DVDs Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2001 
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by AVRev.com   
Wednesday, 29 August 2001

BATMAN: THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) is the surprisingly (and intentionally) hilarious 1966 feature film based on the TV series about an insanely straight-faced superhero and his sidekick, portrayed respectively by Adam West and Burt Ward. Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin also star under Leslie H. Martinson’s direction; Lorenzo Semple Jr. authored the wonderfully silly screenplay. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Stereo, English Mono and French Mono, with English subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from actors West and Ward, a new making-of featurette, a featurette on the Batmobile with designer/builder Bob Barris, two stills galleries, the theatrical trailer and a teaser trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

CARRIE (MGM Home Entertainment), director Brian DePalma’s 1976 horror classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a high school loner (Sissy Spacek) tormented by a religious fanatic mother (Piper Laurie) and vicious classmates who finally strikes back through telekinesis, holds up brilliantly 25 years after its initial release. Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen and John Travolta co-star. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Mono and Spanish Mono, with French and Spanish subtitles and English closed-captioning. Extras include an "Acting ‘Carrie’" featurette, a "Visualizing ‘Carrie’" featurette, a "‘Carrie the Musical’" featurette, an animated photo gallery, "Stephen King and the Evolution of ‘Carrie’" notes and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

COMPANY MAN (Paramount Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is an early Woody Allen-style comedy about a meek high school teacher (co-writer/co-director Douglas McGrath) who winds up as a CIA agent enlisted in an early ‘60s plot to remove Fidel Castro (Anthony LaPaglia) from Cuba. Sigourney Weaver and John Turturro also star. Peter Askin co-writes/co-directs with McGrath. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound format is English Dolby Digital Surround, with English closed-captioning and subtitles. Extras include the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13 (sexual humor, drug content).

FORREST GUMP: SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Paramount Home Entertainment) is a new two-disc release of the 1994 Oscar winner about a mentally handicapped man (Tom Hanks) who finds himself present at many pivotal moments in history. The film won six Oscars, including Best Picture and Actor (Hanks). Robin Wright Penn and Gary Sinise costar; Robert Zemeckis directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround and French Surround, with English closed-captioning and subtitles. Extras include audio commentary from director Zemeckis, producer Steve Starkey, production designer Rick Carter and producer Windy Finerman, a production design featurette, a special effects featurette, a sound featurette, a makeup featurette, two deleted sequences, a photo gallery, talent screen tests and two theatrical trailers. MPAA rating is PG-13 (drug content, sensuality, war violence).

INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS – STORIES FROM THE KINDERTRANSPORT (Warner Home Video) is director Mark Jonathan Harris’ acclaimed feature-length documentary, released theatrically last year, about Jewish children who were transported away from Nazi-held Europe to safety in England; most of them never saw their parents again. Judi Dench narrates. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, with English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Thai subtitles. Extras include two feature-length commentaries from the filmmakers with branching video segments, profiles on Kindertransport participants, parents and rescuers, interviews with Lord Richard Attenborough and other Kindertransport participants, coverage of the film’s London and Berlin premieres, historical artifacts and photo galleries and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

JOE DIRT (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), released theatrically earlier this year, is a comedy starring David Spade as a blue-collar fellow searching for his parents. Dennis Miller and Christopher Walken co-star under Dennie Gordon’s direction. Aspect ratios are widescreen and full-screen 1.33:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French, with English and French subtitles. Extras include an audio commentary from actor Spade, an audio commentary from director Gordon, outtakes, deleted scenes, filmographies, production notes and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG-13.

KRAMER VS. KRAMER (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is the 1979 comedy/drama about a divorcing couple (Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep) fighting for custody of their little boy (Justin Henry). The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Actor (Hoffman), Supporting Actress (Streep), Director (Robert Benton) and Adapted Screenplay (Benton again). Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound formats are English Dolby Digital Mono and French Dolby Digital Mono, with English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles. Extras include a making-of featurette, filmographies and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is PG.

MARATHON MAN (Paramount Home Entertainment) is director John Schlesinger’s 1976 film version of William Goldman’s thriller (with Goldman adapting the screenplay) about a marathon runner/scholar (Dustin Hoffman) who is drawn out of his rarefied existence by the actions of his CIA agent brother (Roy Scheider). Laurence Olivier also stars. Aspect ratio is widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, restored English Mono and French Mono, with English closed-captioning and subtitles. Extras include new cast and crew interviews with Hoffman, Scheider, Marte Keller, Goldman and producer Robert Evans, a making-of featurette, rehearsal footage and the theatrical trailer. MPAA rating is R.

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING: SPECIAL EDITION (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is director P.J. Hogan and writer Ron Bass’ bittersweet comedy about a woman (Julia Roberts) who realizes she’s in love with her lifelong best friend (Dermot Mulroney) only when he’s on the verge of marrying someone else (Cameron Diaz). Rupert Everett also stars. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish and French, with English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles. Extras include a new making-of featurette, the HBO making-of featurette, a "Wedding Do’s and Don’t’s" featurette, behind the scenes facts and trivia, a "Say a Little Prayer" singalong, filmographies and trailers. MPAA rating is PG-13.

SAFE (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) is director Todd Haynes’ slightly surreal 1995 drama about a woman (Julianne Moore) whose allergies have taken over her life. Xander Berkeley also stars. Aspect ratio is widescreen; no sound format information is available. There is English closed-captioning. MPAA rating is R.

SEE SPOT RUN (Warner Home Video), released theatrically earlier this year, stars David Arquette and Michael Clarke Duncan in a comedy about a crime-fighting dog in the Witness Protection Program. John Whitesell directs. Aspect ratio is widescreen; sound format is Dolby Digital, with English closed-captioning. MPAA rating is PG.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: WIDESCREEN SPECIAL EDITION (MGM Home Entertainment) is a new release of the multiple Oscar-winning 1991 thriller starring Jodie Foster as novice FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as her creepy advisor, the imprisoned serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lector. Jonathan Demme directs, from Ted Tally’s screen adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and Spanish 2.0 Mono, with English, Spanish and French subtitles. Extras include 20 minutes of deleted scenes, a documentary with interviews with Foster and Hopkins, a making-of featurette, an outtake reel and a photo gallery. MPAA rating is R.

SMILING FISH AND GOAT ON FIRE (Studio Home Entertainment) is director Kevin Jordan’s 1999 comedy about the life and loves of two contemporary Native American brothers, played by Derrick Martini and Steven Martini. Aspect ratio is widescreen; no sound format information is available. MPAA rating is R.

STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES VOL. 31 (Paramount Home Entertainment) is yet more of the influential TV series. These two episodes, from the 1968 season, are "Spock’s Brain," in which the title item is stolen, and "Is There In Truth No Beauty," in which three passengers create problems for the Enterprise crew. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is remixed for English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Mono, with English closed-captioning and subtitles. Extras include the original broadcast trailers. There is no MPAA rating.

STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES VOL. 32 (Paramount Home Entertainment) contains two more 1968 episodes of the science-fiction TV series. In "The Empath," crew members are tortured by mysterious aliens; in "The Tholian Web," the Enterprise gets trapped in a strange alien snare. Aspect ratio is full-screen 1.33:1; sound format is remixed for English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and French Mono, with English closed-captioning and subtitles. Extras include the original broadcast trailers. There is no MPAA rating.

WAITING FOR GUFFMAN (Warner Home Video) is director/writer Christopher Guest’s 1997 comedy about an untalented small-town theatre troupe. Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star. Aspect ratio is widescreen anamorphic; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Extras include 30 minutes of previously unseen footage compiled by Guest, audio commentary from Guest and Levy, deleted scenes with commentary and production notes. MPAA rating is R.

WICKED (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) stars Julia Stiles and William R. Moses in this 1998 thriller about a devious high school student. Michael Steinberg directs. Aspect ratios are widescreen and full-screen; sound formats are English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and French, with English Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles. MPAA rating is R.

THE WICKER MAN: SPECIAL EDITION (Anchor Bay) is a new two-disc set of the 1973 horror classic about an uptight Scottish police officer who goes to investigate a child’s disappearance on an island with ancient religious beliefs. Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee star; Robin Hardy directs. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1; sound format is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Extras include 11 minutes of additional footage, cast and crew interviews, the theatrical trailer, the TV trailer and radio spots. MPAA rating is R.







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