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More News: January -- June 2005

Coming Soon:
New Line will release on August 30 "Monster-in-Law," the all-too predictable comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan and Wanda Sykes ... "Crash," the sleeper thriller hit about life, love and death in L.A., with an ensemble cast including Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Dashon Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Tony Danza, Keith David, Shaun Toub, Loretta Devine, arrives September 6 from Lions Gate ... Due September 13 is baseball romantic comedy "Fever Pitch," directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly and starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, from Fox ... The remake of "The Longest Yard," starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds and James Cromwell, arrives from Paramount on September 20 ... On October 4 Universal will release Sydney Pollack's dramatic thriller "The Interpreter," starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn ... And, on November 22, Warner will release Robert Zemeckis' animated "The Polar Express," starring the voice(s) of Tom Hanks. (Posted June 28)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Cadet Kelly" (2002), starring Hilary Duff, Christy Carlson Romano and Gary Cole, from Buena Vista .... "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004," a three-disc set with all four shows from the Democratic National Convention taped at Boston University; all four shows from the Republican National Convention taped at Comedy Central's World News Headquarters in New York City; "Election Night 2004: Prelude to a Recount," the culmination of the show's "Indecision 2004" coverage that originally aired as a special one-hour primetime presentation; more; from Comedy Central Home Entertainment/Paramount ... "The Doris Day Show Season 1" is a four-disc set with 28 episodes of the 1968-73 series, from MPI Home Video ... "The Even Stevens Movie" (2003), starring Christy Carlson Romano and Shia LaBeouf, from Buena Vista ... "Game Over: The Complete Series," a two-disc set, $19.98 from Anchor Bay ... "Homicide: Life on the Street: The Complete Season 7," a six-disc set with the final season of 22 episodes, $99.95 from A&E Home Video... "La Femme Nikita: The Complete Third Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.98 from Warner ... "The Long Days of Summer," a 1980 telefilm starring Dean Jones and Joan Hackett, from MPI Home Video ... "Nero Wolfe: The Complete Second Season." a five-disc set with 12 episodes, $99.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Revelations," a two-disc set with all six hours of the recent NBC series; $27.98 from Universal ... "Romeo & Juliet" (1976), an eight-part Thames TV miniseries starring Ann Hasson and Christopher Neame, $24.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Tales of the Unexplained" (originally "Mysteries, Magic and Miracles" TV series 1994-1998), featuring four episodes: "UFO Chronicles," "Creatures of the Night," "London Underworld" and "Mysteries of Life"; $14.98 from Westlake Entertainment ... "A Touch of Frost: A Chilling Sixth Season," four episodes of the British detective series, $39.98 from MPI Home Video ... "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July," a 1978 telefilm starring Dean Jones, from MPI Home Video. (Posted June 28)

Foreign:
Two films from the great Jean-Luc Godard: one recent, "For Ever Mozart" (1998 -- French) starring Madeleine Assas, Ghalia Lacroix, Berangere Allaux and Vicky Messica; and one old: "Weekend" (1967-- French), starring Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon and Valerie Lagrange; both from New Yorker. (Posted June 28)

For the Kids:
Due this week: "The Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Three and a Half-Ish," a three-disc set with 17 episodes, around $30 from Paramount ... and two anime collections from the trading card sensation turned TV series "Duel Masters": "Duel Masters: Go Ahead Make My Duel" and "Duel Masters: Show Me the Mana," one episode each on $9.99 VHS and three episodes each on $19.99 DVD, also from Paramount. (Posted June 28)

Special Interest:
Plenty of documentaries this week: First off there's "Gunner Palace," director Michael Tucker's intimate portrait of the lives of American soldiers in Iraq. Tucker spent two months living with soldiers whose headquarters are housed in one of Uday Hussein's former "pleasure palaces." The unprecedented footage he obtained takes viewers beyond the evening news reports and reveals what life is like in a war that rages on even after the conflict is declared officially over. "Gunner Palace" is a unique portrait of the fragmented, chaotic and stress-filled existence of American soldiers at war in Iraq; $24.99 from Palm Pictures ... "Beyond the Da Vinci Code" (2005) is a History Channel documentary that examines the ideas behind the best seller, $19.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Colors Straight Up," an Academy Award-nominated look at the lives of inner-city children who are beating the odds through music, acting and dancing, $26.95 from Docurama ... "America's Castles," a two-disc set with six episodes of the popular series, featuring a grand tour of such extraordinary homes as the Rockefellers' country estate in the Hudson Valley and Donald Trump's Mar-A Lago in Palm Beach; $39.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Gray Matter," a 2002 documentary about the search for the Austrian Dr. Mengele, a forensic psychiatrist who experimented on the brains of dead children killed during the Third Reich's reign; $26.95 from Docurama. (Posted June 28)

High Plains Films has released two interesting documentaries: "Libby, Montana," about the victims of asbestos posioning in that town, and "American Values, American Wilderness," which looks at the value of wild country as seen though interviews with a diverse group of Americans from across the United States, narrated by the late Christopher Reeve. Libby made national headlines earlier this year when a 10-count criminal indictment was handed down to seven top executives and managers of W. R. Grace and Company. The documentary, filmed between 2000 and 2004, chronicles the history of Grace's involvement in the rural town of Libby, and the events which resulted in at least 200 deaths and many more hundreds of victims of asbestos-related lung abnormalities. The film closely follows the lives of Libby residents as they struggle to deal with what some officials have called one of the worst public health crises in U. S. history. The one-hour "American Values, American Wilderness" introduces viewers to a wide range of people from Florida to Alaska, including among others: a teen-age daughter of Cambodian refugees. a children's book author, a cancer survivor, a Native American tribal chairman, a man increasingly disabled by polio, and inner city kids visiting the wilderness for the first time. These people share their values for wilderness as a place of sanctuary for animals and plants, the source of clean air and water, a place for challenge and spiritual renewal, and as a legacy for future generations. The docu will also begin airing on PBS stations across the country in the fall. For more information on these titles, go to www.highplainsfilms.org. (Posted June 28)

For music lovers there's "Jimi Hendrix Deluxe Edition," a remastered and remixed 1973 rockumentary that offers rare on-stage performances as well as behind-the-scenes access to the guitar wizard; $19.98 from Warner ... "Femi Kuti: Live at the Shrine" is a DVD/CD set recorded live in Lagos, Nigeria, featuring the best of Femi and his band Positive Force's Afro-beat music, plus a documentary; from Palm Pictures. (Posted June 28)

Young girls, women and anime collectors of all ages might want to investigate "Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl's Heart -- Vol. 1: Secret Love," the first of three volumes in a DVD series from innovative director Norihiko Sudo and character designer Kosuke Fujishima. A young girl discovers the joy of music and the courage to share her heart in the tale of shy Miu Nomura, a musical prodigy, in the midst of her first high school crush. The sweeping melodies and visual beauty is a welcome relief from the slam-bam anime tradition. Three episodes for $29.95, in Japanese with English subtitles, from The Right Stuf International. (Posted June 28)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week is "Dark Water" (2002), the Japanese original that has been made into a Touchstone film, starring Jennifer Connelly, scheduled for a July 8 theatrical release. The film, directed by the Godfather of Japanese horror Hideo Nakata and starring Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa and Fumiyo Kohinata, is about a young mother fighting to gain legal custody of her five-year-old daughter. Under pressure to find a place of their own, the two settle for a dark and musty apartment. But little do they expect what lies ahead. Already insecure and uncertain about her future with her daughter, the woman is haunted by the life-like murky water dripping through the ceiling and walls which gets worse day by day. Even more bothersome are the random and unlikely reappearances of a small red bag, which once belonged to a little girl who mysteriously disappeared two years before. Another chilling outing by the creater of "Ringu." On DVD only from A.D. Vision ... "Nada+ (Nothing More)," Cuba's 2003 Oscar entry, follows the adventures of a bored postal worker who fulfills her loneliness and romantic longings by stealing letters and rewriting them into passionate prose before sending them out again to their intended recipients, $24.95 DVD from First Run Features' Global Lens Collection. (Posted June 21)

From TV to Video:
Just in time for the theatrical release of the Will Ferrell-Nicole Kidman "Bewitched" comes "Bewitched: The First Season," a four-disc set with 36 episodes, $39.95; as well as its spinoff, "Tabitha: The Entire Series," a two-disc set with all 13 episodes, $29.95; both from Sony ... "The Outer Limits: New Series" is a six-disc set with 36 episodes, $69.96; each volume (with six episodes) is available separately for $14.95: "The Outer Limits: Aliens Among Us Collection," "The Outer Limits: Death & Beyond Collection," "The Outer Limits: Fantastic Androids & Robots Collection," "The Outer Limits: Mutations & Transformation Collection," "The Outer Limits: Time Travel & Infinity Collection," from MGM ... "OZ: The Complete Fifth Season," a three-disc set, $49.99 from HBO. (Posted June 21)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
The first in a new line of Asian horror, action and suspense DVDs from Saiko Films has been released by MTI Home Video: "Kibakichi," about a half werewolf samurai who wanders the countryside pleasurably until he comes across a town inhabited by geisha who turn into giant carnivorous spiders and man-eating demons ... First Look Home Entertainment has three diverse entries in the DVD market this week: "Immortal" (2004), a weird tale about the Egyptian gods in a floating pyramid in the skies of New York City in 2095 who are seeking a human host body for Horus and who meet their match in a young blue-haired woman who has powers unknown even to her, starring Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann and Charlotte Rampling; "Lost in the Wild" (aka Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7) is a 1993 telefilm about student nurses stranded in the jungles of Mexico, starring Lindsay Wagner, Robert Loggia and Jennifer Lopez; and "Presumed Guilty" a 1991 telefim about a young man wrongfully convicted of a murder he didn't commit and the adopted father who tries to set him free (based on a true story), starring Martin Sheen and Brendan Fraser ... "Pretty Cool" (2001) is a teen comedy about a high school loser who wakes up one day and discovers that he has the power to control other people, starring Will Burke, Alexis Thorpe and Amy Brassette, on DVD and VHS from MTI home Video. (Posted June 21)

Special Interest:
"Riverdance: The Best of Riverdance" features 18 of the all-time best performances of "Riverdance," from its extraordinary beginnings at the Point Theatre, Dublin, with original stars Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, through its phenomenal success in Radio City Music Hall, New York to its latest live recording in Geneva; $24.99 from Kultur ... "Orwell Rolls in His Grave" is a documentary on the modern media and its impact on political culture. Has America entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth? Are the nation's citizens being sold a bill of goods by a handful of transnational media conglomerates and political elites whose interests have little in common with those of the American people? Director Robert Kane Pappas' documentary is a critical examination of the Fourth Estate. Meticulously tracing the process by which media has distorted and often dismissed actual news events, the film presents a riveting and eloquent mix of media professionals and leading intellectual voices on the media, who, together, help to draw parallels between the classic novel of Big Brother totalitarianism, "1984," and the current relationship between the media and U.S. government; $19.98 from Go Cart Films ... "Death by Design" is an intriguing documentary that takes viewers on a guided tour into the invisible world of the cell, and "The Life and Times of Life and Times" is a docu that tells the complex story of how we age and how scientists hope to alter the human gene that determines how long we live; both feature an imaginative interplay of classic films (Busby Berkeley, Harold Lloyd, etc.), animation and scientific research, and both are on one $29.95 DVD from First Run Features ... also from First Run is "Bright Leaves," a documentary that juxtaposes American history, the tobacco business, and the myth of the cinema, by Ross McElwee (whose great-grandgfather created the famous Bull Durham brand), $29.95 DVD only. (Posted June 21)

Wrestling fans rejoice: World Wrestling Entertainment Home Video has released two hot DVDs: "Road Warriors: The Life & Death of the Most Dominant Tag Team in Wrestling History," a two-disc set about Hawk and Animal, $24.95; and "The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the '80s," a three-disc set that relives the glories of Hulk Hogan, Nature Boy Ric Flair, Macho Man Savage, Sgt. Slaughter, Mr. T and many, many more, $34.95 ... Really heating things up is "Carmen Electra's Naked Women Wrestling League, Vol. 1" featuring -- you guessed it -- full-frontal nude wrestling. This series is big in the U.K. and has become a major download from the In-Demand TV service; $19.98 from TRU Co./Sketchy Entertainment. (Posted June 21)

Coming Soon:
Due August 23 from DreamWorks is "The Ring 2," directed by Hideo Nakata and starring Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole and Sissy Spacek, on $19.95 VHS and DVD. The DVD will be available in rated and unrated versions, the later which contains 10 minutes of additional footage ... Also on that day MGM will release comedy "Beauty Shop," starring Queen Latifah, on DVD and VHS ... On August 30 Paramount will release action-adventure film "Sahara," starring Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Steve Zahn and William H. Macy; on VHS and DVD ... And on September 20 Fox will release the animated hit "Robots," on DVD and VHS. (Posted June 14)

DVD Collectibles:
It's Bette vs. Joan as Warner releases two fabulous boxed sets this week. The five-disc "Bette Davis: The Signature Collection" features the new-to-DVD "Mr. Skeffington" and "The Star," a new edition of the Davis classic "Dark Victory," which has been restored from the original camera negative and remastered for optimum picture quality, and the previously released "Now Voyager" and "The Letter"; $49.92 or $14.95 each ... "Joan Crawford: The Signature Collection" is also a five-disc set, but with three new-to-DVD releases: "The Damned Don't Cry," "Humoresque" and "Possessed," along with previously released "Mildred Pierce" and "The Women"; $49.92 or $14.95 each.

Another fabulous boxed set this week is "Very Crudely Yours, John Waters," featuring seven John Waters films plus a bonus disc, "John Waters DVD Scrapbook": "Hairspray," "Pecker," "Pink Flamingos," "Female Trouble," "Desperate Living," "Polyester" and "A Dirty Shame" (NC-17); $102.98, from New Line.

From The Criterion Collection comes Ernst Lubitsch's classic "Heaven Can Wait" (1943), starring Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn and Marjorie Main. Lubitsch's trademark blend of wit, urbanity and grace comes to the fore in this story of newly deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve (Ameche) who presents himself to the outer offices of Hades, where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter the gates of Hell. Although the Devil doubts that Henry's sins will qualify him for eternal damnation, Henry proceeds to recount a life of wooing and pursuing women ... also from Criterion is Robert Bresson's "Au Hasard Balthazar" (1966), a moving religious parable of purity and transcendence that follows a much abused donkey, Balthazar, a beast of burden suffering the sins of man. (Posted June 14)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Gun," a three-disc set with six episodes of Robert Altman's dramatic series, $39.98 from Tango Entertainment ... "The King of Queens: The Fourth Season," a three-disc set with 25 episodes, $39.95 from Sony ... "Macross Plus -- The Collection," a two-disc set with four episodes of the anime series; $39.98 from Manga Entertainment ... "Northern Exposure: The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set with 23 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Reno 911! -- The Complete Second Season -- Uncensored!" a three-disc set with 16 episodes, around $30 from Paramount ... "Rosemary & Thyme: Series One," a three-disc set of the U.K. series combining mystery and gardening, $49.99 from Acorn Media ... "Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars. Vol. 2: Altered Perceptions" contains episodes 6-10 of the anime series set in the year 2070, $29.95 DVD from The Right Stuff International ... "Tilt," a three-disc set, $49.99 from Buena Vista ... "Two's Company: Complete Series Three," with eight episodes of the British comedy about a cross cultural odd-couple (American Elaine Stritch and Brit Donald Sinden) on one disc, $24.99 from Acorn Media ... "Walker, Texas Ranger -- The Final Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, around $35 from Paramount. (Posted June 14)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"Danger: Diabolik" is Mario Bava's 1968 kitch actioner about a psychedelic-era thief (John Phillip Law), based on Europe's popular Diabolik comics, from Paramount on DVD ... "Kenny & Company" is Don Coscarelli's ("The Beastmaster") tale of a young boy's escapades with beauties and bullies leading up to one Halloween night to remember, from Anchor Bay on DVD ... Two thrillers arrive from First Look Home Entertainment: "Trauma" (2004), starring Colin Firth, Naomie Harris and Mena Suvari, about a man waking up from a coma somehow involved in the murder of an English pop star; and "Cold & Dark" (2005), about a police detective who is transofrmed into a bestial vigilante, starring Luke Goss and Kevin Howarth. (Posted June 14)

On the Indie Front:
"Brother to Brother" (2004) features the unrated version of the PBS drama about Perry, a modern gay black artist, and the inspiring legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, on $24.95 DVD from Wolfe Video. (Posted June 14)

For the Kids:
"The Fairly Oddparents: School's Out" features three episodes from the Nick animated series, $16.99 from Paramount ... "What's New Scooby Doo? -- Vol. 5: Sports Spooktacular" contains four Scooby sports adventures, $14.95 from Warner ... "Kirby: Fright to the Finish -- The Movie" is a feature-length adventure starring Nintendo's Kirby, who must fight off mysterious spaceships that attack Dream Land, on $9.98 VHS and $14.98 DVD from 4Kids Entertainment. (Posted June 14)

Special Interest:
"The First Amendment Project" is an anthology of short films on the First Amendment, commissioned by the Sundance Channel and Court TV, featuring "Fox v. Franken," directed by Chris Hegedus and Nick Doob; "Poetic License," directed by Mario Van Peebles; and "Some Assembly Required," directed by John Walter; on $26.95 DVD from Docurama/Sundance Channel Home Entertainment ... "The Nomi Song" (2004), a documentary on German-born singer Klaus Nomi, one of the most profoundly bizarre characters of the late 70s/early 80s New Wave underground scene; $19.98 from Palm Pictures ... "Paul McCartney in Red Square" is a DVD of McCartney's May 24, 2003 concert from Red Square in Moscow featuring 30 classic hits; in Dolby and DTS surround, $24.95 from A&E Home Video ... "H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds -- The Real Story" is a two-disc set that chronicles the various incarnations of Wells' famous tale (including the notorious Orson Welles radio program that panicked the nation in 1939, a look behind the scenes at Steven Spielberg's new film) and explores the Red Planet with Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit, more, on $9.98 from Goldhil Entertainment ... "Cathouse" is an America Undercover documentary on Nevada's Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel where a credit card fulfills one's fantasies, on $14.97 DVD from New Line ... American history comes to the fore in "American Anthem," the story of how "The Star Spangled Banner" has weaved its way through the tapestry of U.S. history. and "America Home of the Brave," which uses film and TV clips, news footage, interviews and reenactments to profile American heroes, from civil rights activist Roy Innes and jet pilot Chuck Yeager to football legend Bob Chandler and combat pilot Arestes Lorenzo, who rescued his family from Cuba, among others; each $14.98 DVD from Westlake Entertainment. (Posted June 14)

After years of requests from film fans, Paramount will release to DVD on August 2 "The High and the Mighty" Special Collector's Edition. Starring the legendary John Wayne, the Academy Award winning 1954 film arrives in a special two-disc collector's edition that includes many special features. This rare classic -- never before available on DVD or VHS -- has been meticulously restored and remastered.

Specs: Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 televisions; Dolby Digital English 5.1 and 2.0 Surround; sub-titled in English and closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired. Disc One: Introduction by Leonard Maltin; commentary by Leonard Maltin, William Wellman Jr., Karen Sharpe, Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales and aviation expert Vincent Longo; Disc Two: Introduction by Leonard Maltin; featurettes: "The Batjac Story"; "Stories From the Set"; "On Director William A. Wellman"; "The Music and World of Dimitri Tiomkin"; "Restoring a Classic"; "A Place in Film History"; "Ernest K. Gann: Adventurer, Author, Artist"; "Flying in the Fifties"; theatrical trailer; TV trailer; Batjac montage; "The High and the Mighty" premiere footage; photo gallery. (Posted June 9)

Coming Soon:
Action-thriller sequel "xXx: State of the Union," starring Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss and Xzibit, will arrive from Sony on DVD and VHS on July 26 ... On August 9 Sony will release surprise hit "Kung Fu Hustle" on VHS and DVD ... due August 16 is romantic-comedy "The Wedding Date," starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, on VHS and DVD from Universal ... Buena Vista will release on August 23 another romantic-comedy, "A Lot Like Love," starring Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher on VHS and DVD. (Posted June 7)

DVD Collectibles:
Fox has added three titles to its Film Noir collection: "House of Bamboo" (1955), directed by Samuel Fuller and starring Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi, Cameron Mitchell, Brad Dexter and Sessue Hayakawa; "Nightmare Alley" (1947), directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Tyrone Power, Coleen Gray, Joan Blondell and Helen Walker; and "The Street With No Name" (1948), directed by William Keighley and starring Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan, Barbara Lawrence and Ed Begley ... Home Vision Entertainment will release this week "Under the Flag of the Rising Sun" (1972 -- Japan), director Kinji Fukasaku's devastating anti-war drama about a war widow determined to clear the name of her disgraced husband, who was court-martialed for desertion and executed. Official records have been destroyed, and the ministry that distributes benefits continues to deny her a pension. Twenty-six years after the war, she seeks out four survivors of her husband's garrison. Each tells a dramatically different story about her husband's conduct, but she is determined to learn the truth. (Posted June 7)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Bad Girls," a three-disc set with 10 episodes from the first season of the BBC series about life inside an English women's prison, $44.98 from Capital Entertainment ... "The Degrassi Junior High -- Season 2," a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.95 from WGBH Boston Video ... "Dragnet 1967: Season One," a two-disc set with 17 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Father of the Pride," featuring the complete series plus three never-before-seen episodes including the original un-aired pilot, $29.99 from DreamWorks ... "Footballer's Wives," a two-disc set with eight episodes from the first season about the young, sexy and rich wives of England's top soccer players, from Capital Entertainment .... "Frasier -- The Complete Fifth Season," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, around $30 from Paramount ... "Home Improvement: Season 2," a three-disc set with 25 episodes, $49.99 from Buena Vista ... "Lois & Clark: The Complete First Season," a four-disc set with 21 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Macgyver -- The Complete Second Season," a five-disc set with 22 episodes, around $30 from Paramount ... "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica -- The Complete 2nd & 3rd Seasons," a three-disc set with 20 episodes, around $30 from Paramount ... "Quincy, M.E.: Seasons 1 & 2," a three disc set with 16 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Rescue Me: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $49.95 from Sony ... "Sanford & Son: The Sixth Season," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.95 from Sony ... "Sopranos: The Complete Fifth Season," a four-disc set, $79.99 from HBO Video ... "Stargate Atlantis: Pilot Episode," from MGM ... "The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years" (1996), $19.97 from Warner ... "Wanted: Dead or Alive," a four-disc set, $39.98 from New Line ... "Wonder Woman: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 1: Abduction," a four-disc set with 16 episodes in the complex web of alien conspiracies and government cover-ups in the mythology story arc from Seasons 1-3, in order, $39.98 from Fox. (Posted June 7)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
In 20 Funerals" (2004), a group of Detroit cops take matters into their own hands when one of their number is fatally shot, starring Big Boi and Lil' Jon, from Koch Vision on DVD ... "Hellraiser: Deader" (2005) is the latest in the Pinhead saga, this time starring Kari Wuhrer as an undercover reporter who gets involved with the army of the dead, on DVD from Dimension ... "Pit Fighter" (2005) is a bone-crunching slugfest starring Steven Bauer and world champion martial artist Dominiquie Vandenberg facing off in Southern Mexico, on DVD from Fox ... "Blood Relic" (aka "Fort Doom") (2004) is a horror thriller about an ancient talisman that turns a Navy pilot into a killer, starring Billy Drago on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video ... Dolph Lundgren is an honest cop who's framed in a deadly drug scam and has just one day to prove his innocence in "Direct Action" (2004) on DVD and VHS from First Look Home Entertainment ... "The Prophecy: Uprising" (2005) is the latest chapter in the "Prophecy" saga, this one about an Eastern European cop and an Interpol agent teaming up to investigate ritualistic murders, on DVD from Dimension ... "Black Cloud" (2004) is a fight drama about a young Navajo man who overcomes personal challenges on the U.S. Olympic boxing team, directed by Rick Schroder and starring Tim McGraw, Schroder, Russell Means and Wayne Knight, on DVD from New Line. (Posted June 7)

Foreign:
Due this week are "Daddy Nostalgie" (1990 -- French), directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring Dirk Bogarde, Jane Birkin, Odette Laure and Emmanuelle Bataille, from Fox Lorber ... "Don Juan " (1998 -- French), starring Jacques Weber, Michel Boujenah, Emmanuelle Beart and Penelope Cruz, from Fox Lorber ... "The Inheritance" (2004 -- Denmark), starring Ulrich Thomsen, Lisa Werlinder and Ghita Norby, from Home Vision Entertainment ... "Ronin Gai" (1990 -- Japan), starring Yoshio Harada, Kanako Higuchi and Shintaro Katsu, from Home Vision Entertainment. (Posted June 7)

For the Kids:
For preschoolers this week: Buena Vista has four new titles in the "Bear in the Big Blue House" series that target cognitive learning and social skills: "Sense-Sational," "Early to Bed, Early to Rise," "Visiting the Doctor With Bear" and "Storytelling With Bear," $14.99 on VHS and DVD ... WGBH Boston Video will release three compilations of its Emmy-award winning "Between the Lions" series that promotes reading: "Fuzzy Wuzzy, Wuzzy?" "Shooting Stars" and "Pecos Bill Cleans Up the West," each featuring three episodes on $12.95 DVD ... "Dragon Tales: Playing Fair Makes Playing Fun!" is the latest installment from the PBS Kids series that teaches the importance of respect, featuring five adventures on $14.95 DVD and three adventures on $9.95 VHS, from Sony ... Three DVDs (with six episodes each) from the new Discovery Kids network/TLC animated series designed to introduce children to science via a trio of ducks, narrated by Joan Cusack, "Peep and the Big Wide World," arrive this week from WGBH Boston: Peep Finds," "Peep Floats" and "Peep's New Friends," $12.95 each. (Posted June 7)

For older kids there's the latest installments in "Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends" series: "Casey at the Bat" starring Elliott Gould, "Davy Crockett" starring Mac Davis and "Pecos Bill" starring Steve Guttenberg; $14.98 DVD/$12.98 VHS each from Koch Vision ... "Power Rangers S.P.D.: Joining Forces Vol. 1" introduces a new breed of Power Rangers, for boys, $19.99 VHS and DVD from Buena Vista ... "Spider-Man: The Venom Saga," a five episode animated series, $19.99 VHS and DVD from Buena Vista ... and "Tokyo Pig," eight episodes of the TV series about an eighth-grader who makes impossible things come to life by writing them in his diary, $19.99 DVD only from Buena Vista. (Posted June 7)

Special Interest:
"Double Dare" is a 2004 documentary on the lives of Jeannie Epper and Zoe Bell, the original stunt doubles for Wonder Woman and Xena; $24.98 from Capital Entertainment ... Lou Reed's "Spanish Fly: Live in Spain," was recorded on August 7, 2004 at the Benicassim Festival in Spain, and features 11 of Reed's finest songs, including re-worked takes of Velvet Underground classics "Sweet Jane" and "Venus in Furs," as well as his acclaimed solo work including the undeniable classic "Walk On the Wild Side," $19.98 from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment ... "The Agronomist " (2004) from Jonathan Demme is a stirring documentary on Haitian social activist Jean Dominique, featuring music from Wyclef Jean, from New Line on $27.95 DVD. (Posted June 7)

Coming Soon:
Due June 21 is weak sequel "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous," starring Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, Treat Williams, Eileen Brennan and Elisabeth Rohm, from Warner, on DVD and VHS ... Warner will release on July 19 horror-thriller "Constantine," starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Djimon Hounsou, Max Baker, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gavin Rossdale, Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare ... On August 2 Oliver Stone's biodrama "Alexander," starring Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, David Bedella, Jessie Kamm, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Christopher Plummer and Rosario Dawson, will arrive on VHS and in two-disc and single-disc unrated director's cut and R-rated versions, from Warner ... Sony will release comedy "Guess Who," starring Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Hal Williams and Kellee Stewart, on August 2 on VHS and DVD ... and, on August 9, Fox will release family film "Because of Winn-Dixie," directed by Wayne Wang and starring Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews, Eva Marie Saint and Annnasophia Robb, on DVD and $15.95 VHS. (Posted May 31)

DVD Collectibles:
The Criterion Collection will release this week "Jules and Jim" (1962), Francois Truffaut's early masterpiece that charts the friendship of two writers over the course of 25 years. Jeanne Moreau stars as Catherine, the alluring and willful young woman who becomes the center point of cinema's most famous romantic triangle (between Oskar Werner and Henri Serre). In the Bohemian playground of pre-World War I Paris, Truffaut's film asks frank questions about freedom, loyalty, and the weight of time on love ... From New Yorker comes two excellent films from famed Senegal filmmaker Ousmane Sembene: the satires "Mandabi" (1968) and "Xala" (1975) ... Disney has added three new anthologies to its Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites line: "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Extreme Sports Fun (Volume 5)," with restored cartoon favorites "Canine Caddy," "How to Play Baseball," "The Hockey Champ," "Double Dribble," "How to Play Football," "Mickey's Polo Team," "Goofy Gymnastics"; Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Extreme Music Fun (Volume 6)," with restored cartoon favorites "Mickey's Grand Opera," "Music Land," "Orphan's Benefit," "Farmyard Symphony," "Pluto's Blue Note," "How to Dance," "Woodland Cafe," "Donald's Dilemma"; and "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Extreme Adventure Fun (Volume 7)," with "Mickey's Trailer," "No Sail," "Good Scouts," "Hello Aloha," "Old Sequoia," "How to Ride a Horse," "Trailer Horn," "Two Weeks Vacation." (Posted May 31)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Dangermouse: The Complete Seasons 1&2," a two-disc set with 17 episodes of the 1980s British animated series; $29.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Dark Shadows DVD Collection 18," a four-disc set with 40 episodes, $59.98 from MPI Home Video ... "Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Home Movies, Season Two," a three-disc set with 13 episodes of the cartoon Network’s Adult Swim series, $34.98 from Shout! Factory ... "King Lear" (1976), a six-part miniseries of the acclaimed Canadian Stratford Festival version of Shakespeare's tragedy, starring Patrick Magee. Ann Lynn, Patrick Mower; $24.95 from A&E Home Video ... "The Presidents," a three-disc set of the 2005 History Channel documentary series, narrated by Edward Herrmann; $49.95 from A&E Home Video ... "The Tomorrow People: Set One," a four-disc set with 26 episodes of the 1970s kitchy sci-fi series; $79.95, from A&E Home Video. (Posted May 31)

Buzzin' the 'B's
Steven Seagal returns to the screen with Vinnie Jones and Nick Brimble to battle a bio-engineered terror in a submarine at the bottom of the sea in "Submerged" (2005), on VHS and DVD from Sony ... In "Dead Easy" (2004), starring Richard Grieco and Joanna Pacula, a husband and wife team play nasty games of one-upmanship with their affairs, leading to lethal consequences, on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video ... A maverick bush pilot and a young Inuit woman are thrown together in a struggle for survival when their plane crashes hundreds of miles from civilization in the Arctic in "The Snow Walker" (2003), directed by Charles Martin Smith and starring Barry Pepper, Annabella Piugattuuk and James Cromwell, on VHS and DVD from First Look Home Entertainment ... In "Devour" (2005), a murderous, Satanic video game called "The Pathway" threatens to cause a worldwide chain-reaction of death unless a high school teenager can unravel the mystery, on VHS and DVD from Sony. (Posted May 31)

On the Indie Front:
Vanguard Cinema will release this week "The Zeros" (2000), about a surreal road trip in which a twentysomething young man (Mackenzie Astin) discovers that he has just six weeks to live and goes in search of his sixth-grade sweetheart, finding the meaning of life, the mysteries of mortality and the joys of karaoke strip bars along the way; winner of the SXSW Film Festival audience award, $19.95 DVD; and "The Ultimate Shorts Collection," a five-disc box set of 33 short films including award winners from Sundance and AFI, with such stars as Ewan McGregor, Mel Gibson, Martin Sheen, Chris Penn, Rebecca Gayheart and Alice Cooper, $59.95. (Posted May 31)

Special Interest:
For music lovers this week there's "David Cassidy: Greatest Hits Live," a concert recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo in London during the singer's 2004 U.K. tour from Kultur/SRO ... "Judy Collins: An American Girl in Concert" features performances and interviews, $14.99, from Kultur/SRO ... "Pop Legends Live: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone" is a program of the group's hits, $14.99 from Kultur/SRO. (Posted May 31)

"The Edward R. Murrow Collection" is a four disc set of the newsman's greatest work: Emmy and Peabody Award-winning programming featuring archival footage, rare interviews, a complete Murrow biography and timeline of his most momentous events: "This Reporter," "The Best of 'See It Now,'" "The McCarthy Years" and "Harvest of Shame"; $59.95 from Docurama ... Documentary "The Dreams of Sparrows," from first-time director Hayder Mousa Daffar and his team of camera men, show what life is like inside Iraq: The truth about Baghdad ... what Iraqi people do, how people live, what people eat ... because all he saw about his country on the Internet and the news was bombs and explosions. This is Daffar's dream ... for years he wanted to make a documentary about Iraq. No American journalist can speak the language or get this close to Iraqi citizens like Daffar has. "The Dreams of Sparrows" captures the fascinating story of life in Iraq, post-war, pre-reconstruction, and in mid-chaos. From Go Cart Films on $19.98 DVD (www.gokartrecords.com). (Posted May 31)

Coming Soon:
"Man of the House," the Tommy Lee Jones comedy about a Texas Ranger who baby sits cheerleaders, will be released July 19 on DVD and VHS rental by Sony ... New Line will release on July 26 the comedy "King's Ransom," starring Anthony Anderson, Jay Mohr, Kellita Smith, Nicole Ari Parker, Regina Hall and Loretta Devine, on DVD and VHS rental ... "Guess Who," starring Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, will come home on August 2 from Sony on DVD and VHS rental ... On August 16 Dimension will release Frank Miller's graphic-novels-to-big-screen thriller "Sin City," starring Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Nick Stahl, Powers Boothe, Rutger Hauer, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Jaime King, Devon Aoki, Brittany Murphy, Michael Clarke Duncan and Carla Gugino, on DVD and $29.99 VHS. (Posted May 24)

DVD Collectibles:
Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Bunuel's surrealist gem -- and perhaps one of the most influential films of all time, "The Phantom of Liberty" (1974). Created as a series of vaguely connected episodes -- an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses -- this perverse, playfully absurd comedy of nonsequiturs deftly compiles many of the themes that preoccupied Bunuel throughout his career -- from the hypocrisy of conventional morality to the arbitrariness of social arrangements; from The Criterion Collection ... New Yorker brings to DVD Robert Bresson's subtle masterpiece "L'Argent" (1983), about the downfall of a working class man at the hands of the spoiled bourgeois. (Posted May 24)

From TV to Video:
"Agatha Christie's Marple, Series 1," a four-disc set with the first four episodes from the new British "Mystery!" series starring Geraldine McEwan, Joanna Lumley and Derek Jacobi; $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "Airwolf: Season 1" is a two-disc set with 11 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "The Andy Griffith Show -- The Complete Second Season" is a five-disc set with 31 episodes, about $30 from Paramount ... "Baa Baa Black Sheep: Volume One" is a two-disc set with 11 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Batman: The Animated Series -- Volume Three" is a four-disc set with final 28 episodes of the popular animated series; $44.98 from Warner DC Comics Classics Collection ... "Behaving Badly" is a two-disc set of the 1989 British drama starring Judi Dench, Frances Barber and Joely Richardson; $39.99 from Acorn Media ... The long-awaited "Chappelle's Show -- Season Two Uncensored" finally arrives in a three-disc set with 13 episodes, about $30 from Paramount ... "Garfield Fantasies" is a single disc with three primetime Garfield specials: "Babes and Bullets" (1989), "Garfield's Feline Fantasies" (1990) and "Garfield's Nine Lives" (1988), $14.98 from Fox ... "The Job: The Complete Series," a four-disc set with 19 episodes, $49.98 from Shout! Factory ... "Law & Order: The Third Year" is a three-disc set with 22 episodes that includes a tribute to the late Jerry Orbach, as well as a memorable profile of this distinguished and beloved star of stage and screen, $59.98 from Universal ... "M*A*S*H Season Eight" is a three-disc set with 25 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Moonlighting: Seasons One and Two," a six-disc set, $49.98 from Lions Gate ... "Newsradio: The Complete First and Second Seasons" is a three-disc set with 21 episodes, $39.95 from Sony ... "Queen for a Day" is a three-disc set with the only surviving seven episodes of the live program, transferred from their original Kinescope elements; $29.98 from First Look Home Entertainment ... "Super Friends -- Volume Two" is a two-disc set with 16 episodes of the animated series; $26.99 from Warner DC Comics Classics Collection. (Posted May 24)

Foreign:
On the foreign front this week Facets Video will release Michel Ocelot's "Kirikou and the Sorceress" (1998), an animated feature about a little boy in an African village who must outwit an evil sorceress; "Mike Yokohama: A Forest With No Name" (2002), a detective thriller from Japanese New Wave filmmaker Shinji Aoyama; and "Late Night Talks With Mother" (2001), a biodrama from Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nemec; go to www.facets.org for more information on these and other Facets' DVDs this week ... Ventura Distribution, Studio Latino and Lolafilms bring home "Torrente 2: Mission in Marbella," directed by and starring Santago Segura, the thick-headed cop from the Spanish comedy "Torrente," on DVD ... Two thrillers arrive from Tartan Video: "H" (2002 -- South Korea), about a gruesome serial killer, and "16 Years of Alcohol" (2003 -- U.K.), about a young Scottish man's journey of self-discovery, on DVD. (Posted May 24)

For the Kids:
Due this week is "SpongeBob SquarePants: Fear of the Krabby Patty," another compilation of the adventures of the Nick underwater hero, from Paramount on VHS and DVD. (Posted May 24)

Special Interest:
"Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE," a two-disc package that contains the acclaimed feature-length documentary "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile," as well as an exclusive live performance of the album, never-before-seen interviews, a recording session featurette, and intimate performances featuring Wilson at the piano, $29.99 from Rhino ... "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train" is a 2004 documentary on the renowned historian, activist and author, with narration by Matt Damon and music by Pearl Jam, Woody Guthrie and Billy Bragg, from First Run Features, $24.95 ... "S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine" is a 2003 Human Watch documentary on the killing fields of Cambodia, also from First Run Features, $29.95 ... "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme" is a 2004 Documentary on hip-hop and rap, featuring MCs Mos Def, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., MC Supernatural, Questlove, Craig G, Black Thought, Freestyle Fellowship, more, from Palm Pictures on $19.98 DVD.

There's plenty in store for comedy lovers this week: "Richard Pryor Standup Comedy Double Feature" includes "Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip" (1982) and "Richard Pryor: Here and Now" (1983), $19.84 DVD from Sony ... "The Big Black Comedy Show, Volume 2," is a comedy showcase co-hosted by Mo'Nique, $19.98 on DVD from Fox ... "Platinum Comedy Series: Earthquake -- About Got Damm Time" is a stand-up routine by comedian Earthquake, $19.98 from Fox ... and "Now That's Funny," a back-stage look at what makes some of America's funniest writers and comics ... well, funny, with Paul Rodriguez, Tom Green, The Smothers Brothers, Carrot Top, William H. Macy, Sarah Silverman, Tony Venture and more, $9.98 DVD from First Look Home Entertainment. (Posted May 24)

DVD Collectibles:
Kiyoshi ("Cure") Kurosawa's international award-winning thriller "Seance" (2002) materializes on DVD this week from Home Vision Entertainment. In the spirit of "The Sixth Sense," "The Gift" and "The Ring," "Seance (Korei)" stars Koji Yakusho ("Shall We Dance") as Koji Sato, a sound effects engineer, and Jun Fubuki ("Pulse") as his psychic wife. When a missing young girl escapes her kidnappers and hides in Koji's equipment case while he is recording sounds in the woods, the stage is set for a scheme to promote her psychic abilities. But the couple's hoax goes terrifyingly awry. Also from Home Vision is Kurosawa's eco-thriller "Charisma" (1999), about a disgraced Tokyo detective, who finds himself in a remote forest where the surrounding vegetation is diseased, the streams are polluted, and all but one tree is dying or dead. Is the solitary tree rare, or a mutation? An eccentric caretaker fiercely protects the tree from a group of forest rangers who want to profit from it and a botanist who insists that the toxic tree must be destroyed. Can the detective redeem himself, and "restore the rules of the world?" (Posted May 17)

From TV to Video:
"The Adventures of Pete & Pete -- Season 1," a two-disc set with eight episodes from the Nick animated series, about $20, from Paramount ... "Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss" (2004), a bio of the famed Hollywood madame, starring Jamie-Lynn DiScala, Brenda Fricker and Robert Davi, unrated and uncut, from Fox ... "Cheers -- The Complete Fifth Season," a four-disc set with 26 episodes, about $30 from Paramount... "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Volume 6," three half-hour episodes of the anime action series, from Anchor Bay Entertainment ... "Little House on the Prairie Season 8," a six-disc set with 19 episodes, $49.95, from Goldhil Home Media ... "Scrubs: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set, $49.99 from Buena Vista ... "Seinfeld: Season 4," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $49.95 from Sony ... "The Simpsons: Bart Wars," featuring four episodes: "Dog of Death," "Marge Be Not Proud," "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" and "Mayored to the Mob" on one disc, $14.98, from Fox ... "Six Feet Under: The Complete Third Season," a five-disc set with 13 episodes, $99.98 from HBO Video. (Posted May 17)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"X-Treme Fighter" (2004) stars Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and Lorenzo Lamas in a sci-fier about a computer virus that invades a virtual reality fighting game, leaving a rebellious teen trapped within, and forcing the boy's father to enter the game and battle his way to save his son; from MTI Home Video on VHS and DVD ... "Black Cadillac" (2003) stars Randy Quaid and Shane Johnson in a horror-thriller about three friends lost in the mountains terrorized by an ominous black Cadillac, from First Look Home Entertainment on VHS and DVD ... "MosquitoMan" (2005) is the recent Sci Fi Channel thriller about an experimental serum that turns people in giant sized bloodsuckers, also from First Look on VHS and DVD. (Posted May 17)

Foreign:
"It's Easier for a Camel ... " (2004 -- France) is an oddball comedy about a young woman coming to grips with her inner fantasies in order to find meaning in her life, on VHS and DVD from New Yorker ... "Green Butchers" (2004) is a black comedy about a pair of socially dysfunctional friends who open a butcher shop, without much success, until an unlucky repairman gets locked in their deep-freezer and becomes the ingredient in a new, organic dish; on DVD from Sony. (Posted May 17)

For the Kids:
"Clarissa Explains It All -- Season 1" is a two-disc set with eight episodes from the Nick animated series, about $20 from Paramount. (Posted May 17)

Special Interest:
"Kinsey" is the 2005 PBS documentary on the great, ground-breaking sex researcher, timed to coincide with the release this week of the feature film of the same name; from Paramount ... "Flaming Lips: The Fearless Freaks" is a documentary on the Oklahoma City, OK crazies, $24.98 DVD from Shout! Factory ... "Sex Pistols: The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle" (1980) is a fictitious bio of the Pistols, $19.98 DVD, also from Shout! Factory ... "Cinderella Man: Jim Braddock -- The Real Story," is a documentary about the average blue collar worker who rose from his amateur boxing status to become heavyweight champion of the world during the height of the Depression, timed for the theatrical release of the Russell Crowe film "Cinderella Man"; on $14.98 DVD from Goldhil Entertainment. (Posted May 17)

DVD Collectibles:
From The Criterion Collection comes "Burden of Dreams," a 1982 documentary on the making of Werner Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo." For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Herzog desperately tried to complete the most ambitious and difficult film of his career -- the story of one man's attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made all the more perilous by Herzog's determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of natives to pull a full-sized, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain ... In "Hoop Dreams" (1994), two ordinary inner-city kids dare to dream the impossible -- professional basketball glory -- in this chronicle of hope and faith. Filmed over a five-year period, "Hoop Dreams" follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates as they navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics while striving to overcome the intense pressures of family life and the realities of their Chicago streets. (Posted May 10)

From TV to Video:
"American Chopper Season One," and "American Chopper: Season Two" both three-disc sets with 13 episodes, $29.96 from Sony ... "Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: The Complete Series," a three-disc set of the classic Hanna-Barbera series spin-off from "Wacky Races," $34.98 from Warner ... "Ed, Edd n Eddy -- Volume 1," with six episodes from the Cartoon Network series, $14.97 from Warner ... "Entourage: The Complete First Season," a two-disc set with eight episodes, $39.98 from HBO Video ... "Have Gun Will Travel -- The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set with 39 episodes, about $35 from Paramount ... "In Living Color: Season Three," a four-disc set with 30 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Joan of Arcadia -- The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, about $45 from Paramount ... "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," (2004) directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Geoffrey Rush, Charlize Theron, John Lithgow, Emily Watson and Stanley Tucci, in the award-winning revealing look inside the mind of Peter Sellers, one of the world's most celebrated talents who was able to adopt any personality for the screen but was unable to embrace a personality of his own, from HBO Video ... "Monster Garage Season One," and Monster Garage: Season Two," both three-disc sets with 13 episodes, $29.96 from Sony ... "My Favorite Martian: Complete Second Season," a three-disc set, $39.95 from Warner ... "The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: The Complete Series," a three-disc set of the classic Hanna-Barbera series spin-off from "Wacky Races," $34.98 from Warner ... "Quantum Leap: Season Three," 22 episodes, $49.98 from Universal ... "Sometimes in April" (2005), a dramatization of the genocide in Rwanda, starring Oris Erhuero, Eriq Ebouaney, Idris Elba, Debra Winger; includes "100 Days of Genocide" timeline, from HBO.

Koch Vision will release three TV dramas profiling great men this week: two-disc sets on "Kennedy" (1983, starring Martin Sheen), "Hemingway" (1988, starring Stacy Keach) and "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years" (1981, starring Robert Hardy and Sian Phillips); $29.98 each. (Posted May 10)

Foreign:
Due from Koch Lorber Films is "Cafe Au Lait (Metisse)" (1993 -- France), directed by and starring Mathieu Kassovitz in an audacious comedy about a romantic interracial trio that must come to terms with joint parenthood ... "Donkey Skin (Peau d'Ane)" (1970 -- France), director Jacque Demy's ode to a classic fairy tale by 17th century author Charles Perrault about a princess who hides her identity as a scullery maid while wearing a donkey skin, starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Marais, Jacques Perrin, Micheline Presle, Delphine Seyrig ... "The Pornographer" (2001 -- French), about a popular pornographer in the 1970s who returns to the industry only to find that the world of erotica has changed and is now ruled by money, starring Jean-Pierre Leaud, Jeremie Renier, Dominique Blanc and Catherine Mouchet, uncut and uncensored.

From Tartan Video comes "Samaritan Girl" (2004 -- South Korea), a fascinating drama about a pair of girls who enter into prostitution to fulfill their dreams of travelling to Europe, only to see their dreams crushed by reality -- and revenge ... In the Spanish comedy "My Mother Likes Women" (2002), when three daughters discover that their mother has come out of the closet they plot to get her new girlfriend out of the picture, starring Leonor Watling and Rosa Maria Sardo, from Wolfe Video. (Posted May 10)

For the Kids:
Two Disney Channel Original Movies arrive this week from Buena Vista: "Get a Clue" (2002), starring Lindsay Lohan, Bug Hall and Brenda Song; and the animated "Kim Possible: So the Drama -- Top Secret Extended Edition" (2005). (Posted May 10)

Special Interest:
"The Work and the Glory" (2004) is a religious-themed tale about the Benjamin Steed family, recently moved to upstate New York from the comfort of their Vermont homestead. In their attempt to settle peacefully into the new community, they discover that the help they have hired to clear their land is at the center of a religious controversy -- a controversy that threatens to tear the family apart. Stars Jonathan Scarfe, Tiffany Dupont and Alexander Carroll, from Excel Entertainment on DVD and VHS ... "Ghosts of Rwanda" is a 2004 PBS documentary marking the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, from Paramount ... "Ninja Scroll: The Series Ultimate Collection" is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $59.95; a limited edition in a tin box with an action figure sells for $69.95; from Urban Vision Entertainment ... Westlake Entertainment Group has released a six-disc collector's series that provides sports fans with up-close and personal looks at five of the NBA's outstanding stars and one of the best coaches in history; "All Pro Sports Basketball Series" includes "Vol. 1: Isiah Thomas: Playmaker," "Vol. 2: Joe Dumars: The Shooter," "Vol. 3: Clyde Drexler: The Glide," "Vol. 4: Christian Laettner: Power in Motion," "Vol. 5: Hakeem Olajuwon: Dream Center" and "Vol. 6: Chuck Daly: Drean Team Coach"; $69.98 the set or $14.98 each. (Posted May 10)

Coming Soon:
Due June 21 is strange psychological thriller "The Jacket," starring Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Daniel Craig, Kelly Lynch and Brad Renfro, from Warner ... Long-awaited cult indie film "Prozac Nation," which was made in 2001 and played the film fest circuit but never received theatrical distribution, and which starred Christina Ricci, Jessica Lange, Jason Biggs, Anne Heche, Michelle Williams and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, arrives July 5 from Miramax ... Warner has two releases scheduled for July 12: Academy Award-winning "Million Dollar Baby," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman ... and "A Very Long Engagement," from "Amelie" director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jean-Pierre Becker and Dominique Bettenfeld. (Posted May 3)

DVD Collectibles:
The big release this week is, of course, the reconstruction of director Sam Fuller's 1980 classic "The Big Red One," starring Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco and Kelly Ward. The two-disc special edition includes the restored film (50 minutes added back in), alternate scenes, commentaries and more; $26.99 from Warner ... Home Vision Entertainment will release the 2003 documentary "Go Further," in which actor/activist Woody Harrelson and his band of "Merry Hempsters" embark on a 1,300 mile goofy road trip to promote "Simple Organic Living," while pop and counter-culture documentarian Ron Mann ("Grass," "Comic Book Confidential") chronicles every leg of the journey, from college campus appearances and encounters with curious onlookers, to a visit with 1960s icon Ken Kesey. With his fellow travelers, including one confessed junk food addict, Harrelson is determined to change hearts and minds, one hemp burger and sweet avocado chocolate mousse pie at a time; $ 29.95. (Posted May 3)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Carol Burnett Show -- Let's Bump Up the Lights!" a 2004 reunion of legendary variety show stars Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner, from Paramount ... "Dawson's Creek -- The Complete Fifth Season," a four disc set, $49.95 from Sony ... "Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Third Season," a five-disc set with 26 episodes, $44.98 from HBO Video ... "Gilmore Girls: The Complete Third Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "I Love Lucy -- The Complete Fourth Season," a five-disc set with 30 episodes, about $45 from Paramount ... "King of the Hill: Season Four," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Motorcycle Mania 3: Jesse James Rides Again," a Discovery Channel special from Sony ... "The Partridge Family -- The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 25 episodes, $29.95, which includes a bonus CD sampler, from Sony ... "Star Trek Enterprise -- The Complete First Season," a seven-disc set with 25 episodes, about $100 in a nifty plastic case, from Paramount ... "Touched by an Angel -- The Second Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, about $45, from Paramount. (Posted May 3)

For the Kids:
"The Sandlot 2" is a DVD Original Movie sequel to the 1993 family film about a group of kids and their summer adventures playing baseball in the neighborhood's local dirt field. Returning are James Earl Jones and the legendary ball-eating dog named "The Beast"; $12.98 VHS and $19.98 DVD from Fox ... Two animated series come home this week: "The Batman: Training for Power," featuring three episodes from the Kids WB! and Cartoon Network animated TV series, $14.97 DVD from Warner ... and "Dora the Explorer: It's a Party!" with four episodes of the Nick Jr. series, on DVD from Paramount. (Posted May 3)

Special Interest:
Two comedy DVDs are due this week: "Platinum Comedy Series: Live in San Quentin," a Paul Rodriguez HBO comedy special, $19.98 from Fox ... and "Three Amigos," a stand-up comedy tour -- uncensored -- starring Carlos Mencia, Pablo Francisco and Freddy Soto, $29.99 from Miramax. (Posted May 3)

Coming Soon:
Disney will release the Vin Diesel comedy "The Pacifier" on June 28 on VHS rental and DVD ... On July 5 Buena Vista will release Bollywood romantic comedy/musical "Bride & Prejudice," on DVD only ... Also on July 5, Fox will release horror-thriller "Hide and Seek," starring Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving and Dylan Baker, on VHS rental and DVD ... Buena Vista will release on July 19 family film "Ice Princess," starring Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall and Michelle Trachtenberg, on $29.99 VHS and DVD. (Posted April 26)

DVD Collectibles:
From The Criterion Collection comes "Divorce Italian Style" (1961), director Pietro Germi's hilarious and cutting satire of Italy's hypocritical judicial system and male-dominated culture, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca and Stefania Sandrelli. Baron Ferdinando Cefalu (Marcello Mastroianni) longs to marry his nubile cousin Angela, but one obstacle stands in his way: his fatuous and fawning wife, Rosalia. His solution? Since divorce is illegal, he will devise a scenario wherein he can catch his spouse in the arms of another and murder her to save his honor -- a lesser offense. In Italian with English subtitles ... "F For Fake" 1976, a two-disc set of Orson Welles' free-form documentary in which the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully engages the central preoccupation of his career: the tenuous line between truth and illusion, art and lies. Beginning with portraits of world-renowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles goes on a dizzying cinematic journey that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripes -- not the least of which is Welles himself. Charming and poignant, the film is an inspired prank and a searching examination of the essential duplicity of cinema ... and "Andrzej Wajda: The War Films," a box set of three groundbreaking films by Academy Award-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda, all set during World War II: "Kanal," "Ashes and Diamonds" and "A Generation."

First Run Features will release this week "The Radley Metzger Collection, Volume 3," a three-disc set featuring the groundbreaking director's trademark lavish sets, witty screenplays, sexual decadence and seduction: "The Lickerish Quartet," "Carmen, Baby" and "The Princess and the Call Girl"; $49.95 ... New Video has uncovered what it calls a treasured cultural relic: "The Plot Against Harry," director Michael Roemer's oddball cult comedy film, presumed lost for 20 years. In 1989, the film resurfaced to triumphant festival screenings and rave reviews and with its retro go-go boots and long black Cadillacs, was widely praised as an astounding and often hilarious spectacle of the late 1960s. The film plays like a cross between a poignantly realistic John Cassavetes film and a prime-era Woody Allen comedy, and follows the rise-and-fall of Harry Plotnik (Martin Priest), a once-notorious Jewish gangster who finds his numbers racket slipping away after his release from prison. Under pressure from well-meaning relatives, Harry makes an erratic effort to go straight, triggering a series of humiliations and petty disasters. Nominated for six Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Picture, when it was re-released theatrically. (Posted April 26)

From TV to Video:
"Airline: The Complete Season One," a two-disc set with 18 episodes, $29.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Cold Case Files: The Most Infamous Cases," a two-disc set with the 10 most notorious cases hand-picked by host/producer Bill Kurtis, $19.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Cold Feet: Complete 2nd Series," a three-disc set with six episodes of the BBC British drama airing on Bravo and BBC America, from Acorn Media ... "Crank Yankers -- Season 2, Volume 1 Uncensored," a two-disc set with 15 episodes, priced under $20 from Paramount ... "ER: The Complete Third Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Warner ... "Highway to Heaven: Season One," a seven-disc set with 24 episodes, $79.95 from A&E Home Video ... "The History Channel Presents: The American Revolution," a fabulous five-disc set with revolutionary documentary programming: "The American Revolution," "George Washington: Founding Father," "Benjamin Franklin: Citizen of the World," "Paul Revere: The Midnight Rider" and "Benedict Arnold: Triumph and Treason"; $69.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Land of the Lost -- The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set, $29.95 from Warner ... "The Protectors: The Complete Season 2," a four-disc set with 26 episodes of the Gerry Anderson live-action British detective series, $79.95. from A&E Home Video ... "Quatermass," a two-disc set of the 1979 British four-part mini-series starring John Mills, based on the 1950s BBC-TV telefilms and feature films, $39.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Survivor: The Australian Outback -- The Complete Season," a six-disc set, priced under $40 from Paramount ... "Trading Spaces: Creative Home Decor With Designer Doug Wilson," and "Trading Spaces: Great Kitchen Designs and More!" five episodes each, $14.94, from Sony ... "Wagner: The Complete Epic" (1983), a four-disc set with all nine hours of the British miniseries starring Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Marthe Keller, Lisa Kreuzer, Franco Nero and Cyril Cusack; $69.95 from Kultur ... "The Waltons: The Complete Second Season," a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Wildboyz -- The Complete Second Season," a two-disc set of the MTV series; uncensored; priced under $20 from Paramount. (Posted April 26)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Erotic thriller sequel "Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough" (2005), starring Dina Meyer, Brad Johnson and Linden Ashby, follows two teenage bad girls in a shameless quest to inherit two very valuable diamonds, on VHS and DVD from Sony ... "The Manson Family" (2004) is a graphic exploration of Charles Manson and his "family" and their notorious rampage of murder in Los Angeles in 1969; the two-disc release includes both the theatrical and director's cuts, an interview with Manson and two documentaries; from Dark Sky Films/MPI Media ... "The Lost Angel" (2004) is a crime thriller about the trials and tribulations of a policewoman investigating a serial killer who leaves messages in cuneiform, starring Alison Eastwood, Judd Nelson, C. Thomas Howell and John Rhys-Davies, on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video ... In "Larva" (2005), which recently aired on the Sci Fi channel, a small Midwestern ranching community becomes infected with flesh-eating larva when an experiment to beef-up cattle goes awry, from First Look Home Entertainment on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 26)

Foreign:
Three interesting foreign films make their way home this week: Federico Fellini's "Intervista" (1987), a mock documentary on the director's career, from Koch Lorber on DVD .. "The Three Marias" (2003 -- Brazil), a tale of revenge in which a mother and her three daughters avenge the death of her husband and sons, on DVD from Empire Pictures ... and "Luna's Game" (2001 -- Spain), a melodrama about a young woman who rises to the top of the gaming world as a professional poker player, from Ventura Distribution's new label Studio Latino.

First Run Features has added two titles to its DEFA Collection line of films from East Germany: "The Architects" (1990), about an idealistic young architect who designs a beautiful small city in the waning days of communism, and "Sun Seekers" (1958), about two young people arrested after a barroom brawl and sent to work in a uranium mine instead of prison, where they mix in with an unusual group of old anarchists, former SS members and Russian officers; the film was banned by the insistence of the Soviet authorities; both titles are on DVD for $24.95 each. (Posted April 26)

Special Interest:
"Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong" is a 2004 documentary on the action-packed world of Hong Kong cinema, from the early adventures of Wong Fei Hung, the first martial arts hero, to the ground-breaking choreography of Chang Cheh to the hyper-realistic fight sequences of Bruce Lee, with interviews with Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and John Woo; $26.95 DVD from Docurama ... Also from Docurama is "Noam Chomsky: A Rebel Without a Pause," a documentary on scholar Chomsky -- called the most important intellectual alive by the New York Times and the Elvis of academia by U2's Bono -- the leading voice of dissent in world politics; $26.95 DVD ... "Stooges: The Men Behind the Mayhem" is an expanded version of the A&E Biography 1994 documentary on the Three Stooges, in a two-disc set with four hours of extras including four digitally remastered shorts, rare radio interviews and unedited interview footage, on $29.95 DVD from Mackinac Media and Laughsmith Entertainment ... "The Full Frame Documentary Shorts Collection: Volume 3" is a collection of six documentary shorts from North America's preeminent documentary film festival, including "A Thousand Words," "The Great Cheesesteak Debate," "Rosalie's Journey," "Texas Hospitality," "Journeys" and "Foxhole," $26.95 DVD from Docurama ... "Howard Hughes: The Man & the Madness" is a documentary on the eccentric industrialist, movie mogul and millionaire, on $14.98 DVD from MPI Home Video ... Kultur/SRO will release two new additions to its Pop Legends Live line: "Pop Legends Live: The Association" and "Pop Legends Live: Gary Lewis & the Playboys," $14.99 each on DVD ... Car lovers will appreciate "Enzo Ferrari," a two-hour bio of the great automaker, on $29.99 DVD from White Star; and "The Indianapolis 500: The Legacy Series," a five-disc set that takes an in-depth look at the history of the Indianapolis 500 from 1960-1990; $39.99 from StudioWorks Entertainment.

Facets Video has three interesting releases this week: "Hamlet by Brook/Brook by Brook," featuring the latest work by stage and screen legend Peter Brook: a stripped down version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and a docu of the director by his son, Simon; on $39.95 DVD ... "Robinson in Space" (1997), a film essay by former architect turned filmmaker Patrick Keiller in which he presents England's historic landmarks and grand estates side by side with suburban malls, industrial parks, landfills, and factories; narrated by Paul Scofield, $29.95 DVD ... and "Total Balalaika Show" (1994), a concert film featuring the Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Ensemble on stage at Senate Square in Helsinki; a highlight of the concert is when the Red Army musicians pick up their balalaikas to join the Cowboys on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"; $29.95 DVD. (Posted April 26)

Coming Soon:
The folks at Buena Vista/Disney have announced two new releases on their Dimension label: Rated and unrated editions of Wes Craven's vampire thriller "Cursed," starring Portia de Rossi, Shannon Elizabeth, Daniel Edward Mora and Christina Ricci; and action-thriller "Hostage" starring Bruce Willis and Kevin Pollak; both due June 21 on DVD and $19.95 VHS. And for TV fans, Buena Vista has announced September releases for two of ABC's breakout hits this season: "Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season" (9/26) and "Lost: The Complete First Season" (9/6). (Posted April 19)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from Warner is another of their fabulous actor-themed box sets, "Errol Flynn: The Signature Collection," a six-disc set with "Captain Blood," "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," "The Sea Hawk," "They Died With Their Boots On" and "Dodge City." The sixth disc is devoted to an all-new feature length documentary "The Adventures of Errol Flynn"; $59.92; each film is available separately at $19.97 ... Due this week from Home Vision Entertainment is "Devils on the Doorstep" (2000). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and banned in its native country, Wen Jiang's ravishingly photographed anti-war epic is set in 1945 in a Japanese-occupied rural Chinese village, where a peasant at gunpoint is compelled to shelter two prisoners. One is a captured Japanese soldier who wants to be killed, the other his Chinese interpreter, who wants to stay alive. A plan to exchange the men for grain leads to the film's harrowing and devastating climax ... Also from Home Vision is "Hanzo: The Razor," a three-disc boxed set featuring the legendary 1970s trilogy based on Kazuo Koike's classic mangas, and starring Shintaro Katsu as Hanzo, the screen's most outrageous samurai anti-hero: an incorruptible and uncompromising samurai cop who packs a weapon more devastating than any sword (just ask any of the female suspects he "interrogates"). The trilogy: "Sword of Justice" (1972), directed by Kenji Misumi; "The Snare" (1973), directed by Yasuzo Masumura; and "Who's Got the Gold?" (1974), directed by Yoshio Inoue ... From the Merchant Ivory Collection this week comes "In Custody" (1993 -- India), directed by Ismail Merchant and starring Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi; and "The Courtesans of Bombay " (1983), directed by Merchant and starring Saeed Jaffrey, Zohra Sehgal and Kareem Samar. (Posted April 19)

From TV to Video:
"Dynasty Season One" is a four-disc set, $39.98, from Fox ... "That '70s Show: The Complete Second Season," is a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $49.98, also from Fox. (Posted April 19)

Foreign:
Wolfe Video will release this week "In the City" (En la Ciudad) (2003), a sexy Spanish romantic comedy from "Nico and Dani" director Cesc Gayo. This charming roundelay of romance about a group of friends sharing their secrets and passions in modern-day Barcelona won a Best Supporting Actor trophy at the Spanish Goya Awards for heartthrob Eduard Fernndez. (Posted April 19)

For the Kids:
"Blue's Clues: Blue's Room: Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" features four episodes of the Nick Jr. series, from Paramount. (Posted April 19)

Special Interest:
Anchor Bay Entertainment will release to DVD this week "Ali, the Fighter," a 1971 documentary that follows the historic "Fight of the Century" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, featuring never-before-seen footage; $19.98. (Posted April 19)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The A-Team: Season Two," with 22 episodes, $49.98, from Universal ... "Adult Swim: Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law -- Volume One," a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Warner ... "Adult Swim: Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Volume Three," a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Warner... "The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Chained," and "The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Phoenix," each with four episodes of the late-1980s cutting edge animated TV series, $14.98, from Koch Vision ... "All in the Family: The Complete Fourth Season," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.95 from Sony ... "The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.98 from Fox ... "The Hitchhiker: Volume II," a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $34.98 from HBO ... "The Irish R.M., Series 2," a two-disc set with six episodes of the British dramatic comedy series about a retired English army officer who becomes a Resident Magistrate in western Ireland in the early 1900s, from Acorn Media ... "The Jeffersons: The Third Season," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.95 from Sony ... "Knight Rider: The Complete Second Season," with 21 episodes, $49.98, from Universal ... "Magnum P.I.: Season Two," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Universal ... "Sledge Hammer! The Second and Final Season (aka Your Last Shot)," a four-disc set with 19 episodes, $39.98 from Anchor Bay ... "Viva La Bam -- The Complete Second & Third Seasons," an uncensored three-disc set with 16 episodes of the MTV series, priced under $30, from Paramount. (Posted April 12)

Buzzin the 'B's:
"All the Way" (2003), originally titled "The Night We Called It a Day," is a comedy drama about an Australian music promoter and his ill-fated attempt to lure Frank Sinatra Down Under for a tour, starring Dennis Hopper, Melanie Griffith, Portia de Rossi, Joel Edgerton, Rose Byrne and David Hemmings, on VHS and DVD from First Look Home Entertainment ... Also from First Look is "Bound by Lies" (Betrayed)" (2005), a thriller about a detective who gets a bit too close to the sultry photographer he's assigned to protect from a ruthless killer, starring Stephen Baldwin and Kristy Swanson, on VHS and DVD. (Posted April 12)

On the Indie Front:
"Big Meat Eater" (1982) is an underground cult fave about a small town overrun with aliens, radioactive meat, murders and boy geniuses, on DVD from Koch Vision ... "Chapter Zero" (1999) is a comedy about a novelist whose life is turn upside down by a sexy publisher, starring Dylan Walsh, Laurel Holloman, Penelope Ann Miller, Colm Meaney, Justin Kirk and Lee Majors, on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted April 12)

Foreign:
Koch Lorber will release to DVD two films by Serbo-Croatian director Emir Kusturica: "Do You Remember Dolly Bell" (1981) and "When Father Was Away on Business" (1985), $29.98 each. (Posted April 12)

For the Kids:
Goldhil Home Media will release four titles in the award-winning KidVidz line: "Paws, Claws, Feathers & Fins," a program that helps promote responsible pet care; "Let's Get a Move On!" that helps kids cope with the ups and downs of changing homes; "Squiggles, Dots & Lines," which helps kids learn to develop their artistic abilities; and "Piggy Banks to Money Markets," which uses humor and songs to show kids how to save and spend wisely; each half-hour DVD sells for $14.98. (Posted April 12)

Special Interest:
"Haack: The King of Techno" (2004) is a documentary about the musically and lyrically inventive yet unknown musical artist Bruce Haack, who has inspired artists ranging from Beck to Mouse on Mars, on DVD from Koch Vision ... "Prisoner of Paradise," a 2005 documentary on Kurt Gerron, a much-beloved German-Jewish actor, director and cabaret star in Berlin in the 1920's and '30's, who was captured and sent to a concentration camp, where he was ordered to write and direct a pro-Nazi propaganda film, narrated by Ian Holm, from Paramount ... "Sunset Story," an award-winning documentary that chronicles the lives of two women living in an old-age home for political progressives, exploring the realities of the aging process as the two women expand their minds even as their bodies are gradually failing, full of warmth and humor, from Capital Entertainment on DVD (available at Amazon.com) ... and "Moving to Mozart," an exercise routine created by former dancer Ann Smith and set to Mozart masterpieces, on DVD for $19.99 from Acorn Media. (Posted April 12)

Coming Soon:
Due May 3: "Enduring Love," starring Daniel Craig, Rhys Ifans, Samantha Morton and Bill Nighy, from Paramount; uplifting French drama "Les Choristes" from Miramax; "The Phantom of the Opera," directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Ciarcan Hinds and Simon Callow, from Warner ... Due May 10: "Alone in the Dark," starring Christian Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff, from Lions Gate; "Assault on Precinct 13," starring Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke, Ja Rule and Maria Bello, from Universal; and family film "Racing Stripes," starring Bruce Greenwood and Hayden Panettiere, from Warner ... On May 17 Paramount will release Matt Stone and Trey Parker's puppet sci-fi actioner "Team America: World Police" ... Ice Cube's comedy "Are We There Yet?" rides to home video on May 24, from Sony ... Scarer "Boogeyman," starring Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel and Lucy Lawless, comes out of the dark May 24 from Sony ... On June 7, MGM will release "Get Shorty" sequel "Be Cool," starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Danny DeVito, Harvey Keitel, Andre 3000, Cedric the Entertainer, the Rock and Vince Vaughn ... and, on June 14, Sony will release Will Smith's comedy blockbuster "Hitch." (Posted April 5)

DVD Collectibles:
Home Vision will release this week the hard-to-find cult classic "More" (1969), Barbet Schroeder's directorial debut featuring a spectacular soundtrack by Pink Floyd. The film is about a college grad who hitchhikes from Lubeck, Germany, to Paris, where he teams up with a female American expatriate and the pair chase the sun to the island of Ibiza. Made in the late sixties, this treatment of pleasure, pain and tragedy stands apart from numerous counterculture exploitation films. "More" never resorts to predictable LSD-induced stylistics, but adopts a style of objectivity to illuminate the ideas and emotions that contribute to a lifestyle of destructive excess. Also from Home Vision is "Zero Day (2003), a "video diary" of Andre (Andre Keuck) and Cal (Calvin Robertson), two best friends and alienated high school students who have meticulously planned a "big-ass mission" that will shock and terrify their community and school. With his uncanny unprofessional cast and unflinching intimacy, director Ben Coccio's award-winning first feature is a disturbingly authentic and harrowing look at a tragedy as unthinkable as today's headlines. (Posted April 5)

From TV to Video:
"Deep Evil" (2004) is a sci-fi horror outing about a team of military ops sent to secure an incident at a top-secret lab in Alaska, uncovering a horrible evil that threatens humankind, starring Lorenzo Lamas and Ona Grauer, on VHS and DVD from First Look Home Entertainment ... "Dirty War" (2005) is a fictional story of a radiological "dirty bomb" attack on London and its terrifying aftermath, from HBO ... "The Greatest American Hero Season Two" is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $44.98 from Anchor Bay ... "Queer as Folk: The Complete 4th Season," a five-disc set, $109.98 from Showtime ... "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry: Season Two," with seven half-hour episodes on one disc, $19.96 from HBO ... "Suburban Madness" (2004) stars Sela Ward, Elizabeth Pena and Brett Cullen in a docu-drama about a real-life desperate housewife who killed her philandering husband by running him over with her Mercedes automobile, not once, not twice, but three times, from Sony ... "The West Wing: The Complete Fourth Season" is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner. (Posted April 5)

For the Kids:
"All Grown Up: Interview With a Campfire" features three episodes of the Nick animated series, from Paramount ... "As Told by Ginger: Far From Home" features three episodes of the Nick animated series, from Paramount ... "Berenstain Bears: Bears Take a Car Trip" is the latest release from the popular PBS Kids series, featuring six episodes on DVD ($14.95) and four on VHS ($9.95) ... "Dragon's World: A Fantasy Made Real" (2004) is an animated TV feature that visualizes what the world would have been like if incredible, fire-breathing dragons actually did exist, using computer animation to produce vivid and dramatic re-creations as well as life-like models of internal organs, giving viewers a view of the dragon from the inside out; $19.94 from Sony. (Posted April 5)

Special Interest:
"Bill Maher: Be More Cynical" is an all-new stand-up comedy special in which Maher displays his celebrated biting wit as he rips through a host of contemporary topics, from the evils of big government to the bewildering power women have over men, $19.97 from HBO ... Kultur/SRO will release three concert DVDs this week: "California Classic Rock," a documentary on the 1986 Glen Helen Park, Calif. reunion concert of classic 1960s acts, including Canned Heat, Buffalo Springfield, Eric Burdon, the Chambers Brothers, War, Spirit, more, $14.99; "Gerry and the Pacemakers: Live at the Pavillion," a live concert filmed at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow, $14.99; and "Lulu Live!" filmed during Lulu's 1989 Red Hot Tour, $14.99 ... "Sacred Planet" uses stunning photography to transport viewers to some of the most fascinating, exotic and remote sites on Earth, offering insights into our planet's diverse landscapes, people and animals, $19.99 from Disney DVD-only ... "George Barris: Cruisin' Back to the '50s" is a unique automotive tour of the 1950s by the "King of the Kustomizers" -- set against a background of '50s music, surrounded by red lipstick and bobby socks -- with an insider's look at high-quality, original customs, muscle cars, hot rods and TV and movie cars; on $14.98 DVD from Westside Entertainment ... and from World Wrestling Entertainment Home Video comes "No Way Out," a no-holds barred, barbed wire steel cage match between WWE champion "Bradshaw" Layfield and 7-foot, 470-pound Big Show, $24.95 DVD; and "Viva Las Divas," featuring the WWE divas gracing the beaches and exotic locales of Mexico, on $24.95 DVD. (Posted April 5)

DVD Collectibles:
The Criterion Collection will release this week a Special Edition Double-Disc Set of director Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "Kagemusha" (1980). The ravishing movie has been restored with a high-definition digital transfer and enhanced for widescreen televisions. Extras include commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; a 40-minute documentary on the making of "Kagemusha"; "Helping a Master: Coppola, Lucas, and Kagemusha," featuring new video interviews with executive producers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas; and much much more; $39.95. (Posted March 29)

From TV to Video:
Remember "The Saint"? No, not the weak 1997 Val Kilmer big screen Saint, nor the 1989 TV movies, but the 1960s swingin' London Roger Moore Saint. Well, the folks at A&E Home Video -- who have previously released the series' color episodes (which began airing in 1967) of Leslie Charteris' modern day suave Robin Hood -- have gone back to the vaults and released all 12 rare black and white episodes from the series 1962 debut season. The wittily written stories -- packed with action and filmed at exotic locales -- still hold up after all these years. Moore was at his best here as Simon Templar, a mystery man with a heart of gold who had a keen eye for injustice and damsels in distress. The $59.95 three-disc set lacks any extras, but who cares when the stories take you back to an era when chivalry still ruled the TV airwaves. Here's hoping A&E will soon release the remainder of the series (which ended in 1969) .. A&E will also release on DVD this week the fabulous and instructive History Channel documentary "The French Revolution," a 100-minute look at the revolution that transformed Europe, with interviews with scholars, dramatic re-creations and paintings; narrated by Edward Herrmann. If your high school or college history is hazy on this transforming milestone of Western civilization, be prepared to relive the events of July 14, 1789 and after, and refresh your memories of Robespierre, Danton and Marat; $24.95 ... Acorn Media will release "Hetty Wainthropp: Missing Persons," the pilot episode of the popular PBS Mystery series about the middle-aged, middle-class matron sleuth (played by Patricia Routledge). This feature -- adapted from the novel by David Cook -- aired six years before the launch of the series, and has never aired in North America; $24.95.

Other releases due this week: "America's Next Top Model: Cycle One," a three-disc set with nine episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "Dark Shadows DVD Collection 17," a four-disc set with 40 episodes, $59.98 from MPI Home Video ... "Hustle," a 2004 biodrama, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Tom Sizemore and George DiCenzo, about Pete Rose, from Buena Vista ... "The Lone Gunmen: The Complete Series," a three-disc set with all 13 episodes of the "X-Files" spinoff, $39.98 from Fox ... "Murder, She Wrote: Season One," a three-disc set with 21 episodes, $49.98, from Universal ... "Poirot 12 Collector's Set," three hour-long episodes ("The King of Clubs," "The Dream" and "The Incredible Theft") from the popular TV series starring David Suchet as Agatha Christie's sartorially elegant sleuth, $29.99 from Acorn Media ... "A Touch of Frost Season 5," $49.98 from MPI Home Video. (Posted March 29)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Jean Reno returns as French Inspector Pierre Niemans in "Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse" (2004), an exciting (and at times gory) thriller (and sequel to the 2000 "Crimson Rivers") in which the detective must investigate the ritual murders of the 12 members of a religious sect whose deaths foretell the coming of the Apocalypse. Reno, as ever, is incredibly watchable, and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat; on DVD from Sony ... "Ring of Darkness" (2004) is a gothic thriller about an unearthly rock band who must recruit a new member to replace their missing lead singer, starring Ryan Starr and Adrienne Barbeau, from horror-meister David DeCoteau, on VHS and DVD from First Look Home Entertainment ... In "Remedy" (2005), a New York City artist thinks he has witnessed his best friend's murder -- but due to a drug problem he can't recall what happened. Now he's the lead suspect in the murder investigation. Stars Frank Vincent, Vincent Pastore, and Christian Maelen; on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video ... "Malibu Spring Break" (2003) is a kind of updated "Beach Blanket Bingo," starring Charity Rahmer, Kristin Novak and Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra, about a pair of Arizona girls who head out West for a spring break of fun; from Vanguard Cinema on DVD. (Posted March 29)

Foreign:
Facets Video has this week "Eroica" (1957), the second DVD release in the rediscovery of overlooked and underappeciated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Munk, who led the "Polish School" of filmmakers in the late 1950s and 1960s; and "Pearls of the Deep" (1965), a compilation of work by five directors of the Czech New Wave," including Jiri Menzel, Jaromil Jires, Vera Chytilova, Jan Nemec, and Evald Schorm; both have $29.95 price tags ... Empire Pictures will release "Almost Peaceful" (2004), a French drama set in post-WWII Paris that follows the lives of a group of Jewish workers who attempt to restart their lives and rekindle their happiness in the shadow of the unspeakable horrors of the war; on $26.98 DVD. (Posted March 29)

On the Indie Front:
Facets Video will release this week "Sonic Outlaws," a 1995 over-the-edge documentary that looks at the issues involved in the appropriation and fair use of recorded material, revolving around the band Negativland's parody of U2 and Casey Kasem and the legal controversies over intellectual property; and "Spectres of the Spectrun" (1999), in which agitprop director Craig Baldwin (who put together "Sonic Outlaws") weaves together footage from early TV shows, educational films, Hollywood movies, advertisements and cartoons with live-action footage and no-budget special effects to create a paranoid science fiction epic set in the year 2007; both releases are priced at $24.95 each. (Posted March 29)

For the Kids:
A&E Home Video will release a two-disc set with 13 episodes of the stop-motion animated series "The Wind in the Willows: The Complete First Series," $29.95. (Posted March 29)

Coming Soon::
Due April 19 is the smash hit "Meet the Fockers," starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Owen Wilson and Tim Blake Nelson, on DVD and VHS from Universal .... Delightful comedy "In Good Company," starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansson, will arrive May 10 from Universal ... On May 17 Sony will release "Seinfeld: Season 4," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, $49.95, loaded with extras ... Also on May 17 chiller "White Noise," starring Michael Keaton, will gravitate to DVD and VHS from Universal ... On May 24 Warner will release Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Adam Scott, Gwen Stefani, Danny Huston, Ian Holm and Willem Dafoe, in a two-disc DVD set and VHS ... On May 24, Lions Gate will release "Moonlighting: Seasons One and Two" in a six-disc set for $49.98. (Posted March 22)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Doogie Howser, M.D. Season One," a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $39.98 from Anchor Bay ... "The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season," a four-disc set with 28 episodes, $44.98 from Warner ... "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. 5," with four half-hour episodes encoded directly from high-definition masters, from Anchor Bay ... <"The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season One," a two-disc set with 14 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Pimp My Ride -- The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 15 episodes of the MTV series, under $30 from Paramount ... "The Pretender Season One," a four-disc set with 20 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol. 1," 19 three-minute and one five-minute "chapters" that aired on the Cartoon Network in fall 2003-Spring 2004, from Fox. (Posted March 22)

Foreign:
The Global Lens Collection is a new DVD series featuring new cinema from the developing world. The label is a partnership between First Run Features and The Global Film Initiative, a New York-based foundation dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema. The first two releases are "Rachida" (Algeria), the first full-length feature film by Yamina Bachir, evoking memories of the worst atrocities of the terror in Algeria; and Claudio Assis' "Mango Yellow" (Brazil), in which the hothouse atmosphere of Brazil comes alive and where loneliness and lust combine in a volatile brew of provocative cinema. (Posted March 22)

For the Kids:
Due this week: "The Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies," a four-disc set with 15 capers, $64.92 from Warner ... "Dora the Explorer: Big Sister Dora," four episodes of the Nick Jr. series, from Paramount ... and "Undercover Kids," a family adventure about twins with telepathic powers who go "undercover" to find the culprit who committed vandalism at their school, from MTI Home Video on VHS and DVD. (Posted March 22)

Special Interest:
"The French Chef With Julia Child" features 18 episodes from Julia Child's groundbreaking public television series with such extras as downloadable recipes from "The French Chef Cookbook," a bibliography of selected Julia Child cookbooks, and the very first episode of "The French Chef," featuring the classic recipe Boeuf Bourguignon, $39.95 from WGBH Boston Video) ... "Arguing the World" is a fascinating look at four of America's most important post-WWII thinkers: Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer and Irving Kristol -- four men who tried to change the world with their ideas. Weaving personal reminiscences, images of old New York, and the voices of friends and critics, the film surveys their roles as political and social critics at a time when thoughts and ideas ruled the cultural landscape of America; $29.95 from First Run Features. (Posted March 22)

Coming Soon:
On April 5 comic book hero "Elektra," starring Jennifer Garner, will fight its way to home video on DVD and VHS rental, from Fox ... On May 3 Warner will release "The Big Red One: The Reconstruction," Sam Fuller's acclaimed 1980 classic, restored with an additional 50 minutes. The two-disc special edition includes alternate scenes, commentaries, featurettes and more ... On May 17 New Line will bring home "The Sea Inside," winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign-language film, directed by Alejandro Amenabar and starring Javier Bardem, on DVD and VHS rental ... Fox's biopic "Kinsey" will arrive on May 17, in both single-disc and two-disc special edition configurations, and on VHS rental ... May 17 will also be the day flop "Son of the Mask" arrives on DVD and VHS rental, from New Line. (Posted March 15)

DVD Collectibles:
Three titles -- all classics -- in the new Fox Film Noir series arrive this week: "Call Northside 777" (1948), directed by Henry Hathaway and starring James Stewart, Richard Conti, Lee J. Cobb and E.G. Marshall; Otto Preminger's "Laura" (1944), starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price and Judith Anderson; and "Panic in the Streets" (1950), directed by Elia Kazan and starring Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jack Palance and Zero Mostel ... The Criterion Collection will release two classics: director Kihachi Okamoto's 1966 samurai swordplay epic "Sword of Doom" and the groundbreaking entry in the New German Cinema movement, "Young Torless" (1966), the directorial debut of Volker Schlondorff ... Home Vision Entertainment will release this week "Deep Crimson" (1996), director Arturo Ripstein's charged and profoundly original take on serial killing, based on the true story of the "Lonely Hearts Murders." (Posted March 15)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Hogan's Heroes -- The Complete First Season," a five-disc set with 32 episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "La Femme Nikita: The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $99.98 from Warner ... "Starsky & Hutch -- The Complete Third Season," a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $49.95 from Sony ... "Tales of the Unexpected, Set 2," a four-disc set of the anthology series inspired by Roald Dahl's playfully macabre stories, with 23 classic episodes by Dahl and others; $59.99 from Acorn Media. (Posted March 15)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
In "Lucky 13" (2004), a loser-in-love has only three days in which to find out what went wrong with his prior 12 girlfriend relationships in order to create a perfect future for his childhood crush, who's about to move away, starring Brad Hunt and Lauren Graham, on DVD and VHS from MGM ... In creepy horror thriller "The Last Sign" (2004), voices from the grave haunt the wife of a just-buried abusive husband, starring Andie MacDowell, Tim Roth and Margot Kidder, on DVD and VHS from First Look Home Entertainment ... Three-time World Series of Poker Stu "The Kid" Ungar's life comes to DVD in "High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story" (2003). Michael Imperioli stars as Ungar, whose promising life was wasted by an endless struggle with internal demons that led to a downward spiral into womanizing, high-stakes gambling and drugs; from New Line ... "New Suit" (2002) is a Hollywood satire about a young screenwriter who works as a gopher for a producer and sets all of Tinseltown a flutter when he jokingly mentions a "hot" script that doesn't exist; naturally everyone in the status-seized town must have the screenplay; starring Jordan Bridges, Marisa Coughlin, Heather Donahue and Dan Hedaya; on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted March 15)

On the Indie Front:
IFILM, one of the original online purveyors of short, indie and alternative films, has teamed with Genius Products Inc. and Celluloid Distribution for a new line of Totally DVD releases of independent films. The first two entries: "Deranged," a suspense thriller about love, revenge and deception that revolves around a wronged husband who plots to confront his wife's lover; the film boasts three alternate endings and the DVD will include two short films ... Four and a Half Women" is a comedy about four New York roommates in their early twenties whose lives are turned around when one of them -- a Wall Street Whiz Kid -- has a one-night stand and decides to keep her baby; the DVD also includes two shorts. Each Totally DVD release has a suggested retail price of $19.99 and can be purchased at Amazon.com. (Posted March 15)

Special Interest:
"NASCAR: The Imax Experience" is a documentary shot at NASCAR races throughout the 2003 racing season; directed by Simon Wincer and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. Extras include driver's profiles and NASCAR'S closest racing moments; from Warner. (Posted March 15)

Coming Soon:
On March 22, Fox will release "Fat Albert," the disappointing big screen version of "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," on DVD and $19.98 VHS ... Academy Award winner (for best screenplay) "Sideways," directed by Alexander Payne and starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, will arrive on DVD April 5 ... On May 10, Sony will release "William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice," directed by Michael Radford and starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted March 8)

DVD Collectibles:
New Line will release this week "The Ring Collector's Set," a two-disc set that includes the original "The Ring," plus a second disc, "The Ring Full Circle," which includes "Rings," an original short film that tracks the mysterious journey of the cursed videotape from "The Ring" to "The Ring Two"; "The Origin of Terror" featurette that takes a look at the international phenomenon of "Ringu" (the Japanese original made into the American version) and "The Ring" and how their stories parallel and differ from one another; a "News Wrap" featurette on celebrated urban myths; more; from DreamWorks. (Posted March 8)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "At Home With the Braithwaites, Complete Second Series," a three-disc set of the cutting edge British comedy/drama series, $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "The Best of Mister Ed: Volume Two," a two-disc set with 20 episodes, $29.98 from MGM ... "Columbo: Season Two," a four-disc set, $39.98, from Universal ... "Felicity Season Four," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.99 from Buena Vista ... "Friends: The Complete Ninth Season," a four-disc with 23 episodes, $44.98 from Warner ... "Green Acres: Season 2," a two-disc set with 30 episodes, $29.98 from MGM ... "Kojak: Season One," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "Popular Second Season," a six-disc set with 21 episodes, $59.99 from Buena Vista ... "Sweet Valley High: The Complete First Season," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.99 from Buena Vista ... "21 Jump Street Season Two," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $44.98 from Anchor Bay. (Posted March 8)

Special Interest:
"Unlikely Heroes" is a 2003 documentary that chronicles seven untold stories of Jewish resistance and defiance to the Nazi Holocaust, using rare film and photos discovered in archives across Europe; narrated by Ben Kingsley; on $24.98 DVD from Koch Lorber Films ... "The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis," based on a popular Harvard course taught by Dr. Armand Nicholi, is a 2004 PBS show that illustrates the lives and insights of Freud, a long-time critic of religious belief, and Lewis, an influential proponent of faith based on reason, from Paramount on $24.99 DVD ... Also from Paramount and PBS comes "Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham," a 1993 documentary on the man and his mission, on $19.99 DVD. (Posted March 8)

Coming Soon:
Due May 10 is director Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," starring Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon and Bud Cort, on VHS and in two DVD editions: a single-disc from Buena Vista and an extras-packed two-disc set from The Criterion Collection ... On April 12 MGM will release "Hotel Rwanda," starring Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte and Joaquin Phoenix, on VHS and DVD ... New Line will release on April 26 "Blade: Trinity," the continuing adventures of the vampire hunter, starring Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Dominic Purcell, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Mark Berry, Paul Anthony, James Remar and Natasha Lyonne, on VHS and in a two-disc DVD set. (Posted March 1)

DVD Collectibles:
Disney will release this week for the first time "Bambi Special Edition" (1942), a two-disc Platinum Series set featuring a detailed frame-by-frame digital restoration of the classic animated film ... The Criterion Collection will release "The River" (1951), Jean Renoir's first color feature, a sumptuously photographed story of a young British girl's coming of age in 1920s India, based on the memoirs of Rumer Godden and shot entirely on location; the DVD features an introduction by Martin Scorsese ... "L'Eclisse" (1962) is the third film in Michelangelo Antonioni's trilogy that began with "L'Avventura"; the film is the story of a doomed love affair between Vittoria (Monica Vitti) and Piero (Alain Delon). Antonioni's gorgeously shot but typically minimalist story explores a wealth of modern themes: alienation, the inability of two people to communicate, and trying to find connection in a materialistic world; from The Criterion Collection ... Milestone Film & Video will release the classic silent film "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1921), starring Mary Pickford in the role that cemented her true position as a rough-and-tumble comedic genius with a flair for drama (as opposed to the saccharine sweet image foisted upon her by unknowing film writers through the years). The $29.99 DVD will be available through many video speciality stores, Amazon.com or direct (800-603-1104). (Posted March 1)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Brady Bunch -- The Complete First Season," a four-disc set with 25 episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "Lost in Space: Season Three -- Vol. 1," a four-disc set with the first 15 episodes from the final season, $39.98 from Fox ... "Oliver's Travels" is a 1995 BBC romantic mystery miniseries starring Alan Bates as an eccentric professor who teamss up with a suspended policewoman (Sinead Cusack) to solve a crime committed by another police officer, in a three-disc set for $39.99 from Acorn Media ... "SCTV Volume 3," a five-disc set with nine episodes from the fourth season, $89.98 from Shout! Factory ... "Tom Brown's Schooldays," a two-disc set of the award-winning Masterpiece Theatre family drama, $39.99 from Acorn Media. (Posted March 1)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"Virginia's Run" (2002) is a family drama about a teenage girl, her horse and the transformative power of a dream, starring Gabriel Byrne, Joanne Whalley and Lindze Letherman, from MGM on VHS and DVD ... In "Alien Crackdown" (2004 -- TV) a deranged scientist awakens a dormant alien lifeform that spawns the ultimate creature of destruction, starring John Savage, James Marshall and Martin Kove, from First Look Home Entertainment on VHS and DVD ... Miramax has three DVD-only releases this week: "In the Weeds"(2000), which takes a look at one night at a cool New York City restaurant, starring Joshua Leonard, Molly Ringwald, Ellen Pompeo, Bridget Moynahan and Eroc Bogosian; "The I Inside" (2003), a suspenser about a man who awakens in a hospital after a near-fatal accident with no memory of the last two years of his life, starring Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Polley, Piper Perabo, Robert Sean Leonard and Stephen Rea; and "Nirvana" (1997), a futuristic thriller about a video game programmer who creates aggressive characters that become all too real, starring Christopher Lambert. (Posted March 1)

Special Interest:
"Ramses: Wrath of God or Man?" is a Discovery Channel special that raises new questions about an ancient mystery and shines a scientific spotlight on one of the Old Testament's most famous stories: Exodus, from Sony ... "Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre" is a 2004 documentary on the famed artist and his relationship with the avant-garde culture of Montmartre, using works of art by Lautrec and his colleagues, rare archival footage and sound recordings, period photographs, and interviews with contemporary scholars, from Home Vision Entertainment on DVD ... Warner Home Video, the National Football League and NFL Films have joined forces to release "NFL Super Bowl XXXIX Champions" -- just 23 days after the big game -- giving fans a comprehensive look at the road to glory for the New England Patriots, on DVD for $24.98. (Posted March 1)

Coming Soon:
On March 29 New Line will release "Vera Drake," directed by Mike Leigh and starring Imelda Staunton ... On April 12: "Suspect Zero," starring Aaron Eckhart, Ben Kingsley and Carrie-Ann Moss will come home from Paramount ... Also on that day Sony will release "The Woodsman," starring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, David Alan Grier, Eve, Mos Def and Benjamin Bratt ... On April 19 Sony will release "House of Flying Daggers," directed by Yimou Zhang and starring Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau ... The company will also release on that day "A Love Song for Bobby Long," starring John Travolta, Scarlett Johansson and Gabriel Macht ... Paramount will release on April 26 "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," starring Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Catherine O'Hara and Cedric the Entertainer, as a single-disc and in a two-disc Special Collector's Edition. (Posted February 22)

DVD Collectibles:
"Heat Special Edition" (1995), directed by Michael Mann and starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman and Tom Noonan, arrives this week as a two-disc set loaded with extras, from Warner ... "Lenny Bruce Without Tears" is a documentary on the great comedian by Fred Baker. Bruce was the outrageous, groundbreaking comic whose iconoclastic material and "dirty" words got him in trouble during the conservative early 1960s. Baker, a close friend of Bruce, presents some of Bruce's landmark skits as well as interviews and comments by such cultural luminaries as Nat Hentoff, Paul Krassner, Mort Sahl, Kenneth Tynan and Malcolm Muggeridge. "There are no dirty words, only dirty minds." -- Lenny Bruce. First time on DVD, $29.95 from First Run Features ... Also from First Run Features comes the "Radley Metzger Collection Volume 2," three films by the groundbreaking director: "Little Mother," "The Dirty Girls" and "Score," $49.95. (Posted February 22)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "At Home With the Braithwaites, Complete Second Series" a three-disc set of the cutting-edge U.K. series that shows what happens when an already dysfunctional family strikes it rich, from Acorn Media for $59.99 ... "The Cisco Kid Collection Four," a four-disc set with 20 episodes, $49.98 from MPI Home Video ... "Ellen Season 2," a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $49.95 from A&E Home Video ... Love's Enduring Promise," a 2004 family friendly telefilm -- the highest rated TV movie ever on the Hallmark Channel -- about a growing family on the American frontier, from Fox on DVD and VHS ... "The Rifleman Volume 3," a four-disc set with 20 episodes, from MPI Home Video ... "The Shield Season Three," a four-disc set with 15 episodes, $59.98 from Fox ... "South Park -- The Complete Fifth Season," a three-disc set with 14 episodes, $49.99 from Paramount ... "Stripperella Season One -- Uncensored," a two-disc set with 13 episodes, under $20 from Paramount. (Posted February 22)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" meets "GoodFellas" in "Mail Order Bride," a mob comedy about two not-so-wise guys who bring together the Russian and New York mafias, starring Danny Aiello, Ivana Milicevic, Vincent Pastore and Artie Lange, on VHS and DVD from Monarch Home Video ... "Red Riding Hood" is a horror thriller about a 12-year-old girl, abandoned by her mother in Rome, who decides to track down sinners and punish them, from MTI Home Video ... "Playhouse" is an underground horror film about the ancient ghosts of an old theater -- now a school -- who make their presence known again by eliminating students and employees, from Vanguard Cinema on DVD. (Posted February 22)

Foreign:
In "Suddenly (Tan de repente)" by Argentinean director Diego Luna, a feisty punk girl couple (who call themselves Mao & Lenin) embark on a road trip outside Buenos Aries in search of love and happiness, in Spanish with English subtitles, from Empire Pictures on DVD ... In "Dead Man's Memories (Der Glaserne Blick)," a detective investigates the death of an archeologist by interrogating a young woman who appears on a tape in a video camera found in a car near the murder, in German and Portuguese with English subtitles from Vanguard Cinema on DVD ... Dutch romantic comedy "Yes Nurse! No Nurse!" is an unusual musical about a sweetly no-nonsense nurse, her rest home for wayward souls, and the evil landlord determined to close her down, on DVD from Wolfe Video. (Posted February 22)

For the Kids:
Worried about some of the junk on TV that passes as entertainment for kids (TV commercials that pass as series, violence, etc.)? Since you can't unplug the TV and isolate your kids from the electronic universe, you might as well try to use TV to help kids become creative free spirits, learn good values, promote good decision-making and develop great character. Two concerned dads, master puppet designer Steve Axtell and composer Greg Jackson, joined forces to form a new production studio to combine their talents and produce a creative show with real value for families. The concept they developed became "AxTelevision," a 41-minute wacky fast-paced show that takes viewers through the process of making a short fully produced puppet movie. Axtell and his crew worked with kids on-camera to make puppet characters, build sets, shoot the scenes, and then add music, sound, special effects and 3-D animation. Upon completion, they grabbed some popcorn and watched the final movie starring Norman the Bird: Faced with certain doom Norman must use his flying birdhouse to attempt the rescue of a run-away turtle from Claw Forest. "AxTelevision" is part reality and part wacky fantasy as some of the puppets on the workshop shelves secretly watch while making hilarious comments. The video, available for $19.99 from www.axtelevision.com, provides a refreshing new way for kids to learn and have fun.

Other releases for kids this week: "The Easter Egg Adventure" is a new animated feature about a rooster who's gone bad and attempts to steal the eggs and spirit of Easter from Egg Town, with the voices of Joe Pantoliano, Brooke Shields, Sandra Bernhard and James Woods, and featuring the songs of Natalie Cole, from First Look Home Entertainment on $14.98 DVD ... The Scholastic Video Collection has added four new titles to its series of classic children's books on video: "Bark, George ... and More Doggie Tales," featuring the title story from Jules Feiffer; "The Emperor's New Clothes ... and more Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales"; "Swimmy ... and More Classic Leo Lionni Stories"; and "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble ... and More Magical Tales," featuring the title story by William Steig; $9.95 VHS and $14.95 DVD from New Video ... Soaring Star Productions has launched a new series for kids 2 to 5 years old: the Pocket Snails, a trio of snails that live in a young boy's pocket and who help him discover the world around him. The first release is "Pocket Snails Letter Adventure," which helps kids learn their ABCs; $12.95 VHS and $15.95 DVD; for more info go to www.pocketsnails.com. (Posted February 22)

Special Interest:
"The Great Shark Hunt" is a documentary that illustrates the importance of sharks to humankind, from MPI Home Video .. "I'll Sing for You" is a Jonathan Demme-produced documentary about the great blues artist Boubacar (KarKar) Traore, from First Run Features, $29.95 on DVD ... "A Paralyzing Fear" is a documentary on the battle to cure polio -- a virus that came to America in 1916 and grew into the frightening epidemics of the 1940's and 50's when the disease crippled tens of thousands of children every summer -- narrated by Olympia Dukakis, $24.95 on DVD from First Run Features ... "Bobby Darin: Beyond the Songs" is a PBS bio with live performances, television appearances, interviews; $14.99 on DVD from White Star Video ... Kultur/SRO profiles two singers and their groups from the 1960s: "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap." featuring 11 classic hits, with interviews; and "Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge," featuring 16 classic hits, with interviews; $14.99 each ... Docurama, the only home video label devoted exclusively to documentaries, has put together a nifty boxed set of DVDs just in time for the Oscars: "The Docurama Awards Collection" includes 12 outstanding Academy Award-winning and nominated documentaries, among them "Best Boy" (winner, 1979), "From Mao to Mozart" (winner, 1980), "Scared Straight!" (winner, 1978), and "The Weather Underground" (nominated, 2003); $199.95 ... On March 24, 1944, a group of Allied prisoners in Germany's Stalag Luft 3 activated a covert plan that later came to be known as "The Great Escape" -- and was the basis for the classic film of the same name. WGBH Boston Video will release this week NOVA's "Great Escape," in which three former prisoners and a team of archaeologists and historians travel to the internment camp to search for the escape tunnel the Nazi never found; on $!9.95 VHS and DVD. (Posted February 22)

DVD Collectibles:
Fox has given another life to writer-director Richard Kelly's 2001 cult masterpiece "Donnie Darko," which starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Katharine Ross. After a theatrical re-release last year of the director's cut of the film, Fox will release a two-disc set of the sensational and disturbing dark comedy that defies genre boundaries and simple explanations. Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut" features additional footage, commentary and featurettes; $26.98.

The Criterion Collection will release this week one of the milestone films of the 1970s, Jean-Luc Godard's "Tout va bien," starring Jane Fonda and Yves Montand. In 1972, newly radicalized Hollywood star Jane Fonda joined forces with cinematic innovator Jean-Luc Godard and collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin in an unholy revolutionary artistic alliance. "Tout va bien" tells the story of a wildcat strike at a sausage factory, as witnessed by an American reporter (Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand), culminating in a free-ranging assault on consumer capitalism and ineffective leftists. A masterpiece of radical cinema, a caustic critique of society, marriage, and revolution in post-1968 France.

Home Vision Entertainment will release three interesting films this week: "All About Lily Chou-Chou" (2001), directed by Shunji Iwai, a disturbing look at the terror and isolation that characterizes today's Japanese youth. In Japanese with optional English subtitles ... "Howards End Special Edition Double-Disc Set" (1992), directed by James Ivory and starring Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Thompson, in a new high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions with a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack ... and "Rendez-vous" (1985), directed by Andre Techine and starring Juliette Binoche and Jean-Louis Trintignant. In her first major screen role, Binoche ("The English Patient") gives a raw and electrifying performance as sexual free-spirit Nina who moves to Paris to become an actress, where she has a profound impact on three men. "Rendez-vous" is a mesmerizing study of love, loss, and redemption that earned director Techine Best Director honors at the Cannes Film Festival. In French with optional English subtitles. (Posted February 15)

From TV to Video:
"Angel Season Five," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Fox ... "Drake and Josh: Volume 1: Suddenly Brothers," four episodes of Nick's teenage comedy series, from Paramount ... "The Greatest American Hero Season One," a three-disc set, $29.98 from Anchor Bay ... "Island at War," a three-disc set of the complete PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries set during World War II in the German-occupied Channel Islands, $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "Unsolved Mysteries: Strange Legends," a four-disc set, $49.98 from First Look Home Entertainment. (Posted February 15)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
Two sports-themed comedies come straight to DVD this week: "Frostbite," featuring Playboy Playmates heating up the ski slopes as a slacker joins a snowboard academy to avoid the working world, from Fox ... and "National Lampoon BlackBall," a comic take on the dignified sport of Lawn Bowling, starring Paul Kaye, James Cromwell and Vince Vaughn, from First Look Home Entertainment. (Posted February 15)

For the Kids:
The "Disney Princess Collection 2005" includes two releases: "Disney Princess Stories Vol. 2: Tales of Friendship," featuring three new animated stories from Ariel, Jasmine and Snow White that emphasize the importance of cherishing true friends, and "Disney Princess Party Vol. 2," an animated pajama party with Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Ariel and Belle; $14.99 VHS or $19.99 DVD each ... "Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys" is an all-new animated feature that introduces a new Pokemon character: Deoxys, who appears in a mysterious aurora over the high-tech Larousse City; $19.99 VHS and $24.99 DVD from Disney ... Fox has another serving of the animated adventures of Strawberry Shortcake with "Seaberry Beach Party" and "Play Day Surprise," in strawberry-scented pink packages, $12.98 VHS or $14.98 DVD each ... "Garfield Travel Adventures" compiles three 1984 Garfield specials, "Garfield in the Rough," "Garfield in Paradise" and "Garfield Goes Hollywood" on one $14.98 DVD, from Fox ... and Warner will release their latest Justice League compilation: "Justice League Unlimited: Saving the World," with three animated episodes, $14.97. (Posted February 15)

Special Interest:
Paramount will release "Echoes From the White House," a 2001 PBS documentary -- hosted by Martin Sheen -- that offers an intimate tour of the house and its history, $19.99 on DVD ... Fans of streetball style moves in the NBA will enjoy "NBA Street Series: Ankle Breakers Vol. 2," featuring cross over dribbling and high-flying aerial masterpieces from the likes of Mike Bibby and Baron Davis, and "NBA Street Series: Dunks Vol. 2," featuring Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter; both DVDs include a CD featuring songs from some of the most popular hip-hop acts; $19.98 from Warner. (Posted February 15)

Coming Soon:
Sony will release on April 5 comedy "Spanglish," starring Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni, on DVD and VHS rental ... On April 12 Sony will release Pedro Almodovar's "Bad Education," starring Gael Garcia Bernal, on DVD and VHS rental ... April 19 will see the release of thriller "Birth," starring Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall, Arliss Howard, Anne Heche and Peter Stormare, on DVD and VHS rental from New Line ... On May 3 Walt Disney will release "National Treasure," starring Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean and Christopher Plummer, on DVD and $29.99 VHS; the loaded DVD will also sport a multilevel treasure hunt feature that promises that the more bonus material you find and watch, the more you uncover. (Posted February 8)

DVD Collectibles:
MGM this week will release "The Martin Scorsese Film Collection," a five-disc set with four Scorsese films: "New York, New York," "Boxcar Bertha," "The Last Waltz" and "Raging Bull," $49.96; each available separately for $14.95, except "Raging Bull," which is a two-disc collector's edition for $29.98. The classic "Raging Bull" is loaded with extras, including three commentaries, several featurettes and documentaries on the film, stars, production and sound design, a shot-by-shot comparison of De Niro and LaMotta in the ring, and a "LaMotta Defends the Title" newsreel footage. (Posted February 8)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Deadwood: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 12 episodes, $79.99 from HBO Video ... "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The complete First Season," 25 episodes, $29.98., from Warner ... "Full House: The Complete First Season," a two-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.98 from Warner ... "The Grid," a two-disc set with all six-hours of the mini-series starring Julianna Margulies and Dylan McDermott, $26.98 from Fox ..."Highlander: The Series -- Season Six," am eight-disc set with the final 13 episodes, $89.98 from Anchor Bay ... "Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Set One," a four-disc set with four feature-length episodes from the British mystery franchise, $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "The Jamie Foxx Show: The Complete First Season," 22 episodes, $29.98, from Warner ... "The Mad About You Collection," a four-disc set, $39.95, from Sony ... "Miami Vice: Season One," a three-disc set, remixed in 5.1 Surround, $59.98 from Universal ... "Murder One Season One," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 from Fox ... "Murphy Brown: The Complete First Season," a four-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.98 from Warner .... "Night Court: The Complete First Season," a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Warner ... "Punky Brewster Season Two," a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $34.98 from Sony ... "A Separate Peace," a 2004 telefilm directed by Peter Yates and starring Toby Moore, Jacob Pitts, Danny Swerdlow and Hume Cronyn, from Paramount ... "7th Heaven -- The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, under $40 from Paramount ... "The Wayans Bros.: The Complete First Season," 13 episodes, $29.98 from Warner. (Posted February 8)

For the Kids:
Warner will release this week "Aloha Scooby-Doo!" (2005), a full-length animated feature with the voices of Casey Kasem, Tia Carrere, Mario Lopez and Teri Garr, on $19.95 DVD and $14.94 VHS ... Koch Vision will launch this week the acclaimed TV series Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends on DVD. The first three outings are "John Henry," starring Danny Glover and Tom Hulce; "Johnny Appleseed," starring Martin Short, Molly Ringwald and Rob Reiner; and "Darlin' Clemintine," starring Duvall, Ed Asner, David Dukes and a pre-"Seinfeld" Michael Richards; $14.98 ... From Disney this week comes two "Growing Up With Winnie the Pooh" titles that help give preschoolers the social skills they need to get a head start to successful learning: "A Great Day of Discovery" and "Friends Forever," available separately for $14.99 VHS and $19.99 DVD ... A new star-spangled superhero makes his debut this week from MGM: "The Adventures of the American Rabbit," featuring Rob the animated rabbit as he discovers the value of teamwork and the belief that there's a hero waiting to born in all of us, on $14.95 DVD only ... From the production studio that created the award-winning "Triplets of Belleville" comes the animated "The Boy Who Wanted to be a Bear," based on the Inuit legend about a baby boy kidnapped by a pair of bears and raised as their own, until his human father comes to retrieve him; Central Park Media will release the film on DVD for $19.95. (Posted February 8)

Special Interest:
"Until the Violence Stops" is a documentary that chronicles how Eve Ensler's hit Broadway solo show "The Vagina Monologues" grew into V-day, an international grassroots movement dedicated to female empowerment and putting an end to violence against women and girls, $26.95 DVD only from Docurama .. . "The Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story" is a timely look at the life of the pop superstar (as his trial for child molestation gets underway), $19.99 on DVD from Paramount. (Posted February 8)

Coming Soon:
Due March 1 is action-adventure "Flight of the Phoenix," starring Dennis Quaid, Tyrese, Giovanni Ribisi, Miranda Otto and Hugh Laurie; the remake of the 1965 Robert Aldrich classic with James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Kruger and Ernest Borgnine will be available on DVD and VHS rental from Fox ... On March 15 Fox will release "What the 'Bleep' Do We Know!?" a film that's part documentary, part story, and part elaborate and inspiring visual effects and animations that explores the nature of reality, starring Marlee Matlin, on DVD and VHS rental ... Due April 12 from Warner is Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Twelve," starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Jared Harris and Carl Reiner, on DVD and VHS rental. (Posted January 31)

DVD Collectibles:
The Criterion Collection will release this week two classic films from Jules Dassin: "Night and the City" (1950), a film noir of the first order and one of the director's crowning achievements. Starring Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe and Herbert Lom, the film follows two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Widmark), who aches for a life of ease and plenty but who has an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes. "Thieves' Highway" (1949) is set in the world of "long-haul boys" who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of America's cities, starring Richard Conte as a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his father -- ruthless market operator Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb) -- embroiling him in a web of treachery and heartbreak. A Dassin masterpiece, the last film he completed in America before he was blacklisted. Also from Criterion this week is "La commare secca" (1962 -- Italy) Bernardo Bertolucci's stunning debut feature in which the director uses a series of interconnected flashbacks to explore the nature of truth and the reliability of narrative when the brutalized corpse of a Roman prostitute is found along the banks of the Tiber River and the police round up and interrogate a handful of possible suspects.

From Home Vision Entertainment comes two Kinji Fukasaku ("Battles Without Honor & Humanity") films: In "Fall Guy" (1982) Fukasaku creates a moving love story and a heartfelt valentine to the movies in which a vain and selfish actor, Ginshiro, whose stardom is threatened by rising star Tachibana, compels a devoted member of his entourage, Yasu, to marry Ginshiro's pregnant mistress and become a stunt man, performing increasingly dangerous stunts that could save the film and Ginshiro's career. "Sympathy for the Underdog" (1971) is a pivotal early crime drama in the celebrated career of the director who changed the face of Japanese action cinema. Stylish and hard-boiled, "Sympathy for the Underdog" stars Koji Tsuruta, one of Japan's seminal figures in the Yakuza genre, as Gunji, an aging Yakuza who is released from prison after 10 years and is forced to make a final, fateful, bloody stand against the mainland gang that sent him there.

And from Warner Home Video comes the classic "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937), starring Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut, Gloria Holden and Donald Crisp, with such extras as three Vintage Vault Treasures (dramatic short "The Littlest Diplomat," musical short "Romance Road," cartoon "Ain't We Got Fun). (Posted January 31)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "The Brak Show Volume 1," a two-disc set with 14 episodes of the Cartoon Network Adult Swim show, $29.98 from Warner ... "Charmed: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, under $40.00 from Paramount ... "Cheers -- The Complete Fourth Season," a four-disc set with 26 episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "Degrassi Junior High -- Season 1," featuring 13 episodes, $39.95 from WGBH Boston Video ... "Frasier -- The Complete Fourth Season," a four-disc set with 23 episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "I Love Lucy -- The Complete Third Season," a five-disc set with 31 episodes, under $45 from Paramount ... "OZ: The Complete Fourth Season," a three-disc set with 16 episodes, $49.99 from HBO Video ... "Sealab 2001," a two-disc set with 13 episodes of the Cartoon Net Adult Swim series, $29.98 from Warner ... "Taxi -- The Complete Second Season," a four-disc set with 24 episodes, under $30 from Paramount ... "Wonderfalls: The Complete Viewer Collection," all 13 episodes, nine of which were never broadcast, from Fox. (Posted January 31)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
"3 Steps to Heaven" is a 1995 TV drama about a young woman who obsesses over her boyfriend's death -- supposedly by accidental drowning -- and decides to do her own detective work to find out what really happened; "Carolina" is a romantic comedy about a young woman trying to escape the eccentric ways of her wacky Southern family to meet the man of her dreams, starring Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine and Alessandro Nivola; both titles are from Miramax on $29.99 DVD each. (Posted January 31)

For the Kids:
"Balto III: Wings of Change" is an animated direct-to-video sequel that follows the adventures of sled dog Balto as he attempts to rescue the pilot of a downed mail/supply plane in Alaska, featuring the voices of Sean Astin, Keith Carradine, Jean Smart and Kathy Nijimy, on DVD from Universal ... "Mulan II" features the further animated adventures of Mulan, Shang, Yao, Ling and Mushu the dragon, on $29.99 DVD and $24.99 VHS from Disney ... "The Wind in the Willows" is a 1999 animated version of the classic tale, from Sony. (Posted January 31)

Special Interest:
Just one day after it aired on PBS, Paramount will release "Fidel Castro," an intimate and revealing documentary on the Cuban leader, narrated by David Ogden Stiers, on $24.99 DVD ... World Wrestling Entertainment Home Video goes to the mat with four new DVDs: "Rob Van Dam: One of a Kind," a two-disc set that follows RVD's amazing career, $24.95; Smack Down's "Armageddon," $24.95; "Best of Intercontinental Championship," with Shawn Michaels, Crush, Bret Hart, Skinner, Mr. Perfect and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, $9.95; and "Andre the Giant," featuring some of the behemoth's greatest moments, $9.95. (Posted January 31)

Coming Soon:
The incredibly big, big, big $256 million animated hit "The Incredibles" will fly to a fully-loaded two-disc DVD set and $29.99 VHS on March 15, from Disney ... on March 29 New Line will release the heist caper comedy "After the Sunset," starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris, Chris Penn, Mykelti Williamson and Obba Babatunde, on DVD and VHS ... and on April 12 Universal will release "Seed of Chucky," starring Jennifer Tilly, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Hannah Spearritt, John Waters, Redman, Steve Lawton, Tony Gardner and Jason Flemyng, on DVD and $23.98 VHS. (Posted January 24)

DVD Collectibles:
Warner Bros. has put together another impressive package of films from its vast collection of classics: The Warner Brothers Pictures Gangsters Collection includes six of the company's greatest classic gangster films: "The Public Enemy," "White Heat," "Angels With Dirty Faces," "Little Caesar," "The Petrified Forest" and "The Roaring Twenties," all fully restored and digitally remastered; $68.92. Each title is also available separately for $19.97 and each release includes fabulous extras -- hosted by Leonard Maltin -- that provide a complete DVD night at the movies. "Angels With Dirty Faces" (1938), directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, George Bancroft, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey, includes the musical short "Out Where the Stars Begin," the cartoon "Porky and Daffy," the new featurette "Angels With Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say?" commentary by film historian Dana Polan, more. "Little Caesar" (1930), directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, Sidney Blackmer and Ralph Ince, includes the Spencer Tracy short "The Hard Guy," the cartoon "Lady Play Your Mandolin," the new featurette "Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero," commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell and more. "The Petrified Forest" (1936), directed by Archie Mayo and starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin, Dick Foran and Humphrey Bogart, includes the musical short "Rhythmitis," the cartoon "The Coo Coo Nut Grove," the new featurette "The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert," commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax, more. "The Public Enemy (1931), directed by William A. Wellman and starring James Cagney, Edward Woods, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell, Beryl Mercer, Donald Cook and Mae Clarke, contains several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film, unseen since 1931, as well as the comedy short "The Eyes Have It," cartoon "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile," the new featurette "Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public," commentary by film historian Robert Sklar, more. "The Roaring Twenties" (1939), directed by Raoul Walsh and starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart, Gladys George, Jeffrey Lynn and Frank McHugh, includes the musical short "All Girl Revue," the comedy short "The Great Library Misery," cartoon "Thugs With Dirty Mugs," the new featurette "The Roaring Twenties: The World Moves On," commentary by film historian Lincoln Hurst, more. "White Heat" (1949), directed by Raoul Walsh and starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly and Steve Cochran, includes the comedy short "So You Think You're Not Guilty," cartoon "Homeless Hare," new featurette "White Heat: Top of the World," commentary by film historian Drew Casper, more. (Posted January 24)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Benny Hill: Complete and Unadulterated -- The Naughty Early Years: Set Two," a three-disc set with all 10 episodes from 1972--1974 of the classic British variety outing, $49.99 from A&E Home Video ... "Cold Feet: Pilot and Complete First Series," a three-disc set of the British "Friends," $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "Dog the Bounty Hunter: The Best of Season 1," with seven episodes from A&E's reality series, from A&E Home Video ... "Coupling: The Complete Fourth Season," a two-disc set with six episodes, $29.98, from BBC Video ... "Danger UXB," a four-disc set with all 13 episodes of the 1979 British series about the WWII bomb squad that defused unexploded bombs during the blitzkrieg, $69.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Dark Shadows DVD Collection 16," a four-disc set with 40 episodes, $59.98 from MPI Home Video ... "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, The Complete Season Five," a seven-disc set with 26 episodes, $109.95 from A&E Home Video ... "Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Second Season," a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Volume 4," with four episodes, from Manga Entertainment, Bandai Entertainment and Anchor Bay ... "Homicide: Life on the Street: The Complete Season 6," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $99.99 from A&E Home Video ... "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment -- The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set with 21 episodes, priced under $30 from Paramount ... "The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang," a 1979 Western telefilm, starring Randy Quaid, Bo Hopkins, Sharon Farrell, Harris Yulin, Dale Robertson and Jack Palance, from MPI Home Video ... "Men Behaving Badly Series 1 and Series 2," single DVD volumes containing six episodes of the British series, $19.98 each, from BBC Video ... "MacGyver: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, priced under $30 from Paramount ... "Married with Children -- The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set, $39.95 from Sony ... "One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Soap -- The Complete Third Season," a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.95 from Sony ... "Something the Lord Made," the 2004 Emmy-winning telefilm about two doctors who defied the rules of their time to launch a revolutionary heart surgery technique, set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow south of the 1940s, starring Alan Rickman, Mos Def, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kyra Sedgwick, Charles S. Dutton and Gabrielle Union, from HBO Video ... "Two's Company: Complete Series Two," a single disc with eight episodes of the British comedy about a cross cultural odd-couple (American Elaine Stritch and Brit Donald Sinden), from Acorn Media ... "Unsolved Mysteries: Psychics" and "Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders," four-disc sets for $49.98 from First Look Home Entertainment ... "The Wire: The Complete Second Season," a four-disc set with 12 episodes, $99.98 from HBO Video. (Posted January 24)

For the Kids:
"Batman: The Animated Series -- Volume Two" is a four-disc set, $44.98, from Warner ... Blue's Clues: Blue's Room: It's Hug Day" features six episodes on DVD ($16.99) and four on VHS ($9.95), from Paramount ... "Superman: The Animated Series -- Volume One" is a two-disc set, $26.99, from Warner. (Posted January 24)

Coming Soon:
Due March 8 is wacky Christmas comedy "Christmas With the Kranks," starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth Franz, Erik Per Sullivan, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey, Tom Poston and Julie Gonzalo, from Sony on DVD and VHS rental ... From Sony on March 22 comes the acclaimed "Being Julia," starring Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons and Bruce Greenwood, on DVD and VHS rental ... Also on that day Miramax will release the Johnny Depp-Kate Winslet starrer "Finding Neverland," on DVD and $24.99 VHS. (Posted January 17)

DVD Collectibles:
Due this week from The Criterion Collection are two films from Jacques Becker: In "Casque d'or" (1952), Becker -- at the height of his cinematic powers -- lovingly evokes the Belle Epoque Parisian demimonde in a classic tale of doomed romance. When gangster's moll Marie (Simone Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Serge Reggiani) their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads inexorably to treachery and tragedy. In the director's "Touchez pas au grisbi" (1954), Jean Gabin is at his most wearily romantic as aging gangster Max le Menteur. Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Riton (Rene Dary), Max's hapless partner and best friend, lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld. A touchstone of the gangster-film genre.

Home Vision Entertainment will release three interesting foreign films this week: "Maya" (2001), an Indian film by Digvijay Singh that explores the tragic journey of a girl to womanhood and her victimization by an ancient and brutal ritual ... "Siberia" (1998), a black comedy about two young men -- Hugo and Goof -- whose scam of picking up female backpackers newly arrived in Amsterdam and robbing them is threatened when seasoned traveler Lara enters the fray and Goof falls in love with her ... and "The Perfect Murder" (1988), a mystery-thriller that follows inspector Ghote (Naseeruddin Shah) of the Bombay police as he pursues his most perplexing case -- a savage attack on a rich industrialist's private secretary - - with the help of a visiting Swedish criminologist (Stellan Skarsgard). (Posted January 17)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Third Season," a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.99 from HBO Video. (Posted January 17)

For the Kids:
Disney will release this week the "Aladdin II & III Collection," a two-DVD pack with the direct-to-video sequels "Aladdin: The Return of Jafar" (1994) and "Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), $34.99 ... Also due this week are "The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy's Top Wishes," seven episodes on DVD ($16.99) and five on VHS ($9.95), from Paramount ... and "Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars" a direct-to-video animated feature with the voice talent of Brad Garrett, $14.95 DVD and $9.95 VHS, from Warner. (Posted January 17)

Special Interest:
"After Stonewall" is the sequel to the award-winning and provocative film, "Before Stonewall," that chronicled the beginnings of the Gay Liberation Movement after the 1969 police raids on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village. The 88-minute sequel, directed by John Scagliotti and narrated by Melissa Etheridge, recounts the history of lesbian and gay life from Stonewall to the end of the century. On $29.95 DVD from First Run Features. (Posted January 17)

Coming Soon:
Paramount will release on March 1 the moderate hit "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," a full-length animated feature based on the very popular Nick TV series ... On March 15 Paramount will release "Alfie," starring Jude Law, Jane Krakowski, Marisa Tomei, Omar Epps and Susan Sarandon in a weak reinvention of the 1966 ladykiller drama starring Michael Caine ... Due March 22 is "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," the sequel to the huge 2001 hit "Bridget Jones's Diary," with returning stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, from Universal. (Posted January 10)

DVD Collectibles:
From The Criterion Collection comes two Seijun Suzuki classics: "Fighting Elegy" (1966), that combines the director's signature bravura visual style with a brilliantly focused satire of machismo and fascism, about high schooler Nanbu Kiroku, who yearns for the prim, Catholic Michiko, but her only desire is to reform Kiroku's sinful tendencies. With hormones raging, Kiroku channels his unsatisfied lust into the only outlet available: savage crazed violence ... and "Youth of the Beast" (1963), a breakthrough for the director, introducing the flamboyant colors, hallucinatory images, and striking compositions that would become his trademark, about a mysterious stranger who muscles into two rival yakuza gangs, causing Tokyo's underworld to explode with violence.

From the folks at Disney come four volumes of the best animated shorts from some of Disney's most adored characters: Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 1: Starring Mickey," "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 2 Starring Donald," Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3 Starring Goofy" and "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 4 Starring Chip 'n Dale," $14.99 each. (Posted January 10)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "Gilligan's Island: The Complete Second Season," a three-disc set with 32 episodes, $39.98, from Warner ... "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys -- Season Five," a nine-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.98, from Anchor Bay ... "Hunter: The Complete First Season," a six-disc set with 19 episodes, $39.98, from Anchor Bay ... "King," a 1978 miniseries starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Tony Bennett, Roscoe Lee Browne, Lonny Chapman, Ossie Davis and Cliff De Young in a two-disc set with three documentaries intertwined with King's speeches and historical footage, for $19.98 from MGM ... "MI-5: Volume 2," a five-disc set of the second season of the British spy drama, $79.98 from BBC Video ... "Monk Season Two," a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $59.98 from Universal ... "Unforgiven Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson," a Ken Burns documentary on the great black boxer, airing on PBS January 17-18, from Paramount. (Posted January 10)

Buzzin' the 'B's:
In offbeat comedy "Confessions of an American Girl" (2000), Jena Malone stars as a disenchanted, trailer park pregnant teen who must come to terms with her inmate father (convicted of murder) and her dreams of having a perfect family, on VHS rental and DVD from MGM ... "Gas" (2004) is a comedy that revolves around two brothers who must reconcile their differences when they both inherit the family business -- a gas station -- and are forced to run it together or forfeit it, starring Flex Alexander and Khalil Kain, on DVD only from Fox ... In "StarForce!" (2000), Michael Bergin and Amy Weber play a warrior and beautiful ex-convict, respectively, who are left on a distant planet to fight the galaxy's most fearsome commandos in an alien wasteland crawling with paranoid miners, carnivorous insects, and ruthless killers, on VHS and DVD from MTI Home Video. (Posted January 10)

On the Indie Front:
"Everyday People" (2004) is an ensemble drama from director Jim McKay that explores one day in the life of a multi-generational, multi-racial Brooklyn community on the brink of change when the beloved local diner -- a fixture in the working class community -- announces that it's closing its doors due to gentrification, from HBO Video on VHS and DVD. (Posted January 10)

Foreign:
"6IXTYNIN9" (1999) is a black comedy from Thailand about an unemployed secretary who finds a box of instant noodles -- filled with cash -- in front of her apartment. When she accidently kills two thugs sent by the Thai mafia to retrieve the money, she decides to get out of the country, further setting off a comedy of errors. In Thai with English subtitles, on DVD only from Palm Pictures. (Posted January 10)

For the Kids:
Due this week: "All Grown Up: All Grown Up ... And Loving It," featuring four episodes on DVD ($16.99) and two on VHS ($9.95) of the Nick Rugrats series, from Paramount ... "Dora the Explorer: Catch the Stars," featuring six episodes on DVD ($16.99) and four on VHS ($9.95), also from Paramount ... "The Land Before Time XI -- The Invasion of the Tinysauruses," the latest direct-to-video adventure of the popular kids franchise, $19.98 VHS and DVD, from Universal. (Posted January 10)

Special Interest:
Koch Vision has several interesting releases this week: For news hounds there's "Barbara Walters: 25 on 20/20," a two-hour program in which the great interviewer reminisces about her more than 700 interviews and highlights those that were most memorable, including Barbara Bush, Bill Clinton, Jane Fonda, Rudy Giuliani, Christopher Reeve, Fidel Castro and Barbra Streisand, $19.98 on DVD; and "ABC News Presents: NYPD 24/7," a seven-part series that reveals NYPD cases unfolding in real time thanks to unprecedented around-the-clock access granted ABC News by the city's homicide, special victims and crime scene investigation units, $29.98 on DVD only. For music lovers there's "Soundstage Presents Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers" $29.98 on DVD, and "Soundstage Presents Peter Cetera With Special Guest Amy Grant," $19.98 on DVD. (Posted January 10)

From TV to Video:
Due this week: "CSI: Miami -- The Complete Second Season," a six-disc set, priced under $70, from Paramount ... "Forever Knight: The Trilogy Part 2," a six-disc set with 26 episodes, $59.95, from Columbia TriStar ... "God, the Devil and Bob: The Complete Series," is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes of the animated series that proved too controversial for TV (only three aired), $26.98, from Fox ... "Millennium Season Two," a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 from Fox ... "Poirot 11 Collector's Set" contains three hour-long episodes ("The Third Floor Flat," "Triangle at Rhodes" and "Problems at Sea") from the popular TV series starring David Suchet as Agatha Christie's sartorially elegant sleuth, $29.99 from Acorn Media ... Also from Acorn is a massive 13-disc collection (in packaging that resembles a leather-bound book) of the complete PBS Mystery! "Cadfael" series, called, appropriately enough, "The Cadfael Collection," available for $149.99. (Posted January 3)

For the Kids:
Columbia TriStar will release this week the latest collection of the ever popular Berenstain Bears: "The Berenstain Bears: Bears Mind Their Manners," featuring episodes that help kids learn to "mind their P's and Q's, $9.98 VHS (four episodes) and $14.94 DVD (six episodes) ... "SpongeBob SquarePants: Home Sweet Pineapple" is the latest offering from the darling of the underseas set, featuring eight episodes on DVD ($16.99) and five on VHS ($9.95), from Paramount. (Posted January 3)

Special Interest:
From St. Clair Vision comes "Bushisms," a DVD of the accidental wit and wisdom of President George W. Bush, based on the best-selling book series of the same name. The great miscommunicator is caught -- in public speeches, photo ops, interviews and random encounters -- uttering made-up words, misstating facts, and generally garbling the English language ("Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning"). The DVD compiles the president's wacky verbalizations into sections entitled "Families & Children," "Mr. Bush's Neighborhood," "All About Me," "What I Meant to Say," "History, Economics and Civics 101," "We Are the World," "Stuff That Makes Absolutely No Sense" and "The Best of the Best." The video is hosted by Brian Unger with guest commentary by Al Franken and Slate Magazine's Jacob Weisberg, and highlighted by panels from Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury." Some of the commentary is unnecessary: Our president's inanities stand by themselves. If you're a Bush-basher, this DVD is for you (available at most major book and video stores or at www.bushism.net) ... and would be very funny if it weren't so sad. If you're a GWB supporter, don't buy it -- you'll be too embarrassed. (Posted January 3)

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July 15, 2005
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