|New DVDs Dec. 18, 2000|
|Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Thursday, 28 December 2000|
THE ART OF WAR (Warner Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, stars Wesley Snipes as a covert operative working for the U.N. who finds himself left out in the cold when he’s suspected of murder. Anne Archer, Donald Sutherland and Michael Biehn also star; Christian Duguay directs. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 5.1.
THE CELL (New Line Home Video), released earlier this year, is director Tarsem Singh and writer Mark Protosevich’s visually inventive and disturbing tale of a psychologist who literally travels into the mind of a serial killer to save his next intended victim. Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D’Onofrio and Vince Vaughn star. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Extras include an audio commentary by director Singh, an examination of special effects, production design, costume design and special make-up, deleted scenes, a profile of the director by the production team and a "brain map and empathy test."
CHUCK AND BUCK (Artisan Entertainment), released earlier this year, is a dark comedy about an immature man who recontacts his best friend from childhood. Miguel Arteta directs a cast headed by Mike White and Chris Weitz. The DVD is widescreen (exact aspect ratio information unavailable).
CAROL CHANNING AND PEARL BAILEY ON BROADWAY (Imagine Entertainment) is the DVD release of a 1969 ABC variety special starring the two divas. Extras include outtakes.
THE CONVERSATION (Paramount Home Entertainment) is director Francis Ford Coppola’s brilliant 1974 dramatic thriller about a professional surveillance man, played by Gene Hackman. John Cazale, Teri Garr, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams and Harrison Ford are also in the cast. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French 2.0 Mono. Extras include an audio commentary track with director Coppola, an audio commentary track with film editor Walter Murch and a making-of featurette.
THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU’VE NEVER SEEN (Warner Home Video), not to be confused with the 25th anniversary edition released on DVD two years ago, is an expanded, recut version of the 1973 horror classic, directed by William Friedkin from William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel. Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller and Max von Sydow star. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; audio formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Extras include an audio commentary track by director Friedkin, production notes and English, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles.
GODZILLA 2000 (Columbia/TriStar), released earlier this year, is also not to be confused with the version released two years ago – in this case, because it’s literally an entirely different film. Takkeo Okawara directs a cast starring Naomi Nishida, Takehiro Murata and, of course, the big guy himself, played primarily by a guy in a Godzilla suit, as a real Godzilla movie demands. The DVD comes with a choice of aspect ratios, widescreen 2.35:1 or full-screen 1.33:1. There are a wide variety of sound formats: Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English and French subtitles. Extras include behind the scenes clips.
THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW VOL. 4 (Pioneer Video) is the fourth set of episodes from the 1963 CBS variety series starring Garland. The four black-and-white episodes on this disk have been digitally remastered. Guest stars here include George Maharis, Louis Jourdan and Vic Damone. Aspect ratio is 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Extras include an audio commentary from series executive producer Norman Jewison, outtakes and dress-rehearsal footage.
LOSER (Columbia/TriStar), released earlier this year, is a romantic comedy about a nerdy college student (Jason Biggs), who falls for a young woman who’s got a lot going for her (Mena Suvari). Amy Heckerling directs. The film comes with a choice of aspect ratios, widescreen 1.85:1 or full-screen 1.33:1. Sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French, Spanish and Portugese. Extras include a making-of featurette, the "Teenage Dirt Bag" music video by Wheatus, and subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Portugese and Thai.
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Miramax Home Entertainment) is director Kenneth Branagh’s 1999 musical that intersperses Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with songs from the likes of Cole Porter and the Gershwins. Branagh stars with Alicia Silverstone, Natascha McElhone and Matthew Lillard. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound format is Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras include deleted footage, outtakes and a making-of featurette.
ROAD TRIP (DreamWorks), released earlier this year, is a comedy about four college friends on a cross-country trek to prevent a sexually incriminating videotape from falling into the wrong hands. Breckin Meyer, Chris Klein, Sean William Scott and Tom Green star for director Todd Phillips. The film is available in separate unrated and R-rated versions. On both, the aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and the sound formats are English DTS and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Extras on both versions include seven deleted scenes, a making-of short hosted by Green and the Eels music video "Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues."
SAVING GRACE (New Line Home Video), released earlier this year, is a comedy about a widow in Cornwall who winds up growing marijuana in order to raise enough money to keep her home. Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson star; Nigel Cole directs. The film comes in both widescreen 2.35:1 and full-screen 1.33:1 aspect ratios. Sound format is Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras include an audio commentary by Blethyn, Ferguson (who also co-wrote) and Cole.
SEVEN (New Line Home Video), the 1995 thriller about a serial killer obsessed with the Seven Deadly Sins, has been released in a deluxe, supplement-laden two-disc edition. Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow star; David Fincher directs. Aspect ratio is 2.40:1; sound formats are English DTS ES Discrete 6.1, English Dolby EX 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and English Dolby Digital Stereo Surround. Extras include a feature-length audio commentary track with director Fincher and actors Pitt and Freeman; a feature-length audio commentary track regarding story with Professor Richard Dyer, writer Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce, New Line President of Production Michael De Luca and director Fincher; feature-length audio commentary track regarding picture with Dyer, Fincher, Francis-Bruce, director of photography Darius Khondji and production designer Arthur Max; an isolated 5.1 music and sound effects cues track, featuring audio commentary by Dyer, Fincher, composer Howard Shore and sound designer Ren Klyce; exploration of opening title sequence; deleted scenes and extended takes with director commentary; alternate endings; production design and still photos with commentaries; full-motion video details of killer’s notebooks; theatrical trailer; theatrical electronic press kit; filmographies of cast and crew; featurette on mastering the film for home video, including differences in audio tracks; English closed-captioning; French subtitles; DVD-ROM content.
SMALL TIME CROOKS (Universal Home Video), released earlier this year, stars Woody Allen and Tracy Ullman as an unlikely pair of married criminals. Allen directed a cast that also includes Hugh Grant. The DVD is in widescreen format (exact aspect ratio information unavailable).
THE SOPRANOS (HBO Home Video) is a four-disc set of the entire 1999 first season of the acclaimed cable drama about a New Jersey mob boss juggling two different kinds of families. James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco and Nancy Marchand star. The DVDs are widescreen (exact aspect ratio information is unavailable); sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 and Spanish. Extras include two making-of featurettes, an audio commentary on the pilot episode by series creator David Chase, and a 77-minute onscreen interview with Chase by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (who appears as an actor in the show’s second season), along with an episode index that includes previous and recaps.
THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (Paramount Home Entertainment), released earlier this year, is director Sofia Coppola’s lyrical, pitch-dark comedy about a group of boys obsessed with a mysterious set of sisters with tragically repressive parents. Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Kathleen Turner and James Woods star. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 2.0. Extras include a making-of featurette and Air’s music video "Playground Love."
WHERE THE MONEY IS (United Services), released earlier this year, stars Paul Newman as an aging bank robber and Linda Fiorentino and Dermot Mulroney as two insistent apprentices. Marek Kanievska directs. Aspect ratio is 1.78:1; sound formats are Dolby Digital 5.0 and French Dolby Digital 2.0. The film is equipped with Spanish and French subtitles.