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DVD Releases for October 5, 2004

October 4th, 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, including the co-winners of the DVD Pick of the Week Fahrenheit 9/11 - Buy from Amazon. This may be a controversial choice for DVD pick of the week, but it is the top seller for the week and had a record breaking box office and excellent reviews.

Aladdin - 2-Disc Special Edition - Buy from Amazon: Special Edition or Gift Set
This Disney classic film is best known for Robin Williams manic performance as the Genie. And unlike recent Disney animated fare, this film was an event film and a major blockbuster and the DVD release reflects that with tons of special features. The gift set also has the book, a frame from the film and five all-new sketches from the original animator.

The Amanda Show - Buy from Amazon: Amanda, Please! and The Girls' Room
Each disc contains four episodes from the widely popular kids show staring Amanda Bynes. Each DVD has some outtakes and some behind the scenes stuff, but full season sets are a much better deal.

The Dame Edna Experience - Buy from Amazon: The Complete Second Season, Christmas Specials or The Complete Collection
The Dame Edna Experience is an aptly named interview program with host Dame Edna, (a.k.a. Barry Humphries.) Dame Edna has a unique style of trying to completely monopolize the conversation while celebrities like Sean Connery just try and keep up.

Dawson's Creek - Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
Another TV on DVD set that had to replace the music heard on the original broadcast because of the greed of the record labels. Season 4 is an improvement over season 3 in terms of the episodes, but not as good as season 2. If you've picked up previous seasons of this show you know what to expect when it comes to extras.

The Decline of the American Empire - Buy from Amazon
Almost 20 years past between the release of this film and its sequel, The Barbarian Invasions. This film is every bit as good as the later film, although it was only nominated for best foreign language Oscar. The lack of special features is disappointing, as is the change in the cover art.

Deep Impact - Special Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
Was the world really clamoring for a special edition of this movie? The poor reviews suggest not, and the poor sales confirm it.

Fahrenheit 9/11 - Buy from Amazon
2004 could quite accurately be called the Year of the Documentary and is the biggest documentary of them all. When it comes to the film industry it is arguably the most important film of the year as movie studios must now consider documentaries has having the potential for wide scale mainstream success. The film was not only widely successful at the box office earning nearly $120 million domestically and should end up with $100 million internationally, it was also very successful with the critics earning 84% positive reviews. Special features include deleted scenes, a featurette about the movie's release and more. However, most of this is irrelevant since the appeal of the film is most influence by political leanings and not the quality of the film itself. Also being released tomorrow is the Michael Moore Limited Edition DVD Collector's Set - Buy from Amazon, which has Bowling for Columbine, The Big One and a bonus disc about the Dude, Where's My Country? book tour.

Farscape - Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
The last season of this franchise is finally released on DVD. But it is not the end of the show, there is the upcoming mini series and a rumored theatrical release in the works.

The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck - Buy from Amazon
The movie has the best name on today's list. An entertaining vampire comedy / horror film from the late 60s.

Friday the 13th - From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Buy from Amazon
The franchise consists of 10 films, (not including the recent crossover) but this set only have the first 8 movies because the final two were done by a different studio. Also worth noting is the fact that this set is only 5 discs, 2 movies per disc plus a disc of bonus features.

The Hunger - Buy from Amazon
David Bowie as a super stylish vampire. What more could you want? Well, special features would be nice. But no real special features is to be expected for a film that's more than 20 years old with limited appeal.

National Hockey League - Stanley Cup Champions 2004 - Tampa Bay Lighting - Buy from Amazon
This DVD was supposed to be release to coincide with the start of the regular season, but with the labour dispute that didn't happen. And with no talks planned and no real shot at progress, this will be the closest you can get to NHL hockey this year.

National Lampoon's Vacation - Buy from Amazon: Christmas Vacation 2 - Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, Christmas Vacation ! & 2 or Ultimate Vacation Collection
The five National Lampoon's Vacation flicks, including the made for TV movie, are being released on three difference sets. If you are interested in these movies I'd suggest going with the Ultimate Vacation Collection because it's the best deal and the one film you don't get is easily the weakest in the series anyway.

Political Documentaries - Various
Along with Fahrenheit 9/11 several more political documentaries are being released tomorrow. They include:

  • George W. Bushisms - Several dozen clips of George Bush's verbal miscues. I swear some of his mistakes are intentional to help maintain his folksy image so people will continue to misunderestimate him.
  • Wit & Wisdom of George W Bush - I was hoping to show this DVD as a counterbalance to the previous entry. Trying to give equal time to both sides. But it appears to be more of the same.
  • The War Room - An interesting look at the behind the scenes of the 1992 Clinton Presidential Campaign. On a side note, I know James Carville is a brilliant political strategist, but his mannerisms remind me of a used car salesmen or maybe a card shark. That's probably why he's so good at his job.
Puppet Master: Legacy - Buy from Amazon
This film is a clip show of the previous films in the Puppet Master series. For those of you who haven't seen any of them, and there are many, Puppet Master was the first in a series of decidedly B-Movie films made in 1989 by Full Moon Studios. Early on they had a distribution deal with Paramount and did some really good work, well, really good for low budget horror. But after that deal fell apart, their budgets really dropped and so did the quality. A real shame, especially since the studio doesn't own the rights to distribute its earlier work on DVD.

Roswell - Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
The show is commonly described as Dawson's Creek meets X-Files and this season the focus shifts more to the latter. This is also the last season to air on the WB, the last season for a couple of the cast members. With all that upheaval, it's not surprising the show only lasted one more season. The special features are not quite as good as with the First Season with but better than most TV on DVD sets.

Saved! - Buy from Amazon
The other controversial religious movie released this year. The film earned mixed reviews, which is not surprising considering the subject matter. However, the controversy surrounding the film isn't based I fact as the films isn't an attack of Christianity or any religion but an attack on intolerance. Special features are strong for a limited release with two audio commentary tracks, outtakes and a featurette.

The Shawshank Redemption - Two-Disc Special Edition - Buy form Amazon
Arguably Stephen King's best movie adaptation. The special features on the disc include two documentaries, interviews and even a short spoof called The SharkTank Redemption. There is also another version called the Deluxe Limited Edition that comes with a bonus CD-Rom.

Tanner '88 - Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon
One could argue that popular culture has never before been so political. So it’s the perfect time to release this mini-series from director Robert Altman and writer Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonsebury. This mini-series follows a fictitious Democratic presidential hopeful during the real presidential race. A lot of political figures are in the series as themselves making this an eerily accurate commentary on the state of politics. Four presidential campaigns later and it is still relevant. Also of note, the sequel, Tanner on Tanner, begins its four episode run on the Sundance channel tomorrow.

The Untouchables - Special Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
Another great film being released on a special edition DVD tomorrow. Nearly half a dozen new featurettes are included in the special features, which makes this release a step above the out of print original release.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Fahrenheit 9/11, Saved!