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New DVDs June 25, 2000  Print E-mail
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by Abbie Bernstein   
Monday, 26 June 2000

COMING SOON (A-Pix) certainly has lived up to its title as far as the DVD is concerned -- not only is this film a 2000 release, it's still in theatres. Directed by Collette Burson, this Manhattan-area comedy about college students in love and lust features Gaby Hoffman, with Mia Farrow, Spalding Gray, Ryan O'Neal and Peter Bogdanovich playing some of the older characters.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (MGM), director Susan Seidelman's 1985 romantic identity comedy, provided Madonna with one of her earliest (and best) roles as the Susan of the title. Rosanna Arquette plays a mousy suburbanite who fantasizes about living the Madonna character's hip, adventurous life - until a bop on the head causes Arquette's character to believe she is Susan. The film costars Aidan Quinn, Robert Joy, Laurie Metcalfe and Will Patton. The DVD extras include the original (altered for release) ending and audio commentary with Seidelman, producers Sarah Pillsbury and Midge Sanford, and former Orion production executive Barbara Boyle.

HANGING UP (Columbia/TriStar), directed by Diane Keaton and released earlier this year, is the film version of Delia Ephron's novel (Ephron and sister Nora did the screenplay adaptation) dealing with three adult sisters (Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Meg Ryan) dealing with an irresponsible, aging father (Walter Matthau).

INDEPENDENCE DAY - ID4 (Fox Video), the 1996 science-fiction/action blockbuster from director Roland Emmerich and screenwriter Dean Devlin, is now out in a new two-disk special edition. This tale of Earth combatting an extraterrestrial attack has enough explosions, mastered in digital THX sound, to test the mettle of any audio system. Special features include two different behind-the-scenes documentaries, nine minutes of deleted scenes, an alternate ending and two games, one on the disk and one online, accessible through DVD-ROM. The film stars Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman.

KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE (Anchor Bay), directed by John Landis in 1977, introduced the screenwriting triumvirate of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker -- who would collectively go on to write and direct AIRPLANE! to the moviegoing world. It is also arguably still one of the funniest sketch comedies AND one of the funniest send-ups of films and TV ever made. We get everything: fake trailers, fake TV commercials, newsroom footage, educational films. If it existed in 1977, it's satirized here. There's even a 20-minute parody of martial arts films, "A Fistful of Yen," starring Master Bon Soo Han and Evan Kim, which casts the cliche about "lost, drunken men who don't know where they are and don't care" in a whole new light. Bill Bixby, Henry Gibson, Michael Kearns, George Lazenby and Donald Sutherland all have gloriously insane cameos. The DVD includes a selection of photos taken on the set, mini-movies made by the Zuckers and Abrahams on-set and an audio commentary track with Landis, Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker and producer Robert K. Weiss. If you are a fan of ANIMAL HOUSE, AIRPLANE! and/or the HOT SHOTS movies, this is a must-see.

LIAR'S MOON (Rhino Video) is a 1981 drama, directed by David Fisher, about a Texas boy from the wrong side of the tracks, played by Matt Dillon, in love with a rich girl.

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (Paramount Home Video), director/screenwriter Anthony Minghella's 1999 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, is psychologically acute, engrossing and ultimately sad, as well as disturbing. Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Jude Law (nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for his work here) star. DVD extras include an audio commentary track from the articulate Minghella, interviews with cast and crew, a "making-of" short on the film, another "making-of" short on the soundtrack, two music videos ("My Funny Valentine" and "Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano") and two theatrical trailers.







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