DVD Roundup: 3.25.08

Warner Brothers Pictures Gangsters Collection – Volume 3
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Unrated

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Sound

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“‘Picture Snatcher’ (1933): An admirably tough B-picture enlivened by an energetic James Cagney performance, Picture Snatcher stars Cagney as Danny Kean, a former gangster who has decided to go straight after a stretch in the big house. Danny has fallen for Patricia (Patricia Ellis), the daughter of the cop who put him away (Robert Emmett O’Connor). Dad isn’t convinced that Danny has left his life of crime behind him, and he isn’t too impressed with his new career taking pictures for a sleazy tabloid newspaper. Between getting a lurid photo of a fireman in front of a burning building (where his wife and her lover met their fate) and a daring shot of a woman being executed (based an actual incident when a New York Daily News photographer got a photo of Ruth Snyder in the electric chair), Danny’s work is selling papers but hardly making Officer O’Connor think his daughter is in good hands (especially since he was in charge of press security for the execution). Short, sweet and sassy, Picture Snatcher is the sort of gutsy fare Warner Bros. did best in the 1930′s; Ralph Bellamy turns in a great supporting performance as Danny’s boozy editor

‘Brother Orchid’: Edward G. Robinson plays orchid-loving gangster Little John Sarto, who aspires to ‘real class.’ During a power struggle with usurping mobster Jack Buck (Humphrey Bogart), Sarto is taken for a one-way ride, but he escapes his would-be assassins and hides out in a monastery overseen by Brother Superior (Donald Crisp). Sarto insists that he’d like to become a monk himself, but in fact he’s using the monastery as a hideout, the better to mount his counterattack against Buck. Eventually Sarto’s resolve is weakened by the kindness of the monks, and he decides to turn over a new leaf. He sees to it that Buck is brought to justice, and also fixes up his true-blue ‘moll,’ Flo Addams (Ann Sothern), with good-hearted Texas rancher Clarence Fletcher (Ralph Bellamy). (News flash! Bellamy gets the girl for once!) Sarto, now known as ‘Brother Orchid,’ returns to the monastery for good, declaring that he’s finally found the real class. Though Edward G. Robinson didn’t want to play another gangster, he agreed to star in Brother Orchid in exchange for being allowed to essay the lead in Warner Bros.’ historical drama A Dispatch From Reuter’s (1940). Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

‘Lady Killer’ (1933): Based on the novel by Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter stars Alan Arkin as John Singer, who is deaf. Singer moves from a small town in order to be close to his institutionalized deaf and mentally impaired friend Antonapoulos (Chuck McCann). Singer rents a room with a family whose father, Mr. Kelly (Biff McGuire), is unable to earn a living due to a serious injury. His teen-aged daughter Mick (Sondra Locke, in her film debut) is at first resentful of Singer’s presence, but he ingratiates himself by introducing her to classical music (which he can ‘feel,’ if not hear). Singer likewise tries to brighten the lives of such unfortunates as alcoholic Blount (Stacy Keach Jr., also making his first film appearance), dying black doctor Copeland (Percy Rodriguez), and Copeland’s poverty-stricken daughter (Cicely Tyson).

‘Smart Money’ (1931):Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney were teamed for the only time in their careers in Smart Money. Robinson has the larger part as a small-town barber who fancies himself a big-time gambler. He travels to the Big City in the company of his younger brother Cagney, who wants to make sure that Robinson isn’t fleeced by the high-rollers. Unfortunately Robinson has a weakness for beautiful blondes, most of whom take him for all his money or betray him in some other manner. The cops aren’t keen on Robinson’s gambling activities, but they can pin nothing on him until he accidentally kills Cagney in a fight. The incident results in a jail term for manslaughter, and a more sober-sided outlook on life for the formerly flamboyant Robinson. Watch closely in the first reel of Smart Money for an unbilled appearance by Boris Karloffas a dope pusher.

‘Black Legion’ (1937): Factory worker Frank Taylor believes that he has missed out on a deserved promotion when it is instead given to a Polish immigrant. Angry and looking for a scapegoat, he is an ideal mark for the Black Legion, an underground group who want to get rid of immigrants and racial minorities through violent means. Frank joins the Legion, and with his new friends, he dons black robes and drives the Polish family from their home. His aim achieved, Frank gets his job, but soon the Legion begins to take up more of his time and money, and turns his character darker and darker. He leaves his wife, begins to drink heavily, and soon is on a downward spiral.

‘Mayor of Hell’ (1933): Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed Deputy Commissioner as a political favor, arrives complete with hip flask and blonde. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles.”

CS Comment:
This is a fantastic deal for classic movie buffs – 6 movies in one pack! Unfortunately, no bonus features for you!

Available Tuesday, March 25


The Invisible Man: Season One
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Vincent Ventresca as Darien Fawkes
Paul Ben-Victor as Robert Albert Hobbes
Shannon Kenny as Claire Keeply
Eddie Jones as Charles Borden
Michael McCafferty as Albert Eberts

Special Features:
Commentary by Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Matt Greenberg, Director Breck Eisner and Series Star Vincent Ventresca
A Sit-Down with Creator and Executive Producer Matt Greenberg
Two-hour TV-length pilot
Bonus Season Two Episode: “Legends”

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound
Running Time: 17 Hours 35 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“The sensational sci-fi series that has to be seen to be believed, ‘The Invisible Man’ is now available on DVD for the first time ever! Join con man-turned-covert-op-specialist Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca) in 23 gripping Season One episodes, including the two-hour TV-length pilot, as he undergoes a top-secret invisibility experiment by the ‘Agency.’ As he takes on spy networks, assassins and lethal weapons cases, Darien must come to terms with the ‘Quicksilver madness’ and physical outbursts that are unexpected side effects of his special abilities. Co-starring Paul Ben-Victor (‘Entourage’) and Shannon Kenny (’7th Heaven’), this suspenseful action series has intrigue, humor and futuristic weaponry that you’ll want to ‘see’ again and again!”

“The Invisible Man: Season One” is not rated.

CS Comment:
I never saw this TV series when it first aired, but fortunately they added some bonus features for the fans.

Available Tuesday, March 25


Sliders: The Fourth Season
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Jerry O’Connell as Quinn Mallory
Cleavant Derricks as Rembrandt ‘Crying Man’ Brown
Kari Wuhrer as Capt. Maggie Beckett

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound
Running Time: 16 Hours 32 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“Slide into an out-of-this-world adventure as all 22 thrilling Season 4 episodes of ‘Sliders’ land on DVD for the first time ever! Reunite with genius Quinn Mallory (Jerry O’Connell) and his fellow Sliders – Rembrandt (Cleavant Derricks), Captain Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer), and Quinn’s brother Colin (Charlie O’Connell) – as they jump in and out of alternate Earthly realms, battle the ruthless Kromaggs, deal with their tricky doubles, search for their mysterious birth parents, and try to land on the elusive Earth Prime. Accompanying them on various leaps through time and space are spectacular guest stars including Adrienne Barbeau (‘Escape From New York’), Shane Westz (‘ER’) and Malcolm Jamal-Warner (‘Jeremiah’). It’s an absolute must-have for every sci-fi fan!”

“Sliders: The Fourth Season” is not rated.

CS Comment:
“Sliders” continues its DVD run, this season featuring some interesting guest stars and a revamped cast.

Available Tuesday, March 25


Walk the Line (Extended Edition)
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash
Reese Witherspoon as June Carter
Ginnifer Goodwin as Vivian Cash
Robert Patrick as Ray Cash
Dallas Roberts as Sam Phillips
Dan John Miller as Luther Perkins
Larry Bagby as Marshall Grant
Shelby Lynne as Carrie Cash
Tyler Hilton as Elvis Presley
Waylon Payne as Jerry Lee Lewis
Shooter Jennings as Waylon Jennings
Sandra Ellis Lafferty as Maybelle Carter
Dan Beene as Ezra Carter
Clay Steakley as W.S. ‘Fluke’ Holland
Johnathan Rice as Roy Orbison

Special Features:
Feature Commentary with Co-Writer and Director James Mangold
Johnny Cash Jukebox: Walk The Line Extended Musical Sequences with New Introductions
More Man In Black: Deleted Scenes
Becoming Cash/Becoming Carter Featurette
Sun Records and the Johnny Cash Sound Featurette
Folsom: Cash and the Comeback Featurette
The Cash Legacy Featurette
Ring of Fire: The Passion of Johnny and June Featurette
Cash and His Faith Featurette
Celebrating the Man in Black: The Making of Walk the Line Featurette
Walk The Line Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.39:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 153 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“Love Is A Burning Thing.

This definitive 2-disc Extended Cut includes an all-new cut of the film plus extended musical sequences featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, an audio commentary by Co-Writer and Director James Mangold, deleted scenes and seven in-depth featurettes about the film and the Man in Black.

Academy Award Nominee Joaquin Phoenix (‘Gladiator’) is Johnny Cash, the legendary Man in Black who rebelled against convention, revolutionized the world of music, and always walked his own path. But his troubled childhood, outlaw persona and unbridled talent led him on a path of reckless self-destruction. Reese Witherspoon (‘Sweet Home Alabama’) won an Oscar for her brilliant performance as June Carter, the love of Johnny’s life and the woman who ultimately must save him from himself.”

“Walk the Line (Extended Edition) is not rated. The original was rated PG-13 for some language, thematic material and depiction of drug dependency..

CS Comment:
If you’ve never seen “Walk the Line,” this is a great opportunity to check it out on DVD. If you already own the previous “Walk the Line” 2-Disc edition…you might be annoyed to see this extended cut released.

Available Tuesday, March 25


Bonnie and Clyde (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: R

Starring:
Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow
Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker
Michael J. Pollard as C.W. Moss
Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow
Estelle Parsons as Blanche
Denver Pyle as Frank Hamer
Dub Taylor as Ivan Moss
Evans Evans as Velma Davis
Gene Wilder as Eugene Grizzard

Special Features:
Digitally Remastered for High-Impact Home Viewing Brilliance from Restored Original Film and Audio Elements
Theatrical Trailers
Revolution! The Making of Bonnie and Clyde, New 40th-Anniversary Commemorative Documentaries
The History Channel Profile: Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde
Warren Beatty Wardrobe Tests
Additional Scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital Mono Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 111 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“Depression-era drifters Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) embark on a life of crime. They crave adventure – and each other. Nothing in film history has prepared us for the cascading violence to follow. We learn they can be hurt – and dread they can be killed. The vivid title-role performances get superb support from Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons, 1967 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner. Director Arthur Penn keeps the film’s tone tough but never cruel. It continually dazzles, especially in the work of cinematographer Burnett Guffey (winner of the film’s second Oscar) and editor Dede Allen. Generations later, it’s still a thunderous, thrilling ride.”

“Bonnie and Clyde” is rated R for violence.

CS Comment:
“Bonnie and Clyde” gets the deluxe DVD treatment. I never knew Gene Hackman and Gene Wilder were in it!

Available Tuesday, March 25


Frisky Dingo: Season One
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Stuart Culpepper as Stan
Christian Danley as Simon
Adam Reed as Killface
Kelly Jenrette as Sinn
Kate Miller as Grace Ryan
Mr. Ford as Mr. Ford
Scott Lipe as Arthur Watley
Amber Nash as Hooker
Killer Mike as Taqu’il

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
Running Time: 144 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“Greetings America. Meet Killface.

Prepare yourself for one of the most complicated superhero-villain dichotomies ever. Meet Killface, the world’s most evil villain whose mission of destroying mankind is derailed by the boring details of media buys, personnel staffing and marketing. And then there’s Awesome X, the alter ego of billionaire Xander Crews, who is more concerned with the sales of his action figure line than foiling those plans and saving the world. Killface needs billions of dollars to fund the destruction of Earth with the Annihilatrix, and Xander needs a villain to drive interest in and sales of his action figure line. Welcome to the superhero soap opera that is ‘Frisky Dingo,’ the Adult Swim television series from Matt Thompson and Adam Reed, the brilliant minds behind another Adult Swim series, ‘Sealab 2021.’”

“Frisky Dingo: Season One” is not rated.

CS Comment:
I never saw this on Adult Swim, but it certainly got a good review in Entertainment Weekly. Animation fans may want to check it out.

Available Tuesday, March 25


Sharpshooter
Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
James Remar as Dillon
Mario Van Peebles as Flick
Catherine Mary Stewart as Amy
Bruce Boxleitner as Sheriff Garner
Al Sapienza as Phillips
Jon Braver as Cinq
McKinley Freeman as Andre’
Nick Hermz as Bhan
Stacey Hinnen as Carson
Jim Palmer as Steve

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 88 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

“The first installment in the Genius-branded ‘Total Action Series’ (Name TBD), Sharpshooter is now on DVD for the first time and guarantees to hit its target audience dead on. Rural America becomes the intense setting for a mysterious terrorist plot gone awry, a romance undone by betrayal, and a government assignment that signals a dangerous conspiracy. Dillon is a seasoned Special Ops sniper and ex-navy SEAL, looking for a hard-earned retirement and the quiet life. Then Flick, his government contact, offers him one last mission of utmost importance to national security. ‘Sharpshooter’ takes aim—as an action-packed thriller that scopes out danger in the most unusual places.”

“Sharpshooter” is not rated.

CS Comment:
Is it wrong to be more interested in seeing this for Bruce Boxleitner than headliners James Remar and Mario Van Peebles? “TRON” fans unite!

Available Tuesday, March 25

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