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DVD Releases for February 24, 2004

February 23rd, 2004

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. There was a very eclectic mix the week, but the comedy / heist movie Foolproof - (Buy from Amazon) is my pick of the week. But if you have kids you probably won't go wrong picking up Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over - (Buy from Amazon).

Here's the highlights, (and some lowlights) of the DVDs released today, January 20, 2004.

Camp - (Buy from Amazon)
Camp started out strong and had a second weekend box office drop-off that most movies would kill for. But it couldn't hold on to its per theatre audience as it expanded and ended up with only $1.6 million at the box office. Given the subject, it's about a musical camp for aspiring actors and singers, it's no surprise it was a tough sell to mainstream audiences. Reviews that were barely overall positive also didn't help.

The Chappelle Show - Season 1 Uncensored - (Buy from Amazon)
No blurring and no bleeping, and if you've seen the show then you know how much that happens. As one of the most openly un-PC shows on TV, even the censored version you see on TV is probably too much for most viewers. A few extras help add to the experience but the discs are not loaded.

David Cassidy - Live in Concert - (Buy from Amazon)

Foolproof - (Buy from Amazon)
First let's start with a bit of trivia. This movie holds the record for P&A budget for a Canadian film at $2 million. That's $2 million Canadian, or about $1.5 million in American funds. To put this in perspective, the average MPAA release in the States spends more than 20 times that amount on P&A and the record for a worldwide release is 70 times that. Foolproof stars Ryan Reynolds, Kirsten Booth and Joris Jarsky as three friends who, just for fun, plan elaborate heists; until a real criminal steals their plans and forces them to commit a heist for real. Reviews are few and far between, but generally very positive. After you check out the official site, you should consider adding it to you DVD collection.

Matchstick Men - (Buy from Amazon: Widescreen, Pan and Scan or Widescreen with CD Soundtrack)
Matchstick Men was a return to form for Nicolas Cage, at least critically. At the box office its performance was just average. Special features are also just average with a full-length commentary and a three part behind the scenes documentary.

The Missing - (Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan and Scan)
This was a misstep for director Ron Howard as it was one of his biggest disappointments both critically and at the box office. There are an impressive amount of special features, including some of Ron Howard's early work in the Western Genre.

My Life Without Me - (Buy from Amazon)
Couldn't find an audience during its limited run pulling in only $400,000. Reviews didn't hurt the film, but at only 61% positive, they weren't enough to earn any mainstream success.

Pieces of April - (Buy from Amazon)
While the film stars Katie Holmes it was Patricia Clarkson who earned all the accolades, garnering both an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Nomination. Overall the reviews were superb and I was a little surprised and disappointed the film only manage $2.5 million at the box office. Fortunately the production budget was tiny (under half a million dollars) so it is already a financial success.

So I Married an Axe Murderer - (Buy from Amazon)
The Mike Myers under-appreciated classic from a decade ago is being re-released. Like so many older movies released on DVD, this one is without any real special features. But if you were a fan of Mike Myers, or at least you were before The Cat in the Hat this is worth checking out.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over - (Buy from Amazon)
Director Robert Rodriguez has an amazing ability to turn a small budget into a big success. The reviews dropped a lot from the first two, but its finished just shy of the first at the box office. What makes the DVD release stand out is its special features, including both 2-D and 3-D versions. Being able to see the movie in 3-D at home is worth the price of the DVD alone. Other special features including two making of featurettes (one on the special effects) behind the scenes featurette, another 10 Minute Film School and two segments of Alexa Vega singing, (one studio and one live.)

Star Trek: Voyager - Season 1 - (Buy from Amazon)
The Giligan's Island of the Star Trek franchise, the crew of the USS Minnow is lost on the other side of the galaxy and they are trying to get back home. But of course they can't, cause if they did the show would be over. I'm a big fan of The Original Series and like quite a bit of the other two series that followed, but Voyager is when I stopped watching. Still, I'll admit there's more than enough special features to keep even the more casual fans happy. But I'll stick with Captain Kirk.

On a side note, earlier in the day The History of Cinema was marked down ot $6.99, but they have since fixed the price. Still, the set contains 12 of the best silent movies ever made, and if the transfer is a high enough quality the new price ($76.49) is still worth it.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Matchstick Men, The Missing, Pieces of April, Camp, My Life Without Me, Foolproof