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April 2004
DVD Releases

Compiled by Wilson Morales

When you think about the films recently released on DVD, you can tell that a number of different genres being represented. On the children's home front, there's BROTHER BEAR, which was nominated last year for an Oscar for Best Animation, and features the voicesof Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, & Michael Clarke Duncan. For those who want comedy mixed in with some romance, there's 2 films to mention. Vanessa Middleton directs a number of talented actors/actresses in 30 YEARS TO LIFE. Starring in the film are Allen Payne, Melissa De Sousa, Paula Jai Parker, Erika Alexander, Kadeem Hardison, & Tracy Morgan. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE features "Jack & Diane" as in Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, who was also nominated last year for Best Actress. It also features a supporting role from Keanu Reeves, who coincidentally has his own film, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS coming out this week. For those who want to see old TV shows again or want to catch up on episode they missed, there's CSI: The 3rd Season, as well as CHARLIE'S ANGELS,THE 2ND SEASON, and the show that made stars out of Jim Carrey, Tommy Davidson, and Jennifer Lopez, IN LIVING COLOR.

  • Starring:  Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Sonny Chiba 
  • Director:  Quentin Tarantino
  • Format: Color
  • Rated: Not for sale to persons under age 18.
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2004
  • Additional Release Material
            Featurettes - 1. Making of KILL BILL
  • Summary: Uma Thurman is going to KILL BILL, in Quentin Tarantino's latest film about a former assassin betrayed by her boss, Bill (David Carradine). Four years after surviving a bullet in the head, the bride (Thurman) emerges from a coma and swears revenge on her former master and his deadly squad of international assassins, played by Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen.
  • Review by Monikka Stallworth
    Kill Bill is an incomplete tale of bloodthirsty revenge that’s sure to satiate those of you who revel in sick and twisted cinema. Spewing blood and dismembered bodies has never been my thing, but I can cope with violence so long as it’s edified by a compelling story (City of God, Scarface, Gladiator).  Kill Bill is hardly compelling.  It’s one note, one long note.  It’s predictable, self-indulgent and yucky.  I can’t front though, writer/director Quentin Tarantino does dabble in a few awe-inspiring experimental cinematic techniques.  He injects a beautiful and very stylized expository animation sequence for O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). He flips from black and white to color with the blink of an eye.  The costumes and sets are lavish. And the fight choreography is excellent.

    But the opening fight sequence with Vernita Green a.k.a. Copperhead (Vivica Fox) is sheer bamboozlement.  It sets an energy, pace and tone that disintegrates into a monotonous cacophony of brutality. 

    A former member of an elite squad of assassins, each one code named for a deadly snake, The Bride a.k.a. Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) awakens from a four-year coma and immediately sets out to settle the score.  She’s been betrayed by her former death squad and seeks mortal payback.  She starts with Vernita Green (Vivica Fox), now a Pasadena soccer mom.  A wicked fight ensues.  The scene is full of vigor and wit as the two feline women fight ferociously.  We are tantalized and ready for more.  We want to see how Tarantino will spin this story on its head.  How he’ll weave all of the threads together.  How will he dazzle us? Therein lies the problem.  Quentin ain’t telling a story. He’s paying homage to a slew of cinematic action motifs.  It’s a hot mess.

    Successfully taking out Copperhead, Black Mamba moves onto O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lui), the Chinese-Japanese-American head of the Tokyo underworld. But before taking on O-Ren, she meets with a wise sword-maker, played by Sonny Chiba. Sonny makes a great sword, yeah, yeah, yeah and Black Mamba seeks out O-Ren Ishii.  But Black Mamba has to fight and kill a zillion samurai before she and O-Ren ever get to their dirty business. It’s all frustratingly long and mello-dramatic.  We already know what’s suppose to happen and what’s gonna happen, but Quentin doesn’t pick up the pace.  Instead he eeks forward almost reluctantly, basking in the genre for basking’s sake.
    Grandma always said there were a lot of “sickos” in the world and apparently, I was in a theater surrounded by them.  Belly laughs and cheering abounded as arms and legs were hacked off, and heads were severed.  Die-hard Quentin Tarantino fans and action junkies will love Kill Bill.

  • Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joan Copeland
  • Director: Aaron Blaise
  • Format: Color
  • Rated: G
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Summary: Set in the Pacific Northwest before the invasion of the white man, this is the story of the youngest son (Phoenix) of a chief killed by a bear. The chief, a kind, wise and good leader, accidentally disturbed a mother bear, who killed him thinking he wanted to harm her cubs. Enraged, the young man sets out to hunt the bear himself when his older brother, the new chief, refuses to form a hunting party right away. In his hunt for vengeance however, the young man is transformed by the spirits of the forest into the very thing that he sought to slay... a bear. Seeing the world through a bear's eyes, the young man will learn valuable lessons about the cycle of life... especially when he learns that his brother has finally formed a hunting party, aiming to kill *all* bears to avenge their father's death... which means him too.
  • DVD Features:
    • Contains two widescreen anamorphic formats: 2.35 (theatrical) and 1.66 (family-friendly)
    • Exclusive Fully Animated Outtakes
    • Commentary by the moose brothers Rutt & Tuke (audio only or visual commentary)
    • Deleted Scenes - Including A New Character
    • Paths Of Discovery: The Making Of "Brother Bear" (48 mins.)
    • 2 Games: Find Your Totem & Bone Puzzle
    • All-New Song By Phil Collins, "Fishing Song"
    • "Look Through My Eyes" Music Video Featuring Phil Collins
    • 2 Sing Along Songs
    • Making Noise: The Art of Foley (3 mins.)
    • Bear Legends featurette (3 mins.)
    • Art Review (10 mins.)
    • Sneak Peaks
    • Widescreen anamorphic format
    • Number of discs: 2

  • Starring: William L. Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads, Jorja Fox
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Box set
  • Rated: NR
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Summary: In this highly successful TV series, Detective Gil Grissom (William Petersen) leads the Las Vegas Police Department's night shift Crime Scene Investigations Unit, one of the top-ranked crime labs in the country. Grissom, along with his partner Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), takes on a series of cases which would be untouchable by other labs, in a city with a constant influx of visitors and a series of increasingly baffling crimes. This 6-volume set includes all 23 episodes from the third season.
  • DVD Features:
    • All 23 episodes with cast & crew commentaries on 6 selected shows
    • 5 Exclusive featurettes:
    • The CSI Tour: Police Station
    • The CSI Tour: Making it Real
    • The Writers' Room
    • CSI Moves Into Season 3
    • Crime Scene Field Kit
    • Widescreen anamorphic format
    • Number of discs: 5

  • Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, Jon Favreau
  • Director: Nancy Meyers
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Summary: New York City music executive Harry Langer (Nicholson) is a man of some age and experience who generally dates younger women. His world is turned upside-down, however, when he has a heart attack while visiting the East Hampton beach home of the divorced playwright mother, Erica (Keaton), of his latest trophy girlfriend, Marin (Peet). With his girlfriend having gone back to the city, Harry is left in the care of Erica and his doctor (Reeves), but the two men soon find themselves competing with each other, as they both fall in love with Erica.
  • DVD Features:
    • Commentary by director Nancy Meyers, producer Bruce Brock and actress Diane Keaton
    • Commentary by director Nancy Meyers and actor Jack Nicholson
    • Theatrical trailer(s)
    • "Hamptons House Set Tour" with Amanda Peet
    • "Harry Sings Karaoke to Erica" deleted scene
    • Widescreen anamorphic format

  • Starring: Allen Payne, Melissa De Sousa, Paula Jai Parker, Erika Alexander, Kadeem Hardison, & Tracy Morgan
  • Director: Vanessa Middleton
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
  • Rated: R Not for sale to persons under age 18.
  • Studio: Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Summary: As each of a group of six African-American friends in New York City approach their thirtieth birthdays, they pause to evaluate life and question whether their hopes and dreams are going to come true as the realities of age, mortality and loss of metabolism start to set in. The ensemble includes: an investment banker with a great portfolio but few prospects for companionship; a stand-up comedian whose future in the biz is more than a little uncertain; a real-estate agent fighting a lifelong battle with weight; a marketing executive who fears that getting ahead is akin to growing old; and a young man in a long-term relationship who is being asked, "Where does it go from here'".

  • Starring: Kate Jackson, Cheryl, & Jacklyn Smith
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Box set
  • Rated: NR
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • DVD Features:
    • Number of discs: 6
    Summary: Once upon a time, Jill (Farrah Fawcett), Sabrina (Kate Jackson), and Kelly (Jaclyn Smith) were just everyday police officers with routine desk jobs. But when mysterious millionaire Charles Townsend takes them away from it all to work at his own private detective agency, their lives become infinitely more adventurous. In this, the second season, Cheryl Ladd joins the cast as Jill's sister, Kris Monroe--taking the place of Fawcett, who left to pursue a film career. All twenty-three episodes from second season of the classic 1970's Aaron Spelling-produced female detective series are included in this special 6-Disc set.

  • Starring: Colin Firth, Heather Graham, Minnie Driver, Oliver Platt, Mary Steenburgen
  • Director: Mark Herman
  • Format: Color
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Summary: In this romantic comedy, British artist Colin Ware (Colin Firth) discovers that his fiance, Vera (Minnie Driver), the love of his life, is going to marry another man. Distraught and despondent, he gets on a plane for America and ends up in the tiny town of Hope in New England. At first, Colin is depressed, but he soon finds more than a shoulder to cry on when his innkeepers introduce him to Mandy (Heather Graham), a beautiful nurse. All’s going well and Colin has almost forgotten his old flame until Vera suddenly shows up with a surprise of her own. “Hope Springs” is about finding happiness where you least expect it.

  • Starring: Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Tommy Davidson
  • Format: Color
  • Rated: NR
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Summary: In 1990, comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans ushered in a new brand of comedy with IN LIVING COLOR. Taking his cue from legendary sketch-based shows like SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SCTV, Wayans injected color into the formula and, in the process, helped to forever change the face of television. With a boundlessly talented cast--including Tommy Davidson, Jamie Foxx, Damon and Marlon Wayans, and Jim Carrey--IN LIVING COLOR exploded into living rooms with one hilarious sketch after another. This long overdue release contains every episode from the show's acclaimed first season, giving a whole new legion of viewers the opportunity to believe the hype for themselves.
  • DVD Features:
    • 13 episodes on three discs: Pilot, The Wrath of Farrakhan, Lean On Me Beautiful, Transitions, A Date with Grace Jones, Jheri's Kids, Don King - The Early Years, Endangered Species, Introducing... Homey D. Clown, Vera Dimilo, Anton in The People's Court, Conspiracy, Homey D. Clown Returns
    • Commentaries on select episodes
    • "Looking Back In Living Color: The First Season" featurette
    • "In Living Color: The First Season" featurette
    • "Back in Step with the Fly Girls" featurette
    • HBO Comedy Festival 2001
    • Full-screen format
    • Number of discs: 3


  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett-Smith
  • Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
  • Format: Color
  • Rated: R Not for sale to persons under age 18.
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Summary: The Matrix Revolutions marks the final explosive chapter in the Matrix trilogy.
  • DVD Features:
    • Program Content, Artwork and Photography (c) 2003, Package Design and Summary (c) 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
    • Documentaries: REVOLUTIONS RECALIBRATED: The making of the movie, including a segment on "Neo Realism: The Evolution of Bullet Time"
    • Documentary: CG REVOLUTION: The special effects, including a segment Super Big Mini-Models
    • Featurette: SUPER BURLY BRAWL: Behind the final Neo/Smith showdown, including the segments Double Agent Smith and Mind Over Matter: The Physicality of The Matrix
    • Other: BEFORE THE REVOLUTION: A 3-D Matrix timeline
    • FUTURE GAMER: THE MATRIX ONLINE: an introduction to the massively mulit-player game
    • Photo gallery: 3-D EVOLUTION: Multidimensional stills gallery
    • Full-screen format
    • Number of discs: 2

King of New York (Special Edition) (1990)

  • Starring:  Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito
  • Director:  Abel Ferrara
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lionsgate/Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Summary: Christopher Walken stars as Frank White, an ultracool crime boss, in this moody gem from director Abel Ferrara. Released from a long stint in jail, White rejoins his devoted gang, which includes the trigger-happy Jimmy Jump (Laurence Fishburne), Test Tube (Steve Buscemi), and his attractive attorney girlfriend, Jennifer (Janet Julian). Setting up headquarters in Trump Plaza, they start wiping out members of rival mobs in a bid to take back the streets and indulge in lots of cocaine and sex, but ultimately White has more noble ambitions, such as giving a fortune in drug money to charity. David Caruso, Victor Argo, and Wesley Snipes costar as a group of bitter cops who don’t buy Frank’s change of heart and decide to go outside the law to take him down. Poetic, sexy, funny, somber, and very violent, this critical hit cemented the rep of Ferrara and has earned a strong cult following. Bozan Bajelli serves as director of the arresting cinematography, which is full of rich shadows and gold, blue, and red hues.
    Quick review: If you are a fan of Christopher Walker, this is probably one of the best mob figures he has ever played, and he's played a number of them in his career. His performance here is flawless as his character has some heart and flavor to it. At the same time, you get to see some of today's leading actors (Fishburne, Snipes, and Caruso) early in their career before they made it big. This is also the BEST Film that Abel Ferrarra has ever directed.
  • DVD Features:
    • Commentary by director Abel Ferrara
    • Commentary by producer Mary Kane, editor Anthony Redman, composer Joe Delia, and associate producer Randy Sabusawa
    • Theatrical trailer(s), TV spot(s)
    • "A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara" documentary
    • "The Adventures of Schoolly D: Snowboarder": a portrait of the father of gangsta rap and the inspiration for the movie
    • Schoolly D music video
    • Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats


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