Thursday, August 24, 2006

DVDs Released Aug. 15

Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, justifiably lauded by some as the greatest war movie of all time, is back in a double-disc collector’s edition sure to be desired by serious fans of the film.

The Complete Dossier (Paramount, $19.99) features both versions of the movie – the acclaimed 1979 original, and 2001’s “Apocalypse Now Redux,” the unevenly received expanded version, which offered an additional 49 minutes’ worth of footage.

Coppola is heard on the audio commentary on both films, and among the outtakes are Marlon Brando’s complete reading of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men,” the lost “monkey sampan’ scene, and 12 previously unreleased segments. Short documentaries focus on the film’s sound design and final mix, and color palette. Also included are the retrospective “Apocalypse Then and Now” and “PBR Streetgang,” a reunion of cast members.


Hoot (New Line, $27.98), based on Florida crime writer Carl Hiaasen’s debut young-adult novel, features evocative Sunshine State cinematography, admirable pro-environment messages and a cameo by Jimmy Buffett, who also co-produced and contributed songs to the soundtrack.

And yet the story, about a battle between a developer and a group of kids fighting to save an owl habitat, isn’t as compellingly told as it might have been. The cast includes several talented young actors plus Luke Wilson and Tim Blake Nelson.

Extras: Commentary by Hiaasen and director Wil Shriner; blooper reel; six behind-the-scenes and making-of-the-movie features; three animal games.


The teen-oriented slasher-film series sparked by 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer continues with I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (Sony, $24.96), the third movie in the series.

Big shocker: It’s a retread, although the action has been relocated from a fishing village to a Colorado ski resort, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is nowhere to be found. Extras: Commentary by director Sylvain White; making-of-the-movie feature.


Italian horror merchant Dario Argento makes references to Rear Window, Rope and other films directed by the Master of Suspense in Do You Like Hitchcock? (Anchor Bay, $19.98). It’s the tale of a film student (Elio Germano) obsessed with the idea that two attractive strangers may be brutal killers.

The moody score was composed by Pino Donaggio, best known for working on the soundtracks of Carrie and Dressed to Kill, both directed by another Hitchcock aficionado, Brian De Palma. Extras: Enhanced widescreen presentation; video biography of Argento (Tenebre, Deep Red, Opera); behind-the-scenes feature.


Third, and probably least, in this week’s slate of major horror-related releases is the lowbrow comedy Scary Movie 4 (Weinstein, $29.95), the most recent installment in a franchise that deserved to die at least two movies ago.

Airplane! director David Zucker helms the hit-and-miss mess, and Anna Faris and Regina Hall return to lead the cast of a movie that amounts to a string of sometimes funny, sometimes dull parodies. Saw, The Grudge, The Village, War of the Worlds, Michael Jackson, Dubya and Tom Cruise, circa his “Oprah” appearance, are among the targets bombed this time

This version of the film, “Unrated & Uncensored,” is crammed with extras, including a feature commentary with the filmmakers; 15 deleted and extended scenes with commentary; bloopers; a documentary on Zucker; a special on the film’s visual effects; and much more.


The new DVD formats continue to battle it out. Blu-ray releases of 8/15 include “Into the Blue,” “Memento,” “RV” and “Sense and Sensibility.” HD-DVD releases: “Animal House” and “Unleashed.”


Also released 8/15:
Asia Argento Pack
Clark Gable Collection 1
Criterion Collection: Six Moral Tales by Eric Rohmer
James Stewart – The Signature Collection
Knute Rockne, All American
The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season

A different version of this column appeared in print and Web editions of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

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