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DVD Releases for June 29, 2004

June 28th, 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 were several candidate for the DVD pick of the week, but in the end I picked Blazing Saddles - 30th Anniversary Special Edition - Buy from Amazon.

Barbersop 2: Back in Business - Buy from Amazon
Not as good as the original, both in terms of box office and reviews, although both did fairly well in both areas. The DVD release is also very well done with two commentary tracks, two music videos, deleted scenes and more. If you enjoyed the movie, the studio has done everything to make the DVD worth buying.

Blazing Saddles - 30th Anniversary Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
Arguably Mel Brooks' greatest movie is getting a 30th Anniversary Edition release this week. A few years ago a Limited Edition came out, and if you have that one don't bother picking up this version. However, if you were scared off by the price, and I don't blame you, this is worth picking upas it's a much better bang for your buck. On a side note, a later Mel Brooks movie, Dracula: Dead and Loving It is also being released tomorrow.

Cold Mountain - Buy from Amazon
This film was clearly made in an attempt to win multiple major awards, and while it did get 15 Golden Globes / Oscar nominations it was only able to take home 2 of them. The reviews were strong, just not up to the level a film should have if it expects to win many major awards. The DVD is also very well done with plenty of extra features. Not coincidentally, writer / director Anthony Minghella also made The English Patient, which is also being released on DVD Tuesday. However, The English Patient is the better film has is the better DVD.

C.S.I. Miami - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
The TV series that saved David Caruso's career. Those familiar with the C.S.I. series will be happy to know this DVD has the same level of quality you've come to expect, both in terms of the show and the features.

Dawson's Creek - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
I'm really starting to hate the music industry. Record sales are down, mainly because the quality of the music is poor, so to make up for the lost revenue the record labels are over charging for the DVD rights to songs originally used on TV. And consequently, many DVD sets are being released without the original music. This DVD set being just one example. Hopefully TV production companies will insist on DVD rights being part of the deal when the make a show. That way if the label tries to gouge them they can simple use another song from the very beginning and the fans won't be the ones who suffer. After all, there are 30,000 CDs released a year in the States, and they all are in need of publicity. So the record labels have very little bargaining power.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Season Five - Buy from Amazon
What needs to be said about this show? Classic, award winning show and the DVD releases are great.

Die Mommie Die - Buy from Amazon
When making a movie you can't aim for Camp, it's something that just sort of happens. So it's no surprise that this film is a bit uneven at times, but it works more often than it does not. The DVD has an impressive amount of features for a limited release, in fact, it has better features than most first run DVD releases. If you haven't seen the film, I'd suggest checking it out.

Elvis '56 - In the Beginning - Buy from Amazon
Last week we had two Elvis concert DVDs, this week we have an Elvis documentary.

Garfield As Himself - Buy from Amazon
With the movie a success, of sorts, what better way to cash in then by releasing three TV specials on DVD: Here Comes Garfield, Garfield on the Town and Garfield Gets a Life.

Little House on the Prairie - Season 5 - Buy from Amazon
This long running series is often described as 'life-affirming' and 'heartwarming.' Being the fifth season released from this series, so you either know what to expect, or you don't care. Speaking of which, you can also purchase the entire series as a package deal.

The Perfect Score - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
This film disappointed both critically and at the box office. And now it's being released on DVD with just a couple of features. And that's too bad because I really like Scarlett Johansson's acting and usually her choice in roles is better than this.

Ron White - They Call Me Tater Salad - Buy from Amazon
Most people probably know Ron White as one of the quartet of comedians on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, (Buy from Amazon) but this is the first solo DVD. On a side note, it was rumored that he recently died of alcohol poisoning, but fortunately he got better. His official site pokes fun of the internet rumor.

South Park - The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
The controversial animated series continued to show improvement year after year peaking in season 5. If you are familiar with the other sets in the South Park series you'll know what to expect with this one. Although the level of special features is closer to season three than it is to seasons 1 and 2. You can also buy all four seasons in a package deal, for those of you who really like South Park but didn't bother buying any of the series when they first came out.

Spider-Man - The '67 Collection and Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock
With the release of Spider-Man 2 just around the corner, what better time could there be to release two DVDs of animated Spider-Man? The first DVD set contains all 52 episodes from the series than ran on ABC during the late 60s. You know the one, with the catchy theme song.
Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size
Catches thieves--just like flies
Look Out! Here comes the Spiderman.
The second set is a collection of Doc Ock cartoons, which are just ties in for the upcoming movie.

Thunderbirds - The Favorite Episodes - Buy from Amazon
The more cynical people out there might call this DVD just a cheap way to cash in on the upcoming movie adaptation. And I'm one of them. However, its poor showing on the Amazon Sales chart, currently it is sitting at 6201, doesn't bode well for the movie's chances at the box office.

Wonder Woman - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
I think that Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man and others 70s shows of their ilk are probably best left in the 70s. But nostalgia is a powerful force. There is little in the way of special features, but those who have missed the show in the 25 years since it has gone off the air probably won't mind so much.

You Got Served - Take It to the Streets - Dance Instructional - Buy from Amazon
Joke potential overload. Sarcasm synapses melting. Brain shutdown imminent. Can also be purchased with the movie as a package deal.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Spider-Man 2, Cold Mountain, Garfield: The Movie, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, You Got Served, The Perfect Score, Thunderbirds, Die Mommie Die