Donna's Cool Movies

Donna's Cool Movies

Movie and Book Reviews ... Scroll down for more ....

Dec 31, 2003

Alien Quadrilogy (2003) DVD Boxed Set 

The Alien Quadrilogy is a nine-disc boxed set devoted to the four Alien films. Although previously available on DVD as the Alien Legacy, here they have been repackaged with vastly more extras and with upgraded sound and picture. For anyone who hasn't been in hypersleep for the last 25 years, this series needs no introduction, though for the first time each film now comes in both original and "special edition" form.

Come Poop with Me (CD & DVD)Triumph the Insult Comic Dog  

Everyone's favorite foul-mouthed canine puppet simply takes the same material he's been using since Don Rickles was in short pants, and stretches it over a series of musical pastiches, from calypso ("Underage Bichon") to, um, Yiddish musical theater ("My Mama"). With contributions from Adam Sandler, Conan O'Brien, Jack Black, and SNL vets Maya Rudolph and Horatio Sanz, this disc features more guests than a Jerry Lewis telethon (alas, no Eminem--though he gets name-checked on the hip-hop jam "I Keed"). The Jerky Boys-style crank calls quickly wear thin, and the bonus DVD is a hodgepodge of static performance footage of the best bits on the CD, plus some agonizing filler (who invited that Dell computer dork?), but on the strength of the hilarious songs alone, Come Poop With Me is nothing to turn your nose up at.

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear - Book 

Steinmeyer has captured the cultural history of magic during its "Golden Age" in America and abroad. Readers will learn the secrets and life stories of the fascinating personalities behind optical marvels such as floating ghosts appearing onstage and interacting with live actors, disembodied heads, and vanishing ladies. The people and events surrounding each step toward "The Vanishing Elephant" reveal how simple principles, mixed with ingenious psychology, can entertain and deceive. Houdini’s great feat of invisibility was based on a secret passed onto him by Charles Morritt, and the trick remained their secret for more than eighty years. In this book, Steinmeyer reveals Houdini’s mystery and more.

Micki and Maude DVD (1984)  

Dudley Moore stars as Rob, a TV reporter married to a dedicated career woman. As a result, they rarely spend time together and he falls for a cellist. When she becomes pregnant, Rob decides to marry her—but when he decides to tell his wife, she tells him she’s pregnant. He secretly marries the cellist and has a busy time taking care of both wives and keeping them from discovering the truth. Stars Dudley Moore (Arthur), Amy Irving (TV's "Alias"), Ann Reinking (All That Jazz) and Richard Mulligan (TV's "Soap").

Matt Helm - The Silencers DVD (1966) 

DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
In this swinging, space-age spy adventure, Matt Helm (Martin) battles the Big O, an organization that wants to sabotage the American atomic missile system, with a bevy of beauties. Stars Dean Martin

A Boy & His Dog DVD(1975) 

DVD Release Date: November 25, 2003
DVD Features: Commentary by director LQ Jones,Trailer gallery, Widescreen anamorphic format
Closely adapted from the acclaimed novella by Harlan Ellison, this postapocalyptic black comedy has emerged as a cult favorite since its release in 1975, when Don Johnson was a relative unknown and still years away from TV stardom on Miami Vice. Here Johnson plays a young, libidinous loner named Vic who roams the postnuclear wasteland with his loyal dog, Blood, a remarkable hound with keen intelligence and the ability to telepathically communicate with his less-intelligent master.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Special Edition) DVD (1968) 

DVD Release Date: November 25, 2003
DVD Features: New high-definition digital transfer with 5.1 audio, 32-page storybook, Sing-along feature, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Musical sneak peek,"Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke", "A Fantasmagorical Motorcar" featurette, Read-along storybook feature, Sherman Brothers song demos, "The Ditchling Tinkerer" featurette, Original Dick Van Dyke interview, The Potts Children's featurette
Vintage advertising gallery, 2 interactive games, DVD-ROM printable coloring pages
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats, Number of discs: 2

Dec 29, 2003

Escape from New York (Special Edition) (1981)  

Special Edition released December 2003
Commentary by director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
Commentary by producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves
Theatrical trailer(s), Brand-new high-definition film transfer, New 5.1 audio
Deleted opening sequence: the never-before-seen 10-minute bank robbery scene with commentary by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
"Return to Escape from New York": all-new featurette
Making of John Carpenter's "Snake Plissken Chronicles" comic
Photo gallery
Widescreen anamorphic format, Number of discs: 2

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)  

The so-called spaghetti Western achieved its apotheosis in
Sergio Leone's magnificently mythic (and utterly outlandish)
Once upon a Time in the West.
Theatrical trailer(s)
Commentary track with contributions from directors John Carpenter,
John Milius, Alex Cox, film historian (& Leone biographer) Sir
Chirstopher Frayling, Dr. Sheldon Hall, and comments from cast
and crew members
3 new making-of documentaries:"An Opera of Violence","The Wages of Sin","Something To Do With Death"
"Railroad: Revoultionizing the West" featurette
Location & production galleries
Cast profiles
Widescreen anamorphic format, Number of discs: 2

Something to Sing About (1937) - DVD 

Hollywood favorites James Cagney (Yankee Doodle Dandy), William Frawley (I Love Lucy), and Gene Lockhart (Miracle on 34th Street) star in this delightful musical comedy about a New York bandleader and hoofer, Terry Rooney, whose wife joins him for a trip to Hollywood where the star system gets turned upside down in a series of hilarious complications.

Applause (1930) - DVD 

DVD Released November 2003
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Cast: Helen Morgan, Joan Peers, Jack Singer,
Henry Wadsworth, Fuller Mellish Jr

The F.W. Murnau Collection - DVD Boxed Set 

Just released on DVD November 2003.
Nosferatu (1926) the great horror classic
Last Laugh (1924)
Tartuffe (1925)
Faust (1926)
Tabu (1931)
Extras include excerpts from three other Murnau films,
and a commentary on "Tabu"

Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights (2002)- DVD 

Commentary by Whitey, Eleanore, and writer-producer Allan Covert
Commentary by Seth Kearsley, art director Philip A. Cruden, head of animation Stephan Franck, effects supervisor John Bermudas, and executive producer Ken Tsumura
Nine original featurettes: Eleanore, Whitey, Creating Dukesberry, Townspeople of Dukesberry, Dukesberry Sings, Jennifer & Benjamin, Voices of Dukesberry, Davey, The Deer
13 deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary, Multi-angle animation progression, HBO First Look special, "Chanukah Song Part 3" music video
"A Day with the Meatball" short film, "NBA: Love It Live" TV spot, Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats, Number of discs:2

Dec 28, 2003

The Pocket Guide to Collecting Movies on DVD  

Supplements...special collector's edition...extras...Words that set the heart pounding of every DVD lover. But how do you decide which DVDs to buy? Where do you begin collecting? Which special features are really special? What commentaries are informative or entertaining? Which disks are worth your time and money? Here at last is the portable, one-of-a-kind DVD buyer's guide -- from veteran film and television critics Steven H. Scheuer and Alida Brill-Scheuer.

Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman 

Newman's Own was the name intended for a restaurant the movie star wanted to open near his home in Westport, Conn. But the idea never went anywhere, freeing up Newman to start a business in the early 1980s with his friend Hotchner, a bestselling author, selling a salad dressing made from Newman's personal recipe. The rest is history. As this breezy memoir recalls, the two broke every rule for launching a new food business, ignoring the failure rate for celebrity-themed products, demanding all-natural ingredients and bypassing nearly every aspect of market research.

Pieces of April CD Soundtrack 

For his second foray into movie soundtracks (2001's sublime score for Eban & Charley was the first), underground pop impresario Stephin Merritt supplies a succinct set boasting equal appeal to longtime fans and newcomers. The latter should appreciate the inclusion of material from the best-known of Merritt's multiple bands, including three numbers plucked off the Magnetic Fields' critically lauded 69 Love Songs, and two from the 6ths' Hyacinths and Thistles, featuring guest warbling by Momus and Squirrel Nut Zippers' Katherine Whalen. The big draw for devotees is five new selections: "All I Want to Know" is enlivened by sitar licks, while clip-clop rhythms impart the bittersweet "Dreams Anymore" with a hint of classic country kitsch. Merritt's lyrics remain as sharp and funny ("We belong together/Like sex and violence," he croons on "Heather Heather"), but it's the ever-inventive arrangements--like the offbeat blend of ukulele and harmonium on "One April Day"--that make these gems especially memorable. --Kurt B. Reighley

Platinum Blonde (1931) 

This Frank Capra comedy from 1931 helped define the screwball-comedy genre that became so popular with films like It Happened One Night and The Awful Truth. In this witty romp, Jean Harlow plays an upper-crust socialite who bullies her reporter husband (Robert Williams) into conforming to her highfalutin ways.

Still Holding : A Novel of Hollywood by Bruce Wagner 

Alternately brilliant and cluttered, this baroque third volume of Wagner's loose Hollywood trilogy (following the much-praised I'm Losing You and I'll Let You Go), moves along in fits and starts, crammed with celebrity cameos and sharp social commentary. The fable follows the workaday, neurotically self-absorbed lives of wannabe actress Becca, who hires out for trade shows as a Drew Barrymore look-alike, and Lisanne, a pathetically overweight secretary who, because of her morbid fear of flying, takes the Amtrak back home to Albany, arriving minutes too late to say good-bye to her dying father. These two women find their lives inexorably shaped by the karma of 34-year-old movie icon Kit Lightfoot (People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive").

The Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneres 

Degeneres continues her year-long domination of all media (following a cross-country stand-up tour, an HBO special, a show-stealing turn in Finding Nemo and the successful launch of her daily talk show in September) with this new humor collection, winningly preserved on audio. The laid-back, observational comedienne's stream-of-conscience musings gain additional zest from her wry and adroit delivery.

Cold Mountain - The Screenplay 

Based on Charles Frazier's National Book Award-winning novel, Anthony Minghella's screenplay is published to coincide with the Miramax Films release starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Cold Mountain is the story of Inman (Jude Law), a wounded and disenchanted Confederate soldier who embarks on a lonely and perilous return to Cold Mountain, North Carolina, to Ada (Nicole Kidman), the lvoe he left years before. Inman undertakes this journey across the South and encounters a slew of colorful characters along the way, while Ada struggles to maintain the family farm with a drifter (Renee Zellweger). Set during the turbulent years that followed the Civil War, Cold Mountain is a sweeping
adventure, a powerful love story, and a portrait of a country in turmoil.

Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers 

Hepburn's son (with actor Mel Ferrer) shows his mother as a compassionate, emotional woman who searched for and offered love above all. He traces the roots of his mother's longing in her experiences with her distant father and the destruction of her native Belgium during WWII. Via photos and stories, he notes how Hepburn (1929-1993) aimed to live an everyday family life of home, school and holidays. Rendering her husbands respectfully and without off-color stories, Ferrer doesn't offer lascivious behind-the-scenes dramas or quips about directorial injustices. Instead, he lets designers and composers who worked with Hepburn talk about the actor's inimitable talents.

Once Upon A Time in Mexico - DVD Release Date January 20 

Commentary by director Robert Rodriguez, Ten Minute Flick School

Ten Minute Cooking School, Deleted scenes, Inside Troublemaker Studios

The Anti-Hero's Journey, Film Is Dead: An Evening with Robert Rodriguez

The Good, the Bad, and the Bloody: A Look at the Special Effect

DVD-ROM: Test your wits in the shooting gallery

Widescreen anamorphic format

American Wedding - DVD Release Date January 4th 

American Wedding - Widescreen Extended Party Edition (Unrated) (2003)

Option to view the theatrical(rated) version, Outrageous Deleted Scenes,

Hilarious Outtakes,Enter the Dominatrix: Inside the Bachelor Party

Speaking Stiffler, Jim & Michelle's Wedding Video,
Grooming the Groom, From Script to Screen

Feature Commentary with Stars and Filmmakers, and more!

Widescreen anamorphic format


12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003   01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004   02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004   08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004   09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004   12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004   03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005   09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006   10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006   10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006   10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006  

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