NEW IN STORES:
All the President’s Men: Two Disc Special Edition (PG) Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook. Top notch based-on-fact political thriller. Alan Pakula’s smash 1976 adaptation of the best-selling book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein focuses on the 1972 investigation of the break-in to the Democratic Party headquarters, otherwise known as the Watergate burglary. Through a complicated web of intrigue and secrecy that eventually involves the highest levels of government, hungry young journalists Woodward (Redford) and Bernstein (Hoffman) of the Washington Post aggressively examine the incident, uncovering information that ultimately leads to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. 139 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes commentary by Robert Redford; Telling the Truth About Lies: The Making of All the President’s Men; Out of the Shadows: The Man Who Was Deep Throat; Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire; the vintage featurette “Pressure and the Press: The Making of All the President’s Men”; a vintage Jason Robards interview excerpt from Dinah!, hosted by Dinah Shore; plus Alan J. Pakula thrillers trailer gallery.
Buried Alive (NR) Vincent Spano, Alexandra Paul. Vincent Spano (Alive) stars in this TV movie as Mark Decker, who has recently moved his family into a brand-new apartment complex. When the building is buried under the force of a landslide, Mark and a small band of survivors struggle to escape, while Mark’s wife (Paul) tries desperately to find him. 95 minutes. DVD INFO: Fullscreen with no extras.
The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends (NR) 12 Episodes of the vintage talk show featuring interviews with Woody Allen, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, George Burns, Bill Cosby, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx and The Smothers Brothers. 840 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes new introductions to each episode by Dick Cavett; a new interview with Cavett; a 1969 TV special; an archival interview with Joanne Carson; Dick Cavett appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1966; outtakes; plus series promos.
Domino (R) Keira Knightley, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Lucy Liu, Mickey Rourke. The daughter of respected actor and matinee idol Lawrence Harvey, and model-turned-socialite Sophie Wynn, Domino Harvey was born into a life of wealth and privilege — a lifestyle that did not interest her. Nothing could repress Domino’s fiery nature — not friendships, not school, not her mother’s high society. Not until she stumbled upon a job seminar recruiting aspiring bounty hunters was her thirst for excitement at long last quenched. To Sophie’s horror, Domino not only fell in love with the job but also with her fellow adventurers, who over the years would become her family. 120 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include commentary by director Tony Scott and writer Richard Kelly; script notes and story development commentary with Tony Scott, Zack Schiff-Abrams, Richard Kelly and Tom Waits; nine deleted scenes; “I am a Bounty Hunter”: a featurette on Domino Harvey’s Life with optional commentary; plus Bounty Hunting on Acid: Evolution of a Visual Style.
First Descent (PG-13) Shawn Farmer, Nick Perata, Terje Haakonsen, Shaun White, Hannah Teter. Chronicle of the rise of snowboarding as seen through the eyes of the snowboarders setting the standards and breaking the boundaries of the sport. The documentary spotlights a handful of snowboarding’s early pioneers (including Farmer, Perata and Haakonsen) and some of the ultra-sponsored superstar phenoms at snowboarding’s current cutting edge (White and Teter). 110 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes AK and Beyond; Top of the World: Wescam featurette; A Thousand Words; Big-Mountain Riding; extended snowboarding action; plus deleted scenes.
Midnight Cowboy: Collector’s Edition (R) Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, Brenda Vaccaro. A true original from 1969. Joe Buck (Voight), an aspiring male prostitute from Texas, heads to Manhattan where he hopes to find plenty of wealthy women willing to pay for the services of a handsome man. When he arrives, the naive country boy befriends Ratso Rizzo (Hoffman), a tubercular homeless con artist who dreams of moving to Florida. As they go about trying to get the money Ratso needs, the two men confront the seediness, corruption, and cruelty that flourish in the big city. 116 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by producer Jerome Hellman; the documentary: “After Midnight — Reflections on the Classic”; the documentary: “Controversy and Acclaim”; the featurette: “Celebrating Schlesinger”; plus a photo gallery.
North Country (R) Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean. North Country, based-on-true-life story, has all the makings of a made-for-TV movie. But its strong cast, historical approach to the important issue of women’s rights, excellent non-tearjerker soundtrack loaded with Bob Dylan songs and beautifully shot exteriors of the bleak mining region of northern Minnesota lift North Country above the Lifetime Network fray. 123 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include additional scenes; plus the Making-of documentary: Stories from the North Country. —Jim Walker
Rent (PG-13) Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel. Yes, they sing. In fact, they sing a lot. This will be the hardest thing to accept for many movie-goers. Rent, the 1996 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, remains intact here, with almost all of the music and dialogue untouched. The cast is amazing, and director Chris Columbus deserves high praise for taking a chance by allowing the musical to remain a musical. 135 minutes. DVD INFO: The widescreen special edition has over three hours of extras. A fullscreen regular edition is also available. Avoid it. —Lisa Gauthier
Separate Lies (R) Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett, Hermione Norris, Linda Bassett, John Neville. Adult drama. Well-groomed British society couple James (Wilkinson) and Anne (Watson) Manning live what appears to be a perfect life. Then their maid’s husband is killed in a hit-and-run accident in front of their vacation home. James immediately suspects that his dashing and suspicious neighbor Bill Bule (Everett) was behind the wheel. He plans to share his hypothesis with the authorities, only to have someone share a piece of information that turns his world upside down. 87 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes commentary by writer/director Julian Fellowes.
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild (G) Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Virginia Madsen, Tom Kenny. The cute little mouse returns in this animated children’s film based on E.B. White’s book. While the first two films mixed live-action and computer-animation, this direct-to-video feature is all traditionally animated. Voiced again by Michael J. Fox, Stuart is now off to the woods with his human family (Davis and Laurie) for a camping trip that he — and all his little viewers — will never forget. And that comes from the press notes, so it must be true. 75 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes “Reeko’s Funk” video; interactive games; plus the interactive feature: Learn to Draw!
Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (PG-13) Justin Gross, Grey DeLisle, Michael Massee, Marc Worden. Direct-to-video superheroics. Based on the manga The Ultimates, this animated feature is flush with heroes and action, as Captain America rises from oblivion to save the world once more from self-destruction. Aiding him is a team of diverse heroes of near-unstoppable power, including the Hulk, Wasp, Giant Man, Thor and Iron Man. 72 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes Assembling the Avengers featurette; The Ultimate Voice Talent Search; plus What Avenger are You? DVD-Rom Game.
The Weatherman (R) Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, Michael Caine, Gemmenne de la Pena, Nicholas Hoult. A good experience whose humor doesn’t come cheap. Its philosophy isn’t condescending and it is fittingly filled with beautiful shots of Chicago in winter. Cage shines in a role that would have been perfect for a younger Bill Murray. And Michael Caine is especially powerful as his ailing father. While The Weatherman doesn’t venture into the absurd or the surreal to make its philosophical points, it is still full of very fun real-world oddities. 105 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include Extended Outlook: The Script; Forecast: Becoming a Weatherman; Atmospheric Pressure: The Style and Pallette; Relative Humidity: The Characters; plus Trade Winds: The Collaboration. —Jim Walker
TV on DVD: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN: SEASON 3, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: SEASON 1, NYPD BLUE: SEASON 3, VOYAGE TO THE BTTOM OF THE SEA: SEASON 1. NOTE: Some studios have the nerve to market box sets of TV series containing episodes that were trimmed down by several minutes each for airing in syndication. Before laying down your money, make sure the box set includes the words “original and uncut.”