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New On Home Video: May 11, 2004

Usually Updated Each Monday Evening
by Randy Muselman

The home video releases are quite slim this week. It could possibly have something to do with the big blockbusters of summer starting to hit theaters, and perhaps studios just don't want to try and have home video compete with theatrical releases. Regardless, there are only a few video releases available to talk about this week.

The only big title out this week is Scary Movie 3. Unlike the first two films in the series, the Wayans brothers elected to bail on this film. I normally am not a big fan of these kinds of films, although I do remember watching Airplane from 1980, and laughing my ass off during the entire film.

With Scary Movie 3 I just found the film overall very hard to watch. For some reason, the humor in this film just didn't take hold for me. I think my favorite part of the entire film was eight year old Cody (Drew Mikuska) who kept making the funniest damn predictions through the entire film. All the while getting his ass kicked either by being punted goal post style by various drivers using cars, or getting smacked in the face by George (Simon Rex).

My favorite line in the movie happens when eight year old Cody is standing on the stairs at a funeral, and a couple walks buy who are holding hands. As they pass, Cody states to the guy "You’re getting lucky tonight", and as the woman passes by, "He doesn't know you're a man." It's the silly little one liners that seem to come off the cuff that made me chuckle.

While I didn't much care for the film, it does offer up a well known cast that overall, does a fine job for this type of film. Offering what you might expect from this franchise, the film takes pot shots at films like The Ring, Signs, 8 Mile, The Matrix Reloaded and The Others.

Overall, I'd have to say that if you rent this film, you'll do ok for a couple of laughs. If you shelled out the cash for theater tickets, you have my condolences. We only have one staff review for Scary Movie 3 and Eric seemed to think this film is worth a watch. You can read Eric's full review of Scary Movie 3 right here. You can also purchase this title through our site.

We also have a title hitting home video this week from director Jim Sheridan. In America was highly noticed at various film festivals, and chosen as Official Selection at many, unfortunately, I just didn't get an opportunity to screen it.

Festivals taking note of this film included:

OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.

Relying fully on our staffers to bring you more information on this film, we find most of the staff, for the most part, enjoyed In America.

Collin Souter says of In America

There exists a danger in bringing angels into a story. One can always run the risk of being too corny, too saccharine, too whimsical or overly symbolic. The existence of angels remains a touchy storyline, not because of any controversy, but because they have been used as a hokey narrative device, an excuse to tell a lame love story and have become a cliché of symbolism. Basically, angels can be the kiss of death for any movie, but if used wisely, as in Jim Sheridan’s “In America,” the angel can be used to add mystery where needed. You don’t even need wings to make the story fly.

I definitely think I will pick this film up for a watch in the very near future, but, if you can't wait, then you can always purchase In America right here.

For you lovers of Shrek, you can pick up a special treat on home video this week. It's a double disc pack that includes Shrek and Shrek 3-D. You get the Full Screen version of Shrek in this pack, as well as a 15 minute short of Shrek 3-D. The 3-D featurette is again, only 15 minutes long, and is presented in wide-screen format (yep, black bars at the top and bottom of your screen). I have not seen the 3-D version so cannot comment on it, but hey, if it's Shrek, it can't be all that bad.

I kid you not. My better half has watched Shrek at LEAST 50 times, and knows every single word of the dialog. She recites it back, word for word, during playback of the film. Drives me nuts sometimes. This title is sure to go over big with the kids, purchase Shrek/Shrek 3-D right here.

Also available this week is a documentary from director Errol Morris, The Fog Of War. This is another title that I have not been able to screen, so again, we rely on our staff members to bring you the information you need to be informed.

The Fog Of War was an Official Selection film at several festivals, including:

OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival.

Eric Snider says of The Fog Of War:

I was born in 1974, so I have no actual memories of the Vietnam War. Everything I know about it, I learned second-hand, after the fact.

I think that prevents me from fully grasping the weight of "The Fog of War," Errol Morris' striking documentary about Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense from 1962-68, and so-called "architect of the Vietnam War." I gather that for those who lived in the '60s and heard news of the war on a daily basis, McNamara was as large a part of the cultural consciousness as the presidents were. But for me, born later and without a direct parallel from my own generation, I don't have the frame of reference necessary to understand, without being told, why a film interviewing McNamara is any more noteworthy than one interviewing any other political figure from that era.


Read Eric's full review of The Fog OF War and purchase it by clicking here.

As you know, EFC and HBS cover many film festivals all over the world. If you are interested in finding out more about the Festival circuit, you've come to the right place. Click here for all of our festival information.

Yet another film getting noticed at Film Festivals this year was Japanese Story. Yet again, I find myself for lack of words to describe this film, since it was unavailable to me. Never fear, we turn yet again to our staff members.

Stephen Groenewegen says of Japanese Story:

Last year, Toni Collette played such disparate roles as a contemporary American lawyer (Changing Lanes), tough-as-nails Australian gangster’s wife (Dirty Deeds), suicidal British hippy (About A Boy) and 1940s American housewife (The Hours). Although most of these parts were small, she left an indelible impression in each. It’s cause for celebration to see her take centre stage again.

She plays Sandy Edwards, a geologist based in Perth. Along with ex-lover Baird (Matthew Dyktynski), she’s partner in a small software company. Tachibana Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsunashima) is a Japanese business executive on a field trip to inspect Australian mines. Baird senses a possible source of funds if Hiromitsu’s company purchases their latest computer program. He dispatches Sandy to pick him up from the airport, hoping an opportunity will arise for her to demonstrate their product.


Japanese Story was the Official Selection at the following festivals:

OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival.

For Stephen's complete review of Japanese Story click here or to purchase this title, click here.


Turning now to those of you who like to collect your favorite television series on home video, we have several for you this week. Looks like there is a little something for everyone.

Have Gun - Will Travel: The Complete First Season (6 disc set)
Jonny Quest: The Complete First Season (4 disc set)
The Jetsons: The Complete First Season (4 disc set)
Survivor: The Complete First Season (5 disc set)
The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season (7 disc set)
Friends: The Final Episode

Checking out what you kind people have been taking home from the rental counter this last week, we find the following:

(Source: billboard.com)

1. Master & Commander
2. Haunted Mansion
3. Kill Bill Volume 1
4. Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)
5. Something's Gotta Give
6. Timeline
7. The Rundown
8. Gothika
9. Matrix Revolutions
10. Win A Date With Tad Hamilton

Don't forget that EFC/HBS has one of the most comprehensive listings of DVD releases you will find anywhere on the internet. Check out The HBS/EFC COMPLETE DVD Release Schedule as it is updated weekly. You can also check out a new feature called The DVD Shopping Planner For May 2004.

And that's all folks! That brings to a close another week of what's new on home video, as always, we hope you find this information useful. We'll be back next week, until then, grab a movie, plop yer big ole butt on a nice soft chair and enjoy a movie.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1113
originally posted: 05/11/04 10:54:19
last updated: 05/11/04 11:03:09
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