Wednesday, March 08, 2006

DVD Releases - March 14

After such a deep offering from the first week of March, what can March 14 releases hold for us? Press on, intrepid reader ...

“Basic Instinct: Ultimate Unrated Director’s Cut” - Marking at least the third different version of this movie to come on DVD, this one is clearly meant to capitalize on the release of the movie’s sequel that next to no one has been anticipating. Sharon Stone will be the lone link from the original, released 14 years ago. In this DVD release, Stone will still not get charged with smoking in the police department and Michael Douglas still plays a too close variation on his cop character from “Black Rain.”
Extras: Features an introduction and conversation from Stone, commentary from director Paul Verhoeven and director of photography Jan De Bont, screen tests and more.

“Good Night, and Good Luck” (PG) - The 1950s period that focused on reporter Edward R. Murrow’s decision to take on the Communist witch-hunt of Senator Joseph McCarthy through his CBS-TV show is dramatized in director George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated film. David Strathairn, Frank Langella, Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels and Patricia Clarkson (what a cast!) star, along with actual footage of McCarthy.
Extras: Commentary with Clooney and his co-screenwriter Grant Heslov.

“A History of Violence” (R) - The seemingly ideal life of an Indiana man, played by Viggo Mortensen, is thrown into conflict when a heroic act he performs has undesired consequences. Mario Bello, Ed Harris and Oscar-nominated William Hurt co-star in this intense, but involving movie by director David Cronenberg.
Extras: Commentary by Cronenberg, a deleted scene with commentary, an “Acts of Violence” documentary and multiple featurettes.

“I Dream of Jeanie - The Complete First Season” - More than 40 years after its debut, “I Dream of Jeanie” finally makes it to DVD with this collection of all 30 episodes of its first season. Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden and Bill Daily starred in this slightly unrealistic portrayal of an astronaut and a genie from a bottle falling in love. These guys never even had one scene of drinking Tang!
Extras: Commentary on the pilot episode from the show’s stars, as well as interviews with Hagman, Eden and Daily.

“Murder, She Wrote - The Complete Third Season” - Its another season of that intrepid, yet snoopy mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) making the local law enforcement look stupid by solving crime after crime. Somehow, murders just keep following her around. Surely it’s just coincidence, right?
Extras: A featurette called “The Great 80s Flashback” and a bonus “Magnum, P.I.” episode – a logical addition as I’m sure these shows shared lots of the same viewers. I mean the two shows are pratically interchangable.

“The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” (PG-13) - Julianne Moore stars as a mother of 10 children who overcomes household financial struggles by becoming a successful writer for jingle contests. Woody Harrelson co-stars as her alcoholic husband in a movie that barely made a dent at the box office.
Extras: Commentary with Moore and director Jane Anderson.

“The Year of the Yao” (PG) - A documentary focusing on the NBA arrival of Yao Ming, a 7’6” center for the Houston Rockets, the tallest player in the league. A superstar in his native China, the film follows Yao in his first season as he learns the language, customs and lifestyle of playing as a high profile athlete in America.
Extras: More than an hour of deleted scenes.

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