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More News: 2003

DVD Collectibles:
It's a great week for classic films. Warner Home Video kicks off the Fourth of July week festivities with the first four titles of its 10-title "The Chaplin Collection," featuring the work of one of the cinema's comedy geniuses, Charlie Chaplin. "The Gold Rush," "The Great Dictator," "Limelight" and "Modern Times" are four of his greatest films, and WHV has digitally re-mastered each from restored Chaplin estate vault elements with never-before-seen footage, behind-the-scenes glimpses and exclusive family home movie footage, housed in beautiful packaging. Each deluxe two-disc set will be priced at $29.95 SRP. A second wave of "The Chaplin Collection" will be released in fall of 2003 and will include four more two-disc DVDs of Chaplin's greatest films, to be announced later this year.

  • "The Gold Rush" (1925). In 1942, Chaplin cut more than 20 minutes from the original 1925 silent version and re-released the film with sound narration. The two-disc DVD includes both the 1942 re-release and the original silent version, with the cut footage reinstated and Chaplin's original score, newly reorchestrated by Neil Brand. Extras: The original Chaplin music score remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; "Chaplin Today -- The Gold Rush, an MK2TV retrospective documentary directed by Serge le Peron with Idrissa Ouedraogo; introduction by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, illustrated with stills; trailers from around the world; galleries of film posters and photos; interview with Lita Grey Chaplin, his wife at the time of the film; original scenario written by Chaplin prior to filming, entitled "The Lucky Strike -- A Play in Two Scenes."
  • "The Great Dictator" (1940). Extras include "The Tramp and the Dictator": Turner Classic Movies documentary co-directed by film historian Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft; rare color home movies shot on the set by Chaplin's half brother Sydney; deleted scene from Chaplin's short film "Sunnyside" (1918), which inspired his creation of the Jewish barber character; Hitler/Mussolini excerpt from Chaplin's scathing black comedy "Monsieur Verdoux"; Chaplin's original story notes, drafts of scripts and production records documenting his creation of the film's impassioned final sequence; soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; poster gallery; 1933 Fox Movietone newsreel about Adolf Hitler.
  • "Limelight" (1952). Extras include: "Chaplin Today -- Limelight," an MK2TV retrospective documentary directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky and Bernardo Bertolucci; featurette on the seven other Chaplin family members in Limelight; 1952 and 1959 home movies of Chaplin's children and Chaplin in London; deleted scenes cut after the premiere, including "one-armed Man" scene; an introduction to the film by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, illustrated by stills; "Limelight" trailers from around the world; galleries of posters and photos; soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; audio-only track of the film's Academy Award winning score; sections of Chaplin's working text for the novel on which the film is based; a six-minute excerpt of the unfinished 1919 film, "The Professor," which mirrors the Limelight fleas and flophouse scenes; production summary.
  • "Modern Times" (1936). Extras include "Chaplin Today -- Modern Times" documentary directed by Philippe Truffault; an introduction to the film by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, illustrated by stills; alternate scene: The complete version of the nonsense song Chaplin sings in the cafe scene; soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; never-before-available original story notes, shooting log and production reports for the "feeding machine" sequence; witty video reminiscence by "Modern Times" musical arranger, composer David Raksin; trailers from around the world; galleries of film posters and photos; extensive production notes. (Posted June 30)

    MGM will release this week two classic foreign films: "Le Femme Nikita Special Edition" (1990), directed by Luc Besson and starring Anne Parillaud, Jean-Hughes Anglade, Jeanne Moreau, Jean Reno and Tcheky Karyo, with such extras as an insightful featurette "Revealed: The Making of La Femme Nikita"; a featurette on the film's music, "The Sound of Nikita"; and "Programming Nikita," an interactive map; and "Wings of Desire Special Edition" (1987), directed by Wim Wenders and starring Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander, Peter Falk and Solveig Dommartin. Extras include commentary by Wenders and Falk, "Angels Among Us" making-of documentary, 32 minutes of deleted footage (with commentary by Wenders), advertising artwork and original German trailers. (Posted June 30)

    IndieDVD and Ventura Dustribution will release this week veteran animator Bill Plympton's controversial feature-length film "Mutant Aliens," which, unfortunately, was not nominated in the Oscar race this year for Best Animated Feature (possibly because the film was rated R for some sexual situations). The black comedy follows the saga of astronaut Earl Jensen whose ship is sabotaged by the director of the space program and is stranded out in space. Twenty years later Jensen returns and becomes a national hero. But the astronaut has more than accolades in mind -- he's brought with him a shipload of mutant aliens and he's after revenge. The disc is loaded with extras and should be available at stores everywhere. For more info: indiedvd.com. (Posted June 30)

    And, lastly, Warner Home Video will release four films from that all-American girl, Barbra Streisand, featuring all-new digital transfers and widescreen presentations of "What's Up Doc?" "Up the Sandbox," "The Main Event" and "Nuts." Each DVD will include exclusive new commentaries by Streisand, marking her first-ever recorded commentaries for DVD and will be available individually for $19.98 SRP. Also available will be "The Barbra Streisand Collection," a four DVD giftset priced at $69.92 SRP. (Posted June 30)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week on DVD: "I Love Lucy: Season One -- Volumes Seven and Eight, with such extras as the series' original opening, guest cast information, flubs, behind-the-scenes audio featurette, radio shows, production notes; $14.99 each, from Paramount. (Posted June 30)

    Special Interest:
    Pioneer Entertainment will release this week Judy Collins: Wildflower Festival," a two-hour concert event taped at Humphrey's by the Bay in San Diego during her national tour earlier this year. Joining Collins are folk legends Arlo Guthrie, Tom Rush and Eric Andersen. The $24.98 DVD features commentary and interviews with Collins, interviews with Guthrie, Rush and Andersen, bios and a photo gallery. (Posted June 30)

    Coming Soon:
    Two new release announcements this week from Columbia TriStar: Due August 26 is "Raising Victor Vargas," a touching romantic drama about a 16- year-old boy's coming-of-age in the Dominican community of New York's Lower East Side; due September 2 is psychological thriller "Identity," starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay, Alfred Molina and Clea DuVall; both on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 23)

    DVD Collectibles:
    The Criterion Collection will release this week:

  • "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" (1959), directed by Alain Resnais and starring Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada. A cornerstone film of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais' first feature is one of the most influential films of all time. A French actress (Riva) and a Japanese architect (Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. Using an innovative flashback structure and an Academy Award-nominated screenplay by novelist Marguerite Duras, Resnais delicately weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish, in this moody masterwork. The DVD features a new high-definition digital transfer; commentary by film historian Peter Cowie, a "Cinepanorama" interview with Alain Resnais (1961), an audio interview with Alain Resnais (1980), Emmanuelle Riva interviewed by Franiois Chalais at Cannes (1959), excerpts from Marguerite Duras' annotations to the screenplay, an isolated music and effects track, a new essay on the film by Kent Jones, a new essay on composer Giovanni Fusco by Russell Lack, and a new and improved English subtitle translation.
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" (1974), starring Brigitte Mira and El Hedi ben Salem. Fassbinder, already the director of almost 20 films by the age of 29, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's "All That Heaven Allows": A lonely German widow meets a young Arab man in a bar during a rainstorm. They fall in love -- to their own surprise -- and to the shock of family, colleagues, and drinking buddies. Fassbinder expertly uses the emotional power of the melodrama to underscore the racial tensions threatening German culture. The DVD features a new high-definition digital transfer and an introduction by director Todd Haynes.
  • Alain Resnais' "Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard)" (1955). Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, the film contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps' quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage. Resnais investigates the cyclical nature of man's violence toward man and presents the unsettling suggestion that such horrors could come again. The DVD features a new high-definition digital transfer with restored image and sound. (Posted June 23)

    From TV to Video:
    Acorn Media will release this week the third DVD from the final season of the Sci Fi Channel's "Lexx," the cheekiest sci-fi series ever. "Lexx S4-V3" features four episodes of the offbeat intergalactic treat, with footage never aired on U.S. television, all in 5.1 Surround Sound; $24.95 ... MPI Home Video will release on DVD Volumes 1-3 of the 1986 TV series "The Return of Sherlock Holmes," starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson; each volume includes two episodes and sells for $14.98 ... Columbia TriStar will release this week "The Best of the Steve Harvey Show," a DVD compilation of five of the best episodes of the Steve Harvey TV show that ran from 1996 to 2002; $19.95 ... Ken Russell's 1992 "Lady Chatterley," based on D.H. Lawrence's novel, was a sumptuous BBC production starring Joely Richardson and Sean Bean. The 3-1/2 hour drama now comes to home video courtesy of Acorn Media in a two-disc DVD set or a two-volume VHS set for $29.95 ... Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release this week a pair of recent TV movies: the 2003 remake of "Sounder" (1972), starring Carl Lumbly, Suzzanne Douglass, Peter MacNeill and Paul Winfield (who starred in the original), $29.99 DVD and $19.99 VHS; and the 2002 "The Pennsylvania Miner's Story," a reenactment of the harrowing ordeal of nine miners trapped in the Quecreek coal mine for three days last year, on VHS rental and DVD for $29.99 ... TV series making their way to DVD this week include "King of the Hill" Season One," in a three-disc set with the first 13 episodes, from Fox for $39.98; "Soul Food: The Complete First Season 2000-2001," starring Nicole Ari Parker, Vanessa Williams, Rockmond Dunbar and Malinda Williams, in a five-disc set from Paramount, and "Monk Premiere Episode: Parts 1 & 2" from (Universal). (Posted June 23)

    On the Indie Front:
    Vanguard Cinema will release this week "15 Amore" (2000), a tale of love and loss set in Australia during WWII as two women fall in love with German and Italian POWs; Strong>"Zoe" (2000), about three girls who run away from Detroit to find meaning in the west; "Mission" (2000), about an aspiring writer who moves to San Francisco and gets caught up in that city's vibrant Mission District art scene; and "Maslin Beach" (1998), about the wacky goings-on at a nudist beach in Australia; all on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 23)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    MTI Home Video will release this week "Drug Lordz," a Latino crime story about two rival drug lords in Oakland, Calif., on VHS rental and DVD; and "Eternal Blood," a Spanish horror film about a role-playing game that leads to vampirism, on VHS rental and DVD ... Monarch Home Video will release "For Real," starring Tim Reid and Tamara Curry in an urban romantic comedy that puts a new twist on "Pygmalion" as a music mogul/lawyer takes charge of a young, sassy woman in trouble with the law, on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 23)

    For the Kids:
    MoPo Home Entertainment this week will release "Star Spangled Baby!" a 30-minute music-based video for ages 0 -- 3 from the company's Jukebox Adventures division. Using live-action, 3-D computer animation and puppetry, the video takes little patriots on a journey through the sights, sites and sounds of the nation's heartland to learn about triangles, stars, squares and rectangles; $14.98 VHS and $16.98 DVD. (Posted June 23)

    Special Interest:
    "Jackie Mason: The World According to Me," the comedian's first one-man Broadway show that played to sold-out audiences for two years and was a phenomenal success on its American and European tours, from White Star Video this week on VHS and DVD for $19.95 ... Kultur Video will release this week "The Glenn Gould Collection," a three-volume set celebrating the life and legacy of one of the greatest pianists of all time. The three volumes are: "Life & Times," an insightful bio of Gould's life, "Russian Journey," which recaptures Gould's historic 1957 trip to Russia, and "Extasis," which combines images and music to unveil the man's passions; on DVD and VHS for $49.95 the set or $19.95 each volume ... Docurama has two interesting releases this week: "John Lee Hokker: That's My Story," a bio of the great bluesman with performance footage and interviews with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, and others, on VHS and DVD at $24.95; and "Lost in La Mancha," a fascinating look at the ill-fated Terry Gilliam project "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," which the director of "Brazil," "The Fisher King" and "12 Monkeys" mounted in the fall of 2000 (with an all-star cast featuring Johnny Depp) and which, faced with insurmountable Hollywood obstacles, was never completed; on VHS ($24.95) and a two-disc fully-loaded-with extras DVD set for $29.95 ... A&E Home Video will release "Russia: Land of the Tsars," a three-hour History Channel special that aired last May, in a four-volume VHS set and a two-disc DVD set for $39.95 ... Revolution Entertainment has released a unique media-saturated video: "Baghdad Bob the Video," featuring the wit and wisdom of Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf as he faces the camera and utters the most incredible soundbites of misinformation about Operation Iraqi Freedom. The video is available from www.baghdadbobdvd.com; 10% of all profits go to the Red Cross. (Posted June 23)

    Coming Soon:
    Due August 12: Paramount will release Tommy Lee Jones starrer "The Hunted" (2003) on VHS rental and DVD; the DVD will include commentary by director William Friedkin, deleted scenes, and four featurettes. From DreamWorks comes Chris Rock comedy "Head of State" (2003), available on rental VHS and DVD. Disney will release "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" (2003), starring Hilary Duff and the rest of the cast from the Disney TV show, on VHS at $24.99 and DVD. Due August 26: Surprise hit "Better Luck Tomorrow" (2003), about a group of Asian-American teens and their struggles for social status in high school, on VHS rental and DVD. On September 23 Disney will release "Holes" (2003), directed by Andrew Davis and starring Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LaBeouf, on VHS at $24.99 and DVD. (Posted June 16)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Anchor Bay has just announced a slew of collectible cult classics (and would-be classics). Topping the list is an exciting Downunder highway thriller, "Road Games" (1981), directed by Richard Franklin and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Stacy Keach. In this adept suspenser, a serial killer is haunting the Aussie highways, and road weary trucker Quid (Keach) becomes the prime suspect when a hitchhiker he picked up (Curtis) disappears. The DVD includes commentary by Franklin, "Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of Road Games" featurette, original storyboards, posters, still galleries; available now. Next up is "The Angel Collection," a trilogy of exploitation films about a high school honor student whose extracurricular activities include prostitution on the mean streets of Hollywood: "Angel" (1984), "Avenging Angel" (1985) and "Angel III: The Final Chapter"; $39.98 the set, available now. Due June 24 from Anchor Bay are "Freeway" (1988), starring Richard Belzer, James Russo, Darlanne Fluegel and Billy Drago in a thriller about a killer taking out drivers on L.A. freeways; "The Aurora Encounter" (1986), starring Jack Elam and Peter Brown in a sci-fier about an alien encounter in the Wild west town of Aurora, Texas, in 1897; and "Star Crystal" (1986), starring C. Juston Campbell and Faye Bolt in a sci-fier about a rock from outer space that contains the alien GAR, a monster that destroys all in its path. (Posted June 16)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week are "Stargate SG-1 Third Season," a five-disc set with three "Secret Files of the SGC" featurettes: "Colonel Jack O'Neil," "The Stargate Universe" and "Personnel Files"; $69.96 from (MGM) ... "The Dead Zone: The Complete First Season," a four-disc set for $49.99 from Lions Gate ... From Urbanworks Entertainment comes "Robert Townsend: Partners in Crime Vol. 1," a variety show starring Townsend, Damon Wayans, Keenan Ivory Wayans, John Witherspoon, Paul Mooney and Ann-Marie Johnson; originally broadcast on HBO in 1991 ... "Christmas Rush" (2002) is a telefilm about a shopping mall overrun by criminals during the Christmas shopping season, starring Eric Roberts, Dean Cain and Erika Eleniak, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted June 16)

    Foreign:
    First Run Features will release this week "Dad on the Run" (2000), a French comedy fueled by Klezmer music and set in the Paris night world about a Bar Mitzvah entertainer and father to a newborn son who is sent on a wild mission through the streets of Pairs to fulfill an obscure Jewish custom concerning his son's circumcism; his mission is hampered by a jealous, gun- wielding husband, a flat-tire, a trunk loaded with frozen fish, and tens of thousands of Roman Catholics celebrating in the streets the arrival of Pope John Paul II. Available on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 16)

    On the Indie Front:
    Indie newcomer Hart Sharp Video will release this week "Tully," winner of the best film award at the L.A. Independent Film Festival and the Gen Art Film Festival. The film is based on an O'Henry prize-winning story by Tom McNeil, about the legacy of love between a family of men and the events one summer that change their world forever. Available on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 16)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Artisan Entertainment's slate this week includes a two-disc set of "The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw" and "The Gambler V: Playing for Keeps," two Kenny Rogers Westerns; "Family Reunion," a comedy about the renewal of family feuds during an annual summer reunion, on VHS rental and DVD; "Suicide Blonde," a thriller about a valet parking attendant lured into the underworld by a mysterious blonde, on VHS rental and DVD; "Frost: Portrait of a Vampire," a horror thriller starring Gary Busey about the ex-head of a U.S. covert mercenary outfit who comes out of retirement to track down and eliminate his old partner, who has become a "creature of the undead," available on VHS rental and DVD; and "Da Hip Hop Witch," about the "Black Witch in the Projects" who attacks rap and hip-hop artists in New York, starring Eminem, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep and Rah Digga, available for $14.98 on both VHS and DVD ... Columbia TriStar will release "Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters" (2002), an actioner where Hong Kong martial arts meet Transylvania blood suckers, written and produced by acclaimed international filmmaker Tsui Hark ("The Godfather of Hong Kong Action Cinema"), on VHS rental and DVD ... MTI Home Video will release this week "Air America: Operation Jaguar," an actioner set in South America, starring Lorenzo Lamas and Scott Plank, on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 16)

    Special Interest:
    First Run Features this week will release an important document analyzing U.S. foreign policy and imperialism in relation to 9/11, "Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times." Directed by John Junkerman, this documentary -- with interviews and excerpt from speeches -- gives the public a rare opportunity to see and listen to one of the most articulate, committed and hard-working political dissidents of our time. His often unpopular but incisive arguments, based on decades of research and analysis, has earned him the title of "the most important intellectual alive" by the New York Times. Available for $24.95 on DVD and VHS. (Posted June 16)

    Coming Soon:
    Due July 1 is reality-TV-gone-mad-and-taking-over-the-big-screen "The Real Cancun" (2003), from New Line on DVD and $26.97 VHS ... Due July 22 is "The Life of David Gale" (2003), directed by Alan Parker and starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet and Laura Linney, on DVD and VHS rental, from Universal ... due August 5 is tween comedy "What a Girl Wants" (2003), starring Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston and Oliver James, on DVD and $19.96 VHS, from Warner ... Due August 12 is comedy thriller "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" (2002 -- France), starring Audrey Tautou and Samuel Le Bihan, on DVD and VHS rental, from Columbia TriStar ... Due August 19 is crime caper "The Good Thief"
    (2003), directed by Neil Jordan and starring Nick Nolte in a remake of Jean Pierre Melville's classic "Bob le flambeur," from Fox on DVD and VHS rental ... Due August 26 is Latin comedy "Chasing Papi" (2003), starring Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Jaci Velasquez, Eduardo Verastegui, D.L. Hughley, Freddy Rodriguez, Joy Enriquez and Lisa Vidal, on DVD and $19.98 VHS, from Fox ... Due September 2 is crime thriller "A Man Apart" (2003), starring Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, Jacqueline Obradors, Geno Silva, Juan Fernadez and Steve Eastin, on DVD and $22.99 VHS, from New Line. (Posted June 9)

    DVD Collectibles:
    It's a great week for restored classics -- and a great week for Warner Home Video, which is releasing the films. First we have the sweeping masterpiece "Giant" (1956) in a two-disc special edition. Directed by George Stevens and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Earl Holliman, Jane Withers, Chill Wills and Mercedes McCambridge, the film, for its time, was the most expensive production ever mounted by Warner Bros. and, fittingly, was the highest grosser the studio had ever released. Extras include commentary by George Stevens Jr., screenwriter Ivan Moffat and critic Steven Farber; three hours of new and vintage documentaries, including two new retrospectives; gala New York and Hollywood premiere coverage; photo and document galleries; extensive production notes; director filmography and an introduction by George Stevens Jr. Next up is the restored "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984), Sergio Leone's masterpiece that was destroyed by the studio during it's initial release (it was cut by 89 minutes and restructured in a linear fashion -- Leone's edit juxtaposes flashbacks to tell its involving story). The director's visionary version has rarely been seen outside limited runs in Los Angeles and New York (or for those lucky few, on the now-defunct "Z" movie channel in L.A.). Warner has restored and remastered the film back to its 229 minute length in a two-disc special edition. Extras include commentary by film historian and critic Richard Schickel, making-of documentary excerpt: "Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone," and a photo gallery. The film stars Robert De Niro, James Woods, Jennifer Connelly, Tuesday Weld, Joe Pesci. Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Burt Young, William Forsythe, Danny Aiello. And, lastly, comes "The Right Stuff" (1983), directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward and Jeff Goldblum. Extras on the two-disc special edition include three new 20th anniversary documentaries featuring the movie's stars, creators and the real-life heroes, including three of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, Commander Scott Carpenter, USN (Ret.), Colonel L. Gordon Cooper Jr., (Ret.), and Captain Walter M. Schirra Jr., USN (Ret.), author Thomas Wolfe, and the film's consulting representative and first man to break the sound barrier, General Chuck Yeager (Ret.); PBS' feature length documentary: "John Glenn: American Hero"; selected scene commentaries with separate cast and filmmaker tracks; fifteen minutes of never-before-seen footage. (Posted June 9)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 4," a six-disc set with all 22 episodes from the fourth season, with such extras as commentary on select episodes by series creator Joss Whedon and Seth Green, scripts, photo galleries and six featurettes; $59.98 from Fox ... Acorn Media will release "Thick as Thieves," a 1974 BBC comedy series starring John Thaw as one half of a criminal odd couple with a complicated domestic arrangement. Bob Hoskins plays the other half, a bumbling small-time crook named George Dobbs who returns home after a three-year jail sentence to find his missus shacked up with his old mate Stanley (Thaw). There's no getting rid of Stan, so the trio share an awkward and hilarious menage a trois. The two-disc DVD set and three-volume VHS set sell for $39.95 each ... The longest-running primetime drama serial, "This Is Coronation Street," has captivated British audiences for 40 years. The show, which chronicles the lives and loves of ordinary people revolving around a classic, English pub, began on Dec. 9, 1960 and has broadcast 5,500 episodes with 25 births, 82 deaths and 51 weddings. Acorn Media has put together a Coronation Street sampler containing the special "40 Years on Coronation Street" and the first five "Coronation Street" episodes, in a two-volume VHS set ($29.95) and a two-disc DVD set ($39.95). DVD set extras include an essay by Coronation Street expert Daran Little, profiles of key early characters, and English subtitles. (Posted June 9)

    Foreign:
    The French film "Bad Company" (1999) is a compelling coming-of-age drama about a shy 14-year-old girl who falls under the spell of a more sexually advanced school girl and finds herself initiated into a sordid world of submission with an older boy who manipulates her to make money. The film, which stars up-and-coming French actors Maud Forget, Lou Doillon and Robinson Stevenin, is from Wellspring Media, on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted June 9)

    On the Indie Front:
    Wellsping Media this week will release "Strange Planet" (1999), a quirky romantic comedy about three guys and three girls who search for love and fulfillment during the course of a year. The film was directed by Emma-Kate Croghan and stars Naomi Watts, Claudia Karvan, Alice Garner, Tom Long, Aaron Jeffrey and Felix Williamson, and is available on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted June 9)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Lions Gate will release this week "Nemesis Game" (2003), a thriller about an introverted college co-ed who spends time with an older comic store owner and who gets involved in mind games and riddles that lead to the deaths of those around her. The film stars Carly Pope, Adrian Paul, Brendan Fehr and Jay Baruchel, on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted June 9)

    Special Interest:
    Get ready for summer: "High Voltage: Energy Up!" is a new lifestyle weight loss and fitness program by trainer-to-the-stars High Voltage, due this week from Eclectic DVD; $14.95 VHS and DVD. (Posted June 9)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week: "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- The Complete Third Season," a seven-DVD box set with 26 episodes. Extras include five featurettes; from Paramount ... "S.W.A.T.: The First Season," a three-DVD set with 13 episodes; from Columbia TriStar ... "Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding," an extended edition of the 2003 telefilm; from Fox ... From Universal this week comes "The Incredible Hulk: Original Television Premiere," the original two-hour series pilot, with such extras as an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the making of "The Hulk" feature film, which opens theatrically June 20, with director Ang Lee and stars Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly; a special introduction by Lou Ferrigno, star of "The Incredible Hulk" TV series; "Married," a two-hour episode featuring Mariette Hartley; commentary by director Kenneth Johnson; "Law & Order: Criminal Intent Premiere Episode," with the first episode of the original "Law & Order" series and a "CI" featurette as bonuses; and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Premiere Episode," with the first episode of the original "Law & Order" series and two "SVU" featurettes as bonuses ... "So Little Time Volumes 3 & 4," on VHS and DVD, each volume containing six episodes of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen TV series. The VHS volumes include behind-the-scenes footage while DVD extras include bonus episodes, blooper outtakes, trivia quizzes and photo galleries; $14.98 VHS, $19.98 DVD, from Warner; and "South Park: The Complete Second Season," with all 18 episodes on three DVDs, with introductions by creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on select episodes, a "Goin' Down to South Park" documentary, and Chef's music video "Chocolate Salty Balls," from Warner. (Posted June 2)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Due this week from MTI Home Video is "Lowball," starring Amber Smith, Peter Greene and Erik Schrody, in a thriller about a cop, suspended from the force, who must track down his kidnapped sister, on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted June 2)

    For the Kids:
    Fox has released the first batch of "Baby Songs" DVDs (where MTV meets Sesame Street) that are designed to enhance child development through music while covering everyday subjects such as table manners, toilet training, sharing and more, featuring performances by kids musician Hap Palmer. The titles -- "Baby Songs: Original," "Baby Songs: Baby's First Day" and "Baby Songs: ABC, 123 -- Colors & Shapes" -- each run about 50 minutes and sell for $19.98 ... "Rolie Polie Olie: The Baby Bot Chase" is the latest movie featuring the zany, out-of-this world adventures of kids TV's first family of animated robots; here Olie and friends meet up with a set of 'bot twins from outer space; from Disney, $19.99 VHS and $24.99 DVD ... MGM and Dic Entertainment debut this week the second wave of Movie Toons, full-length animated features that originally appeared on the "Sunday Noon Movie Toons" block on Nickelodeon; included here are "Dennis the Menace: Cruise Control," featuring the voice of Tom Arnold as Mr. Wilson; "Groove Squad," with the voice of Jennifer Love Hewitt as cheer captain Chrissy; and "Dinosaur Island"; $9.94 VHS and $14.95 DVD (the DVDs include such extras as fun-facts and trivia featurettes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, bloopers, more) ... HIT Entertainment's dog-gone friendly Kipper makes his way to DVD (for the first time) with "Kipper: Fun in the Sun," featuring Kipper and his animated friends Tiger, Jake, Pig and Arnold in seven escapades that encourage pretend play and curiosity, and reinforce positive behaviors such as cooperation, courtesy and kindness; $9.95 (also available on VHS for $6.99). (Posted June 2)

    Special Interest:
    For sports fans, Paramount will release this week "Finally Orange: The Official 2003 NCAA Championship DVD" featuring the 2003 championship game with Syracuse beating Kansas, a recap of the entire NCAA basketball tournament, interviews and more ... Warner will release this week "Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie," a comedy concert tour film featuring Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall as well as Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy; $14.95 VHS and $26.97 DVD ... Eagle Vision has released "Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind," a 90-minute documentary that features rare 60s and 70s performances, interviews, photos, and more; this first full-scale film exploring Mitchell's life and work originally appeared on PBS' "American Masters series; on DVD only. (Posted June 2)

    Hot Sell-through:
    Due this week priced to own from New Line are "Knockaround Guys" (2002), starring Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper and Seth Green, $14.94; "S1m0ne (2002), starring Al Pacino, Catherine Keener and Rachel Roberts, $14.94; and the wonderfully enticing black comedy "Cherish" (2002), starring Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Priestley, Liz Phair, Brad Hunt and Nora Dunn, $9.94. (Posted June 2)

    Coming Soon:
    Warner Home Video will release the Jet Li-DMX thriller "Cradle 2 the Grave" on August 12 on DVD and VHS sell-through ($19.96) ... David Cronenberg's psychological thriller "Spider" will crawl into video stores courtesy of Columbia TriStar on July 29 on DVD and VHS rental ... MGM has finally set a firm release date of August 19 for Michael Moore's Academy Award winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine" on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted May 26)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week from Acorn Media is "The Mayor of Casterbridge," a 1978 BBC drama (which aired on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre) based on the Thomas Hardy novel, adapted by Dennis ("The Singing Detective") Potter and starring Alan Bates, Anna Massey, Anne Stallybrass and Janet Maw, in a three-volume VHS set for $59.95 and a three-disc DVD set for $59.95. (Posted May 26)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    On May 27 MTI Home Video and Redrum Entertainment will release the action/horror film, "Maniacts" (2003), a cutting-edge killer love story starring Jeff Fahey and Kellie Waymire, and filmed on location at a State Penitentiary in Santa Fe, N.M. The film is about two serial killers who fall in love while at an insane asylum. They escape to go on a "Bonnie and Clyde" ride of love and pulp fiction, and try to live a normal life. Unfortunately, "normal" turns out to be a state of mind -- an elusive state of mind. On DVD and VHS rental ... "The Long Ride Home" (2001) gallops from Lions Gate this week. The Western about a man mistaken as a cold- blooded killer on the run from a posse stars Randy Travis, Eric Roberts, Ernest Borgnine and Garry Marshall. (Posted May 26)

    On the Indie Front:
    Vanguard Cinema has a full slate of independent releases this week: Mockingbird Don't Sing" stars Sean Young, Joe Regalbuto, Melissa Errico and Tarra Steele in the true story of a young girl imprisoned by her mentally disturbed parents from the age of 1 1/2 to 13; "Burning Down the House," starring John Savage, James Wilder, Joanne Baron, David Keith, William Atherton, Arye Gross and Rebe Auberjonois, is a thriller about a down-and-out Hollywood director who schemes to burn down his house to collect insurance to finance his next film; "Killer Flick" is a Hollywood satire about a trio of outlaw filmmakers who hit the road with guns blazing, and who will do anything to make their own unique Hollywood film; and "The Distraction," a romantic thriller about a happily married man who begins an affair with a beautiful co-worker and, egged on by his wife, ends up paying for the consequences of his actions; all on DVD and VHS ... From Palm Pictures this week comes "Edge City," a true-to-life look at the extracurricular exploits and clashes of teens living on both sides of the tracks in Philadelphia: the drugs, sex, alcohol and loud music of kids from the inner city and the suburbs, on DVD. (Posted May 26)

    For the Kids:
    Due this week from Paramount are three compilations of animated adventures from the popular Jimmy Neutron Nick TV series: "Jimmy Neutron: Time Warp" and "Jimmy Neutron: When Pants Attack" on VHS, and "Jimmy Neutron: Confusion Fusion" on DVD ... From HIT Entertainment comes the latest direct-to-video adventures of Bob the Builder and his merry crew: "Bob the Builder: Building Friendships," containing four animated stories that emphasize problem solving, teamwork and personal achievement all in a fun, age-appropriate (pre- school) manner; $16.99 DVD and $14.99 VHS. (Posted May 26)

    Special Interest:
    Due from Docurama this week is the DVD release of "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, the 1999 Academy Award winning documentary that examines the struggles over the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, $24.95; and "Full Frame Documentary Shorts," a DVD collection of seven shorts culled from the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, $24.95 ... From A&E Home Video comes Supercar: The Complete Set," all 39 episodes of the ground-breaking supermarionation sci fi series from visionary Gerry Anderson that ran from 1960 to 1961 on TV, in a five-DVD set for $99.95; and "The Century of Warfare," a seven-DVD set containing all 26 hours of the History Channel's landmark series on the battles and wars of the 20th century, $139.95 ... "First Steps on Mars" is a documentary postulating what humankind's first trip to Mars will be like, from MPI Home Video on VHS for $14.98 ... The feature length documentary "American Mullet" is a unique and funny look at this infamous haircut, from Palm Pictures on DVD, $19.99. (Posted May 26)

    Correction:
    "Gods & Generals" is a Warner Home Video release. (Posted May 26)

    Coming Soon:
    On June 17 Miramax will release director Tom ("Run Lola Run") Tykwer's philosophical thriller "Heaven" (2002), starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi ... On July 15 Universal will release "Gods & Generals" (2003), a stirring historical Civil War drama, starring Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Mark J. Nichols, Mira Sorvino, Kevin Conway, C. Thomas Howell and Frankie Faison, as a two-cassette VHS for $22.99 and two-sided DVD 18 disc in widescreen format for $27.98 ... On July 22 Columbia TriStar will release the tasty French thriller "Read My Lips" (2002), starring Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Devos, Olivier Gourmet, Olivier Perrier, Olivia Bonamy and Bernard Alane; and the gritty comedy "Spun" (2003), starring Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Mena Suvari, Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke, Patrick Fugit and Eric Roberts, in R and unrated versions ... On August 5 MGM will release the kid-pleasing secret agent film "Agent Cody Banks" (2003), starring Frankie Muniz, Hilary Duff and Angie Harmon, on VHS for $22.98 and DVD for $26.98 ... On August 19 Warner will release "The Kid Stays in the Picture" (2002), the fascinating documentary about the rise and fall and rise of legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans, on VHS for $22.98 and DVD for $27.95 ... And on October 21 DreamWorks will release Steven Spielberg's TV mini-series "Taken," the highest-rated series on the Sci Fi Channel, due in a six-disc set. All 10 episodes will reside on five discs, with the sixth disc given over to behind-the-scenes featurettes; scheduled to sell for under $90.00. (Posted May 19)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Due June 24 from Home Vision Entertainment are three interesting releases: "Warm Water Under a Red Bridge" (2001), a comic fable for adults from legendary filmmaker Shohei Imamura. A frustrated unemployed architect learns of a treasure hidden inside an old house near a red bridge in a remote fishing village. Upon arriving he encounters a beautiful young woman with an "unusual" condition who lives with her grandmother in the old house. The relationship that builds between them becomes both vital and volatile ... "Black and White in Color" (1976), the winner of the 1976 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. "Black and White in Color" is a voracious and timely satire on racism, colonialism, and war. Set in the Ivory Coast during the WWI, a group of bungling French colonials learn that their country is at war with Germany. Spurred on by a capricious moment of patriotism, the Frenchmen decide to attack their German neighbors ... "Dangerous Moves" (1984), a Cold War political thriller about a highly publicized chess tournament between a senior Soviet master and his former star pupil, now a dissident living in exile. When these two square off, everyone becomes a pawn in the larger game. (Posted May 19)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week, on DVD unless otherwise noted: "The Best of Charlie's Angels," featuring five of the best episodes from Season One: "Angels in Chains," "Dancing in the Dark," "The Seance," "Hellride" and "Consenting Adults," $24.95 from Columbia TriStar ... "Charlie's Angels: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 24 episodes for $49.94, from Columbia TriStar ... "Homicide: Life on the Street: The Complete Seasons One and Two," a four-disc set with 13 episodes and extras, $69.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman: The Complete Season One," a five-disc and six-volume VHS set with all 17 episodes from the first season, from A&E for $79.95 DVD, $99.95 VHS ... "Murder in Greenwich," a telefilm based on the real-life investigation into the decades-old murder of Martha Moxley by one the Kennedy clan nephews, on DVD and VHS from Columbia TriStar ... and another "ripped from the headlines" telefilm, "Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story," starring William Hurt as the FBI-agent-turned-traitor, from Fox on DVD and VHS. (Posted May 19)

    On the Indie Front:
    First Run Features will release this week the South Korean erotic thriller "The Isle" (2001), about a young woman who lives on an eerie, remote lake, selling fish by day and her body by night, whose obsession with a former police office turns into a perverse relationship; "Underground Zero" (2002) is a collection of short films by experimental and documentary filmmakers in response to the events of September 11, 2001, from World Artists Home Video. (Posted May 19)

    For the Kids:
    Due this week from Disney is "Atlantis: Milo's Return," a direct-to-video animated sequel that follows the adventures of Milo and company in the famous underwater kingdom of Atlantis, on DVD and VHS. (Posted May 19)

    Special Interest:
    Home Vision Entertainment will release this week three documentaries about artists: "Hans Hofmann," narrated by Robert De Niro, "Matisse & Picasso" and post-impressionist "Edouard Vuillard," $19.95 each ... "Denise Austin's Power Zone: Mind, Body and Soul" is the latest workout video in which America's leading fitness maven combines standing pilates, yoga and stretching exercises to sharpen the mind, strengthen the body and soothe the soul, $14.98 on VHS from Artisan Entertainment; the company also will release to DVD for the first time Austin's "Fat Blasting Yoga" and "Yoga Buns" for $14.98 each. (Posted May 19)

    From TV to Video:
    Paramount will release this week two sets of TV favorites on DVD: "Cheers: The Complete First Season," (1982-83), with such extras as a Ted Danson interview and three featurettes (including one on "Stormin' Norm-isms"), and a trivia game; and "Frasier: The Complete First Season" (1993-94), with two featurettes ... HBO will release this week "Sex and the City: The Complete Fourth Season" in a three-disc set with all 18 episodes ... Acorn Media will release the first U.S. home video outing of the popular A&E mystery franchise that has taken the U.K. by storm, "Midsomer Murders." A cluster of idyllic English villages is the backdrop for these darkly humorous contemporary mysteries, based on the Caroline Graham novels and starring John Nettles as unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. Set One of the series includes four feature length episodes; $59.95 DVD, $79.95 VHS. (Posted May 11)

    Sell-through:
    Due May 20 on VHS: "The Banger Sisters" (2002), starring Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, Geoffrey Rush and Erika Christensen; "Brown Sugar" (2002), starring Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker and Queen Latifah; "One Hour Photo" (2002), starring Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole and Eriq La Salle; and "Unfaithful" (2002), directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Chad Lowe, Kate Burton and Margaret Colin; $14.98 each from Fox. (Posted May 11)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    In "Sabretooth," a scientist unleashes a monster when he resurrects one of nature's most fearsome predators using fossilized DNA, starring David Keith, Vanessa Angel and John Rhys-Davies, from Lions Gate on DVD and VHS ... "Wilder", starring Pam Grier and Rutger Hauer, is an actioner about a sharp-tongued maverick cop (Grier) who, during the course of a murder investigation, uncovers a demonic conspiracy by a rogue pharmaceutical company, from MTI Home Video on DVD and VHS. Both titles are due this week. (Posted May 11)

    For the Kids:
    The Teletubbies continue to spread their message in "Look! Simple Shapes and Playful Patterns," a new direct-to-video release from Warner Home Video and PBS KIDS Home Video. "Look!" will debut on DVD and VHS on May 20, as will the DVD of the popular "Go! Exercise With the Teletubbies." Both titles will be available on DVD at a $19.98 and on VHS at $12.94. "Look!" is the first home video title to feature the funny and simple new format of the 10-minute, "treat-sized" Teletubbies Everywhere segments in which the Teletubbies explore shapes, numbers and colors within a wonderful and colorful new environment. These episodes also include live action inserts that showcase real life children from all over the world, from Namibia and France ... Also this week Columbia TriStar will release a new collection of Jay Jay the Jet Plane adventures: "Jay Jay the Jet Plane -- Good Friends Forever," featuring three episodes on VHS and five episodes on DVD that deal with valuable life lessons about friendship, $9.95 and $14.95 respectively. (Posted May 11)

    Foreign:
    Facets Video will release two mythic tales reinterpreted for the big screen on May 20. First is Lars von Trier's "Medea" (1987), after a script by Carl-Th. Dreyer. "Medea" is a revelation -- the discovery of a rarely-seen, highly-acclaimed film from the director of "The Kingdom," Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer in the Dark." Von Trier explores the dark passions of a woman scorned in this shocking and powerful film. The drama unfolds in shimmering marshlands and gloomy subterranean passageways. Medea is the foreign sorceress, abandoned by Jason, her lover. In a fit of mad, jealous rage, she plots a vicious revenge and murders her own children; DVD and VHS $29.95; Danish with English subtitles. The second title is Miklos Jancso's "Electra, My Love" (1974). In an awesome leap of imagination, Jancso, one of the world's great filmmakers, relocates the classic myth on a desolate Hungarian plain. Here, the nail-biting drama plays out against the rituals of naked girls and galloping horsemen. The film is shot as a visual epic, with elaborate camera moves that are Jancso's famous signature. When Electra takes off in a red helicopter, the story catapults into the future, in an awesome master-stroke that leaves the audience breathless; DVD and VHS $29.95; Hungarian with English subtitles. (Posted May 11)

    Coming Soon:
    Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have finally gotten together to bring the Indiana Jones Trilogy to DVD. According to a report in the Tuesday, May 6 edition of The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount will release on Nov. 4 "The Adventures of Indiana Jones -- The Complete DVD Movie Collection," a four-disc set to retail for under $50.00. Each Indie film will occupy a single disk, sans commentary, but the fourth disc will contain to-be-determined extras, with the most likely candidate to be a series of "archeological" featurettes. In both widescreen and fullscreen editions. (Posted May 4)

    Other new announcements: June 10: "They," a horror thriller starring Laura Regan, Marc Blucas and Ethan Embry, from Dimension ... July 1: "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," starring Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Klein, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse and Adam Goldberg, from Paramount ... July 8: Talk about short theatrical to video windows -- "Phone Booth," which opened in early April and is still in theaters and still grossing respectable figures, will arrive in a scant three months from Fox; the film is directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Radha Mitchell, Katie Holmes and Paula Jai Parker; also on July 8 comes Army thriller "Basic," directed by John McTiernan and starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, Taye Diggs, Harry Connick Jr., Giovanni Ribisi, Brian Van Holt and Roselyn Sanchez, from Columbia TriStar ... July 15: Off-beat comedy "Laurel Canyon," starring Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone, Alessandro Nivola, from Columbia TriStar ... and August 5: Smash comedy hit Bringing Down the House," starring Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Jean Smart and Betty White, on VHS to own at $24.99. (Posted May 4)

    DVD Collectibles:
    On June 3, Artisan will release an innovative edition of 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "T2: Extreme DVD," a new, loaded two-disc set with two versions of the film: a new digital transfer with Dolby 5.1 EX sound on Disc 1 and "T2: High Definition," a first-ever Microsoft Windows Media 9 series version playable in high resolution and 5.1 sound on Disc 2. Other extras: Disc One: Dolby Headphone audio track, new commentary, interactive mode with graphic commentary and behind-the-scenes footage. Disc Two: "No Feat but What We Make" documentary on the role of "T2" in the evolution of digital effects; "T2: On the Set" retrospective montage of life on the set; "Infiltration Unit Simulator and T2 FX Studio" which allows you to morph imported images into a T-1000 or T-800 Terminator; "Skynet Combat Chassis Designer" that allows you to construct and field test your own fighting machine.

    Warner Home Video will release on June 3 "The Animatrix," a "fusion of CG-animation and Japanese anime" collection of nine original short films conceived by the Wachowski Brothers, the creators of "The Matrix" trilogy. Inspired by the visionary action and innovative storytelling that power the trilogy, this spectacularly visual short film series delves deeper into the mind-bending world of The Matrix and the characters who inhabit it. Created in the anime style pioneered by Japanese animation artists and helmed by world-renowned anime directors, "The Animatrix" also features the voices of actors Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) in two of the shorts. "The Animatrix" debuts worldwide on DVD and videocassette between the release of the next two films in "The Matrix" trilogy -- "The Matrix Reloaded," which opens theatrically on May 15, followed by "The Matrix Revolutions," which debuts in theaters in November.

    Columbia TriStar will release on June 3 "Black Hawk Down Deluxe Edition" (2001), directed by Ridley Scott and starring Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore and Sam Shepard, in a new three-disc set. Disc One: Commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Scott; commentary by author Mark Bowden and screenwriter Ken Nolan; commentary by U.S. Special Forces veterans ('93). Disc Two: "The Essence of Combat: Making Black Hawk Down" six-piece documentary; eight deleted and alternate scenes with optional filmmaker commentary; production design archive; storyboards with optional commentary; Ridleygrams with optional commentary; Bruckheimer's "Black Hawk Down" photo album; opening title explorations with optional commentary; photo galleries. Disc Three: "The History Channel Presents: The True Story of Black Hawk Down"; "PBS Presents: Frontline -- Ambush in Mogadishu" (with interactive mission map and timeline); target building insertion: multi-angle sequence with optional commentary; question and answer forums: BAFTA with Scott, Bruckheimer, Hartnett, McGregor, Jason Isaacs, Mark Bowden and Tom Matthews, Motion Pictures Editor's Guild with Pietro Scalia, American Cinematheque with Bruckheimer and Scott; "Gortoz a Ran -- J'Attends" music video performed by Denez Prigent & Lisa Gerrard; theatrical poster explorations.

    Also from Warner on June 3 comes "Fame" (1980), directed by Alan Parker and starring Irene Cara, Laura Dean, Paul McCrane, Gene Anthony Ray and Anne Meara, with such extras as a "class reunion" commentary by Parker, making-of featurette and a "Fame" field trip to the real New York City High School for the Performing Arts. (Posted May 4)

    From TV to Video:
    On May 6 Columbia TriStar will release "The Greatest '70s Cop Shows" on DVD, a compilation of the first episodes of "Charlie's Angels," "Starsky and Hutch," "S.W.A.T.," "Police Woman" and "The Rookies" ... "The Incredible Hulk Collection" is a two-disc set with two full-length Incredible Hulk telefilms: "The Incredible Hulk Returns" and "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," starring Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby. Extras include an interview with Ferrigno, "The Marvelous World of Stan Lee" featurette, "Stand Tall" Ferrigno documentary, a poster and still gallery; from Anchor Bay. (Posted May 4)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Due this week from Lions Gate is "The Pilot's Wife" (2001), a thriller about a woman who discovers that her pilot husband led a secret life when his passenger jet explodes over the ocean, killing all 103 passengers on board, with the finger of guilt pointing to her husband, starring Christine Lahti, Campbell Scott and John Heard ... "People From Space" (1999) is a weird sci-fi thriller about two couples who head out into the wilds to look for an alien crash site, along the way encountering a plethora of strange people, places and things, including a sex-tree, Orgasm Trail, Twig Man and a weird, pulsing light; from Elite Entertainment. (Posted May 4)

    For the Kids:
    The latest direct-to-video from Down Under's The Wiggles is "Wiggle Bay," a sand 'n' surf adventure featuring a beautiful mermaid, a magical shell and a barbecue on the beach, for pre-schoolers this week from HIT Entertainment, $14.95 VHS and $19.99 DVD ... MGM has launched a new collection of animated features dubbed "Movie Toons" for kids six to 11, with the first batch of three set for this week: "Inspector Gadget's Last Case," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Friends Forever" and "Time Kid"; all have been featured on Nick's "Sunday Noon Movie Toons" block; $9.94 VHS and $14.95 DVD. (Posted May 4)

    DVD Collectibles:
    On May 27, Home Vision and The Criterion Collection will release new high definition transfers of four classic films:

    Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Quai des Orfevres" (1947), starring Suzy Delair, Bertrand Blier, Simone Renant and Louis Jouvet. Blacklisted for his daring "anti-French" masterpiece, "Le Corbeau," Henri-Georges Clouzot returned to cinema four years later with the 1947 crime fiction adaptation, "Quai des Orfevres." Set within the vibrant dancehalls and historic crime corridors of 1940s Paris, ambitious performer Jenny Lamour (Suzy Delair), her covetous piano-playing husband Maurice Martineau (Bertrand Blier), and their devoted confidante Dora Monier (Simone Renant) attempt to cover one another's tracks when a sexually aggressive high-society acquaintance is murdered. Enter Inspector Antoine (Louis Jouvet), whose seasoned instincts lead him down a circuitous path in this classic whodunit murder mystery. The DVD includes a new high-definition digital transfer; collection of intimate interview excerpts from French television with director Clouzot and key actors; original theatrical trailer.

    Volker Schlondorff's "Coup de Grace" (1976), starring Margarethe von Trotta, is a story of psychosexual depression, promiscuity, and revolutionary collaboration set against the backdrop of the Russian Civil War. The DVD includes a new digital transfer; video interview with Schlondorff and screenwriter/star von Trotta, new and improved English subtitle translation.

    Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" (1957), starring Toshiro Mifune and Isuzu Yamada. One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare into film, Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" re-imagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. The DVD includes a new high-definition digital transfer; commentary by Japanese film expert Michael Jeck; original theatrical trailer; new essay by Stephen Prince ("The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa"); two alternative subtitle translations: a new version from renowned Japanese film translator Linda Hoagland, and Kurosawa expert Donald Richie's subtitles using Jacobean diction; notes on subtitling by Linda Hoagland and Donald Richie; new and improved English subtitle translation.

    Derek Jarman's "Jubilee" (1977), starring Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox, Jordan, Hermine Demoriane, Ian Charleson, Richard O'Brien and Adam Ant. When Queen Elizabeth I asks her court alchemist to show her England in the future, she's transported 400 years to a post-apocalyptic wasteland of roving girl gangs, an all-powerful media mogul, fascistic police, scattered filth, and twisted sex. Music by Brian Eno. The DVD includes a new high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Peter Middleton; original documentary on Jarman and "Jubilee" made by Jarman actor Spencer Leigh, featuring interviews with stars Runacre and Willcox, film historian Tony Rayns, production designer Christopher Hobbs, filmmakers John Maybury and Lee Drysdale, with rare Super 8 clips and memorabilia from the film; ephemera from Jarman's personal collection, including his scrapbook from the film illustrated with rare photos and notes; liner notes by Jarman biographer Tony Peake and cultural historian Jon Savage. (Posted April 28)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    From MTI Home Video, due April 29, comes "Icebreaker," starring Sean Astin, Bruce Campbell and Stacy Keach, about terrorists who take a winter resort hostage with a stolen nuclear device; "The Atlantis Conspiracy," a thriller starring Amanda Donohoe, Jeremy Davies, Bill Sage and Adrienne Shelly; and "Driven," starring Chad Lowe, Daniel Roebuck and Tony Todd, about a group of road-weary cab drivers trying to make sense of their desperate lives while eking out a living on the mean streets of L.A. ... From Lions Gate comes "100 Women," a romance about the travails of love and kismet: a young man, through a twist of fate, finally meets a woman who restores his faith in life, loses her when she enters a woman's residence in a state of depression, and tries to restore her zest for living. (Posted April 28)

    From TV to Video:
    A&E will release this week a compilation of the cult British TV series Mr. Bean,"Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean." The three-volume set includes all 14 Mr. Bean episodes; the DVD edition also includes a 40-minute documentary, never-before-seen skits, and more; $49.95 DVD and VHS ... also from A&E comes the recent lavish A&E production of "Napoleon," starring Christian Clavier, John Malkovitch, Isabella Rosselini and Anouk Aimee; the three-disc DVD set sells for $49.95 and the four-volume VHS set goes for $59.95 ... Docurama will release this week a four-disc set of Michael Moore's Emmy- nominated TV show "The Awful Truth." "The Awful Truth: The Complete DVD Set" includes all 24 episodes with behind-the-scenes commentary, extra footage and "Moore" Awful Truths, $69.95. (Posted April 28)

    Special Interest:
    Docurama will release this week the exciting true-life courthouse thriller (and 2001 Academy Award-winning documentary) "Murder on a Sunday Morning." In May 2000, in Jacksonville, Florida, Mary Ann Stephens was shot in the head in front of her husband during a mugging and, two hours later, Brenton Butler, a 15-year-old black male, was arrested for the murder. Stephens' husband identifies Butler, and the young man signs a confession. Everyone is ready to condemn Butler, except his lawyer, who reopens the inquiry and uncovers a slew of shocking and troubling elements about the case. Available on DVD and VHS, $24.95. (Posted April 28)

    For the Kids:
    Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release this week "X-Men: The Legend of Wolverine," an animated epic that has the X-Men joining forces with Magneto in a fight to save all mutants from annihilation; the DVD includes a bonus episode, commentary and a Stan Lee featurette; $19.99 DVD and $14.99 VHS. (Posted April 28)

    Date Change:
    Warner Home Video has cancelled the June 3 release of "The Ben Stiller Show" DVD; a new date has not been set. (Posted April 28)

    Coming Soon:
    Fox has just announced the July 29 release of comic book hero smash "Daredevil," priced to own on VHS at $24.98 and in a two-disc DVD set at $29.98 ... Miramax has firmed up a July 1 release of Martin Scorsese's crime saga "Gangs of New York" ... New Line has announced a July 22 release for grim reaper teen thriller "Final Destination 2," $22.99 VHS and $27.98 DVD ... and Fox will release Steven Soderbergh's remake of "Solaris" on July 29. (Posted April 21)

    DVD Collectibles:
    On May 13, The Criterion Collection will release "Criterion's Alfred Hitchcock Collection: Wrong Men & Notorious Women: Five Hitchcock Thrillers 1935-1946." A supreme technician and innovative stylist, Alfred Hitchcock always left his indelible stamp on his productions. From the wit, romance, and fast-paced action of 1935's British-made "The 39 Steps" to the bittersweet blend of lush romance and spy thriller in the 1946 Hollywood production "Notorious," Hitchcock continually flaunted a peerless formal mastery as he capitalized on a wide variety of genres. In the 1940 Academy Award-winning "Rebecca" and 1945 psychoanalytic thriller "Spellbound," Hitchcock also proved himself a keen surveyor of the human mind, incisively exploring the psychology of fear and sexual repression within the context of films that both entertained audiences of the day and ensured that his career would be one of the most illustrious in the history of cinema. The five-disc box set includes "The 39 Steps," "The Lady Vanishes," "Rebecca," "Spellbound" and "Notorious"; $124.95.

    Also on May 13, Warner will release "The Mission Special Edition" (1986), directed by Roland Joffe and starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi, Ronald Pickup, Chuck Low and Liam Neeson. The two-disc set includes commentary by Joffe and a "Making of The Mission" featurette.

    On May 20 Fox will release to DVD for the first time two Ethan and Joel Coen films: "Barton Fink" (1991), starring John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner and John Mahoney, with eight deleted scenes; and Miller's Crossing" (1990), starring Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, Albert Finney, John Turturro and Steve Buscemi, with interviews with Byrne, Harden and Turturro. It was lukewarm at the boxoffice but should be hot in a special edition: "Windtalkers Director's Edition" (2002), directed by John Woo and starring Nicholas Cage, Christian Slater and Adam Beach arrives as a three-disc set with Woo's new cut of the film, adding 20 minutes. Extras include an introduction by Woo, three commentaries (Wood and producer Terence Chang, Cage and Slater, actor Roger Willie and Navajo Code Talker advisor Albert Smith), "The Code Talkers: A Secret Code of Honor" documentary, "American heroes: A Tribute to Navaho Code Talkers" World War II tribute featurette, "The Music of Windtalkers" featurette, battle sequence multi-view of four key action scenes, four fly-on-the-set scene diaries, "Actor's Boot Camp" featurette, and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, from MGM for $39.98 on May 20. Also that day MGM will release "Dances With Wolves Special Edition" (1990), directed by Kevin Costner and starring Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene and Rodney A. Grant. The two-disc set includes both the four-hour Costner extended version of the film as well as the original Special Edition, with such extras as commentary by Costner; commentary with Costner and producer Jim Wilson; commentary by director of photography Dean Semler and editor Neil Travis; "Creation of an Epic" retrospective documentary with "Novel to Screen," "The Actor Becomes the Director," "The Buffalo Hunt," "The Look and Sound of Dances," "The Art of Composition" and "The Success of Dances" segments, all with new interviews with cast and crew; a music video by composer John Barry; original "Making of Dances With Wolves" featurette; photo montage; and a poster gallery; $29.98. (Posted April 21)

    From TV to Video:
    Columbia TriStar will release this week "Mad About You: The Complete Second Season" in a three-disc set with all 25 episodes, $39.95 ... On April 29 Fox will release "American Family: Season One," a six-disc set with all 22 episodes of the PBS series with select scene commentary, home movies, interviews, and a "Behind the Scenes of American Family" featurette; $69.98 ... Also on that day Warner will release "Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season," with all 22 episodes, featuring an introduction by series creator/producer J. Michael Straczynski and various cast members; episode commentaries by Straczynski and cast members Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian and Jerry Doyle; "Building Babylon: Blueprint of an Episode featurette; "Shadows and Dreams: Honors of Babylon featurette," including coverage of the Hugo Award; "The Universe of Babylon 5" data/tech/personnel files; a gag reel and "Babylon 5 Timeline"; $99.98 ... Anchor Bay will release on April 29 "Xena: Warrior Princess Season One," with all 24 episodes on a seven-disc set with series trivia, the "Xena Chronicles" and a photo gallery; $89.98 ... and finally, on April 29, MPI Home Video will release "Dark Shadows DVD Collection 5," with 40 episodes (372-412) on four discs; $59.98. (Posted April 21)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    From Lions Gate this week comes "The Believer," a portrayal of a young Jewish man who lives as a neo-Nazi, starring Ryan Gosling, Billy Zane, Summer Phoenix and Theresa Russell; and "Rip It Off," a female heist thriller starring Jennifer Esposito, Alyson Hannigan, Steve Harris, Nastassja Kinski and Todd Field. (Posted April 21)

    Special Interest:
    Artisan Entertainment will release this week a "Best of Discovery" promotion, sending to DVD three Discovery Channel programs: a two-disc set featuring four episodes of "Monster Garage," two episodes of "The Jeff Corwin Experience" on one disc, and the religious documentary "The Quest for the True Cross" ... Also due this week is "Fire on the Mountain," a documentary on America's fabled 10th Mountain Division, a group of champion skiers and mountaineers put together by the army to fight the Nazi and Axis troops in the high mountain passes of Europe during WWII, new to DVD from First Run Features. (Posted April 21)

    Coming Soon:
    Due May 13: "Comedian" (2002), a documentary on Jerry Seinfeld and standup comedy, from Miramax ... Due May 27: Exciting spy-in-training thriller "The Recruit" (2003), directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Al Pacino, Colin Farrell, Bridget Moynahan and Gabriel Macht, from Buena Vista; and Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" (2002), starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox and Jessica Kate Meyer, from Universal ... Due June 3: silly but enjoyable comedy "The Guru" (2003) starring Jimi Mistry, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Christine Baranski and Michael McKean, from Universal ... Due June 10: "Animal House" for the 21st Century comedy "Old School" (2003), starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, Perry Reeves, Craig Kilborn and Jeremy Piven, from DreamWorks; and "Tears of the Sun" (2003), a war actioner starring Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser, Fionnula Flanagan, Eamonn Walker, and Tom Skerritt. ... Due June 17: Cop thriller "Narc" (2002), starring Ray Liotta, Jason Patric and Chi McBride, from Paramount ... Due July 15: "The Quiet American" (2002), directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Hai Yen Do, Rade Serbedzija and Tzi Ma; and "Pinocchio" (2002), directed by Roberto Benigni and starring Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Carlo Guiffre; with the dubbed voices of Breckin Meyer, Glenn Close, John Cleese, Eric Idle. David Suchet, Cheech Marin, Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah and Regis Philbin; both from Miramax. (Posted April 14)

    DVD Collectibles:
    On September 9 the folks at Disney are going to their movie vault to bring out a DVD edition of "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) in a two-disc set, featuring a new transfer, Dolby remix, widescreen and fullscreen versions, featurettes, virtual gallery, historical extras, interviews; $29.99. Then on October 7 the company will bring out the much-demanded DVD edition of "The Lion King" (1994) -- the best selling home video of all time -- in a Platinum Edition two-disc set featuring the original theatrical and Imax versions, interviews, deleted scenes, games, virtual tour of Africa, more; $29.99. Other classic Disney adventures scheduled for release soon: On April 29: Disney's first all live-action film, "Treasure Island" (1950), starring Bobby Driscoll and Robert Newton will be restored and remastered. And on May 13 -- finally -- the company will release the classic Jules Verne saga "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954), starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Peter Lorre, restored and remastered on a two-disc set loaded with extras. See DVD listings for more information.

    On April 15, in honor of Bob Hope's 100th birthday, Universal Studios Home Video will release many of his early films under the umbrella title "The Bob Hope DVD Tribute Collection." Included here are low-priced reissues of the Hope-Bing Crosby "Road" pictures -- "The Road to Singapore," "The Road to Zanzibar," "The Road to Morocco" and "The Road to Utopia" -- as well as "The Paleface" and "The Ghostbusters" ($14.98 each DVD or $9.98 VHS). In addition, the company is releasing six DVD double features (with no suggested list price): "The Big Broadcast of 1938/College Swing," "My Favorite Blonde/Star Spangled Rhythm," "Louisiana Purchase/Never Say Die," "Monsieur Beaucaire/Where There's Life," "Sorrowful Jones/The Paleface" and "Caught in the Draft/Give Me a Sailor."

    The folks at The Criterion Collection have pulled out all the stops for a deluxe Francois Truffaut five-disc set: "Francois Truffaut's The Adventures of Antoine Doinel," due April 29. The release of Francois Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" (Les Quatre cents coups) in 1959 shook world cinema to its foundations. The now-classic portrait of troubled adolescence introduced a major new director in the cinematic landscape and was an inaugural gesture of the revolutionary French New Wave. But "The 400 Blows" did not only introduce the world to its precocious director -- it also unveiled his indelible creation: Antoine Doinel. Initially patterned closely after Truffaut himself, the Doinel character (played by the irrepressible and iconic Jean-Pierre Leaud) reappeared in four subsequent films that knowingly portrayed his myriad frustrations and romantic entanglements from his stormy teens through marriage, children, divorce, and adulthood. "With The Adventures of Antoine Doinel," Criterion presents Truffaut's celebrated saga in its entirety: the feature films "The 400 Blows," "Stolen Kisses," "Bed and Board," "Love on the Run," and the 1962 short subject, "Antoine and Colette," in a special edition five-disc box set, with a host of extras; $99.95. See DVD listings for more information.

    Over at Home Vision Entertainment (which distributes The Criterion Collection), on April 29 comes the release of "Drole de Drame" (1937), directed by Marcel Carne and starring Michel Simon, Francoise Rosay, Louis Jouvet and Jean-Louis Barrault. The film (From the creators of "Children of Paradise") is a screwball comedy about a vegetarian serial killer, set in Edwardian London. The DVD features a new digital transfer and liner notes by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum.

    On July 15 MGM will release a nifty "Billy Wilder DVD Collection" of nine discs, featuring four new releases, "Avanti!" "Kiss Me, Stupid," "One, Two, Three" and "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (see below) as well as previously released "Some Like It Hot," "Witness for the Prosecution," "The Apartment," "The Fortune Cookie," "Irma La Douce," for $129.96. "Avanti! (1964) with Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills, "Kiss Me, Stupid" (1964) with Dean Martin and Kim Novak, "One, Two, Three" (1961) with James Cagney, Pamela Tiffin, Horst Buchholz and Arlene Francis are straight forward transfers, but "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970), starring Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely and Christopher Lee has such nice extras as a new interview with Christopher Lee, "Mr. Holmes, Mr. Watson"; 30 minutes of deleted sequences ("Original Prologue," "The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room," "The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners," "The Adventure of the Dumbfounded Detective: Holmes Recounts an Affair of the Past"); an interview with film editor Ernest Walter and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery with 150 stills. (Posted April 14)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week: "Family Guy Volume One," a four-disc set of the first and second seasons (28 episodes) of the animated Fox series (1999-2000), $49.98; BBC Worldwide will release a three-disc collector's edition of Dennis Potter's classic noir-musical "The Singing Detective," starring Michael Gambon and directed by Jon Amiel, $59.98; "Invincible" (2001), a fantasy tale about a band of misfits trained to battle fallen angels to save the world, starring Billy Zane, from Miramax. (Posted April 14)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    From MTI Home Video, due April 15: psycho-thriller "Phobic" is about a young man's desperate struggle against a violent killer, starring Billy Parish and Anthony Azizi; "Genius," an urban drama about a young man who enlists his self-centered economics teacher to help win the hand of a beautiful but snooty girl; and "Sanitarium," a medical thriller about a psychiatric hospital in which the insane get cured and the sane go crazy, starring Uri Geller and Kate Copeland; all DVD $24.95 and VHS rental ... "Cube 2: Hypercube" (2003) is a sci-fi thriller about a group of people who wake up in a bizarre cube dimension where the laws of physics don't apply, from Lions Gate, $24.99 DVD and VHS rental ... "Darkwolf" (2003) is an erotic werewolf thriller starring Kane Hodder, Tippi Hedren and Playmate Jaime Bergman, from Fox on DVD and VHS. (Posted April 14)

    Coming Soon:
    On May 13 Buena Vista will release body-switch comedy "The Hot Chick" (2002), starring Rob Schneider, Anna Faris and Rachel McAdams ... On May 20, Buena Vista will release Spike Lee's "25th Hour" (2002), starring Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brittany Murphy, Rosario Dawson and Anna Paquin ... On June 24 from MGM comes cop thriller "Dark Blue" (2002), directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, Scott Speedman, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Michele and Lolita Davidovich. (Posted April 7)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Fox has announced the next eight titles in its Studio Classics line of restored and remastered Oscar-winning films from its vaults. May 6: "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" (1955), directed by Henry King and starring William Holden and Jennifer Jones; June 3: "The Song of Bernadette" (1943), starring Jennifer Jones; July 1: "Anastasia" (1956), starring Yul Bryner, Ingrid Bergman and Helen Hayes; August 5: "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" (1958), starring Ingrid Bergman, Curt Jurgens and Robert Donat; September 2: "Titanic" (1953), starring Clifton Webb, Barbra Stanwyck, Robert Wagner and Audrey Dalton; October 7: "The Mark of Zorro" (1940), starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell and Basil Rathbone; November 4: "Laura" (1944) starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price; December 2: "The Ox-Bow Incident" (1943), starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Anthony Quinn and Harry Morgan. All include such extras as commentary and Movietone Newsreel footage. (Posted April 7)

    Warner Home Video has mounted several impressive restoration campaigns. Due April 22 is their new label, Classic Musicals Collection, which kicks off with five remastered Cole Porter films: "Broadway Melody of 1940," "High Society," "Kiss Me Kate," "Les Girls" and "Silk Stockings," available separately at $19.95 or in a boxed set, "The Cole Porter Gift Set" ($69.95), which also includes a sixth disc, "The Great American Songbook": Michael Feinstein hosts a brand-new, three-hour documentary on the fascinating evolution of American popular music as told through the stories of the some of the greatest songwriters of all time, including Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, George & Ira Gershwin and dozens more. Featuring performances by some of our most legendary entertainers, including Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Al Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Ethel Merman, Mel Torme, and many more ... The company has also restored four classic and modern films for release in two-disc special editions, leading off with the giant of all widescreen epics, "Giant" (1956), directed by George Stevens with a giant cast including Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Earl Holliman, Jane Withers, Chill Wills and Mercedes McCambridge, with such extras as commentary by George Stevens Jr., screenwriter Ivan Moffat and critic Steven Farber; three hours of new and vintage documentaries, including two new retrospectives, gala New York and Hollywood premiere coverage, more; photo and document galleries; extensive production notes; director filmography; introduction by George Stevens Jr.; "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984), directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Jennifer Connelly, Tuesday Weld, Joe Pesci, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Burt Young, William Forsythe and Danny Aiello, with commentary by film historian and critic Richard Schickel, making-of documentary excerpt: "Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone," photo gallery; "The Right Stuff" (1983), directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward and Jeff Goldblum, with three new 20th anniversary documentaries featuring the movie's stars, creators and the real-life heroes, including three of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, Commander Scott Carpenter, USN (Ret.), Colonel L. Gordon Cooper Jr., (Ret.), and Captain Walter M. Schirra Jr., USN (Ret.), author Thomas Wolfe, and the film's consulting representative and first man to break the sound barrier, General Chuck Yeager (Ret.); PBS' feature length documentary: "John Glenn: American Hero"; selected scene commentaries with separate cast and filmmaker tracks; fifteen minutes of never-before-seen footage; and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves -- Extended Edition" (1991), directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman, with 12 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the movie; commentary by Costner, director Reynolds, Freeman, Slater and writers-producers Pen Densham and John Watson; making-of documentary: "Robin Hood: Myth, Man, Movie"; star interviews; score-only audio track; 3-D weapons gallery; worldwide poster art gallery; extensive production notes. All will be due June 10. (Posted April 7)

    And, finally, the much requested "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965), directed by Robert Aldrich and starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch and Hardy Kruger, will make its way to DVD on May 20 from Fox. (Posted April 7)

    From TV to Video:
    Arriving this week from Acorn Media are several British mystery series: "Tommy & Tuppence: Partners in Crime Set 1," a two-disc DVD set for $39.95; "Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" as a three-volume VHS set for $39.95 and a single DVD disc for $29.95; and "Poirot 4 Collector's Set," with three episodes ("The Million Dollar Bond Robbery," "The Plymouth Express" and "Wasp's Nest") on a single DVD for $29.95 ... Also due this week from Columbia TriStar is "First Shot"(2002), a political thriller telefilm starring Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent out to track down a terrorist group bent on killing the president, on VHS rental and $24.95 DVD. (Posted April 7)

    For the Kids:
    Due this week from Columbia TriStar are "Dragon Tales: Let's Start a Band," an all new full-length adventure in which kids get to make music with their favorite Dragon Tales friends, $12.95 VHS and $14.95 DVD, and the DVD debut of "The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation" (1986), for $14.95. (Posted April 7)

    On the Indie Front:
    Due this week are "I Don't Know Jack," a documentary about the unsolved life and homicide of Jack Nance, star of David Lynch's "Eraserhead," and "7 Year ZigZag," a distinctly original musical film, told in rhythm, rhyme and swing; for more info: www.clubzigzag.com and www.jacknance.com ... Columbia TriStar will release on April 11 (Friday) the 2003 Academy Award winner for Best Short Film (Animated) "The ChubbChubbs!" for $9.95 DVD. (Posted April 7)

    Special Interest:
    "George Carlin: Back in Town," taped live at New York's Beacon Theatre, is available now from MPI Home Video, $19.98 DVD and $14.98 VHS ... From Central Park Media this week is "Pumping Iron II: The Women," a film that explores the determination and strength that is necessary in order to achieve excellence in the field of bodybuilding, $19.99 DVD. (Posted April 7)

    Foreign:
    Facets Family Classics will release this week the Czech "Three Wishes for Cinderella" (1973), a modern retelling of the fairytale but with a switch: Cinderella is no weeping beauty. She rides horses, shoots like a sharpshooter and is just as comfortable wearing a hunter's outfit as those dainty slippers; directed by Vaclav Vorlicek; DVD and VHS at $19.95 each. (Posted April 7)

    Coming Soon:
    Lots of new releases to report on this week:
    Due April 15: "Rabbit-Proof Fence" (2002), about the plight of Aborigines in 1931 Australia, directed by Phillip Noyce, from Miramax; Due May 20: "Max" (2002), a weird take on Adolf Hitler as a young artists, starring John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski and Molly Parker, from Lions Gate; Due May 27: "National Security" (2003), an action comedy starring Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn, Eric Roberts, Bill Duke and Colm Feore, from Columbia TriStar; and "Love Liza" (2003), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates in a tale of a man who finds himself after the death of his wife, from Columbia TriStar; Due June 10: "Frida" (2002), a bio of the famed Mexican painter, directed by Julie Taymor and starring Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Edward Norton, Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd and Valeria Golino, from Miramax; and "The Jungle Book 2" (2003) animated sequel with the voices of John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment, Mae Whitman, Connor Funk, Tony Jay Kaa, Jim Cummings, Phil Collins and John Rhys-Davies, from Disney; Due June 17: Comedy "Just Married" (2003), starring Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy, from Fox; Due June 24: "The Hours" (2002), directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Dillane, Allison Janney, John C. Reilly and Miranda Richardson in the story of three women from three different decades in the 20th century profoundly affected by Virginia Woolf, from Paramount; and "Kangaroo Jack" (2003), a family comedy about misguided bagmen Down Under, starring Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren and Christopher Walken, from Warner; Due July 15: "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), the bizarre tale of game show impresario George Barris, who claims he lead a double life as a CIA hitman, directed by George Clooney and starring Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, Clooney, Julia Roberts, Rutger Hauer and Kristen Wilson, from Miramax; Due July 22: Wild Western comedy "Shanghai Knights" (2003), starring Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Fann Wong and Donnie Yen, from Buena Vista; Due August 19: Six Academy Award-winning musical "Chicago" (2002), directed by Rob Marshall and starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Taye Diggs, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski and Lucy Liu, from Miramax; Due August 26: "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002), the second in the Peter Jackson J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Christopher Lee, John Rhys-Davies, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett, from New Line. (Posted March 31)

    From TV to Video:
    Due this week: "Friends: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set with 25 episodes and such extras as commentary by creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kaufman and David Crane on selected episodes; a "Bachelor Pad" interactive map and a "Friends of Friends" video guestbook; $44.98 DVD and $39.98 VHS, from Warners. The company is also releasing two "Friends" compilations: "The Best of Friends Season 1 and Season 2," each containing five episodes, $14.98 DVD and $14.94 VHS ... "Dawson's Creek: First Season," a three-disc set with commentary by creator Kevin Williamson, a retrospective featurette: "Dawson's Creek: From Day One," and a Season One time capsule, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted March 31)

    For the Kids:
    Disney has released to DVD this week two sing-along videos, both filled with music and activities for pre-schoolers: "The Lion King: Circle of Life Sing Along Songs" and "Sing a Song With Pooh Bear and Piglet Too," $19.99 each. (Posted March 31)

    Buzzin' the B's:
    Due this week are crime comedy "Lone Star State of Mind" (2002), starring Joshua Jackson, James King and DJ Qualls, from Columbia TriStar; and "Cheyenne" (2003), a Western about a female bounty hunter, starring M.C. Hammer, Gary Hudson, Bobbie Phillips and Bo Svenson, from MTI Home Video. (Posted March 31)

    Special Interest:
    Regarded as an unprecedented event that uniquely combines alternative music with extreme sports, the world's longest running travelling music tour (in its ninth year) will be available for the first time on DVD with the release of "Vans Warped Tour Live" from Pioneer Entertainment. The DVD contain an "all access pass" to the entire event with special features that allow viewers to become part of the tour. The compilation includes live performances from 17 new punk artists and genre classic acts whose combined album distribution exceeds 12 million units domestically. The talent roster features Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Bad Religion, New Found Glory, NOFX, Reel Big Fish, Flogging Molly, Ozma, Anti-Flag, Something Corporate, MXPX, the Used Lagwagon, Hot Water Music, Morgan Heritage, Alkaline Trio, No Use for a Name and GOB; $24.98. (Posted March 31)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Due April 15: "A Chorus Line (1985), starring Michael Douglas, with a "From Broadway to Hollywood" featurette with Marvin Hamlisch (MGM) ... "Roadie" (1980), starring Meat Loaf, with performances by Blondie, Alice Cooper and Roy Orbison (MGM) ... "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989), directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, with the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Matthew Lawrence, Debbie Reynolds and Janeane Garofalo, in a two-disc set with the original Japanese language track, an introduction by John ("Toy Story") Lasseter, voice talent featurette "Behind the Microphone," original Japanese trailers and original storyboards (Disney) ... six MGM Midnite Movies Double Features, with two films on one disc: "Psych-Out" and "The Trip" (with such extras as "Psych-Out's" "Love and Haight" featurette, commentary on "The Trip" by director Roger Corman, and three featurettes: "Tune In, Trip Out," "Psychedelic Light Box" and "Allen Daviau, ASC: Psychedelic Film Effects"); "Angel Unchained" and "Cycle Savages"; "Invisible Invaders" and "Journey to the Seventh Planet"; "Muscle Beach Party" and "Ski Party"; "Cry of the Banshee" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue; $14.95 each. (MGM). (Posted March 24)

    On the Indie Front:
    A wide range of independent films -- from a short about a woman searching for the perfect pair of pants to a comedy about two misfits trying to buy the same suicide weapon -- have been chosen as the first finalists to kick off a unique in-video-store DVD film festival, the Had to Be Made Film Festival. Audiences "attend" the festival by renting the films on DVD at independent retailers across the U.S., then voting online at www.hadtobemade.com to determine the winners, which will be announced at an awards ceremony gala on July 17 at the Video Software Dealers Association Home Entertainment 2003 Event in Las Vegas. Every finalist in the festival will receive a financial award from festival revenue. By proving a film's appeal, the festival aims to enhance acquisition and career possibilities for its selected filmmakers. The films are available for rental on DVD at more than 100 video stores around the country, including Scarecrow, Vidiots, Penny Lane, TLA, Beyond Video, Kims in New York and Cinefile in Los Angeles, among others. A second official festival is slated to begin on August 1. For more information, contact www.hadtobemade.com or e- mail info@hadtobemade.com. (Posted March 24)

    From TV to Video:
    The conclusion of Herman Wouk's epic drama "War and Remembrance" will be released on DVD March 25 from MPI Home Video. Based on Wouk's best-selling novel and directed and produced by Dan Curtis, "War and Remembrance: The Final Chapter" completes the grand World War II saga that began with "The Winds of War." The six-DVD boxed set includes a new documentary "War and Remembrance: Behind the Scenes" and an audio compact disc of the original soundtrack; $129.98 ... Fox will release this week "Futurama Volume 1," a three-disc set with the first 13 episodes of Matt "The Simpsons" Groening's sci-fi animated series set in New New York City in the Year 3000; with commentary and deleted scenes; $39.98 ... A&E Home Video has several offerings due this week: DVD Set 6 of the classic TV spy series "Secret Agent (aka Danger Man)," starring Patrick McGoohan as the first anti- hero secret agent, on three discs (nine episodes) for $59.95; "Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion," a History Channel profile of our 26th president, in two-disc DVD or four-volume VHS sets, $39.95; "Ronald Reagan: A Legacy Remembered," a Biography episode narrated by CNN Washington Bureau chief Frank Sesno, $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD; and two BBC productions of classic novels, William Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" ($59.95 for the six-volume VHS set or $39.95 for the two-disc DVD set) and Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" ($29.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD). (Posted March 24)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    MTI Home Video will release this week "Crime Scene," about a homicide detective assigned to investigate a series of sex crimes in Los Angeles, starring Amber Smith ... Lions Gate will release "Flashback," about a young woman who leaves an asylum years after her parents were slaughtered by a serial killer only to find that people close to her are now turning up dead. (Posted March 24)

    Special Interest:
    Legendary folk artist Judy Collins gets her due in a special concert performance, "Judy Collins: Live at Wolf Trap," featuring her classic hits "Someday Soon," "Mountain Girl," "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" and many more, from Pioneer Entertainment, due March 25 on DVD for $24.98 ... Docurama will release this week a documentary -- uncut and unrated -- on the king of modern porn stars, Ron Jeremy, in a wild and wacky expose, "Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, $26.95 on VHS and DVD (the R-rated version, which played in theaters, will also be available) ... Docurama will also release "Southern Comfort," a Sundance Grand Jury Price winner in 2001, about a 52-year-old wisecracking cowboy who was born female, $24.95 VHS and DVD ... From First Run Features comes "Dance for Camera," an anthology of six short dance films culled from festivals in Europe and North America, $29.95 on DVD ... Chimera Entertainment has released the Japanese black comedy "Happiness of the Katakuris," a 2001 feature about a middle class family who open a bed-and-breakfast inn next to what they hope will be a new highway, only to find that all their guests start to die off -- in one bizarre way or another. (Posted March 24)

    Coming Soon:
    Just announced: New Line will release the Jack Nicholson tour-de-force "About Schmidt" on June 3 on DVD and sell-through VHS ($22.98); MGM will release light romantic comedy "A Guy Thing," starring Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and Selma Blair, on DVD and VHS on May 27; and MGM has confirmed the June 3 release of "Die Another Day" in a jam- packed two-disc DVD set and a rental- priced "special edition" VHS (that features a "making-of" documentary). Date changes: Columbia TriStar has moved the release of "Talk to Her" from May 13 to May 27, and moved the release of "Darkness Falls" from April 29 to April 22. (Posted March 18)

    For the Kids:
    HIT Entertainment has added another title to its popular "Bob the Builder" line of pre-school videos: "Bob the Builder: The Knights of Fix-a- Lot" follows Bob and his loveable crew of animated machines as they restore an ancient castle, available now on VHS ($14.99) and DVD ($16.99) ... The latest edition in the Baby Einstein Company's franchise of videos for babies and toddlers is "Baby Neptune: Discovering Water," which takes infants on a musical voyage from the bath to the beach, featuring sea turtle, duck and octopus hand puppets, from Buena Vista this week, on VHS ($14.99) and DVD ($19.99) ... Also from Buena Vista this week is "Pokemon 4Ever," an all-new animated movie featuring Ash, Pikachu and requisite dark forces, on VHS ($19.99) and DVD ($29.99) ... And Paramount will release this week a sequel to the much-cherished animated kids film "Charlotte's Web," "Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure" (2003), with the voices of Amanda Bynes and Harrison Chad, on VHS ($19.99) and DVD ($19.99). (Posted March 18)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Due this week are: "Paper Soldiers" (2003), a hip-hop comedy that follows one man's inept introduction to a life of crime that turns into a series of amateurish antics, starring Jay-Z, Stacey Dash and comedian Kevin Hart, from Universal ... from Lions Gate comes the telefilm "Alien Tracker" (2001), about a futuristic detective in hot pursuit of intergalactic convicts who have escaped through a wormhole to the Earth ... From New Line comes "Table One" (2000), a comedy about four friends -- fed up with the singles life -- who open a trendy restaurant and get more than they bargained for when they find they have become partners with the mob, starring Stephen Baldwin, Burt Young, Luiz Guzman and Michael Rooker, and "Cheats" (2002), a teen comedy about four friends who successfully cheat their way through high school -- until their last semester, starring Matthew Lawrence, Griffin Dunne and Mary Tyler Moore ... From Artisan comes "Redeemer" (2002), a telefilm starring Matthew Modine about a writing teacher who helps a convict sentenced to life for murder write a letter to the victim's sister, changing the lives of everyone and giving then each a second chance to be redeemed; "Down Time" (2001), an urban drama about a heroin junkie who must battle prison gangs and his own demons on his road to personal redemption, based on the true-life saga of writer-director Sean Wilson; and "The Kingston High" (2001), a coming-of-age comedy about a high school misfit's last chance to get the girl of his dreams. (Posted March 18)

    Coming Soon:
    Two Academy Award-nominated films have been announced for home video release. Todd Haynes' 1950s era "Far From Heaven," staring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn and Celia Weston, will be released April 1 by Universal; and Spike Jonze's wacky black comedy "Adaptation," starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Cara Seymour, Brian Cox, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ron Livingston, will be released May 20 by Columbia TriStar. There are also rumors that MGM's latest James Bond flick, "Die Another Day," will be released June 3 on VHS and DVD (as a two-disc set laden with goodies). In a "de-release" announcement, Warner Home Video has cancelled (not postponed) its scheduled April 29 "The Matrix Special Edition"; instead, the company will reprice "The Matrix" DVD to $19.99 and reprice the two-disc "Matrix/Matrix Revisited" set to $34.99. (Posted March 11)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Anchor Bay has announced a March 18 release of ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith's 1981 "Elephant Parts," a post-psychedelic combination of music videos and comedy sketches, with commentary by Nesmith ... On April 1, Universal will release Francois Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451" (1966), starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie and Cyril Cusack, with such extras as commentary by Christie, "The Novel: A Discussion With Author Ray Bradbury," "The Making of Fahrenheit 451," "The Music of Fahrenheit 451," the original title sequence and a photo poster gallery ... April 1 will also see the release of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders and Natalie Wood, restored and digitally remastered as part of the new Fox Studio Classics line ... also on April 1 Universal will release Robert Wise's "The Andromeda Strain" (1971), starring Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson, Kate Reid and Paula Kelly, with such extras as "The Making of The Andromeda Strain" and "A Portrait of Michael Crichton." (Posted March 11)

    From TV to Video:
    WGBH Boston Video will release this week PBS Masterpiece Theatre's "Me & Mrs. Jones" (2002), a romantic drama that mixes love and politics when a snooping columnists secretly infiltrates 10 Downing Street in an effort to reveal the British Prime Minster's intimate personal details, on VHS rental ... Also this week Wellspring will present "Nunsense 3: The Jamboree" (1998), the third installment in the wacky series that features Vicki Lawrence as country-singer wannabe Sister Amnesia, $14.98 VHS and $24.98 DVD ... Acorn Media will release this week "Foyle's War," a TV ratings hit in the U.K. and now the latest offering from PBS Masterpiece Theatre. The historical drama stars Michael Kitchen as a police detective who helps bring justice to Hastings, England, during the early part of WWII; available as a four-volume set for $79.95 VHS and $59.95 DVD. (Posted March 11)

    Buzzin' the 'B's:
    Buena Vista will release this week "Motorcycle Gang," a 1994 TV actioner about an outlaw gang and a girl gone bad, starring Carla Gugino and Jake Busey; and "Malevolent" (2002), an edgy police thriller about a rogue cop and an exotic dancer, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Kari Wuhrer; both on DVD and VHS rental ... Columbia TriStar will release this week two thrillers: "Sasquatch," starring Lance Henriksen; and "Sniper II," starring Tom Berenger; both on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted March 11)

    Coming Soon:
    Due May 6 from DreamWorks is the smash thriller "Catch Me If You Can," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner and James Brolin, based on the autobiography of a brilliant young master of deception who successfully passed himself off as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor -- all before his 21st birthday -- and the FBI agent hot on his trail. The double disc DVD will be loaded with goodies ... On May 20 Fox will release Denzel Washington's "Antwone Fisher," the uplifting drama of a young, angry Navy man and his quest to overcome an abused and abandoned childhood ... and Pedro Almodovar's award-winning and Academy Award nominated story of compassion, loneliness and generosity, "Talk to Her," about two men and the women they love and how they overcome the tragedies in their lives, due May 13 from Columbia TriStar. (Posted March 4)

    DVD Collectibles:
    Due this week from Miramax is a special boxed set of Krzysztof Kieslowski's fabulous trilogy of intrigue, love, passion and tragedy, "Red," "White" and "Blue," $39.99 ... Due March 18 is the restored classic film noir "In a Lonely Place" (1950), directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame and Frank Lovejoy, from Columbia TriStar; Claude Leoouch's "A Man and a Woman" (1966), starring Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant, from Warner; and Francois Truffaut's "Day for Night" (1973), starring Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, Dani, Alexandra Stewart, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Jean Champion, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Francois Truffaut and Nathalie Baye, also from Warner. (Posted March 4)

    From TV to Video:
    Coming to DVD this week from WGBH Boston Home Video is "The Scarlet Letter," a 1979 PBS miniseries adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel starring John Heard and Kevin Conway; and ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre's "Rebecca," starring Charles Dance, Emilia Fox and Diana Rigg. (Posted March 4)

    Buzzin the 'B's:
    Monarch Home Video has released "The Quickie" (2001), starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Leslie Ann Warren, Dean Stockwell and Henry Thomas in a suspense thriller about a poor mother who gets involved with a Russian mob boss, for VHS rental and $24.95 DVD ... From MTI Home Video this week comes "Bog Creatures," about a group of archeological students who unearth (you guessed it) mean and nasty Bog creatures, on DVD and VHS. (Posted March 4)

    On the Indie Front:
    On March 4 Facets Video will release "James Fotopoulos x 3," three mind-blowing films written, directed, edited and produced by James Fotopoulos, and indie filmmaker described as a cross between David Cronenberg and David Lynch. The three films -- "Back Against the Wall," "Migrating Forms" and "Zero" will be available on DVD and VHS for $29.95 each or $79.95 for all three. (Posted March 4)

    For the Kids (and young at heart):
    Scooby-Doo comes home to video again on March 4 with his latest animated feature, "Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire," $19.96 VHS clamshell and $24.98 DVD, with such extras as commentary by Scooby, Shaggy and Fred, bloopers and outtakes. (Posted March 4)

    Special Interest:
    From WGBH Boston Video this week comes the documentary "Riding the Rails," which tells the unforgettable story of the 250,000 teenagers who left their homes and hopped freight trains during the Great Depression, featuring a foot-stomping soundtrack of such folk greats as Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Doc Watson, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. (Posted March 4)

    Coming Soon:
    April 1: "The Truth About Charlie," the weak remake of the classic "Charade," from Universal; offbeat romantic comedy "Secretary," starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal, from Lions Gate; highly acclaimed melodrama "Far From Heaven," directed by Todd Haynes and starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert, from Universal. April 15: High school band movie "Drumline," starring Orlando Jones and Nick Cannon, from Fox; Phillip Noyce's intriguing Down Under drama, "Rabbit-Proof Fence," from Buena Vista. April 22: "Bloody Sunday," the adept dramatization of a 1972 confrontation between British soldiers and Irish protesters in Northern Ireland. April 29: Horror thriller "Darkness Falls," from Columbia TriStar. May 13: Rob Schneider gender bending comedy "Hot Chick," from Buena Vista. (Posted February 24)

    Hot DVD Releases:
    On March 4, Fox Studio Classics will release a restored and digitally mastered edition of the classic Robert Wise science fiction fable, "The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe and Billy Gray. On March 4 MGM will release three special editions: "Of Mice and Men" (1992), directed by Gary Sinise and starring John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Sherilyn Fenn, with such extras as a commentary with Sinise, featurette with Sinise and screenwriter Horton Foote, screen tests, deleted scenes; "Salaam Bombay!" (1988), directed by Mira Nair with commentaries by Nair and cinematographer Sandi Sissel as well as six featurettes; and Ken Russell's Women in Love (1969), starring Glenda Jackson, Oliver Reed, Alan Bates and Jennie Linden, with commentary by Russell, commentary with writer-producer Larry Kramer and a photo gallery. (Posted February 24)

    For Collectors:
    EMI will release on April 1 "The Beatles Anthology" (1996), a five-disc set containing all eight episodes of the TV documentary on the Beatles, which was tied in to the release of the three "Anthology" double-CD albums. Extras on the fifth disc include an additional 50 minutes of rare and never-before seen footage; $79.98. (Posted February 24)

    From TV to Video:
    February 25: BBC Video will release all 26-episodes of the original 1969 "The Forsyte Saga" on a six-disc DVD set for $149.98 ... Master detective Sherlock Holmes investigates a sinister situation involving stolen treasure and brutal murder in "The Sign of Four," and tracks down a bride who goes missing on her wedding day in "The Eligible Bachelor," both 1987 features from Britain's Granada TV and starring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke, on DVD from MPI Home Video ... Cult phenomenon Dark Shadows creeps onto DVD once again with the release of Dark Shadows DVD Collection 4, containing 40 complete episodes (331-371) on four discs and bonus interviews with Lara Parker (Angelique), producer Robert Costello, make-up artist Dick Smith and writer Sam Hall, also from MPI ... The latest installment in the RoboCop saga, "RoboCop: Dark Justice," which aired on the Sci Fi channel in 2001, crunches its way to VHS rental and $24.99 DVD from Lions Gate ... BBC Worldwide will release to DVD the first season of the cult British sci-fi satire series -- about a chicken soup machine repairman who travels 3 million light years in space to discover he's the last "man" in the universe -- on "Red Dwarf -- Series I & II," $34.98. (Posted February 24)

    On the Indie Front:
    Choices Select is beginning the new year with a February distribution slate that features "Blind Light" and "Close Up," both available on VHS and DVD for a February 25 street date. "Blind Light" (1997), starring Edie Falco, follows the plight of a photographer who is trying to recapture a moment of clarity in her life when she was awakened by a flood of light on the Italian island of Capri, while "Close Up" (1996) is a gritty look at the madness of the media through the tale of a man accused of murders that he does not remember committing in a Kafkaesque world ... Vanguard Cinema will release on February 25 comedies "Allie & Me" and "All the Wrong Places" and thrillers "Foreign Ghosts" and "The Wicksboro Incident," on VHS and DVD ... IndieDVD will release on February 25 "The Stand-In, based on the life of Michael J. Fox's friend and career stand-in Robbie Bryan, starring Kelly Ripa and Bryan, on DVD; Info: www.indiedvd.com. (Posted February 24)

    For the Kids:
    Anchor Bay Entertainment will release on February 25 the latest series of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends adventures, "Percy's Chocolate Crunch & Other Thomas Adventures," $12.98 VHS, $19.98 DVD, and $14.98 for a special VHS edition that includes a Terence the Tractor train toy ... Scholastic Entertainment has set February 25 for three new additions to its Scholastic Video Collection: "Harold and the Purple Crayon and More Harold Stories," "Pete's a Pizza and More William Steig Stories," narrated by Chevy Chase and John Lithgow, and "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day," $9.95 VHS and $14.95 ... And don't forget Disney's latest animated Beauty and the Beast direct-to-video sequel, "Belle's Magical World," $22.99 VHS and $29.99 DVD. (Posted February 24)

    Foreign:
    New Line Cinema has released "The Sleeping Dictionary," a drama about the tempestuous and forbidden love affair between a young Englishman and a beautiful Iban tribeswoman in Borneo, starring Jessica Alba, Hugh Dancy, Brenda Blethyn and Bob Hoskins, on VHS and DVD ... Vanguard Cinema will release on February 25 the contemporary Greek love story "Earth & Water" and the savage and sensual Spanish drama "Rich Kids," on VHS and DVD ... New Yorker Video has released the Israeli romantic comedy "Late Marriage" ... First Run features will release on February 25 two Israeli films: The award-winning anti-war "Cup Final," new to DVD at $29.95, and the enchanting romantic comedy "Yana's Friends," VHS rental and $29.95 DVD. (Posted February 24)

    Special Interest:
    Master Communications has added two new titles to its acclaimed "Families of the World" VHS series that offers a reality-based "day-in-the-life" look at how people live in other countries: "Families of Egypt" and "Families of France," both available for $19.99 each; Info: www.familiesoftheworld.com ... DocuRama has two documentaries available February 25: "Children Underground," about a family of homeless children in Bucharest, Romania, and "The Main Stream," which joins humorist Roy Blount Jr. on an offbeat trip down Mark Twain's Mississippi River, $24.95 each VHS and DVD; Info: www.docurama.com ... Also on February 25, MPI Home Video will release "George Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey?" in which the comedian gives his askew thoughts on "More Stuff on Cars and Driving," Church People, American Values and "Keeping People Alert"; the HBO stand-up concert sells for $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... MPI will also release on that date three space-themed documentaries: "Behind the Race to the Moon," "Cosmonaut Cover-Up" and "Project Gemini," all $19.98 VHS ... A&E Home Video will release on February 25 "Ellis Island," a three-hour documentary on early 20th century immigration to the U.S., $24.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD; "The Apostles Collection," a two-volume set that includes "The Story of the Twelve Apostles" and "Paul the Apostle," $39.95 DVD and VHS; and "Inside Islam," a History Channel docu on the world's second-largest religion, $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD ... "Crop Circles: Quest for Truth" is a compelling and provocative feature-length documentary full of never-before-seen footage and interviews with leading Crop Circles researchers and scientists, some of whom agreed to be on camera for the first time. The film is an in-depth examination of prevailing theories about the origin and nature of Crop Circles and the possible implications for us and for the future of Planet Earth. On VHS and DVD; Info: www.cropcirclesthemovie.com. (Posted February 24)

    Hot DVD Releases:
    Home Vision Entertainment has scheduled release dates for Criterion Collection DVD versions of three films that broke the political and sexual boundaries of cinematic exploration. Due February 25 is "The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum" (1975), directed by Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe Von Trotta, and starring Karl Heinz Vosgerau, Jurgen Prochnow, Heinz Bennent, Mario Adorf and Angela Winkler. The film was one of the first to expose the hidden terror of the yellow press in an unforgettable adaptation of Heinrich Boll's Nobel Prize-winning novel. Katharina Blum is a shy housekeeper who has a spontaneous one-night stand with an enigmatic young man she's met at a party. The next morning the police raid her apartment and arrest them both for terrorism. Blum is brutally interrogated and wrongfully accused, and her life virtually destroyed when the press picks up on the story and "convicts" her in print. Extras include a new video interview with Schlondorff and von Trotta; a new video interview with director of photography Jost Vacano; and a documentary on author Heinrich Boll ... Due March 11 is "I Am Curious Yellow/I Am Curious Blue" (1967/1968). Seized by customs upon entry to the United States, subject of a heated court battle, and banned in numerous cities, Vilgot Sjoman's "I Am Curious - Yellow" is one of the most controversial films of all time. This landmark document of Swedish society during the sexual revolution has been declared both obscene and revolutionary. It tells the story of Lena (Lena Nyman), a searching and rebellious young woman, and her personal quest to understand the social and political conditions in 1960s Sweden, as well as her bold exploration of her own sexual identity. The new high-definition digital transfer includes a new video introduction by director Vilgot Sjoman; director's diary: Vilgot Sjoman's commentary on selected scenes from the film; a new video interview with legendary publisher Barney Rosset and attorney Edward de Grazia about the controversy surrounding the film; "The Battle for I Am Curious-Yellow," a video essay on the film's censorship and trial; excerpts from the transcripts of the trial for "I Am Curious-Yellow"; and an essay by critic Gary Giddins ... On March 25 comes Sam Peckinpah's uncut "Straw Dogs" (1971), starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. Banned in England for years, the film revolves around a young American mathematician (Dustin Hoffman) and his English wife (Susan George) and their new life in a Cornish village. But beneath the seemingly peaceful isolation of the pastoral village lies a savagery and violence that threatens to destroy the couple, culminating in a brutal test of the American's manhood and a bloody battle to the death. One of the most controversial films ever made, "Straw Dogs" is a harrowing and masterful investigation of masculinity and the nature of violence. Extras include commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince; Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Straw Dogs"; behind-the-scenes footage; video interviews with Susan George and Daniel Melnick; isolated music and effects track. (Posted February 17)

    On February 25 Home Vision will release on its own label the cult classic and long out of print in VHS "La Vallee (The Valley Obscured by Clouds)" (1972 -- French), directed by Barbet Schroeder, starring Bulle Ogier, scored by Pink Floyd and lensed by Nestor Almendros. Extras include liner notes by author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu. Also on that day Warner Home Video will release a two-disc restored edition of "The Cardinal (1963), directed by Otto Preminger and starring Tom Tryon, Carol Lynley, Dorothy Gish, Cecil Kellaway, John Saxon and John Huston. Extras include "Otto Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker" two-hour documentary and a vintage 1963 making-of featurette. (Posted February 17)

    On March 4 Columbia TriStar will add seven titles to its spectacular Superbit Collection -- films sans frills and extras but encoded at double the normal rate for incredible sound and image. We've had the pleasure of viewing "Resident Evil" (released in the last batch of Superbit DVDs), which knocked our socks off visually and sonically. The new additions to the collection are "Legends of the Fall," "Seven Years in Tibet," "From Here to Eternity," "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "Heavy Metal" and "Das Boot -- The Director's Cut." (Posted February 17)

    Buzzing the 'B's:
    On February 18, Eclectic DVD will release the horror thriller "Biohazardous," about a research company that sets up a mysterious barbed wire facility just outside a small town in New Jersey, setting off all sorts of bad events; $24.95 VHS and $19.95 VHS ... Also on February 18, MTI Home Video and Fangoria Presents will release the Japanese horror film "Another Heaven," about a supernatural force that removes the brains of its victims and simmers them in a kitchen pot, for VHS rental and $24.95 DVD ... Provocative teen horror movie "Taboo" (2002), starring Nick Stahl, Lori Heuring and Amber Benson, about three teen couples who break all the rules -- and wish they hadn't, will be released February 18 by Columbia TriStar; VHS rental and $24.95 DVD. (Posted February 17)

    Coming Soon:
    On March 11, Wellspring will release the suspenseful French drama "Alias Betty," directed by Claude Miller and based on best-selling crime novelist Ruth Rendell's "Tree of Hands," on DVD and VHS rental; on May 13 Warner will release "Analyze That," the mob comedy starring Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli and Cathy Moriarty on DVD and VHS ($22.99). (Posted February 10)

    Hot DVD Releases:
    On February 18, Warner will release "The Color Purple Special Edition," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, Akosua Busia and Rae Dawn Chong. The two-disc set features a digital transfer and includes such extras as four new documentaries featuring Spielberg, Winfrey, Goldberg, Glover, Avery, Busia, Chong, Quincy Jones, author Alice Walker, producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, production designer Michael Riva, director of photography Allen Daviau, costume designer Aggie Rodgers: "Conversations With Ancestors: The Color Purple From Book to Screen," "A Collaboration of Spirits: Casting and Acting The Color Purple," "Cultivating a Classic: The Making of The Color Purple" and "The Color Purple: The Musical"; behind-the-scenes and cast photo galleries. (Posted February 10)

    On April 29, Warner will release a revamped, renewed and fully loaded "The Matrix Special Edition DVD," a $27.95 two-Disc collector's set -- in cool collectible foil packaging -- highlighted by hours of bonus features including an exclusive sneak peek at the May 15 theatrical release of "The Matrix Reloaded," sequel. Goodies include:

    Disc 1: Original DVD feature film with commentary by star Carrie-Anne Moss, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta and editor Zach Staenberg; "Making the Matrix": 26 minutes of behind-the-scenes insight; music-only track with commentary by composer Don Davis; "Follow the White Rabbit": Interactive feature jumps from a scene to a featurette on the effects that shaped the scene, with nine "White Rabbit" featurettes in all; "Take the Red Pill" to two hidden special effects documentaries: "What Is the Concept?" a dazzling musical-montage journey from sketch to final effect, and "What Is Bullet Time?" the anatomy of the trailblazing technique; filmographies; DVD/ROM features including interactive screenplay, storyboards, stills and clips, "Are You the One?" interactive challenge, seven special genre essays and articles, "Everybody Loves Kung-Fu Fighting!" and a sci-fi film retrospective and more.

    Disc 2: Original "Matrix Revisited" DVD (2001 companion DVD to "The Matrix") plus new bonus materials: "Preload: On the Set of Reloaded": Behind-the-scenes preview of the May 15 theatrical release "The Matrix Reloaded"; two episodes from "The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Parts 1 & 2," an animated short by "Matrix" creators the Wachowski brothers; Marilyn Manson music video "Rock is Dead"; "What Is the game?" teaser for the new "Enter the Matrix"videogame; Thematrix.com: theatrical website preview; "The Matrix Revisited," a behind-the-scenes two-hour companion piece to "The Matrix" phenomenon; six behind-the-scenes featurettes on "The Matrix"; "The Music Revisited": three hours worth of audio music tracks of the music from the world of "The Matrix"; "The Art Revisited": multiple stills galleries with over 800 images; more. (Posted February 10)

    For the Kids:
    Warner Home Video has just released several Baby Genius developmental entertainment titles: "Underwater Adventure" and "Favorite Nursery Rhymes" on VHS for $14.95 each, and "A Trip to the San Diego Zoo" and "Mozart and Friends" on DVD at $19.98 each ... On February 11 Warner will release the video premiere of the Cartoon Network's "Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-traordinary Adventure," the first feature-length film based on the pre-school animated franchise ($14.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD) and "Tom and Jerry: Whiskers Away," a compilation of adventures featuring the celebrated cat and mouse team ($9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD) ... Thinkeroo is a new series of educational live-action/computer animated VHS videos that inspires kids to think like scientists and explore their world in new and exciting ways. The first three "Way Cool Science for Curious Kids" titles cover three major fields of scientific study: "Rockfinders: Learn About Rocks and Minerals," "Stormchasers: Learn About Weather and Climate," and "Biotrackers: Learn All About Habitats." For kids 8 and older, available February 11 for $14.95 each. For more info, jump to Thinkeroo.com. (Posted February 10)

    From TV to Video:
    Just in time for Presidents Day comes A&E's original telefilm (broadcast January 13) "Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor," starring Aidan Quinn and Kelsey Grammer in the true story of two of the American Revolution's greatest generals, Benedict Arnold (Quinn) and George Washington (Grammer). The VHS and DVD (with such extras as Biography's "Benedict Arnold: Triumph and Reason" and "The Making of Benedict Arnold") are available for $19.95 each. (Posted February 10)

    Coming Soon:
    Due March 18 from Universal is smash hit "8 Mile," directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller, De'Angelo Wilson, Eugene Byrd and Taryn Manning. There will be two DVD versions for this, one with censored bonus material and one with uncensored materials. Extras include "The Making of 8 Mile" featurette; never-before-seen footage: Five "Rap Battles" shot during the making of the film that feature spontaneous rap performances between Eminem and audience extras from the film; and the music video for "Superman," from the best-selling album "The Eminem Show" ... Coming April 22 is director Michael Moore's wild documentary on America's obsession with guns and violence, "Bowling for Columbine," from MGM ... And on April 29 Disney's underachieving animated "Treasure Planet," with the voices of Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Emma Thompson, Brian Murray and Martin Short, will fly home in $24.99 VHS and extras loaded $29.99 DVD. (Posted February 3)

    Hot DVD Releases:
    On February 4 Anchor Bay will release "The Complete Musketeers" two-disc set, which, of course, contains "The Three Musketeers" (1974) and "The Four Musketeers" (1975), both directed by Richard Lester and starring Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay, Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee, Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Faye Dunaway. Extras include a new featurette, "The Saga of the Musketeers," with Welch, York, Heston and Lee; original making-of featurette; poster and still gallery; $34.98 ... On February 11 look up and find the fantastic "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976), directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Bernie Casey, also from Anchor Bay ... Also on February 11 the folks at Home Vision/The Criterion Collection have lovingly restored a landmark cinematic fantasy, Jean Cocteau's 1946 "Beauty and the Beast, starring Jean Marais, Josette Day and Marcel Andre. Extras on the high definition digital transfer include an original opera by composer Philip Glass, a 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew, an interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan, two commentary tracks: one featuring film historian Arthur Knight and the other featuring writer/cultural historian Christopher Frayling, rare behind-the-scenes and publicity stills, a reprint of the original Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's fable translated from the French, and more. (Posted February 3)

    From TV to DVD:
    On February 25 Acorn Media will release for the first time to DVD "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City," the groundbreaking PBS miniseries set in the swingin' San Francisco of the 1970s. At the time, no U.S. network would touch the faithful adaptation of Maupin's best-selling book, and the mantle was picked up by Britain's Channel Four. The show outraged moralists and gained immediate notoriety because of its scenes of recreational pot smoking and men romancing men. It's tame by today's standards, of course, but the series paved the way for such TV staples as "Will & Grace" and "Sex and the City." Stars Olympia Dukakis, Donald Moffat, Laura Linney, Marcus D'Amico, Chloe Webb, Barbara Garrick, Thomas Gibson, Billy Campbell, Paul Gross. The three-disc set with all six unedited episodes (300 minutes) includes such extras as commentary by Maupin, director Alastair Reid, Dukakis, Linney and Garrick; behind-the-scenes location and rehearsal footage; Maupin bio and booklist; cast bios; full-color insert with introduction by Maupin, production notes by producer Alan Poul, "Tales of the City" filming locations and landmarks; $59.95. Acorn Media will also release a new VHS three-volume set of the series for $59.95. (Posted February 3)

    Buzzing the 'B's:
    Leading off MTI's February schedule is "The Newcomers," starring Jeff Fahey, Kate Bosworth and Matt McCoy in a cautionary tale about a family that runs into trouble when they leave the big city to start life anew in a small town, due February 4; due February 18 is "Jack Movez," an urban caper-gone-wrong film about a pair of brothers who hire two ex-Marines to rob their own store in a "copy-cat" style to collect insurance and then incur the wrath of the real robbers; in "The Art of Revenge," starring Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins, the jilted wife of a successful musician hires a beautiful grifter to crush her ex once and for all, leading to some unexpected results, due February 25; also due that day is "Sinful Deeds," a thriller about a serial killer targeting exotic dancers. (Posted February 3)

    Coming Soon:
    Due March 4: "The Ring" (2002), starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman and Daveigh Chase, from DreamWorks. Both the DVD and VHS include an all-new 15-minute experimental short film created by director Gore Verbinski, revealing more secrets that bring viewers closer to understanding the mystery of "The Ring." The DVD also will feature specially designed animated menus that utilize elements from the deadly tape to navigate viewers through the programs. Coinciding with the release of "The Ring," DreamWorks will debut the original, record-breaking international cult hit that started it all. Highly anticipated by fans of "The Ring," "Ringu" will feature a newly created digital film-to-video transfer of the movie; new 5.1 Japanese digital surround mix. (Posted January 27)

    Due April 1: "The Wild Thornberry's Movie" (2002) arrives from Paramount. (Posted January 27)

    Due April 11: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," the second installment in the Harry Potter series, follows Harry, Ron and Hermione through their second year at Hogwarts School. The two-disc DVD will feature 19 additional/extended scenes, including more Dobby mischief, more flying car adventure, a frightening encounter with the Malfoys in Borgin and Burkes and more; self-guided tours that let viewers have an up-close experience, allowing them to linger on the details of the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore's office and Diagon Alley -- including places never shown in the film such as more Diagon Alley shops, the sitting room in Dumbledore's office and more; interviews with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione) and other cast members who talk about making the film, their favorite scenes, what their friends think and more; an exclusive interview with author J.K. Rowling and screenwriter Steve Kloves about rendering the adventure to the screen; fun-filled activities that allow viewers to escape the Forbidden Forest, sneak into the Chamber and more; a visit to Lockhart's class to get a closer look at his photos and memorabilia through the use of still galleries. DVD-ROM special features include One VoiceDVD technology that will allow users to navigate through the DVD-ROM features and access set top features using only their voices, giving kids the illusion of a magical experience interacting with the DVD; animated, interactive Hogwarts timeline; slider puzzle challenge featuring motion video; printable magic trading cards; jigsaw puzzles, matching challenges, downloadable screensavers and more. $29.95 DVD and $24.99 VHS, from Warner. (Posted January 27)

    Due April 15: "Spirited Away" (2002), directed by master animator Hayao Miyazaki, with the voices of Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers, Lauren Holly and Michael Chiklis. Extras on the two-disc DVD set include the original Japanese language track; introduction by John Lasseter, executive producer of the English-language version; a "Behind the Microphone" voice talent feature; "The Art of Spirited Away"; select storyboard to scene comparison; original Japanese trailers; English subtitles; English-language track in Dolby 5.1; $29.99 DVD, $19.99 VHS, from Disney. (Posted January 27)

    Due April 22: Cannes darling "Punch-Drunk Love" (2002), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Emily Watson, Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman, Mary Lynn Rajskub, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 27)

    Hot DVD Releases:
    Due January 28 from the talented folks at Home Vision/The Criterion Collection is "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Special Edition" (1998), directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. The two-disk set includes two commentaries by Gilliam, Depp and Del Toro; an interview with journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson; deleted scenes, storyboards; production designs, original artwork from illustrator Ralph Steadman; documentary with Thompson and Steadman ... On February 4 Warner will release several classic films: "Mildred Pierce" (1945), directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and Ann Blyth, with extras such as "Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star" documentary and a gallery of nine original trailers of legendary Crawford movies; "Driving Miss Daisy Special Edition" (1989), directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd, with commentary by Beresford, screenwriter Alfred Uhry and producer Lili Fini Zanuck, two new documentaries: "Miss Daisy's Journey: From Stage to Screen" and "Jessica tandy: Theatre Legend to Screen Star," and an original 1989 making-of featurette; "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951), directed by John Huston and starring Audie Murphy, Andy Devine, Bill Mauldin and Royal Dano; and "A Patch of Blue" (1965), starring Sidney Poitier, Shelly Winters, Elizabeth Hartman, Wallace Ford and Ivan Dixon. (Posted January 27)

    From TV to DVD:
    On January 28 MPI Home Video will release to DVD Sherlock Holmes' "The Hound of the Baskervilles," starring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke ... On March 25 Paramount will release "CSI: The Complete First Season," with all 23 episodes from the first season in a six-DVD set. Extras include a "CSI: People Lie ... But the Evidence Never Does" featurette, the Who's "Who Are You" music video, and character profiles. On April 1 Columbia TriStar will release "Dawson's Creek: First Season," a three-disc set with commentary by creator Kevin Williamson, a retrospective featurette: "Dawson's Creek: From Day One," and a season one time capsule. Also on that day Columbia TriStar will release "Married ... With Children -- The Most Outrageous Episodes! Volume 2," which includes episodes "A Man's Castle," "Raingirl," "Have You Driven a Ford Lately" and "If Al Had a Hammer, Who'll Stop the Rain?" (Posted January 27)

    Coming Soon:
    Now that the holiday season is over and home video studio execs are back at work, a whole flood of new release announcements have come down the pike. (Posted January 20)

    February 18: College sex adventure "The Rules of Attraction," starring James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Soosamon, Jessica Biel, Kip Pardue, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Kate Bosworth, Fred Savage and Eric Stoltz; from Lions Gate. (Posted January 20)

    March 4: Weak Steven Seagal actioner "Half Past Dead," from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 20)

    March 11: Drama "Moonlight Mile," starring Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Holly Hunter, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dabney Coleman and Ellen Pompeo, from Touchstone; remake (in name only) of "I Spy," starring Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell and Gary Cole, from Columbia TriStar; WWII submarine ghost story "Below," starring Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Davis and Olivia Williams, from Dimension; and teen obsession thriller "Swimfan," starring Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen, from (Fox). (Posted January 20)

    March 18: Thriller "Abandon," starring Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam and Zooey Deschanel, from Paramount; indie battle of the sexes "Roger Dodger," starring Campbell Scott, Isabella Rossellini, Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals, from Artisan; "Auto Focus," Paul Schrader's take on the life of Bob Crane, starring Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Rita Wilson, Maria Bello and Rob Leibman, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 20)

    March 25: Raunchy big-screen reality fare "Jackass: The Movie," "starring" Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy and, Dave England, from Paramount; "Maid in Manhattan," directed by Wayne Wang and starring Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci and Bob Hoskins, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 20)

    And, on April 1, let's not forget the release of "Red Dragon," the latest Hannibal Lecter opus, starring Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, from Universal. (Posted January 20)

    DVD Special Editions:
    MGM has set an April 1 release date for that most spectacular of movie musicals, "West Side Story," in a Special Edition Collector's Set. The two=disc DVD set of the 1961 film, directed by Robert Wise and starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, features such extras as exclusive footage of Wood's original recording of "I Feel Pretty," which was later replaced with Marni Nixon's voice in the final version of the film; new one-hour "West Side Memories" documentary on the making-of "West Side Story," with new cast and crew interviews; gallery of 230 stills, featuring never-before-seen behind-the-scene photos, production design snapshots and storyboard sketches; animated storyboard-to-film comparison; optional original orchestral intermission; remixed and remastered in 5.1 surround; and a collectible scrapbook with working script with revision pages and song lyrics, never-before-seen photos, letters from Wise, reproduction of the original lobby brochure, timeline and film reviews; $39.98. (Posted January 20)

    From TV to DVD:
    Acorn Media has announced the DVD release of several very proper British TV series: The three disc "Cadfael IV," featuring "The Holy Thief," "The Pilgrim of hate" and "The Potter's Field" mysteries starring Derek Jacobi as the 12th century sleuthing monk ("The Holy Thief" has also been released as a single disc); "Lord Peter Wimsey: Murder Must Advertise," starring Ian Carmichael as Dorothy L. Sayers' aristocratic sleuth; and "Agatha Christie's Poirot Collector's Set 3," featuring "The Kidnapped Prime Minister," "The Adventures of the Western Star" and "How Does Your Garden Grow?" episodes starring David Suchet; all available now. Acorn has also announced a January 28 release of the latest compilation in the delightfully nasty sci-fi saga "Lexx": "Lexx S4-V1," with four episodes from the last season ("Little Blue Planet," "Texx Lexx," "P4X" and "Stan Down") on one disc for $24.95. Four more episodes will be released as "S4-V2" on March 25. Then, on February 11, Acorn will release "Wodehouse Playhouse: Series One," a compilation of BBC adaptations of seven stories by P.G. Wodehouse, starring John Alderton and Pauline Collins, a two- disc set DVD set for $39.95 and a three-volume VHS set for $49.95. ... Paramount has scheduled January 21 for the release to VHS and DVD of "Two of Us," a fictionalized look at the purported get together of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, starring Aidan Quinn and Jared Harris; and February 11 for police corruption drama "The Thin Blue Line," starring Rob Morrow, Randy Quaid and Paul Sorvino. (Posted January 20)

    Foreign:
    First Run Features will release on January 21 director Ryu Murakami's study of sex in modern-day Japan, "Tokyo Decadence" (1993), starring Miho Nikaido as a Tokyo call girl who escapes to a fantasy world when her erotic world gets just too tough to handle; $24.95 DVD. ... On February 4, Wellspring will present "Rebels of the Neon God," an exploration of loneliness and urban alienation in modern-day Taipei, $24.98 DVD and $19.98 VHS. ... Luc Besson's "Wasabi," which wobbled at the boxoffice, is a comic adventure about a police detective (Jean Reno) who travels to Tokyo to unravel the mysterious death of a lost lover, due February 11 from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 20)

    Buzzing the 'B's:
    Lions Gate has scheduled two actioners for release on January 21: "Superfire," about a renegade tanker pilot who must stop a roaring forest fire before it reaches Portland, Oregon, starring D.B. Sweeney; and "Widows," about the four widows of a group of thieves who botched -- permanently for the men -- the theft of a priceless Vermeer painting, and who decide to carry on where their husbands left off, starring Mercedes Ruehl, Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez and N'bushe Wright. ... From MTI Home Video comes "Mike Hammer: Song Bird," starring Stacey Keach as the famous Mickey Spillane private eye, due January 28; and "Legend of the Phantom Rider," about a mysterious stranger who comes to the rescue of a town taken over by an evil sheriff with a ghostly past, due February 4. (Posted January 20)

    Coming Soon:
    Recent home video announcements: Family outing "Tuck Everlasting," starring Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Amy Irving, Jonathan Jackson, Alexis Bledel and Scott Bairstow, due February 25 from Disney; midnight cult favorite "Sordid Lives," starring Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia and Delta Burke, due March 18, from Fox; critically acclaimed "Personal Velocity," starring Kyra Sedgwick, David Warshofsky, Parker Posey, Tim Guinee, Wallace Shawn, Ron Liebman, Fairuza Balk, Taylor Pucci and Patti D'Arbanville, due March 18 from MGM; and Brian De Palma's thriller, "Femme Fatale," starring Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Antonio Banderas, due March 25, from Warner. (Posted January 13)

    DVD Special Editions:
    On January 21 Anchor Bay will release "The Peter Sellers Collection, featuring six Sellers films: "Carlton-Browne of the F.O." (co-starring Terry-Thomas), "I'm All Right Jack" (co-starring Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas and Richard Attenborough), "Two Way Stretch," "The Smallest Show on Earth," "Heavens Above" and Hoffman," $89.95; each film (except "Carlton-Browne of the F.O.") will be available separately for $19.95. ... Also on that date the company will release "Murder by Decree" (1979), a great take on Sherlock Holmes that has the famous detective investigating the Jack the Ripper murders. The film -- out of print on VHS for 15 years -- is new to DVD. Stars Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings, Susan Clark, Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud, Frank Finlay, Donald Sutherland and Genevieve Bujold. Extras include commentary by co-producer/director Bob Clark and a behind- the-scenes still gallery. (Posted January 13)

    Special Interest:
    On January 14, Warner Home Video will release two Ric Burns documentaries: "Ansel Adams" and "The Donner Party," $14.95 VHS and $19.99 DVD ... First Run Features has set January 21 for the release of "The Eye of Vichy" (1993), a fascinating documentary that looks at the shocking collaboration between the French government and the Nazi during World War II; $29.95 ... "Baadassss Cinema" is an IFC original documentary that looks at the bad muthas and sexy mamas of the blaxploitation films of the 1970s, from DocuRama, $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD, due January 28. ... Also on that date from DocuRama is the engrossing documentary "Smothered," an insider's view of how the late-60s "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" changed the face of television, $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD ... MPI Home Video will release on January 28 George Carlin's "Playing With Your Head," a one-hour live performance filmed at the Beverly Theater in Los Angeles and aired on HBO, $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD. (Posted January 13)

    For the Kids:
    HIT Entertainment has announced a pair of new pre-school releases: "Kipper: Playtime," featuring the curious hound Kipper and animal friends Tiger, Jake, Pig and Arnold, due January 28 for $6.99 VHS; and the U.S. debut of "The Wiggles: Magical Adventure! A Wiggly Movie," featuring the hit Australian group, $14.98 VHS and $19.99 DVD ... The extremely popular Sanrio character, Hello Kitty, which has enthralled young and old alike (for some 28 years, surprisingly), comes to DVD courtesy of MGM. The company will release three Hello Kitty volumes -- aimed at the 2-5-year-old group -- with five Hello Kitty episodes each, for $14.95 each, on February 4: "Hello Kitty Goes to the Movies," "Hello Kitty Saves the Day" and "Hello Kitty Becomes a Princess" ... Also on February 4, Paramount will release "Blue's Clues: Blue's Big Band" (2003) with two stories, "Blue's Big Band" and "Bedtime Business," $9.95 VHS; and "Dora the Explorer: Dora's Map Adventures" (2003), featuring two adventures, "Lost Map" and "Super Map," $9.95. (Posted January 13)

    Coming Soon
    The acclaimed French psychological drama "Time Out," about a businessman who gets fired from his job but keeps up the front -- for the benefit of his family -- that he is still working, arrives January 14 from Miramax; on February 4, Columbia TriStar will release action-thriller "Formula 51" (aka "The 51st State"), directed by Hong Kong action director Ronny Yu, and starring Samuel L. Jackson; another acclaimed foreign film, "The Fast Runner," about a curse that threatens to destroy an Inuit village in the Arctic, arrives February 11, from Columbia TriStar; "City by the Sea," starring Robert De Niro, Francis McDormand and James Franco, will arrive February 18, from Warner; Columbia TriStar will release the comedy "Stealing Harvard," starring Jason Lee, Tom Green, Leslie Mann, Megan Mullally and Dennis Farina, on February 18; melodrama "White Oleander," starring Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amy Aquino and Billy Connolly, will tearjerk its way to video on March 11, from Warner; delightful animated "Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie," bounces its way to home video on March 4; on March 18, Warner will release the comedy "Welcome to Collinwood," starring William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, Luis Guzman, Patricia Clarkson and George Clooney; the third installment in the "Friday" franchise, "Friday After Next," starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps, will arrive March 25, from New Line; and "Ghost Ship," a horror-thriller starring Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington and Isaiah Washington, will scare its way home on March 28, from Warner. (Posted January 7)

    Chimera Entertainment out of Illinois has released two gruesome films from famed director Takashi Miike: "Audition" (1999), about the horrible results of a middle-aged businessman's search for a new love interest, and violent gangster film "Lost Souls" (2000). (Posted January 7)

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    October 7, 2003
    OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).
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