NEW IN STORES:
Delicatessen (R) Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard. 1992 cult favorite from Jean-Pierre Jeunet. In a post-apocalyptic society where meat is scarce, cannibalism is no longer unsavory. When a young ex-clown takes a job in a dilapidated deli, he’s completely unaware that the butcher plans to serve him to the building’s bizarre tenants. But when the butcher’s nearsighted daughter falls for the clown, she proves willing to go to absurd lengths to foil her father’s plan. 99 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet; “Fine Cooked Meats,” a nod to Delicatessen; plus “The Archives of Jean-Pierre Jeunet.”
The Family Stone (PG-13) Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson. Sprawling holiday-with-the-family dramedy. Keaton and Nelson play the parents of a family of well-to-do New England bohemians. When their eldest son (Mulroney) brings his new straight-laced Manhattanite girlfriend (Parker) home for the holidays, it soon becomes clear that Miss New York Control Freak does not fit in. Clichés abound in this contrived outing, but those (like me) who miss big messy holidays with the family should find this vicarious visit worthwhile. 102 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 audio commentary by stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney; audio commentary by writer/director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael London, editor Jeffrey Ford and production designer Jane Ann Stewart; six deleted scenes with optional writer/director Thomas Bezucha and editor Jeffrey Ford; “Casting Session” and “World Premiere” featurettes (from the Fox Movie Channel); a behind-the-scenes featurette; Q&A session with the cast at the Screen Actors Guild Theatre; gag reel; plus the recipe for “Morton Family Strata.” —EJO
Flight 93 (NR) Jeffrey Nordling, Ty Olsson, Brennan Elliott, Colin Glazer, Kendall Cross. Gripping, thoughtful, moving and well-researched TV movie about the hijacked plane that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside on Sept. 11, 2001, and the passengers that rebelled against their captors. As with the current theatrical release, United 93, the film sticks to the facts as much as possible. The big difference between the two productions is that this one shows both sides of the conversations between the passengers and the people they call on the ground. Approx. 100 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary and interviews. —EJO
Hoodwinked (PG) Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Chazz Palminteri, Andy Dick. Computer-animated satire. In the re-telling of this classic fable, the story begins at the end. Chief Grizzly (Xzibit) and Detective Bill Stork (Anderson) investigate a domestic disturbance at Granny’s (Close) cottage, involving a karate-kicking Red Riding Hood (Hathaway), a sarcastic wolf (Warburton) and an oafish Woodsman (Belushi). The charges are many: breaking and entering, intent to eat, wielding an axe without a license, but first these unusual suspects must tell their stories. 83 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 audio commentary by writers/directors Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech; five deleted and extended scenes; “How to Make an Animated Film” featurette with producers Sue Bea Montgomery and David K. Lovegren; plus a “Critters Have Feelings” music video.
Last Holiday (PG-13) Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Giancarlo Esposito, Alicia Witt. It could have gone so badly awry. Latifah stars as a working-class woman who learns she only has weeks to live, and resolves to blow her savings on the vacation of her dreams. Along the way she and everyone she meets learn life lessons, love is found, life is affirmed, that sort of thing. It could have been an absolute disaster of mush, but Last Holiday never gives into tearjerking sentiment. Also, it’s really, really funny, which is the point of these sorts of things. Latifah heads up a cast of people who really seem to be having fun with their roles, all of which are drawn from classical mistaken-identity stock comedy. 112 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 the featurettes “Packing Light,” “Last Look” and “Last Holiday: 23 Years in the Making”; deleted scenes; plus two recipes from Last Holiday.— PFPP
Modern Romance (R) Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, George Kennedy, Bruno Kirby, James L. Brooks. 1981 relationship comedy by Albert Brooks. Screwed-up film editor Robert Cole (Brooks) is breaking up with his girlfriend Mary Harvard (Harrold) — again. Even Mary doesn’t really believe he’s serious. Sure enough, after 24 hours of trying to start his life over, he becomes desperate to be back with his former love. Mary takes him back and the co-dependent dance goes on. Kennedy plays himself in a movie-within-the-movie that Cole is editing. This early outing by the gifted Brooks is as annoying as it is funny. Still, the funny parts are extremely funny. 94 minutes. DVD INFO: No extras included. Well, maybe a trailer.
Plan B (R) Diane Keaton, Bob Balaban, Maury Chaykin, Paul Sorvino, Burt Young. Diane Keaton stars in a Married to the Mob-style farce. A meek bookkeeper, and widow of a New York Mob victim, must become the hit man for the Mob boss in order to pay back her husband’s debt. Instead of carrying out the deeds, she drives each of her proposed victims down to Florida to hide at her estranged brother’s house. The boss gets wind that the victims may not be dead, and pays a visit to Florida, where he uncovers her flimsy plan and the hilarity ensues. 100 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by director Greg Yaitanes; additional scenes; plus screen tests.
Tennessee Williams Film Collection (Ratings vary by film) Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden and many more. Box set with A Streetcar Named Desire (Two-disc Special Edition), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition), Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, Baby Doll and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. DVD INFO: Extras vary from disc to disc. The titles are also available separately.
The Warrior (R) Irfan Khan, Puru Chhibber, Mandakini Goswami, Sunita Sharma, Noor Mani. Acclaimed epic tale, set in the Indian desert, of a warrior’s search to change his life and to find peace. Lafcadia is the head of a band of warriors employed by a lord who rules from his Red Fort. In the midst of the slaughter of a village, Lafcadia has a mystical encounter with a young girl. He drops his sword and vows never to kill again. Lafcadia attempts to escape with his young son Katiba, but the angry lord orders the warriors to bring back Lafcadia’s head. In the mountains, Lafcadia eventually comes face to face with the warriors, and is forced to confront his past in order to reach his goal. 88 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary; deleted scenes with optional commentary; plus “The Making of The Warrior” featurette.
On HD-DVD GOODFELLAS and SWORDFISH.
TV on DVD LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: SEASON 2, 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN: SEASON 4, DINOSAURS: SEASONS 1 AND 2, I LOVE LUCY: SEASON 6, KATE & ALLIE: SEASON 1, KING OF THE HILL: SEASON 6, THE NANNY: SEASON 2, THE OMEGA FACTOR: COMPLETE SERIES, RED DWARF: SEASON 8 and THE RED GREEN SHOW: 1997 SEASON. 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.”