Uhura, a TV landmark at the time), and "Wink of an Eye," in which an alien tries to make Kirk her love-slave. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital remixed for 5.1 Surround, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the original broadcast preview trailers. There is no MPAA rating (G rating in Canada).

STARTUP.COM (Artisan Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a documentary by filmmakers Jehane Noejaim and Chris Hegedus about the rise and fall of an Internet company. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0, with English closed-captioning. Extras include an audio commentary and production notes. MPAA rating is R.

SURVIVOR 2: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK (Paramount Home Entertainment), broadcast earlier this year, contains the "reality" series of the title. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital Surround, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include retrospective interviews with the participants and a preview of SURVIVOR 3. There is no MPAA rating (contains killing of animals and some adult language).

TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE (Paramount Home Entertainment) is a 1990 horror anthology, with three separate tales bound by a framing device. Debbie Harry, Matthew Laurence, Christian Slater, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi star under John Harrison’s direction. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Mono, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include audio commentary by director Harrison and screenwriter George Romero and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

13 GHOSTS (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is director William Castle’s 1960 haunted house horror flick. Aspect ratio is black-and-white widescreen; no sound format information is available; there is English closed-captioning. There is no MPAA rating (the film predates the ratings system).

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (Paramount Home Entertainment) is George Pal’s 1951 science-fiction epic about an interplanetary lifeboat situation as Earth is about to be struck by another planet. Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Larry Keating and Peter Hanson star. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Mono and French Dolby Digital Mono, with English subtitles and closed-captioning. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is G.

THE WIDOW OF ST. PIERRE (Vidmark/Trimark), released theatrically in 2000, is a fact-based drama about the wife (Juliette Binoche) of a prison warden (Daniel Auteil) who extends kindness to a convict under sentence of death (the title refers to the guillotine). Patrice Leconte directs. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (original track) and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English subtitles. Extras include audio commentary, a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.







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