Check out DVD DOWNLOAD Issue #18 HERE

See, I wasn’t lying last time, the DVD DOWNLOAD is here to stay as a weekly feature and this time around I am coming at you with a bit of news on HD DVD and the Blu-ray formats as well as a whole slew of new titles that have been added to the database.

First off with the High Definition format news. Now this isn’t ground breaking news, but it is good news for those of you interested in updating to the latest technology. Yesterday Sony Pictures Home Entertainment officially announced the release date for their first wave of Blu-ray disc titles, which included Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, xXx, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, A Knight’s Tale, The Fifth Element and the only one I didn’t have in the database 50 First Dates. Along with the release date announcement of May 23 I have also updated each with the official box art. You can see the art for 50 First Dates below and click on any of the titles I just mentioned to see the artwork and disc specs for those. Unfortunately Amazon.com does not yet have these titles added to their database for pre-order, but once they are I will be updating each title with the purchasing information. On top of that Sony has yet to announce any special features for their BD titles, but who knows, maybe this will be just like DVD and these will be feature-free releases and the special editions will follow a year or so down the line. Guess we will have to wait and see.

Next up is the announcement that the studios have decided on what cases are going to be used for the Toshiba-backed HD-DVD format set for release beginning in April. In a press release this morning Seastone Media Group announced it has been chosen by major motion picture studios to deliver the next generation cases for movies on HD DVD. You can click on the mini-pic to the right to see a much larger version of the transparent red case that will be used for HD DVD titles. As of right now I have added 54 HD DVD titles to the database and you can get all the information on those and the 67 Blu-ray disc titles in our database at our RopeofSilicon HD DVD and Blu-ray Section. Hopefully we will have official box art for the HD DVD titles in the near future although I did find this image over at Amazon.com featuring art for Batman Begins and The Chronicles of Riddick.

And now it is time for the 12 new DVD titles, one new Blu-ray title and two new UMD titles that have been added to the site since the last edition of the DOWNLOAD. On top of that there have been three new DVD reviews added since last week and they are listed at the end of the article. Enjoy!


Paradise Now
March 21st

Here we have the Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Paradise Now. Now I haven’t seen this film and it hits DVD next week, but this is a highly controversial film that some people even tried to have removed from the Oscar ballots. The film tells the sweepingly powerful and widely controversial story of two lifelong friends and their mission of doom. Newsday calls it “the year’s most insight and unvarnished look at the motivations of terrorism,” and Entertainment Weekly describes it as “A riveting and timely political thriller.” I will warn you “subtitle haters” out there that this is a foreign language film, but from what I have heard it may definitely be worth a rental.

Garfield: The Movie (The Purrrfect Collector’s Edition)
June 6th

Next up is a title that was supposed to be released last year, but I can only assume that since Fox is releasing Garfield 2 this year this special edition was pushed out to take advantage of that and create a bit of early buzz for the new film, which hits theaters on June 23, 17 days following the DVD release.

The first DVD release was limited to no special features so this is a legit special edition, but considering the movie is not very good at all I am not sure how worth it this titles actually is.

Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Running Time: 1 hr. 22 mins.
Disk 1:
· Audio Commentary by Director Peter Hewitt and producer John Davis.
· Trailers

Disk 2:
· Garfield Comic Creator
· Find Odie, Lasagna From Heaven, Amazing Garfield, and Mixing Moments With Garfield games
· Ten Jigsaw Puzzles
· 17 Deleted Scenes
· “Pick of the Litter: The History of Garfield” a series of featurettes
· “Garfield: Bringing The Cat To Life” Documentary
· “Garfield Presentation Reel” Documentary
· Composite Workshop
· Storyboard-to-Film Comparisons
· Illustrated Technical Commentary from director Peter Hewitt and producer John Davis
· Baha Men’s music video “HOLLA!”
· “Gone Nutty” Animated Short

Stagecoach (Special Edition)
June 6th

Let’s see, what do I know about Stagecoach? Nada, zilch! Okay, I take that back, Thomas Mitchell won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor back at the 1940 Oscars, which is actually the reason this title is in the database and now Fox is releasing a special edition of the flick. So maybe, just maybe I will finally check out this John Wayne flick in which nine disparate travelers are thrust together on a Stagecoach destined for Apache territory. As the Ringo Kid, director John Ford cast a lanky veteran of 70 B-movies, serials and shorts named John Wayne. Each rifle shot and close-up rang out the news: a new star is born. Check out the special features below.

Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 mins.
· Audio Commentary by Scott Eyman
· Documentary: AMERICAN MASTERS: John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker and the Legend
· Featurette: Stagecoach: A Story of Redemption
· TV Spot: May 4, 1946 Academy Award Theater Broadcast
· Theatrical Trailer

The Dirty Dozen: Special Edition
May 23rd

Once again, a movie I have not seen, and it seems like blasphemy just to say that considering this is a classic, which is the primary reason this bad boy is getting a special edition release from Warner Home Video. The names in this flick are reason alone to pick up this title as it stars the likes of Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy, Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Jim Brown, Richard Jaeckel and Telly Savalas. So check out the special features below, get convinced you need to check this one out and click the BUY NOW link above.

Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 2 hrs. 29 mins.
· Bonus Movie: The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission
· Audio commentary with cast members, crew and film historians
· Introduction by Ernest Borgnine
· “Marine Corps Combat Leadership Skills”
· Vintage Featurette: “Operation Dirty Dozen”
· Theatrical Trailer
· Remastered Soundtrack

· “Armed and Deadly: The Making of The Dirty Dozen
· “The Filthy Thirteen: Real Stories from Behind the Lines”

50 First Dates (Blu-ray Disc)
May 23rd

There isn’t a lot more I have to say about the Blu-ray titles that I didn’t say in the introduction above, and this one is included in the DOWNLOAD only because I didn’t have it in the database before now.

May 9th

Not gonna lie, I have no interest in seeing this movie. Yeah, Felicity Huffman was nominated for an Oscar and took home the Golden Globe for her performance, but I just am not interested. The film has a very interesting premise however as Huffman stars as Bree, a transsexual woman born Stanely, a genetic male. The story does not necessarily balance on that plot point though, it goes much deeper as Bree is confronted with the fact that she is the parent of a long-lost 17 year-old son. Afraid to tell the rebellious teenager the truth, Bree embarks on a journey with him that will challenge and change both their lives and bring them closer to the truth of their connection. Yeah, that can get pretty deep and I am sure that despite the fact that I will not go out of my way to watch this one, I am sure I will see it and will most likely enjoy it.

Glory Road
June 6th

While I am not interested in checking out Transamerica I am really not interested in checking out Glory Road, and I am a one-time college basketball player. This film just seems like it is a by-the-book sports drama, and while the moment in sports history this film portrays is one of the most important moments in basketball history I just didn’t and don’t have any interest.

Hollow Man 2
May 23rd

And in the category of “Films That Should Not Have Been Made” we find the unnecessary sequel Hollow Man 2, which stars Christian Slater. Yup, Slater’s career has sunk to the level where he needs to star in straight-to-DVD sequels. I am crying on the inside. Is there any chance this film is good? Sure, there is a chance, there is always a chance. Check out the synopsis below and tell me what you think those chances are though:

Slater stars as a volunteer soldier/assassin who goes mad after he turns invisible. But unlike in the first film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Kevin Bacon, the latest Hollow Man faces an invisible protagonist this time, a cop trying to protect the story’s heroine (Laura Regan,).

As before, the invisibility experiments affect the subjects both mentally and physically, though now, the characters become mutated once they reappear.

Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
· Deleted scenes
· Visual effects featurettes

May 23rd

Now, this movie I do have an interest in. Yeah, the promise of some steamy Jessica Biel scenes do play a part in my interest, but also the Jason Statham quotient also plays a big role as I think that guy kicks much ass. What scares me about it? Well, the fact that it saw a very limited theatrical release and was only in theaters for a few weeks. The premise of the flick isn’t exactly mind-blowing, but I still want to check this one out. Click the artwork above for the full rundown.

Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
Running Time: 1 hr. 32 mins.
• Audio commentary with director Hunter Richards
• Deleted scenes
• Behind the scenes featurette

End of the Spear
June 13th

Hmmmmmmm, not to sure about this one. There was only one screening here in Seattle and for this flick to make such a quick turnaround after its January 20 release doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture, but who would I be not to give the story of Mincayani, a Waodani tribesman from the jungles of Ecuador a chance?

Languages: English (dubbed)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 1 hr. 51 mins.
Side A
· End of the Spear – Full Screen Feature
· FOX Anti Piracy Trailer
· Beyond the Gates of Splendor Trailer

Side B
· END OF THE SPEAR – Widescreen Feature
· FOX Anti Piracy Trailer
· Beyond the Gates of Splendor Trailer

Guys and Dolls (Deluxe Edition)
April 25th

There are two things that factor into my decision of whether to preview this title or not. 1) It stars Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 2) It is a romantic musical.

For me that second point really puts a damper on my plans on watching this Golden Globe winning feature, which centers on the slickest big-time New York City gamblers, Sky Masterson (Brando) and Nathan Detroit (Sinatra. These two can’t resist making or taking a bet on anything. So when a pretty missionary (Jean Simmons) sets up shop in the neighborhood, Nathan stakes a grand that Sky can’t seduce her. But all bets are off when Sky falls madly in love in this romantic musical spectacular that sets the Big Apple afire with excitement!

Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 2 hrs. 29 mins.
· Documentary – Guys & Dolls: From Stage to Screen
· Documentary – Guys & Dolls: The Goldwyn Touch
· Interviews: More Guys & Dolls Stories
· Photo Gallery
· 72-Page Collectible Scrapbook

A Fish Called Wanda: Deluxe Edition
August 1st

Bleh. Deluxe Edition indeed. This title has been pushed out until August 1. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it is because no one cares now, but chances are, in five months they still won’t care. If you already own A Fish Called Wanda on DVD I would have to say skipping this one will not be a problem, but if you must buy it the link is right there.

Running Time: 1 hr. 48 mins.
· Audio Commentary with Actor/Writer John Cleese
· Over 25 minutes of Deleted and Alternate Scenes
· John Cleese’s First Farewell Performance
· Something’s Fishy Making-of Documentary
· Easter Eggs, Previews, and More!

Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (Season One)
June 6th

I have heard nothing but good things about this show and considering the casting I am definitely interested in picking it up. I loved Mark Harmon in his limited role on “The West Wing” and the fact that hottie Sasha Alexander is in this one really ups the anticipation in the Brad Brevet camp.



Stay up to date with everything DVD related from reviews, release dates and newly announced DVDs, UMDs, Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs in the RopeofSilicon DVD Central. Also be sure to check out the RopeofSilicon HD DVD and Blu-ray Section.

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