DVDs May 29-June 5, 2001 
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by AVRev.com   
Tuesday, 29 May 2001

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is a two-disc release of the 137-minute "director’s cut" of director Steven Spielberg’s 1977 hit about alien first contact with Earth, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats Are English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Spanish (format unspecified), with English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Thai subtitles. Extras include a feature-length making-of documentary, a 1977 making-of featurette, 11 deleted scenes, production notes and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

THE HOUSE OF MIRTH (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically last year, is director Terence Davies’ sad, involving film adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel of a young woman in old New York seeking to make a rich marriage. The production design is excellent. Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Laura Linney, Anthony LaPaglia and Dan Aykroyd star. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English, Spanish and French subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary track from director Davies, deleted scenes with director commentary and production notes. MPAA rating is PG.

SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE (Universal Home Entertainment), released theatrically last year, director E. Elias Merhige, is a darkly amusing "what-if" about the making of the 1920s horror classic NOSFERATU, which supposes that filmmaker F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) hired a real vampire (Willem Dafoe) as his star. Catherine McCormack, Cary Elwes and Udo Kier also star. Dafoe earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Max Schreck. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from director Merhige, a making-of featurette, an interview with the film’s producer Nicolas Cage (who does not appear in the movie itself), a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R for some sexuality, drug content, violence and language.

TRAFFIC (USA Home Entertainment) earned an Oscar nomination as one of the Best Pictures of 2000. The intricately plotted drama concerns the cocaine trade in the U.S. and Mexico, following the circumstances of a Mexican law man (Benicio Del Toro, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), the wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of a San Diego drug lord (Steven Bauer) and a Washington official (Michael Douglas), along with everyone in their separate but interconnected orbits. Don Cheadle and Amy Irving also star. Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Stephen Gaghan, adapting the 1989 British miniseries TRAFFIK, also won Oscars for their work here. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0, with English, Spanish and French subtitles. Extras include electronic press kit materials (video interviews with the principals), a making-of featurette, a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer and TV spots. MPAA rating is R for drug content, language, violence and some sexuality.

TWO FAMILY HOUSE (Universal Home Entertainment), released theatrically last year, is a comedy/drama about a married Italian-American man (Michael Rispoli) who falls for a young Irish immigrant who’s a single mother (Kelly Macdonald) in 1956 Staten Island. Katherine Narducci also stars under Michael Rispoli’s direction. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, with English subtitles. MPAA rating is R for language and brief sexuality.

VERTICAL LIMIT (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically last year, is an actioner about a dangerous mountain-climbing rescue expedition. Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Bill Paxton and Scott Glenn star under Martin Campbell’s direction. Aspect ratio is widescreen anamorphic; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French Dolby Digital 2.0, with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from director Campbell and producer Lloyd Phillips, a making-of featurette, "Search and Rescue Tales," the National Geographic "Quest for K2" featurette, talent files and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.







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