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More DVD News: April 2011

'Dumbo' Flies to Blu-ray Sept. 20


(April 29) Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release the beloved animated classic "Dumbo" for the first time in high definition as a 70th Anniversary Edition, arriving September 20 as a two-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack ($39.99) and single-disc DVD ($29.99). The Academy Award-winning (1942, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture) favorite will take flight for the first time with a premium restoration in Blu-ray high-definition featuring 7.1 Digital Theater System High-Def Surround Sound. Bonus features include a deleted scene and a deleted song. commentary, featurettes and more. Read more about the 70th Anniversary Edition of "Dumbo" here.

This Week's Releases (April 26)
From the Big Screen:

"3 Idiots." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (4/26)

"Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood" is the massive seven-episode original documentary on Hollywood from Turner Classic Movies, narrated by Christopher Plummer, that aired on TCM in November. photo Surprisingly, there's no comprehensive documentary on the history of film akin to the massive 'Civil War' and 'Jazz' projects that Ken Burns has created, and though this documentary has as its focus the moguls who created Hollywood, it's the nearest thing we'll get to a comprehensive look at the history of the world's greatest entertainment medium. The American movie business began as peepshows in storefronts and warehouses at the turn of the beginning of the 20th century and grew into a near-mythical art form to create drama, laughter and adventure literally bigger than life. Each one-hour segment focuses on a different era of American movie history, from the invention of the first pictures to the cutting-edge films of the 1960s. Each installment features clips and interviews with historians and major Hollywood figures: "Peepshow Pioneers" (1889-1907), "The Birth of Hollywood" (1907-1920), "The Dream Merchants" (1920-1928), "Brother, Can You Spare a Dream?" (1929-1941), "Warriors and Peacemakers" (1941-1950), "Attack of the Small Screens" (1950-1960), "Fade Out, Fade In" (1960-1969). The three-disc set sells for $39.92.

Two of the most sought-after film titles yet to be released on Blu-ray, Alejandro Jodorowsky's "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain," have been released by ABKCO Films and Anchor Bay Entertainment. "El Topo" is credited with starting the Midnight Movie phenomenon more than 40 years ago. To this day, both films continuously screen at art houses, museums and film festivals throughout the world. The films have been remastered under the close supervision of Jodorowsky himself for their high-definition debuts and will include all the bonus features that were part of their DVD release four years ago. photo "El Topo," first released theatrically in 1969, made Jodorowsky a household name with the counterculture crowd of the early 1970s, providing the template for "Midnight Movie Madness," screening seven nights a week at midnight for seven straight months at the Elgin Cinema in New York. "El Topo" conflates classic American Western and avant-garde European sensibilities with Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and mystic El Topo (played by writer-director Jodorowsky) attempts to defeat four sharp-shooting rivals on a bizarre path to allegorical self-awareness and resurrection. When it was screened at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, riots broke out in response to Jodorowsky's flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism. "The Holy Mountain" (1973) was Jodorowsky’s high budget follow-up, and took his psychedelic allegorical mastery to another level. It chronicles a quest for enlightenment, pitting illusion against the truth as The Alchemist, played by the director, assembles a group of people from all walks of life to represent the planets in the solar system. Strange and provocative mystical rites to divest them of their worldly baggage ensue as they ascend the Holy Mountain to displace the immortal gods who secretly rule the universe.

The Criterion Collection has released two wild films this week: "Blow Out" (on DVD and Blu-ray) and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (on Blu-ray). In the enthralling "Blow Out" (1981), brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma, John Travolta gives one of his greatest performances as Jack, a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. photo He enlists the help of Sally (played by "Carrie's" Nancy Allen), a possible eyewitness to the crime who may be in danger herself, to uncover the truth. With its jolting stylistic flourishes, intricate plot, profoundly felt characterizations, and gritty evocation of early-1980s Philadelphia, "Blow Out" is an American paranoia thriller unlike any other, as well as a devilish reflection on the act of moviemaking. New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director Brian De Palma, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. It's 1971, and journalist Raoul Duke barrels toward Las Vegas -- accompanied by a trunkful of contraband and his unhinged Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo -- to cover a motorcycle race. His cut-and-dried assignment quickly descends into a feverish psychedelic odyssey of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998). Director Terry Gilliam and an all-star cast headlined by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro show no mercy in adapting Hunter S. Thompson's legendary dissection of the American way of life to the screen, creating a film both hilarious and savage. Digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and an optional 5.1 mix.

From TV to Video: (4/26)

"Doc Martin Collection: Series 1-4" is a nine-disc collection that includes all 30 episodes from the first four series starring BAFTA Winner Martin Clunes as a misanthropic, socially maladjusted doctor forced to relocate to a rustic seaside village, photo where he immediately clashes with the town's eccentric citizens. $99.99 from Acorn Media ... "Growing Pains: The Complete Second Season" (1986-87) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.98 from Warner ... "The Lucy Show: The Official Fourth Season" (1965-66) is a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $42.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with 14 episodes, $49.99 from Paramount ... "Stan Lee's Superhumans: The Complete Season One" (2010) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $19.95 from A&E ... "Testees: The Complete Series" (2010) is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes of the FX series about two best friends and roommates in their early 30s who earn a living by being human guinea pigs for Testico, a drug testing facility, $24.98 from Entertainment One ... "Upstairs Downstairs" (2010) features three episodes of the new series, $34.98 from BBC/Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (4/26)

In "Blood Out" (2011), starring Val Kilmer, AnnaLynne McCord, Luke Goss, Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent, a small town cop goes undercover in the big city when his brother is murdered and detectives abandon the case; from Lionsgate ... In the sequel photo "Sniper: Reloaded" (2011), starring Billy Zane, Chad Michael Collins and Richard Sammel, the son of U.S. military sniper Thomas Beckett from the original film goes on a deadly mission to stop a mysterious sniper targeting innocent civilians; from Sony ... A wild, man-eating boar goes on a rampage in a small Korean village in the inventive black comedy horror romp "Chawz" (2009 -- South Korea); it's an affectionate tribute to classic monster movies that boasts fantastically gory special effects of the porcine beast attacking innocent tourists; from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "Muay Thai Giant" (2008 -- Thailand) is an action comedy about a gentle giant on vacation in Pattaya who's mugged and robbed of all his possessions, including his passport. Taken in by two sisters, the young man eats some somtum at the girls' mother's restaurant and turns into a martial arts monster; the girls decide to use him to bring down the local crime lord; from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

On the Indie Front: (4/26)

"Jolene" (2008) is a coming-of-age road movie about a teenage orphan who spends 10 years traveling cross-country experiencing life, love and heartbreak. Based on E.L. Doctorow's story, "Jolene: A Life." Stars Jessica Chastain, Dermot Mulroney, Chazz Palminteri, Rupert Friend , Michael Vartan and Denise Richards; from Entertainment One ... "Bunny and the Bull" (2009 -- UK), starring Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby and Veronica Echegui, is a road movie set entirely in a flat: photo A young shut-in takes an imaginary road trip inside his apartment, based on mementos and memories of a European trek from years before; from IFC Films/MPI Media Group ... An inseparable group of four 11-year-old girls find themselves facing their last summer before middle school and the first onset of adulthood in "Summer Eleven" (2010), starring Alice Ziolkoski, Meaghan Hughes, Sarah Butterworth and Sydney Fox; from Image Entertainment ... "Fly Away" (2011), starring Beth Broderick, Ashley Rickards and Greg Germann, is a poignant yet humor-filled story about a single mother of a teenager severely impacted by autism, forced to reckon with her daughter's future as she struggles to meet her own needs; from New Video/Flatiron Film Co. ... In "One Way to Valhalla" (2009), starring Gabriel Macht, Kim Dickens, Alison Pill, Brad William Henke and Kate Walsh, a volatile, working-class gearhead, who sees himself trapped in a world with few possibilities -- his car is impounded and he has to ride a bicycle to work -- suffers a head injury in an accident, causing his personality to take some strange turns; from Monarch Home Entertainment.

Foreign: (4/26)

"Student Services" (2010 -- France) stars Deborah Francois, Mathieu Demy, Alain Cauchi in an erotic tale about a college co-ed who resorts to prostitution to make ends meet. Based on a notorious memoir that shocked the French public. From IFC Films/MPI Media Group.

For the Family: (4/26)

"Tikki Tikki Tembo ... And More Stories to Celebrate Asian Heritage" (2010) is a collection of six best-selling, award-winning stories: "Tikki Tikki Tembo," "The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks," "Grandfather's Journey," "The Stonecutter," "Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China," "Sam and the Lucky Money." Narrators: B. D. Wong, Ming-Na Wen. $14.95 from Scholastic Storybook Treasures ... "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Volume 1 includes episodes 1-7, plus an exclusive look at the evolving characters and story line of Season 2, $19.99 from Disney ... "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2" Includes episodes 8-13, plus another exclusive sneak peek at Season 2, $19.99 from Disney.

Special Interest: (4/26)

More fabulous documentaries this week:

  • "The Universe Mega Collection" Includes all 63 original episodes of all five seasons of the epic series, plus the feature-length documentary "Beyond the Big Bang," on 19 discs. Both the DVD and BD sets include the feature-length documentary "Beyond the Big Bang" and the featurettes "Meteors: Fire in the Sky," "Comets: Prophets of Doom," "Ask the Universe" and "Backyard Astronomers." The BD set also includes the "7 Wonders of the Solar System" episode in 3D. BD: $179.95/DVD: $149.95. (A&E). photo
  • "Human Planet" (2011) Three-disc set of the BBC series broadcast on the Discovery Channel, $39.98. Extras: Three hours of additional footage, making-of featurettes, more. (BBC/Warner).
  • "The President's Book of Secrets" (2011) History Channel docu uncovers the fascinating truths behind some of the most confidential secrets in American history: Interviews with former intelligence operatives, renowned historians and archivists show how classified information is treated in the highest circles of political power, how it's preserved throughout history, and who ensures continuity when a new leader is elected. $19.95. (A&E).
  • "The Third Reich" (2011) History docu digs deep beneath the surface of our collective understanding of the Third Reich and unearths what we don't know about the individuals who comprised one of the most fascinating and complex regimes of recent history. Two-disc set, $24.95. (A&E).
  • "Forgiveness" (2011) Documentary explores the act of forgiveness through a wide range of stories, from adultery and personal betrayal to the post-genocidal reconciliation of nations. In focusing on specific instances of affliction -- one family torn apart by abandonment, the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa or the memories of '60s radicals coping with their violent acts of protest -- the film studies the psychological impetus and impacts of this crucial sentiment, illuminating its power, its limitations and, in some cases, its dangers. photo
  • "Lucky" (2010) Documentary on the world of lottery winners. Doesn't matter how impossible the odds are -- the chances of actually hitting a Powerball jackpot are just one in almost 200 million -- almost everyone dreams of winning the lottery. Who hasn't found themselves daydreaming of an answer to the question, "What would I do with all that money?" This film offers a glimpse into the reality behind the fantasy of lottery winners. They come from an amazing range of backgrounds, but all of their lives are radically transformed by the same thing -- an enormous lottery jackpot. (Docurama).
  • "Stonewall Uprising" (2008) American Experience documentary examines the June, 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that marked the beginning of the Gay Rights movement in the United States. $24.99. (PBS Distribution).

    Just Announced

    (April 21) Fox has announced a June 21 release date for "Cedar Rapids," an underwhelming comedy about a naive Wisconsin insurance agent who goes wild at a convention in the "big city," starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Sigourney Weaver; Disney will release "Gnomeo & Juliet," the animated take on Shakespeare's great romance, on May 24; and "The Adjustment Bureau," a sci-fi yarn (based on Phillip K. Dick's short story) starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt will tempt the fates on June 21, from Universal. Click the photos to read more.

    This Week's Releases (April 19)
    From the Big Screen:

    "The King's Speech," "Rabbit Hole," "Somewhere," "The Way Back" and "Gulliver's Travels." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles: (4/19)

    This is the set we've been waiting for since home video was created: "The Ernie Kovacs Collection," a beautiful six-disc set with more than 13 hours of Ernie Kovacs' original classic television content, unforgettable characters and a treasure trove of genuine rarities. Kovacs, whose offbeat humor graced the airwaves for just a decade in the 1950s and 60s, photo served healthy portions of the offbeat to his audiences, who had never seen anything quite like this cigar-wielding charmer. Wickedly funny but not offensive, Kovacs' unique humor and flair for improvisation would ripple across generations, influencing TV funnymen from Johnny Carson and Monty Python to David Letterman, Pee-wee Herman and "Saturday Night Live." Includes episodes From his local and national morning shows, episodes from his NBC primetime show, five ABC TV specials, the color version of his legendary silent show "Eugene," classic sketches, 44-page booklet featuring rare photos, program notes and essays by Jonathan Lethem and TV critic David Kronke. Read more about the lavish box set and the host of special features. $69.97 from Shout! Factory.

    photo Though she went on to create a string of brilliant films, Jane Campion ("The Piano," "Bright Star") will always be remembered for her knockout debut feature, "Sweetie" (1969), which focuses on the hazardous relationship between the buttoned-down, superstitious Kay and her rampaging, devil-may-care sister, Sweetie -- and on their family's profoundly rotten roots. A feast of colorful photography and captivating, idiosyncratic characters, "Sweetie" heralded the emergence of this gifted director, as well as a renaissance of Australian cinema, which would take the film world by storm in the 90s. The folks at The Criterion Collection have just released "Sweetie" in a restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Sally Bongers and approved by director Jane Campion, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.

    From TV to Video: (4/19)

    "American Dad Volume 6" (2008-09) is a three-disc set with 18 episodes from Season 5, $39.98 from Fox ... "Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One" (1990-91) is a four-disc set with 26 episodes of the world's first photo environmentally-conscious superhero, $29.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Children's Hospital: The Complete First and Second Seasons" (2008, 2010) is a two-disc set with 22 episodes of the Adult Swim series, $29.98 from Warner ... "Father Knows Best: Season Six" (1959-60) is a five-disc set with 31 episodes, $39.99 from Shout! Factory ... "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season" (1995-96) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.98 from Warner ... "Glee Encore" (2011) features 30 back-to-back performances from Season 1, from Fox ... "Lorna Doone" (1990) stars Clive Owen, Polly Walker and Sean Bean in a sumptuous adaptation of R.D. Blackmore's beloved tale of forbidden love and revenge in lawless 17th-century England, from Acorn Media ... "A Mind to Kill, Series 3" (2010) is the final series of the gritty, character-driven Welsh detective drama in which acclaimed actor Philip Madoc returns to the dark police drama as DCI Noel Bain, a worldly detective who uses insight and intelligence to solve monstrous crimes. Four-disc set with eight episodes, $69.99 from Acorn Media.

    Buzzin' the 'B's (4/19):

    "Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster" (2010), starring Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, takes up where its predecessor left off, with Ip Man escaping the Japanese occupation of his home town and arriving in Hong Kong, where he opens a martial arts academy to teach photo his unique Wing Chun style ... but he must first prove himself to the corrupt cabal of Hong Kong martial arts masters­ -- as well as to a Westerner who challenges him to an East versus West knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish. From Well Go USA ... A Detroit detective -- whose undercover narcotics team is being systematically murdered one by one -- joins forces with a cocky, young homicide detective to uncover shocking corruption all around them in "Street Kings 2: Motor City" (2011), starring Ray Liotta, Shawn Hatosy, Clifton Powell and Zuliekha Robinson; from Fox ..."Born to Raise Hell" (2010) is a typical direct-to-video Steven Seagal actioner in which Seagal plays a hard-core Interpol Agent assigned to an Eastern European task force to target gun trafficking and dope running throughout the Balkans. When his team is ambushed, he goes on a revenge spree.From Paramount.

    Foreign: (4/19)

    photo Guillaume Canet, Emir Kusturica, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ingeborda Dapkunaite, Diane Kruger, Willem Dafoe, Fred Ward and David Soul star in "Farewell (L'Affaire Farewell)" (2010 -- France), the riveting true story of a KGB colonel who, disenchanted with what the Communist ideal has become under Leonid Brezhnev, gives top-secret documents to a French businessman working in Russia, helping to hasten the end of the Cold War. From NeoClassics Home Entertainment ... "Falco: The Rise and Fall of an 80's Pop Icon" (2008 -- Germany) is the true story of 80's pop star Falco, chronicling his meteoric rise from child prodigy to overnight music sensation. After worldwide success from hits like "Rock Me Amadeus" and "Vienna Calling," Falco tried to escape industry pressure by fleeing into a world of sex and drugs, bringing about his downfall. From Strand Releasing.

    For the Family: (4/19)

    "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" (2011) is a musical fish-out-of-water tale about a small town Diva and her dog's mis-adventures in New York City, staring Ashley Tisdale reprising her role as Disney Channel's "High School Musical" drama queen character Sharpay Evans; from Disney ... "Shaun thew Sheep: The Big Chase" (2011) features seven episodes following the wacky adventures of Shaun and his barnyard buddies; from the creators of "Wallace & Gromit." $14.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate.

    Special Interest: (4/19)

    There's four fascinating documentaries due this week:

  • "GasHole" (2010) illustrates how the oil companies have repeatedly squelched any viable alternatives to petroleum by killing patents, buying out the competition, manipulating supply and reaping record profits following a natural disaster. photo With the ongoing crises in the Middle East coupled with the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, oil prices are on the rise again after a short lull. Although this spike in oil pricing is being directly tied to the coalition-led attack on Libya, has the world's oil supply been affected by either of these crises? Or, is it really a result of the machinations by the oil companies, who have a long history of profiting from crises economics? Release is timed for the one year anniversary of Gulf of Mexico's Deepwater Horizon Deepwater Oil Spill, the worst environmental disaster in the U.S., which came to light on Earth Day in 2010. Narrated by Peter Gallagher. From Cinema Libre Studio.
  • "Jews and Baseball" (2010) traces the Jewish involvement in the history of the sport from the game's earliest days, through the tumultuous war years to today's All-Star games. By bringing to life dramatic moments in this history, including how the legendary Sandy Koufax pioneered rights for players and Hank Greenberg's support of Jackie Robinson, the film demonstrates how Jews shaped baseball, and baseball shaped them. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman. Includes interviews with former player Al Rosen, sports historian Maury Allen, celebrity enthusiasts Larry King and Ron Howard, and all-stars Shawn Green and Kevin Youklis, as well as a rare interview with baseball legend Sandy Koufax. From Docurama Films.
  • "Cul De Sac: A Suburban War Story" (2002) explores the chilling true-life story of Shawn Nelson, a 35 year-old plumber from Claremont, California, who emerged from an 18-foot mine shaft he had dug beneath his backyard in search of gold, stole a tank from a nearby National Guard armory, and went on a rampage through the streets of his neighborhood, crushing cars and lampposts until the cops took him down. $24.98 from Icarus Films.
  • "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" (2010) is a worthy companion piece to Spike Lee's Emmy- and Peabody-winning HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts." This documentary revisits New Orleans five years after photo Katrina to see how the ambitious plans to reinvent the city are playing out. Finding hope, heartache and hardship still, Lee's film is book-ended by two momentous events: the historic 2010 Super Bowl victory of the New Orleans Saints and the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- that changed the history of American's most unique city once again. Amidst all the enduring uncertainties, the film also captures the community's indomitable spirit and ability to celebrate life. More than 300 people share their stories, including former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, historian Douglas Brinkley, activist actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and community organizer Tanya Harris. In addition, longtime New Orleans residents, whose compelling testimonies were a key part of "When the Levees Broke," provide updates on their lives. Two-part, four-hour film from HBO.
  • More DVDs On-Demand From Warner, Sony, Fox, MGM

    (April 14) Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have announced that Warner Archive Collection, Warner's online on-demand distribution arm, will offer select catalog titles from SPHE's "Screen Classics By Request." Beginning April 13, www.warnerarchive.com will feature about 150 manufactured-on-demand titles from the Columbia Pictures film library. Fan favorites among these films include "Genghis Khan," "A Song to Remember" and "A Study In Terror," and "Mickey One."

    photo The Warner Archive Collection, established in March 2009, was the first online, manufacturing on-demand service to offer rare film and TV titles from their library. DVDs are created only after consumers order them via the Web. In a little more than two years, WAC has released nearly 1,000 previously unavailable films, short subjects, TV movies and mini-series.

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Screen Classics by Request" program was announced last September with the introduction of 100 digitally remastered titles (never-before-released on DVD) spanning 75 years of movies from Columbia Pictures.

    Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is bringing even more classics to DVD in April through its "manufacturing on demand" operation. The newest group of films will be part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection and available through online retailers. The vast catalog ranges from 1980's "Defiance" to 1965's four-time Academy Award-nominated "A Thousand Clowns." Read more here.

    This Week's Releases (April 12)
    From the Big Screen:

    "Country Strong" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1" For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles: (4/12)

    photo "Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection" is the first and only complete anthology of films starring one of best Hollywood's dream teams. The collection includes all nine remastered favorites: "Woman of the Year" (1942), "Keeper of the Flame" (1942), "Without Love" (1945), "Sea of Grass" (1947), "State of the Union" (1948), "Adam's Rib" (1949), "Pat and Mike" (1952), "Desk Set" (1957) and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), plus a bonus disc featuring an intimate tribute to Spencer Tracy moderated by Katharine Hepburn; $59.92. "Keeper of the Flame," directed by George Cukor, and "Sea of Grass," are DVD debuts, and are both available separately for $19.97 each. From Warner.

    Shout! factory has a cool cult classic double bill of "drive-in flicks" this week: The "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Race With the Devil Double Feature" "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry" (1974) photo stars Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke and Vic Morrow in a fast-paced chase actioner. Larry (Fonda) is a former NASCAR racer looking to score some quick cash. Mary (George) is a sexy groupie aching to take a fast ride. Together with mechanic Deke (Roarke), they pull off a cold-blooded supermarket heist and hit the highway. Now there's a maniacal lawman (Morrow) on their trail, an entire police force in pursuit and hundreds of miles of roadblocks between their '69 Charger and freedom. Directed by John Hough ("The Legend Of Hell House," "The Incubus"). "Race With the Devil" (1975) stars Peter Fonda, Lara Parker, Loretta Swit and Warren Oates in horror/car chase film. Old friends Roger (Fonda) and Frank (Oates) and their wives (Parker, Swit) take what should be "the best damn vacation ever" until their RV road trip takes a deadly detour at a secluded campsite when they accidentally witness a satanic sacrifice. There's plenty of car chases and a twist ending as the couples are pursued by satanic cultists.

    From TV to Video: (4/12)

    photo "The BBC Tudors Collection" is a 12-disc set with all 25 episodes of the three "Tudors" series, $149.98 from Warner ... "Car 54, Where Are You? The Complete First Season" (1961-62) is a four-disc set with 30 episodes, $39.98 from Shanachie Entertainment ... "Dallas: The Movie Collection" is a two-disc collectors set that includes a prequel, two cast reunion telefilms and a retrospective TV special: "The Early Years," "J. R. Returns," "The War of the Ewings" and "Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork"; $29.98. from Warner ... "Doctor Who Classics" includes "Doctor Who: Kinda," Ep.119 (2009) and "Doctor Who: Snakedance," Ep.125 (1983), $24.98 each from Warner ... "Dragnet 1970: Season Four" (1969-70) is a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $34.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Goodnight for Justice" (2011) stars Luke Perry, Lara Gilchrist, Melanie Papalia and Michael Teigen in a Hallmark Channel movie about a circuit judge in the Western territories who seeks revenge on the outlaws who killed his family; from Entertainment One.

    Buzzin' the 'B's: (4/12)

    "Heartless" (2009 -- U.K.) stars Jim Sturgess, Clemence Poesy, Noel Clarke, Joseph Mawle, Eddie Marsan and Luke Treadawa in a British psychological thriller from cult U.K. director Philip Ridley. photo The film follows Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark across his face, which leaves him an outcast in rough East London. While wandering abandoned yards taking photographs, he comes across a gang of thugs and soon discovers that they are something other than human. From IFC Films ... In "The Inheritance" (2011), starring Golden Brooks, Keith David, DB Woodside, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Rochelle Aytes and Shawn Michael Howard, five ambitious cousins are summoned by the family patriarch to learn about their inheritance -- but one by one they disappear. From Image Entertainment ... In "The Speed of Thought" (2011), starring Nick Stahl, Mia Maestro and Taryn Manning, a young man who possesses the special gift that enables him to read people's minds has been trained by the government to use his ability for deadly missions involving national defense, until he gets wise to their manipulations. From Maya Entertainment.

    On the Indie Front: (4/12)

    Director Michael Winterbottom's "A Summer in Genoa" (2010), starring Colin Firth, Hope Davis, Catherine Keener and Willa Holland, is a powerful tale of grief and loss. Colin Firth is Joe, a professor at the University of Chicago who takes his two daughters to Italy after the accidental death of their mother. The mysteries of a seductive new country stimulates eldest daughter Kelly, who engages in sexual adventures with the local boys, and Firth's distracted professor is comforted by a friend with romantic longings. Younger daughter Mary, however, remains troubled by guilt over her mother's death, suffering from night terrors and haunting visions and the family soon finds themselves in peril. From Entertainment One.

    Foreign: (4/12)

    photo A breakout selection of the midnight section of Cannes in 2010, "Black Heaven" (2010 -- France) was directed by new French filmmaker Gilles Marchand. The story follows an innocent young kid, Gaspar, who, becoming enamored of a mysterious, gorgeous girl, is lured into "Black Hole," a dark, obscure video game world of avatars with deadly serious intentions -- they seduce players to commit suicide in the real world. From IFC Films ... "Ricky" (2009 -- France) Alexandra Lamy, Sergi Lopez, Melusine Mayance, Arthur Peyret. After ordinary people Katie and Paco fall in love and start a life together, something truly extraordinary is added to the mix: a baby called Ricky. But the angelically beautiful baby soon develops bumps on his back that look suspiciously like ... something that gets the media in an uproar. This miraculous creature brings the young family challenges no parent could be prepared for. From IFC Films.

    For the Family: (4/12)

    "Go, Diego, Go!: Diego Saves The World" (2011) includes six-episodes of the Nick series, $16.99 from Paramount ... "The Garfield Show: Private-Eye Ventures" (2011) features six Garfield episodes with adventurous detective themes, from the popular Cartoon Network show, $14.93 from Vivendi Entertainment.

    Special Interest: (4/12)

    It's documentary week again on the DVD front. Here's a breakdown of what's available.

    From First Run Features:

  • "Behind the Burly Q" (2010) Known for being America's most popular form of live entertainment during the first half of the 20th century, the art of burlesque has experienced a new renaissance, photo"Plastic Planet" (2009 -- Austria/Germany) Director Werner Boote takes us on a journey around the globe -- from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the highest peaks of the Alps -- to reveal the far-flung reach of plastic. Interviews with the world's foremost experts in biology, pharmacology and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to our environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects our bodies ... and the health of future generations.
  • "Guy Martin: Portrait of a Grand Chef" (2008) Documentary looks at Guy Martin, the chef of Le Grand Vefour, the legendary Michelin three-star Parisian restaurant, revealing his philosophy of cooking, which ranges from resolutely traditional to savagely creative, and bringing to life the sources of his inspiration.
  • "I'm Dangerous With Love" (2010) Documentary by Michel Negroponte. An underground adventure that traces one man's risky journey into the world of shamanic ritual. Dimitri Mugianis had been addicted to heroin for 20 years when a single dose of ibogaine, a powerful hallucinogen derived from the root of a West African plant, stopped his addiction cold. Extras: Interview with Ibogaine expert Howard Lotsof, "The Science of Ibogaine," photo gallery, director biography.
  • From Docurama:

  • "Let's Talk About Sex" (2011) Every day in America 10,000 teenagers catch a sexually transmitted disease, 2,400 young girls get pregnant and 55 young people are infected with HIV. This documentary takes a revealing look at how American attitudes toward adolescent sexuality impact today's phototeenagers. Director James Houston takes us on a journey to examine trends in American society as personified by a cast of diverse characters. At a high school for pregnant teens in Los Angeles, young girls are contemplating teen parenthood. In Washington, D.C., where HIV infection rates rival several African countries, community outreach workers are trying to save lives. The film also travels to the Netherlands, where Houston compares European attitudes with those in America, then concludes in Oregon, where the lessons learned in Western Europe are helping to create practical solutions.
  • From Image Entertainment:

  • "Highwater" (2009) Documentary. Every winter, when breakers the size of office buildings topple onto the North Shore of Oahu, the world’s top-ranked extreme surfers risk injury and worse to win surfing's fabled Triple Crown. It's the ultimate, adrenaline-fuelled battle of surfing's mega-stars ,captured by acclaimed director Dana Brown.
  • From PBS:

  • "PBS Explorer Collection -- Wild West, Vol. 1" (2011) Six films from American Experience, a series that brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America's past and present, have been bundled together to create this set about the legends of the Old West: Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, Geronimo and the Apache Resistance, Jesse James, Kit Carson and Wyatt Earp. $49.99.
  • From Entertainment One:

  • "The Last Continent/Antarctic Mission" (2008) Two-disc set. Two documentaries on the group of scientists who braved a year in the coldest, most isolated continent on the planet to document the changes taking place due to environmental warming.
  • This Week's Releases (April 5)
    From the Big Screen:

    "TRON Legacy," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," "Little Fockers," "Casino Jack" and "I Love You Phillip Morris." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

    DVD Collectibles (4/5):

    photo The folks over at TCM and Warner Home Video have teamed up again on their bargain-priced ($27.92) four-title sets of film classics, this week releasing "TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Bette Davis," with "Now, Voyager," "Dark Victory," "Old Acquaintance" and "Jezebel"; "TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Marlon Brando," with "A Street Car Named Desire: The Original Director's Version," "Julius Caesar," "The Teahouse of The August Moon" and "Reflections in a Golden Eye"; "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, Volume One," with "Tarzan the Ape Man," "Tarzan Escapes," "Tarzan and His Mate" and "Tarzan Finds a Son!"; and "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, Volume Two," with "Tarzan's Secret Treasure," "Tarzan's New York Adventure," "Tarzan and the Amazons" and "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman."

    From TV to Video (4/5):

    photo "Friday Night Lights: The Fifth Season" (2010) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Universal ... "iCarly: Season 2, Volume 3" (2010) is a three-disc set with 15 episodes and two hour-long TV movies, $19.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount ... "Life Unexpected: The Complete First and Second Seasons" (2010-11) is a six-disc set with 26 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story" (1985 -- TV) stars Richard Chamberlain, Kenneth Colley in the story of Raoul Wallenberg, who aided the escape of 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the hands of the Nazi during WWII; from CBS/Paramount.

    Buzzin' the 'B's (4/5):

    photo "Roger Corman Cult Classics: Action-Packed Collection" includes three Roger Corman produced features: "The Georgia Peaches" (1980: Tanya Tucker, Dirk Benedict), "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase" (1976: Claudia Jennings, Jocelyn Jones, Johnny Crawford) and "Smokey Bites the Dust" (1981: Jimmy McNichol, Janet Julian, William Forsythe). From Shout! Factory ... "Beauty and the Beast: A Dark Tale" (2010) is a Syfy Channel dark twist on the morality tale of forbidden love between beautiful Belle and the feared forest Beast, starring Estella Warren and Rhett Giles; from Entertainment One ... An earthquake and a volcano in a small town unleash a colossal, mythical beast from the depths of the Earth in "Behemoth" (2011), a Syfy Channel "Maneater" series movie starring Ed Quinn, William B. Davis, Pascale Hutton, Cindy Busby and Jessica Parker Kennedy; from RHI Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment).

    On the Indie Front (4/5):

    photo "Year of the Carnivore" (2009) starring Cristin Milioti and Mark Rendall is a quirky coming-of-age comedy about a tomboy store detective who has a disastrous one-night stand and then goes on the hunt for a slew of sexual encounters to learn more about sex and love; from Maya Entertainment.

    Foreign: (4/5)

    Two very strange movies this week from cult film distributor One 7 Movies:
  • "The Real Cannibal Holocaust" (1976 -- Italy): In 1975, Papua New Guinea obtained its long desired independence from the British Empire. A movie crew traveled to the island in order to shoot a film that would allow the Queen to better understand the laws and traditions of the natives. Looking for reality and truth, the cinematographers eventually got a lot more than they had bargained for: extreme violence and depravity. (One 7 Movies).
  • "Sex and Black Magic" (1980 -- Italy) An aging couple travels to an exotic island in order to give their fading sexual life a boost, but little do they know that they will get far more than they are ready to ask for when black magic, cannibalism, tons of perversions and lustful natives enter the picture.

    For the Family (4/5):

    photo In "Sesame Street's Wild Words and Outdoor Adventures" (2011), Elmo and celebrity guests Jimmy Fallon, Debra Messing and Meredith Viera help pre-schoolers learn vocabulary words and counting skills while exploring nature, $14.9 from Sesame Street/Warner ... "Barney Playdate Pack" (2011) is a three-disc gift set with three Barney DVDs: "Let's Pretend With Barney," "Can You Sing That Song" and "Come on Over to Barney's House," $19.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Wild Kratts: Creature Adventures" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes of the PBS Kids series, $24.99 from PBS Distribution ... "Thomas & Friends Playdate Pack" (2011) is a three-disc gift set with three Thomas & Friends DVDs: "Thomas and the Really Brave Engine," "Thomas and the Jet Engine" and "On-Site With Thomas," $19.98 from HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate ... "Chuggers to the Rescue" (2011) features six episodes of the animated pre-school train series, $16.98 from Anchor Bay.

    Special Interest (4/5):

    photo "The Best of Ask This Old House" (2011) is a six-hour special commemorating the 200th episode of "Ask This Old House" that tackles some 44 home projects, $34.99 from PBS Distribution ... "Nova: Deadliest Earthquakes" (2011) follows teams of scientists in Haiti and Chile after the deadly 2010 quakes as they try to gather data to aid in preventing future disasters, $24.99 PBS Distribution ... "Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words" (2011) is a documentary on the acclaimed author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead," $29.98 from Entertainment One ... "KJB: The Book That Changed the World" (2011) is a docudrama about the King James Bible, one of the most important manuscripts in history, Host John Rhys-Davies visits landmarks, explains relics and dramatizes the events surrounding the book. This year is the 400th anniversary of the KJB. From Lionsgate.

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    April 1, 2011
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