HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection" and "Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death" on DVD/Blu-Ray!

Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection includes the All-New Award-Winning Animation A Matter of Loaf and Death and A Grand Day Out--The Wrong Trousers--A Close Shave

Wallace & Gromit’s™ Award-Winning Short Films Available On Blu-Ray Disc And In A Collector’s Four Disc DVD Set For The Very First Time In Stores September 22, 2009 From Lionsgate And HIT Entertainment

They’ve been to the moon, foiled a major diamond heist, broken up a sheep rustling scam and even baked bread in their own bakery. And now, for the first time, fans of the much loved British icons - Wallace and Gromit can enjoy The Complete Collection of multi-award winning short films on a stunning Blu-ray DVD from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. In addition, the four-disc DVD set includes spectacular packaging that features the duo in 3-D molded forms, a must have for all Wallace and Gromit fans.
Created and directed by Nick Park, Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection includes all four of their award-winning films: A Grand Day Out (Academy Award® Nominee), The Wrong Trousers (Academy Award® Winner), A Close Shave (Academy Award® Winner) and their latest title, A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008 British Academy Film Award winner) -- their first animation since 2005. This complete Wallace & Gromit Blu-ray set arrives in stores September 22, 2009 and is available for an SRP of $29.99. The four-disc DVD set is also available for an SRP of $29.98. Each format is fully-loaded with almost two hours of special features.

SYNOPSES
Millions of fans agree – no one makes animated mayhem like eccentric inventor Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit. Join the Oscar® winning sensations for four madcap adventures in their funniest collection yet! Hang on for an out-of-this-world ride as Wallace’s craving for cheese leads to a space rocket adventure in A Grand Day Out. In The Wrong Trousers, Gromit smells something fishy after a penguin moves in and plots to make off with Wallace’s Techno-Trousers. Then it’s time for A Close Shave as Wallace & Gromit get wrapped up in a sheep-rustling scam. Finally, trouble rises after Wallace & Gromit start a bread-baking business and are ensnared in a “who-donut” mystery that becomes… A Matter of Loaf and Death!

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
A Grand Day Out
o Audio commentary with creator Nick Park
o “Amazing Adventures of Wallace & Gromit” featurette
o 4 Cracking Contraptions
The Wrong Trousers
o Audio commentary with creator Nick Park
o “Inside The Wrong Trousers” featurette
o 3 Cracking Contraptions
A Close Shave
o Audio commentary with creator Nick Park
o “How It Was Done” featurette
o 3 Cracking Contraptions
A Matter of Loaf and Death
o Audio Commentaries with the director and editor
o “How They Donut” The Making of A Matter of Loaf and Death featurette
o Demo DVD Rom-Game of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
o Shaun the Sheep Off The Baa Bonus Episode

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production:
A Grand Day Out: 1989
The Wrong Trousers: 1993
A Close Shave: 1995
A Matter of Loaf and Death: 2008
Copyright: © Aardman Animations Ltd 2008
Rating: NR
Type: Blu-ray Premiere/Special Edition
Genre: Children/Family/Animation
Ages: Children of all ages and adult fans of Wallace & Gromit
Closed Captioned: English Closed Captioned
Format: Full Screen
Feature Run Time: 242 minutes
DVD Audio Status: 2.0 Dolby Digital
Program website: www.wallaceandgromit.com



An All-New Who “Donut”-Mystery Caper From the
Hilarious Oscar-Winning Duo

Wallace & Gromit™: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Available on DVD September 22, 2009
From Lionsgate And HIT Entertainment

A “toast” to the return of the British icons Wallace & Gromit™! Rolling out their first half hour adventure since 2005, the hilarious duo is back, brought to life through seamless stop-motion animation and brilliant storytelling from Oscar-winner Nick Park. The highly anticipated Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death arrives on DVD September 22, 2009 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. Winner of the Short Animation 2008 British Academy Film Award, this all new adventure features all of the classic ingredients of a great murder mystery – suspicion, rivalry, love, intrigue and heroism – and is topped off with a large helping of loyalty and friendship, cooking up all you “knead” for fun family viewing!

DVD SYNOPSIS
Wallace and Gromit have opened a new bakery business – Top Bun – but a deadly murderer is targeting all the bakers in town. Wallace couldn’t care – he’s found true love in the shape of Piella Bakewell, former star of the Bake-O-Lite bread commercials. Can Gromit discover the identity of the Cereal Killer before Wallace becomes the next victim?

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

“How They Donut” – The Making of A Matter of Loaf and Death featurette
Audio commentary with director Nick Park and editor David McCormick
Wallace & Gromit Grand Adventure Video Game Demo
Bonus episode Shaun the Sheep™ “Off the Baa!”

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production: 2008
Copyright: © Aardman Animations Ltd 2008
Rating: NR
Type: Home Entertainment Premiere
Genre: Children/Family/Animation
Ages: Children of all ages and adult fans of Wallace & Gromit
Closed Captioned: English Closed Captioned
Format: Full Screen
Feature Run Time: 30 minutes
87 minutes (including bonus features)
DVD Audio Status: 2.0 Dolby Digital
Program website: www.wallaceandgromit.com
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"THE OUR GANG COLLECTION" -- All 52 MGM Shorts Together on DVD for the First Time 9/1 from the Warner Archive



Alfalfa, Spanky, Buck Wheat and the rest of the gang arrive on September 1 on the Warner Archive in The Our Gang Collection that headlines a stellar line-up of new releases. This new five-disc DVD set contains all 52 of the “Our Gang” shorts produced by MGM between 1938 and 1944 in their original, uncut form as first seen in theaters at a limited time special price of $34.99 only at www.warnerarchive.com.

Among the episodes in the Collection are “Party Fever,” “The Little Ranger,” “Alfalfa’s Aunt,” “Don’t Lie” and dozens more. Also seen in the cast are Froggy, Porky, and even little Mickey Guibitosi, who soon changed his screen name to Bobby (Robert) Blake. This collection marks the first ever home video release of the entire group of the 52 MGM shorts, news sure to be welcomed by the hordes of “Our Gang” fans out there. The “Our Gang” comedies are the first in a series of monthly Warner Archive Collection releases to be drawn from a library of classic theatrical short subjects originally produced by both Warner Bros. and MGM.

View a clip from the collection

Also coming to the Warner Archive in September are the “Dogville” shorts, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Airbourne and many more. Please visit www.warnerarchive to view the vast selection of wonderful classic titles including treasures from the silent film era; rarely seen films starring Hollywood legends like Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Bette Davis; and Sci-fi cult classics like Doc Savage, Countdown and others.

Synopsis:
Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Porky, Darla, Mickey, Waldo and Froggy have long been names to conjure with in the annals of screen comedy. They’re fun-loving members of Our Gang, one of the most beloved bunches of movie kids ever. And with this fabulous 5-Disc Collection of 52 Theatrical Shorts, you’ve struck the mother lode of laughter from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Popularized on television for generations following their run in theatres, these rib-tickling short subjects showcased an ensemble of groundbreakingly diverse youngsters, many of whom were skilled at song as well as slapstick. If you belong to the legions of this mischievous gang’s fans, this compilation (covering the years 1938-1944) of mirthful memories and lasting laughter belongs in your home collection.


Disc 1 (1938 - 1939)
Little Ranger, The
Party Fever
Aladdin's Lantern
Men In Fright
Football Romeo
Practical Jokers
Alfalfa's Aunt
Tiny Troubles
Duel Personalities
Clown Princes
Cousin Wilbur

Disc 2 (1939 - 1940)
Joy Scouts
Dog Daze
Auto Antics
Captain Spanky's Showboat
Dad For A Day
Time Out For Lessons
Alfalfa's Double
Big Premiere, The
All About Hash
New Pupil, The
Bubbling Troubles

Disc 3 (1940 - 1941)
Good Bad Boys
Waldo's Last Stand
Goin' Fishin'
Kiddie Kure
Fightin' Fools
Baby Blues
Ye Olde Minstrels
1-2-3 Go!
Robot Wrecks
Helping Hands
Come Back Miss Pipps

Disc 4 (1941 - 1943)
Wedding Worries
Melodies Old And New
Going To Press
Don't Lie
Surprised Parties
Doin' Their Bit
Rover's Big Chance
Mighty Lak A Goat
Unexpected Riches
Benjamin Franklin, Jr.
Family Troubles

Disc 5 (1943 - 1944)
Calling All Kids
Farm Hands
Election Daze
Little Miss Pinkerton
Three Smart Guys
Radio Bugs
Dancing Romeo
Tale Of A Dog


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO -- DVD review by porfle

If you ever wanted to see Rob Zombie's mind take a technicolor dump, then THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO is just the movie for you.

Combining a whirlwind of influences from Ralph Bakshi, John Kricfalusi, Adult Swim, R. Crumb, underground comics in general, HEAVY METAL, old theatrical cartoons, classic Universal horror flicks, and probably a ton more that I missed, this colorful and visually delightful conglomeration of dirty jokes and ADD-friendly action comes at us like all the different elements are being stuffed into a cannon and fired through the screen. Some of it sticks, while a whole bunch of it just flies in all directions. It's as though Robin Williams' genie character from ALADDIN improvised the script while tripping his ass off on acid and crystal meth.

El Superbeasto is a Santo-like Mexican wrestler-slash-actor (he wears a suit and a mask) with a magnificently massive ego who loves gorgeous babes with magnificently massive hooters. His sister, Suzy X, is an eyepatch-wearing super-sexy superheroine who battles Zombie Nazis with the help of her lovesick and painfully horny robot pal, Murray (who is right out of the 1939 Bela Lugosi serial THE PHANTOM CREEPS).

Meanwhile, their nerdy high school nemesis Steve Wachowski has reinvented himself as Dr. Satan and is searching for a woman with the numbers "666" on her ass. Once he marries her, according to legend, he'll be transformed into a fearsome, unstoppable colossus to whom El Superbeasto will never, ever give another wedgie again. The woman with the fateful mark on her tush turns out to be spectacularly-endowed stripper Velvet von Black, who is kidnapped by Dr. Satan's gorilla henchman Otto as a smitten El Superbeasto follows the trail. All of this results, as you may have guessed, in a final showdown with El Superbeasto and Suzy X battling a super-sized Dr. Satan, his minions, and those pesky Zombie Nazis.

It goes without saying that this movie doesn't take itself very seriously, which is a plus. I didn't find all of it funny--the jokes, good and bad, just keep pummelling us non-stop until the whole thing is somewhat numbing--but it's tuneful and fun. Amidst all the frenetic activity, I found the quiet, subtle scenes with ape-henchman Otto and Lenny the schlubby elevator operator in Dr. Satan's castle to be the most laugh-out-loud funny. As for the songs by Hard 'N' Phirm, they're often delightfully twisted and amusing comments on the action. The Zombie Nazi theme is especially fun as it reels off lyrics that are simply the most painfully obvious stream-of-consciousness exposition set to music.




Creatures of all kinds fill the screen along with a bevy of outrageously sexy (in a cartoon sense, that is) babes. Velvet von Black is so hot, in fact, that her theme song contains the line: "She could suck the gay right off a painting of a unicorn." Another song which is heard as Dr. Satan enjoys a wank in his private bed chamber tells us:

"It's all right to jerk off to cartoons
The Japanese do it every day
So rub one out for the USA."

Super-stacked action babe Suzy X keeps her robot ally Murray in a constant state of excitation, especially when he transforms into a vehicle that Suzy operates via a strategically-placed joystick. And, needless to say, there's a Suzy vs. Velvet catfight setpiece.

Younger viewers may recognize a few of the guest cameos that pop up all over the place, but the majority of cultural references that Rob Zombie has lovingly stuffed into this movie will just sail right over their heads. The first few minutes should be a real treat for Universal horror fans--they're a reproduction of the 1931 FRANKENSTEIN'S opening titles right down to the music, visuals, and that famous "friendly warning" from Edward van Sloan.

The vocal talent is pretty impressive. I'd never heard of comedian Tom Papa, who voices El Superbeasto, but he's very good. Sheri Moon Zombie is perfect as Suzy X since she already sounds like a cartoon anyway, and Rosario Dawson ably spouts all of Velvet von Black's incessant homegirl blather. "Mr. Show" faves Brian Posehn and Tom Kenny breathe comic life into Murray and Otto, respectively, while Paul Giamatti is dastardly nerd Dr. Satan.


Other notable voices include Danny Trejo as Rico, Dee Wallace as Trixie, Tura Satana as Varla, Geoffrey Lewis as Lenny, Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson as Amber, Clint Howard as Joe Cthulu, Daniel Roebuck as talk show host Morris Green, Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD) as Luke St. Luke, and Laraine Newman as Betty Sue Lou. Sid Haig and Bill Moseley reprise their characters Captain Spaulding and Otis Driftwood.

The DVD's 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen image and Dolby 5.1 surround are very good. English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired are available. Extras consist of some deleted scenes and shots, plus about half an hour of alternate scenes in various stages of completion.

I didn't find THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO to be totally engaging, but I enjoyed it anyway thanks to its constant barrage of colorful eye candy, sex 'n' violence, and good-natured stupidity. The numerous film and pop-culture references are also fun. I never read Rob Zombie's comic book on which this is based, but the film reminds me of the kind of underground comics that I used to skip over to get to the R. Crumb and Gilbert Shelton ones, and then eventually come back and read later. They weren't as good but they had their own charms.

Buy it at Amazon.com:
DVD
Blu-Ray


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CRIMINAL MINDS: THE FOURTH SEASON -- DVD review by porfle

The faces on the DVD cover won't mean much to first-time viewers, but it doesn't take long for us to get to know each member of this FBI profiling team (or "behavior analysis unit" as they're called) very well.

CRIMINAL MINDS: THE FOURTH SEASON hits the ground running with one of the most riveting and lightning-paced hours of television that I've ever seen. "Mayhem" is the conclusion of last season's cliffhanger, and it begins with unit chief Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and a female associate about to get into their vehicle when it explodes. Both survive, but since they've been investigating terrorists who explode one bomb and then set off a second one to kill any police and paramedics who arrive on the scene soon after, no one will move in to render aid to the dying female agent. When Hotch finally does get her to the nearest emergency room, he finds that he may have unwittingly played right into the terrorists' scheme to blow up the hospital.

This episode nicely fulfills the show's potential and demonstrates how exciting and suspenseful it can be, with sharp direction, camerawork, and editing and solid performances. Hotch, deftly played by Gibson, quickly emerges as my favorite character--he's stiff, serious, dry, almost humorless. He doesn't wisecrack. But he's intensely professional, with an innate compassion that drives him to hunt down killers. This devotion to his job has cost him his marriage, and in his most affecting moments Hotch can be seen in his office, wistfully viewing video of his young son on his computer.

"Masterpiece", directed by Paul Michael Glaser ("Starsky and Hutch") is another outstanding episode, this time showcasing Joe Mantegna's "David Rossi" character. Rossi is a veteran profiler who has become a celebrity via his best-selling books and lectures on the subject. Here, he goes one on one in the interrogation room with a narcissistic mastermind, played by Jason Alexander, who has kidnapped a daycare worker and four children and placed them in a death trap that will kill them all in a few hours. Not only does this give both Mantegna and Alexander a chance to show their stuff, but it also demonstrates how good the writing on this show can be, with a surprise turnaround in the final minutes that is stunning.

Although there's a resemblance here to CSI and similar shows, CRIMINAL MINDS concentrates less on forensics and more on the BAU's explorations into the inner workings of the perpetrators minds. Often this forces them to confront their own darkest thoughts and fears. In "The Instincts" and its follow-up "Memoriam", the team's geeky resident genius Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) encounters a child abduction case in his hometown that dredges up suppressed memories of bloody murder from his own childhood that may even involve his own father. Jane Lynch (A MIGHTY WIND, BEST IN SHOW) is great as Reid's schizophrenic mother, who stops taking her meds so that she can achieve a brief window of mental clarity that will help her recall forgotten details of the past.

Each of the other cast members gets the spotlight in various episodes, and they're all up to the task. Shemar Moore's ex-cop Derek Morgan is the show's action guy but there's a lot of substance to his character as well. In "Brothers In Arms", Morgan takes it personally when a serial shooter starts gunning down cops in the performance of their duty. A.J. Cook is Jennifer "J.J." Jareau, the team's liason with the public and other agencies, who gives birth early in the season and gains a different perspective on her job. In the excellent bio-terror thriller "Amplification", a deranged scientist unleashes a deadly new strain of anthrax on the public and J.J. struggles with the urge to break secrecy protocol and warn her husband to flee the city with their child.

Bringing some light into the dark mood of the series is Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, happily basking in her computer world as she serves as the nerve center for the team. In episodes such as "House on Fire", the tale of a mass-murdering arsonist, and "To Hell...and Back", the gut-wrenching season finale, Garcia is forced to venture out into the field with the rest of the team and is horrified by what she sees.


When this show gets cranked up to full-blast, it goes like gangbusters. "Catching Out", directed by actor Charles Haid, contains a climactic fight sequence atop a moving freight train. "Normal" guest-stars Mitch Pileggi of "The X-Files" as a harried family man whose mounting frustrations transform him into a highway killer known as "The Road Warrior." This episode features a breathtaking crash stunt early on and ends with a high-speed chase.

In addition to the show's kinetic qualities, much of the drama is psychological in nature and we're frequently subjected to some pretty bizarre images and ideas. Jason Alexander returns to direct "Transformation", in which young men on spring break are being raped and murdered by an assailant whose gender is mysteriously undetermined. "Cold Comfort" deals with necrophilia complete with live embalmings, and features a great guest cast including Cybill Shepherd, Michael Biehn, Lolita Davidovitch, and Vondie Curtis Hall.

I particularly enjoyed seeing none other than Wil Wheaton (ST:TNG's "Ensign Crusher") as a total loon who owns a secluded motel and lures couples to their doom in deviously-designed death traps. This episode begins with one of the show's most awesome stunts--an 18-wheeler jack-knifing into a parked car. "Omnivore", guest-starring C. Thomas Howell, has one of the series' most evil serial killers who, among other atrocities, massacres the passengers of a city bus.

Of course, the series has its occasional clunker--for example, "Demonology", a turgid tale of a priest who performs lethal exorcisms, is tiresome and overwrought. It does, however, feature a welcome guest appearance by Bruce Davison (sporting some great hair) and offers series regular Paget Brewster a chance to shine as agent Emily Prentiss.

The DVD set contains seven discs in four slim-line cases with a cardboard sleeve. The 16 x 9 image and English 5.1 and stereo sound are good. Both the episodes and bonus features are closed-captioned. Extras include eleven brief behind-the-scenes featurettes called "Working the Scene", deleted scenes, profiles of each character, and a gag reel.

CRIMINAL MINDS is an interesting blend of modern and more traditional TV storytelling techniques. It's got all the flash and pizzazz that's expected of today's shows, but much of the melodrama and pathos beneath the veneer are pure old-school. As far as the subject matter goes, however, the show doesn't pull any punches and is often about as shocking and horrific as a show like this can get. With a top-notch cast, fine production values, and intriguing stories, CRIMINAL MINDS: THE FOURTH SEASON is well worth spending some quality time with.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

"UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED": An Evening With Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer Comes Out on DVD Sept. 1 from Courgette Records



LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 25, 2009) - "UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED": An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer has the legendary musical and comedic trio performing music from heavy metal's loudest band Spinal Tap along with the folk music from "A Mighty Wind," and more.

The "UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED" DVD features two plus hours of songs from the original soundtrack "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984), the studio album "Break Like The Wind" (1992), and "A Mighty Wind" (2003) along with some special surprises and rarities thrown in as captured during the trio's Spring 2009 tour at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee.

"UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED" is not about funny costumes and characters, but rather three long time friends and collaborators who make each laugh and love nothing better than to find some excuse to get together and play music. The trio commented, "With this being the 25th Anniversary of the film 'This is Spinal Tap,' we thought this would be fun and at the same time, a little challenging, as we have never performed as ourselves. Think of the evening as three old friends jamming in your living room. As opposed to OUR living rooms; we won't be home."

About the Trio:

-- Guest and McKean first met in college where they wrote songs together.

-- As for McKean and Shearer, they have known each other since 1970 when they were both members of satirical group The Credibility Gap on radio, stage and records.

-- In 1979, Guest, McKean and Shearer appeared together for the first time in a Rob Reiner-produced, sketch comedy television pilot called "The TV Show." It was here the world got their famous glimpse of Spinal Tap featuring lead singer David St. Hubbins (McKean), guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Guest), and bassist Derek Smalls (Shearer).

-- In 1984, Reiner and the lads devised a way to bring the group back this time in a major motion picture, "This Is Spinal Tap," and the rest is history, literally.

-- In 2003, Guest, McKean and Shearer came back reincarnated for the Christopher Guest directed film "A Mighty Wind" where they portrayed The Folksmen, a trio of folk musicians consisting of Mark Shubb (bass vocals and upright bass, played by Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (tenor vocals, mandolin, guitar, and five-string banjo, played by Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (baritone vocals, guitar, and mandolin, played by Michael McKean).

-- The title track "A Mighty Wind" (written by Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Michael McKean) was a 2004 Grammy Award Winner for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture while the song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" (written by Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole) was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.

-- The trio have continued to appear and work together in various configurations in the Guest directed films: "Waiting For Guffman" (1996), "Best In Show" (2000) and "For Your Consideration" (2006).

HERE'S WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT THE UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED TOUR:

"THE BEST PARODIC ROCK ENTITY ON THE PLANET" - THE BOSTON HERALD

"Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are masters at their music and certainly at making people laugh. They are the modern, hip, American version of Monty Python." - JACKSONVILLE TIMES UNION

"These guys write songs so well-engineered that their sheer genius is a marvel, with or without props." - COLUMBUS OTHER PAGES

"It was probably inevitable for Spinal Tap to reunite. But it's hard to imagine another reunion as charming as this one." - DAILY VARIETY

"The jokes, the natural between-song banter, the hilarious and sometimes twisted song lyrics as well as the impeccable comic timing of these three gentlemen could easily make you forget that these guys are good musicians." - DALLAS MORNING NEWS

Find us at http://www.unwigged.com/

Follow Unwigged DVD on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UnwiggedDVD

Follow Harry Shearer on Twitter at www.twitter.com/letwits

YouTube: www.youtube.com/viralmediawest

MySpace: www.myspace.com/UnwiggedandUnplugged

Courgette Records: http://www.courgetterecords.com/

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Smithsonian Networks & Infinity Entertainment Group Proudly Present "The Real Story Part 1" On DVD Sept. 29th

Thought you Knew the Whole Story? A Revealing Look at the Country’s Most Notorious & Malevolent Locations


LOS ANGELES — Sept. 1, 2009 — For Immediate Release — From one of history’s most best known and most daring prison escapes to one of America’s most notorious hauntings, Smithsonian Networks investigates in The Real Story Part 1, landing on DVD Sept. 29 from Infinity Entertainment Group.

Thought you knew the whole story? The Real Story Part 1 breaks myths and challenges convention with first-hand facts, classified files, meticulous recreations and little-known backstories of legendary icons.

Episodes Include:

Escape From Alcatraz — Once the world’s most impregnable prison, yet three prisoners achieved the impossible and escaped … never to be found. Features interviews with a fellow inmate, prison wardens, and the FBI agents who tried to track them down.

The Amityville Horror — A new look at the cold-blooded 1974 New York case of the DeFeo family, shot and killed by their eldest son in the quiet village of Amityville. Terrorizing eye-witness accounts, extraordinary archival footage and psychological drama explore the facts and reveal new evidence.


The Real Story Part 1 is presented in letterbox with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound or 2.0 Stereo. Special features include subtitling for the deaf and hearing impaired.

About Smithsonian Networks
Smithsonian Networks (SN) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. It was formed to create new channels to showcase scientific, cultural and historical programming based largely upon the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features original documentaries, short-subject explorations and innovative and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Visit Smithsonian Networks on the Internet at www.smithsonianchannel.com.

About Infinity Entertainment Group
Infinity Entertainment Group, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., is a multi-service home entertainment retail distributor specializing in independent films, television programming, special-interest, documentaries, anime and music. Clients include Smithsonian Networks, iN DEMAND Networks, Falcon Picture Group, Bandai Entertainment, Roxbury Entertainment, SJ2 Entertainment and Retromedia. Hit titles include the iconic Route 66 television series, now available on DVD for the first time, and Spike Jones: The Legend. The company was launched in 2006 and is a division of Infinity Resources, Inc., a privately-held, multi-channel marketing and service enterprise with general offices based in suburban Chicago, Ill.

The Real Story Part 1
Infinity Entertainment Group
Genre: Documentary
Rated: TV-PG
Format: DVD Only
Running Time: Approx. 92 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98
Pre-Order Date: August 25, 2009
Street Date: September 29, 2009
Catalog #: IEG2157
UPC Code: #617742215793

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

"WRONG TURN 3: LEFT FOR DEAD" On Blu-ray Disc and DVD October 20

Witness The Resurrection Of Three Finger In The Second Gruesome Sequel, Arriving Onto Unrated Blu-ray Disc And DVD October 20 From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Good Things Come In Threes - The Wrong Turn Trilogy Also Available On Blu-ray Disc and DVD

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Three times the fear... three times the horror... three times the terror! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents another frightening addition to the Wrong Turn franchise, when the unrated massacre Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead is unleashed exclusively on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD October 20.

Three Finger and his disturbed family of inbred cannibals are alive and well-fed in this terrifying, white-knuckle ride directed by Sci-Fi Channel movie veteran Declan O'Brien (Cyclops, Rock Monster).The first course for the bloodthirsty family comes when a group of campers arrive, realizing only too late that ticks aren't the only things that bite in these backwoods. But when some of the most vicious killers in the country escape into the woods from a bus transporting them to prison, Three Finger and his family may have met their match. Will justice be served on the convicted murderers or upon the mutant killers? Whatever happens, Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead delivers one bone-crushing moment after another right to its terrifying end!

Filmed on location in Romania and from the producers of Wrong Turn and Wrong Turn 2, Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead boasts an impressive cast of up-and-comers including Janet Montgomery (The Hills Run Red), Tom Frederic (Blood Trails) Tamer Hassan (Eastern Promises) and Gil Kolirin (Return to House on Haunted Hill). Available only as a terrifyingly grisly unrated cut, the BD and DVD are loaded with horrific bonus features including behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes. The BD will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 U.S./$32.99 Canada, with the DVD available for $22.98 U.S./$26.98 Canada.

The Wrong Turn trilogy featuring Wrong Turn, Wrong Turn 2: Dead Ahead and Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead will also be available on BD and DVD for a suggested retail price of $39.98 U.S./$49.98 Canada and $59.99 U.S./$69.99 Canada respectively. Prebook is September 23.


Blu-ray Disc and DVD Features:
"Action, Gore and Chaos!" featurette
"Brothers in Blood" featurette
"Three Finger's Fight Night" featurette
Deleted Scenes

WRONG TURN 3
Street Date:
October 20, 2009
Prebook Date:
September 23, 2009
Screen Format:
Widescreen - 1.78:1 (both)
Audio:
English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, Spanish/French 5.1 DTS (BD)
Subtitles:
English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish/French Dolby Surround / English, French and Spanish (BD) English, Spanish (Standard)
Catalog Number:
2261126 (Blu-ray)2261116 (DVD)2261775 (Blu-ray three-pack)2261159 (DVD three-pack)
Price:
$29.99 U.S. / $32.99 Canada (Blu-ray)$22.98 U.S. / $26.98 Canada (DVD)$59.99 U.S. / $69.99 Canada (Blu-ray three-pack)$39.98 U.S. / $49.98 Canada (DVD three-pack)
Feature Running Time:
92 minutes
DVD Rating:
Unrated
Closed Captioned: Yes

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Anchor Bay Entertainment Unleashes "STAN HELSING" On DVD and Blu-Ray October 27th


This Halloween, Prepare to Die…Laughing!


Special Edition to include Commentary, Featurettes and Deleted Scenes; Exclusive theatrical engagements planned

Beverly Hills , CA – The most feared monsters in cinematic history have met their
match! Watch out villains, here comes…Stan Helsing? From the executive producer of Scary Movie, the horror comedy Stan Helsing will be released on DVD and high definition Blu-ray™ on October 27th by Anchor Bay Entertainment. In the vein of spoof cinema like the Austin Powers and Scary Movie franchises, Stan Helsing lampoons contemporary film audiences’ never-ending fascination with what makes our blood curdle. In addition, the hilarious horrorfest will have exclusive theatrical engagements in New York , Los Angeles and other select cities the weekend of Friday, October 23rd.

The Stan Helsing DVD and Blu-ray™ will include valuable behind-the-scenes coverage no monster-hunter should be without, including a commentary track with the cast/filmmakers, featurettes and extended, alternate & deleted scenes – all guaranteed to make you howl with laughter! SRP is a side-splitting $26.97 for the DVD , with $34.98 SRP for the Blu-ray™.

Written and directed by Bo Zenga, Stan Helsing follows the misadventures of hapless video store clerk Stan Helsing (Steve Howey) and his friends. During what should be a routine video delivery on Halloween night before going to a Halloween party, Stan and company find themselves stranded in the mysterious residential development of Stormy Night Estates. There, Stan learns of his true destiny as a descendant of the legendary monster-hunter Van Helsing.

With his motley band in tow – including his best friend Teddy (“Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson), he will battle evil in the form of parodies of movie monster icons “Freddy,” “Jason,” “Leatherface,” “Pinhead,” “Michael Myers,” and “Chucky.” The ultimate confrontation between good and evil will require immeasurable courage, grim determination – and a flair for karaoke?

In addition to riotously sending up some of the cinema’s greatest scream meisters, Stan Helsing also features the appearance of comedy film legend Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!, the Naked Gun films, Scary Movie 3 and 4) as well as a surprise cameo that will frighten the Republican Party!

Stan Helsing was produced by Scott Steindorff, Bo Zenga and Kirk Shaw. Director of photography is Robert New (Prom Night), production designer is Chris August (I, Robot) and music is by Ryan Shore (Cabin Fever 2).


STAN HELSING DVD
Street Date: October 27, 2009
Pre-book Date: September 24, 2009
Catalog #: DV16790
ISBN #: 0 1313 16790-9 0
Rating: R for bloody images, violence and some sexual content
Running Time: 90 minutes
SRP : $26.97
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Bonus Features: Commentary with writer/producer/director Bo Zenga and actors Kenan Thompson and Desi Lydic;
Killer Parody: The Making of Stan Helsing;
Extended, Alternate & Deleted Scenes;
Outtakes;
Theatrical Trailer;
Still and storyboard gallery

STAN HELSING Blu-ray™
Street Date: October 27, 2009
Pre-book Date: September 24, 2009
Catalog #: N3150
ISBN #: 0 1313 83150-8 3
Rating: R for bloody images, violence and some sexual content
Running Time: 90 minutes
SRP : $34.98
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) MPEG-4 AVC 1080p
Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1
PCM Uncompressed 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Bonus Features: Commentary with writer/producer/director Bo Zenga and actors Kenan Thompson and Desi Lydic;
Killer Parody: The Making of Stan Helsing;
Extended, Alternate & Deleted Scenes;
Outtakes;
Theatrical Trailer;
Still and storyboard gallery

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

HARPER'S ISLAND: THE DVD EDITION -- DVD review by porfle

Got about eight-and-a-half hours to kill? If you're like me, that's roughly the amount of time you'll have to stay glued to the TV set so you can watch all four discs of HARPER'S ISLAND: THE DVD EDITION in one marathon, butt-numbing session. (Plus time for meals, bathroom breaks, and walking the dog, of course.) The set-up is simple, but what happens over the next 13 episodes is a deviously compelling maze of murder, mystery, and deception that's as addictive as glazed donuts.

It begins as a festive wedding party gathers on a yacht that's headed for an island off the coast of Seattle. Trish Wellington (Katie Cassidy) and Henry Dunn (Christopher Gorham) are the happy couple headed for the altar, while Henry's childhood friend Abby Mills (Elaine Cassidy, THE OTHERS) is uncertain about returning to her hometown and seeing her estranged father, Sheriff Charlie Mills (Jim Beaver), after seven years. Things just haven't been the same between them since a deranged serial killer murdered Abby's mother and Charlie sent the young girl away to live in L.A.

Once everyone settles into the rustic Candlewick Inn and gets the party started, people start dying one by one in horrible ways. The murders bear an uncanny resemblance to the work of that serial killer, John Wakefield, who was supposedly shot to death by Sheriff Mills after his original rampage. Is Wakefield still alive, or is a copycat continuing what he started? Either way, the guest list for Trish and Henry's wedding is dwindling rapidly, and by the time everyone figures out what's going on it's too late to do anything about it besides run, hide, scream, and get murdered.

The generous running time gives us a chance to get to know and care about the characters and become involved in their sometimes soap opera-like interactions before the carnage goes into full swing. While Trish and Henry are crazy about each other, Trish's millionaire father Thomas Wellington (Richard Burgi) considers Henry beneath his daughter and has hired her old boyfriend to come seduce her away from him. Meanwhile, his wife Katherine (Claudette Mink) is having an S & M-tinged affair with his daughter's husband, Richard (David Lewis). Foppish Britisher Cal Vandeusen (Adam Campbell) and hunky fratboy "Sully" Sullivan (Matt Barr) vie for the affections of beautiful blonde Chloe (Cameron Richardson). And Trish's niece, Madison (impressively played by 12-year-old Cassandra Sawtell) is one seriously weird little girl who seems to know that something bad is going on before anyone else does.

Abby, meanwhile, tentatively renews her relationship with an old flame, Jimmy (C.J. Thomason), who may be more of a bad boy than anyone realizes. She also discovers that her father has a continuing obsession with the Wakefield case when she stumbles upon his attic office festooned with files, clippings, and crime scene photographs. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg--bad intentions, sinister omens, and criminal schemes lurk beneath the surface, and it doesn't take long for people to start suspecting each other of all kinds of unsavory things.
With its quaint, autumnal seaside village setting and its victims being dispatched "ten little indians" style, the show reminded me somewhat of that old reality series, "Murder in Smalltown X", in which contestants were plunged into nightmarish scenarios and "murdered" one by one in lieu of being voted off. It also begins to resemble one of those spooky videogame adventures when the characters start tracking the killer through underground passages that take them from one level of mystery and fear to the next, following blood trails and other clues while danger lurks around each dark corner. And, of course, the Agatha Christie influence is there as well.

Most of all, HARPER'S ISLAND is like a lavishly-produced 80s slasher flick extended into a nail-biting cliffhanger serial. It fulfills its promise to kill off at least one major character per chapter, in appropriately shocking and gruesome ways. One guy falls through a wooden footbridge and gets the lower half of his body amputated while he's hanging there. Another is swooped up by a rope snare and beheaded. Right off the bat in episode one we see the first missing wedding guest wrapped around the yacht's propellor shaft and headed for choppy waters.

While the murders themselves are only as violent as network TV will currently allow, they're handled well enough to convey sufficient horror while the aftermath is often quite graphic. Over the course of this series the killer (or killers) racks up a body count that would make Jason Voorhees green with envy. You never know who's going to be next--nobody's off-limits, and there's a good chance that no matter who your favorite character is, he or she will get the axe (or the shotgun, or the harpoon, or that big blade that's used to behead whales) sooner or later.

My favorite moment occurs right there during the wedding rehearsal, when one of the participants suddenly develops a splitting headache. With this overt act, after the first few episodes of buildup, the cat-and-mouse game between the killer and his would-be victims really begins in earnest. What follows is scene after scene of gripping tension and suspense punctuated by some extremely brutal murders. The matter of whether they're being stalked by Wakefield himself or a copycat killer is heightened by the growing suspicion that one of their group is actually in cahoots with him, and may even be his errant offspring.

Only in the last few episodes does this saga occasionally feel a bit thinly-stretched, with a final sequence that's uncomfortably contrived. You may also begin to wonder after awhile where in the heck all the other inhabitants of the island have gotten off to, since the main characters seem to be the only people in town once the shooting and explosions and screaming get underway. But I was having too good a time to quibble over minor details.

The DVD image is 16 x 9 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and stereo surround. Close-captions are available for the hearing-impaired. Episode titles are amusingly sound effects-oriented, with cast and producer commentaries for "Whap", "Sploosh", "Splash", and "Sigh." Other bonuses include deleted scenes, on-air promos, 90 minutes of webisodes from harpersglobe.com, and four featurettes: "Casting Harper's Island", "One By One: The Making of Harper's Island", "Guess Who?", and "The Grim Reaper."

The cast is very good playing their stereotypical roles, especially the winsome Elaine Cassidy as Abby, around whom the entire story revolves. Series creator Ari Schlossberg and the other writers have put together a real corker of a murder-mystery-horror-thriller that is full of giddy fun and surprises. Watching HARPER'S ISLAND one episode at a time with a whole week in between must've been torture for its original TV viewers--I can't imagine not being able to consume the whole heady concoction all at once.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"TRIANGLE" -- Three Masters of Cinema Combine Forces to Create a Boldly Creative Masterpiece

Available on DVD September 15 from Magnolia Home Entertainment

"One of the most hotly anticipated films to come out of Asia in years."- Twitch

A group of tight-knit friends, down on their luck and desperate for cash, embark on the adventure of a lifetime in the tense and comedic crime caper TRIANGLE. The unique film is comprised of three independently filmed and produced sections, created by Hong Kong cinema masters Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To, each famous for his distinctive style. When the men are offered the chance of a lifetime by a mysterious stranger - to steal an ancient treasure buried beneath a heavily-guarded government building in the heart of Hong Kong - they jump at the chance to solve their money troubles.

Adulterous affairs, traitorous alliances and crooked cops complicate the dangerous heist, and when it all goes wrong the three friends must choose between their ill-gotten treasure and loyalty to each other, as their lives are laid on the line.

Actors: Simon Yam
Directors: Johnnie To;Ringo Lam;Hark Tsui
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen Language: Chinese
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rating: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
Run Time: 92 minutes

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CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: THE NINTH SEASON -- DVD review by porfle

The grandaddy of all those forensic detective shows with all the dead bodies and blood and guts and brains and other gooey stuff, all being searched and sifted and nitpicked for clues in homicides and other violent deaths, is...QUINCY? Okay, that groundbreaking Jack Klugman classic was old school forensic fun, but these days the big cheese in the cops 'n' corpses sweepstakes is CSI. And if CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: THE NINTH SEASON is any indication, the show seems to be holding up rather well in its old age.

This 6-disc, 24-episode DVD set is non-stop entertainment. Set in Las Vegas, the show follows the exploits of a crack CSI team consisting of both field agents and lab rats, combining their talents to solve a wide variety of mysterious deaths. As always, it's fascinating to see how even the smallest and most seemingly insignificant clues, whether found at the scene of a crime or during an autopsy of the victim, can lead to breaking a case. And when the painstaking lab work yields answers, the field agents go into action.

As most CSI fans know, this is the season in which longtime star William Petersen finally ends his run as beloved chief consultant and father figure Gil Grissom. Petersen, long one of my favorite actors thanks to films such as MANHUNTER and TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., hangs around for the first half of the season as his character makes the agonizing decision to quit the dead body business and resume his romance with former team member Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox). Grissom's final episode is a tad maudlin at times but these characters have such a long and rich history together that it's still pretty moving.

His departure sets the stage for a new big-name addition to the cast--Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Ray Langston. Fishburne has evolved to the point where he can now play a distinguished, mild-mannered older gentleman with the same authority as Morpheus in THE MATRIX or that skinny city kid in APOCALYPSE NOW. His Dr. Langston joins the team with an eager intellectual fascination coupled with an endearing lack of experience and finesse, and Fishburne makes him an interesting and likable character.

With the emotional loss of Warrick (Gary Dourdan) last season, the first episode concludes his story as the team makes it a priority to track down his killer. His replacement is yet another new castmember, Lauren Lee Smith as the independent and somewhat abrasive Riley Adams. Her character is supposed to shake things up a bit, but it doesn't take long for Riley to settle in and get with the program. Maybe next season she'll be more disruptive--there are signs of a growing procedural conflict with Langston.

Marg Helgenberger's Catherine Willows moves easily into the positon of team leader and makes it her own. George Eads, a favorite of mine ever since he played "Shorty" in the TV remake of MONTE WALSH, is very good as solid, dependable field agent Nick Stokes. Lab rats Hodges (Wallace Langham), Simms (the beautiful Liz Vassey), and Johnson (Archie Kao) provide most of the show's comic interplay while coroner Dr. Robbins (Robert David Hall, STARSHIP TROOPERS) is the resident curmudgeon. Paul Guilfoyle (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, AIR FORCE ONE) is fine as veteran cop Captain Jim Brass.

The look of the show is a major factor in its appeal. Whereas you'd probably expect real-life CSI investigators to process their data in brightly-lit and nondescript offices and labs, here we find a dark, stylized environment so sleek and modern it could almost pass for a dance club, or maybe even the science deck of a starship. Black and blue (appropriately) dominate, highlighted with glowing warm and cool colors.



An interesting visual element is the way the camera zooms in and gives us close-up views of whatever evidence is being discussed. Often we find ourselves on microscopic tours through a victim's body, or sharing a plastic bag with a discarded cadaver to observe its time-lapse decomposition. With all the egghead techno-blab flying fast and furious, these visual aids are a big help in understanding what the hell the characters are talking about.

The tightly-written scripts are consistently compelling. Gleanne Hedley guest stars in "The Happy Place" as a hypnotist using her abilities for dark purposes. In "Art Imitates Life", Jeffrey Tambor gives one of his wonderfully oddball performances as an eccentric artist who may be involved with a series of bizarre "murder-as-art" crimes. Other episodes deal with such topics as S&M, reality talent programs, murder by toothpaste, skydiving sabotage, religious cults, and rabies.

In "Turn, Turn, Turn", George Eads gets his own episode as Stokes handles numerous cases occuring at the same seedy motel over the course of a year, all involving a troubled young girl (Taylor Swift). "Mascara", a weird tale of Mexican wrestlers and a series of murders involving a particular deadly chokehold, is the 200th episode and is directed by William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST, THE FRENCH CONNECTION), who worked with William Petersen in TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.

The two episodes which introduce Dr. Langston, "19 Down..." and "One to Go", are noteworthy as we get to see Fishburne and Petersen working together to solve Grissom's final case. It involves an imprisoned serial killer (Bill Irwin) who is somehow relaying instructions for murder to an admiring copycat killer on the outside. Matt O'Leary of FRAILTY also appears as a suspect and turns up again in a later episode.

One of the weirdest episodes, "A Space Oddity", is reminiscent of GALAXY QUEST as it focuses on the obsessive fans of a fictitious TREK-like series called "Astro Quest." Hodges and Simms run into each other at a sci-fi convention and discover a common nerd-dom that the lovesick Hodges hopes will blossom into love. The fact that a murder takes place at the convention takes a back seat to his fevered fantasies in which he's the dashing starship captain and Simms is either the beautiful yeoman, the naive alien girl who doesn't know about love (shades of Angelique Pettyjohn in "The Gamesters of Triskelion"), or the exotic belly-dancing animal woman who's right out of "The Cage." The reproductions of various "Star Trek" episodes are fun (though much cheesier than the actual show), and Liz Vassey is gorgeous enough in her different costumes to burn out any space geek's dilythium crystals.

The DVD set is very attractively packaged with the same dark, sleek look of the show. There are six discs with four episodes per disc. 16.9 image and 5.1 Dolby Digital are very good. English and Spanish stereo are also available. Special features include some brief deleted scenes for some episodes, and cast and crew commentaries for "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "A Space Oddity." There are also four featurettes: "Crime Scene Initiation", "Rats in Space", "From Zero to 200 in Nine Seasons", and "Goodbye Grissom." Dr. Langston's first case, "The Grave Shift", is accompanied by a text trivia option.

Not quite as flashy or fast-moving as some of the shows that have bobbed up in its wake, CSI is a rock-solid, effortlessly absorbing whodunnit whose intriguing mysteries and imaginative plot twists will keep you guessing until the final minutes. The only downside to watching this set is that I've had that damn catchy theme song, "Who Are You?" by The Who, stuck in my head for a week and it's driving me nuts.

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The Paul Newman Tribute Collection -- on DVD September 22

His looks were devastating. His charm was legendary. His legacy is astonishing.

THE PAUL NEWMAN TRIBUTE COLLECTION


Academy Award Winner And Hollywood Icon Honored In All-New 17-Disc Collection, Featuring Exclusive 136 Page Book With Never-Before-Seen Images And More, On September 22 From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

2009 Marks The 40th Anniversary Of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

“Newman can accomplish with the slightest of intonations, or an almost undetectable shift in his eyes, what would take another actor the course of a movie to attain.” - Washington Post

“A magnetic titan of Hollywood.”- The New York Times


CENTURY CITY, Calif. – Acting in more than 65 movies spanning over 50 years, his striking grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor seemed effortless; Paul Newman’s magnetism and passion was almost impossible to resist. On September 22, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment honors the legend with an all-new 17-disc set, The Paul Newman Tribute Collection, featuring 13 of his acclaimed films including two-disc Special Collector’s Editions of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hustler, The Verdict and The Towering Inferno, as well as nine other films ranging throughout Newman’s historic career. A fitting homage to one of cinema’s most accomplished stars, The Paul Newman Tribute Collection includes an exclusive 136 page soft-bound book loaded with a stunning array of photos, some of which have never been seen before, of the Hollywood icon on the set with his fellow cast and crew, excerpts from each film and personal quotes from Newman himself.


Over the years, Newman worked with some of Hollywood’s most notable filmmakers, three of which are highlighted in this collection including Otto Preminger’s World War II drama Exodus, Newman’s two films with legendary director Robert Altman, Buffalo Bill and the Indians Or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson and Quintet, and three of his six collaborations with director Martin Ritt including Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man, Hombre and Newman’s first big screen feature with wife Joanne Woodward in The Long, Hot Summer. Rounding out the collection is the Wall Street drama From The Terrace and the hilarious comedies Rally ‘Round The Flag, Boys! and What A Way To Go! Newman also received numerous Academy Award nominations throughout his career including his stellar performances in The Hustler and The Verdict.

Format: Box set, Color, Dubbed, DVD, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 17
Rating: Unrated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

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Monday, August 24, 2009

"FAMILY GUY: SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARKSIDE" On Blu-ray Disc and DVD December 22

THE BEST SELLING TV ON DVD FRANCHISE EVER STRIKES BACK WITH AN OUTRAGEOUS NEW STAR WARS SPOOF AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON BLU-RAY & DVD
The Farce Is Strong With This Never-Before Seen “Family Guy” Adventure, Arriving On Two-Disc Blu-ray And DVD December 22 From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Fully Loaded With Hilarious Bonus Material Including Deleted Scenes, Commentaries, Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes, A Pop-Up Video Feature And More!

“Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside” Synopsis: The story of The Empire Strikes Back is retold. Darth Vader (Stewie) is hunting the rebel Luke Skywalker (Chris) and his troops relentlessly across the galaxy. On the ice planet Hoth, Luke has a vision of his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), telling him to go to the Dagobah system to learn the ways of the Force under Jedi Master Yoda (Carl). Meanwhile Princess Leia (Lois) finds herself taking a shine to the scruffy pilot Han Solo (Peter) and, against all odds, the two soon fall in love. But an encounter with Han’s old friend Lando Calrissian (Mort) lands them in the clutches of the Empire. Envisioning this, Luke chooses to forgo his Jedi training to save his friends. It all comes to a head in a climactic confrontation with Darth Vader himself…

Two-Disc Blu-ray With Digital Copy Specs:

The “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside” BD is presented in full screen 4x3 aspect ratio featuring English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Line 21, English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, English, Spanish, and French stereo and subtitles. Special features include:
● Digital Copy
● Audio Commentary
● Deleted Scenes
● Behind-The-Scenes Featurette – “The Darkside of Poster Art”
● Animatics
● Pop-Up Video

DVD Specs:

The “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside” DVD is presented in full screen aspect ratio featuring English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Line 21, English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, English, Spanish, French, and Brazilian stereo and subtitles. Special features include all those listed above except Digital Copy.
STAR WARS and all related character names and other properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
A recognized global industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC (TCFHE) is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on DVD, Blu-ray Disc (BD) and Digital Copy as well as acquisitions and original productions. The company also releases all products around the globe for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets -- from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce - throughout the world. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC is a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company.

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"Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside" DVD
"Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside" Blu-Ray

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"One Step Beyond: The First Season" On DVD September 15

Before The Twilight Zone, there was ONE STEP BEYOND, the groundbreaking 1959 series landing on DVD for the first time ever September 15 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment

Debuting as a three-disc collectible set that includes all 22 digitally remastered first season episodes, ONE STEP BEYOND: THE OFFICIAL FIRST SEASON sought out stories of the paranormal - including tales of ghosts, disappearances, monsters and more - and recreated them each week in thrilling and suspenseful ways that led viewers to ask the question "What if it is real?"

Released just in time for the series' 50th anniversary, ONE STEP BEYOND was hosted by John Newland, who also directed the series, and fed on the nation's growing interest in the paranormal in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This must-have for any sci-fi fan's DVD library includes the extended pilot "The Bride Possessed," which includes a five-minute monologue from Newland, and "The Devil's Laughter," arguably the best episode of the series, which tells the story of an Englishman convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged though he somehow manages to repeatedly escape death.

The first season also features teasers for upcoming episodes at the end of each episode, an iconic series promo, the original Alcoa-sponsored opening and the Main Title Sequence from the 1990s.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

FEED YOUR FEAR! Halloween Blu-ray from Fox!

Psychopaths, Cannibals And Killer Dolls Come To Life Like Never Before As The Latest Selection Of Bloodcurdling Classics Arrive On Blu-ray Disc September 15 From Twentieth Century Fox And MGM Home Entertainment


LOS ANGELES, CA – This Halloween… make a play date with Chucky, join a book club with Annie, have an old friend for dinner with Hannibal, or go camping with Three-Finger. Twentieth Century Fox and MGM Home Entertainment unearth a selection of frightening film favorites in haunting high-definition when CHILD’S PLAY, MISERY, HANNIBAL LECTER ANTHOLOGY, WRONG TURN and WRONG TURN 2 arrive on Blu-ray Disc (BD) September 15.

First, Chucky goes high-definition when the soul of a serial killer who isn’t ready to die uses his voodoo skills to inhabit an innocent looking doll in CHILD’S PLAY. From the Director of Fright Night, this “clever, playful” (The New York Times) thriller with “excellent special effects” (Leonard Maltin) and heart-pounding suspense takes playtime to a new level of terror on stunning BD + DVD Combo! The high-def horrors continue in the heart stopping, Academy Award®-winning, MISERY, also on BD + DVD Combo. Adapted from a Stephen King story by Oscar®-winning screenwriter William Goldman (All the President’s Men) and directed by Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men), this chiller follows maniacal fan, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates; Titanic), as she “rescues” famed novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan; The Godfather) from a car accident and holds him hostage. What follows is an epic physiological thriller that portrays “a Hitchcockian kind of cat-and-mouse” (The New York Times) game played between two cunning minds.

Witness the birth of evil in spine tingling clarity, as the eerie and intense HANNIBAL LECTER ANTHOLOGY captures MANHUNTER, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL together on stunning Blu-ray Disc for the first time. MANHUNTER, the intense thriller from writer-director Michael Mann (Heat, Public Enemies), first introduced the world to the cunning, unforgettable serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The psychological horror continues in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS with Oscar® winner Anthony Hopkins (The Elephant Man, Nixon) as the sophisticated murderer, alongside Oscar® winner Jodie Foster (Maverick, Contact) as FBI agent Clarice Starling, who liaisons with the killer in order to solve a murder case. Lastly, Hopkins is “perverse perfection” (Rolling Stone) in his reprisal of the role of Dr. Lecter in HANNIBAL, as he comes out of hiding to draw FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore; Boogie Nights) into a high-stakes battle that will test her strength, cunning and loyalty.

Finally, the cannibalistic carnage continues as the WRONG TURN and WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END make their graphic Blu-ray Disc debut. The indescribable nightmare depicts the fight for survival against a family of hideously deformed inbred cannibals who plan to ruthlessly butcher everyone.

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Misery Blu-Ray
Child's Play Blu-Ray
Hannibal Lecter Collection Blu-Ray
Wrong Turn Blu-Ray
Wrong Turn 2 Blu-Ray
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

THE UNTOUCHABLES: SEASON 3, VOLUME 1 -- DVD review by porfle

If you've only seen the nostalgia-hued, touchy-feely DePalma film, you might be surprised to find that the classic TV series on which it was based was way more powerful and dark. As THE UNTOUCHABLES: SEASON 3, VOLUME 1 demonstrates, it was one of the most hardboiled, violent, adult crime series that ever hit the airwaves.

Robert Stack is perfectly cast as the four-square lawman Eliot Ness and seems to revel in playing one of TV's toughest and most incorruptible characters. As much as I like Kevin Costner's interpretation, the physically-imposing Stack looks much more hardcore and intimidating to the typical cowardly underworld figure.

We don't get to find out much if anything about his personal life or those of his crew--their job is to take down the bad guys, and their lives revolve around that job. It's as though they exist only to tirelessly battle organized crime in Chicago. As for comedy relief or lighthearted banter, the dead-serious nature of the show leaves precious little room for such things. This is further emphasized by famed radio newscaster Walter Winchell's distinctively straight-faced narration and a somber musical score (some of the same cues were used in George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD).

The Desilu backlot is the perfect backdrop for the show's self-contained film noir fantasy world populated by hardbitten cops (both honest and dirty), cowering civilians, and an endlessly fascinating rogue's gallery of ruthless crime bosses and their trigger-happy gunsels. Bruce Gordon glowers and growls as the imprisoned Al Capone's surly surrogate, Frank Nitti, who rules Chicago's underworld with an iron hand. Several episodes involve Nitti's attempts to import and distribute illegal booze and narcotics while Ness and his men work to cut off his supply or nab his top capos. Gambling in various forms is another major crime enterprise infesting the city.

Gordon seems to relish playing the role of a gangland kingpin, as do most of the guest stars who portray underbosses, upstart competitors, or soldiers. In "The Death Tree", Charles Bronson takes control of a gypsy ruling council through assassination and terror. Peter Falk is "The Troubleshooter", rising quickly in the crime ranks by eliminating problems and targeting Ness for a frame-up. "The Matt Bass Scheme" features a grinning Telly Savalas as an enterprising thug who plans to transport whiskey into the city via a sewer pipeline.

Ruth Roman is outstanding as a homicidal female criminal in "Man Killer." Herschel Bernardi, Don Gordon, and Robert Emhardt are a trio of crime specialists who decide to combine their talents while hasbeen ex-boss Jay C. Flippen is duped into serving as their "Fall Guy." In "Power Play", Albert Salmi gives one of his best-ever performances as a fugitive harbored by a lonely spinster (Mary Fickett) who has deadly designs on him.


"The Gang War" is an exciting tale of rival crime boss Victor Buono's airborne smuggling racket which draws the ire of both Nitti and Ness, with lethal results. And in the suspenseful "The Whitey Steele Story", Ness himself goes undercover as a surly thug in order to expose a gambling racket, while Henry Silva and Murray Hamilton threaten to expose his true identity.

Other noteworthy guest stars appearing in this collection include James Gregory, Cloris Leachman, Vincent Gardenia, Carroll O'Connor, Bing Russell, Marc Lawrence, Antony Carbone (CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA), Arlene (Sax) Martel, Wendell Corey, Milt Seltzer, Michael Constantine, Joe Turkel, Paul Richards, Mike Kellin, Theodore Marcuse, Vic Perrin, Harold J. Stone, Joan Staley (THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN), John Larch, Barbara Luna, Vaughn Taylor, George Tobias, Dabbs Greer, Arthur Hill, Simon Oakland, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Nelson, Paul Birch, Herbie Faye, Frank Cady, Phillip Pine, Ed Asner, Bert Convy, and Dyan Cannon. Peter Coe of such films as THE MUMMY'S CURSE and HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN even turns up as a two-bit thug named "Flipper."

More than just showing up to collect a paycheck, these guest stars give solid performances that reflect the feature-film quality of the writing and production values of the show. Each episode has the look and feel of a classic-era Warner Bros. gangster picture, with exquisite black-and-white cinematography and stylish direction by the likes of Paul Wendkos, Bernard L. Kowalski, and Abner Biberman.


This is one of the most violent shows of its era. The body count mounts quickly as characters are brutally rubbed out in various nasty ways, usually after crossing Frank Nitti or squealing to the cops, and the lethal action is always well-staged. Nowhere is this more evident than in the episode entitled "Loophole", in which crooked lawyer Jack Klugman flaunts the law to keep vicious criminal Martin Landau out of jail. A drive-by hit on a potential witness outside the courtroom explodes into a chaotic, bullet-riddled street battle filled with blazing Tommy guns and crashing cars. The sequence is beautifully directed and thrilling, rivaling similar scenes in the GODFATHER films.

The four discs in this DVD set contain 16 episodes which originally aired 1961-1962. Picture is 4:3 full-screen and looks great. Sound is Dolby Digital English and Spanish mono. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. No bonus features.

If you get a bang out of vintage gangster flicks, THE UNTOUCHABLES: SEASON 3, VOLUME 1 is a great collection of hard-hitting, action-packed entertainment from one of the best crime shows ever produced. This noirish and violent show doesn't pull any punches.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"BATTLE OF THE WARRIORS" and "RISE OF THE GARGOYLES" on DVD Sept. 8 From Genius Products

With an enormous army looming at the gates to their kingdom, the people of Liang turn to a mysterious stranger to rescue them from siege and conquest. Ferocious battles and gripping suspense highlight this epic tale of swords, strategy, and heroism.

Starring: Two-time Hong Kong Film Award-winner Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers) and Fan Bingbing (Flash Point), with action choreography from Stephen Tung (Jet Li’s Hero).


Special Features:
Audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan
Price: $19.97
Street Date: September 8, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 133 minutes
Languages: English, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Closed Captioned

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Paris, the city of lights, becomes the city of Hell when a mysterious winged creature is unleashed from its cavernous catacombs in the supernatural thriller Rise Of The Gargoyles, arriving on DVD September 8 from Genius Products and RHI Entertainment.

A Syfy Channel original movie, Rise Of The Gargoyles is the 15th installment in the fan-favorite “Maneater Series” and follows an American professor conducting an excavation of an ancient local church, whose interest is piqued by a series of brutally animalistic killings. Teaming up with a French reporter in an effort to understand and ultimately stop the nightmarish murders, the twosome quickly realize that this is no random killing spree – it’s Judgment Day.


Directed by Bill Corcoran (Vipers), Rise Of The Gargoyles features an impressive ensemble cast that includes Eric Balfour (“24,” The Spirit, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Tanya Clarke (Delivery Method, “CSI: Miami”) and Nick Mancuso (Ticket to Heaven, Heartbreakers). A fast-paced “guilty pleasure” certain to entertain as well as mortify, Rise Of The Gargoyles will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.95.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

JULIA -- DVD review by porfle

It doesn't take long to figure out that it's going to be a lot of fun watching Tilda Swinton stumble, blunder, and bluff her way through the title role of Erick Zonca's nail-biting thriller JULIA (2008). Julia is a sloppy drunk who screws strangers in back seats and wakes up wondering where she is and who she's with, and petulantly spews profanities even as she's trying to sweet-talk her boss out of firing her or a blazing-eyed killer out of blowing her brains out.

Her friend Mitch (Saul Rubinek), who puts up with her because he loves her and recognizes in her the same self-destructive behavior that once caused him to lose his family, warns Julia that she is an "out-of-control, suicidal, blind alcoholic." This doesn't help, though, because being exactly that is the only thing she knows how to do. And Tilda Swinton, with rarely-seen abandon, grabs the role by the horns and rides it like a mechanical bull.

Julia heckles and jeers her way through A.A. meetings before fleeing toward her next drink. It's during her brief time at one of these meetings that she meets Elena (Kate del Castillo), a bright-faced young Mexican woman who comes to her with a proposition--if Julia will help Elena kidnap her son Tommy away from his grandfather, a wealthy electronics tycoon, Elena will pay her $50,000. Why doesn't Elena have custody of Tommy? Because she's crazy as a loon, that's why, and so is her plan, but the desperate Julia's brain is so booze-addled that she actually imagines it might work. It's right about here that I begin to get this sickly feeling because I know what happens next isn't going to turn out well.

It doesn't, and there's a fatality, and before you know it Julia is a fugitive holding a kidnapped kid at gunpoint in a motel room. She ties him up and feeds him pills to keep him knocked out, and ends up demanding a ransom from the old man. What started as a portrait of a pathetic alcoholic is now the increasingly disturbing story of a crazy woman who either has no moral compass or simply can't comprehend the monstrousness of her actions. But even as bad turns to worse, she continues to barrel headlong through each hopeless situation just to keep from getting pinned down, no matter what it takes.

Things get even worse--I mean, really, really worse--when Julia ends up in Tijuana and Tommy gets kidnapped again, only this time by guys who won't hesitate to kill him if she doesn't fork over the cash that she's trying to squeeze out of the old man. Here's where her status as an "out-of-control, suicidal, blind alcoholic" comes in handy. In one of the most harrowing descents into inner-city hell that I've seen in quite some time, Julia plunges into one nightmarish scenario after another with two things driving her on--the money and the kid. They're like scales bobbing up and down in her mind.

I don't know if she's fully responsible for her own horribleness or not, but we know that she's in need of one hell of a huge redemption after the way she's treated Tommy and what she's gotten him into. At any rate, it's thrilling to watch her deal with these ultra-bad guys by the seat of her pants and dodge certain death with nothing but her wits and a wild-eyed cunning that she seems to draw out of thin air. And despite a keen sense of self-preservation, Julia improvises her way through each step of her perilous ordeal with a "screw you" recklessness that's exhilarating.

The DVD from Magnolia Home Entertainment is 2.35:1 widescreen with 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound and Spanish subtitles. Extras consist of about twenty minutes of deleted scenes and a trailer.

The final minutes of JULIA are so suspenseful and intense that the experience left me feeling as though I'd been punched in the gut. There's no catharsis at the end--only a sense that something nerve-wracking has just happened, like almost getting broadsided by a semi at an intersection and having to pull over until you stop shaking. I don't particularly enjoy feeling that way, but I'm still glad I watched this movie. And I now have a whole new appreciation for Tilda Swinton as an actress. She's awesome.

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SURVEILLANCE -- DVD review by porfle

Jennifer Lynch may not have quite as bizarre a visual sense as her dad, but as far as being able to write and direct a mindbending and deliriously fun movie goes, the acorn didn't fall very far from the tree. Weird as it may seem to describe such a shocking and gory film as "fun", I had a great time watching SURVEILLANCE (2008) twist and turn its way through a constantly surprising storyline to its demented end.

Two visiting FBI agents, Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman) and Elizabeth Anderson (Julia Ormond) are summoned to a smalltown police station to help clear up a multiple murder which occurred on a desolate stretch of highway. Three interrogation rooms are set up with Hallaway manning the surveillance monitors. Bloody, battered Officer Bennet (Kent Harper), injured in the attack and extremely distraught over the death of his partner Jim Conrad (French Stewart), is a hostile witness who is obviously hiding something. Bobbi (Pell James), a young blonde dopehead, struggles to give a lucid account to a couple of jeering cops. Meanwhile, Anderson tries to coax the story out of Stephanie (Ryan Simpkins), a quietly observant little girl who may be the only key to the truth.

The plot unfolds at a leisurely pace and takes its time piecing together flashbacks of what happened from the three disparate perspectives. The two bad-boy cops, Bennet and Conrad, enjoy shooting out tires and terrorizing innocent passersby. A couple of fun-loving hopheads, Bobbi and her boyfriend Johnny (Mac Miller) are out joyriding and getting high. Meanwhile, a station wagon contains a vacation-bound family that includes Mom (Cheri Oteri), stepdad (Hugh Dillon), brother Curtis (Kyle Briere), and little Stephanie. When the druggie couple and the family become the latest victims in Bennet and Conrad's "good cop/bad cop" routine, the terror is just getting started--little do any of them know that two insane, bloodthirsty serial killers, whom we've already seen committing a horrifying home invasion, are on the highway as well, and they're all headed for a catastrophic collision.

The smalltown police station where the interrogations occur is the sort of place where David Lynch might have put fish in the coffee pots, but daughter Jennifer relies on a slowly building air of tension, suspicion, and unease to keep us on edge. There's a definite mistrust and resentment between the cops and the FBI agents that we know can't be good. Officer Bennet, in particular, seems ready to go postal at any moment as the ghastly events on the highway keep churning through his unstable mind. Bobbi has trouble convincing the two inept cops questioning her of anything besides the fact that she's a drugged-out ditz. The only person who seems capable of shedding any light on the matter is Stephanie, the little girl with a knack for noticing things other people miss. Ryan Simpkins is a naturally talented child actress who gives the role a haunting quality.

I wish I could say more about the plot but that would be giving away too much. Suffice it to say that there are two major sequences--both explosively violent, gory, and shocking--in which the fertilizer hits the ventilator in a big way. The first takes place out on that desolate highway after the two cops' terrorization of the hapless civilians is finally over and everyone's catching their breath, when suddenly... Metal rends, glass shatters, blood splatters, and people die in really bad ways. Fetchingly cute SNL alum Cheri Oteri is very good here, as is former "Third Rock" star French Stewart. What happens is well-staged and jaw-dropping, and we're left more than a little breathless.

Then comes the big climax in the police station, and I mean that in more ways than one. All the suspicions are out in the open and the truth is revealed at last in a twist that I found satisfyingly twisted even though I pretty much saw it coming. And even then, it just keeps getting twistier. And weirder. And sicker. It's fun to watch the lead actors performing this over-the-top material so well and giving it all they've got. Best of all are Bill Pullman, who gives one of his most interesting performances here as the hangdog FBI agent in the rumpled black suit, and Julia Ormond, who's even better as his partner. I should also mention longtime fan fave Michael Ironside, who gets to play a good guy (or does he?)

Jennifer Lynch proves that she can not only write a scintillating screenplay (with co-writer Kent Harper), but she can also direct it with imagination and style. There's an effective contrast between the claustrophobic station scenes and the expansive highway sequences, which feature some neat tracking shots and take full advantage of those flat, empty Saskatchewan vistas. Lynch also has a knack for working with actors and getting just what she wants out of them while encouraging them to make their own creative contributions.

The DVD on Magnolia's "Magnet" label is 2.35:1 widescreen with 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound. Bonuses include the making-of featurettes "Surveillance: The Watched are Watching" and "HDNet: A Look at Surveillance." There are also deleted scenes (with commentary), an alternate ending which I'm glad wasn't used even though it's interesting to watch, and a commentary featuring Lynch and castmembers Mac Miller and Charlie Newmark. Spanish subtitles are available.

Jen Lynch doesn't want to imitate her dad--at one point she changed the ending when it occurred to her that she was making a David Lynch movie--and she doesn't have to. She has a distinctive style, and SURVEILLANCE stands on its own as a story that bends reality in all sorts of intriguing ways without becoming self-consciously unreal.

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