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DVD Releases for April 27, 2004

April 26th, 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. A couple of selections caught my eye this week, Love Actually - (Buy from Amazon) and Kids in the Hall - Season 1 both of which are my DVD pick of the week.

Big Fish - (Buy from Amazon)
Meant to be Tim Burton's big Oscar push being released just in time to pick up Oscar nominations. That didn't work out so well. It did earn strong reviews but may have been too out there for most moviegoers taking just $66 million, less than its production budget. The home market should help and the sheer amount of extras should draw in a lot of viewers.

Body Swap Movies- Double Shot - (Buy from Amazon: Like Father, Like Son or Vice Versa)
Like Father, Like Son and Vice Versa, part of a quartet of body swap movies released within a year of each other are now on DVD. Not sure if this was coincidence of a sad joke.

The Cooler - (Buy from Amazon)
The story of a man so unlucky that he can kill someone's lucky streak simple by sitting next to them. The film earned high praise as well as an impressive box office for an independent film. Also impressive for an independent film is the number of extras on the disk including two commentary tracks.

Ghosts of the Abyss - (Buy from Amazon)
Further proof of James Cameron's obsession with the Titanic. And why not? The film made nearly $2 billion worldwide. Now if he were obsessed with flying piranha, then that would be a different story. The DVD includes both the hour-long IMAX version and the extended version seen in conventional theatres, unfortunately it's just the 2-D version. A couple of featurettes and excellent reviews are other selling features, but the lack of the 3-D aspect is still disappointing.

Kids in the Hall - Season 1 - (Buy from Amazon)
WARNING: Incoming geek attack. I love this show. I really love this show. In fact, I could quote this show for the next twenty hours, but I'll resist and I won't quote the show once. "I'm crushing your head!" Ok, I lied. "Don't blame me, blame my cabbage for a head" Ok, I lied a lot. "Eeeevvil!" Some of the most memorial characters were introduced in the first season and the show got better as the group found their grove. So, "30 Helens agree" you should pick up this set.

Love Actually - (Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan and Scan)
A huge hit internationally taking in three quarters of its nearly $250 million worldwide take outside the states. A lot of interlocking love stories are told in this movie, and since there're so many some of them are a little light, but still charming. There are enough special features with a commentary track and some highlights regarding the music. Maybe not enough to bump the movie from rental status to buyer, but close.

Love Don't Cost a Thing - (Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan and Scan)
Poor reviews and a small box office pretty much sums up this films performance. The DVD isn't bare of special features, but there's also not enough to overcome the obvious weaknesses.

Monster Legacy Sets - (Buy from Amazon: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man or Three Pack)
13 movies on three sets, each dealing with one of the three classic movie monsters, which uncoincidentally all appear in the upcoming Van Helsing. A more cynical man would chalk this up to crass advertising. But who cares? This is the first chance a lot of people will have to see some of these films. Another collection of monster movies are being released tomorrow, but these are more on the B-Movie side of the equation.

Osama - (Buy from Amazon)
The winner of a Golden Globe for the best foreign language film yet wasn't even nominated for an Oscar in the same category. The film tells the story of a 12-year old girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan forced to pretend to be a boy to help support her mother. The first film from post-Taliban Afghanistan earned tremendous praise and a respectable box office given its very limited release. The DVD also has more special features than the average limited release.

Stuck on You - (Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan and Scan)
The latest Farrelly Brothers' film was a bigger critical success than their average, but at the box office it really suffered. Maybe that has something to do with Greg Kinnear. Don't get me wrong, he's a good actor and was great as a talk show host, but he hasn't been able to really launch his movie career. And his next movie doesn't look any better. At least the DVD is full of special features like a commentary, deleted scenes and a few featurettes.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Van Helsing, Big Fish, Love Actually, Stuck On You, Love Don't Cost a Thing, Ghosts of the Abyss, The Cooler, Osama