by Randy Muselman
Image Courtesy Columbia Tristar
Ah yes, it's the anticipation of knowing that movie you loved at the theater will soon be available for you on home video. As each day passes, the street date draws closer; just thinking about it causes you to break out in a nervous sweat. Suddenly you wake up with Gollum like thoughts MINE, MINE! Upon arriving at your retail store, you suddenly realize that there are a plethora of movies you’d not even thought about and those you must have as well. So click on in, and let us tell you about some recently announced street dates and the day you can pick them up on home video.
Not a day goes buy at the video store where I work that someone asks me for a rental of Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ. As of March 28, with these numbers still unofficial, The Passion has raked in an amazing three hundred fifteen million dollars. While The Passion Of The Christ continues to set box office records, I decided to do a little digging.
Rumors abound as to when The Passion will be released on home video, but more and more I am hearing a street date of sometime in August, with even this to be confirmed as of this writing. I did however speak to an individual with my largest distributor today. While she was rather hesitant to give me much information, she did confirm that The Passion Of The Christ was currently listed in their computer database, and all that she was willing to give me was that Fox Home Video would be the distributor for this film. While we continue to wait for a confirmed street date, a listing in a computer database of at least one distributor seems, for now, to possibly point to August.
Disney is calling Miracle an “Uplifting true story about the greatest moment in sports history.” We can look forward to a street date of May 18 for this title. This DVD will feature a two disc set loaded with over four hours of special features. Extras will include a never before seen conversation with coach Herb Brooks. Actual team members will be featured as well talking about now and then. Other items on this DVD will include outtakes and audio commentaries.
May 18 will also see a street date for an old classic restored. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly will arrive on a two disc collector’s edition. The box will include a collectible outer box, a booklet (no details at this time of what the booklet contains), and international theatrical mini-posters. This classic will be properly presented in 16 X 9 widescreen format running two hours and fifty nine minutes in length. Correct! This is a newly restored extended version of this film. Features of this two disc set are deleted footage, three documentaries, two featurettes and more. Audio is encoded in 5.1 English surround sound, with audio also including Italian in mono.
I have but one question at this time. Will the tradition continue, or, will this film be ripped to shreds? Starship Troopers 2 will street on June 1. I loved the first film. It was somewhat silly, definitely campy, and just downright fun. However, there is a problem. We do not feature the original cast in our sequel, hence, my question. Richard Burgi (TV’s 24), Kelly Carlson (3000 Miles To Graceland, TV’s Nip/Tuck), Ed Lauter (Leaving Las Vegas, Seabiscuit, Not Another Teen Movie) and Sandrine Holt (Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Rapa Nui, Resident Evil 2) all star in our upcoming sequel. This time, we have our rag tag group of troopers stranded on a lonely outpost becoming infected with a “bug.” While the original Starship Troopers surely left the door open to a sequel, let’s just hope that the follow up holds our attention. I wait with baited breath. The DVD will include Director, Writer and Producer commentary, a featurette titled From Green Screen To Silver Screen, a featurette titled Inside The Federation, production stills and bonus trailers. The film will be presented in 1.78 Anamorphic Wide Screen format.
Welcome To Mooseport streets out on home video shelves on May 25. For some reason, the studio keeps touting the firepower of Gene Hackman, citing Behind Enemy Lines, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Replacements as making 156 million at the box office, and 216 million in rental revenue. The studio must be worried on how much this film will actually make by citing only what Hackman has been able to accomplish. No listing on what the DVD has available on it, but considering that it crapped out in theaters, they’ll most likely release it as a stripped out movie only end product.
Barbershop 2 will come to us home viewers on June 29. While the sequel to the original Barbershop didn’t do quite as well, it did take home 61 million dollars compared to a 74 million dollar take of the original film. The DVD will arrive with audio and video commentaries by Ice Cube and Queen Latifa. We also get deleted scenes, outtakes, music videos and behind-the-scene photos along with a hidden Easter egg.
DreamWorks’ 16 million dollar bomb Eurotrip will arrive on June 1. The studio is apparently going to try to make up for the failing theatrical run by pricing the DVD at $26.99 and the VHS format at $22.99. These are retail prices, and why anyone would pay retail when you can find such great prices on the internet are beyond me. We will get two versions on DVD, a fullscreen only disc, and a second disc that contains the unrated version offering both fullscreen and widescreen formats.
New Line drops The Butterfly Effect on us July 6. Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart star in this upcoming thriller. DVD extras will include beyond-the-movie featurettes and a trivia track along with the All Access Pass to behind-the-scenes information (whatever the hell that means). We also will get a commentary, deleted scenes and storyboards.
Lions Gate Home Entertainment debuts WWII Road To Victory on May 18. I’ve always been a history buff, and this set appears to have it all. The entire feature runs 440 minutes, or a little over 7 hours. This will be a 5 disc set and is quite reasonably priced (in my opinion) at a suggested retail of $26.99. WWII Road To Victory is the story of the battlefronts, soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought in the campaigns of WWII. This 5 disc set features actual footage from all sides of the war and takes you behind the enemy lines and to the front lines of major battles. There are over twenty battles covered, including the Battle of Stalingrad, the U-Boat War, the Battle of Okinawa and the Liberation of Paris.
The Great Escape hits home video shelves on May 18 and what a collection this will be. This film features Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Coburn. Now that is one hell of a cast. Did you know this film was based on a true story? This is a commemorative two disc collector’s set and is loaded with bonus items. Disc one offers the film in a high definition transfer. Audio commentary is provided by Director John Sturges, Cast and Crew. Audio is mixed in 5.1 surround sound while the film itself is presented in 16 X 9 Widescreen format with an aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1.
Disc two is the bonus disc and offers us the documentary The Great Escape: The Untold Story. We also get a documentary titled The Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones. There are five featurettes included with this bonus disc, featurette titles include Return To The Great Escape, Preparations For Freedom, A Standing Ovation, Bringing Fact To Fiction and The Flight To Freedom. We also get a photo gallery and the original theatrical trailer. Run time of the feature film is 172 minutes.
From here, I will list a few more films with street dates, and the plot outline directly from the studio description. The first line will list the title of the film, second line, the label or distributor and the third line, the street date followed by a very short description of the film.
Street Date: 5/18
An ex-convict corresponds with a boy, offering hope for the future as the boy finds his place in the world.
A Loving Father
A man abducts his famous but emotionally distant father in an effort to reconnect with him.
Lord Of The Ring: Return Of The King
I obviously don’t have to tell you about this one, do I?
Ice Cold In Phoenix
A lifelong victim of abuse tries to turn his life around but ends up in a psychotic downward spiral, leaving him faced with a choice between revenge and sanity.
Searching For Wooden Watermelons
A woman from a small town must face her fear of leaving the only place she has ever known and strike out on her own.
An aging Elvis and JFK fight a soul-sucking mummy plaguing a retirement home.
Along Came Polly
A wacky woman hooks up with a strait-laced, risk-averse man and they fall in love.
A serial killer with a machete slices things up at an island resort.
And that will wrap this up! I just happened to be reading some of the video industry trades today and noticed several titles out there that I thought you should be aware of. So there you go. Me? I’m off, but I’ve always been off in the head, for now, I’ll just be off to watch another movie.
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1071
originally posted: 03/31/04 10:15:27
last updated: 03/31/04 15:37:45