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DVD Releases for July 20, 2004

July 19th, 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. It's a strange week as several of this week's releases are on the Amazon Sales Chart, but none that stuck out as a must have. So for the second week in a row no DVD is being selected as the DVD Pick of the Week. Next week things pick up, and every week in August there's a least one DVD that's a must have. And there's so many good DVDs coming out in September that I'll have to sell a second kidney to buy them all.

Air America - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
This is a non-special Special Edition. There are more special features than the previous edition, but not enough to really be called Special.

All in the Family - Buy from Amazon
Groundbreaking is sometimes an overused term. But when it comes to this series, there is probably no better term. As with most TV series, once you get this far into the DVD release, you either what the DVDs will be like, or don't care enough to bother buying it.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
This is one of those shows that you really need to be out of your mind to enjoy; and it doesn't matter if the insanity is natural or chemically induced. This set has slightly fewer episodes than Volume 1, but more special features. Speaking of Volume 1, you can purchase both Volumes in a package deal. The only complaint is the set's a bit pricey considering how short the total run time is.

The Big Bounce - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
Elmore Leonard is an excellent author, but this is one terrible movie, and one of the biggest bombs of the year as well. Too bad, cause it had so much potential. Can also be purchased with the original 1969 edition as part of a 2 pack.

Boomtown - Season One - Buy from Amazon
A critically acclaimed series canceled due to low ratings! How can that be? This set has all 18 episodes from the first season, but since season two only lasted a few episodes I don't see why they didn't lump the two seasons together as part of a 'Complete Series' package.

Castle Keep - Buy from Amazon: Pan & Scan
This film is being released in Pan & Scan only. What was the studio thinking?

Combat! - Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: Campaign 1 and Campaign 2
It's been more than 40 years since this groundbreaking show first aired, and over five seasons this W.W.II show maintained its reputation for gritty realism. Each set has 16 episodes on 4 discs and includes bonus features, not what I would expect for a decades old show. It also raises the hopes that more shows for the same time period will be released on DVD.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen - Buy from Amazon
If the reviews are anything to go on, this film is strictly for the Tweens. At least if you let them watch on DVD you don't have to be in the theatre with them. Special features are good, but not good enough to make it worth purchasing, unless your 'Tweens are really big fans of Lindsay Lohan.

Crimson Gold - Buy from Amazon: Standard or Alternate Cover
A highly praised film that was banned from its home country of Iran. This film didn't find an audience here, as it never played in more than 8 theatres. Like most indie films, there's not much in the way of extras.

Havana Nights: Dirty Dancing 2 - Buy from Amazon
Another one of the several movies released earlier in the year that was both a financial and critical failure. This one at least has a good DVD release with a fair share of special features.

Highlander II - the Quickening - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
The first movie of this franchise was very good, The rest were pretty much crap, and this one was arguably the worst of them. It's easily so bad that it doesn't deserve a special edition, no matter how well its done.

How's Your News? - Buy from Amazon
A documentary brought to you by the same people who gave us South Park. A road movie of sorts that follows 5 mentally and physically handicapped reporters as their travel from New Hampshire to Hollywood. Now obviously this film could easily slip into the realm of the offensive, but it does a good job at avoiding that. The special features are also very impressive. Note: We'll have a more in-depth review of this DVD, and a giveaway, very shortly. Stay tuned for further updates.

The Human Stain - Buy from Amazon
Given the release date and the pedigree this film has, one almost has to assume it was made to win awards. However, the reviews weren't up levels needed to do that. And now it's being dumped on DVD without so much as a special feature.

La Femme Nikita - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Note: This week's planned release of this DVD has been put on hold indefinitely. No details were given as to why this happened.

Millennium - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
There are more similarities between this show and X-Files than just creator Chris Carter. However, it does have a darker nature that may have prevented it from lasting more than 3 seasons. Since much of the plot dealt with the Y2K paranoia, the show hasn't aged as well as it could have. But if you are fan of the X-Files and have picked up that series on DVD then this one is worth looking into.

Piranha - Buy from Amazon
I prefer the sequel where the piranhas learn to fly.

Sealab 2021 - Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
A parody of the late 70s cartoon, Sealab 2020. Has a very twisted sense of humor, but that's what I like about it. There are also good special features including deleted scenes and the unaired pilot. Hopefully with this set selling so well Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law DVD won't be far behind. It’s a little pricey for TV on DVD considering the short running time.

Soap - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Season two of this grounding breaking parody of Day Time soaps was even better than the first season. Not only is the second season better than the first, the DVD release is also better with more special features.

Starsky & Hutch - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan and The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
When the film was released earlier in the year, the first season of the TV series was released on DVD. Now that the movie is being released on DVD, so is the second season of the TV series. The movie wasn't the biggest critical success of the year, but it was panned by the critics either. The special features are also pretty run of the mill. It's like the film is a monument to mediocrity. Solidly average.

Thunderbirds - International Rescue Edition - Buy from Amazon: Thunderbirds 6, Thunderbirds Are Go or 2-Pack Gift Set
Two more DVDs are being released to cash in on the upcoming movie adaptation. These are both feature length supermarionettes adventures that actually have some very cool special features, especially given the age of the movies. Never seen supermarionation and can't decide if you want to pick up the sets? Then you can watch the trailer or this clip. Both require Quicktime. Definitely the top of the class for nostalgia and / or kitsch value, unfortunately, I'm too young to have seen it the first time around and too old to be in its target audience now.

Wisegirls - Buy from Amazon
This movie starring Mira Sorvino and Maria Carey is being re-released tomorrow. That means enough people bought it when it first came out that the studio decided to make more. A scary thought indeed. Actually, it's not the train wreck one would expect given the two leads, but it's certainly not good. (Yes I know Mira Sorvino won an Oscar for her role in Mighty Aphrodite, but she was never able to translate that into a solid career and has certainly never had the same critical success.)

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Filed under: Video Releases, Starsky & Hutch, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Thunderbirds, The Big Bounce, The Human Stain, Crimson Gold