NEW IN STORES
Apres Vous (R) Daniel Auteuil, Jose Garcia, Sandrine Kiberlain, Garence Clavel. Romantic farce. Antoine (Auteuil of The Closet), the busy manager of a fancy restaurant, cuts through a park in his rush to meet his frustrated girlfriend, Christine (Marilyne Canto), when he stumbles across Louis (Garcia) attempting to hang himself. Antoine foils his efforts and takes the intensely phobic, despondent klutz home, much to Christine’s chagrin. Antoine only wants to help, but being a good Samaritan can certainly complicate day to day life. 110 minutes. DVD INFO: The film is presented in the widescreen format.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG) Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, David Kelly, Noah Taylor. King of Weird director Tim Burton teams up with Quirk Master Johnny Depp to take on the popular Roald Dahl children’s story. Gene Wilder contributed a charmingly twisted performance as Willy Wonka in the first film adaptation of the book. Depp plays Wonka as … what … a demented English schoolgirl, perhaps? All involved parties maintain that his performance is absolutely not a take on Michael Jackson. So it must not be. 120 minutes. DVD INFO: Three separate editions are available: a fullscreen edition (for chumps), a widescreen edition and a two-disc deluxe set. The Deluxe Two-Disc Set includes “The Fantastic Mr. Dahl”; “Challenges: Oompa-Loompa Dance Machine, The Inventing Machine, The Bad Nut, Search for the Golden Ticket”; “Attack of the Squirrels,” see how they trained live squirrels to perform in the film; five making-of featurettes; “Becoming Oompa-Loompa,” see how one actor, Deep Roy, was turned into a multitalented army of Oompas; plus a pack of five limited-edition trading cards.
Christmas with the Kranks (PG) Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Felicity Huffman, Jake Busey, Cheech Marin. Abrasive comedy adapted from John Grisham’s book Skipping Christmas. When their daughter (Julie Gonzalo) leaves for a year in the Peace Corps, Luther and Nora Krank (Allen and Curtis) decide to forgo all things Christmas and take a Caribbean cruise instead. Luther carries the no-Christmas idea to an idiotic extreme and tensions rise between the Kranks and the folks in their neighborhood. Chris Columbus (Home Alone) wrote the screenplay, which may explain the lame slapstick, odd behaviors, one-note characters and the jarring shifts between mean-spirited humor and overt sentimentality. The biggest disappointment in the cast is Jamie Lee Curtis, whose shrill performance has to be a career low. 98 minutes. DVD INFO: None available. —EJO
Cronicas (R) John Leguizamo, Leonor Watling, Jose Maria Yazpik, Alfred Molina, Damian Alcazar. A Miami reporter (Leguizamo) travels to a small Ecuadorian village to cover a series of brutal murders and get the biggest story of his career, tracking a possible serial killer dubbed the Monster of Babahoyo. 98 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by the director, a featurette and deleted scenes.
The Devil’s Rejects: Unrated Widescreen Version (NR) Bill Mosely, Sid Haig, Karen Black, Sheri Moon, William Forsythe. Rob Zombie’s follow-up to the wretched House of 1000 Corpses continues the story of a bizarre group of very odd people who like to torture, maim and kill virtually everyone they come in contact with. 109 minutes. DVD INFO: The R-rated theatrical version is also available. The unrated edition is more extreme, of course. It includes audio commentary by director Rob Zombie; audio commentary with actors Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie; a blooper reel; Morris Green Show — “Ruggsville’s #1 talk show”; Mary The Monkey Girl Commercial; Spaulding Christmas Commercial; Cheerleader Missing — The Otis Home Movie; “Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me” — Buck Owens video; deleted scenes; make-up tests; plus a Matthew McGrory tribute.
Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper — Live 1973: The Billion Dollar Babies Tour (NR) I loved Alice Cooper — the band, not the solo performer. In addition to the namesake lead singer, the group consisted of Michael Bruce and Glen Buxton on guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass and drummer Neal Smith. Of the many times I saw the guys, I had the most fun when their riotous Billion Dollar Babies show played the Indianapolis Convention Center. They were the most popular band on Earth then, and no one had any inkling that the group would soon implode and that this would be their last hurrah. Haven’t seen this DVD, but you can bet I’ll be getting a copy. Running time unknown. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by Alice Cooper (the singer, not the band, I think); Play-Concert-Only option; deleted scene and outtakes; original theatrical trailer and radio spots; Poster Gallery with original promotional material; band biographies; plus Easter eggs.
Live 8 (NR) If you suffered through the wretched MTV coverage of the Live 8 international concerts, here is your chance to see the event done right. DISC 1: Paul McCartney & U2; three song sets by U2, Coldplay, Elton John and Black Eyed Peas; two song sets by REM, Kaiser Chiefs, UB40, Snoop Dogg and Annie Lennox; plus Dido & Youssou N’Dour, Stereophonics, Ms Dynamite, Keane, Duran Duran, Bob Geldof, Muse, Travis, Green Day and Bon Jovi. DISC 2: Three song sets by Madonna, Will Smith and Sting; two songs by Destiny’s Child, Razorlight, Linkin Park, Joss Stone and Scissor Sisters; plus Bryan Adams, Kanye West, CBC, Brian Wilson, Snow Patrol, Toby Keith, The Killers, Dave Matthews Band, Daniel Powter, Jars Of Clay, Alicia Keys, Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard, Jet and Sarah McLachlan & Josh Groban. DISC 3: Five songs by Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney; four songs by Robbie Williams and Stevie Wonder; two songs by Mariah Carey, Maroon 5 and The Who; plus Vusi Mahlasela, Roxy Music, Neil Young, Pet Shop Boys, Keith Urban, Placebo, Rob Thomas and Faithless. 480 minutes. DVD INFO: An extras DVD includes The Proclaimers, Wet Wet Wet, more Annie Lennox, The Thrills, Midge Ure & Eddie Izzard, Texas, Travis, James Brown, Bjork, Tim McGraw, Audioslave; various celebrities and dignitaries; plus more.
Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (NR) Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Steven Weber. Based on the stage play, this musical parody of 1936 film Reefer Madness takes that already overblown criticism of marijuana usage in the source film and ups the ante to humorous effect. This film tells the tale of the Harper Affair, in which young Jimmy Harper finds his life of promise turn into a life of debauchery and murder thanks to the new drug menace marijuana. Along the way he receives help from his girlfriend Mary and Jesus himself, but continues to find himself in the arms of the Reefer Man and the rest of the denizens of the Reefer Den. 108 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary and a featurette.
TV on DVD BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD: VOLUME 1 — THE MIKE JUDGE COLLECTION, BLUE COLLAR TV: VOLUME 1 SEASON 1, A DIFFERENT WORLD: SEASON 1, DUCKTALES: VOLUME 1, FIVE MILE CREEK: SEASON 1, JEOPARDY: AN INSIDE LOOK, THE KINGDOM: SERIES 1, MYSTERY SCIENCE 3000: VOLUME 8, THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY: SEASON 2, REMINGTON STEELE: SEASON 2, SPACE ABOVE AND BEYOND: THE COMPLETE SERIES and THE WHITE SHADOW: SEASON 1. NOTE: Some studios are marketing 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.”