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DVD Releases for January 4, 2005

January 8th, 2005

Every week films get a second chance at success from the home market; or, in some cases, a first chance at success. Here is a list of wide releases, limited releases and a few from the growing TV on DVD section, including the winner of the DVD Pick of the Week, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Unrated Extended Edition

Air Bud Spikes Back - Buy from Amazon
The first film in this series was pretty bad, but it obviously made some fans since they keep making sequels, although they’ve been direct-to-DVD for the last few movies. This time they have the pouch playing volleyball. So far we’ve seen him play Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer and now Volleyball. What’s left, Hockey? Perhaps Boxing. But my money’s on Surfing next.

Assault on Precinct 13 - Buy from Amazon
Although Amazon says this is the film with Ethan Hawke, I’m assuming this is just a re-release of the original directed by John Carpenter and not the remake that doesn’t opens till the 19th. Call it a hunch. On the other hand, since they are just re-releasing the original and not releasing a special edition suggests the studio doesn’t have much hope in its upcoming release.

Beautiful Girls - Buy from Amazon
It’s a re-release of a featureless DVD, but it is one of my favorite films and it’s a slow week so I’m giving it a shout out.

C.S.I. Miami - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Yet another DVD release from this series. With the four seasons from the original series and there's already 6 seasons released with more coming out in the coming year. I used to be a fan of the shows, but the repetitiveness wore me down especially as the spin-offs were nearly identical in format, just with slightly different characters.

Edges of the Lord - Buy from Amazon
This film has sat on the studio shelf for more than three years trying to get a theatrical release. And while that didn’t work out, at least North American audiences will get a chance to watch, albeit on a featureless DVD. This film is a coming of age / Holocaust film staring Haley Joel Osment and Willem Dafoe.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2-Disc Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
It's been barely 3 months since this movie was first released on DVD. This special edition is well done, but quite frankly it doesn't matter since the time between this release and the previous release is way too short to be acceptable. If studios keep doing this I'm going to stop buying DVDs just in case a new, special edition is coming out in a few months.

Forever Knight - The Trilogy, Part 2 - Buy from Amazon
The second of three seasons of this cult Vampire TV series comes to DVD. This was the season that the show moved from network TV to syndication. Despite this change, or perhaps because of it, the show improved during the second season and the DVD release is also better with more special features, improved sound and video and a lower price. The loyal fans of this show have been rewarded for their patience and show snap up the set A.S.A.P.

God, the Devil and Bob - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
Every episode of this short lived cartoon series comes out on DVD. How short lived? Of the 13 episodes on this set, only 2 were aired during its original run. (Or maybe it was 3 or 4, there’s some disagreement on the matter.) There were some legal problems, and complaints from religious groups, which really hurt the show. But even without those problems it’s unlikely it would have lasted much longer as the writing was good, but not great and the storylines bordered on preachy. The DVD release has a few special features including a handful of audio commentary tracks and a making of featurette.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Buy from Amazon: R-Rated Edition or Unrated Extended Edition
Sometime a film can rise above being merely entertaining and really make a social statement, and this film does just that. … No I’m not high. Ok, hear me out. The film stars two Asian actors, John Cho and Kal Penn, but their characters aren’t just ethnic stereotypes, don’t have bad accents, etc. Granted, the rest of the movie is crude, stoner humor but at least there’s plausible deniability when you pick it up. Special features include 2 audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, interviews, and more. Overall it’s a very good package. The Unrated Extended Edition has all off the above plus some unrated extras like a whole 2 minutes of additional footage, ‘extreme’ outtakes, ‘extreme’ commentary track. If you are not interested in the movie that these ‘extreme’ bonuses are not enough to sway your mind, but if you were planning on picking it up anyway, might as well grab the Extended Edition.

Las Vegas - Season One Uncut & Uncensored - Buy from Amazon
I’m usually very wary of Uncensored DVDs as they are too often simply cash grabs using the notoriety of the Unrated label and the hope of seeing a nipple to make a fast buck. Compounding the problem is the fact that this is not a good show; even fans will likely admit that this is not a high quality show. Extras on the discs, (besides the bonus boobs) include 4 audio commentary tracks, behind the scenes featurette, history of Los Vegas and more. Also worth noting, the theme song has been changed, mostly likely due to licensing fees.

Little Black Book - Buy from Amazon
Brittany Murphy is in serious danger of being typecast for life and this film won’t help her career. The film was greeted with poor reviews and an anemic box office and while it should do better on the home market it still won’t see a profit for quite some time.

Millennium - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
The second of three seasons of this pseudo-spin-off of the long running X-Files. The moved away from the serial killer of the week format of the first season and had a stronger arcing story line while maintaining the darkness that helped built a cult following. Like Season 1, there are a couple of audio commentary tracks and two featurettes for special features.

The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story - Buy from Amazon
Pink Floyd is arguably the greatest band of all time. No wait; make that easily the greatest band of all time. (Just as a side note, the second greatest band is Led Zeppelin.) Syd Barrett was one of the original members and a pioneer in the psychedelic acid rock movement on the mid 60s, however, he left the band shortly afterward due to drug abuse and psychological problems. The DVD tells his story with archival footage, interviews and more.

Riding Giants - Buy from Amazon
This Surfing Documentary earned nearly universal praise and became one of more than half-a-dozen documentaries to earn more than $1 million this year. Add in strong special features like 2 audio commentary tracks, making of featurette and more and this is a must have for surfing fans or extreme sports. Also available in a 2-Pack with Dogtown and Z-Boys.

Slappy and the Stinkers - Buy from Amazon
I’m trying to figure out why this DVD is being released now. The film is nearly 7 years old and it’s not like it was well reviewed when it was released, nor did it have any impact at the box office. So I assume there’s some connection either to a movie being released in theatres soon or another movie on this list. After a little research it turns out that connection is Scarlett Pomers, who starred in both this movie and did voice work in Baby Geniuses. Good thing she landed that role on the TV show Reba.

Spongebob Squarepants - Home Sweet Pineapple - Buy from Amazon
Who Lives in a Pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob SquarePants
Enough of the theme song, and on to the DVD. Stick with the complete season sets, simple as that.

Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2 - Buy from Amazon
Simply put, this could quite possibly be the worst movie every made. And it’s even being sold in a two pack with the orginal in case anyone out there who wants not one but two horrible movies.

Troy - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
This is one of those movies that disappointed during its domestic run but was saved by its international popularity, although taking into account its production budget, P&A budget and exhibitors' share the film probably barely made a profit. This film has an excellent cast and is based on a compelling story, but something went wrong and the film could only manage average reviews. Bonus features include featurettes on Greek Myths, the special effects, battle sequences and production design. Really big fans of the myth might also want to check out National Geographic - Beyond the Movie - Troy, but like the movie, this documentary is merely mediocre.

While You Were Sleeping - Buy from Amazon
Every week Amazon lists the top ten DVD releases of the week. This week coming in tenth place is a re-release of this features DVD. If that doesn’t hammer home how weak the selection is this list are, nothing will.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Troy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Black Book, Assault On Precinct 13, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Riding Giants