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DVD Releases for March 1, 2005

February 28th, 2005

Who Lives in a Pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob SquarePants!
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!
SpongeBob Squarepants!
As you can probably tell, SpongeBob SquarePants - The Movie - Buy from Amazon - is my DVD pick of the week. Granted, it is a bit of a slow week when it comes to quality releases, but I think the Oscars may have had something to do with that.

99 Women - Buy from Amazon
Like I mentioned last week this is the even more notorious French version of the film. And if you are going to by an X-rated French film about women in prison, you might as well get the longer, complete version the director intended.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - Buy from Amazon
At the time this film was released it was considered the most expense bomb ever made as it cost a reported $46 million to make, (making it one of the top five most expensive films at the time.) However, it is also one of the more imaginative efforts from director Terry Gilliam, which is saying a lot. This DVD is just the re-release of the featureless disc first put out in 1988, which is worth renting for those who have never seen it. I'm still looking for that special edition, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Bambi - Disney Special Platinum Edition - Buy from Amazon
Another Disney classic gets the special edition treatment. The movie was remastered for this release, and since the film is more than 60 years old this was a necessity and not really a selling point. Special features on the 2-disc set include making of featurette, a look at the restoration process, a look at 1942, (the year the movie first came out), look at the animals that inspired the characters, deleted scenes … and a sneak peak at the upcoming direct-to-video sequel? Better pick up the DVD now before your memory of it is ruined by another Disney cash grab.

The Brady Bunch - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
One of those shows that lasted a lot longer than all logic would dictate, especially when you add in the movies, the spin-offs, they even had a cartoon. The shows were corny, predictable, sugary sweet and are still fondly remembered by many, many people. The 2-disc set has all 25 episodes from the first season with audio commentary on three of them plus a retrospective featurette.

Chisholm '72 - Unbought & Unbossed - Buy from Amazon
A political documentary released last year that didn't focus on the 2004 presidential election. That alone makes it worth looking into. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected to Congress and the first black person to run for president. No one thought she had a chance to even get the Democratic nomination, including herself, but she ran to "shake up the system." Sadly, she passed away on January 1st, but this DVD is a great way to remember a remarkable woman.

Classic Comedies Collection - Buy from Amazon
Six classic comedies from the Warner Bros. vaults released on DVD as part of a collection, or sold separately. Price wise the collection is certainly the best deal, as the individual movies are nearly twice as expensive.

Exorcist: The Beginning - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
I've already talked about the trouble this film had getting to theatres and final product was still a mess. You can get the theatrical version with the original version, which might be worth a rental just to compare the two. But even that is more due to morbid curiosity than anything else.

Flight of the Phoenix Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
Since the remake was released in theatres just two and a half months ago, this had better be the 1965 original. … Nope, it's the remake I understand the time from Theatrical Release to Home Market Debut is shrinking, but two and a half months is ridiculous. Pretty soon you'll be able to get the DVD before the movie is even finished. The movie earned poor reviews, mainly for being a pale comparison to the original. However, those unfamiliar with that film or the surprise twists within should find this film an entertaining diversion. The DVD release is merely average with an audio commentary track, behind the scenes, deleted and extended scenes. Overall it rates a rental, but that's about it.

French and Saunders - Buy from Amazon
The complete collection of two of the funniest British comediennes working today, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. The set is composed of the six previously released discs, (including the two being released this week) plus a bonus disc with seven of their specials. Definitely worth picking up, unless you already own all the single discs.

Friends - Series Finale - Limited Edition - Buy from Amazon
They're re-releases the Limited Edition Friends Series Finale? If I had actually believed that when it first came out and picked up the DVD, I'd be quite upset now.

Ghost Dad - Buy from Amazon
A stunningly bad movie made by Bill Cosby, who was starring in one of the highest rated sitcoms at the time. This and Leonard Part 6 pretty much killed his movie career.

Hoosiers - Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
Probably the greatest basketball movie ever. Quite possibly the greatest sports movie of all time. The special features on this 2-disc set include an audio commentary, documentary, half an hour of deleted scenes and footage of the actual 1954 high school game that helped inspired the movie.

Ice Age - Single Disc Edition - Buy from Amazon
You have got to be kidding me. The studio is taking a movie, removing most of the special features that were on the previous release and adding ads for two of its upcoming releases and hoping people buy it. Cash grab of the most crass variety.

Incident at Loch Ness - Buy from Amazon
An intermittently amusing mockumentary about the search for the world's most famous imaginary monster. The special features good, for a limited release, with a couple of dozen deleted scenes and an audio commentary that is more an extension of the movie than commentary about the movie.

Lost in Space - Season 3, Volume 1 - Buy from Amazon
I don't like it when studios release TV on DVD in smaller chunks. Release them in complete seasons only. The strange thing is, the released the first season in a single set. There's little in the way of special features with just the cast looking back at their favorite clips, but that's to be expected for a show that's nearly 40 years old.

My Own Private Idaho - Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon
Early work by Gus Van Sant is getting the Criterion touch this week. A road trip / gay-interest / Shakespeare adaptation. The 2-disc set includes a couple of documentary / interviews features as well as audio only interviews with the director and others. One of River Phoenix's last performances before is tragic death and one of Keanu Reeves most critically acclaimed.

The Rutles 2 - Can't Buy Me Lunch - Buy from Amazon
Fans of the original should get a hoot out of this mockumentary even though it is not as sharp as the first film. The film reunites Eric Idle, Neil Innes and the rest with new interviews, old footage and even a new song. The DVD doesn't have a whole lot of special features with just a few additional interviews, deleted scenes and an alternate ending. However, that won't be enough to stop me from picking up the DVD.

SCTV - Volume 3 - Buy from Amazon
Nine more episodes from the show's 90 minute incarnation. This season includes the Bob and Doug special lampooning the huge popularity the two characters developed. Bob and Doug McKenzie were created because of Canadian Content laws, so the producers created what they considered to be the most stereotypical portrayal of Canadians. They used to be the last stuff filmed in the day and Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis used to ad-lib the segments while drunk. The price on a per minute basis is high compared to a lot of TV on DVD, but there are several bonus featurettes to make up for this.

SpongeBob SquarePants! - The Movie - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
Not the best animated film of the year, but certainly entertaining to its target demographic, (little kids and drunk college students.) It's an inspiring story of two really, really stupid people who never give up and always have faith in themselves, or at least in their mustaches. I'm a little disappointed with the special features because while there are several featurettes, including a mockumentary, animatics and more. But I was really hoping there would be an audio commentary with the cast as their characters. I had no reason to expect this, but I was hoping it would be there.

Wonder Woman - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
These DVDs are obviously selling very well since a movie has been given the go ahead. (Although right now casting is still in the rumor phase with a lot of names being thrown around for the starring role. Ok, I made that last rumor up. The 4-disc set contains all 22 episodes plus a documentary about comic book icon to a TV classic. Can also be purchased with the first season as part of a package deal.

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Filed under: Video Releases, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie, Exorcist: The Beginning, Flight of the Phoenix, Incident at Loch Ness