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New On Home Video: April 27, 2004

Usually Updated Each Monday Evening
by Randy Muselman

This week’s column sounds kind of fishy to me, but then; I'm just that type of guy. Welcome to another week of New On Home Video, the place where you can find out what's coming to your local video store for rent or sale. Click on in and let the fat man tell you what it's all about.

There are two titles this week that really caught my attention, Big Fish and The Cooler. I simply can't recommend these titles enough. One is a flight of fancy that will keep you guessing right up to the end. The other is just an all around good story that really could be about one of us common folks. We've also got comedy this week. If you are into the love story theme, well we can fix you up with that as well.

Let's start off with Tim Burton sitting in the director's chair with Big Fish. This movie is all about Ed Bloom, he's just an ordinary guy who doesn't lead an ordinary life. In his youth, he meets a witch, giant, werewolf and just about everyone else you can imagine. Ed's always got a story to tell, and his stories are simply amazing. Can you tell if they are real or not? Watch this film and you tell me. His son seems to think that every word out of his father’s mouth is nothing but one tall tale and he simply wants to get to know his real father, the down to earth guy that his mother married.

This film is one fantastic adventure. You'll get caught up in Ed's stories from the moment the film opens and you'll always find yourself wanting more as the film progresses. There always seems to be just one taller tale around the corner during the film, but again, are they tall tales, or are they the truth? That's the fun of this film, listening to these fantastic stories and trying to decide how much truth is hidden within them.

Our staffers overall think this film is definitely worth a look, as do I. If you collect DVD, then this is one you'll want to grab for your collection. I give Big Fish four stars and suggest you BUY IT.

The other film that really caught my eye this week is The Cooler. This film features William H. Macy as Bernie Lootz. If you've seen the comic strip The Born Loser in your local newspaper, well let me tell you, the poor schmuck featured in that comic strip has nothing on our main character in this film. Bernie Lootz has got to be the biggest loser on the planet. So much so that he's employed by Shelly (Alec Baldwin) at the Shangri-La Casino as a "Cooler." Now a Cooler is a person who takes a winner and turns them into a loser simply by being near them, and Bernie is very good at what he does.

There's only one problem. Bernie has been doing his job at the casino for five years because he's in debt to Shelly for big bucks. His arrangement was to work off the debt in a five year period and Bernie's time is up in just six days, and Bernie wants out. Unfortunately, Bernie's luck just can't seem to change. He meets a woman Natalie (Maria Bello), and his life gets complicated very quickly.

I don't want to give away too many details, as that would spoil this film. But do watch for the scenes where Bernie sits at the bar and gets his coffee. The little container holding the cream for his coffee will be an indicator as to how Bernie's luck changes throughout this film. Bernie has some sad moments, some very happy moments and just a bit of everything in between. I was a little surprised at the ending of the film, but overall, I think you'll find The Cooler is surely worth owning on home video, so grab it right here.

The Farrelly brothers are at it again. This week we have Stuck On You. If you know the Farrelly brothers, you know they are silly as hell. This film is no exception to the rule. The story for this film centers on conjoined twins, Bob (Matt Damon) and Walt (Greg Kinnear). These two brothers own a little restaurant and man can they cook. Trouble is Walt (who's always acted in local productions) wants to take his shot at the big time in Hollywood. That's where the fun begins. Brother Bob, of course would have to go with Walt in order for his big dream to come true. There's also the fact that if Walt hits the big time, how do you hide Bob from the camera.

Things really start to take off For Walt (and Bob) when they accidentally meet Cher who's trying to get out of a contract. Her evil plot is to hire the twins which will surely get her contract cancelled. Her plan backfires and the show is a smashing success. From this point on in the film, the plot bounces like a rubber ball, up and down.

While I normally don't go for watching the really silly stuff, I have to admit that as this film played out, I found myself laughing unexpectedly. As much as I hate to admit it, I have to say this is at least a rent, and a definite own for those of you who like the Farrelly brothers. I'd rate this film at three stars. For those of you, who plan on buying it for your collection, save yourself some time and click right here.

For those of you who have love in your hearts, there's Love Actually. Unfortunately, I just didn't have time to watch this film before bringing you this column. However, we have other staffers who truly liked this film. You know you can't go wrong with our gang and their reviews.

Erik Childress says of Love Actually:

Love Actually is one of the most unabashedly romantic films I’ve ever seen. It makes no apologies for entrenching its Altman-like character list in clichιs while your most cynical inner vibrations scoff at how neatly some of its strands come together. I grant you everything since “come on” truly has a double meaning with this film. But the plain of innocence where this film resides is not merely out of simplistic necessity to warm our hearts or out of intentions to do well; it does have a point to make. And if “love is all around” is all it is, then dammit, so be it.

You can read Erik's Full Review as well as reviews of our other staff members. Dare I say it? Our staff "loved" this film. Ok, maybe I shouldn't go that far, but I couldn't resist. For those of you who'd love to buy this DVD, hey, just click right here.

I've always liked the films dealing with real subjects. For that reason, I surely will pick up, without having seen Ghosts Of The Abyss. While this film was originally presented on the big IMAX screens, it's being delivered to us on home video this week.

Unfortunately for me, there isn't an IMAX screen within 150 miles of me, but regardless, with a film from James Cameron, with Bill Paxton along for the ride, I simply can't see how you can go wrong with a title like this.

Erik Childress says of Ghosts Of The Abyss:

Ghosts of the Abyss is still an extraordinary adventure that’s worth your attention. 99.9% of us will never get to take this excursion up close and personal and IMAX allows us weak-willed, non-celebrities to encounter it firsthand. Cameron’s association with the Titanic from hokey dialogue to “king of the world” silence-asking Oscar speeches will continue to be mocked. We even wait with belated anticipation for one of his famed tirades when things go wrong on the ship. No one can ridicule his passion for the subject though. 900 hours of footage was filmed for this project and between that passion and Paxton’s human touch, Jules Verne would be damn proud.


If you're like me, you can buy this title right here and add it to your collection. I can't wait for my copy to show up.

Alrighty, it's now time to give you the list of films that will be hitting those video shelves tomorrow. There are a ton of them. Remember, some of these you may have seen released before. These new listings are either brand new to DVD, or re-releases that have been re-priced down from what they originally sold for when they were first released. Due to the number of releases, I've not separated the television series from the film listings. Listings also include the films we've discussed above.

• 101 Ways (The Things a Girl Will Do to Keep Her Volvo)
• 8-Pack Brick: Anime Test Drive
• Abraham's Valley
• Adam & Evil
• Agi Murad, Il Diavolo Bianco
• Aileen Wuornos: The Selling Of A Serial Killer
• Alabama Love Story
• Alias
• All Souls' Day Concert 1984
• All the Wrong Places
• All Things Fair
• Amalia Rodriques Live In New York
• American Classics: Classic Chevrolets
• American Classics: Classic Travel Trailers
• American Classics: Kings of Kustomizing
• American Classics: Old School
• Among Us
• Angel & The Badman
• Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album (Special Edition)
• The Apocalypse
• Arabesque
• Arjuna: The Complete Collection
• Azumanga Daioh: Entrance (Vol. 1)
• Azumanga Daioh: The Animation
• Beau Ideal
• Between Science and Garbage
• Beyond Justice: Escape From Sabibor
• Big Fish
• Blondes Have Moreguns
• Blood Gnome
• Blue Steel
• A Bookshelf On Top Of The Sky: Twelve Stories About John Zorn
• The Bride Of Frank
• Burn Up Excess: The Complete Edition
• Buttobi Cpu: I Dream Of Mimi
• By Appointment Only
• Cabbage Patch Kids: The Screen Test
• Camino Del Infierno
• Carriles De Fuego
• Charlie Chaplin
• Chronos: Special Edition
• Circumstantial Evidence
• Cleopatra DC
• Come Fly With Me
• Coming Distractions
• The Cooler
• Corri, Uomo, Corri
• Crash Masters Collection: Sun Dragon
• Crazy Crafts Bugs Lizards & Dinosaurs
• Crazy Crafts Fairy Tales
• Crazy Crafts Jungle Animals
• Crazy Crafts Messes Monsters & Music
• Crazy Crafts to the Rescue
• Crazy Crafts Under the Sea
• Crunch: Boot Camp Training
• David Copperfield: Illusion
• Day Boy Funny
• D-Day: The Total Story
• Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
• Death Rides The Plains
• Descendants Of Darkness: Anime Test Drive
• Diary for My Father, My Mother, My Brothers and My Sisters
• The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season Four
• Django: Two-Disc Limited Edition
• Dot
• Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
• Dracula: The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son Of Dracula / House Of Dracula)
• Droppin Jewels
• DVD Video Jukebox 2
• Dvorak: Sym. No 8
• Earth & Water
• Elf Princess Rane
• El Santo Y La Tigresa
• Empires: Japan: Memoirs Of A Secret Empire
• The Energetics of Healing
• ER: The Complete First Two Seasons (2-Pack)
• Fast Company
• Fast Company: 2-Disc Limited Edition
• Fat Man and Little Boy
• Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion
• A Few Hours of Sunlight (Un Peu de Soleil Dans l'Eau Froide)
• First, Last And Deposit
• The First Year
• Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
• Frankenstein Must be Destroyed
• Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection (Frankenstein / Bride Of / Son Of / Ghost Of / House Of)
• Friend (2001)
• Galileo Smith Visits the Solar System
• Galileo Smith Visits The Solar System
• Gangster's Den
• Ghosts Of The Abyss
• Go to Hell
• Green Archer: Vol 1
• Green Archer: Vol 2
• Green Eyes
• The Green Glove
• Guitar Method: Kiss
• Gun Shot: Reggae Ramm Jamm
• Hammer Horror Collection (The Curse Of Frankenstein / Dracula Has Risen From The Grave / Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed / Horror Of Dracula / The Mummy / Taste The Blood Of Dracula)
• Handcart
• Happy Lesson: Mama-Lama-Ding Dong (Vol. 3)
• Harlock Saga
• Heater
• Helen of Troy
• Henry Hill
• Holy Year
• Horror Rises From the Tomb
• Hot Drum: Punk Rock Drums
• The Householder
• Illuminated Chakras: Your Inner Worlds
• Infinite Ryvius: Change Of Command (Vol. 4)
• In Search of the Trojan War
• Inu-Yasha: Shattered Memories (Vol. 17)
• Jack & The Beanstalk
• Jane Olivor: Safe Return
• The Jaundiced Eye
• Jericho Mansions
• Kalibre 35
• Kanoon
• Kanoon
• Kaze No Yojimbo: A New Face In Town (Vol. 1)
• The Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 1 (1989-1990)
• The King Murder
• Las Cuatro Milpas
• The Last King: The Power And The Passion Of Charles II
• Laughing At Life
• Lawless Frontier / Lucky Texan
• Les Cauchemars Naissent La Nuit
• Life is to Whistle
• Like Father, Like Son
• The Lone Rider In Ghost Town
• Lost, Lonely And Vicious
• Louder Than Bombs
• Love Doll 2: Rose Room
• Love Don't Cost A Thing
• Love Forbidden
• Mad Dogs
• Madhumati
• Madonna (Anime)
• Maetel Legend
• The Magic Hour (Entre la Tarde y la Noche)
• Mannaja
• Mariachi Desconocido
• Marmalade Boy Ultimate Scrapbook: Volume 1 (Episodes 1-19)
• Marriage
• Me Cai De La Nube
• Medea
• The Medicine Show
• The Midnight Phantom
• Midsomer Murders, Set Three
• The Molly Maguires
• Motogp 2003
• Murder at Glen Athol
• Murder By Invitation
• Mutant X: Season 2: Discs 1/2
• Mx World Championship 2003
• My Little Eye
• My My Mai
• My Side of the Mountain
• National Geographic: Beyond The Movie: Troy
• Nature: Diamonds
• Nature: Holy Cow
• Nature: Koko: Conversation With Koko
• Nature: Pale Male
• Nature: San Diego Zoo
• Night Thirst & Dweller
• Nova: Crash of Flight 111
• Nova: Descent Into Ice
• On The Scene 3: Drift Usa
• Osama
• Out of the Wilderness
• Overlo'd
• Painted Hills
• The Phantom Broadcast
• Pixies
• Popeye (75th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
• Port of Missing Girls
• Post Concussion
• Pot O Gold
• Prison Train
• Profiler: Season 3
• The Real Deal
• Red Right Hand
• Remember Pearl Harbor! 4pk
• Remember the Alamo
• Revolutionary Girl Utena: Anime Test Drive
• Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Rose Collection/The Movie Boxed Set
• Roujin Z
• Saikano: Girlfriend (Vol. 1)
• Savage Island
• Savage Island
• Saved by the Bell: Seasons 3 & 4
• Sd Gundam Force: Heroes United (Vol. 3)
• Sd Gundam Force: Unknown Dangers (Vol. 4)
• Se sei vivo spara
• Shadows On The Stairs
• Shafted!
• Shakespeare Wallah
• Shorty
• The Slayers: Anime Test Drive
• Spartans
• The Statement
• The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
• ER: The Complete Second Season
• The Hound Of The Baskervilles
• State of Mind
• The Story Of The Blues: From Blind Lemon Jefferson To B.B. King
• Stuck On You
• Suddenly
• Suicide
• Swamp: Born to Win
• Taking Sides
• Tango With Federico: Dance Lessons, Vol. 3
• Taste the Blood of Dracula
• Techno Mega Pack
• Terror By Night
• Thomas And Sarah
• The Torch
• The Monster Legacy Collection (Frankenstein / Dracula / The Wolf Man)
• WWE Wrestlemania XX
• Tough Luck
• The Town Is Quiet
• Urban Ghost Story
• Vice Versa
• The Weight of Water
• Whiz Kids
• Whiz Kids
• Wicked Games & Screaming for Sanity: Truth Or Dare
• Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood
• Witchcraft XII: In The Lair Of The Serpent
• Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft
• Witch Hunter Robin: Fugitive (Vol. 4)
• The Wolf Man: The Legacy Collection (The Wolf Man / Werewolf Of London / Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / She-Wolf Of London)
• Woman Condemned
• World Trials Outdoor Championship2003
• Yankeeography, Vol. 1
• Zorro Rides Again: Vol 1
• Zorro Rides Again: Vol 2

If you can't find something from that listing, then you just don't care for video. Now let’s check in and see what you folks around the country in the U.S.A are taking home from the rental counter.

(Source: billboard.com)

1. Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)
2. Matrix Revolutions (2 Disc Widescreen Edition)
3. Something's Gotta Give
4. Gothika
5. The Rundown
6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
7. Brother Bear
8. Mona Lisa Smile
9. Honey
10. School Of Rock

For a complete listing of DVD releases, you can always check out The HBS/EFC COMPLETE DVD Release Schedule . It’s one of the most comprehensive listings you’ll find on the internet, and is updated each week.

That’s going to wrap it up for another week of what’s hitting home video shelves. I hope you have a great week. I’ll be back again next week with another update.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1100
originally posted: 04/27/04 12:49:25
last updated: 04/27/04 13:12:50
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