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More News: 2003

Flying High:
According to a report in the December 15 issue of Daily Variety, the long-awaited home video debut of William Wellman's 1954 "The High and the Mighty," starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day, Robert Stack and Jan Sterling, will take place some time in 2004. The film -- along with another Wayne starrer, "Island in the Sky" (1953), also directed by Wellman -- is owned by Batjac, a company set up by Wayne and now run by his heirs. Both films will be updated and restored, but no word on which studio will release them. (Posted December 16)

Coming Soon:
Due February 3 from Universal is "Lost in Translation," directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray ... On February 10 Universal will release the George Clooney-Catherine Zeta-Jones starrer "Intolerable Cruelty" ... Also on that day Uni will release "Sylvia," starring Gwyneth Paltrow in the doomed love story of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath ... Columbia TriStar will release on February 17 "Masked and Anonymous," starring Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson and Angela Bassett ... Also on that day, Paramount will release the David Spade comedy "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" ... On March 2 Buena Vista will release the thriller "Cold Creek Manor," starring Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid and directed by Mike Figgis ... March 17 will see the release of "Veronica Guerin," starring Cate Blanchett, from Buena Vista ... Three releases are scheduled for March 23: "Dirty Pretty Things," starring Audrey Tautou, from Buena Vista; "The Magdalene Sisters," starring Geraldine McEwan, from Miramax; and "The Rundown," starring Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, The Rock and Christopher Walken, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted December 16)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is a Collector's Edition of "Escape From New York" (1981), directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Isaac Hayes, Ernest Borgnine, Adrienne Barbeau, Donald Pleasence, Lee Van Cleef, Tom Atkins and Harry Dean Stanton. The two-disc set includes commentary by Russell and Carpenter, commentary with producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves, "Missing Reel #1": a never-before-seen 10-minute bank robbery opening scene with commentary, "Return to Escape From New York" documentary, "Snake Plissken Chronicles" comic book featurette, "Snake Bites" newly edited trailer montage, a photo gallery, and a collectible "John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles" comic book; from MGM. (Posted December 16)

From TV to Video:
Paramount will release this week "Dawson's Creek: The Complete Second Season," a four-disc set with all 22 episodes. Extras include commentary by creator Kevin Williamson and executive producer Paul Stupin, and an interactive map; $49.95 from Columbia TriStar. Also due this week is "South Park: The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set with 17 episodes featuring mini-commentaries by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (Posted December 16)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Due this week from MGM is the direct-to-video horrorfest "Shredder," about a group of co-ends who break into an abandoned ski lodge and find themselves stalked by a psychotic skier, on VHS and DVD. (Posted December 16)

On the Indie Front:
MTI Home Video will release this week "Standing on Fishes," a romantic comedy about an artist's desire to maintain his integrity while sculpting a hidden part of a woman's anatomy for an eccentric film director. The movie stars Kelsey Grammer, Jason Pristley, Bradford Tatum and Meredith Scott Lynn, on VHS and DVD. (Posted December 16)

For the Kids:
The latest direct-to-video Barney outing arrives this week: "Barney's Happy, Mad, Silly, Sad: Putting a Face to Feelings," filled with 16 songs and creative games designed to help preschoolers understand their emotions and express them in healthy ways, $14.95 VHS and $16.99 DVD from HIT Entertainment. (Posted December 16)

Special Interest:
Melee Entertainment and NASCAR Image will release three NASCAR titles this week: "NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2003 Year in Review," which captures the heart-pumping action of the annual racing series; "Tony Stewart: Smoke," featuring an up-close-and-personal look at NASCAR's reigning champion; and "Collector's Edition: A Decade at the Brickyard," offering fans a rare look at the history of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. All three are on DVD only at $19.98 each. (Posted December 16)

Coming Soon:
New for the New Year: Heartwarming "Radio," starring Ed Harris, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Debra Winger, is due January 27 from Columbia TriStar ... Due February 3 is gospel-themed "The Fighting Temptations," starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles, from Paramount ... Psychological thriller "In the Cut," starring Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Jason Leigh, is due February 10 from Columbia TriStar ... John Grisham's suspenser "Runaway Jury," starring Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack, arrives February 17 from Fox ... Crime comedy "Matchstick Men," starring Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman, tricks its way to video February 24 from Warner. (Posted December 9)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from Eagle Rock Entertainment is "Baby Snakes" (1979), Frank Zappa's incredible cult film, mixing concert footage from his 1978 Halloween concert at the Palladium Theater in New York with bizarre clay animation by Bruce Bickford. Classic Zappa tracks such as "Baby Snakes," "Curse of the Knick-Knack People" and "City of Tiny Lights," on and offstage glimpses of arcane behavior by Zappa and fellow musicians, and the famous segment in which a guy with a hamburger for a head consumes the guy sitting next to him, make this outrageous film truly a "movie about people who do stuff that is not normal." Remixed in 5.1 surround. $24.98. (Posted December 9)

From TV to Video:
Available this week from Fox: "M*A*S*H Season 5" three-disc set, $39.98; "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5" six-disc set with commentaries, scripts, photo galleries and outtakes, $59.98; "Firefly -- The Complete Series" four-disc set with commentaries, featurettes, set tour, gag reel, deleted scenes, Easter egg, more, $49.98. (Posted December 9)

Foreign:
Wellspring has a host of foreign films on tap this week: "My Life on Ice" (2003), from Olivier Duscastel, about a 16-year-old who films his life with a digital camera and his obsession with a handsome male geography teacher; "Sade" (2002), by Benoit Jacquot, starring Daniel Auteuil and Marianne Denicourt, detailing the Marquis de Sade's life when he was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror; and the New Wave masterpiece by Jacques Demy, "Lola" (1963), starring Jeanne Moreau and Claude Mann, restored to its original radiant glory by Demy's widow, filmmaker Agnes Varda. All three are available on VHS and DVD at $24.98. Wellspring is also releasing "The World of Jacques Demy," a documentary feature about the filmmaker, on VHS $14.98 and DVD $19.98. (Posted December 9)

For the Kids:
The popular LeapFrog educational brand comes to home video with Warner's release of the first two titles in a new series based on the LeapFrog characters: "The Letter Factory," which follows Leap, Lily, Tad and wacky Professor Quigley on a wild adventure through the Letter Factory where they tour various rooms based on letters of the alphabet; and "The Talking Words Factory," where machines -- like the Word Whammer and Sticky-Icky-O-Rama make groups of letters into words; $8.93 VHS and $14.98 DVD ... Disney's Lizzie McGuire wends her way to home video with "Lizzie McGuire: Fashionably Lizzie" and "Lizzie McGuire: Growing Up Lizzie" (2001), each featuring four episodes, from Buena Vista, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD. "Recess: All Growed Down" and "Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade" are compilations of animated adventures from Disney's TV series of the same name, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD each, from Buena Vista ... Columbia TriStar will release this week "The Best of the Muppet Show" on DVD, with three classic episodes from the TV series, featuring Carol Burnett, Steve Martin and Gilda Radner, $19.95 ... MTI Home Video will release "The Ghost Club," a live-action feature about a group of kids who investigate a phantom that haunts a nearby forest, on VHS rental and $19.95 DVD ... A classic family favorite, the TV musical "Hans Brinker" (1969), based on the children's story by Mary Mapes Dodge, arrives this week from Kultur Video on VHS and DVD for $19.95 ... And young fans of the Power Rangers will appreciate "Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Samurai's Journey" and "Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Cyber Clash," two full-length TV features from Buena Vista, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD (with virtual trading cards and a martial arts featurette). (Posted December 9)

DVD Collectibles:
The big news this week is the release of "Alien Quadrilogy," a nine-disc set with two versions each of all four Alien films, plus a ninth disc of bonus material. Two discs include the 1979 "Alien" and the 2003 director's cut plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Aliens," available for the first time on DVD, and the previously released director's cut, plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Alien 3" and a restored prerelease version with more than 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage, plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Alien Resurrection," with the original theatrical version and an extended cut with alternate opening and ending sequences, plus extras; the ninth disc includes a host of bonus features. $99.98 from Fox. (Posted December 1)

Also due this week is the Special Edition of "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), directed by William Friedkin and starring Willem Dafoe, William L. Petersen, John Turturro, Dean Stockwell, John Pankow, Debra Feuer and Robert Downey. Extras include commentary by Friedkin, "Counterfeit World: The Making of To Live and Die in L.A." documentary, a deleted scene featurette, an alternate ending featurette and a photo gallery, from MGM ... MGM will also release John Schlesinger's biting and poignant "Darling" (1968), starring Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde and Laurence Harvey, with no extras. (Posted December 1)

From TV to Video:
Plenty of TV series are due this week: "Alias Season 2," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, with commentary by the filmmakers and cast on selected episodes, seven deleted scenes, "Undercover: The Look of Alias" featurette, a blooper reel, "The Making of the Video Game" featurette, Los Angeles radio KROQ's Kevin & Bean radio show interviews, DVD-ROM extras, more, from Buena Vista ... "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete First Season," with 17 episodes and commentary by Kennedy on select episodes, an introduction by Kennedy, a conversation with the show's creators, more, from Paramount ... "Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Complete Seventh Season, a seven-disc set with 25 episodes and four featurettes, also from Paramount ... "The Ben Stiller Show," featuring the entire 12-episode series plus one bonus, unaired episode in a two-disc set, with such extras as commentaries by Stiller, cast and writers, "A Brief History of The Ben Stiller Show," five unaired sketches, outtakes, E! behind- the-scenes special, more, from Warner. (Posted December 1)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
In "The Invitation" (2002), a young man invites six friends to dine on a private island and then poisons them, only offering the antidote to those who will confess to the lies they have built their lives on, from Lions Gate on VHS and DVD ... In "Detour" (aka Hell's Highway), a group of seven teenagers get stuck in the desert after a rave and have to fend off a pack of drug-addicted, blood-thirsty cannibals, from MTI Home Video on VHS and DVD ... "Shadow Fury" is a horror thriller about a scientist who discovers a way to control the minds of cloned humans, and then creates the ultimate human weapon to wreak revenge on his ex-bosses, starring Sam Bottoms, Fred Williamson and Pat Morita, from Lions Gate on VHS and DVD. (Posted December 1)

For the Kids:
The latest in Universal's gigantic dino franchise will make its way to video this week: "The Land Before Time: The Great Longneck Migration" (2003), with such extras on DVD as "Read-along with Littlefoot," "Littlefoot's Language Lab: Spanish 101," "The Great Circle Game," two sing-alongs, dinosaur games, more, $24.98 DVD and $19.98 VHS. And to commemorate the occasion, Universal will release the film that started it all, "The Land Before Time Anniversary Edition" (1988), $24.98 DVD and $14.98 VHS ... Studioworks Entertainment and LevyMann Entertainment will launch a new preschool series this week, "itty bitty HeartBeats," featuring seven "itty bitty" characters -- CoolHeart, SweetHeart, BabyHeart, GiggleHeart, KookyHeart, DreamyHeart and HeartAche -- all who live in a magical world called Heartland where, with songs and stories, they engage children in solving daily challenges by promoting a positive approach to life and doing things "from the heart," $12.99 DVD and $9.99 VHS ... Columbia TriStar has new offerings from a pair of their kids franchises: "Bear in the Big Blue House: Practice Makes Perfect," with three episodes on DVD ($14.95) and two on VHS ($9.95); and "Dragon Tales: We Can Solve It Together," with five adventures on DVD ($14.95) and three episodes on VHS ($9.95) ... Warner will release this week "The Little Polar Bear," a new full- length animated feature based on the children's books by Hans De Beer; the story teaches the meaning of friendship between an unlikely pair, Lars the polar bear and Robbie the seal. The DVD includes a "How Does Lars Learn to Walk?" behind- the-scenes featurette and a "Create Your Own Polar Bear Movie and Music" tutorial that teaches kids how animation works, $19.98; a VHS version is available for $14.94. (Posted December 1)

Special Interest:
Eclectic DVD will release this week William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers," a documentary that traces the life and career of the famed artist, writer, poet, and metaphysician. Directed by Klaus Maeck, the film combines footage from some of Burroughs' public readings with rare film appearances, shots of his paintings, and discourses about the world as a virus, death and dreams, travel in time and space, and language as a weapon. $19.95 on DVD only from Music Video Distributors (www.musicvideodistributors.com) ... Home Vision Entertainment has two interesting documentaries on tap this week: "They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II" (1999), directed by Brian Lanker and narrated by Jason Robards. During World War II more than 100 U.S. servicemen and civilians served as "combat artists." They depicted the war as they experienced it with their paintbrushes and pens. Their stories have never been told, and for 50 years their artwork, consisting of more than 12,000 pieces, has been hidden away and forgotten until this documentary. "Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress" (1999), directed by Marion Cajori. Since 1969, when Chuck Close's first series of black-and-white portraits was exhibited, his paintings have fascinated the public. Working from Polaroid photographs, Close paints colossal images of his family, friends, and fellow artists; operating on the edge between abstraction and representation. This is his story in a fascinating documentary. (Posted December 1)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week: "The Dark Crystal Collector's Edition" (1982), directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, remastered, in a collectible box that includes a limited edition film frame Senitype reproduction, a copy of director Henson's never-before-seen original handwritten production notes and a special forward to the edition written by Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson's daughter. Available for a limited time only; $49.95. Extras include "The Mithra Treatment": Jim Henson's original treatment of the film; character illustrations; storyboards; "The World of The Dark Crystal" making-of featurette; original language work print scenes; deleted funeral scenes; and character drawings & profiles, from Columbia TriStar ... From MPI Home Video comes "The Sherlock Holmes Collection: Volume 2," a collection of four Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" films, preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and digitally restored in 35mm: "Sherlock Holmes in the Pearl of Death" (1944), "Sherlock Holmes the Scarlet Claw" (1944), "Sherlock Holmes in The Spiderwoman" (1944) and "Sherlock Holmes the House of Fear" (1945); $19.98 each or $59.98 the set. (Posted November 25)

From TV to Video:
A&E Home Video this week releases three TV series to DVD: "The Persuaders! Set 1" (1971) is a four-disc set with the first 13 episodes of the ITC series starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis, $79.95; "Mail Call: The Best of Season One," featuring seven episodes from the History Channel's series debut season starring R. Lee Ermey; and "Profiler: The Complete Season Two," a six-disc set with all 19 second season episodes; $99.95 ... WGBH Boston Video will release two DVD boxed sets of "Mystery!" titles from the acclaimed PBS series: "The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries," starring Diana Rigg in four episodes on two DVDs for $29.95; and "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries" in a four-disc set featuring four episodes based on the Elizabeth George novels, $59.95.

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"The Hustle," from Lions Gate, stars Ed Lover and Docter Dre in an urban thriller about two aspiring rappers who steal $20,000 from a notorious drug dealer to land a recording gig, on VHS and DVD ... MTI Home Video will release "Ancient Warriors," a horror thriller, starring Daniel Baldwin, about evil spirits released when a special forces unit goes deep within the mines of Sardinia to stop a band of mercenaries from developing deadly biochemical weapons, on VHS and DVD ... "Body Melt" is a sci fi thriller about a dietary supplement -- really an experimental drug -- that causes the citizens of a sleepy suburban community to mutate, deform and explode, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS and DVD. (Posted November 25)

On the Indie Front:
"Loser Love," starring Laurel Holloman, Lauren Hutton, Burt Young and Andy Davoli, is a psychological thriller about a young woman who gets revenge on her abusive boyfriend; on DVD only from Ardustry Home Entertainment ... "Flick" is a hard drama about a small-time drug dealer wandering through the sin bars of Dublin and his involvement with a gang of drug-addict criminals, on VHS and DVD from Vanguard Cinema ... "Walking the Dog" is a sexy comedy about a down-and-out adult Tom Sawyer-type who's hired to take care of a family of three women -- a flinty matriarch, her daughter, and her teenage granddaughter -- in contemporary L.A., on VHS and DVD from Vanguard ... "Falling Like This" revolves around a summer romance between a middle-class girl and a cute juvenile delinquent, starring Patricia Clarkson, John Diehl, and newcomers Brian Vaughan and Megan Wilson, also from Vanguard, on VHS and DVD. (Posted November 25)

For the Kids:
The Baby Einstein Company will release this week "Numbers Nursery," an infant development video that -- through the use of baby friendly images such as toys and puppets -- introduces little ones to the numbers "one" through "five" in a playful, interactive way, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD; info: www.babyeinstein.com ... Two new compilations of the adventures of PBS Kids' Berenstain Bears will be released this week by Columbia TriStar: The Berenstain Bears: Adventures and Fun for Everyone" and "The Berenstain Bears: Fun Lessons to Learn," each featuring four episodes on VHS ($14.95) and six episodes on DVD ($19.95). (Posted November 25)

Special Interest:
A&E Home Video commemorates the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy with "JFK: A Presidency Revealed," a three- hour History Channel special with never-before-released source material, rarely heard recordings from the JFK White House, extensive interviews, and Kennedy family home movies, in a two-disc DVD set for $29.95 ... Docurama has two interesting releases this week: William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories," a documentary on the sci fi writer who coined the word "cyberspace," on VHS and DVD for $24.95; and "The True Meaning of Pictures," a documentary on Shelby Lee Adams that tells the real stories behind the photos of the famed Appalachian photographer, $24.95 on DVD only ... Manga Entertainment has scheduled this week the release of two anime series: "New Dominion Tank Force," six episodes about a special task force formed to curb cybernetically enhanced humans and rogue androids at the center of crime and terrorism, and "Fist of the North Star Volume 5," with eight episodes that conclude the popular martial arts series. (Posted November 25)

Coming Soon:
Due January 13 is spy spoof "Johnny English" (2003), starring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, John Malkovich, Ben Miller, Tim Pigott-Smith and Kevin McNally, from Universal on DVD and VHS $22.98 ... on January 20 Lions Gate scares up 2003 horror-thriller "Cabin Fever" on DVD and VHS rental ... on January 27 Artisan will release "House of the Dead (2003), starring Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Ona Grauer, Ellie Cornell and Jurgen Prochnow, on DVD and VHS rental ... New Line will release on February 3 "Secondhand Lions" (2003), starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Kyra Sedgwick, Nicky Katt and Josh Lucas, from New Line on DVD and $22.99 VHS ... also on that day Buena Vista will release "Under the Tuscan Sun" (2003), starring Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, Raoul Bova, Pawel Szadja, Vincenzo Ricotta and Dan Bucatinsky, on DVD and $24.99 VHS. (Posted November 18)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week: "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Special Extended Edition," (2002), directed by Peter Jackson and 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, available in two editions: A four-disc set with 43 minutes of additional footage added back in, in Dolby EX 5.1 and DTS DTS ES 6.1, with such extras as four commentaries, 13 original documentaries, two interactive maps, galleries with audio commentaries, interactive sound demonstration of the Battle at Helm's Deep, more. $24.99; and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Limited Edition Collector's Gift Set" that includes all four-discs of the Special Extended Edition in an elaborate box with a hand-painted, full-color, polystone Gollum as "Smeagol" figurine sculpted by Weta workshop under the direction of director Peter Jackson and visual effects artist Richard Taylor, as well as a DVD and 42-page book that takes viewers behind the scenes to show how the collectible was created; $79.92. Both are from New Line. (Posted November 18)

Also due this week is the long overdue Sergio Leone epic "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969), starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards, uncut in a two-disc set with restored sound and image. Extras include a commentary track with contributions by filmmakers John Carpenter, John Milius, Alex Cox, plus film historians Christopher Frayling (writer of Leone's biography) and Sheldon Hall, plus additional comments from cast and crew members; three documentaries: "An Opera of Violence," "The Wages of Sin" and "Something to Do With Death"; a "Railroad: Revolutionizing the West" featurette; location gallery; production gallery; cast profiles, from Paramount. (Posted November 18)

MGM is once-again releasing all three volumes of the much-sought after James Bond gift sets, pulling them from distribution after January 19. The James Bond Giftset Volume 1 includes "Dr. No," "GoldenEye," "Goldfinger," "Licence to Kill," "The Man With the Golden Gun," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "Tomorrow Never Dies"; the James Bond Giftset Volume 2 includes "From Russia With Love," "You Only Live Twice," "Diamonds Are Forever," "Moonraker," "For Your Eyes Only," "The Living Daylight," "The World Is Not Enough"; and the James Bond Giftset Volume 3 includes "Thunderball," "Octopussy," "One Her Majesty's Secret Service," "Die Another Day," "Live and Let Die," "A View to a Kill"; each $124.96. (Posted November 18)

First Run Features is releasing this week another much-sought after film, the cult classic "A Boy and His Dog" (1975), directed by L.Q. Jones and starring Don Johnson, Jason Robards and Susanne Benton. This classic post-apocalyptic sci-fi film based on a novella by Harlan Ellison includes commentary by Jones, original and reissue trailers, trailer gallery. (Posted November 18)

The Criterion Collection this week will release a new digital transfer, with restored image and sound, of Federico Fellini's "La Strada" (1954), starring Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina in a two-disc set with commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, a video introduction by Martin Scorsese, "Federico Fellini's Autobiography" (2000) documentary, and a new essay by film scholar Peter Matthews. (The Criterion Collection/Home Vision). (Posted November 18)

Home Vision Entertainment will release this week "Alice in Wonderland" (1966), a subversive, surreal and haunting retelling of the classic children's story directed by Jonathan Miller and starring Peter Cook, Leo McKern, John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, Mark Allington, Anne-Marie Malik, Michael Redgrave and Alan Bennett. The new digital transfer features commentary by Miller, a behind-the-scenes stills gallery by world renowned photographer Terence Spencer, Cecil Hepworth's 1903 film of Alice in Wonderland, an essay by author and critic Wheeler Winston Dixon, music specially composed by Ravi Shankar ... In "Pale Flower" (1964 -- Japan), drugs, drag-racing, and gambling deliriously collide in a classic of the yakuza crime genre, directed by Masahiro Shinoda and starring Ryo Ikebe and Mariko Kaga ... Vittorio De Sica's "A Brief Vacation" (1973 -- Italy) also gets the loving Home Vision treatment, here in a new digital transfer enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions. (Posted November 18)

"Concert for George" (2003) is a performance tribute to George Harrison at Royal Albert Hall on November 22, 2002, featuring George's songs performed by Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Monty Python, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Ringo Starr and many, many more, in a two disc set. Disc one contains the entire concert, including performances not featured in the theatrical version. Disc two contains the theatrical version featuring concert highlights, interviews, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes footage. $29.95. (Warner). (Posted November 18)

From TV to Video:
Rhino will release this week the very cool "The Monkees -- Boxed Set Season Two," a five-disc set with all 26 original, uncut episodes, packed in a colorful collectable box resembling a miniature record player; in Dolby 5.1 for $79.95. Extras include separate commentaries by Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork; commentary by creator-director Bob Rafelson on Episode 54; interview with Monkees editor Gerry Sheppard; song romps feature; photo gallery; vintage Monkees commercials, hidden surprises ... "West Wing: Season 1" is a four-disc set with all 22 episodes of the first season for $59.98 with such extras as commentaries by creator Aaron Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme on five episodes; cast and crew interviews; making-of documentaries "The Primaries" and "The West Wing Inauguration"; behind-the-scenes footage; deleted scenes; outtakes and bloopers, from Warner ... "My Big Fat Greek Life" features all seven episodes of the bomb series based on the hit indie film, from Columbia TriStar ... "The King of Queens: The First Season" compiles all 24 episodes of the series, plus two bonus episodes from Season 2 and 3, also from Columbia TriStar. (Posted November 18)

For the Kids:
To honor the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss (and to coincide with the theatrical release of "The Cat in the Hat,") Warner will release two Dr. Seuss videos: "Best of Dr. Seuss,"
with three animated classics: "Horton Hatches the Egg," "The Butter Battle Book" and "Daisy-Head Mayzie," $9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD; and "In Search of Dr. Seuss," a salute to Dr. Seuss with live-action celebrity skits, original musical productions, animation, tales and a biography, with Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Christopher Lloyd, Patrick Stewart, Kathy Najimy, David Paymer, Howie Mandel, Eileen Brennan and Matt Frewer, $9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... Artisan's Family Home Entertainment will release "Rescue Heroes: The Movie," a feature-length CGI-animated adventure, based on the popular TV series, featuring an elite team of rescue personnel who combine their skills and strengths to emergencies around the world, $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD. (Posted November 18)

On the Indie Front:
Ardustry Home Entertainment will release this week "Which Way Por Favor," a romantic comedy about a group of offbeat travelers who hunt for adventure, hidden cash and Carlos Casteneda's legendary shaman "Don Juan." (Posted November 18)

Foreign:
Lions Gate will release "Mondays in the Sun" (2003), a drama from Spain (and winner of four Goya awards) about six friends struggling to make ends meet in the wake of a shipyard closing in a northern Spanish coastal city; spending their days looking for work, they live in a constant Sunday ... and spend their Mondays in the sun, on VHS and DVD.

Special Interest:
Two fascinating documentaries arrive from Home Vision: "Michelangelo: Self-Portrait" (1989), in which director Robert Snyder fixes his trademark verite lens upon the legendary artist, whose story is told in his own words; extras include "The Titan: Story of Michelangelo," an interview with Snyder and excerpts from his other films ... and "The Art of Romare Bearden" (2002), directed by Carroll Moore and narrated by Morgan Freeman, with readings by Danny Glover. The docu traces Bearden's entire career, including his paintings and watercolors of the 1940s, experimental collages of 1964, mature collages of the next two decades, large-scale public murals, and late landscapes. The documentary also features commentary by art historians, artists, and others who knew Bearden, including Wynton Marsalis, Albert Murray, and Emma Amos ... First Run Features will release "War Photographer," a fascinating portrait of the man considered the bravest and most important war photographer of our time, James Nachtwey. Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei follows Nachtwey, uncovering compassionate and unsettling images from some of the most incendiary spots on the globe, from burning farmhouses in Kosovo to the homeless and hungry of Indonesia to battles on the West Bank; available on DVD only for $29.95. (Posted November 18)

Warner Home Video this week will release a slew of sports DVD specials: "NHL Ultimate Gretzky," a two-disc set honoring the hockey great, $26.95; "NFL Films Superbowl Collection: Super Bowl I -- X," a massive five-disc set with season highlights, game highlights, enhanced content and memorabilia, $64.92; "NBA Ultimate Jordan," a two-disc set of Jordan's greatest moments, $19.98; "NFL Complete History of the Green Bay Packers/Ice Bowl," a two-disc set, $26.95; "NFL Complete History of the Dallas Cowboys," a two-disc set, $26.95; "NBA 100 Greatest Plays," $12.95 and "NBA at 50," hosted by Denzel Washington, $12.89. (Posted November 18)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week: "JFK Special Edition" (1991), directed by Oliver Stone and starring Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Michael Rooker, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland, John Candy, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ed Asner, Vincent D'Onofrio, Sally Kirkland, Brian Doyle-Murray and Wayne Knight. Extras on the two-disc set include commentary by Stone, 12 extended/deleted scenes, and a "Beyond JFK" feature-length documentary that explores the many conspiracy theories associated with the assassination of JFK; from Warner ... "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Special Edition" (1968), starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Frobe and Benny Hill, in a two-disc set with 32-page storybook. Extras include "Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang With Dick Van Dyke," "A Fantasmagorical Motocar" featurette, a read-along feature, a sing-along feature, Sherman bros. song demos, "The Ditchling Tinkerer" featurette, an original Dick Van Dyke interview, the Potts children's featurette, vintage advertising gallery, two interactive games, DVD-ROM printable coloring pages, more, from MGM ... Also due this week from The Criterion Collection/Home Vision is David Cronenberg's weird and wonderful "Naked Lunch" (1991), starring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands and Roy Scheider. The film comes in a gorgeous two-disc set featuring Criterion's usual loving attention to detail: a new high-definition digital transfer, approved by Cronenberg; commentary by Cronenberg and Weller, a special effects stills gallery, a production stills gallery, examples of the film's marketing campaign, excerpts from William S. Burroughs' novel, read by the author. (Posted November 11)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "King of the Hill: Season 2" in a four-disc set with all 22 episodes from season two; $49.98; extras include deleted scenes and extended scenes, commentary, an "Animation Evolution" featurette, "The Arlen School of Drawing" featurette, "Music Inspired by the Hills" featurette, Easter Eggs, still gallery, animated music videos, from Fox. (Posted November 11)

Buena Vista will release two telefilms this week: a TV version of Broadway's "The Music Man" (2003), starring Matthew Broderick, Victor Garber and Molly Shannon, with such extras as a behind-the-scenes featurette and a special exclusive performance of "Til There Was You," $19.99 VHS and $24.99 DVD; and "Eloise at the Plaza" (2003), starring Julie Andrews, Jeffrey Tambor, Kenneth Welsh, Debra Monk, Christine Baranski and Sofia Vassilieva, with a collectible lithograph by illustrator Hilary Knight (the original "Eloise" illustrator) in both VHS and DVD editions; DVD extras include "Hilary Knight hosts an Eloise Art Lesson" featurette, an "Intimate tour of the Plaza Hotel," "From the Page to the 3-Dimensional World: How the Classic Character Made the Leap to the Movies," $19.99 VHS, $24.99 DVD. (Posted November 11)

For the Kids:
Disney this week will release "Lilo & Stitch's Island of Adventures," a new hybrid movie/game that the company bills as an "immersive DVD adventure" that takes viewers into the world of "Lilo & Stitch." The DVD combines the movie experience and the phenomenal resources of a DVD with the traditional fun of a classic board game. "Lilo & Stitch's Island of Adventures" includes a DVD with almost 60 minutes of all-new Lilo & Stitch adventures, and a new DVD game (with board and tokens) that takes you inside the world of Lilo & Stitch -- it literally continues the stories and expands the home entertainment experience. The immersive DVD experience puts family viewers into new "Lilo & Stitch" stories and players interact with favorite and new characters from the animated film. Players race around the game board while playing dynamic on-screen games, singing, dancing and having fun. The DVD works in conjunction with the board game to give players randomized choices that allow unpredictable game play, so families can play over and over again without repetition. Players use their remote control to spin the onscreen spinner and advance along the playing board. The story line revolves around Stitch's fellow experiments, who have been accidentally freed and are wreaking havoc in Hawaii. Lilo has set out after them but she can't capture them all by herself, and if Nani finds out what happened, she's in big trouble. Players go after Lilo to help her collect the experiments. Sounds like an interesting and exciting project for the family on a rainy weekend. $29.99 ... Also for the family is Monarch Home Video's "The Angel Doll," billed as a heart-warming Christmas story told through the eyes of two young boys living in a North Carolinia Manufacturing town during the 1950s, and revolving around their quest to buy an angel doll for a little girl; on VHS and DVD, $19.95 each. (Posted November 11)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"Sleepless Nights" is a gothic horror film about the final battle between the mortal world and a group of powerful vampires bent on reducing humankind to a race of unwilling blood donors, from MTI Home Video on VHS and DVD ... "Cheerleader Ninjas" is about four clueless high school cheerleaders who get involved with nasty church ladies and an evil mastermind who wants to use the girls as guinea pigs to test his Internet Zombie software, from Lions Gate on VHS and DVD ... Also from Lions Gate this week is "Dust," a drama about two brothers in love with the same woman with the losing brother shipping off overseas to become a ruthless mercenary, starring Joseph Fiennes and David Wenham. (Posted November 11)

Foreign:
Independent studio Wellspring will release this week "Friday Night" (2003), a mature tale about a one-night stand between two strangers in Paris, from filmmaker Claire Denis; "Comedy of Innocence" (2000), a psychological thriller by Raoul Ruiz starring Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Balibar and Charles Berling; and two films from critically acclaimed director Claude Miller, "Mortelle Randonnee" (1983), a thriller starring Isabelle Adjani, and "L'Effrontee" (1985), a coming of age drama starring Charlotte Gainsbourg; all on VHS and DVD. (Posted November 11)

Special Interest:
In time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of president John F. Kennedy, Docurama will release this week two classic cinema verite documentaries: "Primary," in which filmmaker Robert Drew followed Kennedy around day and night for nearly a week during the climax of the 1960 Wisconsin presidential primary run against Hubert Humphrey, and "Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment," shot candidly in June of 1963 by Drew as John and Bobby Kennedy faced off against Alabama Governor George Wallace over integration of all-white University of Alabama; $24.95 each DVD or VHS ... Kultur Video will release this week two films that delve into the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth: "Inside Tolkien's The Return of the King," which reveals the hidden secrets of Middle Earth, and "Inside J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit," featuring the fantastic art of the Brothers Hildebrand, $14.95 on VHS and DVD; a four-disc boxed set that includes these two plus previously released "Inside Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring" and "Inside Tolkien's The Two Towers" is also now available at $39.95 ... Sports Network ESPN and Warner Strategic Marketing's new action sports imprint, Rhino Transport, will bring action fans the ultimate X games experience with "Inside X: ESPN's X Games IX," a 73-minute DVD featuring all the highlights from the 2003 L.A. X games, including the inaugural X games surfing contest and the first-ever 360-degree spin on a motocross bike; a 16-track CD soundtrack of the film will be included with each DVD; $19.95 ... From Wellspring this week comes "God and Buddha: A Dialogue," featuring Deepak Chopra and Robert Thurman in an in-depth look at the harmonies between Buddhism and Vedanta, on VHS and DVD. (Posted November 11)

Coming Soon:
With the recent theatrical release of the Ridley Scott director's cut of "Alien" (1979), Fox has put together a giant boxed set of Alien features: "Alien Quadrilogy," an impressive nine-disc set that comes to home video on December 2. This $99.98 set comes loaded with 45 hours of bonus materials and never-before-available versions of each movie. Two discs include the 1979 "Alien" and the 2003 director's cut plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Aliens," available for the first time on DVD, and the previously released director's cut, plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Alien 3" and a restored prerelease version with more than 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage, plus extras; two discs include the original theatrical version of "Alien Resurrection," with the original theatrical version and an extended cut with alternate opening and ending sequences, plus extras; the ninth disc includes a host of bonus features. For a complete rundown of the release, jump to the Alien Quadrilogy press release.

Other new releases: On January 6, MGM will release the Denzel Washington thriller "Out of Time," from MGM; also on that day Columbia TriStar will release the vampire vs. werewolf horror thriller "Underworld," starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly and Bill Nighy. On January 20 Columbia TriStar will release the Robert Rodriguez action-thriller "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe. (Posted November 4)

DVD Collectibles:
There's plenty of classic films being released to DVD this week. Heading off the digital rampage is Warner Home Video, with its Bogart Collection consisting of
"To Have and Have Not (1944), directed by Howard Hawks and starring Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan and Hoagy Carmichael. Extras include new documentary "A Love Story: The Story of To Have and Have Not"; "Bacall to Arms," a 1946 WB cartoon spoof of Bogart and Bacall; outtakes; and an October 10, 1946 Lux Radio Theater broadcast.
"They Drive By Night" (1940), directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Bogart, George Raft, Ida Lupino and Ann Sheridan. Extras include new documentary "Dividing Highway: The Story of They Drive By Nigh," more.
"Dark Passage (1947), directed by Delmer Daves and starring Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Agnes Moorehead. Extras include new documentary "Hold Your Breath and Cross Your Fingers: The Story of Dark Passage," more.
"High Sierra" (1941), directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Bogart and Ida Lupino. Extras include new documentary "Curtains for Roy Earle: The Story of High Sierra."
A Bogart Gift Set consisting of "Casablanca Special Edition," "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Special Edition," "The Big Sleep," "The Maltese Falcon" and "To Have and Have Not" is also available for $99.98.

From Columbia Tristar this week comes "Platinum Blonde" (1931), directed by Frank Capra and starring Jean Harlow, Loretta Young and Robert Williams in the film that made a star of Jean Harlow; no extras ... From Fox Studio Classics comes "The Ox-Bow Incident" (1943), directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes and Anthony Quinn. The film is digitally enhanced and restored. Extras include commentaries by Western scholar Dick Eulain and actor William Wellman Jr.; "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero" Biography docu; restoration comparison; and still gallery. (Posted November 4)

From TV to Video:
Lots of TV shows wending their way to DVD this week: "The X-Files: Season 8," a six-disc set with all 21 episodes and extras; $149.98, from Fox ... "The Honeymooners Classic 39 Episodes<" with all 30 broadcast episodes remastered in a five-disc set; $40 from Paramount ... "Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Complete Sixth Season," a seven-disc set for under $100 from Paramount ... "Crime Story Season One," a five-disc set with 20 episodes; $59.98 from Anchor Bay ... "The Man Show: Season One, Volume 2," featuring the prurient male show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, from Eagle Rock Entertainment ... and, last but not least (by any means) "The Anna Nicole Show: Season One" a three-disc set, $34.99 from Lions Gate. The recent PBS Masterpiece Theatre airing of Doctor Zhivago," starring Hans Matheson, Keira Knightley and Sam Neil, is now available in a two-DVD set ($39.95) and two-volume VHS set ($29.95) from Acorn Media. (Posted November 4)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Due this week are "Dope Game," an urban thriller about four corrupt Oakland cops who resort to beatings, murders and whatever it takes to clean up the streets of the city -- and make money on the side; and "Slaves of the Realm," a swordplay adventure about captive princesses from a rich medieval kingdom forced to labor in silver mines, both on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted November 4)

Foreign:
"The Pact of Silence" (2003) is a French mystery thriller about a nun and her twin sister who were convicted at age 12 of an unspeakable crime, and the doctor who reopens the case to discover the truth. The Columbia TriStar release, on DVD and VHS, stars Gerard Depardieu and Elodie Bouchez ... Facets Video will release this week two Andrzej Wajda films for the first time in North America: "Kanal" (1957) and "Ashes and Diamonds" (1958), on VHS and DVD, $29.95 each. (Posted November 4)

For the Kids:
Yum Yum Studios, the award-winning producers of "Baby Gourmet," has released their newest children's series, "Food Safarie," designed to show kids where food is grown, harvested, produced and packaged and how those foods, as fuel, affect the body. The initial titles are "Food Safari: Breakfast: and "Food Safari: Lunch," $12.99 VHS and $14.99 DVD, for kids 2-5 (www.yumyumstudios.com) ... Heartsong's Emmy Award-winning performer Gaia and the KidSign Club have released "Sing 'n Sign Holiday Time With Gaia," featuring songs and American Sign Language signs that celebrate the winter holidays: Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa; $14.95 VHS and $29.95 DVD (www.kidsignclub.com) ... Baby Laureate has released the first two videos in a new series, For the Love of ..., "For the Love of Art" and "For the Love of World Travel." Both videos introduce the pacifier set (and their parents) to the worlds of art and travel with multisensory stimulation: live footage, engaging soundtracks and colorful animation, for kids up to 4-years-old, $14.98 VHS and $18.98 DVD (www.babylaureate.com). (Posted November 4)

Special Interest:
"My World" (2003) is a live concert movie by multi-platinum recording artist Avril Lavigne, recorded in Buffalo, N.Y. on May 18, 2003. The 60-minute concert is supplemented with a 48-minute behind-the-scenes of the tour featurette, five music videos, plus a six-song bonus audio CD; $26.98, from Fox ... Two late-nite Cartoon Network adult animated series arrive this week from Warner: "Space Ghost Coast to Coast Volume 1," featuring 16 episodes of the former superhero who is now the galaxy's crankiest talk-show host, in a two-DVD set for $29.98; and "The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 1," chronicling the adventures of human-sized food products Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake, who live together in a rental house in New Jersey, on a two-DVD set for $29.98 ... Xenon Pictures, a distributor of multi-cultural and niche films, has released the award-winning "Plaster Caster," a documentary that follows the career of renowned artist and super-groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster who, beginning in the 1960s and continuing to today, became (in)famous for casting rock star members in plaster. Long thought to be a myth, the original Plaster Caster of Chicago tells her incredible story, from meeting her mentor Frank Zappa to her notorious experiences with Led Zeppelin, KISS and Jimi Hendrix. The film follows her journey to mount a Plaster Caster exhibit in a New York art gallery, interspersed with memories and tales of her wild past. Though Cynthia is a bit neurotic and grating in her love of her "babies," her personae grows on you as the film progresses, and the film becomes a fascinating document of the culture of rock 'n' roll and the artistic impulses the music engenders. A fun outing. Available on DVD for $14.98 and $39.98 on VHS (www.plastercaster.com). (Posted November 4)

Date change: "Alice Cooper: Brutally Live," a live concert with 23 Cooper songs from Hammersmith Apollo London in July 2000, has moved from Oct. 28 to Nov. 18 (from Eagle Rock Entertainment). (Posted November 4)

Coming Soon:
Due December 30: "Northfork" (2003), directed by Michael Polish and starring Peter Coyote, Darryl Hannah, Kyle Maclachlan, James Woods, Anthony Edwards, Nick Nolte, Mark Polish, from Paramount ... "So Close" (2003-- Hong Kong), a female martial arts actioner from legendary action filmmaker Cory Yuen, starring Zhao Wei, Shu Qi, Karen Mok, from Columbia TriStar ... Supernatural thriller "The Order" (2003), directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Benno Furmann, Mark Addy, Peter Weller, Francesco Carnelutti, Richard Bremmer, from Fox.

Due January 13: "Freddy Vs. Jason" (2003), directed by Ronny Yu and starring Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, Christopher George Marquette, Lochlyn Munro, from New Line, in a two-DVD set and priced-to-own VHS edition ($22.99) ... Offbeat comedy mystery "Lucia, Lucia" (2003 -- Mexico) starring Cecilia Roth, Carlos Alvarez-Novoa, Kuno Becker.

Due January 20 from Buena Vista is Kevin Costner's Western "Open Range (2003) starring Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Abraham Benrubi, Michael Jeter, Diego Luna, James Russo; in a two-DVD set and a priced-to-own VHS ($24.99).

Due January 27: Raw look at urban adolescence "thirteen" (2003), directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter, Deborah Unger, Jeremy Sisto, Kip Pardue, Brady Corbet, from Fox.

Due February 3 from Dimension is comedy "My Boss's Daughter" (2003), directed by David Zucker and starring Ashton Kutcher, Tara Reid, Terence Stamp, Molly Shannon, Michael Madsen, Andy Richter, Carmen Electra, Jon Abrahams.

Due February 24: "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" (2003), directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Ricardo Montalban, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Holland Taylor, Sylvester Stallone, Salma Hayak, Danny Trejo. The two-DVD set includes both 2-D and 3-D versions and four-pairs of special viewing 3-D glasses; the VHS version (priced to own at $24.99) contains the 2-D version only. (Posted October 28)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week:
"The Lon Chaney Collection," a two-disc set with three restored feature-length films: "The Ace of Hearts" (1921), "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (1928) and "The Unknown" (1927), plus extras: Kevin Brownlow's "Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces" and Rick Schmidlin's photo reconstruction of the lost film, "London After Midnight," $39.95 from Warner ... Also from Warner are two fantastic cartoon collections: "The Looney Tunes Golden Collection," a four-disc set with 56 restored, remastered uncut shorts; $64.92. Extras include an introduction by animation experts and actors; commentaries by film historians Michael Barrier and Jerry Beck, filmmaker Greg Ford and Stan Freberg; music only programs; "Behind-the-Tunes" featurettes; "Irreverent Imagination: The Golden Age of Looney Tunes"; "From the Vaults": Never-before seen recording sessions, pencil tests, bridging sequences and cartoons; "How to Draw Your Favorite Looney Tunes" featurette; stills gallery. "The Looney Tunes Premiere Collection" is a two-disc set with 28 restored, remastered uncut shorts, pulled from "The Looney Tunes Golden Collection"; $26.99 ... MPI Home Video will release this week "The Sherlock Holmes Collection," four Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" films, preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and digitally restored in 35mm: "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror" (1942), "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon" (1942), "Sherlock Holmes in Washington" (1943) and "Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (1943); $19.98 each or $69.98 the set ... "The Ed Sullivan Show Featuring the Beatles" is a four-hour collection of live performances by The Beatles spread over four episodes of the TV variety series "The Ed Sullivan Show"; this is the first time the performances have been available in their entirety since the episodes originally aired in 1964-65. Also includes performances by a host of other acts on the show, including the original cast of "Oliver!", Cab Calloway, Soupy Sales, Frank Gorshin, Cilla Black, more, plus original commercials; $29.95 from Sofa Entertainment/Goodtimes. (Posted October 28)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are "Brooklyn South: The Complete Series," a six-DVD set with all 22 episodes, including the shocking and bloody pilot episode; $99.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Homicide: Life on the Street Season Three" is a six-disc set with all 20 episodes from Season 3; $99.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Complete UFO Megaset" contains all 26 1972 episodes of the rarely seen cult classic sci-fi series from Gerry ("Thunderbirds," "Space: 1999") Anderson, digitally restored and remastered in an eight-disc set; $119.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Coupling: The Complete Second Season" is a two-disc set with nine episodes of the outrageous and sexy BBC series that inspired the U.S. version; $34.98 from BBC Video. (Posted October 28)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"Deviant Obsession," due this week from MTI Video, is a thriller about a top legal defender who turns to his mistress and legal counsel when he's framed for the slaying of his wife, on VHS and DVD. (Posted October 28)

On the Indie Front:
"The Rising Place," set against the picturesque landscape of the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, tells the story of the close friendship of two young women, each of a different race, and their struggle to find purpose in their lives during a time of social injustice and war. Stars Francis Fisher, Laurel Holloman, Billy Campbell, Gary Cole and Tess Harper, with original songs by Jennifer Holiday, from Monarch Home Video on VHS and DVD ... "God, Sex & Apple Pie" is an indie festival award-winning ensemble comedy involving nine friends and one pair of handcuffs during a rendezvous at a resort town over a holiday weekend, from Warner on VHS and DVD ... "Reversal" is a coming-of-age drama set in the highly competitive world of high school wrestling, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS and DVD. (Posted October 28)

Foreign:
"City Loop" is a comedy about one night in the life of six young kids working at Speedies Pizza in Brisbane, Australia, as they confront questions of love, identity and sex between dough tossing, order taking and scooter deliveries, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS and DVD ... Vanguard will also release to DVD this week two classic films from Poland's great Andrzej Wajda: the 1974 "Promised Land" (in a director's cut edition) and 1976's "Man of Marble," with a tribute to and interview with Wajda. (Posted October 28)

For the Kids:
Paramount this week will release the complete first season of Nickelodeon's runaway smash hit "SpongeBob SquarePants" in a three-DVD set that includes all 40 episodes as well as 90 minutes of extras that include such featurettes as "The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants," "Recollections From the First Season," "Everybody's Talking: The Voices of SpongeBob SquarePants," "SpongeBob's Life Strategies," a karaoke segment, an interactive tour of Bikini Bottom, music videos and more, for under $40.00 ... Disney will release this week -- just in time for the theatrical debut of the feature film "Brother Bear" -- "Brother Bear: On My Way Sing Along Songs," hosted by moose hosts Rutt and Tuke, featuring 30 minutes of fun and songs, including two songs from the movie. The DVD version includes learning aides for kids: a "Find It!" word recognition game, a "Letter Puzzle" letter recognition game, and an early reading game. Both the $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD include a free ticket to "Brother Bear" -- while supplies last. (Posted October 28)

Special Interest:
Palm Pictures in collaboration with Spike Jonze, Michael Gondry and Chris Cunningham have teamed for "The Directors Label," a unique director-created and compiled DVD series featuring music videos, shorts and commercials, and special features including interviews, alternate versions, unseen short films and documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and commentaries from various featured artists and collaborators. Each release will be specially packaged and include a 52-page book full of never before seen photographs, storyboards, drawings and interviews. The first three releases due this week are by the three founders -- "The Work of Director Spike Jonze," "The Work of Director Chris Cunningham" and "The Work of Director Michel Gondry" -- with more directors scheduled for 2004.DVD only, $19.95 each ... Eagle Rock Entertainment will release this week "Harley-Davidson: The Legend," a documentary that takes a look at the famous motorcycle, featuring rare, restored and classic Harleys from 1903 to the present, $6.97 on DVD ... Broadway legends perform their signature songs from some of the greatest musicals of all time in Acorn Media's "Broadway's Lost Treasures." Culled from the archives of the first 20 years of Tony Award broadcasts, and produced as a PBS pledge special, the video features stars such as Patti Lupone, Carol Channing, Yul Brynner, Joel Grey, Zero Mostel, Robert Preston, and Jerry Orbach in show stopping numbers from "Guys and Dolls," "Evita," "Fiddler on the Roof," "The Music Man," "Cabaret," and more. In addition to the 17 numbers on the 80-minute PBS special, Acorn's release includes five bonus performances (and extra 30 minutes) on both the VHS ($19.95) and DVD ($24.95) editions. (Posted October 28)

Coming Soon:
Due December 23 is flesh-crawling "Jeepers Creepers 2" on VHS and DVD from MGM ... Bullet-pumping "S.W.A.T.," starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez, will storm home December 30 on VHS and DVD from Columbia TriStar ... Perky comedy "Uptown Girls," starring Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning, will arrive January 6 on VHS and DVD from MGM ... and splendid "American Splendor," starring Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis, will disrupt your world on February 3, from HBO. (Posted October 21)

DVD Collectibles:
At the top of the list this week is the long-awaited "The Adventures of Indiana Jones -- The Complete DVD Movie Collection," a four-disc set in widescreen and fullscreen editions, with each film on one disc, restored, digitally remastered by THX, in 5.1 surround, with the fourth disc containing three hours of brand-new bonus features including never-before-scene material from the Lucasfilm archives. Extras include "Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy," "The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones," "The Sound of Indiana Jones," "The Stunts of Indiana Jones," "The Music of Indiana Jones," more; $69.98 from (Paramount). Click here for a review of the set. (Posted October 21)

From TV to Video:
Just in time for the December premiere of the Sci Fi Channel's mini-series "Battlestar Galactica," comes "Battlestar Galactica: Complete Epic Series" (1978), a six-disc set with all 24 hour-long episodes. Extras include never-before-seen footage, interviews with series creator Glen A. Larson and stars Richard Hatch, Terry Carter and Anne Lockhart, 5.1 Surround Sound; $119.98, from Universal ... Also due this week is "Dark Angel: Season 2," a six-disc set with all 21 episodes from the second and final season; with such extras as commentary on select episodes, three featurettes, a gag reel and bloopers; $59.98, from Fox ... "The Sopranos: The Complete Fourth Season," from HBO ... and "Forever Knight the Trilogy -- Part 1, a five disc set with all 22 episodes from the first season of this modern-day vampire saga from the Sci Fi channel; $79.95 from Columbia TriStar. (Posted October 21)

For the Kids:
Due this week is an all-new, animated feature-length Batman movie, "Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman," in which the caped crusader must try to uncover the mystery behind a new Gotham vigilante crimefighter calling herself Batwoman. Voiced by Kelly Ripa, Kyra Sedgwick and Hector Elizondo, the feature is available on VHS ($14.94) and DVD ($24.98), from Warner ... From MTI Home Video comes "The Bike Squad," about four kids who team up to stop an evil dogcatcher who is snatching pets and selling them to a local lab for scientific testing, on VHS and DVD. (Posted October 21)

Special Interest:
"The Films of Michael Sporn" Volumes 1 and 2 have just been released by First Run Features. These award-winning animated films are for children and adults. Often using real-life stories as their basis, they address significant social issues and render them with a visual style and energy that makes them enjoyable, educational and inspiring. Sporn's films have won numerous awards and have been praised by reviewers and educators for providing entertaining, moving and important stories. Volume 1 features "Whitewash," a moving lesson in community, tolerance and perseverance about a little black girl attacked by a street gang and painted white on her way home, with the voices of Linda Lavin and Ruby Dee, and "Champagne,: the true story of a teenage girl coping with her mothers incarceration in prison. Volume 2 includes the Lewis Carroll tale "The Hunting of the Snark" and the Creole folk tale "The Talking Eggs," with the voices of James Earl Jones and Danny Glover. Each DVD volume sells for $19.95. ... Also from First Run Features is "Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera," a documentary that celebrates the legacy of the famed Paris Opera Ballet by weaving together rehearsals and tour snapshots of classical ballets as well as contemporary works; $24.95 VHS and $29.95 DVD ... Two late-nite Cartoon Network adult animated series arrive this week from Warner: "Space Ghost Coast to Coast Volume 1," featuring 16 episodes of the former superhero who is now the galaxy's crankiest talk-show host, in a two-DVD set for $29.98; and "The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 1," chronicling the adventures of human-sized food products Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake, who live together in a rental house in New Jersey, on a two-DVD set for $29.98 ... Urbanworks Entertainment will release this week "Starting Lineup, Volume 2," in which Cedric the Entertainer showcases young and upcoming comics Leon Rogers, Nema Williams, Rodney Perry and Prescott Gilliam. (Posted October 21)

Foreign:
Facets Video this week will release Italian master Ermanno ("The Tree of Wooden Clogs") Olmi's spiritual tale, "Keep Walking" (Cammina Cammina) (1982) a recreation of the Journey of the Magi. Shot on location in northern Italy, where the rugged landscape effectively recalls an ancient time, the film is an inspired and fresh retelling of one of the Bible's most beloved tales; $29.95 DVD and VHS. For more info: www.facets.org. (Posted October 21)

DVD Collectibles:
Hot ticket for this week is "The Matrix Reloaded," (2003) directed by the Wachowskis and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith and Monica Bellucci, in a two-disc set. Extras include "Preload," offering a behind-the- scenes overview of "The Matrix Reloaded" with on-location footage and interviews with cast and crew; "The Freeway Chase," with behind-the-scenes footage showing how the mind-blowing scene was captured on film; "What is the Animatrix?" a glimpse into the history and the intrigue of the Animatrix; "Enter the Matrix," the making-of the best-seller video game and the groundbreaking technology used to create it; "The Matrix Unfolds," offering a review of the Matrix phenomenon and its amazing cultural impact; a 2003 MTV Movie Awards "Matrix Reloaded" parody; "Get Me an Exit": Matrix-inspired advertising; and Weblinks to the official Matrix Website; from Warner. (Posted October 14)

The Criterion Collection has added three important films to its collection of restored classics. Jean-Pierre Melville's 1970 crime drama "Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle)." stars Alain Delon as an ex-con led back to the world of crime through his encounters with a notorious escapee (Gian Maria Volonte) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The trio plot a heist against impossible odds, constantly pursued by a relentless inspector. The film is a classic combination of honorable anti-heroes, atmospheric cinematography and breathtaking set pieces. The two-disc set features a newly restored, complete and uncut version of the film; a collection of interviews with the actors, Melville and various other production personnel; French television documentaries on Melville and his acclaimed career; trailers; behind-the-scenes photos; poster galleries; more. Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu's "Tokyo Story," which has been acclaimed as one of world cinema's greatest masterpieces, follows an aging couple as they journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Too busy to entertain them, the children send the couple off to a health spa. After one of them becomes ill, they return home and the children rush to be with them. Reprising one of the director's favorite themes -- that of generational conflict -- the film is both quintessentially Japanese and universal in appeal. The two-disc set features a new high-definition digital transfer; audio commentary by Ozu film scholar David Desser; the two-hour documentary "I Lived ... But," about the life and career of Ozu; another 30-minute tribute to Ozu conducted through reflections from other filmmakers including Stanley Kwan, Claire Denis, Lindsay Anderson, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders and others; new essays; more. Steven Soderbergh's bizarre 1996 comedy "Schizopolis," starring Steven Soderbergh, is a surrealistic satire of confused identity, doublespeak and white-knuckled corporate intrigue. The DVD features a new transfer approved by the Soderbergh; two audio commentaries, one featuring behind-the-scenes personnel and actors, the other featuring Soderbergh interviewing himself; deleted scenes, more. (Posted October 14)

From TV to Video:
Here's Johnny: The "Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection" is a three-disc set (seven hours) of memorable moments from Johnny Carson's 30-year run as host of "The Late Show"; $69.99. The set includes Johnny's favorite moments; "The Final Show"; "The Johnny Carson Story" documentary; "Danger Johnny" on-location footage from the 1960s of Carson participating in sporting events; behind-the-scenes footage; the complete Emmy Award-winning May 21, 1992 show with Bette Midler and Robin Williams; "Johnny Goes Home" show. The set was previously only available at Johnnycarson.com and via a direct-response campaign, now it's available at retail from Respond2 ... Also due this week are "The Best of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Vol. 2," featuring six episodes, from Rhino; and "Christmas With the Simpsons," featuring five Christmas episodes on one disc, from Fox. (Posted October 14)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
MTI Home Video will release this week the sc-fi thriller "Feedback," about a group of down-on-their-luck losers who get hold of a prototype device designed to manipulate time by sending a signal to the past and proceed to screw up their bleak and desolate world; the film was the winner of the best screenplay and best editing award at the 2002 Slamdunk Film Festival, on VHS and DVD ... "Defiance," from Lions Gate, is a thriller about a young man out to avenge his father's death at the hands of his town's most powerful boss, on VHS and DVD ... Also from Lions Gate comes "Finder's Fee," a thriller about a man who finds a wallet containing a winning lottery ticket and proceeds to use the ticket in a high stakes poker game -- against the ticket's owner; the film stars James Earl Jones and Robert Forster; on VHS and DVD ... "Mimic 3: Sentinel" is the third "Mimic" film and is billed as the scariest yet as the incredible shape-shifting creatures once more terrorize human society with only a desperate band of fighters poised to stop them, from Dimension Home Video on VHS and DVD. (Posted October 14)

For the Kids:
Several new videos are set for preschoolers this week. The acclaimed animated series "Tiny Planets" follows the fun-filled adventures of two small furry creatures, Bing and Bong, as they travel on journeys of fun and exploration around the universe, using a furry flying sofa to explore science on the planets of Light and Color, Sound, Technology, Stuff, Self and Nature; two VHS volumes ($9.99 each) and two DVD volumes ($14.99 each) are available from StudioWorks ... Fox will release this week "Strawberry Shortcake Wave 2," once again cooking up animated tasty tales of friendship and fun; two volumes are available on VHS ($12.98) and DVD ($14.98): "Strawberry Shortcake Get Well Adventures" and "Strawberry Shortcake Berry, Merry Christmas" ... Also from Fox comes "Olive, the Other Reindeer," an animated adventure based on the children's book about a young reindeer who tries to fill in on Santa's sleigh when Blitzen is injured and Christmas may be canceled, on DVD for the first time at $14.98 ... Anchor Bay has put together the first-ever boxed set of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends adventures: "The Thomas & Friends: Best of Platinum Edition Set," three DVDs featuring "The Best of Thomas," "The Best of James" and "The Best of Percy," $29.98. (Posted October 14)

Special Interest:
Rev up your engines for the latest home entertainment franchise: NASCAR auto racing. Due this week is "NASCAR Winston Cup 2002," a limited edition two-DVD set with over three hours of hot racing action as well as "The Road to Daytona" feature; $19.98; "NASCAR Winston Cup 2003," featuring the greatest moments from the final Winston Cup season, will be available December 16, also for $19.98. (Posted October 14)

The best-selling home video of all time makes its way to DVD this week: "The Lion King," (1994), with the voices of Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, Robert Guillaume, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Cheech Marin, Ernie Sabella, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Whoopie Goldberg, Rowan Atkinson, in a two-disc "Platinum Special Edition" set. Disc One contains both the original theatrical and Imax versions (with the all-new Elton John-Tim Rice song "Morning Report); "The Making of Morning Report"; Lion King personality profile game; "Circle of Life" music video with Hilary Duff, Raven Symone, Christy Romano, others; sing-along track; "Timon's Grab-a-Grub" two-player set-top game; "Pumbaa's Sound Sensation" game; deleted and abandoned scenes; abandoned concept for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"; audio commentary. Disc Two: Virtual safari, "Animal Journey" that shows how real animals inspired "The Lion King" characters; "Story Journey" that shows the origin and influences behind "The Lion King": "Stage Journey" behind-the-scenes featurette on the hit "The Lion King" musical; "Film Journey" featurettes with behind-the-scenes footage, character design, computer animation, storyboards and African art inspiration; interviews with Elton John and Tim Rice; "The Lion King" music videos; African influences on the film's music; $29.99 from Disney. (Posted October 7)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Sanford and Son: The Third Season," in a three-disc set with 25 episodes; $29.95, from Columbia TriStar; "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fifth Season," a seven-disc collector's set with five featurettes, Section 31 hidden files, photo gallery, from Paramount; and "The Office," a two-disc set with the first season of the classy BBC hit comedy series; $29.98 from BBC America. (Posted October 7)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
MTI Home Video will release this week "Learning Curve," about a substitute teacher who cleans up the bullies and thugs in Donner High School ... from Columbia TriStar comes "Another Meltdown" (1998), a Hong Kong actioner about a patriotic Chinese cop transferred to an Eastern European country where he gets embroiled in a conspiracy between the Chinese, Russian and Japanese governments, starring Shu Qi, Andrew Lin and Chiu Man-Cheuk. (Posted October 7)

For the Kids:
Paramount this week will release for pre-schoolers "Dora the Explorer Meets Diego," with two episodes on VHS ($12.95) and four episodes on DVD ($19.99); "Little Bear: Feel Better, Little Bear," with four episodes on VHS ($9.95) and eight episodes on DVD ($19.99); and for older kids, "Jimmy Neutron: Sea of Trouble," 10 episodes on DVD for $19.99 ... BBC Video will release a deluxe "Robbie the Reindeer" two-disc DVD with two TV features, "Robbie the Reindeer in Hooves of Fire" (1999) and "Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe" (2002), for $14.98 ... Warner Home Video has a strong holiday lineup coming out this week: "Tom and Jerry: Paws for a Holiday" (2003) featuring seven original cartoon shorts, $9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD; "Powerpuff Girls: 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas" (2003), a new direct-to-video feature, $9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD; "Teletubbies: Christmas in the Snow" (2000), a peek into how children around the world celebrate Christmas, new to DVD at $19.98; and "Caillou's Holiday Movie," the first direct-to-video feature-length movie for the animated four-year old PBS KIDS star, $14.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... MGM will release the animated "Christmas Carol: The Movie" (2001), featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Kate Winslet and Simon Callow, $9.94 VHS and $19.98 DVD; "A Freezerburnt Christmas," a claymation holiday adventure broadcast on NBC last winter, $9.94 VHS and $14.95 DVD; and the direct-to-video animated "Second Star to the Left," $9.94 VHS and $14.95 DVD. (Posted October 7)

Special Interest:
"Mau Mau Sex Sex" is an interesting documentary on the golden age of exploitation movies (the 1930s to 1960s) revolving around "America's oldest living independent filmmakers," 84-year-old Dan Sonney and 76-year-old David Friedman, both who got their start making sleazy and naughty movies in the 30s and then progressed through "nudie flicks" and horror flicks in the 50s and 60s, from 7th Planet Productions (info@maumausexsex.com), $29.95 DVD and $24.95 VHS ... Wellspring will release this week "Cinemania," a documentary that chronicles the day-to-day lives of five film-obsessed New Yorkers as they discuss and "feed" their cinematic addictions, $24.98 DVD and $19.98 VHS ... Speaking of film addiction, fans of the obscure will appreciate two long-out-of-print features from the 1950s: "Two Nights With Cleopatra" (1959), an Italian costume-drama released in the U.S. in 1964, starring Sophia Lauren and Alberto Sordi, and "The Scavengers" (1959), an Asian-set noir thriller starring Vince Edwards and Carol Ohmart, both $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD from Wellspring. (Posted October 7)

Coming Soon:
MGM has announced a December 9 release for Robert Duval's Assassination Tango," a thriller about a hit man seduced by the tango while on a job in Buenos Aires, on VHS and DVD ... Also on December 9, Columbia TriStar will release that wet blanket of a movie "Gigli," starring Ben Affleck and Jenifer Lopez, on VHS and DVD ... On December 16, Fox will release the action-adventure saga "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," starring Sean Connery, on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 30)

DVD Collectibles:
Pioneer will release this week the long-overdue release to DVD of the classic rock documentary on The Who, "The Kids Are Alright," with live performances and interviews, painstakingly restored and remastered. In DTS and Dolby 5.1. Two editions: A double-disc Special Edition with a "Won't Get Filmed Again" bonus disc with five hours of original material including new interviews, interactive features (including a virtual tour of The Who's London), trivia games, extra performances and restoration features; $29.98. A single-disc edition of the film includes commentary by director Jeff Stein and rock historian Martin Lewis and onscreen historical notes; $22.98.

From The Criterion Collection comes two classic films. First up is "Knife in the Water" (1962), directed by Roman Polanski and starring Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka and Zygmunt Malanowicz. Roman Polanski's first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters' emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman's attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression. The two-disc set features a new high-definition digital transfer. Extras include a video interview with Polanski and co-screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski; a collection of Polanski's short films from 1957-1962, including: "Murder," "Teeth Smile," "Break Up the Dance," "Two Men and a Wardrobe," "The Lamp," "When Angels Fall," "The Fat and the Lean," and "Mammals"; collection of rare publicity and production stills; English subtitle translation by Polanski. The second release is "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941), directed by William Dieterle and starring Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, James Craig, Anne Shirley, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon, Gene Lockhart and H.B. Warner, in a new high-definition digital transfer. Extras include commentary by film historian Bruce Eder and author Steven C. Smith; a video comparison between "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and William Dieterle's preview version of the film; The Columbia Workshop's radio dramatizations of Stephen Vincent Benet's "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "Daniel Webster and the Sea Serpent," both with music by Bernard Herrmann; a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional materials; and a new essay by author Tom Piazza.

Warner Home Video has released three neat packages of classics: "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains and Alan Hale; "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948), directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt; and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942), directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston and Rosemary DeCamp. Each film is packed as a "Warner Bros.' Night at the Movies" two-disc set: Disc One includes the feature (in "Ultra-Resolution" that digitally brings back the luster of old three-strip Technicolor) with newsreels and shorts to recreate an old-fashioned movie-going experience; Disc Two contains features and bonus materials. (Warner). (Posted September 30)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Osbournes: The 2nd Season," a two-disc set with 30 minutes of uncensored, unaired footage; a "What the $%#@ Did He Say?" trivia game; an Ozzy translator for each episode; commentary with the Osbournes; Dookie's Revenge set-top game, more, from Miramax ... "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Season Two," a seven-disc set with commentary, a featurette, a "Boarding House" list of the season's guest stars, more, from A&E Home Video ... "Dawson's Creek: Series Finale" (2002), a special extended version with 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage, commentary by series creator Kevin Williamson, alternate ending, three alternate scenes, more, from Columbia TriStar ... A&E Home Video has released to video its original telefilm, Thomas Hardy's classic and powerful tale of love and betrayal, "The Mayor of Casterbridge," on DVD only for $24.95. (Posted September 30)

For the Kids:
Paramount has several holiday-themed releases set for release this week: "Blue's Clues: Blues First Holiday" (2003), with four episodes on DVD ($19.99) and two on VHS ($9.95); "Nicktoons Christmas" (2003), containing Christmas episodes from "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Fairly Odd Parents," "Rugrats" and "Rocket Power," $19.99 DVD only; and "SpongeBob SquarePants: Christmas" (2003), containing nine episodes on DVD ($19.99) and four on VHS ($12.95) ... Warner has released "Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico" (2003), in which Scooby and the gang head south of the border to solve the mysterious disappearance of the Chupacabra -- Mexico's very own Big Foot. The VHS sells for $19.96 and the DVD -- with such extras as commentary by Scooby and the gang -- sells for $24.98 ... HIT Entertainment this week releases "Bob the Builder: A Christmas to Remember," a new full-length family adventure -- featuring a special "animated" guest appearance by Elton John -- as Bob and his crew help fix up the town square for a special holiday concert, $14.99 VHS and $16.99 DVD ... Angelina Ballerina appears in her first feature-length video "The Show Must Go On: Christmas in Mouseland," with the delightful little mouse taking a role in the village of Chipping Cheddar's "Cinderella Mouse and the Ugly Whiskers," from HIT, $14.99 VHS and $16.99 DVD. (Posted September 30)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"Scenes of the Crime" (2001) is a typical underworld thriller about a young auto mechanic (Jon Abrahams) who earns extra money as a wheelman for a "gangster friend." Hoping to earn some quick cash for his upcoming wedding, the mechanic goes along on a "delivery" that turns out to be the kidnapping of a high-powered businessman (Jeff Bridges) -- who may or may not be linked to his own kidnapping -- throwing the young man into a world he has no business being in; from Columbia TriStar on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 30)

Foreign:
Palm Pictures this week will release "The Sea," a dark comedy about the deterioration of an Icelandic village and one family's secrets that arise while trying to save it; the film was an official selection at the Toronto, Sundance and Rotterdam film festivals; on VHS and DVD ... Vanguard Cinema has two interesting releases from Poland this week: "Zemsta" (Poland), a farce about dueling 17th century aristocratic families who both inhabit separate parts of a crumbling castle, starring Roman Polanski; and "Career of Nikos Dyzma" (2002), a comedy about a funeral eulogist who embarrasses the vice prime minister and shoots up the political ladder and becomes a hero amongst the politicians and their jaded wives; on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 30)

On the Indie Front:
"Narcosys" (Australia -- 2000) is a paranoid thriller about a future world run by a giant corporation that enslaves the people with contaminated pharmaceuticals, and "Rustin" (2001), a compelling drama about a former pro football player and now sheriff in picturesque Rustin, Alabama, whose life is turned upside down when a troubled teenage girl claiming to be his daughter arrives in town; both from Vanguard on VHS and DVD ... "Big Spender" stars Casper Van Dien as a down-on-his-luck man, in and out of trouble with the law, who finds himself at a prison work detail at a horse farm and nurses a sick horse back to life to help transform him back into a champion, from Monarch Home Video, on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 30)

Special Interest:
Docurama and IFC films will release this week one of the most exciting documentaries we've yet seen about film: "A Decade Under the Influence," a three-hour tour-de-force examining that turbulent and revolutionary era of filmmaking that began in the late-1960s and ended in the late-70s. The 1970s was an extraordinary time of rebellion and questioning of every accepted idea, with political activism, the sexual revolution, the women's movement, the civil rights movement and the music revolution contributing to social unrest across America. Into this clime came a new generation of filmmakers -- weaned on the European films of Godard, Truffaut, Visconti , Rossellini, De Sica and Antonioni and discordant with the old studio system and its formulas -- who wanted to make films that reflected their concerns and the realities of the world around them. The era started with the raw films of the Roger Corman film factory, took flight with "The Graduate" and "Bonnie & Clyde," and caught fire with "Easy Rider," "Midnight Cowboy," "MASH," "The Last Picture Show," "The French Connection," "Joe" and "Harold and Maude." The documentary, directed by the late Ted Demme and Richard LaGravenese, is a definitive overview of the decade, with interviews with Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Christie, Dennis Hopper, Sidney Lumet, Milos Forman, Sydney Pollack, Paul Schrader, Pam Grier, William Friedkin, Bruce Dern, Roger Corman, Roy Scheider, Jon Voight, Paul Mazursky, John Avildsen, studio execs Mike Medavoy and John Calley, writers Robert Towne, Polly Platt and Marshall Brickman, among others. With clips from numerous films -- and adroit analysis of the films and the era -- this is a documentary that every film lover, film student and film wannabe must watch and absorb. $24.95 on VHS and DVD ... Docurama will also release this week "Dancing to New Orleans," a musical tour of the spawning ground for such diverse musical influences as Zydeco, blues, jazz and gospel, on DVD for $24.95 ... A&E Home Video will release to DVD for the first time all 26 award-winning episodes of the 1952-53 NBC series "Victory at Sea" in a four-disc set for $79.95 ... The adventures of "Mr. Bean: The Animated Series" will be represented in two new DVDs from A&E: "It's Not Easy Being Bean," featuring five episodes, and "Bean There, Done That," featuring four episodes, $19.95 each ... The Ab Fab girls Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return to home video in a new DVD from BBC Video, "Absolutely Special," featuring two episodes of wickedness: "Absolutely Fabulous: New York" and "Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout," $14.98 ... MPI Home Video will release this week "Killer Instinct," a three volume set that offers an up-close and personal look at some of the most dangerous creatures on Earth, hosted by adventurer Rob Bredl: "Snakes," "Crocodiles" and "Sharks and Killer Whales," $44.98 VHS and $59.98 DVD; each volume is available separately at $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... White Star Video releases this week "The Highwaymen: On the Road Again," featuring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings during their first European tour, with footage of the quartet backstage talking candidly about their lives in music, then onstage, firing up the audience in a riot of denim and leather, on DVD for $19.95. (Posted September 30)

Coming Soon:
Paramount has set a November 18 date for the second in its Lara Croft franchise, "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," starring Angelina Jolie as the bigger than life comic book heroine, on DVD and VHS ($22.99) ... Gorgeous documentary "Winged Migration" will fly home on November 18 from Columbia TriStar, on DVD and VHS rental ... On December 9, Columbia TriStar will release the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence starrer "Bad Boys II," on VHS rental and DVD... December 16 should be an exceptional release day, with Universal releasing "Seabiscuit," starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper, on DVD and VHS ($22.98), "Freaky Friday," starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, on DVD and VHS ($24.99), from Disney, and "Rugrats Go Wild," from Paramount, on DVD and VHS ($24.95) ... On December 23, Warner will release lackluster romantic comedy "Alex & Emma," starring Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson, on VHS ($19.96) and DVD ... And the first release announcement for the New Year: "American Wedding," from Universal on DVD and VHS ($22.98), due January 2. (Posted September 23)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from The Criterion Collection are two Ivory/Merchant films: "Bombay Talkie" (1970), in a new digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions, with such extras as "Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls," a documentary short film about the legendary Bollywood dancer, Helen; and "Heat and Dust" (1983), starring Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor, Madhur Jaffrey and Jennifer Kendal, in a new digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions. Extras include "Autobiography of a Princess," a 55-minute film about Royal India starring James Mason and Madhur Jaffrey, directed by James Ivory and written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Both films feature a conversation with the filmmakers, part of a new series of interviews with Ismail Merchant, James Ivory, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and Richard Robbins ... From Home Vision Entertainment's line of DVDs comes "Murderous Maids" (2000 -- French), directed by Jean-Pierre Denis and starring Sylvie Testud, Julie-Marie Parmentier. Class struggle, incest, and murder are at the heart of France's most horrific crime of the 20th century. In "Murderous Maids," Denis paints a provocative portrait of the notorious Papin sisters that is sympathetic yet unapologetic. The sisters, Christine and Lea, are forced into servitude by their self-absorbed mother and become increasingly outraged by the injustice of their position. The sisters find solace in each other, and their relationship becomes all-consuming. When their secret is threatened, they lash out. Extras include interviews with Testud and director Denis; original French and American theatrical trailers; a trailer from the feature "The Maids," based on the classic Jean Genet play; Janet Flanner's 1933 Vanity Fair article recounting the actual events; photos from newspapers of the time, 5.1 Surround. Also from Home Vision is "Tricheurs" (1983 French), directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Bulle Ogier and Jacques Dutronc. Exploring themes of addiction, sexual power games, and compulsive behavior, Schroeder's "Tricheurs" is a powerfully impudent look into the world of gambling addicts. Ogier is cast among a stylish milieu of gamblers on the Portuguese island of Madeira. There she becomes involved with a slick gambler's scheme to run the roulette wheel. Extras include an interview with Barbet Schroeder, new electronic subtitles, and an essay by gambling specialist and author Christopher Pawlicki.

"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" is one of those films (like "Plan 9 From Outer Space") that is so God-awful that it has garnered an incredible cult reputation. Rhino has released the 1978 film, directed by John De Beelo and starring David Miller, Sharon Taylor and George Wilson, in two DVD editions: a single disc for $14.95 and a Special Collector's Edition for $24.95, with such extras as six featurettes, commentary by De Bello, never- before-seen footage and outtakes, the original 8mm student film, photo gallery, sing-along, more.

"The Hills Have Eyes" was a follow-up to Craven's debut outing, "The Last House on the Left," and set his reputation as a master of the gore genre. The 1977 film, starring Michael Berryman, Robert Houston, Dee Wallace Stone, Susan Lanier and Janus Blythe, has been released by Anchor Bay in a two-disc set in 6.1 DTS-ES and 5.1 Dolby EX with such extras as commentary by Craven and producer Peter Locke; "Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes" with new interviews with the cast; "The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven" retrospective documentary; original storyboards; behind-the-scenes photos; posters and advertising art; alternate ending; and a restoration demo. (Posted September 23)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Smallville: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with commentary on the pilot and second episode by executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar; deleted scenes; storyboard to screen featurette for the pilot; and an interactive tour of Smallville, from Warner ... "Shogun" (1980), a five-disc set of the James Clavell novel miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune; Extras include "The Making of Shogun" 79-minute documentary; three historical perspective featurettes on the samurai, the tea ceremony and the geisha; commentary by director Jerry London on seven select scenes; $89.99 from Paramount ... "I Love Lucy: Season One -- Volume 9" contains four episodes, with guest cast information, flubs, more; $14.99 from Paramount ... "I Love Lucy: The Complete First Season" contains the show's original pilot and all 35 episodes from Season One; priced under $100, from Paramount ... "Lexx S4-V4" offers up four episodes from the final season of the wacky sci fi series, with storyboards, CGI gallery, behind-the-scenes photos, more, from Acorn Media ... Acorn Media will release another set of episodes in the witty British TV series "A Fine Romance," about the tentative courtship between a brainy translator (Judi Dench) and a shy landscape gardener (Michael Williams): "A Fine Romance, Set 2" is a two-disc set for $39.95 featuring nine episodes ... Acorn will also release "Agatha Christie's Poirot Collector's Set 6," a single DVD with three one-hour Poirot episodes starring David Suchet as Christie's elegant detective. (Posted September 23)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
In "Counterstrike," two brothers -- one an ATF specialist and the other a Secret Service agent -- launch a counterstrike to save an international peace summit aboard the Queen Elizabeth II luxury liner taken over by a group of extremists, from Lions Gate on VHS and DVD ... "Darkest Knight 2" is a fantasy outing about a warrior who must battle mystical evil to help return King Richard to his rightful throne in 12th century England, from MTI Home Video on VHS and DVD ... "Sucker Punch" (2003) is an urban drama about a drug addict and pimp who falls for one of his working girls and tries to redeem himself in an underworld of violence and inner-city corruption, from Artisan Entertainment on VHS and DVD ... "Love Relations" (2002) contains four unique urban love stories involving a widower, a single mother, newlyweds and an interracial couple, woven together to explore the meaning of love, from Artisan on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 23)

For the Kids:
HIT Entertainment will release this week "Thomas' Snowy Surprise & Other Thomas Adventures," a compilation of six winter-themed Thomas the Tank Engine and friends adventures, with storytellers Alec Baldwin and George Carlin, on VHS for $12.98 and DVD ($19.98) ... Rhino Home Video will release "The Transformers, Season 3 -- Part 1," featuring 16 uncut episodes of cartoon adventures favored by young boys, $49.95. (Posted September 23)

Special Interest:
In his 2001 documentary "Cool and Crazy," Norwegian filmmaker Knut Erik Jensen introduced a group of men from a small fishing village in Norway who find purpose, companionship and even fame as members of the Berlevag Male Chroir. In his sequel, "Cool & Crazy On the Road," released by First Run Features on DVD and VHS, the director follows the group of Scandinavian singers as they encounter a nation in mourning, crossing the Atlantic for their first U.S. tour -- only three weeks after September 11. The film follows the choir, whose members range in age from their early 30s to late 90s, as they bring hope and wisdom (and fun) to their audiences ... First Run will also release "Kira's Reason -- A Love Story," the second feature by Ole Christian Madsen, shot in the Dogme style using only natural lighting and sound. The film is an intimate chamber piece that focuses on only two characters, a young successful married couple, Kira and Mads, and their attempt to reclaim their loving home after Kira suffers a nervous breakdown. On VHS and DVD ... Though they announced it in late August, Eagle Rock Entertainment's release this week of "Johnny Cash, a Concert: Behind Prison Walls" takes on added meaning with last week's passing of the famed singer. The show, shot in 1976, has Cash performing for inmates inside the Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville, accompanied by Linda Rondstadt and Roy Clark. The show features such Cash standbys as "Folsom Prison Blues," "Boy Named Sue," "Love Has No Pride", and "Sunday Morning Coming Down." Available on VHS for $14.98 and DVD for $20.98. (Posted September 23)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are "Soap: The Complete First Season," restored and remastered in a three-disc set with 25 episodes; $29.95 from Columbia TriStar and "Bonanza: The Next Generation," a 1988 TV movie -- created as a sort of sequel to the long-running TV series -- that revolves around the saving of the Ponderosa Ranch after it's sold by patriarch Ben Cartwright's brother, Aaron (played by John Ireland). The cast includes the granddaughter of Lorne Greene and the son of Michael Landon; on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted September 16)

For the Kids:
With the guidance of a computer-animated rock hammer named CHIP, children aged 5 to 9 can learn about fossils, paleontology and the history of the Earth in the new adventure-filled "Earth Stories" series that launches this week with "Paleontology Vol. 1," from Mazon Productions, on VHS for $19.95; www.earthstories.net for more information ... Warner Home Video will release four new titles from the popular live-action children's series "Real Wheels": "There Goes a Tank" and "There Goes a Rescue Hero" on VHS for $9.93 each and "Mega-Truck Adventures" and "Rescue Adventures" on DVD for $14.98 each ... "Bionicle: Mask of Light" is a direct-to-video movie based on the popular LEGO franchise (interactive Website, comic books, line of toys) for boys, available on VHS ($19.99) and DVD ($29.99) from Miramax. (Posted September 16)

Special Interest:
"The Old Grey Whistle Test" is a compilation of performances from the legendary British live music show, featuring Alice Cooper, Blondie, Captain Beefheart, Elton John, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Randy Newman, The Police, R.E.M., The Ramones, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, U2, Tom Waits, XTC, more; $24.98, from BBC Video. (Posted September 16)

Coming Soon:
Disney has just announced December 2 release date for this summer's smash hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," on VHS ($24.99) and DVD (as a two-disc set for $29.99) ... Columbia TriStar will release on November 4 the animated Adam Sandler Chanukah holiday tale, Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights," on VHS rental and DVD ... Warner will release on October 29 "Whale Rider," a wonderful family tale about a young Maori woman who dares to challenge the ancient traditions of her people in order to fulfill her destiny, on VHS rental and DVD ... "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd" bumbles its way to home video from New Line on November 11, on DVD and VHS rental ... Animated "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" sails to VHS and DVD on November 18 from DreamWorks ... "How to Deal," a modern look at teen romance starring Mandy Moore, arrives on December 9 on VHS ($19.96) and DVD. (Posted September 9)

DVD Collectibles:
This is the week that Disney will release their very special edition of "Sleeping Beauty" (1959). The two-disc set features a new transfer: restored and reformatted one frame at a time, a Dolby remix, and widescreen and fullscreen versions. Extras: "Once Upon a Dream: The Making of Sleeping Beauty"; "Rescue Aurora" game; princess personality game; "Sleeping Beauty" ink & paint game; 3-D virtual art gallery; original story reels; widescreen to fullscreen comparison; featurettes on design, music, restoration; "Four Artists Paint One Tree" look at the techniques of four "Sleeping Beauty" artists; creating the backgrounds featurette; Helene Stanley dance reference featurette that shows how the animators used footage of dancer Helene Stanley to create reference poses for the film; live action reference for Prince Phillip; "The Peter Tchaikovsky Story"; Academy Award winning Disney short "Grand Canyon" that accompanied "Sleeping Beauty" in theaters; $29.99. (Posted September 9)

From TV to Video:
TV series due this week are "24 Season Two DVD Collection," a seven-disc set with extras such as the extended season premiere episode, three featurettes ("On the Button," the destruction of CTU; "Making of an Episode: Production," "Making of an Episode: Post-Production"), 44 branching deleted scenes with optional commentary, alternate endings, multi-angle scene study; $69.98, from Fox; and "Family Guy Volume 2," a three-disc set with the series' remaining 22 episodes. Extras include commentary on select episodes, 28 deleted animatics, original pilot pitch, uncensored featurette, and the "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" unaired episode; $49.98, from Fox. Other TV offerings this week include "The Junction Boys," the real-life story of legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, starring Tom Berenger, on DVD and VHS from Buena Vista; The BBC miniseries "Neverwhere," a fantasy classic written by comic scribe Neil Gaiman in which a the efforts of a young man to save the life of a wounded girl on a sidewalk in London transports him to a subterranean world of danger and shadows in a place called London Below, on a two-disc set from A&E Home Video ($39.95); and "Love for Lydia," a PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries about a flirtatious jazz-age flapper and the men who love her, starring Mel Martin and Jeremy Irons, from Acorn Media in a four-disc set for $79.95 and a five-volume VHS set for $99.95. (Posted September 9)

For the Kids:
MTI Home Video will release this week "Bug Off!" a family adventure about an alien babysitter who comes to Earth to learn how humans get along and who inadvertently changes a young girl's little brother into a bug, on VHS and DVD ... Down Under's The Wiggles have released their first full-length animated adventure, "Space Dancing," loaded with lots of the group's patented dancing and singing exuberance, on DVD ($16.99) and VHS ($14.95) from HIT Entertainment ... "All By Myself: Taking Care of My Pet" is a fun-laden instructional video for kids, created by three moms, to show kids how much fun it can be to take care of a pet, $14.95 VHS; for more info, contact www.allbymyself.com or 800-408-5437 ... For older kids, Rhino Home Video has released "Battle of the Planets: The Ultimate DVD Boxed Set" containing 12 episodes from the popular kids show. (Posted September 9)

On the Indie Front:
In "Stevie," filmmaker Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with troubled Stevie Fielding, a youth he had mentored 10 years earlier, and created a documentary that chronicled four and one-half year years of Stevie's life, his broken family and the criminal justice system, from Lions Gate on VHS and DVD ... "The Debut" is a touching coming-of-age dramatic comedy about a Filipino American teen torn by cultural and generational conflicts that arise at an elaborate family celebration, from Columbia TriStar on VHS and DVD. (Posted September 9)

Special Interest:
Urbanworks Entertainment releases this week "D.L. Hughley Live!" a stand-up concert filmed in front of a live audience and highlighting Hughley's outrageous humor as he pokes fun at everything from dating and marriage to politicians and what would happen if his children were attacked by sharks; and "Robert Townsend: Partners in Crime Volume 2," featuring the best of the comedic HBO series as Townsend and cohorts Damon Wayans, David Allen Grier, Sinbad, John Witherspoon, Marlon and Shawn Wayans, and Paul Mooney do stand-up and skits, both on VHS and DVD ... Warner Home Video and PBS Home Video will release New York: The Center of the World," the eighth and final chapter in Ric Burn's PBS series "New York: A Documentary Film"; this segment, which aired September 8 on PBS, is a powerful portrait of the events leading up to and after the fall of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; $24.98 VHS and DVD ... Wellspring will release this week "Ethics for the New Millennium," an intimate talk by the Dalai Lama filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on DVD for $24.98, and "In Search of Dracula," a documentary hosted by Christopher Lee that explores the roots of the vampire legend, on DVD for $14.98 and VHS for $9.98. (Posted September 9)

Coming Soon:
Fox Home Entertainment has announced a trio of three thrilling releases for October and November: Horror-fest "Wrong Turn," starring Jeremy Sisto and Eliza Dushku, on October 14; thriller "28 Days Later," with three alternate endings on the DVD and one alternate ending on the VHS, on October 21; and "X2: X-Men United," in a jam-packed two-disc DVD set for $29.98 and a special VHS edition (with four deleted scenes) for $22.98, on November 25. (Posted September 2)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Special Edition" (1983), directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones and starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam. The two-disc 20th anniversary set. Animated characters from the film guide viewers to newly created bonus features from the original Pythons including an alternate ending, new versions of songs such as "Every Sperm is Sacred," and "The Meaning of Life" that have been re-recorded by their authors and deleted scenes spiced with no-holds-barred commentary on why they didn't make the cut. Plus, there's an animated Martin Luther, whose sequence was cut from the film. Annoyed by ending up on the cutting room floor, Martin Luther will sporadically invade the disc in an attempt to have his sequence included. Other bonus features created by the surviving Pythons: A madcap 50-minute featurette, "The History of the Meaning of Life" is "guided" by animated versions of unforgettable characters Mr. Creosote, A Fish, The Headmaster and The Man in Pink. The feature offers a mix of contemporary footage and material shot during the production and release of the original movie. Must-see insights from the surviving Pythons are captured in candid interviews with Cleese, Idle, Palin along with the film's co-writer/co-directors Jones and Gilliam. Quirky interludes in the true spirit of Python include a digital Monty Python reunion, contemporary interviews with the children from the "Every Sperm is Sacred" sequence and a "where are they now" look at the film's topless runners. Plus, contemporary interviews with people who hated the film. There's also "The John Cleese Version" is a newly created trailer for the film, and "The School Prospectus," offering a contemporary parody of an English Public School rife with sex education and corporal punishment. Furthering the hilarity is "Fish," a unique option guiding viewers into the minds of fish. On a more serious note, "The Re-Mastering of the Meaning of Life" combines earnest and satirical takes on the restoration of the film. The DVD-ROM edition features the original screenplay, lost scenes, song sheets of music and lyrics from the film, Creosote cooking tips, and the Python's Good Death Guide. $26.98 from Universal. (Posted September 2)

Also due this week is "Gone in 60 Seconds: 2" (1989), H.R. "Toby" Halicki's never-before-seen follow up to his original classic. DVD extras include "Deadline Auto Theft" (1984), Speed Channel's 45-minute "The Life and Times of H.B. 'Toby' Halicki, and a crash counting feature that totals up all the wrecks during the course of the film, from Halicki Film/Navarre Corp. (Posted September 2)

From TV to Video:
There's plenty of crossover from TV to DVD this week: "Alias: Season 1," a six-disc set with all 22 episodes; $69.99 from Buena Vista ... "Angel Season Two," a six-disc set with all 22 episodes from the second season; $59.98 from Fox ... "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set with all 23 episodes; from Paramount ... "The Best of Designing Women," five episodes, including the pilot; from Columbia TriStar ... "Stargate SG-1 Season Four," a five-disc set; $69.96 from MGM ... "The Outer Limits: Season 2," a three-disc set with 17 episodes from the original series; $69.96 from MGM. (Posted September 2)

Coming Soon:
MGM has announced a November 4 release date for Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," in a Special Edition DVD with deleted scenes, outtakes, a featurette, a LeAnn Rimes music video, an interactive quiz, and more; the VHS version, which will be rental only, will include deleted scenes. (Posted August 26

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is "National Lampoon's Animal House Double Secret Probation Edition," to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the irreverent 1978 campus comedy classic. It's a class reunion of epic proportions for the ultimate campus comedy that spawned a million toga parties and continues to inspire new generations of party animals. Special bonus features on the DVD will include an exclusive original bonus segment,"Where Are They Now?" directed and produced by the original's John Landis, with the film's memorable cast interviewed in character 25 years later. The original cast members in the segment include Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, James Widdoes, Bruce McGill, James Daughton, Karen Allen, DeWayne Jessie and Stephen Furst. Also included are outrageous pop-up facts and trivia and a Greek Game; from Warner Home Video. (Posted August 26

From TV to Video:
Due this week are "ER: The Complete First Season," in a four-disc set with all 25 episodes plus the 90-minute pilot. Extras include "Personal notes' from series creator Michael Crichton; documentary on the pilot episode; documentary on the first season; "The First Year Intern Handbook" interactive feature with character profiles, "patient" histories, medical glossary; two commentary tracks on the pilot episode, one by Crichton and executive producer John Wells, and another by pilot director Rod Holcomb and key production crew; two featurettes, one about the show's medical consultants and another about the series' post-production process; commentary on the "Love's Labor Lost" episode; outtakes and unreleased scenes; hidden bonus material; $59.98; from Warner ... "Wiseguy -- Season 1, Part 1: Sonny Steelgrave & the Mob" brings to home video one of TV's more cutting edge series, one which has engendered a giant cult following and several Web sites that focus on the show's intriguing characters (played by Ken Wahl, as undercover agent Vinnie Terranova, as well as Jonathan Banks, Ray Sharkey and Annette Bening) and story arcs. The four DVD set includes the two-hour pilot, the nine episode Sonny Steelgrave crime syndicate arc, and two stand-alone episodes. Extras include commentary by Wahl, interviews with co-creator Stephen J. Cannell and Banks and gag footage; $69.99 from StudioWorks Entertainment ... Acorn Media will release this week"Lexx: The Complete Third Series," a four-disc set with all 13 episodes from the quirky sc-fi series' third season, for $59,95 ... And from A&E Home Video comes "The Complete Secret Agent Megaset," a 13-disc set with all 47 episodes of the Patrick McGoohan spy series that made TV history, $189.95 ... and don't forget "The Simpsons: Season 3," a four-disc set for $49.98 with such extras as commentary, storyboards, commercials, Easter Eggs, Bart Balloon: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Colonel Homer pop-up, a Jukebox feature (13 songs), and more, from Fox. (Posted August 26

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"R.S.V.P." is a thriller about a college graduation party in which the host kills off his guests, one by one, from Lions Gate ... "China Task Force," starring Coolio and action star Mark Dacascos, and directed by Stanley Tong, is a martial arts adventure about a rebellious cop who infiltrates a drug smuggling gang, from Dimension Home Video ... Also from Dimension is "Scorcher," a doomsday movie in which the Earth's tectonic plates have shifted due to a nuclear accident, and only a nuclear detonation in Los Angeles can stop the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that will destroy the planet, starring Mark Dacascos, John Rhys-Davies and Rutger Hauer ... "Heart of Stone" is a thriller about a deadly predator stalking young coeds in Los Angeles who may or may not be the lover of a college girl's mother, starring Angie Everhart and James Wilder, from MTI Video. (Posted August 26

For the Kids:
For preschoolers this week comes "Barney's Best Manners: Your Invitation to Fun!" a 45-minute video featuring skits and songs to teach children sharing, taking turns, politeness and healthy habits, on VHS and DVD from HIT Entertainment ... Also for preschoolers is Disney's "A Playhouse Disney Halloween," a compilation video containing "Rolie Polie Olie: A Spookie Ookie Halloween," "The Book of Pooh: Just Say Boo!" and "Out of the Box: Trick or Treat," on VHS and DVD ... Scholastic Video has released the next wave in their Scholastic Video Collection of award-winning adaptations of classic children's picture books. Available on VHS and DVD are "The Snowy Day ... And More Ezra Jack Keats Stories," "Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type ... And More Fun on the Farm," "Harry the Dirty Dog ... And More Terrific Tails" and "Good Night, Gorilla ... And More Bedtime Stories." Scholastic has also put together a nifty six-DVD gift set of the first releases in the series: "Where the Wild Things Are," "Harold and the Purple Crayon," "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day," "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," "Pete's a Pizza" and "Chrysanthemum," for $69.95 ... Paramount will release this week two episodes from the new Rugrats series (which will air on Nickelodeon in November), "All Grown Up!" on VHS and DVD ... In the "John Denver and the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday" TV musical variety special, Jim Henson's friends teamed up with Denver for camping and mountain skits and 16 family songs, available this week on VHS and DVD from Columbia TriStar. (Posted August 26

Special Interest:
Kultur Video will release this week two films that delve into the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth: "Inside Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring," which visits the magical and exciting locations in the books, featuring the fantastic art of the Brothers Hildebrandt, and "Inside Tolkien's The Two Towers," featuring Tolkien authority Michael Stanton analyzing the themes of the great epic, $14.95 on VHS and DVD ... Eagle Rock Entertainment will release "Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon," featuring a behind the scenes track-by-track look at the classic album, with interviews, archival footage, live tracks, and more; on VHS and DVD. (Posted August 26

Coming Soon:
Due this week: Direct-to-video thriller "29 Palms," starring Chris O'Donnell, Jeremy Davies, Rachel Leigh Cook, Keith David and Michael Rapaport, from Artisan ... Due September 30 is the long-overdue release to DVD of the classic rock documentary on The Who, "The Kids Are Alright," with live performances and interviews, painstakingly restored and remastered by Pioneer Entertainment, in DTS and Dolby 5.1. "Kids" will be available in two editions: A double-disc Special Edition with a "Won't Get Filmed Again" bonus disc with five hours of original material including new interviews, interactive features (including a virtual tour of The Who's London), trivia games, extra performances and restoration features; $29.98. A single-disc edition of the film includes commentary by director Stein and rock historian Martin Lewis and onscreen historical notes; $22.98 ... Less exciting is the release of lowbrow comedy "Boat Trip," starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Horatio Sanz, Vivaca A. Fox and Roselyn Sanchez, from Artisan ... Due October 10 from Warner is the lackluster comedy remake "The In- laws," starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks ... Also on that day Columbia TriStar will release "Hollywood Homicide," starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett and directed by Ron Shelton ... On October 14 wings will be flapping as "Charlie Angels: Full Throttle," starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, wends its way to video, from Columbia TriStar ... Action-thriller "The Italian Job," another remake, starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Edward Norton, powers home from Paramount on October 7 ... And two big superhero (of sorts) films will arrive in the third quarter: Ang Lee's "Hulk," starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly, from Universal on October 28, and California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines," due November 11 from Warner in a no-frills VHS and two-disc DVD set. (Posted August 19

DVD Collectibles:
Anchor Bay will release this week its most feature-packed DVD ever, "Day of the Dead" (1985), the final episode of George A. Romero's chilling zombie trilogy, starring Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato, Howard Sherman, Richard Liberty and Terry Alexander. The two-disc set is mastered with Anchor Bay's DIVIMAX high-definition transfer process and features 6.1 DTS-ES and 5.1 Dolby EX sound; the packaging includes a hand-sculpted multi-level embossed "Zombie Die-Cut" cover and a 16-page notepad essay. Extras include commentary by writer-director Romero, special make-up effects artist Tom Savini, production designer Cletus Anderson, and Cardille; a second audio commentary by filmmaker Roger Avary; a new 39-minute documentary "The Many Days of the Day of the Dead"; 31-minutes of production footage from behind the scenes of all things bloody; an interview with actor Richard Liberty; "Wampum Mine" promotional video; TV spots; posters and advertising art; production stills; behind-the-scenes photos; gallery of memorabilia; zombie make-up photo gallery; DVD-ROM original screenplay; and more; $29.95. (Anchor Bay).

The folks at Artisan Entertainment have released three single-disc DVD collections from the Golden Age of Hollywood comedy: "Laurel & Hardy," containing five classic L&H films, digitally remastered with audio fixes and signal corrections: "Sons of the Desert," "The Music Box," "Another Fine Mess," "Busy Bodies" and "County Hospital." Extras include biographies of Laurel & Hardy, a tribute to and biography of "King of Laughter" Hal Roach, a "Hal Roach Movie Mogul" piece, a "Then & Now Location Tour," a "Tent Society" piece, and a photo montage ... "The Little Rascals" features 10 remastered original black & white episodes of the kiddie komedians with such extras as "Our Gang" bios, "Where Are They Now?" a "Hal Roach Story: Creating the Little Rascals Characters" featurette, fun facts, photo gallery, pop-up trivia facts, and a trivia game ... "The Little Rascals Volumes 1-2" contains eight remastered and unedited Rascals episodes with such extras as a cast photo summary and a "Dog Training Tricks for Kids" featurette.

Modern slapstick comes to the fore in Warner's release this week of "National Lampoon's Vacation 20th Anniversary Special Edition" (1983), directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Christie Brinkley and John Candy. Extras include introductions by Chase, Quaid and producer Matty Simmons; commentary by the Griswold Family and Ramis; and "Family Truckster and Roof Rack" featurettes, which are five mini-featurettes hidden throughout the body of the truckster, including hilarious pieces with Chase, Brinkley and other cast members.

Home Vision Entertainment/The Criterion Collection has scheduled several fine releases this week: From Chris Smith, the director of "American Movie," comes "Home Movie" (2001), a unusual documentary on unusual homes. Smith visits five extraordinary homes and talks to the inhabitants who built or adapted them. They include an alligator wrangler who lives on a houseboat in a Louisiana bayou; an American actress who made her fortune on Japanese TV and then built a tree house escape in Hawaii; an inventor who mechanized his entire home; a family who converted an abandoned missile silo into an underground abode; and a pair of cat-lovers who renovated their house with dozens of feline-friendly features ... The filmmaking collaboration of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory has spanned three continents over four decades, and now "The Merchant Ivory Collection" is being released on DVD. Due this week are "The Bostonians" (1984), starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter and Jessica Tandy; and "The Europeans" (1979), starring Lee Remick and Wesley Addy. (More Merchant-Ivory releases will follow later in the year.) "The Ingmar Bergman Trilogy: Criterion Collection" is a three-disc set containg "Through a Glass Darkly" (1961), "The Silence" (1963) and "Winter Light" (1963) for $79.95. As is the case with all Criterion releases, the releases are exquisitely transferred and packaged, and generally contain a wealth of background and historical information. (Posted August 19

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Lions Gate will release this week "Shooters," about a pair of shifty hustlers who become entwined with all sorts of seedy types to make money, and "Durango Kids," about four kids who slip through a hole in time to the Wild West, on VHS and DVD ... From Monarch Home Video comes comedy "Super Sucker," a loopy tale about competition between door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, written, directed and starring Jeff Daniels, on VHS and DVD ... Jason Priestley and Janet Kidder star in "Dark Side," about a lawyer investigating the puzzling suicide of her twin sister, on VHS and DVD from MTI ... Artisan's slate of films this week includes "The Fourth Angel," a thriller about a journalist who investigates the truth behind a failed hijacking that claimed the lives of his wife and two of his three children, starring Jeremy Irons, Forrest Whittaker and Jason Priestly; "When Thugs Cry," an urban drama about two Alabama brothers who struggle to rise above the ghetto by landing a rap record deal in Chicago's asphalt jungle; "Rodentz," about a giant 50-foot rat created by an experimental attempt to find a cure for cancer; and "Junior," a horror thriller about two girls stranded in the middle of nowhere who get rescued by a rather odd family that harbors a deep, dark secret named Junior -- and Junior wants playthings; all on VHS and DVD. (Posted August 19

For the Kids:
Universal will release this week an all new full-length Franklin the Turtle animated film, "Back to School With Franklin," $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... Warner will release "What's New Scooby Doo? Space Ape at the Cape," featuring four mystery adventures, $14.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD ... "Beast Wars Transformers -- The Complete First Season," is a four-disc set with 26 original and uncut episodes, interviews with writers Larry DiTillo and Bob Forward, boxed in a neat collectible package with a 10-page booklet, from Rhino Home Video for $59.95 ... The best time to learn a foreign language is when you're young, and preschoolers have an amazing capacity to become bilingual when exposed to two languages. Master Communications, which creates videos to introduce kids to different cultures, has released two videos to help children learn to speak Chinese: "Follow Jade! Let's Go to Market in China" and "Follow Jade! Let's Visit Chinese Kindergarten," both hosted by teacher Jade Qian; $19.99 VHS only. (Posted August 19

Foreign:
Facets Video has released a Special Edition DVD of Krzysztof Kieslowki's "The Decalogue," the much-sought after film that comprises 10 modern-day segments based on the 10 Commandments; the three-disc DVD set features an introduction by Roger Ebert and sells for $79.95; the five-volume VHS set sells for $99.95. More info: www.facets.org or 800-331-6197. (Posted August 19

Special Interest:
First Run Features has some interesting releases this week: The fabulous documentary "The Trials of Henry Kissinger," on VHS and DVD; and two classic art house films from director Monika Treut: "Seduction: The Cruel Woman," about a dominatrix in Hamburg, and "Virgin Machine," about a journalist who researches the biological impulses behind "romantic" love, on DVD only ... Urbanworks Entertainment will release this week "Bruce Bruce Live!" showcasing the standup work of the popular host of BET's "Comic View." (Posted August 19

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from Paramount are three Peter Bogdanovich films: "Daisy Miller" (1974), starring Cybill Shepard, Barry Brown, Cloris Leachman and Duilio Del Prete, with commentary and introduction by Bogdanovich; "Paper Moon" (1973) starring Tatum O'Neal, Ryan O'Neal and Madeline Kahn, with commentary by Bogdanovich, and three featurettes: "The Next Picture Show," "Asking for the Moon," and "Getting the Moon"; and "Targets" (1968) starring Boris Karloff and Tim O'Kelly, with commentary and introduction by Bogdanovich. (Posted August 12

From TV to Video:
Two TV series make their way to DVD this week: "Futurama Volume 2," a four-disc set with all 19 episodes from the second season with such extras as deleted scenes, Easter eggs, animatics, storyboards, commentary, still and concept art gallery and clips; $49.98 from Fox; and "Babylon 5: The Complete Third Season," on a six-disc DVD collector's set with an introduction by series creator J. Michael Straczynski; commentary on three episodes; three documentaries: "Behind the Mask: Creating the Aliens of Babylon 5," "Designing Tomorrow: The Look of Babylon 5," "Designing a Better Nam"; data and personnel files; $99.98 from Warner ... The 2003 telefilm remake of Stephen King's "Carrie," starring Angela Bettis, Patricia Clarkson, Rena Sofer and David Keith, comes to DVD and VHS this week from MGM ... From Acorn Media comes PBS Masterpiece Theatre's classic "A Very British Coup," an acclaimed adaptation of Chris Mullin's provocative novel about the Establishment conspiracy to bring down a charismatic man-of-the-people who becomes Britain's Prime Minister, $29.95; and the latest compilation of PBS's "Wodehouse Playhouse," featuring six BBC adaptations of stories by legendary British humorist P.G. Wodehouse, starring husband and wife team John Alderton and Pauline Collins, on two-discs for $39.95 ... Due this week from A&E is "Hog Heaven: The Story of the Harley-Davidson Empire," a comprehensive and revved-up documentary commemorating 100 years of the world's most influential motorcycle maker, on DVD for $24.95; and, Universal will release this week USA Network's three-hour minseries "Helen of Troy," starring Sienna Guillory, Matthew Marsden, Rufus Sewell, Stellan Skarsgard, John Rhys-Davies and Maryam D'Abo, on VHS and DVD. (Posted August 12

On the Indie Front:
Wellspring will release this week on DVD and VHS four indie outings: "This Is Not a Love Song" (2002), a gripping tale of friendship, betrayal and revenge set against Yorkshire's vast and rugged landscape, starring David Bradley; "Maryam" (2000), a powerful tale about a young Iranian-American girl's struggle with her cultural identity; "Short Eyes," the 1977 film, starring Bruce Davison, based on the acclaimed play by Miguel Pinero about life in Manhattan's infamous detention center, "The Tombs"; and "Hemingway" (1988), starring Stacey Keach in the TV bio of the Nobel Prize winning author. (Posted August 12

The hot news this week is the announcement by the folks at Disney that their smash Pixar animated hit "Finding Nemo," which so far has surpassed "The Lion King" as the highest grossing animated film of all time, will come to home video on November 4 in a two-disc DVD set and sell-through VHS. Extras so far announced: Commentary by the filmmakers, deleted scenes and recording sessions, a "Making Nemo" documentary, "The Art of Nemo" featurette, "Exploring the Reef With Jean-Michael Cousteau" featurette, "A Tour of Pixar Animation Studios" a "Fish Encyclopedia," a "Fisharades" set-top game, CGI-short film "Knick Knack" and a "Virtual Aquarium" feature that allows viewers to turn their TVs into fish tanks; $29.95. More details will be posted soon. (Posted August 5

Other new release announcements: Due September 23 from Fox is John Malkovitch's directing debut "The Dancer Returns," a thriller about the search for the leader of a Latin American terrorist group ... Paramount has changed the release of "A Better Tomorrow," which follows four middle-class Asian-American high school students and their downward spiral into crime, from September 9 to September 30 ... Fox will release crowd-pleasing soccer comedy "Bend It Like Beckham" on September 30 ... Also on September 30 Universal will release high-octane thriller "2 Fast 2 Furious" ... On October 7 Fox will release romantic comedy "Down With Love," starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor ... U.K. offbeat comedy "Unconditional Love," about the search for the killer of a rock star, starring Kathy Bates and Rupert Everett, and "Willard," a remake of the 1971 rat thriller, will arrive October 7 from New Line ... indie outing "The Safety of Objects, starring Glenn Close, Patricia Clarkson and Dermot Mulroney in a jaundiced look at suburban life, will be released October 14 by MGM ... On October 21 MGM will release the Kirk and Michael Douglas dysfuncional family comedy "It Runs in the Family ... Matt Dillon's directorial debut, "City of Ghosts," a noirish thriller set in Southeast Asia and starring Dillon, James Caan, Gerard Depardieu and Natascha McElhone, will be released October 28 by MGM ... And, lastly, on November 25 Universal will release Jim Carrey's boxoffice hit "Bruce Almighty." (Posted August 5

DVD Collectibles:
Warner Home Video will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the legendary "Casablanca" -- directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Dooley Wilson -- with a two-disc Special Edition for $26.99 SRP. The DVD has been digitally remastered from the original nitrate stock and features 10 minutes of recently discovered deleted scenes and outtakes, introduction by Bacall, commentary by film critic Roger Ebert, commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer, "The Children Remember" featurette with Stephen Bogart and Bergman daughters Pia Lindstrom and Isabella Rossellini, "You Must Remember This: The Making of Casablanca" documentary hosted by Lauren Bacall, "Bacall on Bogart" documentary, "Screen Guild Players Radio Production" with the film's stars, scoring session outtakes, a Looney Tunes cartoon homage "Carrotblanca," the premiere episode from the 1955 "Casablanca" Warner Bros. TV series, production history gallery, photos, press materials, studio correspondence memorabilia and more ... Warner will also sweeten your film collection this week with a bundle of horror greats: "The Haunting" (1963), directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn; "House of Wax" (1953), directed by Andre De Toth and starring Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk and Carolyn Jones; "The Omega Man" (1971), starring Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe and Rosalind Cash; "Soylent Green" (1973), directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotton, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly and Edward G. Robinson; "The Thing From Another World" (1951) directed by Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks and starring Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James R. Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton and James Arness; and "Wait Until Dark" (1967), directed by Terence Young and starring Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Jack Weston ... all with a host of extras. (Posted August 5

MGM will release this week three fabulous comedies from the 1980s: "Valley Girl" (1983), directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman, with commentary by Coolidge, a "Valley Girl: 20 Totally Tubular Years Later" featurette, "In Conversation: Nicolas Cage and Martha Coolidge," "The Music of Valley Girl," 80s nostalgia and trivia track with pop-up bubbles, storyboard-to-film comparisons, music videos, more; "The Flamingo Kid" (1984), directed by Garry Marshall and starring Matt Dillon, Hector Elizondo, Molly McCarthy, Richard Crenna and Jessica Walter; and "The Sure Thing" (1985), directed by Rob Reiner and starring John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Viveca Lindfors and Nicollette Sheridan, with commentary by Reiner, "The Road to The Sure Thing" featurette, "Dressing The Sure Thing" featurette, "Casting The Sure Thing" featurette, "Reading The Sure Thing Featurette" (audition footage, interviews, etc.), and a trivia track. (Posted August 5

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Due this week are on VHS and DVD are "Cool and the Crazy," a 1994 telefilm about good girls and bad boys, starring Alicia Silverstone, Jennefier Blanc and Jared Leto, from Dimension; "Irreversible," a look at a brutal killing that unspools in reverse to reveal the horrifying events that lead to the gut-wrenching, violent climax of the opening scene, starring Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, from Lions Gate; "Arachnia," a horror thriller about a meteorite that crashes into the Arizona desert and unleashes gigantic spiders, from MTI; "Nightstalker," starring Roselyn Sanchez, Bret Roberts and Danny Trejo in the true story of Richard Ramirez, the infamous nightstalker who terrorized East Los Angeles in the summer of 1985, from Columbia TriStar; and Volume 3 of Elite Entertainment's "Drive-In Discs" (DVD only), here featuring "I Bury the Living" and "The Hand" in a drive-in like double bill that features "Distorto" sound (which delivers the sound to only the front left of your sound system to recreate the distorted sound of a speaker attached to a car window) and a host of drive-in shorts and commercials. (Posted August 5

For the Kids:
MGM and DIC will release three more animated features in their Movie Toons collection -- films that first appeared on television as part of the "Sunday Noon Movie Toons" block on Nickelodeon; included here are "My Fair Madeline," "Globetrotters: An Around the World in 80 Days Adventure," and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," $9.94 VHS and $14.95 DVD ... "Baby Galileo: Discovering the Sun" is the latest video from the Baby Einstein Company and Buena Vista that uses real-world images, music, art, language, science and nature to captivate and stimulate babies' and toddlers' natural sense of curiosity while exposing them to the world around them; this edition keys in on the sun, moon and stars; $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD. (Posted August 5

Foreign:
Accent Cinema will release this week "Traveling Companion" (1996), a journey of self-discovery for an attractive but unstable young woman (Asia Argento) hired by a rich woman to follow her forgetful father (Michel Piccoli) as he makes pointless trips throughout Italy; the woman in turn wanders off on her own to get involved with various men while evading her low-life brother's plans to kidnap the old man for ransom; in Italian with English subtitles; $29.95 VHS and DVD. (Posted August 5

DVD Collectibles:
In an industry first, the cast and filmmakers of the" American Pie" series have reunited to create two new DVDs, free to fans with the purchase of the original "American Pie" and its sequel, "American Pie 2," both available again on DVD July 29. For a limited time, consumers who purchase "American Pie" on DVD will receive a free copy of the "Beneath the Crust: Vol. 1 -- The Essential Ingredients of American Pie" DVD. Consumers who purchase "American Pie 2" on DVD will receive a free copy of the "Beneath the Crust: Vol. 2 -- Missing Pieces: The Lost American Pie 2 Scenes" DVD. Containing outrageous, newly-shot "how did they do that?" footage, the "Beneath the Crust" DVDs give fans an intimate look into the making of the "American Pie" movies. The filmmakers, along with the entire cast, were heavily involved in the brainstorm, creation and development of these special DVDs. "Beneath the Crust: Volume 1" presents a tour of "American Pie" locations including: Shooting the infamous pie scene, the tongue tornado, bathroom etiquette, say my name, the tube sock story, Nadia vision and the infamous pale ale. Volume 2 reveals lost story lines including: The main ingredients, the temptation of Oz, the big one, Stifler's dad moves in, the solution: bringing the pieces together. And, of course, it's all timed to coincide with this Friday's release of the third in the franchise, "American Wedding." All from Universal. (Posted July 29)

From Home Vision Entertainment comes "The Day of the Dolphin" (1973), directed by Mike Nichols and starring George C. Scott, Leslie Charleson, Edward Herrmann and the voice of Buck Henry. Extras include interviews with writer Buck Henry and co-stars Leslie Charleson and Edward Herrmann; the world's most amazing dolphin trivia gallery; dolphin bios; an essay by film critic Nathan Rabin from "The Onion"; new digital transfer enhanced for 16x9 televisions. (Posted July 29)

Palm Pictures will release this week the director's cut of Stephen ("Blade," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") Norrington's "The Last Minute" (2001), a darkly comic tale of fame, delusion and the high price of failure: the story of Billy Byrne, a self-obsessed up-and-coming star in London who tastes his moment of glory and then crashes down into the London underworld. The DVD features more than two hours of bonus material including extra footage, essays, hidden scenes, interactive features and more. (Posted July 29

From TV to Video:
Due this week is "Profiler: Season One," a six-disc set with commentary on the pilot episode by stars Ally Walker and Robert Davi, and "Profiles of Evil: Inside the Criminal Mind" episode of A&E's "American Justice" series, from A&E Home Video for $99.95 ... Also from A&E is "The Saint Megaset," a 14-DVD set of all 47 color episodes of the cult TV series starring Roger Moore as cool Simon Templar, $199.95; and The New Avengers: Season One" (1976), featuring the return of secret agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) seven years after the final episode of the original series, here with sidekicks Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt, 13 episodes in a four-DVD set, $79.95 ... From Acorn Media comes the latest edition of episodes from "The Red Green Show," the refreshing north woods handyman spoof now in its second decade on PBS: "Red Green Stuffed & Mounted 6," containing eight episodes on one DVD, $24.95; also available is the "Red Green Stuffed & Mounted Six-Pack," a six-DVD set containing 48 classic episodes, $99.95. (Posted July 29)

For the Kids:
Available now: "Bob the Builder: Teamwork!" the latest edition of four episodes from the popular Nick Jr. TV show, $16.99 DVD and $14.99 VHS, from HIT Entertainment; "The Fairly Odd Parents: Abra- Catastrphe," the first feature length film for the Nick TV animated characters, $19.99 DVD and $12.95 VHS, from Paramount; two SpongeBob SquarePants VHS volumes ($12.95) with five episodes each, "Laugh Your Pants Off" and "Sponge-a-Rama," and a SpongeBob DVD, "Tide & Seek," which includes all the episodes from the aforementioned VHS volumes, $19.99, from Paramount; and Shape Masters," the first title from a new series called "Northpoint," about the kids in a rural neighborhood who collaborate to shape a captivating story from clouds involving a Samurai warrior, an orange paisley dragon and a bubble bath empire; the series is designed to help children 5-9 to discover their powers of imagination while introducing mind-expanding concepts of history, science and dramatic storytelling, using computer animation techniques with colorful miniature sets; $16.95 DVD and $12.95 VHS, from Fort Fun Productions. (Posted July 29)

Coming Soon:
Due September 23 is the smash $100 million hit "Daddy Day Care," starring Eddie Murphy, from Columbia TriStar on VHS and DVD; and Christopher Guest's mockumentary "A Mighty Wind," a loving spoof of the 1960s folk music movement, from Warner Home Video on VHS and DVD. (Posted July 22)

DVD Collectibles:
The Criterion Collection will release this week "The Honeymoon Killers," the dark 1970 film about a pair of cons who swindle and murder lonely women, based on the real Lonely Hearts Killers. The film stars Shirley Stoler and Tony Lo Bianco and the DVD features a new digital transfer. an interview with writer-director Leonard Kastle, an illustrated essay by Scott Christianson ("Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House") on the true crime story of "Lonely Hearts Killers" Ray Fernandez and Martha Beck, and an essay by critic Gary Giddins ... Also from Criterion is "The Pornographers" (1966), director Shohei Imamura's controversial look at pornography, incest and voyeurism in the repressed Japanese society of the time. The DVD features a new high-definition digital transfer with a new and improved English subtitle translation ... First Run Features will release two kinky-for-its-time French films, "The Twilight Girls" (1961), about a young woman who enters an exclusive boarding school to escape a family scandal and who is immediately absorbed into a clique of attractive and wealthy vixens. The film, starring Agnes Laurent and featuring 13-year-old Catherine Deneuve in her first screen appearance, was banned in the U.S. when it first appeared; when it was reedited, Deneuve's performance was eliminated. For the first time, the complete version of the film is now available; the DVD features the original theatrical trailer and French posters, an Agnes Laurent photo gallery, and two featurettes. "Soft Skin on Black Silk" is an erotic drama about a man and a woman who meet on a beach in the Mediterranean. The man reveals to her his deadly secret -- a murder plan, but the woman seeks to dissuade him by telling him a story of youthful passion and murderous revenge. When that fails, she seduces him to convince him that there is much more for life to offer him. Soft-core filmmaker Radley Metzger shot 40 minutes of additional footage for the French film "Tentations" to come up with "Soft Skin on Black Silk." The film stars Agnes Laurent and the DVD includes the original American and French trailers and extra scenes. (Posted July 22)

From TV to Video:
Due this week is "Felicity: Season Two," a six-disc set with 23 episodes and such extras as commentary on select episodes, the original pilot presentation, a "Finding Felicity" featurette and a "Felicity" Emmy parody; $59.99 from Buena Vista. (Posted July 22)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From MTI Home Video comes "Killers 2: The Beast," about a woman -- the sole survivor of a vicious massacre -- who is incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane as the prime suspect ... but the actual killers are on the way to the hospital to finish the job; and "Hunting Humans," about two serial killers who face off in a competition that leaves a wide swathe of bodies; both on VHS and DVD. (Posted July 22)

For the Kids:
Anchor Bay will release this week "James & the Red Balloon and Other Thomas Adventures," featuring six action-packed "Thomas the Tank Engine" tales as well as a new music video, narrated by Alec Baldwin. The direct-to-video VHS sells for $12.98; the DVD (which includes three games) sells for $19.98. (Posted July 22)

Special Interest:
Young Manga fans will delight in the release of the latest "Yu-Gi-Oh!" video, "Volume 11: Best of Friends, Best of Duelists," from 4Kids Entertainment and Funimation. The series -- based on the popular comic book -- follows the adventures of Yugi and his buddies as they play the mysterious and mystical Duel Monsters game. This volume contains episodes 31-34; $14.95 VHS and $19.95 DVD ... Big Game Ventures in association with Rising Star Entertainment will release this week Robin Downes' "Yoga Flava," which features the fitness expert incorporating relaxing yoga instruction with various styles of music such as hip hop, R&B, jazz, gospel and pop; on DVD ... First Run Features will release this week the astounding documentary "Fidel: The Untold Story" (2001), which offers a unique look at the man through exclusive interviews with Castro himself, historians, public figures and close friends, with footage from the Cuban State archives. The art house hit film, by Estela Bravo, includes interviews with Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte, Sydney Pollack, Arthur Schlesinger, Ramsey Clark and others; $24.95 VHS and $29.95 DVD. (Posted July 22)

Coming Soon:
Hot news of the week is Warner Home Video's announcement that they will set free on October 14 "The Matrix Reloaded," timed for release three weeks prior to the theatrical opening of "The Matrix Revolutions," the final film in the futuristic series. "The Matrix Reloaded" will be priced to own at $29.95 SRP for DVD and $22.99 SRP for VHS. The two-disc DVD includes an explosion of mind-freeing bonus features: "Preload," offering a behind-the- scenes overview of "The Matrix Reloaded" with on-location footage and interviews with cast and crew; "The Freeway Chase," with behind-the-scenes footage showing how the mind-blowing scene was captured on film; "What is the Animatrix?" a glimpse into the history and the intrigue of the Animatrix; "Enter the Matrix," the making-of the best-seller video game and the groundbreaking technology used to create it; "The Matrix Unfolds," offering a review of the Matrix phenomenon and its amazing cultural impact; a 2003 MTV Movie Awards "Matrix Reloaded" parody; "Get Me an Exit": Matrix-inspired advertising; and Weblinks to the official Matrix Website. (Posted July 15)

Other announcements: Due August 26 is "From Justin to Kelly," a musical romance starring "American Idol's" Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, from Fox ... Apocalyptic thriller "The Core," starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank, digs into home video September 9, from Paramount ... On September 23, Fox will release John Malkovich's directorial debut, the thriller "The Dancer Upstairs," starring Javier Bardem ... New Line will release on October 7 the scary rat tale "Willard," starring Crispin Glover; and "Unconditional Love," a pop-star murder-mystery comedy starring Kathy Bates and Rupert Everett. (Posted July 15)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are "Friends: The Complete Fourth Season," a four-disc DVD set with all 24 episodes and such extras as commentaries on select episodes, a "Friends Around the World" documentary, a "Who Knows Whom Best? Ross' Ultimate Challenge" trivia quiz, a "Friends of Friends" guestbook, and video character bios; $44.98 from Warner ... "Best of Friends Season 3," featuring the five top episodes as chosen by the series' producers; $14.98, also from Warner ... "M*A*S*H Season Four," a three-disc DVD ($39.98) or three-volume VHS set ($26.98) from Fox. (Posted July 15)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Universal will release this week "The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting," a sequel in which C. Thomas Howell returns to West Texas for more hitch-hiking thrills, on VHS and DVD ... Lions Gate will release May," a horror thriller about a young woman -- who grew up with a patch over her lazy eye -- and her fixation on the hands of a young man she falls for, starring Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris and James Duval, on VHS and DVD. (Posted July 15)

Special Interest:
UrbanWorks Entertainment will release this week "Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly," a 60-minute standup special, first aired on HBO in 2000, in which the comedian covers a wide variety of topics, from police and racism to "Sesame Street" and the government; and "Born to Ball," which features high school footage of the NBA's biggest and brightest players, including Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett and Tracy McGrady, set to a hip-hop soundtrack and hosted by NBA All-Star Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics; both on DVD only. (Posted July 15)

Coming Soon:
Due August 5 is Hong Kong thriller "Double Vision," starring David Morse and Tony Leung, from Columbia TriStar ... Due August 12 from DreamWorks is silly Chris Rock comedy "Head of State" ... Due August 26 is tender, coming-of-age drama "Raising Victor Vargas," and "Levity," about a man seeking atonement for a murder committed 22 years earlier, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Holly Hunter and Morgan Freeman, both from Columbia TriStar ... On September 2, Columbia TriStar will release murder thriller "Identity," starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet and Rebecca DeMornay ... On September 9 Warner Home Video will release hip-hop comedy "Malibu's Most Wanted," starring Jamie Kennedy and Taye Diggs; MGM will release actioner "Bulletproof Monk," starring Chow Yun-fat and Seann William Scott; and Gwyneth Paltrow will light up video screens in romantic comedy "View From the Top," from Miramax ... Due September 16 from Columbia TriStar is "Anger Management," starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler ... Stephen Kings' horror tale "Dreamcatcher," starring Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane and Jason Lee, thrills to home video September 30. (Posted July 8)

DVD Collectibles:
Just in time to coincide with the theatrical release of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" this week, Warner Home Video has released a slate of swashbuckling films on DVD: "The Crimson Pirate," starring Burt Lancaster, Nick Cravat and Eva Bartok, "Knights of the Round Table" starring Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner, "The Master of Ballantrae," starring Errol Flynn, and "Scaramouche," starring Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker and Janet Leigh ... Anchor Bay will release this week Manhunter: Restored Director's Cut (1986), Michael Mann's outrageous early take on Hannibal Lecter, starring William Petersen, Brian Cox, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Dennis Farina and Tom Noonan. The high definition transfer was supervised by Mann and features commentary by Mann, a deleted and alternate scene still gallery, a production still gallery, an advertising and poster gallery, and the screenplay. (Posted July 8)

From TV to Video:
Acorn Media will release this week "The Poirot 5 Collector's Set" featuring three one-hour mysteries ("The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor," "The Double Clue" and "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest") on a single DVD ($29.95); and "Cadfael: The Sanctuary Sparrow," the latest mystery outing featuring Derek Jacobi as the medieval monk sleuth, also on a single DVD ($19.95). (Posted July 8)

On the Indie Front:
Wellspring Media's July 8 indie releases include the witty comedy "Zus & Zo," about three sisters and their attempt to sabotage their gay brother's wedding, on VHS and DVD; P.D. James' "Unnatural Causes" and "Alexander Solzhentsyn: First Circle," on VHS and DVD; the quirky comedy "Bug," about the interconnected lives of a group of strangers in L.A., on DVD; the Native American "The Business of Fancy Dancing," on VHS and DVD; and "Bartleby," based on Herman Melville's tale, starring Crispin Glover, David Paymer, Glenne Headly and Joe Piscopo, on VHS and DVD. (Posted July 8)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
MTI Home Video will release this week Lessons for an Assassin," about a convicted criminal who finds his identity and past erased by "The Corporation" so he can be trained -- against his will -- to be an assassin, starring Shannon Lee and Michael Dorm, on VHS and DVD ... and Midnight Mass, about the pairing of an ex-priest and a militant atheist to fight an invasion of vampires, starring Douglas Gibson and Pamela Karp, from Lions Gate. (Posted July 8)

For the Kids:
Columbia TriStar will release this week the direct-to-video "Jim Henson's Bear in the Big Blue House: A Bear for All Seasons," featuring Bear and his pals -- Tutter the industrious mouse, Ojo the lovable girl bear, twin otters Pip and Pop, and Treelo the curious lemur -- in two adventures using music and storytelling to teach preschoolers about the seasons and the value of hard work, on VHS for $9.95; the $14.95 DVD includes a third Bear episode as well as two additional songs. (Posted July 8)

Special Interest:
Acorn Media has finally released the hilarious "The Reduced Shakespeare Company: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" as a DVD single for $24.95. This 20th anniversary performance of the longest running comedy on the London stage condenses the major works of Shakespeare into a wild 90-minute romp, starting out with "Romeo and Juliet," dispensing with the comedies in one fell swoop (because "the tragedies are funnier") and ending with a "Hamlet" that features audience participation and lascivious sock puppets. (Posted July 8)

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December 9, 2003
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).