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More News: January -- June 2004

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week are two films from the opposite ends of the cinema spectrum: "The English Patient" (1996), directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth, with commentary by Minghella, commentary with filmmakers and cast, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, more, from Miramax ... "Blazing Saddles 30th Anniversary Special Edition" (1974), directed by Mel Brooks and starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman and Mel Brooks, in 5.1 surround with scene-specific commentary by Brooks, additional scenes, "Back in the Saddle" cast/crew reunion documentary, "Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn" featurette, and the "Black Bart" 1975 TV pilot inspired by the movie (starring Lou Gossett Jr. and Steve Landesberg), from Warner. (Posted June 29)

From TV to Video:
Series due this week include "CSI: Miami -- The Complete First Season," a seven-disc set with 25 episodes, priced around $70, from Paramount ... "South Park: The Complete Fourth Season," a three-disc set with 17 episodes, under $40, from Paramount ... "Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Dawson's Creek: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $49.95 from Columbia TriStar ... "The Sid Caesar Collection: The Buried Treasures," a three-disc collection of lost or rarely seen sketches from "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour," and "The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites," a three-disc collection of the top-20 sketches -- as voted upon by fans -- from "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour," both $49.95 from New Video ... "G.I. Joe -- Season One -- Part One," a four-disc set with 28 episodes, $59.95 from Rhino Home Video ... "Sliders: Series 1 and 2," a six-disc set, $89.98 from Universal.

Also due this week is "And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny and Cher Story," a 1999 TV biodrama based on the 1991 N.Y. Times best-selling autobiography by Sonny Bono about the legendary singing duo. The feature stars Jay Underwood, Rene Faia and Christian Leffler, and is available on VHS and DVD for $14.98, from MPI Home Video ... From Paramount comes "Three Blind Mice" a 2001 thriller about a lawyer defending a man accused of murdering three Vietnamese immigrants; the twist is that both the lawyer and the accused served together in Vietnam. The telefilm, based on Ed McBain's book, stars Brian Dennehy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Debrah Farentino, and is available on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 29)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From Razor Digital Entertainment comes "Creature Unknown," about an inhuman creature with super-human strength, speed and agility who leaves a trail of bloodshed in his wake as he seeks revenge on a group of young men for their past sins. The 2003 film is the directorial debut of special effects makeup artist Michael Burnett and stars Chase Masterson, Maggie Grace and Cory Hardrict; on DVD only ... "3 Way" (aka "3 Way Split) is a very dark thriller about a small-time loser who overhears a kidnapping plot and tries to cut himself in for a piece of the action; unfortunately, he shares his knowledge with three extremely untrustworthy women who turn around and blackmail him. The hard-boiled tale of lust, extortion and murder -- based on pulp novelist Gil Brewer's 1963 "Wild to Possess" -- stars Gina Gershon, Dwight Yoakam, Dominic Purcell, Ali Larter, Joy Bryant and Desmond Harrington, from Columbia TriStar on VHS rental and DVD ... Monarch Home Video will release this week "13 Moons," a 2002 off-beat comedy about an odd assortment of customers -- a couple of clowns, a stripper and three priests bound for Africa -- who find themselves thrown together in the office of a Los Angeles bail bondsman. The film stars Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Beals, David Proval and Peter Stormare, on VHS rental and DVD ... In Knight Club," what seems like an all-night party becomes a deadly battle in the streets when a young man goes from being an unemployed actor to head bouncer at one of Los Angeles' hottest clubs, and gets involved in all the cash, women and drugs he wants. The film, from MTI Home Video, stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Lochlyn Munroe and Glenn Plummer; on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted June 29)

For the Kids:
The folks at Scholastic Media have added four titles to their ever-expanding line of children's picture books on DVD. Due this week are "Curious George Rides a Bike ... and More Tales of Mischief," "Make Way for Ducklings ... and More Robert McCloskey Stories," "Strega Nova ... and More Caldecott Award-Winning Folk Tales" and "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly ... and More Stories That Sing," all for ages 4 to 9 and priced at $14.95 DVD and $9.95 VHS ... MTI Home Video will release "Stardust," a 1998 family feature about a scientist who creates a new bio-chip that brings inanimate objects to life -- including the family vacuum cleaner, starring Amanda Donohoe and Giancarlo Espositio, on VHS rental and DVD ... Ten Strike Home Entertainment has acquired the rights to PBS' 2002 animated series on the American Revolution, "Liberty's Kids." The voice cast is lead by Walter Cronkite (as Franklin) and features Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Annette Bening, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Stiller, Liam Neeson and Sylvester Stallone. The first three episodes ("The First Fourth of July," "Boston Tea Party" and "Give Me Liberty") -- told through the eyes of two young apprentice journalists working in Benjamin Franklin's print shop in Philadelphia -- are due this week ... "Garfield as Himself" is a DVD compilation of three primetime Garfield specials: "Garfield Gets a Life" (1991), "Garfield on the Town" (1983) and "Here Comes Garfield" (1982), available for $14.98. (Posted June 29)

Special Interest:
A&E Home Video has slated three interesting DVDs this week: "The First Olympics," a compilation of three History Channel documentaries: "The First Olympics," "Blood and Honor at the First Olympics" and "The Greek Gods"; "Breaking Vegas," a History Channel program that uses archival and recent Vegas footage and reinactments to tell the story of six nerdy M.I.T. undergrads in the 1990s who figured out a way to "beat the house" at blackjack; and "America on the Move," which features a History Channel documentary on the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's exhibit on a century of transportation in America as well as a Biography profile, "Henry Ford: Tin Lizzy Tycoon"; all three titles have a $24.95 price tag ... Just in time for the theatrical release of "Spider-Man 2," Buena Vista will release "Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock," an animated adventure that explores the origin of the infamous Doctor Octopus; available on $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD (that includes extras with Spidey creator Stan Lee) ... The latest volume of the exciting "Ninja Scroll" anime series, "Ninja Scroll: Volume 3: Deliverance," is due this week, featuring five episodes (9-13) on DVD for $24.95 from Urban Vision Entertainment ... Paramount and PBS Home Video have teamed to release on DVD "Rebels and Redcoats: How Britain Lost America," a four-hour documentary on the America Revolution, priced for under $20 ... and last but not least "Who Slew Simon Thaddeus Mulberry Pew?" a darkly comedic mini feature (21-minutes long) that combines all the nonsensical weird aspects of The Grinch, The Cat in the Hat, "Beetlejuice," "Willly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "A Nightmare Before Christmas" into a twisted fairytale that has become the darling of the underground film circuit. The live-action adventure -- set in the 1950s -- follows the travails of twins Sammy and Tammy Fitzgivens who are forced to play with their bratty neighbor, Simon Thaddeus Mulberry Pew (John Kassir, the voice of the Crypt Keeper from "Tales From the Crypt"). The kids work on a way to rid themselves of the obnoxious know-it-all and keep all his toys for themselves, and when an "accident" occurs, the "Wizzit" ("Deep Space 9's" Armin Shimmerman) magically appears to help clean up the mess ... and dispose of the body; $9.99 from Image Entertainment. (Posted June 29)

Coming Soon:
Due August 3 from Paramount is "The Reckoning" starring Paul Bettany, Trevor Steedman, Simon McBurney, Tom Hardy, Brian Cox and Willem Dafoe, on VHS rental and DVD, from Paramount ... On August 10 Paramount will release the teen girl romance "The Prince & Me," directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox and Miranda Richardson, on VHS and feature-laded DVD ... Due August 17 is "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," a documentary on rock legend Rodney Bingenheimer, featuring Cher, David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Deborah Harry, Alice Cooper, Ray Manzarek and Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Brooke Shields, Brian Wilson, Keanu Reeves, Neil Young, Pete Townshend, Beck, Joey Ramone, Green Day, Rob Zombie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, The Mamas and The Papas, Davy Jones and The Monkees, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mick Jagger, The Doors, John Lennon, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Jett, Elvis Costello, Phil Spector, Sex Pistols, Coldplay, Van Halen, Oasis, Tori Amos and Paul McCartney; on VHS rental and DVD from First Look Home Entertainment ... And, on November 16, New Line will release "Elf," 2003's smash Christmas hit directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel and Peter Dinklage, on $14.95 VHS and a loaded-with-extras two-DVD set. (Posted June 22)

DVD Collectibles:
Home Vision Entertainment will release this week two interesting Japanese cult films: First up is "Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter" (1970), the third in a series of five "Stray Cat Rock" films, starring hard-as-nails Meiko Kaji as the leader of a gang of vicious teenage schoolgirls who get their kicks with gang fights, street muggings, and rock and roll. Directed by Japanese action master Yasuharu Hasebe, whose violent style was an influence on Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill." "Bloody Territories" (1969), also from cult Japanese action director Hasebe, is a stylishly colorful yakuza tale set against the backdrop of Tokyo's gangster underworld. A once-powerful yakuza clan disbands as a result of a police crackdown, but one small group refuses to bow to police pressure and launches a campaign to take over Tokyo's drug, prostitution, and gambling rackets. Someone wants to stop them. Is it the police? Rival gang members? Or is it an entirely new group of hired killers who will stop at nothing to gain complete control of Tokyo's "bloody territories"? ... Meanwhile, the folks at The Criterion Collection will release Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave take on the Hollywood musical, "A Woman Is a Woman" (1961), starring Jean-Claude Brialy, Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Extras include an early short film by Godard; excerpts from a French television interview with Karina, Brialy and Serge Gainsbourg; a poster gallery; more. (Posted June 22)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are two series from Paramount: "The Joe Schmo Show: Season One Uncensored!" a three-disc set with eight broadcasts, priced under $40; and "Reno 911!: The Complete First Season," a two-disc set with 14 episodes, priced under $20 ... Acorn Media brings two British series to video this week, "Poirot 9 Collector's Set," containing three hour-long episodes ("Dead Man's Mirror," "Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan" and "The Adventure of the Clapham Cook") from the popular Agatha Christie series starring David Suchet, on a single disc for $29.99; and "Mapp & Lucia, Series Two," featuring five episodes of the much-sought-after Britcom about two formidable matrons who vie for social supremacy in a provincial 1920s English village using unconventional weapons such as gardeners and lobster recipes, in a two-disc set for $39.99. (Posted June 22)

Buzzin' the 'Bs':
Razor Digital Entertainment will release this week the 2002 mockumentary, "Superguy: Behind the Cape," which explores the ups and downs of SuperGuy, a regular guy with supernatural powers and the arduous task of helping people day and night, seven days a week. The film asks the questions: "What if there was a real-life super hero? And what if he had real human problems?" The trials and tribulations of such a man are examined using news clips, interviews, commercials, appearances and file footage. Directed by Bill Lee and starring Mark Teague and Charles Dierkop, "SuperGuy" is available on DVD for $24.99. (Posted June 22)

Special Interest:
Two interesting historical videos will be released this week: From R2 Entertainment comes "Bob Hope: Laughing With the Presidents," a DVD compilation of shared moments between Hope and 11 U.S. presidents (from 1933-2001, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton) as well as classic Hope standup routines, skits and jokes about each president; $12.99; and from Ardustry Home Entertainment comes "Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny," which examines the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg using the dramatic accounts -- via dispatches, diaries and after-battle reports -- of Union and Confederate commanders. The epic saga was filmed at the massive 140th annual reenactment of the infamous battle; $24.98. (Posted June 22)

Coming Soon:
Due July 27 from Columbia TriStar is the winner of six European film awards and 2004 Golden Globe nominee for best foreign language film "Good bye, Lenin!" a black comedy about the fall of communism, directed by Wolfgang Becker and starring Daniel Brfuhl and Katrin Sass, on VHS rental and DVD ... Teen comedy "13 Going on 30," starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer and Christa B. Allen arrives August 3 on VHS rental and DVD from Columbia TriStar ... DreamWorks will release goofy comedy "Envy," starring Ben Stiller and Jack Black, on $15.95 VHS and DVD on August 10 ... Wacky road film "Johnson Family Vacation," starring Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa L. Williams and Lil' Bow Wow, will drive home August 10 on $19.98 VHS and DVD from Fox ... New Line will release romantic comedy "Laws of Attraction," starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, on $22.99 VHS and DVD on August 24 ... Sexy comedy "The Girl Next Door," starring Elisha Cuthbert and Emile Hirsch, will bounce to VHS rental and DVD on August 24 from Fox ... Also on that day Lions Gate will release Lars von Trier's very stark and weird "Dogville," starring an ensemble cast featuring Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany, Blair Brown, James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Ben Gazzara and Philip Baker Hall, on VHS rental and DVD ... Get scared silly with "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Seth Green, Peter Boyle and Tim Blake Nelson, due September 14 on $22.99 VHS and DVD from Warner ... Saddle your animated horse for the side-slapping comedy "Home on the Range," with the voices of Randy Quaid, Jennifer Tilly, Judi Dench, Rosanne Barr, Cuba Gooding Jr., Steve Buscemi and Estelle Harris, due September 14 on $24,99 VHS and DVD, from Disney ... Also on September 14 Miramax will release Kevin Smith's weak "Jersey Girl," starring Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jason Biggs, George Carlin, Jennifer Lopez and Raquel Castro, on $24.99 VHS and DVD ... and, lastly, Disney will release boxoffice and critical bomb "The Alamo," starring Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson and Emilio Echevarria, on $24.99 VHS and DVD on September 28. (Posted June 15)

DVD Collectibles:
Timed to coincide with the theatrical remake starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler and Christopher Walken, Paramount will release to DVD the original "The Stepford Wives" (1975), starring Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Nanette Newman and Peter Masterson ... "The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury" (2004) is an animated adventure tied in to the theatrical opening of "The Chronicles of Riddick"; the anime is directed by Peter Chung and features the voices of Vin Diesel, Keith David, Nick Chinlund and Rhiana Griffith; from Universal. (Posted June 15)

From TV to Video:
Series due this week on DVD: "Dead Like Me: Season One," a four-disc set with 14 episodes, $58.96, from MGM ... "The Simpsons Season Four," a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98, from Fox ... "Nip/Tuck: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 13 episodes, $59.98, from Warner ... "The Man Show: The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set, $49.98, from Eagle Rock Entertainment ... "Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Second Season," a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98, from HBO ... "Xena: Warrior Princess -- Season Four, a 10-disc set with 22 episodes, $79.98, from Anchor Bay ... and "Monk: Season One," a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $59.98, from Universal. (Posted June 15)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Fox will release "To End All Wars" (2001), a true story about two WWII POWs of an elite regiment captured by the Japanese and forced to build the infamous "Railway of Death," starring Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle, on VHS rental and DVD ... Ardustry Home Entertainment will release the supernatural thriller "No Return," about a recently widowed woman whose life is shrouded by revenge from the grave, on DVD only. (Posted June 15)

For the Kids:
Disney will release this week the full-length animated feature "Teacher's Pet," based on the TV series about a talking canine whose ultimate wish is to become a "real boy," with the voices of Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer, Jerry Stiller, David Ogden Stiers, Jay Thomas and Megan Mullally. The film is available on $22.99 VHS and $29.99 DVD; the DVD includes the series premiere episode, a music video, a mini-doc and more. (Posted June 15)

Special Interest:
"Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator" is a two-disc boxed set that documents every major event in President Reagan's eight years in office, including rare newsreels, presidential appearances and Hollywood footage; $39.98 from MPI Home Video ... "Connquest: The Official 2004 NCAA Championship DVD" reviews the entire 2004 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and includes extensive footage and camera angles not shown on TV, plus a behind-the-scenes recap and interviews; $19.95 from Paramount. (Posted June 15)

Coming Soon:
Due August 17 from Universal is off-beat comedy (and 21st century version of "Some Like It Hot") "Connie and Carla," starring Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette, on $22.98 VHS and DVD ... Thriller "Twisted," starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia, arrives August 31 from Paramount ... Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of "The Ladykillers," starring Tom Hanks and Marlon Waylons, limps to $24.99 VHS and DVD from Buena Vista ... The Rock tears up the screen in MGM's remake of "Walking Tall," due September 28. (Posted June 8)

DVD Collectibles:
Warner Home Video goes ape this week with the release of "The Tarzan Collection," a four-disc set featuring all six Johnny Weissmuller/Maureen O'Sullivan films on three discs, with a fourth disc of bonus material. Disc One includes "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932) and "Tarzan and His Mate" (1934); Disc Two includes "Tarzan Escapes" (1936) and "Tarzan Finds a Son" (1939); Disc Three includes "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" (1941) and "Tarzan's New York Adventure" (1942); and Disc Four features a "Silver Screen: King of the Jungle" documentary, a vintage vault treasure: Jimmy Durante as "Schnarzan the Conqueror," two shorts featuring Johnny Weissmuller, as well as theatrical trailers for all six films. Two more recent Tarzan adventures from Warner this week are "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" (1984), starring Christopher Lambert, Andie MacDowell, Ralph Richardson, James Fox and Ian Holm, and "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1981), starring Miles O'Keefe, Bo Derek, Richard Harris and John Phillip Law ... MGM will release the original cyborg warrior-cop RoboCop in the "RoboCop Trilogy," a three-disc set with all three "RoboCop" films featuring high-definition transfers and special features on the "RoboCop" disc, $39.96; "RoboCop 2" and "RoboCop 3" are available separately for the first time at $14.95 ... On a more serious filmic note, Home Vision Entertainment will release Volker Schlondorff's 1984 interpretation of Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past," "Swann in Love," starring Jeremy Irons, Alain Delon and Ornella Muti in a new digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions; and The Criterion Collection will present Luchino Visconti's glorious "The Leopard" (1963), starring Burt Lancaster (in one of his most elegant roles) and Claudia Cardinale, in a three-disc set with the film presented in two versions: Visconti's original 187-minute Italian version and the alternate 161-minute English-language version; the set includes a host of extras ... and, lastly, Paramount will release the 1967 cult-favorite "The President's Analyst," starring James Coburn, Godfrey Cambridge and Pat Harrington. (Posted June 8)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are: "Six Feet Under: The Complete Second Season," a five-disc set with 13 episodes, $79.99, from HBO ... "Quantum Leap: Season 1," a three-disc set with eight episodes including the pilot, $59.98 from Universal ... "Just Shoot Me: Seasons One and Two," a four-disc set with 31 episodes, $39.95 from Columbia TriStar ... "Tour of Duty: First Season," a five-disc set with 21 episodes including the pilot, $49.95, from Columbia TriStar ... "Who's the Boss? -- The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.95, from Columbia TriStar ... ""M*A*S*H Television Season Six" (1977-1978), a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98, with a nifty option allowing you to turn off the laugh track, from Fox ... "The A-Team Season One," a four-disc set with 14 episodes, $59.98, from Universal ... and "Playmakers," a three-disc set with 11 episodes, $49.99, from Buena Vista/ESPN.

Other TV: Columbia TriStar will release "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story," the 2004 exploitation telefilm starring Dean Cain as accused killer Scott Peterson, on VHS and DVD ... "The Irish R.M., Series 1," a PBS Masterpiece Theatre dramatic comedy series about the trials and tribulations of Major Sinclair Yeates, a retired English Army officer who becomes a Resident Magistrate in Western Ireland during the early 1900s, arrives from Acorn Media; the $49.99 two-disc set includes six episodes. (Posted June 8)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"The Bunker" is a horror film set during WWII and follows a battle-weary platoon of German soldiers as they take refuge within the confines of an underground bunker system, only to be stalked by an unknown force in a the dark maze of tunnels; on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted June 8)

Special Interest:
"Travel the World With Putumayo" is a visual celebration of world music and culture featuring videos and concert footage from around the globe by many of the record label's roster of international artists. Included are performances by Ricardo Lemvi & Makina Loca (Congo/Cuba), Chico Cesar (Brazil), Vera Bila and Kale (Czech Republic), Gotan Project (Argentina/France), Tukuleur (Senegal), and many others, on DVD only for $19.98 ... From First Run Features comes "One Nation Under God," a bizarre and fascinating documentary that looks at the religious right's attempt to "cure" gay America; the film provides an historical context as well as political analysis of the well-financed anti-gay campaign that hews to the persistent and harmful myth that gay people are somehow damaged and need to be "fixed," on DVD. Also due this week from First Run is "Venus Boyz," an award-winning documentary that takes viewers into the world of Drag Queens, on DVD only ... "Fangoria Blood Drive" is an anthology of spine-tingling, blood-curdling and hair-raising films gathered together as part of Fangoria Magazine's Best Short Horror Film contest; the compilation is hosted by horror film auteur Rob Zombie; $19.98 VHS and DVD from Koch Vision. Koch Vision will also release this week two ABC News documentaries: "War With Iraq: Stories From the Front," which provides viewers with unprecedented access into Operation Iraqi Freedom, and "Peter Jennings Reporting: In Search of America," with six episodes that take viewers on a journey into the daily lives of ordinary Americans; both two-disc sets will sell for $29.98 each. (Posted June 8)

DVD Collectibles:
Highlight of the week is the "Cary Grant Signature Collection," a set of five Cary Grant films (on the centennial of his birth) available as a five-disc set for $49.92 or $19.97 each, from Warner: "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947), starring Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple; "Destination Tokyo" (1943), starring Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, Dane Clark; "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" (1948), starring Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas, Reginald Denny; ""My Favorite Wife" (1940), starring Grant, Gail Patrick, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott; and "Night and Day" (1946), starring Grant, Alexis Smith, Jane Wyman, Eve Arden, Monty Wooley. All come with neat extras ... Miramax will release this week three from their Collector's Series: "Cop Land" (1997), starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick. The director's cut includes commentary by director James Mangold, producer Cathy Konrad, Stallone and Patrick; deleted scenes with optional filmmaker commentary; shootout storyboard sequence; "The Making of an Urban Western" behind-the-scenes featurette; "Flirting With Disaster" (1996), directed by David O. Russell and starring Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, Mary Tyler Moore, Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin with deleted scenes, outtakes from the feature and from the deleted scenes, "Flirting With Disaster" original featurette; and "Trainspotting" (1996), directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald. The two-disc set director's cut includes commentary, deleted scenes with optional commentary, "Trainspotting" retrospective featurette: The film then and now includes filmmaker interviews, Cannes Film Festival interviews, "The Making of Trainspotting" featurette, gallery of images ... The latest Fox Studio Classic is "The Snake Pit" (1948), directed by Anatole Litvak and starring Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn. Extras include commentary by film historian Aubrey Solomon, MovieTone News footage ... Tying in with the June 11 theatrical release of "The Chronicles of Riddick," Universal will release "Pitch Black Special Edition" (2000), directed by David Twohy and starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black, in R-rated and unrated director's cut editions. Each DVD includes a free ticket to see "The Chronicles of Riddick," and is loaded with extras. (Posted June 1)

From TV to Video:
Due this week is the classy HBO miniseries "Angels in America" (2003), starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Patrick Wilson, James Cromwell, Michael Gambon, Simon Callow ... Series due this week are "Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 13 episodes; for $39.98 from Warner ... and "Monk: Season One," a four-disc set from Universal. (Posted June 1)

Special Interest:
Warner has set a June 1 release for three sports DVD sets just in time for Father's Day gifts: "NBA Dynasty Series: L.A. Lakers Complete History," a five-disc set with 22 hours of action, $64.92; "NFL Super Bowl Collection: Super Bowl XI--XX," a five-disc set highlighting every game from 1977 to 1986, $64.92; and "NBA Dynasty Series: Chicago Bulls 1990s," a four-disc set for $49.98 ... And, lastly, HBO will release "The Curse of the Bambino," a documentary look at the "curse" that befall the Boston Red Sox after the 1919 "sale" of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees; the Sox, which had won five World Series prior to that year, have never won another while the Yankees went on to dominate the sport for decades. The one-hour DVD sells for $19.99. (Posted June 1)

Coming Soon:
Director David Mamet's spy thriller "Spartan," starring Val Kilmer, Derek Luke and William H. Macy, arrives on VHS rental and DVD from Warner on June 15 ... On July 27 Columbia TriStar will release "Hellboy," directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Karel Roden, Rupert Evans and John Hurt on VHS rental and in a two-disc special edition DVD loaded with extras ... On July 20 TV's "Starsky & Hutch" reunite on VHS rental and DVD; the big-screen redo stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Snoop Dogg and Juliette Lewis, from Warner ... Actioner "Hidalgo," based on the incredible true story of Frank T. Hopkins, who with his horse Hidalgo defied all odds and attempted the impossible by competing in the legendary "Ocean of Fire," a grueling 3,000 mile race across the Arabian Desert, will gallop to $24.99 VHS and DVD on August 3; the film, from Buena Vista, stars Viggo Mortensen ... Get ready for the action: On August 10, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Sonny Chiba, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, LaTanya Richardson, Michael Jai White, Woo-ping Yuen and Samuel L. Jackson, will hit the stores on $24.99 VHS and DVD, from Buena Vista ... and, on August 24, the teen fairytale abut love and adventure, "Ella Enchanted," starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Vivica A. Fox, Joanna Lumley, Minnie Driver and Eric Idle, will journey to $24.99 VHS and DVD, from Miramax. (Posted May 24)

DVD Collectibles:
Steven Spielberg's gruesome "Saving Private Ryan," starring Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon and Jeremy Davies, will finally get a special treatment on DVD (the previous version was fairly plain vanilla) -- in two incarnations: as a two-disc set ($19.95) and four-disc collector's gift set ($49.95). The dual-disc set extras include featurettes and interviews, while the Collector's set includes two additional discs with TV programs on WWII: James Moll's 2002 "Price for Peace" and "Shooting War," a Richard Schickel program on combat photographers, from DreamWorks ... The Criterion Collection has two fine offerings this week: Akira Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" (1949), starring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura with commentary by scholar Stephen Prince, a booklet of essays and a making-of documentary; and Ingmar Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer's Night (1955), starring Ulla Jacobsson and Gunnar Bjornstrand ... Art house distributor New Yorker likewise has some interesting offerings: "Le Belle Noiseuse (1991), directed by Jacques Rivette and starring Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin and Emmanuelle Beart, in a two-disc set with an interview with Rivette and an interview with co-writers Pascal Bonitzer and Christine Laurent; "Lamerica" (1995), directed by Gianni Amelio and starring Enrico Lo Verso and Michele Palcido, with deleted scenes and an alternate ending; and two Robert Bresson films: "A Man Escaped" (1956) and "Lancelot of the Lake" (1974). (Posted May 24)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Winds of War" (1983) miniseries, starring Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Houseman, David Dukes, Peter Graves, Victoria Tennant, Polly Bergen and Ralph Bellamy, in a six-disc set from Paramount ... ""Northern Exposure: The Complete First Season," a two-disc set housed in a zippered orange parka, deleted scenes, never-before-seen footage and outtakes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Six," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98, featuring selected episode commentary by writer-producer Joss Whedon, others; behind-the-scenes featurettes; Easter Eggs; music videos; outtakes and an interactive game trailer, from Fox ... "Cheers: The Complete Third Season" (1984-1985), a four-disc set with 25 episodes; extras include five featurettes: "Virtual Vera," "Shrink-Warped: Introducing Frasier Crane," "Carla's Whipping Boy," "Nicolas Colasanto: His Final Season" and "Cheers Bar Tour," from Paramount ... "Frasier: The Complete Third Season" (1995-1996) is a four-disc set with 24 episodes; with five featurettes: "The Crane Brothers Remember Season Three," A Conversation With Art Director Roy Christopher," "Celebrity Voices," "Bulldog Crazy" and "The Mystery of Maris: The Breakup Begins," from Paramount ... And, lastly, there's "The Brady Bunch in the White House" telefilm from 2002, starring Shelley Long and Gary Cole, and "Growing Up Brady" (2000), starring Adam Brody and Kaley Cuoco, both from Paramount. (Posted May 24)

Coming Soon:
MGM has announced a July 13 release date for teen spy comedy-thriller Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London," starring Frankie Muniz and Anthony Anderson, on $22.98 VHS and a loaded special edition DVD ... From Warner on July 20 comes TV-to-big screen adaptation "Starsky & Hutch," starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Snoop Dogg, on VHS rental and DVD ... Warner will also release, on July 27, the lackluster crime-comedy sequel "The Whole Ten Yards," starring Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Natasha Henstridge and Kevin Pollak, on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted May 17)

DVD Collectibles:
It's gonna be a wonderful day in the video neighborhood. On Tuesday, a plethora of restored classics will make their way to DVD: Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" (1966), starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef, in a two-disc set with a newly restored extended edition of the film featuring 18 minutes (three deleted scenes) of new footage with new English audio track recordings by Eastwood, Wallach and Simon Prescott (who provides the voice for the late Van Cleef) in 5.1 surround sound and a host of extras; from MGM ... "The Great Escape Collector's Edition" (1963), directed by John Sturges and starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasance and James Coburn, in a loaded two-disc set and new 5.1 surround sound; from MGM ... "Stay Hungry" (1976), Bob Rafelson's oddball comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sally Field and Jeff Bridges; also from MGM ... Fritz Lang's "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" (1939) in a two-disc set with the restored uncut director's version; from The Criterion Collection ... "The Tin Drum" (1979), directed by Volker Schlondorff; also from Criterion ... "Monsieur Klein" (1976 -- French), directed by Joseph Losey and starring Alain Delon and Jeanne Moreau in a new digital transfer, enhanced for 16X9 televisions; from Home Vision Entertainment ... "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956), starring David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton, Buster Keaton, Jose Greco, John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Marlene Dietrich, 40 cameos, in a two-disc set with the complete, uncut 182-minute widescreen version; from Warner ... "Enter the Dragon" (1973) starring Bruce Lee and John Saxon in a two-disc set; from Warner ... and, finally, the third wave of Walt Disney Treasures," four new two-disc volumes from the Walt Disney vaults, with rare footage, uncut and uncensored, in a limited series, with exclusive lithographs and individually numbered authenticity certificates in collectible tins: "Walt Disney on the Front Lines," the Disney Studio's rare and historic World War II-themed productions; "Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume Two)," covering Mickey's great short films from 1939 to 1995; "The Chronological Donald," which presents a first-ever compilation of Donald Duck's shorts from 1936 to 1941; and "Walt Disney's Tomorrowland," showcasing Walt's historic TV shows on outer space and space travel; all are hosted by Leonard Maltin; $32.99 each. For more detailed information, jump to May 18's DVD calendar page. (Posted May 17)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Sex and the City: Season Six, Part 1, a three-disc set with 12 of the season's 20 episodes, $49.99, from HBO Video ... "The West Wing Season Two," a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Smallville: The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Star Trek: Voyager -- Season 2" (1995-1996), a seven-disc set with 26 episodes, no suggested retail price, from Paramount ... and "Prime Suspect 6," the sixth installment of the popular British detective series starring Helen Mirren, from HBO. (Posted May 17)

Special Interest:
Kultur will release this week "Casey Kasem's Rock & Roll Goldmine," a fab five volume set that offers viewers front-row access to the electrifying music of the 1960s, featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin, James Brown, The Who, Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Cream, The Kinks, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Van Morrison, Santana, The Steve Miller Band and many, many more. The volumes are: "The Sixties," "The Soul Years," "The San Francisco Sound," "The British Invasion" and "Elvis: The Echo Will Never Die"; $59.95 for the boxed set or $14.95 each on DVD and VHS ... Also from Kultur comes "David Copperfield: Illusion," a special edition DVD and two-volume VHS set that contains more than two hours of career-defining illusions, including The Disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, Walking Through the Great Wall of China, The Vanishing Airplane, The Imploding Building, and others; $19.95. (All were originally scheduled for April 27) (Posted May 17)

Coming Soon:
Fox has just announced an August 31 release for Mel Gibson's religious epic "The Passion of the Christ," on VHS and DVD ... Due May 11 is a unique DVD release from Universal: In the heat of the $54 million open of "Van Helsing," the company will release "Van Helsing: The London Assignment," an all-new animated film that acts as a 33-minute prelude to the theatrical release, featuring Hugh Jackman as the voice of Van Helsing and executive produced by the Van Helsing team of director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay. This marks the first time a DVD premiere release has been created as a prequel to the feature film by the same filmmakers and cast. The DVD, with behind-the-scenes featurettes, will sell for $14.98. (Posted May 10)

DVD Collectibles:
Timed just in advance of the May 28 theatrical release of Roland Emmerich's disaster flick "The Day After Tomorrow" is the "Independence Day Limited Edition" (1996), starring Bill Pullman, Mary McDonnell, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Will Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein and Adam Baldwin. The disc includes the theatrical cut and special edition versions of the film, with scene-specific commentary by director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin and additional commentary by special effects supervisors Volker Engel and Dough Smith, "Inside Look: The Day After Tomorrow" sizzle reel; from Fox ... Paramount will release for the first time a single-disc version of "The Godfather" (1972), directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, Talia Shire, Richard Conte, Diane Keaton and John Cazale. The no-frills disc does include commentary by Coppola. (Posted May 10)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are: "The X-Files: Season Nine," a seven-disc set with 20 episodes, $99.98. Extras include commentary on select episodes, deleted scenes, a special effects featurette, "The Truth About Season Nine" documentary, "The Making of the Truth" documentary, "Reflecting on the Truth" documentary, "Secrets of the X-Files" featurette, "More Secrets of the X-Files" featurette, "Tribute to the X-Files" featurette; from Fox ... Warner will release two classic TV cartoon series: "The Jetsons: The Complete First Season," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $64.92, with a host of extras; and "Jonny Quest: Season One," a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $64.92, also with a host of extras ... Paramount will release this week the classic series "Have Gun -- Will Travel: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 39 episodes of the ultimate 1950s Western with Richard Boone as gun-for-hire Paladin, no suggested retail price; the company also will release three "Gunsmoke" made-for-TV movies: "Gunsmoke: The Last Apache" (1990), starring James Arness, Joe Lara and Richard Kiley; "Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge" (1987), starring James Arness, Amanda Blake and Buck Taylor; and "Gunsmoke: To the Last Man" (1992), starring James Arness ... Also from Paramount comes "Survivor: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 12 episodes plus the two-hour season finale, with commentaries and three featurettes ... and Warner will release "The Waltons: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 24 episodes. (Posted May 10)

DVD Collectibles:
Topping the list of DVDs due this week is Warner's "The Marx Brothers Collection," a five-disc set with seven films, $59.92.

  • "A Night at the Opera" (1935) Extras: Commentary by Leonard Maltin, "Remarks on Marx" all-new documentary, "The Hy Gardner Show" (January 1, 1961) featuring Groucho Marx, three vintage MGM shorts. Available separately for $19.97.
  • "A Day at the Races" (1937) Extras: Commentary by The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia author Glenn Mitchell, "On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!" all-new documentary, four vintage shorts, musical outtake of "A Message From the Man in the Moon" by Allan Jones, MGM radio promo. Available separately for $19.97.
  • "Room Service/At the Circus" (1938/1939) Two films on one disc; available in the Collection only. Extras: Vintage Our Gang comedy shorts, Looney Tunes classic cartoon, MGM cartoon.
  • "Go West/The Big Store" (1940/1941) Two films on one disc; available in the Collection only. Extras: Vintage shorts, vintage cartoons, radio promo, musical outtake "Where There's Music."
  • "A Night in Casablanca" (1946) Available separately for $19.97. Extras: Looney Tunes cartoon, vintage short.
Also due this week is"Tomorrow" (1972), starring Robert Duvall, Olga Berlin and Sudie Bond. Extras include an original interview with Duvall and screenwriter Horton Foote, original William Faulkner short story and accompanying illustrations from The Saturday Evening Post, liner notes by film critic Sheila Benson; from Home Vision Entertainment ... "Desk Set" (1967), directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Dina Merrill and Neva Patterson. Extras include commentary by Merrill, Patterson; MovieTone News footage focusing on the film's costumes, stills gallery; from Fox Studio Classics. (Posted May 3)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are: "Gilmore Girls: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 21 episodes, $59.98. Extras include a "Gilmore Girls Beginnings" documentary, "Gilmore-isms" montage of witty comments coined on the show, "Gilmore Goodies and Gossip," additional and deleted scenes; from Warner ... "Party of Five: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.95 with commentary, a retrospective featurette, and a nine-part behind-the-scenes documentary, from Columbia TriStar ... "Three's Company Season Two" (1977-1978), a four-disc set with 25 episodes; $39.98. Extras include commentary on the "Days of Beer and Weeds" episode by Chris Mann, author of "Come and Knock on Our Door"; the never-before-seen first pilot, made before Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt were cast; "Eight Years of Laughter: A Tribute to John Ritter" featurette; "John Ritter -- Always Leave Them Laughing" tribute featurette; blooper reel; trivia game; "Best of Janet -- Season Two"; "Best of Chrissy -- Season Two"; "Best of the Ropers -- Season Two"; talent bios; photo gallery; memorabilia gallery; from Anchor Bay ... "The Bernie Mac Show Season One," a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98, with commentary and a featurette, from Fox ... "Law & Order: The Second Year," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98, with a "Law & Order: The First Three Years" featurette with cast & crew, from Universal ... "The Osbournes 2 1/2," a two-disc set with the second half of Season 2, 10 episodes, $29.99. Extras include censored and uncensored language tracks, commentary by Sharon and Jack, "Ozzy Translator," unaired footage, photo gallery, "Choose Your Ozz Adventure" set-top game, from Miramax ... "Samurai Jack: Season One," a two-disc set with 13 episodes from the Cartoon Network animated series, $29.98, with a "The Making of Samurai Jack" featurette, commentary by creator Genndy Tartakovsky, original artwork, original animation test, never-before-seen footage, from Warner. (Posted May 3)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Ardustry Home Entertainment has an ambitious slate of 10 $9.98 DVD releases this week: "My Teacher Ate My Homework" (1997), starring Shelley Duvall, is the story of Jesse and Cody, whose ordinary life in middle school takes a strange twist when a harmless-looking doll comes to life ... Calista Flockhart stars in "Jane Doe" (1995), about a waif-like working girl who slithers her way into the life and heart of a cynical young writer ... "Something About Sex" (aka Denial) (1998) is a comedic roller coaster ride on the topic of love, sex, trust, monogamy and adultery, starring Patrick Dempsey, Jonathan Silverman, and Jason Alexander ... In "A Kid Called Danger" (1999),the adventurous son of a cop, Dane, is eager to follow in his father's footsteps. With the help of his unlikely gang of fervent young deputies, he plots a course of stakeouts, sleuthing and surveillance to crack the case of a wanted jewel thief ... In "Judge & Jury" (1996), David Keith stars as Joseph Meeker, a convicted killer who comes back from hell to wreak havoc on those who bear his curse ... "Killer Tongue" (1996) is a supernatural horror film, set in the mysterious New Mexico desert, about a meteor that strikes the earth near a barn that a fugitive woman is hiding-out in, transforming her body into an alien form ... In "Lies & Whispers" (aka Prague Duet) (1998) Dr. Lauren Graham (Gina Gershon) meets Jiri (Rade Serbedzija), the man of her dreams, but her life begins to unravel when her grandfather's secret war crimes are uncovered and the ensuing scandal threatens to tear apart her career and destroy the relationship with her true love ... "Paris, France" (1993) is an erotic love story that explores hidden intimate desires though its protagonist, Lucy, a lonely housewife ... In "The Proposition" (1997), Catherine Morgan is a young woman whose late husband, a recent casualty of war, has left her with a herd of cattle and a legacy of gambling debt, with the option being to drive the herd to auction -- across the uninhibited plains of Whales. With the help of a handsome roughneck, Catherine braves the elements and defends her honor. Stars Theresa Russell and Patrick Bergin ... "Stranger Than Fiction" (1999), starring Mackenzie Astin, Todd Field, Dina Meyer, and Natasha Gregson Wagner, is a thriller about a group of four friends -- on an incredibly surreal night -- who attempt to cover up three murders. With a trunk full of corpses, the friends devise a plan to mask their identities and save their own hides. (Posted May 3)

Coming Soon:
Coming soon: Due May 11 is "God Is Great and I'm Not," a delightful romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou, from Koch Lorber Films, on $24.98 VHS and DVD ... On June 22, Columbia TriStar will release "Secret Window," a Stephen King thriller starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro, on VHS rental and DVD ... Failed boxing drama "Against the Ropes," starring Meg Ryan and Omar Epps, will hit the mat July 13, on VHS rental and DVD from Paramount. (Posted April 26)

DVD Collectibles:
It's monster week on home video: First there's a massive collection of monster films from Universal, timed to tie-in with the studio's May 7 release of Stephen ("The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns") Sommers' "Van Helsing": "The Monster Legacy Collections" is comprised of three two-disc sets themed around the original Universal Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolf Man series, each loaded with extras, $26.95 each; "The Monster Legacy DVD Gift Set" is comprised of all three collections plus exclusive commemorative busts of the three monster icons, developed by Sideshow Collectibles, $79.98. "Dracula: The Legacy Collection" includes "Dracula" (1931), "The Spanish Dracula" (with a Spanish speaking cast filmed simultaneously at night while the English-language version was being filmed during the day), "Dracula's Daughter" (1936), "Son of Dracula" (1943) and "House of Dracula" (1945). "Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection" includes "Frankenstein" (1931), "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), "Son of Frankenstein" (1939), "Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942) and "House of Frankenstein" (1944). "The Wolf Man: The Legacy Collection" includes "The Wolf Man" (1941), "Werewolf of London" (1935), "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" (1943) and "She Wolf of London" (1946).

If that doesn't sate your monster wanderlust, there's the "Hammer Horror Classics," a six-disc set with six classics, $68.92 (each film available separately for $19.97), from Warner: "Curse of Frankenstein" (1957), "Horror of Dracula" (1958), "The Mummy" (1959), "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" (1968), "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" (1969) and "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1959). (Posted April 26)

From TV to Video:
Due this week are "ER: The Complete Second Season," a four-disc set with 22 episodes for $59.98, with commentaries by director, producer and cast, "ER Specialists: Anatomy of an Episode" and "Life as an ER Doctor" featurettes, a gag reel, "Outpatient Outtakes" deleted scenes, more, from Warner ... "The Kids in the Hall: The Complete Season One" is a four-disc set with 20 episodes, $59.99, with commentary by the Kids, "An Oral History" interview featurette, two "best-of" compilations of fan-favorite sketches from the rare pilot episode, and never-before-seen performances from Toronto's Rivoli Theater, from A&E Home Video ... "Profiler: The Complete Season Three" is a six-disc set with 21 episodes, $99.95, with commentary on the "Heads, You Lose" episode by Roma Maffia (agent Grace Alvarez), from A&E Home Video.

Other TV shows: A&E Home Video will release today the 2003 miniseries "The Last King" (Charles II: The Power and the Passion), starring Rufus Sewell, Rupert Graves and Diana Rigg, on DVD for $24.95 ... Also from A&E comes "The History Channel Presents: D-Day: The Total Story," hosted by Gerald McRaney, in a three-disc set for $29.95 ... BBC Video will release (just three weeks before the theatrical debut of Wolfgang Petersen's "Troy" starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger) "In Search of the Trojan War," an award-winning archeological detective story, in a two-disc set for $34.98 ... The "very" British "Midsomer Murders," a detective series set in a cluster of sunny villages with quaint names but no shortage of grisly crimes, comes to home video again with Set Three featuring five new 100-minute episodes, in a five-volume DVD set for $59.99 or a five-volume VHS set for $79.99 ... "Out of the Wilderness" is a family adventure film about a family who adopts a raven as their pet after it saves the life of a lost little girl, starring David Carradine and David Naughton, from MTI Home Video on DVD and VHS rental ... Paramount has scheduled three PBS documentaries this week: "The Spartans," a three-part series that examines the Greek city-state ($24.99); "Remember the Alamo," which travels back to 1830s Texas to chronicle the battle for independence" ($19.99); and "Empires: Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire," which examines the epoch between the 16th and 19th centuries ($24.99); all on DVD. (Posted April 26)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Ardustry Home Entertainment will release this week the horror-thriller "Savage Island" (2003), about an eye-for-an-eye struggle between two families on an isolated island, on DVD ... "Urban Ghost Story" (1998) is a horror-thriller about a young woman, killed during a car crash, who is "taken into the light," only to return 184 seconds later after being revived by doctors. Unfortunately, something has come back with her. On VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted April 26)

For the Kids:
Alvin and the Chipmunks return with a new generation of characters for a new generation of kids: "Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks" stars, of course, Alvin, Theodore and Simon, as well as their new friends The Chipettes, who help preschoolers learn how to handle the emotional and behavioral issues as they try to navigate the complex world of growing up. The $19.95 DVD from Bagdasarian Productions -- for ages 3 to 6 -- features puppetry, live-action, 3-D computer animation, and six new songs ... "Whiz Kids" is a new tutorial for preschoolers that teaches tiny tots their ABCs, counting, primary colors, animal sounds, body parts and safety tips, on 30-minute VHS or DVD for $9.98. (Posted April 26)

On the Indie Front:
From Vanguard Video comes "Post Concussion" (2000), a funny yet inspiring portrayal of one man's adventures after a serious head injury -- terminated by his employer, dumped by his girlfriend, and stalked by San Francisco New Age Healers, the young man must find a new way to discover himself, on VHS and DVD ... also from Vanguard comes "First, Last and Deposit" (2000), about a 13-year-old girl who's forced with her mother to go homeless on the streets of Santa Barbara, and the emotional and physical struggles she faces, on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 26)

Foreign:
"Mad Dogs" (2002) is a British sci-fi thriller about a "Mad Dog Disease" that plagues London and an ex-mental patient who hears voices telling him that he has only 36 hours to stop the world leaders' experiments before forces beyond human control destroy all life, starring Jonathan Pryce, Indira Varma and Paul Barber, on VHS and DVD ... "Alias" (2002) is a Dutch thriller about the shocking world two girls are ushered into when they inadvertently videotape a young girl as she plunges naked to her death out of a fourth-story window. Both titles are from Vanguard Video on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 26)

Special Interest:
Kultur will release this week "Casey Kasem's Rock & Roll Goldmine," a fab five volume set that offers viewers front-row access to the electrifying music of the 1960s, featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin, James Brown, The Who, Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Cream, The Kinks, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Van Morrison, Santana, The Steve Miller Band and many, many more. The volumes are: "The Sixties," "The Soul Years," "The San Francisco Sound," "The British Invasion" and "Elvis: The Echo Will Never Die"; $59.95 for the boxed set or $14.95 each on DVD and VHS. Also from Kultur comes "David Copperfield: Illusion," a special edition DVD and two-volume VHS set that contains more than two hours of career-defining illusions, including The Disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, Walking Through the Great Wall of China, The Vanishing Airplane, The Imploding Building, and others; $19.95. (Posted April 26)

DVD Collectibles:
The highlight of this week's DVD releases is MGM's neatly put together "Ingmar Bergman Special Edition DVD Collection," a six-disc set with five films and a bonus disc, $112.96 (each film available separately for $24.98). The set includes "Hour of the Wolf" (1968), starring Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, "The Passion of Anna" (1969) with Max Von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson and Erland Josephson, "Persona" (1966) with Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann, "The Serpent's Egg" (1977), starring Liv Ullmann and David Carradine, and "Shame" (1968) with Liv Ullmann, Max Von Sydow and Gunnar Jorgenstrand, all loaded with extras ... The cult film classic "Reefer Madness" (1938) comes to DVD courtesy of Fox. The film is presented in its original black and white format and in a newly restored and colorized version. Extras include commentaries by "Mystery Science Theater 3000's" Mike Nelson, a "Grandpa's Marijuana Handbook" short, and the original "Reefer Madness" trailer ... The Criterion Collection has two interesting releases this week. First up is Robert Altman's "3 Women" (1977), starring Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule. The offbeat drama gets a new high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions. Extras include commentary by Altman, and a stills gallery of rare production and publicity stills. Next up is "A Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds" (1934/1959), a two-disc set with Yasujiro Ozu's 1934 silent film and his 1959 remake. Both films are high-definition transfers with restored image and sound and with new and improved English subtitle translations. The gorgeous set includes plenty of extras for the film buff. (Posted April 19)

From TV to Video:
Due this week is "The King of Queens: Second Season," a three-disc set with 25 episodes for $39.95, with commentary, a blooper reel, and a featurette, from Columbia TriStar ... From BBC Video comes the award-winning "The Office: The Complete Second Series" with six episodes on one disc for $24.98. Extras include outtakes, deleted scenes, Ricky Gervais' and Stephen Merchants' video diary of the making of the series, more ... "Recipe for Disaster" is a TV movie about the trials and tribulations of three kids who attempt to save their parents' restaurant from the rivals next door, starring John Laroquette and Lesley Ann Warren, on VHS and DVD from MGM. (Posted April 19)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Hot and sexy "Wild Things" (starring Never Campbell and Denise Richards, and released this week in an unrated version on DVD) has spawned a sequel: "Wild Things 2" (2004), here starring Susan Ward and Leila Arcieri as two beautiful teens who fight it out for a dead man's estate, on DVD and VHS from Columbia TriStar ... Also from Columbia TriStar is "Tube" (2003), a Korean martial arts thriller about a former undercover agent who seeks revenge against his agency and takes a subway hostage in a plan to take the lives of 13 million people, on VHS and DVD ... Razor Digital Entertainment will release "Suckers" (1999), a comedy that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the cutthroat world of car salesmen, starring Daniel Benzali, Lori Loughlin and Louis Mandylor, $9.99 on DVD. (Posted April 19)

Special Interest:
On July 4, 1975, in the parking lot of San Francisco's Cow Palace, Curtis Schreier and Doug Michels, outfitted like astronauts, crawled into the Phantom Dream Car -- a customized 1959 Cadillac Biarritz -- and drove it full speed through a pyramid of televisions. Media Burn, a spectacular performance video, is one of the most celebrated pieces from the Ant Farm, a group of radical architects, video and performance artists formed by Michels and Chip Lord in 1968. The "Ant Farm" DVD from Facets Video (www.facets.org) offers the restored and remastered Media Burn as well as other Ant Farm cult performance videos such as Cadillac Ranch (in which the group buried Cadillacs nose first), Ant Farm's Dirty Dishes, Inflatables Illustrated, and more; $29.95 on DVD. (Posted April 19)

Coming Soon:
Due June 1 from Fox is teen caper comedy "Catch That Kid," starring Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu, Max Theiriot, Jennifer Beals and Sam Robards, on $19.98 VHS and DVD ... In-depth documentary "Tupac: Resurrection" arrives June 15 from Paramount on VHS and DVD ... On June 29 MGM will release the hip comedy "Barbershop 2: Back in Business," starring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Kenan Thompson, Harry Lennix and Queen Latifah, on VHS and DVD ... Also on June 29 Paramount will release teen drama "The Perfect Score," starring Scarlett Johansson, Erika Christensen, Chris Evans, Bryan Greenberg, and Darius Miles, on VHS and DVD ... On July 20 Buena Vista will release teen angst comedy "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," starring Lindsay Lohan, Adam Garcia, Glenne Headley, Alison Pill, Eli Marienthal and Carol Kane, on $24.99 VHS and DVD. (Posted April 12)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Highlander: The Series -- Season 4," a nine-disc set with 22 episodes, $89.98. Extras include commentaries; deleted, alternate, recently discovered scenes; interviews with actors, producers, editors, writers, costume designers; "Watcher Chronicles" featurette; bloopers and outtakes; production designs and sketches; and a photo gallery, from Anchor Bay ... "Babylon 5: The Complete Fifth Season" is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $99.98. Extras: Commentaries by series creator J. Michael Straczynski, "Digital Tomorrow" special effects featurette, "Beyond Babylon 5" featurette on the series' fans, "The Universe of Babylon 5" featurette with data and personnel files and a gag reel, episode previews, Easter Egg, extended and deleted scenes, from Warner.

Other TV shows coming to video this week include Masterpiece Theatre's "Oliver Twist" and Mystery!'s "Second Sight," a psychological police thriller about a hotshot detective who's losing his sight and enlists his partner to be his eyes, both from WGBH Boston Video on DVD; and "The Maldonado Miracle," a drama, directed by Salma Hayek and starring Peter Fonda, Mare Winningham and Ruben Blades, about a town's faith being tested when a statue of Jesus seems to shed real tears, on DVD from Showtime. (Posted April 12)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From MTI Home Video comes "Devil's Knight," about the sister of two murdered hot low-riders who returns from the army to avenge their deaths, on VHS and DVD ... "Our America," directed by Ernest Dickerson, recounts the true story of two intelligent teenagers in the South Side of Chicago who get mentored by an NPR producer and get the opportunity to become radio reporters, from Paramount on VHS and DVD ... From UrbanWorks Entertainment comes "Still Bout It," an urban drama about two ex-cons who try to abandon their wild ways but are forced back to their old ways to protect their families and rid the community of a tyrannical crew, starring Master P, Silkk the Shocker, Lil' Romeo and Mike Epps, on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 12)

Foreign:
From Facets Video comes the wacky international hit comedy, "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob" (1973 -- France), about a shameless racist who, on his way to his daughter's wedding, uncovers a group of revolutionaries and has to dress up as a Rabbi to escape their clutches, on VHS and DVD ... Also from Facets is "Spoils of War" (2000), a documentary that focuses on the legacy of Argentina's "dirty war" of 1976-83, during which thousands of citizens were kidnapped, tortured and killed by the military, on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 12)

Special Interest:
Plenty of music this week on DVD: Kultur will release three operas: Pietro Mascagni's comedic "L'Amico Fritz," recorded live from the Teatro di Livorno in Tuscany; Alan Berg's "Wozzeck," featuring the Frankfurter Museumorchster; and "Offenbach in Paris," featuring mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter in a concert from the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris ... Rhino will release "46664: The Event," a two-disc set documenting convert extravaganza held on November 29, 2003, at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, to raise money for Nelson Mandela's global anti-AIDS campaign. Performers included Queen, Bono, Beyonce, the Edge, Peter Gabriel, the Corrs, the Eurythmics, and others ... Kultur will release an impressive series of DVDs on the "Artists of the 20th Century." Each 50-minute program will profile one artist, including Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Rene Magritte, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, $19.95 each ... First Run Features will release "A Perfect Candidate" (1996), a documentary about the hotly contested 1994 campaign pitting Oliver Morth against Chuck Robb, with such extras as commentary by directors R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor, an Ollie & Chuck reaction featurette, and a photo gallery ... UrbanWorks Entertainment will release "The Torry Brothers -- Family Business," showcasing the comedic talents of standups Guy and Joe Torry, filmed before a live audience at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, on DVD ... Acorn Media will release "Keeping Fit in Your 50s," a total body workout system designed specifically for women experiencing the challenges of staying fit while adjusting to the normal physical changes that occur after 50, in a three volume boxed set, $49.99 DVD and $39.99 VHS. (Posted April 12)

Coming Soon:
Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," a riveting drama starring Sean Penn (who received an Oscar for best actor), Tim Robbins (who received a best supporting actor Oscar), Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney, on VHS rental and DVD (as a single disc and a three-disc deluxe edition loaded with extras and the complete "Mystic River" soundtrack), will arrive June 8 from Warner ... On June 15, Columbia TriStar will release the wild romantic comedy "50 First dates," starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin and Dan Aykroyd, on VHS and DVD (loaded with extras) ... Due July 6 is "The Butterfly Effect," a psychological sci-fi thriller starring Ashton Kutcher,on VHS rental and DVD from New Line. (Posted April 5)

DVD Collectibles:
Several classics make their way to special editions this week. Heading the list is "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda, John Carradine and Jane Darwell. The film has been digitally enhanced and restored. Extras include a biography on producer Daryl Zanuck, restoration comparison and commentary by film scholar Joseph McBride and John Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw, original theatrical trailer, still gallery, and Movie Tone News footage, from Fox Studio Classics ... Warner will release a two-disc set of "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor and Leon Ames. The musical has been restored using Warner Bros.' Ultra-Resolution process. Extras include commentary by Garland biographer John Fricke with O'Brien, screenwriter Irving Brecher, songwriter Hugh Martin, and Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of producer Arthur Freed); a new introduction by Liza Minnelli; a music-only track; a Vincente Minnelli trailer gallery; "Meet Me in St. Louis: The Making of an American Classic"; "Hollywood: The Dream Factory"; "Becoming Attractions: Judy Garland" 1996 TCM special; "Meet Me in St. Louis" 1966 TV pilot with Shelley Fabares and Celete Holm; "Bubbles" 1930 Warners short featuring a 7-year-old Garland; "Skip to My Lou" rare 1941 musical short with composers Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane; audio vault with "Boys and Girls Like You and Me" outtake (reconstructed using photographs) and a Lux Radio Theater Broadcast from December 2, 1946; stills gallery ... BBC Video has inaugurated their new BBC Film Line with the release of "A Room With a View" (1986), directed by James Ivory and starring Daniel Day Lewis, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham-Carter, Simon Callow, Denholm Elliot and Julian Sands. The two-disc set features a high- definition restoration remixed in Dolby 5.1 with such extras as commentary by Ivory, Callow, producer Ismail Merchant and cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts; interviews with Day-Lewis and Callow; a 30th anniversary Merchant-Ivory tribute; archive BBC biography of author E.M. Forster; and a memorabilia gallery ... Koch Lorber will release one of our all-time favorites, Jacques Demy's "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964), starring the radiant Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon and Marc Michel. The film (in French with English subtitles) has been remastered and enhanced for 16 x 9 widescreen with 5.1 surround sound. A Jacques Demy featurette rounds out the package.

MGM kicks off the 40th anniversary of the Pink Panther with "The Pink Panther Film Collection," a six-disc set featuring all five Blake Edwards/Peter Sellers "Pink Panther" films, newly remastered with 5.1 Surround sound, with a sixth bonus disc of extras: "The Pink Panther" (1964), "A Shot in the Dark" (1964), "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (1976), "Revenge of the Pink Panther" (1978) and "Trail of the Pink Panther" (1982), housed in a black-patent leather package for $69.96. Extras include commentary by Edwards on "The Pink Panther" and a "Pink Panther" trivia track. The Bonus disc extras include "The Pink Panther Story" documentary, "Behind-the-Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon" feature on the history of the Pink Panther character, six original Pink Panther animated shorts, and a "Shots in the Dark" photo gallery from all the films ... For slightly less sophisticated comedy there's the "Police Academy Giftset" from Warner, featuring all seven "Police Academy" titles, housed in a box for $59.92. (Posted April 5)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Friends: The Complete Seventh Season," a four-disc set with 23 episodes for $44.98, with such extras as a gag reel with outtakes, "Friends of Friends Part II" featurette, "Monica's Wedding Book Challenge," "Gunther Spills the Beans" teaser for Season 8, commentaries, from Warner ... "Charlie's Angels: The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set for $49.95 from Columbia TriStar ... "In Living Color: Season One" is a three-disc set for $39.98 with commentary on select episodes, "Looking Back in Living Color - The First Season" featurette, "Back in Step With the Fly Girls" featurette, HBO Comedy 2001 Comedy Arts Festival "In Living Color" panel discussion, from Fox ... "Freaks and Geeks -- The Complete Series," is a six-disc set with 18 episodes, from Sony Music Video. (Posted April 5)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From Koch Vision comes "Murda Muzik," an urban drama about a rapper who tries to balance the conflicting demands of responsibility, ambition, a multimillion dollar record deal and street life in the ghetto, written by Prodigy of Mobb Deep and starring Prodigy, Havoc (of Mobb Deep) and Bill Noyd; on DVD and VHS. (Posted April 5)

On the Indie Front:
30 Years to Life" is a festival favorite comedy that follows the lives of six friends in New York during the year in which they each reach their 30th birthday. The film stars Tracy Morgan, Allen Payne, Paula Jai Parker, Kadeem Hardison and Melissa De Sousa; on VHS and DVD from Screen Media/Universal. (Posted April 5)

For the Kids:
MTI Home Video will release this week "I Downloaded a Ghost," a good-spirited family film about a 12-year-old girl who discovers a great Halloween Web site that, unfortunately, has a link to a ghost who wants to crossover into the world of the living, starring Ellen Page, Carlos Alazraqui and Gary Hudson, on DVD and VHS. (Posted April 5)

Special Interest:
Koch Vision celebrates 75 years of one of America's most-loved characters, Popeye, with the "Popeye 75th Anniversary Edition," a three-disc set that features 85 (eight hours worth) of the original King Features Syndicate cartoons; $29.98 ... Ardustry Home Entertainment will release the spectacular seven-part series "Planet Earth" that explores amazing discoveries above and below the surface of the blue planet. The installments (on three Discs and seven VHS volumes) are "The Living Machine," "The Blue Planet," "The Climate Puzzle," "Tales From Other Worlds," "The Solar Sea," "Gifts From Earth" and "The Fate of the Earth," on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 5)

Coming Soon:
DreamWorks has set an April 20 release for its lackluster comedy "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!" ... Palm Pictures will release the latest Claude Chabrol thriller, "The Flower of Evil" (La Fleur du Mal), on April 20 ... Mandy Moore romantic comedy "Chasing Liberty" will arrive May 4 from Warner ... Columbia TriStar will release on June 1 "Monster," the bio of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, which garnered an Academy Award for Charlize Theron ... International on-the-road comedy "Eurotrip" will travel to home video on June 1 from DreamWorks ... Robert Altman's look at the world of ballet, "The Company," dances home June 1 from Columbia TriStar ... "Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation," a direct-to- video sequel, will bug out from Columbia TriStar on June 1 ... Miramax has announced a July 20 release for romantic-thriller "The Human Stain," starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman. (Posted March 29)

DVD Collectibles:
After being unavailable for nearly three years, Criterion's DVD of Stanley Donen's classic spy thriller "Charade" (1963), starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy, is coming back in print. The re-release will feature an all-new 16x9-enhanced high-definition digital transfer, in addition to all the supplements featured on the original release. The new edition will be in stores on April 6 and will retail for $39.95. Owners of Criterion's original DVD release of Stanley Donen's "Charade" may purchase the re-release for $15 dollars off the suggested retail price, plus $4.95 shipping and handling for U.S. residents, by jumping to https://www.quikey-c.com/criterion/ . (Posted March 29)

From TV to Video:
TV series due this week: "Resurrection Blvd. -- The Complete First Season," a five-disc set, priced under $40, from Paramount ... "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Third Season," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, under $70, with commentary on select episodes, five featurettes: "The CSI Tour: Police Station," "The CSI Shot: Making It Real," "The Writers' Room," "CSI Moves Into Season 3," "Crime Scene Field Kit," from Paramount ... "Dark Shadows DVD Collection 11," with 40 episodes on four discs, $59.98 from MPI Home Video) ... "Homicide: Life on the Street: The Complete Season Four," a six-disc set with 22 episodes; $99.99, commentary on "The Hat" episode, "Homicide: Life in Season Four" featurette, episodic song listings, from A&E Home Video ... "Mr. Bean: The Animated Series: Set 2," a two-disc set with 18 adventures; $29.95, from A&E Home Video ... "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Season Three," an eight-disc set with 25 episodes; $119.95, from A&E Home Video ... "The Cisco Kid Collection 1," a four-disc set or five-VHS set with 20 episodes of the classic 1950-1956 Western TV series starring Duncan Renaldo as The Cisco Kid and Leo Carrillo as sidekick Pancho Gonzales, $49.98 from MPI Home Video ... "A Touch of Frost Season 1," a two-disc set or three-VHS set with three episodes featuring unconventional British policeman Detective Jack Frost, $39.98 from MPI Home Video.

Other TV programs: From Showtime this week comes "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" a three-disc set containing all the episodes from the show's first season, for $39.99 ... Acorn Media brings more mystery and suspense to home video with the release of the British telefilm "Agatha Christie's Seven Dials Mystery" in which the dark forces of murder and international intrigue combine with the froth of romance and upper-class English frivolity in the 1920s, featuring James Warwick and John Gielgud, on DVD for $24.99; "Poirot 8 Collector's Set," featuring three full-length adventures of Agatha Christie's Belgian sleuth, on DVD for $29.95; and "Tommy & Tuppence Set 2," with Francesca Annis and James Warwick as Agatha Christie's zany upper-class crime-solving couple, with six adventures on a two-disc set for $39.99. (Posted March 29)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Ardustry Entertainment will release two thrillers this week: "Liar's Poker" (1999), about murder and deceit in the world of gambling, and "Threat of Exposure" (2002), about a troubled ex-boxer who seeks the help of a hypnotherapist to uncover the details of his younger brother's disappearance, on DVD for $14.98 ... "Virtual Girl" (1998) is a sci-fi thriller about a programming genius who perfects a fully-interactive cyber-erotic adventure featuring a virtual girl who comes to life and tries to murder his wife, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS and DVD ... On offer from Lions Gate is "Stealing Candy" (2002), a thriller about three ex-cons who kidnap an actress to make a one-time pay-per-view porn show and find that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, starring Coolio, Daniel Baldwin, Alex McArthur and Jenja Lano; and "Serial Killing 101" (2004), about two classmates -- one an aspiring serial killer, the other a suicidal co-ed who wants to be his first victim -- whose plans are thwarted by a real serial killer, starring Lisa Loeb, Thomas Hayden Church, Corey Feldman and Rick Overton, on VHS and DVD ... "Vampire Effect" (2003) is an exciting vampire-hunting thriller by Hong Kong director Dante Lam, featuring Asian rock stars Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung (from the group Twins) and Jackie Chan (in a guest appearance), with action/fight choreography by Donnie Yen, in Cantonese with English subtitles, on VHS and DVD from Columbia TriStar. (Posted March 29)

On the Indie Front:
Award-winning "Sam & Janet" (2002), a romantic comedy about two people -- both off the heels of dismal marriages -- who meet and fall in love and try to give marriage one more shot. The film stars Ryan Brown, Jennifer Ferguson and Gary Busey, who plays a wise old bartender who narrates the story; from Monarch Home Video on VHS and DVD ... Vanguard Cinema has three interesting indie films due this week: "Camera" (2000), about the Dogme-style adventures of a video camera that gets stolen and goes on an adventure around the world, never leaving the point of view of the camera; "Look in My Shorts" (2004), five cheeky and playful short films; and "No Sleep 'Til Madison" (2002), about a 30-year-old high school hockey fan who's afraid to grow up and makes an annual pilgrimage to the Wisconsin High School Hockey Tournament despite his girlfriend and the flagging interest of his other adult friends; all on VHS and DVD. (Posted March 29)

For the Kids:
Columbia TriStar will release this week "The Swan Princess Special Edition" (1995), with the voices of Jack Palance, John Cleese, Steven Wright, Michelle Nicastro and Steve Vinovich; and the sequel "The Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure" (1998) ... Rhino Home Video will release this week two compilations from "The Transformers Armada" Cartoon Network animated series: "Best Battles," featuring four adventures, and "Flashbacks," also featuring four adventures, on DVD at $14.95 each ... Little cowgirls and cowboys will have a rootin' tootin' time as they mosey down the old Wiggly trail when the Down Under Wiggles go West in their latest direct-to-video adventure, "The Wiggles: Cold Spaghetti Western," on VHS ($14.95) and DVD ($16.99) from HIT Entertainment. (Posted March 29)

Special Interest:
The folks at Docurama have four interesting releases this week: "Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's," a documentary that celebrates the glory days of the famed restaurant that catered to Hollywood's elite, on VHS and DVD; "The American Nightmare," and examination of the gore-breaking films of the horror genre, from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" to "Dawn of the Dead" to "Friday the 13," on DVD only; "Jupiter's Wife" is a real-life mystery that revolves around Maggie, a beguiling homeless woman living in New York City's Central Park, created by documentarian Michel Negroponte, who followed her for two years, uncovering the enigma of her past and present, on DVD and VHS; and "The Last Round: Chuvalo vs. Ali," which chronicles the amazing 15-round Toronto fight in which underdog George Chuvalo took Muhammad Ali the distance in 15 grueling rounds, on DVD only ... "Crash of Flight 111," an investigation into what caused Swissair Flight 111 to plunge into the waters off the coast of Nova Scotia on September 2, 1998, killing all 229 people on board, arrives on VHS this week (and on DVD on April 27) from WGBH Boston Video ... "Tibetan Refugee" looks at the people who have forsaken their homes and land because of religious persecution in Tibet by the Chinese government; the film features the Dalai Lama, the Nechung Monks (who perform live music and prayers), and refugees from Tibet, on VHS and DVD from Vanguard. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the video go directly to help the Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, India. (Posted March 29)

Coming Soon:
"Girl With a Pearl Earring," starring Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Wilkerson, will paint its way home on May 4 from Lions Gate on DVD and VHS rental... Due May 18 from Paramount is "Paycheck," John Woo's visualization of a short story by Philip K. Dick, starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, on DVD and VHS rental ... Stirring sports film about the U.S.'s winning 1980 Olympic hockey team, "Miracle," starring Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson and Noah Emmerich, glides home on DVD and $24.99 VHS from Disney on May 18 ... Biker action-thriller "Torque," starring Martin Henderson and Ice Cube, speeds to home video on May 18 via Warner on DVD and VHS rental ... Failed horror-comedy "Club Dread" arrives May 25 from Fox on DVD and VHS rental... "Welcome to Mooseport," Ray Romano's failed attempt to crossover to the big screen, arrives May 25 from Fox ... June 1 will see the arrival of "My Baby's Daddy," starring Eddie Griffin and Anthony Anderson, on DVD and VHS from Miramax ... On June 8 Universal will release the slapstick Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston comedy "Along Came Polly" on DVD and sell-through VHS at $22.98 ... On June 15, award-winning comedy-drama "The Station Agent," starring Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson and Michelle Williams, pulls into town from Miramax ... June 29 will see the DVD and $24.99 VHS debut of the award-winning Civil War action-drama "Cold Mountain," starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger, from Miramax ... And on July 13 comes "The Barbarian Invasions," winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, from Miramax. (Posted March 22)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is "The Osterman Weekend" (1983), the last film by director Sam Peckinpah. The spy-conspiracy thriller stars Burt Lancaster, John Hurt, Dennis Hopper, Craig T. Nelson, Rutger Hauer, Chris Sarandon, Meg Foster and Helen Shaver. The two-disc set includes the original working cut of the film, released for the first time since its single rough studio screening, offering a rare look at Peckinpah's original vision. The theatrical version has been mastered in the DiviMax high-definition transfer process and features DTS ES and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Extras include commentary by Peckinpah scholars Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Nick Redman; a fascinating behind-the-scenes feature-length documentary, "Alpha to Omega"; and a photo gallery, from Anchor Bay. (Posted March 22)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys -- Season Three," a nine-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.98, with commentary by star Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst, behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and series creators, from Anchor Bay ... Will and Grace Season 2," a two-disc set with 23 episodes, featuring 12 featurettes, a montage of comedy clips, more, from Lions Gate ... "Celebrity Mole Hawaii," a three-disc set with six 45-minute episodes, $29.98, from Eagle Rock Entertainment. Also making their way to video this week are "Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," a 2003 Showtime drama starring Helen Mirren, Oliver Martinez and Anne Bancroft, on DVD and VHS; John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (1980), a digitally remastered presentation of the PBS mini-series starring Alec Guinness, Ian Richardson, Joss Ackland, Terence Rigby and Ian Bannen, in a three-disc DVD set ($59.99) and a three-volume VHS set ($69.99), from Acorn Media; and "Chased by Dinosaurs," featuring "The Giant Claw" and "Land of Giants," both of which premiered in 2003 on the Discovery Channel (and won the network an Emmy), and three episodes of "Chased by Sea Monsters," due to air this week, from BBC Video on DVD ($19.98) only. (Posted March 22)

For the Kids:
From Disney this week comes "Home on the Range: A Little Patch of Heaven Sing Along Songs," featuring music from the upcoming Disney theatrical release, on VHS ($14.99) and DVD ($19.99) ... Bob the Builder returns with "Bob the Builder: Dig! Lift! Haul!" five animated constructive play adventures never aired on TV, from HIT Entertainment on VHS ($9.99) and DVD ($16.99) ... "Kipper: Water Play" is the newest title in the preschool animated series, featuring five adventures with the delightful pooch and his animal friends, also from HIT on VHS ($6.99) and DVD ($9.99) ... A new animated character makes its debut this week from Central Park Media: "Doggy Poo," based on the best-selling Korean children's book about a, well, doggy pooh that comes alive and embarks on an adventure to discover his meaning for "being." The award-winning (Best Pilot Prize at the 2003 Tokyo International Fair and a Viewers Choice Award at the 2003 Big Apple Anime Fest) claymation fable "helps audiences discover that sometimes dreams really do come true." The company will release the unusual feature on a $19.99 DVD and in a Collector's Series DVD ($24.99) that contains a limited edition CD of the soundtrack. (Posted March 22)

Special Interest:
Razor Digital Entertainment will release this week "Shorts!" ($24.99 DVD only) a collection of 15 short films showcased at film festivals all over the world, including Sundance, Aspen ShortFest, Starz Denver International Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Included are "What's Wrong With This Picture?" an award-winning commercial parody about the ramifications a child encounters when drawing the wrong picture with crayons; "Ready," a film from the U.K. that explores a woman's experience as she celebrates the last day of her life; "Pishadoo," a comedy about a young man and his quest to learn the family barbershop business; "The World of Interiors," about distraction and procrastination as a man tries to leave his flat; and "Non-Abductees Anonymous," about a support group for people who have never been abducted by aliens ... From WGBH Boston Video comes "NOVA's Descent into the Ice," a trip inside the sub-freezing waters of Mont Blanc's 1,000-foot thick glacier, on VHS this week and on DVD April 27 (both $19.95); and "Yoga for the Rest of Us," featuring three 20-minute easy-to-master Yoga workouts hosted by Peggy Cappy, on VHS and DVD ($19.95) this week. (Posted March 22)

DVD Collectibles:
The Criterion Collection this week will release Ingmar Bergman's incredible "Scenes From a Marriage" (1973) in a beautiful three-disc set featuring new high-definition digital transfers of both the television and theatrical versions, with restored image and sound; a comparison between the television and theatrical versions by film scholar Peter Cowie; a new video interview with stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson; a video interview with Bergman; a new essay by author Phillip Lopate; and a new and improved English subtitle translation. Also this week from Criterion comes Kaneto Shindo's visualization of a Buddhist fable, "Onibaba" (1964), featuring a new high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions, and a new video interview with writer-director Shindo. The story takes place in the wind-swept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, and involves an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law who eke out a lonely, desperate existence, forced to murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for grain. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio's tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals their horrifying fate. (Posted March 15)

From TV to Video:
TV series making their way to DVD this week include: "Kung Fu: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 15 digitally remastered episodes plus the 90-minute pilot, $39.98, from Warner. Extras include "From Grasshopper to Caine: Creating Kung Fu" and "The Tao of Kwai Chang Caine: Production and Beyond" documentaries ... "The Dead Zone: The Complete Second Season," a five-disc set with 19 episodes, $49.99 from Lions Gate. Extras include commentaries with cast and crew, "Making of an Episode" featurette, interviews with cast and crew, deleted scenes, storyboards ... "The Flintstones: First Season," a four-disc set with 28 half-hour episodes, $64.92 from Warner. Extras include "All About the Flintstones' documentary, "The Flagstones: The Lost Pilot," "Wacky Inventions" featurette, early network television advertisements and promo spots ... "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Seasons One and Two," a four-disc set with 25 half-hour episodes, $64.92 from Warner. Extras include "Scooby-Doo's Ultimate Fans" featurette, "Funky Fashions" featurette, "Scooby- Doo Street Smarts" favorite cases featurette, "Take the Scooby Challenge" trivia game, "Get the Picture": How to draw Scooby and the gang, "America Loves Scooby-Doo" music video ... "The Hitchhiker," a two-disc set with 10 episodes of the HBO anthology series, featuring Kirstie Alley, Gary Busey, Peter Coyote, Helen Hunt, Margot Kidder, Joe Pantoliano, James Remar and Willem Dafoe, from HBO Video. Extras include commentaries by directors Paul Verhoeven, Phillip Noyce, and Carl Schenkel. Also due on video this week is the tele-documentary "The Boys of 2nd Street Park," a bittersweet look at the divergent paths taken by a generation of boys who grew up in New York City during the 1960s, from Showtime Video, on DVD and VHS. (Posted March 15)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Due this week from MTI Home Video is "Hellbreeder," a horror-thriller about a series of gruesome murders that seize hold of a small town and the woman who sets out to find the killer -- the Hellbreeder, an evil creature in the guise of a clown, on VHS and DVD. (Posted March 15)

For the Kids:
Toddlers will enjoy the latest Baby Einstein release, "Baby MacDonald: A Day on the Farm," featuring baby-friendly images, including real-world objects and re-orchestrated classical music, that engages little ones in all aspects of farm life, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD from Disney ... The second title in HIT Entertainment's Rubbadubbers series comes home this week: "Tubb's Pirate Adventure" uses the bath as a launch pad into a fantastic world of adventure, featuring Tubb the Pirate, Terence of Arabia, Sploshy of the Arctic, Super Amelia and Deep Sea Reg; $12.99 VHS and $16.99 DVD. For preschoolers this week Anchor Bay will release a new direct-to-video Thomas the Tank Engine adventure: In "New Friends for Thomas & Other Adventures," Thomas rolls out the "red track" to welcome 10 new friends to the Island of Sodor; $12.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD (with games, sing-alongs, and bonus activities. "Look Mom! I Have Good Manners" is an instructional video aimed at kids five and older (and their parents) that uses easy-to-follow demonstrations and fun graphics in an interactive game show format to teach mealtime manners, playtime manners, telephone manners, school manners and healthy manners, $14.95 VHS and DVD from Thinkeroo (www.thinkeroo.com). For the pre-teen set, Disney will release this week two new Lizzie McGuire videos (from the TV show of the same name): "Lizzie McGuire: Star Struck" and "Lizzie McGuire: Totally Crushed," each containing four episodes, $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD. (Posted March 15)

New Releases:
Fresh off its 11 Oscar wins, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" will make its way to home video on May 25 on VHS ($24.95) and two-disc DVD loaded with extras ($29.95), from New Line. Later this year the company will release an extended edition of the film with four-plus hours of the concluding episode of the trilogy. Also due May 25 will be a special collector's edition of "Saving Private Ryan" in a two-disc set with numerous featurettes and extras, $19.95 from DreamWorks. (Posted March 8)

DVD Collectibles:
Two-holocaust themed films make their way to home video this week. Columbia TriStar will release "Anne Frank Remembered" (1995), the Oscar-winning documentary narrated by Glenn Close, while Universal will release Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" (1993), starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall and Embeth Davidz. Extras include "Voices From the List," a 77-minute documentary with never-before-seen testimonials from Holocaust survivors; "The Shoah Foundation Story With Steven Spielberg," a behind-the-scenes look at the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation; $19.95. A Collector's Gift Set will also be available, housed in a Plexiglas case; the set includes the DVD, "Schindler's List: Images of the Steven Spielberg Film" featuring photographs by David James, and the John Williams soundtrack; $79.98.

Meanwhile, Paramount will release this week (in unintended coincidence with the recent theatrical release of "The Passion of the Christ") "The Ten Commandments Special Collector's Edition" (1956), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson, Vincent Price and John Carradine. The $19.99 two-disc set includes commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of "Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille's Epic, The Ten Commandments"; six documentaries on the film's production; newsreel of the film's premiere in New York; 1956 making-of trailer and 1966 and 1989 trailers.

For more modern thrills there's "Dawn of the Dead" (1978), directed by George A. Romero and starring David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross and Tom Savini. The DVD features a superb DiviMax Hi-Definition transfer in 5.1 DTS and Dolby surround. Extras include a commentary by Romero and special effects creator Tom Savini, poster galleries, TV and Radio spots, and a collector's booklet. Anchor Bay is releasing the film in time for the Universal Pictures remake debuting theatrically March 19. (Posted March 8)

From TV to Video:
Piggy backing on Warner Bros.'big-screen adaptation "Starsky & Hutch," featuring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Snoop Dogg, Columbia TriStar will release "Starsky & Hutch: The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.94. Extras include commentary by stars Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul and Antonio Fargas; a "Behind the Badge" making-of featurette; "It's Harder Than It Looks" featurette; "The Third Star" featurette on the classic Ford Torini speedster; TV promo spots ... "Futurama Volume Three" is a four-disc set with all 22 episodes from the third season; $49.98, with such extras as commentaries by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, deleted scenes, animatics, storyboards and Easter eggs, from Fox.

Other TV releases: Rhino Home Video will release this week four new-to-video episodes of the sc-fi comedy series "Mystery Science Theater 3000." The $59.95 DVD set includes "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders," "Touch of Satan," "Timechasers" and "Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues" ... From Showtime comes "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie," a telefilm starring Gena Rowlands, Kevin Zegers and James Caan, about a troubled teen and the people who come to his rescue, on DVD and VHS ... "Red Water" (2003), is a thriller about a husband and ex-wife working together searching for a natural gas source in the Louisiana bayou when their boat is hijacked by a pair of ruthless criminals. Things get more complicated when the group comes under attack by a fresh water bull shark. Stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Kristy Swanson, Dennis Haskins and Coolio, from Columbia TriStar on VHS and DVD. (Posted March 8)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Ardustry Entertainment has a slate of 10 films due this week. Two are family flicks: "Adventures of Young Brave," about two kids who set out on a quest for a fortune in buried treasure with help from the mischievous spirit of Horton Laughing Feather; and "The Robin Hood Gang," a modern tale of two good-hearted kid Robin Hoods on a mission of mercy to save some needy neighbors. Eight are thrillers: "Black Circle Boys," set in the seamy underworld of drugs, pagan rituals and acid-edged gothic rock; "Body Count," non-stop action with Brigitte Nielsen starring as a cold-blooded assassin who teams with a hit man (Sonny Chiba) to seek revenge against an elite corps of Special Crimes Agents; "Broken Vessels," starring Todd Field and Jason London as two out-of-control paramedics whose pressure-cooker lifestyle of danger escalates into a terrifying joy ride; "Dance With the Devil," which stars Rosie Perez as a sexy, dangerous young woman who dreams about a jaguar that licks her naked body and sleeps by her side, whose past bathed in blood make her a perfect match for a dark and mysterious lover (James Gandolfini) who likes robbing banks, trafficking in corpses and spicy voodoo rituals; "Love Kills," which tells the story of the heirs to a family fortune who not only battle each other as they await the reading of the will but must also deal with an outsider's plot to steal the fortune out from under them; "Navajo Blues," in which Police Detective Nicholas Epp (Steven Bauer) moves to an Indian reservation as part of the government's witness protection program to hide him from the Mob who has brutally murdered his partner; "Other Voices," which stars Peter Gallagher, Campbell Scott, Mary McCormack, Stockard Channing and Rob Morrow in the tale of a glamorous young couple who attempt to spice up their lives with a dangerous role-playing game; and "Thugs," which chronicles the life of an ambitious but violent street hustler taken under the wing of a mob boss, who enlists the help of his buddies to succeed in a desperate climb to the top. Each title sells for $9.98 on DVD only.

MTI Home Video will release "Unshackled," a drama about the last prison in America to be integrated and two men from different worlds -- a white sharecropper's son from South Carolina and a black man raised by his mother in New York -- forced to share an eight by ten cell. The film stars Stacy Keach, James Black, Morgan Fairchild and Burgess Jenkins. On VHS rental and DVD. (Posted March 8)

On the Indie Front:
Koch Lorber Films will release this week "Very Annie Mary" (2001), a Sara Sugarman film about a young woman's struggles to proclaim her independence from her father, starring Rachel Griffiths, Jonathan Pryce and Ioan Gruffudd, on VHS ($24.98) and DVD. (Posted March 8)

For the Kids:
From Disney comes "Winnie the Pooh: Springtime With Roo," an all-new Pooh movie featuring Pooh, Tigger, Roo and their pals in a springtime adventure that celebrates the magic of the season and the true meaning of friendship; on VHS ($22.99) and DVD ($29.99) ... HBO Video will release "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child," featuring recast, animated versions of Mother Goose ("A Rappin' & Rhymin' Special"), Pinocchio, The Pied Piper and The Golden Goose, with the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, Chris Rock, Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Heavy D. and Wesley Snipes, on DVD for $19.98 ... "Movin' and Groovin'" is a new Barney video that invites youngsters to clap, jump, dance and sing with 13 hip-hoppin songs, from HIT Entertainment on VHS ($12.99) and DVD ($16.99); a CD single of "The Barney Boogie" will be bundled with each video ... "What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 2: Safari, So Goodi" is a compilation of four episodes from the popular animated TV series, on VHS and DVD from Warner ... "SpongeBob Goes Prehistoric" is a double episode from the wacky Nick animated TV series, on VHS ($9.95) and DVD ($16.99, with eight bonus episodes), from Paramount ... Rhino Home Video will release "Beast Wars Transformers: The Complete Second Season" in a two-disc boxed set with 13 episodes, and "Transformers: Season 3, Part 2 & Season 4" in a three-disc set with 17 episodes ... and, lastly, 4Kids Entertainment will release "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 7: Return to New York" (with four episodes) and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 8: Search for Splinter" (with three episodes) on VHS ($12.95) and DVD ($16.95), and "Ultraman Tiga Volume 2: Fugitive From Beyond," a two-disc set containing 13 episodes, $29.95. (Posted March 8)

Special Interest:
UrbanWorks Entertainment will release a brand new stand-up comedy DVD showcasing Adele Givens, one of the "Original Queens of Comedy." Adele Givens -- The Original Queen" is 60 minutes of laughs as Givens pokes fun at current events, relationships and money in her very own blunt style, recorded live in 2003. (Posted March 8)

Coming Soon:
With the Oscars only a day old, several nominated films have been announced for release to home video. On May 4, Columbia TriStar will release "The Triplets of Belleville," the animated feature that was up for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, on VHS rental and DVD ... The very next week, the studio will release the winner for Best Documentary Feature nod, Errol Morris' "The Fog of War," on VHS rental and DVD (in a special edition with extras) ... And, on May 25, DocuRama will release "The Weather Underground," which lost out to "The Fog of War" in the documentary feature category, on DVD only ... Other new releases include Dana Brown's surfing documentary, "Step Into Liquid," due April 20 from Artisan; and the 2003 live-action version of "Peter Pan," from Universal on May 4 on VHS ($24.98) and DVD ($26.98). (Posted March 1)

DVD Collectibles:
The important event this week is Warner Home Video's release of Volume 2 of its impressive "The Chaplin Collection." Included in this outing are "The Kid," "The Circus," "City Lights," "A King in New York and A Woman of Paris" and "Chaplin Revue," each in deluxe two-disc sets priced at $29.95 SRP. "Monsieur Verdoux," a single disc, will be priced at $24.98 SRP. As with the first set, all the films have been digitally re-mastered from restored vault elements under the supervision of the Chaplin family estate. The six titles will also be offered as a Chaplin Collection 12-disc gift set. Included in the gift set (but not available separately) is "Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin," a feature-length documentary by veteran Time Magazine movie critic and filmmaker Richard Schickel. The soundtracks have been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as original mono. The titles and extras:

  • The Kid (1921) Introduction by David Robinson, Chaplin biographer; "Chaplin Today: The Kid" documentary by Alain Bergala; "How to Make Movies" (1918) short film in which Chaplin shows the building of his new studio, and how movies are made there; "Jackie Coogan Dances" (1920), Jackie Coogan performs impromptu dance at Chaplin studios; "My Boy" (1921), later film starring Coogan; "Nice and Friendly" (1922), home movie with Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Jackie Coogan and Charles Chaplin; "Charlie on the Ocean" (1921), newsreel footage of Chaplin's first trip back to Europe; "Jackie Coogan in Paris," footage shot during charity fund-raising trip; deleted scenes: three scenes deleted by Chaplin for 1971 reissue; "Recording the New Score," footage of Chaplin conducting a section of his new score; photo gallery; film posters.
  • The Circus (1928) Introduction by David Robinson, Chaplin biographer; "Chaplin Today: The Circus," documentary by Francois Ede; deleted 10-minute sequence; "October 7-13, 1926," outtakes from a week of shooting; three home movies from the archives of Lord Louis Mountbatten; "The Hollywood Premiere," (1928), reportage on the L.A. premiere; "Camera A, Camera B," shots made simultaneously from the two cameras used; 3-D test footage by Roland Totheroh; excerpts from "Circus Day" with Jackie Coogan -- an adaptation of a favorite children's book; photo gallery; film posters.
  • City Lights (1931) Introduction by David Robinson, Chaplin biographer; "Chaplin Today: City Lights," documentary by Serge Bromberg; "The Champion" (1915), excerpt; Georgia Hale screen test: "Gold Rush" actress who almost replaced Virginia Cherrill; rehearsal footage, outtakes, on-set footage; footage of Chaplin boxing with visiting prizefighters on the set; historical footage of Winston Churchill visit; footage shot on trip to Bali with brother Sydney; "Chaplin Speaks!" Chaplin speaks for the first time on film during a 1931 trip to Vienna; photo gallery, film posters, trailers.
  • A King in New York and A Woman of Paris Disc One: A King in New York (1957) Introduction by David Robinson, discussing historical and cinematic context of the film; "Chaplin Today: A King in New York," documentary by Jerome de Missolz; deleted scenes; "Mandolin Serenade": rehearsing one of the film's main musical themes; photo gallery, film posters. Disc Two: A Woman of Paris (1923). Introduction by David Robinson, discussing historical and cinematic context of the film; "Chaplin Today: A Woman in Paris," documentary by Mathias Ledoux; "Camille 1926," an amateur movie by Ralph Barton based on "La Dame aux Camelias" and featuring numerous personalities of the time; "Paris in the '20s," images of the city in the Roaring Twenties; "United Artists," signing the contract creating UA: Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith; deleted shots, photo gallery, film posters, trailers.
  • Chaplin Revue Seven funny and touching classics made for First National Studios between 1918 and 1923 are presented on this double disc. "A Day's Pleasure," "Sunnyside," "The Idle Class" and "Pay Day" are presented on Disc One, while three Chaplin silent comedies, "A Dog's Life," "Shoulder Arms" and "The Pilgrim," are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin also provides new music, narration and a small amount of connecting material to the film. Disc One: Introduction by David Robinson; "The Visitors," behind-the-scenes footage of visitors to Chaplin's sets; "Harry Lauder" (1918), footage that Chaplin and the great British music hall comedian shot for an uncompleted short; photo gallery, film posters; Disc Two: Introduction by David Robinson, "How to Make Movies," (1918), short film in which Chaplin shows the building of his new studio, and how movies are made there; "The Bond" (1918)" WWI propaganda film featuring Chaplin, his brother and Edna Purviance; "Shoulder Arms" deleted scenes; photo gallery, film posters.
  • Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Introduction by David Robinson; "Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux," documentary by Bernard Eisenschitz; plan drawings and preparatory sketches; photo gallery, film posters, trailers.

Fox will release this week "Peyton Place" (1957), the melodramatic "woman's film" that fired up a generation with its social consciousness and sex (and led to a long-running TV series), starring Lana Turner, Diane Varsi, Lee Philips, Hope Lange, Russ Tamblyn, Arthur Kennedy, Terry Moore and Lloyd Nolan. Extras include commentary by Moore and Tamblyn, "Backstory: Peyton Place," scenes from Photoplay Magazine Awards, footage from the film's premiere. (Posted March 1)

From TV to Video:
MGM will release this week "Stargate SG-1 Season Six" as a five-disc set with 22 episodes for $69.96 with such extras as commentaries by directors, cast and crew and behind-the-scenes featurettes ... BBC Video will release "Absolutely Fabulous: Series 5" featuring eight episodes for $34.98, with bonus footage not aired in the States. (Posted March 1)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Columbia TriStar will release this week "Hustle and Heat" (aka Ride or Die)," a thriller about a private investigator (Duane Martin) and his munitions expert partner (Vivica A. Fox) who try to find the killer of his boyhood friend, a promising rapper who the police say committed suicide, on VHS rental and DVD ... From MTI Home Video comes "Standing on Fishes" (1999), a romantic comedy about a sculptor caught in the never-ending battle to maintain his artistic integrity while working on a film to make money, starring Meredith Scott Lynn, Bradford Tatum, Jason Priestley, Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Fox and Pamela Reed, on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted March 1)

For the Kids:
For preschoolers this week Paramount will release "Dora the Explorer: Egg Hunt," on $9.95 VHS and $16.99 DVD (with two bonus episodes) and "Nick Jr. Celebrates Spring!" featuring five episodes from Nick Jr shows, including "Dora the Explorer: Egg Hunt," "Max & Ruby: Max's Chocolate Chicken," "Little Bill: The Skating Lesson," "Little Bill: Mr. Moth" and "Blue's Clues" Our Neighborhood Festival," $16.99 on DVD only ... Also for the little ones, HIT Entertainment will release "Angelina Ballerina: Lights, Camera, Action!" the sixth title in the animated series featuring the delightful dancing mouse and her teacher (voiced by Judi Dench), on VHS ($12,99) and DVD ($16.99) ... For slightly older kids Paramount will release "Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown," a half-hour Peanuts baseball outing, on video for the first time, on VHS ($9.99) and DVD ($14.99, with two bonus episodes) ... And, finally, Warner will release "What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 2: Safari, So Good!" with four adventures from the hit television series, on VHS and DVD. (Posted March 1)

Special Interest:
Reprise/Mute Records will release this week "Dave Gahan: Monsters," the first-solo concert DVD by Depreche Mode frontman Dave Gahan, taped at the Olympia in Paris, featuring a tour documentary, in 5.1 surround, $19.99 ... BBC Video has two interesting releases this week: "The Best of Ground Force: Garden Rescues," a collection of the most infamous episodes from the British gardening design and makeover show, featuring such green thumb guests as Bette Midler and Nelson Mandela, $14.95 VHS and $19.98 DVD; and "Changing Rooms: Trust Me I'm a Designer," the hit British DIY show that was the inspiration for the U.S. hit "Trading Places," on DVD only for $19.98. (Posted March 1)

Coming Soon:
Due March 16 from Universal is "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat," starring Mike Myers, on $29.95 VHS and DVD ... Columbia TriStar will release on April 27 Tim Burton's incredible fantasy drama "Big Fish," starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange and Alison Lohman, on VHS rental and DVD ... Also on April 27, Columbia TriStar will release thriller "The Statement," starring Michael Caine and Tilda Swinton, on VHS rental and DVD ... Paramount's sci-fi adventure "Timeline" will travel to VHS rental and DVD on April 27 ... and, on May 11, Fox will release Jim Sheridan's Academy Award nominated "In America" on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted February 24)

DVD Collectibles:
Home Vision Entertainment will release this week "Wisconsin Death Trip" (2002), a documentary/thriller inspired by the Michael Lesy book of the same name. "Wisconsin Death Trip" is an intimate, shocking, and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the 1890s. The town of Black River Falls is gripped by a peculiar malaise and the weekly news accounts are dominated by bizarre talk of madness, eccentricity, and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace, and people are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils, and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists. Extras include commentary by director James Marsh, deleted scenes, "Midwestern Gothic: The Making of Wisconsin Death Trip," and an essay by cultural critic Greil Marcus. (Posted February 24)

From TV to Video:
Series due this week include "OZ: The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set for $64.98 with commentary, deleted scenes, episode previews and recaps, from HBO ... "Queer as Folk: The Complete Third Season," a five-disc set for $119.98 with commentary, "Hot Summer Days" with cast members, "Enter Babylon" you-are-there look at the Club Babylon tour, a wrap-party reel, Kristine W's "Some Lovin" music video with cast and crew, behind-the-camera interviews, photo gallery, and a Season 4 sneak peek, from Showtime ... "Chappelle's Show Season One: Uncensored DVD Box Set" is a two-disc set with 12 uncensored, unblurred episodes featuring deleted scenes, a gag reel, commentary on five episodes and a featurette, from Paramount.

Other TV outings this week: From A&E Home Video comes "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased): Set One," a quirky BBC detective series about a small-time London dick who dies and returns as a ghost to help his partner solve crimes; the four-disc set with 13 episodes of the 1969-70 series will sell for $79.95; and "The Agatha Christie Collection Megaset," a nine-disc set featuring 13 full-length Poirot and Miss Marple films for $139.95 ... From Acorn Media comes "The Forsyte Saga: Series 2," a two-disc set ($39.95) and four-volume VHS set ($54.99) of The Masterpiece Theatre's current adaptation of John Galsworthy's saga, starring Damian Lewis, Gina McKee and Rupert Graves. (Posted February 24)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Columbia TriStar will release this week "Motive" (2004), an urban thriller about a successful business tycoon, married to the perfect wife, whose philandering ways leads to murder, starring Vivica A. Fox and Shemar Moore, available on VHS rental and DVD ... From MTI Home Video comes "Red Blood" (2001), about what happens when a mob hit goes wrong and the bad guys meet their match in the form of Native American Jimmy White Cloud, starring David Midthunder, Lee Whitestar and Victoria Regina, on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted February 24)

On the Indie Front:
Scott Speedman and Laura Harris star in "Kitchen Party" (1998), a teen comedy about a high schooler whose going-off-to-college party has to be restricted to the kitchen of his parent's house, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted February 24)

Foreign:
"Kitsch" (2002) is a wacky Polish comedy about a swindler who passes himself off as a film director and extracts money from naive wannabe actors to mount a production that lacks direction, writing and storyboards but boasts a cinematographer whose major credits include graduation from a culinary school, from Vanguard Cinema on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted February 24)

For the Kids:
For preschoolers this week UAV will release two videos of the classic "Heathcliff" series of adventures of the cartoon cat: "Heathcliff: Terror of the Neighborhood" and "Heathcliff: Fish Tales," each $9.99 VHS and $14.99 DVD ... The award-winning Scholastic Video Collection continues its winning ways with four new animated releases this week: "Courduroy and More Stories About Friendship," "Is Your Mama a Llama? And More Stories About Growing Up," "Red Riding Hood And More James Marshall Fairy Tale Favorites" and "The Scrambled States of America And More Stories to Celebrate Our Country," each $9.95 VHS and $14.95 DVD ... for older kids Ardustry Entertainment will release the live-action "Hildegarde" (2001), about three youngsters whose pet duck is kidnapped by a travelling animal sideshow that doubles as an illegal bird smuggling operation, $24.98 on DVD ... also for older kids is the animated "Aero-Troopers," about a floating society that lives in the skies and is threatened by a dark and evil force that only can be overcome by one brave boy, from Monarch Home Video on VHS and DVD for $19.95. (Posted February 24)

Special Interest:
Less than a month after Super Bowl XXXVIII, the NFL, NFL Films and Warner Home Video have teamed up to release "Super Bowl XXXVIII Champions," a DVD that gives fans an "all-access" review of the game (with behind-the- scenes footage, play-by-play action, post-game interviews and analysis) as well as highlights from the regular season and the playoffs; $24.98 ... The History Channel's three-hour exploration of history's darkest warriors -- "Barbarians" -- that follows the terrifying hordes of Vikings, Goths, Mongols and Huns as they swept through Europe, Asia and Africa from the 9th century B.C. through the 14th century A.D. comes to DVD in a two-disc set for $39.95 from A&E Home Video ... also from A&E is "The History Channel Presents the Statue of Liberty," an 80-minute look at the lady of freedom, on DVD for $19.95 ... DocuRama will release this week two interesting documentaries: "It Was a Wonderful Life," a powerful film that explores the lives of six homeless women, narrated by Jodie Foster with music by Melissa Etheridge; and "Death: A Love Story," a moving portrait by filmmaker Michelle Le Brun of the last year of the life of her husband, award-winning producer and actor Mel Howard, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness just two years after the pair married; both DVDs will sell for $24.95 ... First Run Features will release this week "Split Decision (Decision Dividida)," -- the first entry in the company's New Spanish Language DVD Series -- a documentary about WBC Superfeatherweight world champion Jesus "El Matador" Chavez, whose rise to championship was cut short when he was deported to Mexico for a youthful crime in his past. The DVD will be available in both English and Spanish-language versions for $29.95. (Posted February 24)

Coming Soon:
Due March 16 is "21 Grams," an emotionally charged drama starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, from Universal on VHS rental and DVD ... Swashbuckling "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," starring Russell Crowe and directed by Peter Weir, is due on April 20 on VHS rental and DVD (as a single disc and a two-disc gift set) from Fox ... On April 27 Lions Gate will release the extraordinary "The Cooler," starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello, on VHS rental and DVD ... Two comedies debut on April 27: ensemble "Love Actually," from Universal, and the Farrelly brothers' Stuck on You," starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Eva Mendes, from Fox; both on VHS rental and DVD ... On May 4 Warner will release the Tom Cruise actioner "The Last Samurai," on VHS rental and DVD. (Posted February 17)

DVD Collectibles:
Three classic films debut on DVD from Warner this week: "Blowup" (1966), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles and David Hemmings. Extras include commentary by Peter Brunette, author of "The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni"; music only track ... "The Damned" (1969), directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger and Charlotte Rampling. Extras include a featurette profiling Visconti ... "Death in Venice" (1971), directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Dirk Bogarde, Romolo Valli, Mark Burns, Nora Ricci and Marisa Berenson. Extras include a "Visconti's Venice" featurette and a "Tour of Venice" stills gallery. (Posted February 17)

From TV to Video:
Due this week from Fox is "Roswell Season One," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, with commentaries, a deleted scene, and featurettes; $59.98 ... "The Second Coming" is a controversial BBC production -- by Russell T. Davies, the creator of "Queer as Folk" -- that takes a jaundiced look at what would happen if God loved us so much he decided to send his only son -- again. The telefilm stars Christopher Eccleston as a thirtysomething stuck in a dead-end job, who is found wandering the Yorkshire Moors, starved and bedraggled and claiming to be the son of God. No one believes him, of course, until he turns night into day. Now he has five days to write the Third Testament -- or face judgment day. From Shout! Factory on DVD only, $24.98 ... Also created by Davies -- and released by Shout! this week -- are all six episodes of the BBC's comedy miniseries "Bob & Rose," which aired on Showtime, about a gay man and a straight woman falling in love; $29.98. (Posted February 17)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From MTI Home Video comes "Absolute Aggression," a sci-fi thriller about a future world in which the prison system is run by the private sector, which has created a virtual reality form of incarceration where prisoners' bodies are locked in suspended animation while their minds do battle in lethal games with wealthy sportsmen. Stars Robert Davi. On VHS and DVD ... "I Accidentally Domed Your Son" is an urban comedy about a group of slacker friends who work for a local mob boss. When the boss' son is killed on their watch, the crew heads out on a cross-country trip to change their identities, followed by two hired assassins. Stars Kurupt, Ryan Combs, Tony Cox and Pete Pano. On VHS and DVD from Lions Gate. (Posted February 17)

For the Kids:
Two new releases of the "Hello Kitty" animated series are due this week from MGM: "Hello Kitty Plays Pretend" and "Hello Kitty Tells Fairy Tales," each containing five episodes as well as Hello Kitty games and coloring book pages, $14.95 each on DVD. (Posted February 17)

Special Interest:
"The Celts" is an historical epic that traces the Celtic tradition from the Greco-Roman eras (when the "Keltoi" were a vibrant and richly imaginative warrior people that swept across Europe) to the modern day in Britain and elsewhere. The two-DVD set from BBC video includes music by Enya; $39.98 ... Urban Vision Entertainment will release the second volume in the anime "Nija Scroll" series: "Dangerous Path," which contains four episodes of exciting legends and action. Not rated (contains violence and sexual situations), $19.95 VHS and $24.95 DVD. (Posted February 17)

Misc.:
The folks at Wellspring have an interesting video lineup this week. On the feature side the company will release "Blackboards" (2000), a compelling Kurdish film about a group of male teachers who carry blackboards on their backs as they wander from village to village in search of students, in Kurdish with English subtitles; "Carnage" (2003), a wildly original story about lives that intertwine when a bull is slaughtered and its various body parts end up (as souvenirs, clothes and food) in the hands of disparate people, in French, Spanish and Italian with English subtitles; and "Skin of Man, Heart of Beast" (1999), a thriller about a man who returns home to the Southern Alps after a 15-year absence only to become unstable and threaten his family's existence, in French with English subtitles. All on VHS and DVD at $24.98.

Wellspring's special interest releases include "30 Days to Spiritual Well-Being," an interactive exercise and activity program for physical and spiritual renewal, hosted by Norris Chumley, on DVD, $24.98; and "The Tibetan Book of the Dead," a two-part series that explores the influential ancient text, narrated by singer-songwriter and practicing Buddhist Leonard Cohen, on DVD for $24.98.

And, lastly, the company will release the critically acclaimed French TV miniseries "Dangerous Liaisons" (1994) on DVD and VHS in both French and English versions at $29.98 each. The series, based on Choderlos de Laclos' classic novel of 18th century sexual intrigue and deceit (and which has been made in numerous big-screen features) stars Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett, Natasja Kinski and Leelee Sobieski. The lavish co-production between France, Canada and the U.K. had a budget of some $20 million. An extended three-disc French version will also be available for $49.98. (Posted February 17)

Coming Soon:
The "Star Wars Trilogy" is finally coming home to DVD on September 21, according to a report in the Tuesday, February 10, edition of The Hollywood Reporter. The films will be released by 20th Century Fox as a four-disc DVD box set with each film -- "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" -- on its own disc with a fourth disc likely to hold a newly made documentary about the "Star Wars" franchise and never-before-seen footage, among several other bonus materials. Each of the three films has been digitally restored and remastered by THX for sound and picture quality. The films of the "Star Wars Trilogy" will be sold exclusively as a collection at a still-to-be-determined retail price and not separately, much like last year's "Indiana Jones Trilogy." (Posted February 10)

Other recent announcements: Due March 23 from Columbia TriStar is "Something's Gotta Give," starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Francis McDormand, on VHS and DVD ... thriller Gothika," starring Penelope Cruz, Charles S. Dutton, Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr. is due March 23 from Warner on VHS and DVD ... gripping drama "House of Sand and Fog," starring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley, arrives March 30 from DreamWorks ... comedy remake "Cheaper by the Dozen," starring Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff and Piper Perabo, is due April 6 from Fox on VHS ($22.98) and DVD ... due April 13 is John Sayles' "Casa de los Babys," starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Marcia Gay Harden, Susan Lynch, Mary Steenburgen, Lili Taylor, Rita Moreno, from MGM on VHS and DVD ... smash Eddie Murphy comedy "The Haunted Mansion" arrives April 20 from Buena Vista on VHS ($24.99) and DVD ... romantic teen comedy "Love Don't Cost a Thing," is due April 27 from Warner ... due May 4 from HBO is controversial drama "Elephant" from director Gus Van Sant, on VHS ($19.95) and DVD ... wild English comedy "Calendar Girls," starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, arrives from Buena Vista on May 4 on VHS ($24.99) and DVD ... horror-thriller spoof "Scary Movie 3," starring Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah, Denise Richards, Regina Hall, Jeremy Piven, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Leslie Nielsen and Camryn Manheim, is due on VHS ($24.99) and DVD from Dimension ... and on June 22 Dimension will release "Bad Santa," starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter and Bernie Mac, on VHS ($24.99) and DVD. (Posted February 10)

Postponements
MGM has moved from February 10 to April 20 the six-disc "Ingmar Bergman Special Edition DVD Collection." Apparently, the company discovered that the transfers for "Hour of the Wolf" and "Shame" were not representative of the intended theatrical presentation and the company has recalled the product to release the films in the proper aspect ratio ... Miramax has also delayed the release of "City of God," moving it from February 17 to June 8 because of the film's Oscar nominations. (Posted February 10)

From TV to Video:
Acorn Media has released the final season of the international cult sci-fi phenomenon "Lexx" in two boxed sets: "The Fourth Series: Part 1" and "The Fourth Series: Part 2," each containing three discs with 12 episodes with such extras as CGI galleries, storyboards, behind-the-scenes footage, more; $39.95 each ... "Angel Season Three" is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98, with commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes, outtakes, screen tests and a still gallery, from Fox ... "Xena: Warrior Princess -- Season Three" is a nine-disc set with 23 episodes, digitally remastered in 5.1 Surround, uncut, $69.98, with a vast library of never-before-seen footage including deleted, alternate and recently discovered scenes; cast and crew interviews; commentaries by Lucy Lawless and cast and crew; 30-minute retrospective featurette on the "Sacrifice Episodes"; blooper reel; photo gallery; md DVD-ROM features, from Anchor Bay ... "H.R. Pufnstuf -- The Complete Series" is a three-disc set with all 17 original, uncut episodes of Sid & Marty Krofft's classic series, $39.95, with rare and never-before-seen footage, commentary and interviews with Sid & Marty Krofft, interviews with TV historian Hal Erickson, original 1950s Krofft pilot "Irving," from Rhino. (Posted February 10)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
MTI Home Video will release this week "Killer Weekend," a chiller about three couples who get together for a weekend at a lavish Santa Barbara beachside house only to be terrorized when one of the husbands is murdered and the killer turns out to be among them. Stars Eric Roberts, Robert Miano, Al Sapienza and Jennifer Farrell; on VHS and DVD ... "The Killing Kind" is an action thriller about a neat, efficient and conscientious hit man who all of a sudden lets his emotions get in the way and is forced to face off with his more-efficient boss; on VHS and DVD. (Posted February 10)

On the Indie Front:
"Don't Ask Don't Tell" is a zany low-brow satire about extra-terrestrials who come to Earth to make everyone gay. The film -- which is a darling of the underground film circuit -- is in fact the 1954 sci-fi classic "Killers From Space," shamelessly adulterated with entirely new dialogue and new inserted scenes; from Refried Flicks and Lifesize Releasing on DVD. (Posted February 10)

For the Kids:
The big release for kids this week is "The Lion King 1 1/2" (2004), a direct-to-video sequel that gives more of the back story on "The Lion King" as well as introducing Timon's mother and uncle. Voices of Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Matthew Broderick, Julie Kavner, Jerry Stiller, Robert Guillaume, Moira Kelly, Whoppi Goldberg and Cheech Marin. The DVD comes as a two-disc set. with deleted scenes, a hidden Mickey hunt, "Timon: Beyond the Legend" featurette, "Before the Beginning: The Making of The Lion King 1 1/2," "Grazing in the Grass" music video by Raven, three games ("Who Wants to Be King of the Jungle?" "Timon & Pumbaa's Virtual Safari 1.5" and "Find the Face"). From Disney; $29.99 DVD, $24.99 VHS.

For the wee ones, Warner Home Video will release three new titles this week "Teletubbies: Oooh!" featuring the springtime adventures of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, including bonus footage of the Teletubbies joining children on an Easter Egg hunt, on VHS ($12.94) and DVD ($14.97); "Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu," an animated adventure following the journey to the mythical kingdom of Xanadu by the young descendant of the famous explorer Marco Polo, on VHS ($6.93) and DVD ($14.97); and "Baby Tunes' Eggs-traordinary Adventure," which stars Baby Bugs and friends in a full-length animated feature as they search for the Easter Bunny, on VHS ($6.93) and DVD ($19.97) ... Anchor Bay brings to VHS and DVD this week "The Tales of Beatrix Potter," a 90-minute live-action production featuring choreography by Sir Fredric Ashton and dancers from the Royal Ballet. Music from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and scenes of Potter's gorgeous English countryside add to the magical entertainment featuring the classic storybook characters: Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Tom Thumb, Mrs. Tittlemouse and Pigling Bland. The production -- which was nominated for two British Academy Awards -- blends Potter's imaginary world with realistic elements moving seamlessly through lavishly choreographed scenes; $9.99 VHS and $14.98 DVD ... For parents of pre-teen daughters too old for Disney but too young for some of the racy PG-13 feature films comes "Best Ever Sleepover!" featuring fun sleepover activities and simple messages about friendship. There's games, tricks and recipes galore as five young girls take part in an activity-packed, over-night sleepover adventure. The live-action video includes a "How-to-Guide" filled with step-by-step instructions and lists of supplies for each activity. From Blue Skies Media (www.blueskiesmedia.com), $12.95 VHS and $14.95 DVD ... And, lastly, the battle of good vs. evil continues between two powerful teams of mutant Super Heroes in "X-Men: Evolution -- Powers Revealed (Volume 6)," featuring four episodes from Season 2 of the popular animated series; on VHS ($8.63) and DVD ($14.97) from Warner. (Posted February 10)

DVD Collectibles:
A host of classic films make their way to DVD this week. Fox will release George Stevens' "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959), starring Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters, Richard Beymer, Lou Jacobi, Ed Wynn, Diane Baker and Gusti Huber. The film is digitally enhanced and restored. Extras include commentary by George Stevens Jr. and Perkins; excerpt from George Stevens from "Diary of Anne Frank: Echoes From the Past" and original press conference footage with Stevens; Perkins' screen test; highlights from the 1959 Academy Awards ceremony (the film won three awards); and a stills gallery ... From Warner comes "My Fair Lady" (1964), directed by George Cukor and starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfred Hyde-White, and Stanley Holloway in a two-disc set with commentary by art director Gene Allen, singer Marni Nixon and restoration team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz; "More Loverly Than Ever: The Making of My Fair Lady -- Then and Now"; audio of George Cukor directing Baroness Nina Rothschild; Audrey Hepburn alternate vocals for "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Show Me"; posters and lobby cards with a Rex Harrison radio interview; "The Fairest Fair Lady" making-of featurette; L.A. premiere footage; "Show Me" galleries of black and white production stills, production documents, Cecil Beaton costume sketches and architectural drawings; and more. Also from Warner: "Grand Hotel" (1932), starring Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery and Lewis Stone; "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936) starring William Powell, Luise Rainer, Myrna Loy, Frank Morgan and Fanny Brice; "Mutiny On the Bounty" (1935) starring Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Donald Crisp; "Mrs. Miniver" (1942), directed by William Wyler and starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Richard Ney, Reginald Owen and Henry Travers; "Gaslight" (1944) directed by George Cukor and starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Angela Lansbury, Joseph Cotten and Dame May Whitty; and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939), starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson.

Fox celebrates the 35th anniversary of "Planet of the Apes" with a 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition two-disc set in Dolby and DTS 5.1. Extras include commentary by Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, composer Jerry Goldsmith, makeup artist John Chambers and Eric Greene, author of "Planet of the Apes as American Myth"; a "Behind the Planet of the Apes" documentary; Roddy McDowall home movies; dailies and outtakes; 1968 "Planet of the Apes" featurette; 1972 "A Look Behind the Planet of the Apes" featurette; "Planet of the Apes" makeup test with Edward G. Robinson (1966); posters; film reviews; image gallery; Easter Egg and more.

What landmark miniseries ran four nights in 1983 and garnered an astounding 130 million viewers, making it the second-highest rated mini of all time and winner of six Emmys and four Golden Globes? "The Thorn Birds," of course, starring Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Mare Winningham, Jean Simmons, Richard Kiley, Piper Laurie, Earl Holliman and Bryan Brown. To commemorate the event, Warner will release it this week as a two-disc set for $29.98.

From Home Vision Entertainment this week comes "Allegro Non Troppo" (1976 -- Italy), an irreverent animated tribute to Disney's "Fantasia" by master animator Bruno Bozzetto. Transcending parody, this satiric and delirious colorful feature represents Bozzetto's vision of the world. In six distinct episodes, fantastic cartoon creatures march, slither, and bounce to the classical rhythms of Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel, Sibelius, Vivaldi, and Stravinsky. The DVD features a new digital transfer and stereo soundtrack and comes loaded with extras.

The much anticipated release of Tim Burton's "Ed Wood Special Edition" has been postponed indefinitely by Buena Vista. (Posted February 3)

From TV to Video:
Here's the TV series that everyone has been waiting for: "Gilligan's Island: The Complete First Season" is a three-disc set with 36 episodes, digitally remastered, $39.98. Extras include the pilot episode with commentary by creator Sherwood Schwartz, a "Gilligan's Island Survival Guide," "Tropical Trivia," and "Before the Three Hour Tour": profiles of the castaways; from Warner. Also due this week is "In Living Color Season One," a three-disc set with 13 episodes, with commentaries, cast interviews and featurettes, from Fox for $39.98.

Just in time for the Martha Stewart trial comes "Martha, Inc.," a 2003 made-for-television movie starring Cybill Shepherd, Jeremy Akerman, Jude Ciccolella and Joanna Cassidy, from Lions Gate, on VHS and DVD. Just a little less far out is "Red Dwarf Series III" and "Red Dwarf Series IV," featuring the complete third and fourth seasons of the cult BBC sci-fi series about a chicken soup machine repairman put into stasis who awakens three million years in the future; each two-DVD set includes hours of added features; $34.98 each. (Posted February 3)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Ardustry Home Entertainment will release two comedies and two actioners this week: "Road to a Greek Wedding," about the mating of two unlikely people, an insurance agent and the manager of a dance company; "Hammerlock," about two bumbling prison guards; "Eve of Destruction," a terrorist thriller about biological weapons; and "Captured Alive," about plane crash survivors terrorized by a clan of survivialists; all on DVD. (Posted February 3)

For the Kids:
For pre-schoolers there's "Pinatta's View: A Trip to the Dentist," which helps the little ones prepare for their first trip to the dentist, using songs, live action and puppets, on DVD for $19.95 from Boggle-Goggle Enterprises (www.pinatta.com); and "Best of Gordon," a compilation of episodes from "Thomas the Tank Engine," on VHS ($12.98) and DVD ($19.98) from Anchor Bay ... for older kids there's "The Fairly Odd Parents! "Superhero Spectacle" (five episodes on $12.95 VHS and 10 episodes on $19.99 DVD) and "Jimmy Neutron: Jet Fusion," a four-part episode ($12.95 VHS and $19.99 DVD, with five bonus episodes), from Paramount ... Superman swoops to DVD in the animated "Superman: The Last Son of Krypton," $14.97 from Warner ... and the stylish Cartoon Network's Cyborgs are coming to DVD in "Cyborg 009: The Battle Begins" and "Cyborg 009: Good vs. Evil," $24.96 each from Columbia TriStar. (Posted February 3)

Special Interest:
Celebrating 50 years of automotive legend, Motor Works Media has released "Corvette: The Fastest Years," a two-disc set that follows the gestation from concept car to American icon of this country's most original and long-lasting sports car. The history of the Corvette is placed into context with the popular culture that shaped the country, from the Frisbee to the Beatles, and includes an innovative timeline with 50 videos of Corvettes (one for each year), a sales film from 1953, race highlights, and much, much more; $34.95 ... From WGBH Boston Video comes Volcano Above the Clouds," a NOVA exploration of Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and the world's tallest volcano, $19.95 on VHS this week; it's due on DVD (also $19.95) on February 24. (Posted February 3)

Coming Soon:
Due February 24 is "The Missing," a Western thriller starring Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, on DVD and VHS rental from Columbia TriStar ... "Searching for Debra Winger," a documentary by Rosanna Arquette about the struggles of actresses in Hollywood, featuring a host of stars, arrives March 2 from Lions Gate on DVD and VHS rental ... Jack Black takes music to the kids in "School of Rock" due March 2 from Paramount on DVD and VHS rental ... There's more rock -- of the hard core variety -- in "Prey for Rock," starring Gina Gershon, from Lions Gate on March 9 on DVD and VHS rental ... Also on March 9, Columbia TriStar will release Mona Lisa Smile," starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal, on DVD and VHS rental ... And, on March 23, Paramount will release "Beyond Borders," starring Angelina Jolie, and "The Singing Detective," starring Robert Downey Jr., both on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted January 27)

DVD Collectibles:
The folks at Disney have put together a lovely two-disc Masterpiece Edition of the 1951 animated "Alice in Wonderland." The all-time classic was transferred using a newly-restored audio and video high-definition master. Extras include "I'm Odd," a newly discovered Chesire Cat song; a "Virtual Wonderland Party" with games, sing-alongs and dances; an "Adventures in Wonderland" set-top game; a "Thru the Mirror" Mickey Mouse cartoon; "Operation Wonderland" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Unbirthday Song" and "All in the Golden Afternoon" sing-alongs; a Walt Disney introduction; deleted materials, including song demos and storyboard concepts; one of the original episodes of Walt Disney's "The Alice Comedies"; art galleries; an in-pack "Wonderland Card Game"; and more.

Also due this week is the "Time Bandits Special Edition" (1981), directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelly Duvall and Craig Warnock. The two-disc set features a new widescreen transfer and 5.1 Dolby Surround EX. Extras include "The Directors: The Films of Terry Gilliam" career retrospective, original screenplay on DVD-ROM, Gilliam bio, and a fold-out map of the universe with liner notes; from Anchor Bay.

From Monarch Home Video comes the first release in the new Obsidian Gold series devoted to forgotten black movie classics, "The Spook Who Sat by the Door." The film was mysteriously pulled from distribution after its release in 1973, and has only been available on bootleg video until the filmmakers gave Obsidian Home Entertainment permission to digitally restore the film from the original camera negative, hidden in a vault in Hollywood for more than 30 years. In this political thriller, the CIA is forced by public pressure to hire black agents. Dan Freeman (Lawrence Cook) survives a bogus recruiting process and becomes the first black agent After five years of mistreatment and menial work as the token minority employee, he resigns to his native Chicago, supposedly to become a social worker. In reality, Freeman uses his expertise in espionage to train street gangs in urban guerilla warfare to launch a war against the white power structure. Was the film too hot for Hollywood? Features a slick musical score by Herbie Hancock. (Posted January 27)

Lastly, MPI Home Video will release the latest in "The Sherlock Holmes Collection." Volume Three contains four Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce films restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive: "The Woman in Green" (1945), "Pursuit to Algiers" (1945), "Terror by Night" (1946) and "Dressed to Kill" (1946). (Posted January 27)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Friends: The Complete Sixth Season" in a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $44.98. Extras include a Friends of Friends video guest book; commentaries by creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kaufman and David Crane on three episodes; gag reel; "Casino Challenge" trivia game; and "Gunter Spills the Beans" about Season 7; from Warner ... "The Critic -- The Complete Series" is a three-disc set with 23 episodes of the adult animated series; $49.95; from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 27)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is one of the greatest films of Western Cinema, Jean Renoir's "The Rules of the Game" (1939), starring Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parely, Odette Talazac and Claire Gerard. The two-disc set features a new high-definition digital transfer, with restored images and sound and new and improved English subtitle translation. Extras include an introduction by Renoir; commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske, read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich; selected scene commentary by Renoir historian Christopher Faulkner; "Jean Renoir le Patron: La Reagl et l'Exception" (1966), a French television program about the "The Rules of the Game" featuring interviews with Renoir and actor Marcel Dalio; a new video essay about the film's production, release, and later reconstruction; Jean Gaborit and Jaques Durand discuss their reconstruction and re-release of the film (1965); a new interview with Renoir's son Alain, an assistant cameraman on the film; a new interview with "The Rules of the Game" set designer Max Douy; written tributes to the film and Renoir by Francois Truffaut, Paul Schrader, Bernard Tavernier, Wim Wenders, and others; more. From The Criterion Collection/Home Vision. (Posted January 20)

Star Trek fans will appreciate "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Special Collector's Edition" (1991), a two-disc set with commentary by director Nicholas Meyer and screenwriter Danny Martin Flinn; text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, co-authors of "The Star Trek Encyclopedia"; movie-making stories; a look at the Star Trek universe; "The Perils of Peacemaking" featurette; "DeForest Kelley: A Tribute"; production gallery and storyboards; 1991 convention presentation by Meyer. From Paramount. (Posted January 20)

From TV to Video:
"Jeremiah: The Complete First Season" is a six-disc set of the sci-fi epic about survival in a future ruled by anarchy and danger, with commentary by stars Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, production sketches and a photo gallery, $79.96 from MGM ... On of the funniest of sitcoms ever to grace the tube comes to DVD in "Barney Miller: Complete First Season," a two-disc set with 13 episodes, from Columbia TriStar ... "MTV's Punk'd: The Complete First Season" arrives in a two-disc set with commentary by Ashton Kutcher, Dax Shepard and co-creator Jason Goldberg; never-before-seen segments and deleted scenes, from Paramount (no suggested list price) ... The breakout reality hit "The Simple Life" is already on DVD from Fox with seven episodes of the show featuring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, $14.98 ... "Stargate SG-1 Season Five" is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, with cast, crew and directors' commentaries on each episode, featurettes, and photo galleries, $69.96 from MGM ... And, lastly, from BBC Video comes As Time Goes By: Complete Series 6," starring Judi Dench and British comedy veteran Geoffrey Palmer in a romance series that chronicles a relationship 40 years in the making, $24.98 (Posted January 20)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
From MTI Video comes "A Killing Spring," a murder mystery in which a former cop turned crime reporter investigates the death of the Dean of Journalism at Lanholme College and is pulled into a world of ruthless academic ambition, a world where she discovers that students, professors and even the dean's wife are suspects. Stars Wendy Crewson, Michael Ontkean and Zachary Ty Bryan; on VHS and DVD. (Posted January 20)

For the Kids:
Due this week from Buena Vista is "Pokemon Heroes," the latest adventure in the incredibly popular kids series, available in VHS ($19.99) and DVD ($29.99). The DVD version contains a new "Pokemon Camp Pikachu" short, animation comparisons, a trivia game, and more ... "Look Mom! I Have Good Manners" is a new video from Thinkeroo that teaches children good manners in an engaging, interactive game format. Using easy-to-follow demonstrations and fun graphics, the video teaches lessons in mealtime behavior, telephone etiquette and school discipline. For ages six and older, $14.95 for either VHS or DVD versions (www.thinkeroo.com). (Posted January 20)

Special Interest:
If you liked the recent "Winged Migration," you'll love "Kestrel's Eye" (2000), from First Run Features. The Swedish picture, filmed over several years, is a wonder-filled portrait of a family of kestrels (European falcons) who live in a church tower above a small Swedish town. The amazing cinematography, nominated for a Swedish Oscar, captures the intimacy of the birds' lives as they hunt, feed and hatch their young. On DVD for $24.95 ... WGBH Boston Video has scheduled this week the VHS release of "Magnetic Storm," a NOVA documentary on the weakening of the Earth's invisible magnetic shield over the last few decades, a phenomenon that has baffled scientists around the globe. The DVD version of "Magnetic Storm" will be released February 17. (Posted January 20)

Coming Soon:
Leading off the announcements this week is "The Matrix Revolutions," the final chapter in the "Matrix" trilogy, due April 6 from Warner in a rental-priced VHS edition and a two-disc DVD set. The DVD contains all manner of bonus material, from behind-the-scenes overviews of the special effects to a closer look at "bullet time" to a 3-D timeline of story development occurring between the "Matrix" trilogy, the animated "Animatrix" adventures and the "Enter the Matrix" game. Other announcements: the live- action/animated "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" is due March 2 from Warner, on DVD and VHS ($19.96); "Shattered Glass," about the scandalous fall from grace of New Republic writer Stephen Glass, due March 23 from Lions Gate; the animated "Brother Bear" from Walt Disney, on VHS ($24.99) and two-disc DVD, on March 30; and "Kill Bill-- Vol. 1," Quentin Tarantino's gorgeous meditation on violence, martial arts and pop culture, due April 13 from Miramax. (Posted January 13)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is "Annie Special Anniversary Edition" (1982), directed by John Huston and starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters and Aileen Quinn. Extras include "My Hollywood Adventure" with Aileen Quinn featurette, a sing- along with Annie, an act-along with Annie sing-along, and "The Age of Annie set-top game, from Columbia TriStar. (Posted January 13)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Lost in Space: Season One," an eight-disc set with all 29 episodes from the campy cult sci-fi adventure, along with the unaired pilot episode; $79.98 from Fox ... "Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season," in a three-volume VHS set ($39.92) and two-DVD set ($39.98) with all 10 episodes. DVD extras include the one-hour HBO Comedy Special that inspired the series, "Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm; a 30-minute interview with David conducted by Bob Costas of HBO's "On the Record"; commentary; more, from HBO ... Two classic TV series arrive from MGM: "The Best of Mr. Ed: Volume 1," A two-disc set with 21 episodes, $39.98; and "Green Acres Season 1," a two-disc set with 32 episodes, $39.98 ... From BBC Video comes "MI-5: Volume 1," a three-disc set with six episodes, $49.98, with behind-the-scenes featurettes, 15 minutes of unseen footage from each episode, interviews with cast and crew, and "top secret" information (facts, glossary, agent dossiers). (Posted January 13)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
MTI Home Video has scheduled this week the release of "Lucky," a horror-thriller about a down-on-his-luck cartoon writer who adopts a dog who can talk and who helps him learn how to write again. But the dog also has other hidden powers: he gets inside the cartoonist's mind and turns him into a serial killer; on VHS and DVD ... "Detention," from Lions Gate, stars Dolph Lundgren in a thriller about a high school teacher who teams up with a group of detention students to foil a well-organized group of killers who take over the school as a base for an armored car robbery, on VHS and DVD. (Posted January 13)

Foreign:
Facets Video has five releases on tap this week: "Eva" (1997 -- Argentina), a bio-drama about Eva Peron, the most powerful woman in the Americas during the 1950s; "Valerie and Her Week of Desires" (1970), a Czech New Wave fantasy fairytale which updates "Alice in Wonderland," mixing horror and sexuality with tenderness and innocence; "The May Lady" (1998), an Iranian family drama about a divorcee confronting the contradictory desires of her need for adult love and her ability to maintain a stable relationship with her only child; "The Girl in the Sneakers" (1999), an Iranian drama that explores teenage friendship and rebellion in an Islamic society that prevents non-related boys and girls from being with each other -- even for a short walk; and "Clouds of War" (1973 -- Poland), a widesweeping swashbuckling cloak and dagger adventure akin to "The Man in the Iron Mask," available as a four-volume set; all Facets releases are available on VHS and DVD. (Posted January 13)

For the Kids:
Columbia TriStar will release this week a two-disc set of the first season (13 episodes) of the "Spider-Man" animated TV series, loaded with behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentaries, bloopers, pop-up factoids and more, $29.95 ... Pre-school favs "The Wiggles" star in a new direct-to-video, "Top of the Tots," filled with 17 new show-stopping songs, hilarious hijinks, and endless energy, from HIT Entertainment on VHS ($14.98) and DVD ($16.99). (Posted January 13)

Coming Soon:
On February 10 New Yorker films will release the critically acclaimed documentary about one man's search to solve a real-life literary mystery, "Stone Reader," on VHS rental and DVD ... Paramount will nurture on February 17 the David Spade comedy "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" on VHS rental and DVD ... family comedy "Good Boy!" barks its way to VHS ($22.98) and DVD from MGM on March 2 ... and New Line carves up new territory on March 30 when it releases the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as a two-disc DVD Platinum Series Collector edition (loaded with bonus material) and as a single-disc DVD, as well as a VHS version ($22.99). (Posted January 6)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from Fox is John Ford's classic Western, "My Darling Clementine (1946), starring Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt and Ward Bond. The film has been digitally enhanced and restored and includes the original theatrical version and an 18-minute longer alternate version with commentary by Wyatt Earp III. Other extras include "What Is the John Ford Cut" featurette and a still gallery ... The Cary Grant Collection from Fox includes "Born to Be Bad" (1934), starring Grant, Loretta Young, Marion Burns and Harry Travers; "I Was a Male War Bride" (1949), starring Grant and Ann Sheridan; "Kiss Them for Me" (1957), starring Grant, Suzy Parker, Leif Erickson, Werner Klemperer and Jayne Mansfield; and "People Will Talk" (1951), starring Grant, Jeanne Crain and Hume Cronyn ... And finally, from The Criterion Collection/Home Vision comes "Ikiru" (1956 -- Japan), directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Takashi Shimura and Nobuo Kaneko in a two-disc set; and two Jacques Tati films, "M. Hulot's Holiday" (1954 -- France), starring Tati and Nathalie Pascaud, and "Mon Oncle" (1958 -- France), starring Tati. All three have new digital transfers with restored sound and image and new and improved English subtitle translations. (Posted January 6)

From TV to Video:
Fox will release this week "The Shield: Season 2," a four-disc set with all 13 episodes of the second season for $59.98 ... Warner will release this week "Babylon 5: The Complete Fourth Season" in a six-disc set with 22 episodes for $99.98 ... From Paramount comes two hit TV series: "Cheers -- The Complete Second Season" (1983-1984) in a four-disc set with 22 episodes; and "Frasier -- The Complete Second Season" (1994-1995), also in a four-disc set, with 24 episodes ... Public TV makes a big splash this week with several releases from WGBH Boston Video and Acorn Media. WGBH will release DVD and VHS versions of the James Hilton literary classic "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," and the ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre production of "Warrior Queen," starring Alex Kingston as the fierce leader of her Celtic tribe in first century Briton ... Meanwhile, Acorn will release the first (and unaired) episode of the BBC's "Rumpole of the Bailey." Titled "Rumpole and the Confession of Guilt," the 1975 episode never aired on Mystery! where "Rumpole" ran for a record-breaking 15 years, on DVD only ... Acorn has two new DVD additions to its popular "Cadfael" collection: "Cadfael I," a four-DVD set of the titles available in the VHS collection ("One Corpse Too Many," "The Sanctuary Sparrow," "The Leper of St. Giles" and "Monk's Hood") for $59.95; and a DVD single of "One Corpse Too Many" for $19.95. ... and, lastly, the company will release "Agatha Christie's Poirot Collector's Set 7" with three episodes ("The Adventures of the Egyptian Tomb," "The Underdog" and "Yellow Iris") on a single DVD for $29.95. (Posted January 6)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"The Last Hand" (aka "After the Game") is a 1997 film noir thriller set in motion when a big loser at cards turns into a big winner and ends up dead. When his son come to town to find out what happened, he's pulled into a web of greed, murder and lust. On VHS and DVD from Lions Gate. (Posted January 6)

For the Kids:
Paramount Home Entertainment has two big releases for kids this week: The first new Peanuts special in 28 years, "A Charlie Brown Valentine," which aired February 14, 2002, on VHS ($12.95) and DVD ($19.99); and "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seascape Capers," featuring five aquatic adventures on VHS ($12.95) and 10 episodes on DVD ($19.99). (Posted January 6)

Special Interest:
Paramount and MTV have teamed to release a brand-new workout regimen for 12-34 year-olds, "MTV Pilates," hosted by Yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee, with highly stylized total body strengthening programs geared toward the MTV generation, on VHS ($12.95) and DVD ($14.99) ... WGBH Boston Video will release two NOVA aviation titles: "Who Killed the Red Baron?" an historical investigation reexamining who shot down the famed German pilot on April 21, 1918, and "Wright Brothers Flying Machine," which chronicles a group of present-day pilots, builders, experts and historians as they recreate one of the famous Wright brothers' flying machines. VHS editions will be available this week while DVDs will be available February 17. (Posted January 6)

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August 1, 2004
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).