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DVD Releases for February 22, 2005

February 21st, 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 this week's winner, Heat - 10th Anniversary Special Edition - Buy from Amazon ... or don't buy from Amazon. Just checked the site and the DVD's been pulled. Don't know why, don't know if it will be back. And don't know if it will have the same URL when it doesn. Regardless, it is still my DVD pick of the week.

99 Women - Buy from Amazon
The notorious X-Rated French Film hits DVD tomorrow, but if you are interested wait a week and pick up the French Version. Venus in Furs, another of Jesus Franco's films, is also coming out tomorrow and many consider that film to be his best work.

Around the Bend - Buy from Amazon
With its cast of subject matter, it is easy to conclude that this film was made for award season. However, its reviews were far too weak for the film to succeed on that level and the film quickly sank at the box office. For a limited release the special features are great with audio commentary, making of featurette and deleted scenes, but they are not enough to raise the film to the rental level.

The Bettie Page Collection - Buy from Amazon
Three DVDs featuring the famous pin up model. 100 Girls By Bunny Yeager is a retrospective of Model / Photographer Bunny Yeager that includes Bettie Page and many, many other models. Bettie Page Bondage Queen and Bettie Page Pin Up Queen contain hours of loops erotic dances, stripping, fetishes, etc. For all the controversy these cause when they were first made, they're downright puritan compared to today's standards. Special features are almost all written, histories, biographies, etc. and while they can be purchased separately the 3-Disc Collection is the better deal.

Cube Zero - Buy from Amazon
The first film - Buy from Amazon of the Cube Trilogy was low budget, but with high tension making it a very pleasant surprise, (although most critics disagree with me on that point.) the second film had a much large budget, but wasn't quite as satisfying, (and again, I appear to be going against critical norms on the subject.) Cube Zero offers a new twist as we see the operators of the cube for the first time. Fans of the first two films should give this film a chance, but the makers shouldn't try to stretch the premise any farther.

Ellen - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Usually when a show undergoes massive changes from one season to the next it is a sign that the show not going to make it much longer. The first season was called These Friends of Mine, the second season saw the departure of two of those three friends, the addition of an annoying co-worker, new friend, name change, etc. However, these changes really helped the show out, but the show didn't get really good till Jeremy Piven joined the cast. Special feature are light with just two audio commentary tracks. On a side note, Mary-Kate Olsen guest stars in one of the episodes without Ashley Olsen, I didn't think that was medically possible.

Family Business - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
The second season of this X-Rated reality show hits stores on Tuesday, like the First Season, this reality show looks at the day-today life of Adam Glasser, a.k.a. Seymore Butts, who is not only a Porn Star but whose family runs the business. While there is nudity, the show is not exploitive as the premise would make it sound.

Funny Girl/Funny Lady Box Set - Buy from Amazon
Two films from Barbra Streisand released in one set. The first film is a classic which was nominated for 8 Oscars winning one of them, the second film was a huge decline in quality, but still garnered 5 nominations. Special features are ok for films that are more than 30 years old, but not enough to make the 2-disc set worth picking up if you have any of the previous releases.

Get Shorty - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
What the most important step in releasing a sequel? Re-releasing the original movie on a Special Edition DVD, of course. Special features on the disc are a marked improvement over the previous release but the ad, I mean sneak peak, for Be Cool makes it look like a cash grab.

Hayao Miyazaki - Triple Shot - Buy from Amazon: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns
Three films from one of the masters of Japanimation comes out tomorrow. Best known for Spirited Away the three films are being released on 2-disc sets and include special features like Behind the Microphone featurettes, making of documentaries and / or interviews. Can't miss for Anime fans, but considering the box office these films tend to bring in, there's only three of you out there.

Heat - 10th Anniversary Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
Most directors would love to earn 89% positive reviews, but for Mcheal Mann, those reviews were just average. Also noteworthy for being the first film featuring both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino since The Godfather: Part II but the film also has an impressive supporting cast. Special features includes the ubiquitous audio commentary, deleted scenes and a nearly feature length making of documentary that is broken up into 5 parts.

I Huckabees - Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition or Special Edition
A quirky existential comedy, perhaps too quirky as the reviews were just mixed and despite a fabulous start the film couldn't hang on to its per theatre average as it expanded. The Regular Edition has two audio commentaries as special features while the Special Edition include those and documentary featurette, interviews, deleted and extended scenes, outtakes and the PSAs and Ads created for the movie, behind the scenes for the infomercial, music video and behind the scenes for the music video. As you can see, the Special Edition is worth the extra price.

King of Queens - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
An unpretentious show that aims for sitcom funny and it usually gets there. However, without much in the way of character development or standout episodes, there's little that is memorable enough to demand a DVD release. Catching the odd episode on syndication should be enough for most fans. And with zero special features on the 3-disc set, that situation is reinforced.

Michael Chiklis Double Shot - Buy from Amazon: The Commish - Season Two and The Shield - Season Three
Season Three of the multi-Emmy nominated cop show, The Shield hits store tomorrow. This season continues with the pace set with the first two seasons with tensions running higher than ever. Special features are also great with commentary tracks on 8 of the 15 episodes, more than 3 dozen deleted scenes, (also with audio commentary) and a making of documentary, which deals with the season finale. Michael Chiklis's earlier series, The Commish, was a lot less intense than The Shield but still a very good show. Season Two doesn't have much in the way of special feature, on the other hand, with just selected scenes in Spanish and a DVD-ROM script.

South Park - The Complete Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
Season five of this show is contains some of the most memorable episodes ever, It Hits the Fan, Kenny Dies and more. Depending on who you talk to, this is also the best season so far, which means it's all downhill from here. The only real special features on the disc are mini-audio commentaries, there are one for each episode and last several minutes each. Other than that, there's some previews / ads for other comedy central shows.

The Specials - Buy from Amazon
Wow, never thought I'd see this come out on DVD again. A Super Hero spoof that deals with the day-to-day lives of the "sixth or seventh greatest superhero team in the world." Imagine if Behind the Music did a special on your favorite one-hit-wonder. reviews are weak to non-existent, but those that do take a chance on the film will be rewarded with two audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes including the full wedding video and the toy commercial. That's a lot of special features for a limited release. While I'm grateful that this DVD is getting a re-release, (it's impossible to find at the moment) I can't shake the feeling that the only reason this film is getting a re-release is its co-star, Thomas Haden Church is up for an Oscar.

Stripperella - Season One - Uncensored - Buy from Amazon
A cartoon starring Pamela Anderson that is for mature audiences only. … Well, maybe mature is not the best word to use, adult audiences is a better term. The humor is very juvenile fill with bad puns and sexual innuendoes, plus the occasional bit of cartoon nudity. All thirteen episodes are on this 2-disc set, but there are no special features.

Yes Nurse! No Nurse! - Buy from Amazon
A musical based on a Dutch TV series. An overly campy film that was called Fluff, So-So and Intermittently charming, and those were the positive reviews. Add in zero special features and this DVD is only worth a rental if you are really into cheesy musicals.

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Filed under: Video Releases, I Heart Huckabees, Around the Bend, Yes Nurse! No Nurse!