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The DVD Shopping Planner (March 2005 - Vol. 3)
by Erik Childress

Welcome to Vol. 3 of the DVD Shopping Planner where we give it up for the sci-fi/horror crowd, go a little lighter with music and check out the month in TV on DVD. Click on any title you want and throw it into your Amazonian shopping cart.

THE SCI-FI/FANTASY CROWD

Andromeda Vol 4.5 Season 4 (ADV Films)
Based on the writings of STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry, the sci-fi television series ANDROMEDA stars Kevin Sorbo (of HERCULES fame) as Dylan Hunt, captain of the sentient starship Andromeda Ascendant for the All-Systems Commonwealth, a galaxy-spanning near-utopian government. Ordered to the far end of a galaxy to rescue a star system from a rapidly approaching black hole, Hunt and his crew become frozen in time for 300 years until a passing ship awakens them. To their dismay, they find that the Commonwealth government has fallen apart and the various member galaxies now exist in utter chaos under a militant organization known as the Nietzscheans. The series follows Hunt and the Andromeda crew as they cope with their new environment and attempt to restore order while fending off the hostile forces who wish to destroy them. This volume includes episodes 418-422 from the series' fourth season.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Dark Shadows (Collection #17) (MPI)
Unlike any other soap opera in the history of American television, DARK SHADOWS focused on supernatural themes and characters. The central figure was the tortured vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid), part of a family around which strange events seemed to circulate. VOLUME 17 of the series, which ran for a half-hour every day from 1966 to 1971, contains episodes 856-895. Many of these episodes take place in 1897, where the villainous Petofi takes over the mind of Quentin Collins in an effort to sow discord in the family. Meanwhile, Barnabas attempts to prevent his beloved Josette from committing suicide, traveling back further in time and once again to the present day, 1969, in possession of the Leviathan box, which he is to hold for presentation to the mysterious "chosen ones."
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Doctor Who (The Green Death) (BBC)
Threatened by a mineshaft-dwelling terror, the inhabitants of Earth must depend on the Doctor to save them from an unspeakable fate. A special, two-part episode.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Doctor Who (The Visitation) (BBC)
Culled from the Peter Davidson era of the show, VISITATION is another classic installment in the DOCTOR WHO saga. A trip to Heathrow Airport to drop off Tegan results in the TARDIS vaulting back to the 17th century by mistake. Aliens have also landed, and are intent on wreaking havoc on the earth. Facing a formidable opponent, the Doctor and his crew must draw on their resourceful natures to save the earth.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Earthsea (Lions Gate)
A lush, grandiose dramatization of the first two novels in Ursula K. Le Guin's trilogy, EARTHSEA is an extravagant tour de force of epic magnitude. Shawn Ashmore (X2) stars as Ged, a headstrong young man who is discovered at a young age to be the possessor of unlimited magical powers, when he saves his village from invasion by its enemies. He becomes apprenticed to Ogion (Danny Glover, LETHAL WEAPON), a great sorcerer, and travels to the isle of Roke, in order to acquire mastery over his powers. Eventually his impetuous temper and lust for excitement get him into trouble, and he challenges his fellow student and rival to a magical duel; Ged raises a spirit from the dead, which now walks the land in search of him. Ged must learn to take responsibility for his actions, and in his quest to undo the damage he has done, he conquers dragons, falls in love, and comes to terms with his own dark side. A boon to science fiction fans, this evocative tale is sophisticated in its philosophy while remaining exciting and compelling in its action. Also starring are Isabella Rossellini (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD) as the High Priestess Thar, and Kristin Kreuk (EUROTRIP) as Tenar.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Farscape - Season 1, Collection 3 (Starburst Edition) (ADV Films)
One of the Sci-Fi Channel's most popular series, FARSCAPE is the story of a band of misfit renegades on the run from military Peacekeepers. The hero of the series is the human John Crichton (Ben Browder), a young astronaut and astrophysicist who becomes stranded on the other side of the universe when his Farscape module goes through a wormhole. There, he is taken in by the sentient ship Moya, whose passengers are a mixed lot of aliens, all of whom are on the run from the Peacekeepers. Unfortunately, while the ship is docked and making repairs, Crichton tangles with the captive Peacekeeper Aeryn (Claudia Black), a beautiful and volatile woman who alerts her captain about the Moya, putting everyone in danger. This collection includes special editions of the first season's episodes 15-22.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

The Final Cut (Lions Gate)
Omar Naim's futuristic science-fiction story generates many mysterious, alluring, and thought-provoking questions about memory, surveillance, and the ethics of personal privacy. Set in the future, THE FINAL CUT offers a vision of a world where soon-to-be parents agree to let doctors surgically implant memory chips into the brains of their unborn children. These memory chips are like video cameras with infinite tape stock that comprehensively record the lives of their hosts through the hosts' own eyes--for better or for worse. When a host dies, a "cutter"--played here by an eerily introspective Robin Williams--receives the memory chip footage from the deceased person's family in order to edit the memories for a palatable funereal screening, called a "rememory." But are memories public or private? Is it fair for a cutter to decide what comprises a host's life story? And do people behave differently knowing that someone will view their lives, even their most intimate and discreet moments, as a short film? THE FINAL CUT's use of sharp and furtive handheld camera footage to depict the perspective of memory, set in contrast with the evenly measured cinematography of the rest of the film, constantly foregrounds the medium of film as memory-capturing and memory-making device. With an understated politic and a tightly wound narrative, this film delivers an open-minded and sophisticated meditation on ethics and technology, guilt and redemption, and the property rights of one's own cerebral cortex.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

The Lone Gunmen (Complete Series) (Fox)
This spin-off of the popular X-FILES television show is a decidedly more comedic take on conspiracy theory, featuring three hacker geniuses with limited social skills who often came to the aid of Sgt. Scully and Lt. Mulder. John Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood), and Richard Langly (Dean Haglund) are on a mission to fight all manner of corporate and government intrigue, using their superior technological acumen and tricked-out equipment. They also put out a small publication, intended to educate the masses about these matters, which unfortunately enjoys a less-than-healthy circulation. The group, always short on money, acquires a benefactor in the form of one Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden), a wealthy but somewhat dense young man who is sympathetic to their cause. The Gunmen are also plagued by the wily and beautiful Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson), who is always a step ahead of the boys, and possesses looks and financial resources, in addition to hacking skills equal to the their own. This collection includes the pilot episode, as well as "Like Water for Octane," "Madam, I'm Adam," "Diagnosis: Jimmy," and "All About Yves."
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Lost in Space (Season 3, Volume 1) (Fox)
The brilliant Professor John Robinson was selected to execute an elite and dangerous mission, traveling to the third planet in the Alpha Centauri system to establish a new colony of humans with his family. It is the year 1997, and the Earth has become terribly overpopulated,with the only hope of survival to expand into the universe. Unfortunately, the family was waylaid by the evil Dr. Zachary Smith, who stowed away on the ship and whose added weight throws the Robinsons off-course. Now they are left to their own devices as they try to find their way home, encountering all manner of space creatures along the way. A product of America's fascination with the "space race" that shaped the national consciousness in the 1960s, the sitcom is part drama, part comedy, and all nostalgia. Episodes include "Condemned of Space," "The Haunted Lighthouse," and "Collision of the Planets;" also featured is an interview with Bill Murray and a collection of teasers and interstitials.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected (Set 2) (Acorn Media)
The playfully macabre adult stories of Roald Dahl launched this legendary series, which continues with stories of the same humorously creepy ilk. Each standalone episode is a tasty tidbit of horror served up with a startling twist of fate. Episode casts feature stars from both sides of the Atlantic, including John Gielgud, Telly Savalas, Joan Collins, Pauline Collins, Nigel Havers, Nigel Hawthorne, Rachel Kempson, Michael Kitchen, Roy Marsden, Robert Morley, Amanda Redman, Eli Wallach, and James Warwick. Includes 23 classic episodes.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

OOOH, SCARY!!!


Comedy of Innocence (Wellspring)
When a young boy suddenly declares that his name is Paul, not Camille, and requests that his mother take him to his "real" mother, the characters are thrown into a supernatural drama reminiscent of THE SIXTH SENSE. Camille's mother, Ariane (Isabelle Huppert) fulfills Camille's request and takes him to the home of Isabella (Jeanne Balibar). It is discovered that Isabella's own son, Paul, drowned two years earlier, and the sequence of events lead to questions of reincarnation.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Dead Birds (Columbia/Tri-Star)
READ REVIEW
Eerie and atmospheric, this horror film unfolds with a chilling deliberateness that is offset by truly horrific moments. Set in Civil War-era Alabama, DEAD BIRDS follows a bickering band of deserters who have robbed a gold shipment; on the run from the law, they hide out in a deserted mansion to regroup. The estate has a rather unsavory history, however, having housed satanic rituals performed on unwilling slaves, which ended up turning children into sharp-fanged demons. The group's attempts to escape are thwarted by an increasingly aggressive supernatural presence. The talented cast of this brooding period thriller includes Isaiah Washington (ROMEO MUST DIE), Patrick Fugit (SAVED), Henry Thomas (GANGS OF NEW YORK, LEGENDS OF THE FALL) and Nicki Aycox (JEEPERS CREEPERS II).
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Exorcist: The Beginning (Warner Bros.)
READ REVIEW
When Father Lankester Merrin arrived to expunge a troublesome demon from Regan MacNeil in the original EXORCIST movie, many viewers were left cowering in fear. But questions remained as to the true identity of the mysterious Merrin, and how he rose to become such a potent force in the battle against demonic possession. For inquisitive fans still fervently pondering the unfathomable Merrin, help is at hand in the shape of this prequel film, EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING. In the post-World War II world, Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard) has seen his faith lapse due to some tumultuous firsthand experiences on the battlefield. Taking a lengthy sabbatical in an attempt to rekindle his belief, Merrin travels to East Africa. While there, he encounters an archaeological team who have uncovered a Byzantine-era church which, astonishingly, shows no visible signs of decay. Upon investigating the remarkable find, Merrin happens upon a crypt beneath the church, and inadvertently unleashes the same omnipotent demon that he duels with in the first EXORCIST movie. The local villagers unwittingly succumb to the powerful otherworldly force, and as chaos breaks out, Merrin experiences a cruel sense of irony when the very horrors he sought to escape engulf him once more. Overcoming a difficult production that saw original director Paul Schrader ousted from the crew, Renny Harlin (DIE HARD 2) pulls out all the stops to deliver a creepy complimentary piece to the other EXORCIST movies. The casting of Skarsgard as the younger Merrin was a wise move, and neatly augments the work of fellow Swede Max Von Sydow in the first film. Working in the shadow of such a legendary movie is never easy, but Harlin manages to create a disquieting air of uneasy menace as he allows the tale to unfurl.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Koma (Tartan Video)
Director Chi-Leung Law (INNER SENSES) reunites with star Kar Yan Lam for the psychological thriller KOMA. Lam and Angelica Lee (THE EYE) play Ling and Ching, two women from opposite sides of the economic track. A killer is stealing organs from the victims, and socialite Ching suspects that Ling may be the murderer. However, her suspicion is perhaps caused by the fact that both women are involved with the same man. Meanwhile, Ling herself is jealous of Ching's privileged position, and begins following her around. As the murders continue, and Ling and Ching are drawn closer together, the question arises as to who is truly dangerous and who is the less-than-innocent victim.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

A Tale of Two Sisters (Tartan Video)
READ REVIEW
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Toolbox Murders (2004) (Lions Gate)
READ REVIEW
Tobe Hooper (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) delivers a screamer that exhibits, to its credit, a solidly 1970s slasher feel. Set entirely in LA's historic Ambassador Hotel--which housed the very first Academy Awards--it blends the claustrophobic feel of Polanski's THE TENANT with the sleazy aura of that era. Nell (Angela Bettis, GIRL, INTERRUPTED) and her husband Steven (Brent Roam) have recently moved to the city, taking up residence in the faded glory of the now-dilapidated Lusman Arms apartment building, managed by the slimy Byron McLieb (Greg Travis, STARSHIP TROOPERS). Almost immediately Nell realizes that something is amiss, hearing strange noises at night, and discovering unsettling signs of witchcraft. When two tenants disappear, Nell is determined to investigate, despite her husband's insistence that she is just being paranoid. The trail she uncovers leads increasingly and disturbingly back to the foundations of the building's very architecture. Atmospheric and moody, the actors' solid performances and Hooper's deft directorial touch make this a thrilling, unforgettable journey into the terrifying realm of the occult.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

MUSICALS


The Band Wagon (Warner Bros.)
Fading movie musical star Tony Hunter, down and out in Hollywood, decides to try his luck on the Broadway stage. Unfortunately, the simple hoofer discovers that a pretentious director has control of the project, and that instead of good humor, happy songs and a tapping chorus line, there'll be lengthy speeches, heavy drama and lots of deep soul-searching. Even worse, Tony's expected to dance with a classical ballerina! Thanks to the massive egos of everyone involved, the play, to no one's surprise, lays an egg. But now Tony takes charge, and he's out to prove the show must go on -- his way! Some of the dazzling Astaire dance numbers include "Triplets," "Girl Hunt," "Dancing in the Dark" and "That's Entertainment."
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Bells are Ringing (Warner Bros.)
Holliday's last screen appearance and perhaps her best, reprising her stage role in the Comden and Green musical. Holliday plays a switchboard operator at a Manhattan telephone answering service, Susanswerphone, who gets mixed up in her kooky clients' lives, acting as both muse and therapist, eventually falling in love with a client's voice. Early appearance by Stapleton, and a cameo by Holliday's husband, saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. The picture's many musical hits include "Just in Time" and "The Party's Over." Academy Award Nominations: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Brigadoon (Warner Bros.)
Romance blooms for an American who stumbles upon a magical Scottish village visible for one day every hundred years. Bagpipes and brogues abound in the Technicolor Highlands, and the Lerner and Loewe score makes this one of the most underrated of the grand 1950s musicals.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Easter Parade (Warner Bros.)
An Irving Berlin spectacular in which Astaire plays the part of a dance man whose partner abandons the act. Fortunately, his new partner turns out to be Garland. This is the only picture in which the two superstars worked together.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Finian's Rainbow (Warner Bros.)
It’s hard to believe THE GODFATHER filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was also responsible for this charming, whimsical musical. Fred Astaire stars in his last full-length musical role as Finian McLonergan. In Ireland, Finian manages to steal a pot of gold from unlucky leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele). Finian and daughter Sharon (Petula Clark) journey to Rainbow Valley in America and join the townspeople there in defending themselves against the racist Senator Billboard Rawkins (Keenan Wynn). The buried gold becomes the lucky crock that helps Og, Finian, and the townspeople fulfill their dreams.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Not on the Lips (Wellspring)
READ REVIEW
Alain Renais’ (Last Year at Marienbad) delightful new period musical comedy is based on a 1925 Parisian Operetta and stars Audrey Tautou (A Very Long Engagement), Isabelle Nanty (Amelie) and Lambert Wilson (The Matrix sequels).
DVD Features – Coming Soon

JUST THE MUSIC

Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974: Through the Camera of Barry Feinstein (MVD)
Dylan fans will rejoice in this treasure trove of unseen photographs taken by legendary photographer, Barry Feinstein, on the famous 1966 and 1974 world tours. Accompanied by Feinstein, director Joel Gilbert takes audiences on a fascinating, illuminating exploration of both tours, as well as the down time in between, when Dylan lived a reclusive existence in Woodstock, NY. In addition to providing insight into the tours, the documentary chronicles Dylan's highs and lows, visiting Big Pink in Woodstock, and Greenwich Village, NY, and recreating the motorcycle accident that changed Dylan's life. We witness Dylan's first encounter with the Beatles, and gain insight through Dylan expert A.J. Weberman. Interviews with documentarian D.A. Pennebaker (DON'T LOOK BACK), godfather of rock journalism Al Aronowitz, The Band drummer Mickey Jones, and others, further illuminate the tale. Feinstein is himself the frontman for Bob Dylan cover band, Highway 61 Revisited, which is widely heralded as an exact approximation of Dylan's music, style and attitude.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Jim Lauderdale: In Concert – Ohne Filter (MVD)
In the 1990s, Jim Lauderdale was an integral player in the Americana roots-music scene. His style was a blend of bluegrass, country, R&B, blues, pop, and folk. Before releasing several successful albums in the 90s, his music was often used as material for popular country artists such as Patty Loveless and Vince Gill. Here, Lauderdale gives a live performance of several songs spanning his career. Also included are interviews, and an extensive artist profile that will further any fans understanding of Lauderdale's influences and contributions to the Americana movement.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Kelly Clarkson: Behind Hazel Eyes (StudioWorks)
Winner of the first American Idol competition, Kelly Clarkson has managed to forge a successful career in pop music while breaking away from the confines of the style endorsed by the contest. KELLY CLARKSON: BEHIND HAZEL EYES features exclusive interviews with the singer as well as behind-the-scenes footage. Kelly talks from the set of a music video and from a movie premiere, offering her insights and feelings and an insider's glimpse into the workings of such events. BEHIND HAZEL EYES views the world of pop stardom through the gaze of regular Texas girl Kelly Clarkson.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Leatherface – Boat in the Smoke (MVD)
Perfectly capturing the energy of Leatherface's live performing style, BOAT IN THE SMOKE features a full concert from March 2004 at The Camden Underworld, in London, as well as segments from a June 2001 show in Sunderland, England. The concerts here occurred as a result of the band's decision to reunite in 1998. In each performance, Leatherface recreates the raw energy of their recorded albums, all of which have received positive reviews for their lyrical depth in comparison to other punk acts. Also included is an interview with lead singer Frankie Stubbs, who originally formed the band in 1988.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Lightning in a Bottle (Columbia/Tri-Star)
A slice of musical history was created on February 7th, 2003, when a dazzling array of blues artists gathered at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. With luminaries such as B.B. King, Solomon Burke, Ruth Brown, Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John among the lineup, this was always destined to be a night to remember. But the organizers were savvy enough to up the ante even further by integrating a comprehensive--albeit by their own admission, incomplete--history of the genre into the evening's festivities. Director Antoine Fuqua (KING ARTHUR) was there with a full crew to record the event, capturing moments of magic both on stage and behind the scenes for LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE. Fuqua also splices in some of the archival footage that the organizers showed on the night, including many of the Radio City artists performing and speaking at a much younger age. The influence of the blues over popular music is vast, and so performers such as Aerosmith, Chuck D from Public Enemy, and David Johansen are brought on stage to vie with their counterparts from a more traditional strain of the genre. Poignant moments come thick and fast, with many of the musicians reminiscing about the old times, and realizing that this would probably be the last occasion on which they were all gathered in the same room. An inspiring historical document, Fuqua's film captures a dying breed of artists, but also points to their lasting legacy and influence which will indefinitely loom large over the music scene.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Pat Travers / Boom Boom – Live at the Diamond (MVD)
READ REVIEW
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Lovin: Live 1966 (MVD)
The 1960s R&B act The Spencer Davis Group is featured here in its original lineup. Composed of Spencer Davis, Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood, and Pete York, the group formed in England 1962. Hitting the UK charts with their debut single "Keep on Runnin'," The Spencer Davis group joined its peers as part of the "British Invasion." A feature-length documentary from 1967 gives viewers an inside look at the daily routine of one of the major groups of the 1960s. Comprised of rare archive footage of the original lineup as seen in the recording studio, concerts, and public relations activities, the documentary was shot in 1967, as the band underwent crucial changes and toured Europe. An exclusive interview sheds further light on the individual band members, featuring Steve Winwood, who went on to gain even greater acclaim as a member of Traffic, as well as in his solo career, and Steve's brother Muff. In a rare live performance from 1966, the group performs many of its hits, including: "Keep on Runnin'," and "I'm a Man."
DVD Features – Coming Soon

TV ACTION


La Femme Nikita - The Complete 2nd Season (Warner Bros.)
This release contains the entire second season of the television series that was based on Luc Besson's French action classic of the same name. Peta Wilson returns as the beautiful heroine, who is once again forced to be a governmental pawn against her wishes. Using her cunning and intelligence, Nikita finds new ways to outwit her tormentors. Twenty-two episodes are included. intrigue-filled five-year series that stars Peta Wilson in the title role. All 22 year-two episodes are here - episodes in which Nikita's life and ultimately the survival of Section itself are on the line. Also included is a special intel portfolio of insider Bonus Features. Stay focused on the mission with this very fatale Femme.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

The Pretender (Season One) (Fox)
Michael T. Weiss stars as Jarod Russell in this popular TV drama from the late 1990s. Discovered to be a genius as a small child, Jarod was kidnapped and brought up, along with many other children like him, at the enigmatic facility known only as "The Centre." There, they were trained to use their capacities for brilliance to adopt personas and jobs as fit their purposes. The children could assume the identities of doctors, lawyers, police officers, or pilots, virtually adopting any occupation at will and with chameleon-like ease. Eventually, however, Jarod discovered the fact that his simulations were not necessarily being used for good, but were being sold to the highest bidder; disturbed, he made his escape. A grown man now, he searches for his parents while using his talents to right the wrongs that he encounters along the way. He also works hard to elude those from The Centre who pursue him doggedly. These include Sydney (Patrick Bauchau, SECRETARY), Jarod's mentor, who knows him so well he can anticipate his course of thought and action, as well as Miss Parker (Andrea Parker), Jarod's childhood friend.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

The Saint (Early Episodes: Set 1) (A&E)
Fearless, debonair, and determined to see justice, Simon Templar, aka THE SAINT, took the world by storm in 1962. Now, the dazzling black-and-white debut season of this modern-day Robin Hood is on DVD for the first time. Sympathetic to those in distress, especially when they're wearing a dress, THE SAINT circles the globe in his trademark white Volvo, deploying lethal charm as his weapon of choice. Based on the best-selling novel Meet the Tiger by Leslie Charteris, Roger Moore's portrayal of this glamorous mystery man with a heart of gold created a television legend. With impeccable taste for the finer things in life, Templar dashed through one heart-pulsing adventure after another, forever chased by Scotland Yard's peppermint-chewing Inspector Teal. Action-packed, stylish, and dependably sexy, this three-disc DVD set features all 12 black-and-white episodes from the debut season of THE SAINT.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Wonder Woman (The Complete Second Season) (Warner Bros.)
With a crack of her gold whip and a shimmy into her snug superhero suit, Lynda Carter perfectly embodied the tough, sassy spirit of WONDER WOMAN in this televisual adaptation. The male-dominated genre got a feminist jolt when Wonder Woman first appeared on screens in 1976, with Carter taking on all manner of evildoers in her attempts to ensure that justice prevails. By day she is a Peter Parker-style worker; clad in glasses and unassuming business clothes, Wonder Woman wiles away the hours performing interminable tasks for the US Military. But when crimes come calling, a quick twirl sees Wonder Woman doing battle with the miscreants attempting to topple the scales of justice in their favor. This release contains the second season of the show in its entirety.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Xena Warrior Princess (The Complete Sixth Season) (Anchor Bay)
Deliberately anachronistic and full of high camp, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS was spun-off from the similar HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS but still managed to find an audience all its own. Both series were produced by film director Sam Raimi (EVIL DEAD, SPIDER-MAN). Xena is an Amazon, destined to roam ancient Greece (and other lands as well) with her companion Gabrielle in order to atone for the crimes she committed as a warlord. SEASON SIX was the final season of the fantasy series, and it finds Xena battling her regular enemies as well as traveling to Norway, Africa, and Japan in search of adventure. Tongue-in-cheek comedy, action, and creative re-visioning of familiar legends mark XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS.
DVD Features – Coming Soon


TV COMEDY


The Brady Bunch (Season One) (Paramount)
Considered somewhat square on its initial broadcast (modest ratings and a predominantly youthful audience made it the FULL HOUSE of its day), 1970s sitcom THE BRADY BUNCH has since blossomed into one of the most beloved comedy series in television history--not to mention a full-blown pop culture phenomenon replete with iconic catchphrases and an ubiquitous theme song. Debuting in 1969, the series eschewed the social turbulence of its era for squeaky-clean, escapist entertainment centered around the union of lovely-lady divorcιe Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) and her three flaxen-haired daughters Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen), to a widower named Mike Brady (Robert Reed), his three sons Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and their devoted housekeeper Alice (Ann B. Davis). A throwback to the wholesome innocence of the 1950s, the series inhabited an impossibly perfect moral universe populated by bellbottoms, butterfly collars, and domestic disputes uncomplicated enough to be solved in under 30 minutes--ensuring a cult following among both devotees of irony and those who genuinely long for a simpler time. Created by Sherwood Schwartz of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND fame, THE BRADY BUNCH is captured in all its nostalgic glory in this complete collection of episodes from season one. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Friends (The Complete Ninth Season) (Warner Bros.)
The penultimate season of FRIENDS saw the gang get up to their usual fun and antics, with a few character and plot developments thrown into the mix for good measure. With Rachel (Jennifer Anniston) becoming a mother and Monica (Courtney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) trying for a baby themselves, it's left up to Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), and Ross (David Schwimmer) to carry the traditional romantic shenanigans of the show...until some surprising revelations unfold in the final episode. The entire ninth season is collected here, which sees guest appearances coming thick and fast from actors such as Elliot Gould, Selma Blair, Jon Lovitz, Hank Azaria, Paul Rudd, and many others.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Green Acres (The Complete Second Season) (MGM)
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Hogan's Heroes (The Complete First Season) (Paramount)
Despite an historically and morally questionable premise, the 1960s sitcom HOGAN'S HEROES was wildly popular during its premiere run and continues to remain one of the most classic (not to mention utterly unique) comedy series in television history. Set in a Nazi prison camp during World War II, the series follows a group of Allied POWs--Englishman Peter Newkirk (a pre-FAMILY FEUD Richard Dawson), Frenchman Louis LeBeau (Robert Clary), and Americans Andrew Carter (Larry Hovis) and James Kinchloe (Ivan Dixon, one of the first African-American actors to get equal billing)--led by the irrepressible Colonel Robert Hogan (Bob Crane) in their hilarious attempts to sabotage the Nazi war effort. Though often mischaracterized as a tasteless gloss on the real-life horrors of Nazi Germany (the series was set in a prisoner-of-war, rather than concentration, camp), HOGAN'S HEROES was intended as parody and certainly pulled no punches in its unflattering depiction of idiotic Nazi officers such as the pompous Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer), bumbling Sergeant Schultz (John Banner), and irascible General Burkhalter (Leon Askin)--in fact, Klemperer, Banner, and Askin were all Jewish, and Clary was a Holocaust survivor. This collection includes all 32 episodes of the controversial series' debut season, which was nominated for two Emmy Awards.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Mister Ed (The Best of - Vol. 2) (MGM)
Everyone's favorite talking horse is back for a second helping in THE BEST OF MISTER ED VOLUME 2. Many more popular episodes of the show are presented here in this special "best of" collection. Watch and laugh as Mister Ed and his goofy owner Wilbur bumble their way through another series of hilarious situations.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

TEENS ON TV


Doogie Howser, M.D. (Season One) (Anchor Bay)
Created by successful television producers Steven Bochco (NYPD BLUE, HILL STREET BLUES) and David E. Kelley (PICKET FENCES, BOSTON PUBLIC), DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. took a dubious premise and became a household name. Neil Patrick Harris (who eventually won a Golden Globe for the role) starred as teenaged genius Doogie, who has successfully completed college and become a doctor at a young age. While he may be smart enough to practice medicine, Doogie is still going through the process of growing up, which often conflicts with his duties. Luckily his best friend Vinnie and his sometimes-girlfriend Wanda are there to help him. In each episode Doogie learns a life lesson, which he remembers on his computer journal. SEASON ONE contains all 26 episodes of the show's premier year.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Felicity (The Complete Fourth Season) (Buena Vista)
The popular college drama FELICITY ended with the titular character's senior year, collected in its 22 episode entirety in FELICITY SEASON 4. Keri Russell (in a role for which she received a Golden Globe) stars as Felicity, who leaves her sheltered upper-class community in California to attend college in New York City, following her high school crush Ben (Scott Speedman). But she soon discovers how complex life really is, in classic "moving to the big city" fashion. FELICITY was created by television producer-writer J.J. Abrams, who would go on to develop ALIAS and LOST.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Popular (Season Two) (Buena Vista)
A curious blend of sarcastic and satirical humor with genuine concern for issues facing teens, POPULAR never lived up to its name in the ratings and was canceled after two seasons. That last season of the short lived show is collected on POPULAR: SECOND SEASON, with all 21 episodes included. The second season features guest stars such as Ann-Margret, Ed McMahon, and RuPaul. POPULAR concerns two girls, Brooke, the well-liked blonde cheerleader, and Sam, her brunette opposite. The pair are thrust into each others lives, however, when their parents begin dating, making them near-stepsisters. POPULAR, like many of its contemporary teen comedies on TV and in film, takes the social structure of high school seriously, and examines it satirically to reveal its absurdities and how it is ultimately little different from the world of adults.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Saved By the Bell - The New Class (Season Two) (Image)
The hit teen series SAVED BY THE BELL, which entertained young adults throughout the 90s, followed the lives and loves of high school students Zach, Screech, and Kelly. THE NEW CLASS is the popular sequel to this beloved series, picking up with a new generation of fresh-faced teens after the original Bellers have graduated. This second season of the show tops the wit of the first, with Screech returning as a high school administrator. Over the 26 episodes, Rachel, Bobby, Lindsay, Megan, Brian and Tommy embark on adventures in romance, relationships, and travel.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Sweet Valley High (Season One) (Buena Vista)
Based on the wildly popular series of young adult books, SWEET VALLEY HIGH is about the exploits of twin blonde teens Liz and Jessica. While the two look exactly the same, they couldn't be more different; Liz is friendly and sweet while her sister Jessica schemes and manipulates. SWEET VALLEY HIGH never aims to be more than escapist entertainment, using handy teen archetypes and situations to create a high school melodrama akin to other popular shows from when it aired such as BEVERLY HILLS 90210 and SAVED BY THE BELL. All 22 episodes of the program's premier season are collected in SWEET VALLEY HIGH SEASON 1.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

TV COPS

21 Jump Street (The Complete Second Season) (Anchor Bay)
Johnny Depp headlined a cast of talented young actors on 21 JUMP STREET, the first major hit show for the Fox network. Created by Stephen J. Cannell (THE A-TEAM, HUNTER, SILK STALKINGS), the show was envisioned as an update on the premise of THE MOD SQUAD. A group of youthful police officers join a special undercover unit that has them pose as high school and college students in order to stop young criminals before their behavior grows worse. The show sparked some controversy during its early years because it did not shy away from presenting serious and sometimes unsavory material, but never in an exploitative manner. THE SECOND SEASON collection contains all 22 episodes, which feature guest stars such as Pauly Shore, Shannon Tweed, and Brad Pitt, all before they were famous.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Columbo (The Complete Second Season) (Universal)
The LAPD's most clever detective returns to solve more seemingly unsolvable murders in COLUMBO: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON. Peter Falk stars as the well-known Det. Columbo, whose disheveled appearance and lackadaisical investigations disguise his sharp and shrewd intelligence. COLUMBO was an unusual television program in that it was broadcast irregularly, but each episode was either 90 or 120 minutes long, a length more common to films than television series'. THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON has three of the longer episodes and five shorter, for eight total. The episodes feature famous guest stars as diverse as John Cassavetes, Ray Milland, Leonard Nimoy, Julie Newmar, Martin Landau, and many others. In addition, two of the episodes were written by legendary television producer-writer Steven Bochco.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (Season One) (Universal)
Based on the popular series of young adult books dating back to the 1920s, THE HARDY BOYS - NANCY DREW MYSTERIES began airing on ABC in 1977. The show starred teen idol Shaun Cassidy as one of the Hardy Boys, the adolescent detectives whose adventures appeared in alternating weeks with those of similarly youthful sleuth Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin). Many of the episodes adapted stories from the book series. SEASON ONE contains the first 14 episodes of the program, and features guest stars like Mark Harmon, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Robert Englund. THE HARDY BOYS - NANCY DREW MYSTERIES was adapted for television by Jack Arnold, the director of many famous B-pictures of the 1950s.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (Pilot - Missing Persons) (Acorn Media)
Supergran sleuth Hetty Wainthropp gets her wings as a private eye in this funny and touching drama never aired in the U.S. An unstoppable force of nature in a hat and sensible shoes, Hetty decides to try tracking down the long-lost son of her best friend’s husband. A taste of success encourages her to go looking for missing persons as a professional sleuth. Only her aching feet slow her down as she searches for teenage runaways in the bustling streets, dark alleys, and strip clubs of London. While Hetty’s husband, Robert, wants her back home and in the kitchen, Hetty never leaves a job half finished, no matter how hard it turns out to be.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Kojak (The Complete First Season) (Universal)
Telly Savalas stars as the bald-headed, lollipop-licking, tough-guy title character in KOJAK. Kojak is a detective for the NYPD, and solves crimes in the Big Apple during the 1970s, which was one of the roughest decades the city has seen. Location shooting in the city itself enhances the series' gritty, realistic feel. KOJAK: SEASON ONE introduces the investigator in a movie-length pilot and 22 standard episodes, with guest stars like Harvey Keitel, James Woods, and John Ritter, and one episode directed by filmmaker Richard Donner (SUPERMAN, LETHAL WEAPON). Savalas won two Golden Globes for his performance as Kojak, and was nominated a further two times for this role. KOJAK depicted the mean streets of New York City with realism that few other television series have since matched.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Midsomer Murders (Set 5) (Acorn Media)
The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mysteries. Based on the novels by Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, the series stars John Nettles (Bergerac) as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby with Daniel Casey (The Wingless Bird) as his eager young assistant. Guest stars include Emily Mortimer, Jonathan Firth, Anna Massey, Joanna David, Bernard Hepton, Nicholas le Prevost, Sarah Badel, and Paul Chapman.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Murder, She Wrote (The Complete First Season) (Universal)
Wildly popular for its entire 12 year run, MURDER, SHE WROTE is one of the most successful mystery shows of all-time. Angela Lansbury stars as Jessica Fletcher, a widowed mystery writer who stumbles across a murder in each episode, and cleverly deduces who the criminal is before anyone else can. Although the show followed a formula, the pleasure came from investigating the crime along with Jessica, and from Lansbury's charming portrayal of the amateur sleuth; she was nominated for an astonishing 12 Emmys for her role. Aside from the wawards, Lansbury's performance was also groundbreaking, for MURDER, SHE WROTE was one of the very first (and still one of the few) American television programs to feature an older woman in the lead role. THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON contains the pilot movie THE MURDER OF SHERLOCK HOLMES and all 21 episodes from the premier year. It features many guest stars from the classical era of film and television, including Martin Landau, Peter Graves, Jose Ferrer, Milton Berle, and many others.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Poirot (Set #12) (Acorn Media)
David Suchet is back as Agatha Christie's most beloved detective in this 12th collector's set of POIROT episodes. 3 different hour-long programs are included. In "The King of Clubs," Poirot and Hastings end up accidentally observing a mysterious drama unwind while on a film set. "The Dream" has the Belgian sleuth consulting with an old miser who has a recurring dream of a violent death. Finally, in "The Incredible Theft," Poirot must solve the case of a missing design sheet for top secret combat aircraft.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Silk Stalkings: Season Two (Anchor Bay)
One of cable television's first hit series', SILK STALKINGS was created by veteran television producer Stephen J. Cannell, who specialized in cop shows (HUNTER, 21 JUMP STREET). Chris Lorenzo (Rob Estes) and Rita Lee Lance (Mitzi Kapture) are partners on the Palm Beach Police Department. They specialize in investigating sex crimes, usually those committed by high society types who believe the law can't touch them. But Chris and Rita are always determined to catch the wrongdoers and send them away. SILK STALKINGS reveled in its tawdry nature, and many viewers thought the mere chemistry between the two main stars made the program more than worthwhile by itself. SEASON 2 contains all 23 episodes of the popular program's follow-up year.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Starsky & Hutch (The Complete Third Season) (Columbia/Tri-Star)
Revamping the cop show genre in the 1970s, the brash, streetwise Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and the refined, cultured Hutch (David Soul) were the definition of cool for a generation. The show was also characterized by more violence, drugs, and exciting car chases than had previously been seen on TV. Playing the good cop, bad cop routine to perfection, the partners were complete opposites who nevertheless complemented one another, enabling them to solve even the most difficult of cases--though admittedly sometimes not entirely by the book. They were aided by their street informer Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas), often hinted to be a pimp, though this was never confirmed. The third season opens with a two-part feature that deals with voodoo on an island location. Later on, Hutch becomes involved in a fatal attraction, the pair act as bodyguards for a Russian ballerina, and discover a coven of devil worshippers. Other episodes include "Manchild on the Streets," "The Trap," "Foxy Lady," and "Quadromania."
DVD Features – Coming Soon

A Touch of Frost (Season 5) (MPI)
Curmudgeonly British detective Jack Frost returns in A TOUCH OF FROST SEASON FIVE. Originally broadcast on British ITV, SEASON FIVE contains four 100 minute episodes: "Penny for the Guy," "House Calls," "True Confessions," and "No Other Love." In these episodes, Detective Frost investigates murders and has to deal with a hostage situation. Based on the series of novels by R.D. Wingfield, A TOUCH OF FROST has been called a grimmer and grittier British COLUMBO.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

BBC TV


Allo 'Allo! - The Complete Series #2 (BBC)
The hit British comedy returns in all its bawdy glory with this complete collection of episodes from the second season. Rene (Gorden Kaye) is constantly beleaguered by problems, most of them stemming from his overbearing wife. A botched attempt at getting rid of her by faking his own death leads his troublesome spouse to take over the reigns of Rene's cafe, which he leaves to her in his will. Returning as his identical twin brother, he has to renege on his agreement to marry his shapely waitress's Yvette (Vicki Michelle) and Maria (Francesca Gonshaw), and attempt to win back the heart of his former wife in order to regain control of his cafe! Meanwhile, the Second World War rages on around Rene and the cast of oddballs, but this seems to be the least of their problems in this riotously funny show.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

As Time Goes By - The Complete Series #7 (BBC)
This popular British television show follows the activities of former student nurse Jean Pargeter (Judi Dench), and ex-Army officer Lionel Hardcastle (Geoffrey Palmer). The duo fell in love, then lost contact with each other as wartime demands separated them. Some 40 years later the two meet again, which is the cue for the hilarity of AS TIME GOES BY to unfold. This title gathers together every episode from the seventh season of the show
DVD Features – Coming Soon

French & Saunders - Back With A Vengeance (BBC)
Having established their names in the 1980s alongside a welter of alternative comedians such as Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Alexie Sayle, and Ben Elton, French & Saunders subsequently carved out a niche for themselves in their own right, with a series of shows that cemented the reputation of their quirky double-act. BACK WITH A VENGEANCE contains a full-length Christmas special from the duo, as well as plenty of other material, most notably a lampooning of several major Hollywood feature films. French & Saunders have enjoyed fame with separate projects (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY), but it's when the duo come together that fans really rejoice, and BACK WITH A VENGEANCE will surely delight all followers of the inimitable duo.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

French & Saunders - On The Rocks (BBC)
Containing two Christmas specials and a few hilarious parodies of major feature films, this is a welcome addition to the French & Saunders ouvre. Having established their names in the 1980s alongside a welter of alternative comedians such as Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Alexie Sayle, and Ben Elton, French & Saunders subsequently carved out a niche for themselves in their own right, with a series of shows that cemented the reputation of their quirky double-act. Both have also enjoyed fame with separate projects (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY), but it's when the duo come together that fans really rejoice, and ON THE ROCKS will surely delight all followers of the inimitable duo.
DVD Features – Coming Soon

Red Dwarf - Series 5 (BBC)
Red Dwarf - Series 6 (BBC)
The BBC takes viewers three million years into the future with this science-fiction spoof chronicling intergalactic adventures of the only human to survive a radiation leak on the ship Red Dwarf. Dave Lister battles loneliness with a holographic incarnation of a deceased friend, the ship's computer, a mechanoid, and the biological miracle Cat. This release contains every episode from the show's hilarious fifth season.
DVD Features – Coming Soon


link directly to this feature at https://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1397
originally posted: 03/05/05 09:22:47
last updated: 04/22/05 03:46:55
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