|New DVDs July 24, 2000|
|Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News|
|Written by Abbie Bernstein|
|Tuesday, 25 July 2000|
ABOVE ALL ELSE: THE EVEREST DREAM (Unapix) is a documentary about the 10-year quest of mountaineers Jamie Clarke and Alan Hobson to climb Mount Everest. Three sound formats: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround.
ANNIE HALL (MGM), director Woody Allen’s 1977 multi-Oscar winner, is an offbeat romance that pairs up Allen and Diane Keaton. Look for Christopher Walken in a cameo as Annie’s disturbed brother. Sold separately or as part of a boxed set that also includes Allen’s other works of the 1970s through 1980, including BANANAS, EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK), INTERIORS, LOVE AND DEATH, MANHATTAN and STARDUST MEMORIES. See below for details.
BANANAS (MGM) is director Woody Allen’s 1971 farce about an American nerd turned inept revolutionary in a Cuba-like country. Allen plays the would-be hero with Louise Lasser as the object of his affections.
THE BEACH (CBS/Fox Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, is the latest film from the TRAINSPOTTING team of director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and screenwriter John Hodge. They have made an uneven screen adaptation of Alex Garland’s novel about three tourists who stumble upon a secret island society. Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet are the travelers, while Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle and Paterson Joseph play some of the prominent colonists. DVD supplemental material includes an audio commentary track from director Boyle, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a music video from All Saints and a storyboard gallery.
DROWNING MONA (Columbia/TriStar), a 2000 theatrical release, is director Nick Gomez’s dark comedy about the investigation of the murder of a universally disliked woman in a small town. Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell and William Fichtner star. Extras include directorial commentary on the film itself and on a set of deleted scenes.
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK) (MGM) is Woody Allen’s memorably loony 1972 anthology comedy that borrows a title but little else from David Reuben’s non-fiction (but controversial) tome. Segments include a mad scientist, played by John Carradine, who has created a gigantic breast that has gotten loose and terrorizes the countryside, and an anthropomorphic view of what happens inside a man’s brain and other organs during the sex act. Allen, Burt Reynolds and Lynn Redgrave also star.
INTERIORS (MGM) is director Woody Allen’s extremely serious 1978 drama about an uncommunicative WASP family in turmoil. Mary Beth Hurt, Richard Jordan, Diane Keaton, E.G. Marshall, Maureen Stapleton and Sam Waterston star.
THE ITALIANS (Unapix), narrated by Linda Hunt, is a documentary that covers Italian culture from the Roman Empire through the present. Sound comes in Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround.
LOVE AND DEATH (MGM) is director Woody Allen’s 1975 send-up of Russian novels, especially "War and Peace." Allen stars with Diane Keaton, Jessica Harper, Tony Jay and James Tolkan (as Napoleon).
MAGNOLIA (New Line Home Video) is director Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 three-hour-and-15-minute epic about intertwining lives in California’s San Fernando Valley. Tom Cruise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Aimee Mann’s song "Save Me" also was likewise Top Fived by the Academy. Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall, Melinda Dillon and John C. Reilly star. The DVD is a two-disk set, with a feature-length "making of" documentary, deleted scenes and a music video of Mann’s "Save Me."
MANHATTAN (MGM) is director Woody Allen’s 1979 romantic comedy/drama, with Allen as a New Yorker torn between Diane Keaton’s erudite adult and Mariel Hemingway’s optimistic high school student. Michael Murphy also stars.
MYSTERIES OF ASIA (Unapix) is a three-hour compilation of the TV travel series. Sound is Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround.
RAZOR BLADE SMILE (Unapix) is director Jake West’s 1998 vampire actioner about a blood-sucking hitwoman vs. mobsters. Eileen Daly, Christopher Adamson, Jonathon Coote, Kevin Howarth and David Warbeck star. Supplements include a femme fatale article and production notes.
RELAX … IT’S JUST SEX! (Unapix) is director P.J. Castellaneta’s romantic comedy about a mixed group, male, female, gay, heterosexual and undecided, all looking for love and lust. Jennifer Tilly, Mitchell Anderson, Lori Petty, Cynda Williams, Seymour Cassel, Paul Winfield, T.C. Carson, Serena Scott Thomas and Billy Wirth star. DVD comes with outtakes and 5.1. Surround Sound.
THE SCIENCE OF MAGIC (Unapix) is a 1997 compilation from the TV series, hosted by Harry Anderson, in which magicians reveal how they accomplish their feats. Sound is Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround.
SHOWGIRL STORIES (Unapix) is a two-hour documentary, narrated by Angelica Huston, on the changing styles of showgirls through the decades. Sound formats are Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Sound.
SIX WAYS TO SUNDAY (A-Pix) is Adam Bernstein’s somewhat surreal, bloody 1999 black comedy about a young man with a possessive mother and a job working for the mob. Deborah Harry, Norman Reedus, Elina Lowensohn, Adrien Brody, Jerry Adler, Peter Appel and Isaac Hayes star.
SLEEPER (MGM) is Woody Allen’s 1973 farce about a man (Allen) who wakes up in the far and far-out future. Diane Keaton and John Beck also star.
SPACE JAM (Warner Home Video), directed by Joe Pytka, is an unusual comedy that mixes live-action and animation, featuring classic Warner Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The plotline involves an alien conspiracy to get Michael Jordan (who stars as himself) to play for an extraterrestrial cartoon basketball team. Other basketball players who appear as themselves include Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Tyrone Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson. Wayne Knight and Bill Murray co-star. The DVD features a full-length audio commentary by director Pytka and "actors" Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (this sounds intriguing), music videos for R. Kelly’s "I Believe I Can Fly," Seal’s "Fly Like an Eagle" and the Monstars’ "Monster Anthem: Hit ‘Em High" and an alternate music-only soundtrack.
STARDUST MEMORIES (MGM), released in 1980, directed by and starring Woody Allen, is a surreal comedy/drama about a filmmaker (Allen) examining his life and work so far. Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault, Tony Roberts and Daniel Stern also star.