Wednesday, April 19, 2006

DVD Releases - April 18

Only a couple limited appeal movies represent those recently in theaters for this week’s releases, and it’s safe to say they couldn’t be more different in their appeal. Other than that, it’s pretty quiet on the new release front. Here are some of the notables for April 18, coming a bit later than usual for me, due to a recent excursion out of town.

“Hostel” (Unrated) - As if the movie doesn’t already appeal to horror movie aficionados, this release is the unrated version of the film, likely meaning more violence. But when you’re dealing with a movie that centers around two Americans (played by Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson) who go to Europe to party, only to find themselves lured into a torture-for-profit business, how much more do you need?
Extras: Multiple commentaries, including one with director Eli Roth and executive producer Quentin Tarantino, behind-the-scenes featurette, and a multi-angle interactive feature.

“Laurel and Hardy Collection: TCM Archives” - Two of the classic comedy team’s feature films are included in the Turner Classic Movies collection, “The Devil’s Brother” and “Bonnie Scotland.” Both were released more than 70 years ago, but thank goodness for a format such as DVD to preserve the duo’s wonderful work.
Extras: Commentaries on both films from L&H aficionados Richard W. Bann and Leonard Maltin, a feature-length TCM documentary on the pair, and several excerpts from other L&H films.

“Moonstruck: Deluxe Edition” (PG) - The seemingly odd pairing of Cher and Nicolas Cage sure worked for this popular romantic comedy that snagged three Oscars, including one for Cher. Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia and John Mahoney co-star for director Norman Jewison.
Extras: Audio commentary with Cher, Jewison and writer John Patrick Shanley, a making-of documentary, featurette on the music, interactive map of Little Italy and collectible Italian recipe cards (trade with your friends – collect them all!).

“Mrs. Henderson Presents” (R) - Snagging her fifth Oscar nomination, Judi Dench stars with Bob Hoskins as a World War II-era widow in London who decides to support the fighting soldiers with a theater production that’s not afraid to show a bit (OK, a lot) of skin. The blitz-bombing in England sets the scene for this crowd-pleasing British comedy.
Extras: Commentary with director Stephen Frears and a making-of featurette.

“Remington Steele: Season 3” - It was right around this time that James Bond producers expressed interest in “Remington Steele” star Pierce Brosnan to become 007, but he was stuck in his contract with the show. Wonder what would have happened had he got to play Bond. (Oh yeah, he did. Never mind.) Well, viewers also got to see a younger Brosnan play the title character, a former thief who partners with a private eye (Stephanie Zimbalist) to solve crimes.
Extras: All 22 episodes are here, with commentary from various people on three episodes, several featurettes and character profiles.

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