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New On Home Video: February 24, 2004

Check Out Our DVD Release Schedule In Our Forums
by Randy Muselman

A few titles that are more well known trickle in this week compared to past weeks. One however that probably isn't known at all, and for kids, is well worth picking up to rent, or to own for that matter. I'm talking about Aero-Troopers.

While it doesn't have the big budget that Final Fantasy or other CGI films have, this one doesn't really need to rely on technology. The graphics are fairly well done, although the characters do have a bit of a jerky motion when they walk. But then, this film is made for the kids, and I truly think they will enjoy it.

Aero-Troopers:The Nemeclous Crusade is something out of left field that not many have actually heard of. It's the story of Joshua, a young man who lives on a floating tree city. His home is destroyed by the evil villain Nemeclous, a machine. He's rescued by the Aero-Troopers, and learns to lead their life and existence. They stand for good, and are trying to defeat the evil Nemeclous who has destroyed many airborne cities.

The main reason for kids to enjoy this film is our hero. He's about ten years old when our story starts, that's something they can relate too. The film features the voice talents of Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Jess Harnell (voice of the "Long Haired Dude" in The Country Bears), James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Milo in Atlantis: Milo's Return) and Billy West (the voice of Stimpy in The Ren & Stimpy Show.)

So be sure to run on down to your local video store and grab it while your still thinking about it. Or, I highly suggest you (Buy This DVD) as I believe it's one you will want to own.

Moving on to the bigger and better known titles this week, we start out with Tommy Lee Jones in The Missing. This film is definately worth watching. Directed by Ron Howard, it attempts to take on that "Epic" feel, but I'm not quite sure Ron succeeded. It's got a solid storyline, and a solid performance from the cast. For western fans, it's a must see.

Eric Snider says of this film:

Nonetheless, in a year that has already seen one fine Western ("Open Range"), it's good, even a little comforting, to see another one, especially one that recalls John Ford's great "The Searchers" (1956). Those old values of family, loyalty and bravery don't get trotted out much anymore without irony attached to them. "The Missing" does them justice, and provides stimulating movie fare along the way.

Be sure to read all of our staff reviews here or click here to purchase this DVD.

Special features on the DVD of The Missing include:
Audio:Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, Trailers, one Audio Commentary with Ron Howard - Director, 11 Featurettes, Three short films by Ron Howard, Three Alternate Endings and 11 Deleted Scenes.

While most of our staff liked Matchstick Men, I myself just didn't care that much for it. Nicolas Cage is still one of my favorite actors out there, and for me, he was the highlight of the film.

Y2McKay say of Matchstick Men:

If anything saves Matchstick Men from pure tedium, it's the cast. Rockwell and Lohmann are particularly good, and everyone else is adept and convincing in their roles. If only the script had been half as adept and convincing, this review wouldn't be short a star or two. Even Ridley Scott's directing isn't a major contributing factor here - In fact, I wasn't even aware that he'd directed it until I saw his name come up in the closing credits (having shown up late and missed the opening ones). And while his work is competent as usual here, it's certainly nothing more than resume' padding to be listed under other (more minor) accomplishments.

Read staff reviews for Matchstick Men here or click here to purchase this DVD.

Features on the DVD of Matchstick Men include:
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, Dolby Digital 5.1 - French.

Additional goodies include audio commentary by Ridley Scott (Director), Nicholas Griffin (Writer) and Ted Griffin (Writer/Producer). The theatrical trailer is also included.

The big family film this week is yet another Spy Kids film. I'm not sure about you, but for me, I think the series has about worn itself out and I LIKE kid/family films. Seems to me that the studio is just trying to milk the series for all it can get out of it. Kids, however, aren't that picky and will be after mom and dad to grab this one for home viewing.

Collin Souter says of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over:

Iím guessing this will be it for the ďSpy KidsĒ franchise, unless of course we get some straight-to-video installments. Iím also guessing I might have a different reaction to SK3 if and when I view it on video sans 3-D. For now, Iím sticking with the first film. Itís blazing opening sequence and its colorful imagination combined with its crystal clear message on the importance of family still brings the biggest smile to my face. Perhaps I should have stayed home that day I first saw it and watched the original on DVD. Neither of the sequels equaled the experience of the original, but at least here I could feel Rodriguez trying. When he succeeds, all the effort I had to make in order to enjoy SK3 seemed worth it.

Other staff reviews on Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over can be read here or click here to purchase this DVD.

The special features on this double disc set are few and far between. All you get? How about four pair of really cheap 3-D glasses. No DVD extras.

You most likely will need to adjust your television set to obtain the best 3-D effect if you watch the 3-D version. I highly suggest that you refrain from letting your kids do the adjusting, as it can really take you some time to return your set to a watchable setting. I speak from experience on this one (insert chuckle here). You get both versions, a standard movie and the 3-D version of the film.

There are a host of other titles due out this week on DVD and home video. We will concentrate strictly on DVD product as that is the trend that most are purchasing/renting. (Factoid: 71% of all viewing homes now own a DVD player or have the ability to play DVD) At prices as low as $17.00 per player (yes you read that correctly, I found DVD players for $17.00 on the internet), you truly get more bang for your movie buck when you purchase/rent a DVD.

Camp (Buy This DVD)

DVD Features Include: Deleted & extended Scenes, one featurette "The Making of CAMP" and the original theatrical trailer.

The Chase (1966) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for The Chase

Deceived (1991) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Deceived

The Doctor (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for The Doctor

Emmanuelle in Rio (Unrated) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Emmanuelle in Rio

Fear Of The Dark (Buy This DVD)

Additional bonus features for Fear Of The Dark include one cast interview. Text and photo galleries and filmographies.

Fire Birds (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Fire Birds

Foolproof (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Foolproof

Hamlet (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Hamlet (Come On Warner Brothers! Shame on you)

Jack (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Jack

Journeys With George (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Journeys With George

Just One Of The Guys (1985) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Just One Of The Guys (1985)

The Kiss (1988) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for The Kiss (1988)

Man Without A Face (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Man Without A Face

Memories (Buy This DVD)

Bonus features for Memories include Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in Japanese and English. One Featurette titled Memories of Memories

Motives (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for Motives

My Life Without Me (Buy This DVD)

Bonus features for My Life Without Me include a making of the film featurette and trailers.

Quartet (1981) (Buy This DVD)

Bonus features for Quartet include audio that is MONO in English and French. A Featurette titled Conversations With The Filmmakers and the theatrical trailers.

Richard III (Criterion Collection) (1955) (Buy This DVD)

This is the "Criterion Collection", so there are quite a few DVD extras included with this title. They include an audio commentaries by Russell Lees - Playwright and John Wilders - Former Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. An interview titled Great Acting: Laurence Olivier. The 12 minute television trailer and 2 theatrical trailers. Other goodies on this DVD include text and image galleries, a gallery of on-set production stills and posters and an essay by Film Historian Bruce Eder. Since this is a title from 1955, the audio is MONO.

Salvatore Giuliano (1961) (Criterion Collection) (Buy This DVD)

Bonus features for this DVD include Audio Commentary by Peter Cowie - Film Historian, a documentary Francesco Rosi (55 Minutes), video interviews with Francesco Rosi - Director, 2 video interviews with Tullio Kezich - Author/Film Critic, and the original theatrical trailer.

Other extras include text and image galleries of Tributes written by Martin Scorsese, Federico Fellini, and Francis Ford Coppola. Be warned, the audio is Italian with subtitles.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) (TV) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD bonus features for The Scarlet Pimpernel

Take a moment and scan these titles I've just listed. Take note! Many of these titles offer very little if no DVD bonus features at all. We now have the means to have all of these extras offered to us, yet for some reason, the studios out there just refuse to go that extra mile.

Sure, I understand there is more cost involved in producing these extras, but more often than not, studios still charge the same amount of hard earned cash for titles without extras as those that have extras included. Studios! Get off your lazy asses and give us our due. We've spent the cash to purchase a machine that gives us high quality video, and plays a format capable of holding those extras. You know us, Joe Public, we want more and we expect more.

So much for movies that are due out this week. It looks like you fans of television series have hit the jackpot. While last week showed little to offer, this week is virtually a DVD bonanza.

Chappelle's Show - Season 1 Uncensored (Buy This DVD)

DVD Extras include deleted scenes and blooper reel, audio commentary with Dave Chappelle - Star, Neal Brennan - Co-Creator, a Featurette called Ask A Black Dude With Paul Mooney.

Cracker - The Complete Second Season (Buy This DVD)

No DVD extras for this title.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season Three (Buy This DVD)

DVD extras include an audio commentary with Carl Reiner & Dick Van Dyke (selected episodes only) and a production interview with cast members. Another feature is a text/photo gallery of cast members.

Oz: The Complete Third Season (Buy This DVD)

DVD extras on this title include an audio commentary titled Unnatural Disasters with Tom Fontana - Creator, Chazz Palminteri - Director. Also included is 22 minutes of deleted scenes and episodic previews and recaps of the season.

Prime Suspect 2 (BBC) (Buy This DVD)

Prime Suspect 3 (BBC) (Buy This DVD)

No DVD extras are included on either of the "Prime Suspect" titles.

Queer as Folk: The Complete Third Season (Buy This DVD)

DVD extras include the featurette Tour Club Babylon with Grammy Award Winning DJ Peter Rauhofe, cast interviews and a music video.

Saturday Night Live - 25 Years of Laughs (Buy This DVD)

DVD extras include behind the scene footage, the featurette The Today Show Looks Back At SNL, the featurette Access Hollywood Covers The Twenty Fifth Anniversary and an interview with Tim Russert with Lorne Michaels.

Star Trek: Voyager - Season One (Buy This DVD)

The DVD extras on this title are GODLY!! They include the following:

"Braving the Unknown: Season One" - Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor - Executive Producers

"Voyager Time Capsule: Kathryn Janeway" - Kate Mulgrew - Star

"The First Captain: Bujold" - Rick Berman - Executive Producer

"Cast Reflections: Season One" - Cast

"Red Alert: Visual Effects - Season One" - Dan Curry - Visual Effects

"Real Science with Andre Bormanis" - Andre Bormanis - Science Consultant/Screenwriter

"Launching Voyager on the Web" - Marc Wade - Web Designer

"On Location with the Kazons" - David Livingston - Supervising Producer


And so you have it, another week of titles hitting your home video shelves Tuesday, February 24th, 2004. Before we close, lets take a quick peek at the top rentals for the last week.

(source: billboard.com)

1. Radio
2. Secondhand Lions
3. Open Range
4. Under The Tuscan Sun
5. Once Upon A Time In Mexico
6. Lost In Translation
7. My Boss's Daughter
8. Cabin Fever
9. The Fighting Temptations
10. Out Of Time

And so with our last top ten title, we too are "out of time" this week. That wraps it up. As always, if you have comments or suggestions on what you'd like to see in this weekly column, just drop me a line. We're always open to suggestions and comments.

See ya next week.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1013
originally posted: 02/24/04 13:51:33
last updated: 02/24/04 14:59:39
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