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2046 (R) Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Li Gong, Takuya Kimura, Faye Wong, Zhang Ziyi. With period sets and intricate costuming, languid shots, wafting cigarette smoke, lamplight and allusions to film noir, Wong Kar-Wai crafts a meditation on memory, eroticism, love, loss and longing. The plot description? He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future, but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention — to recapture lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure whether it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back — except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change. 128 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes deleted scenes; an alternate ending; a look behind-the-scenes; a production design featurette; interviews with Wong Kar Wai, Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang; a music montage; the numerology of 2046; “The Music of 2046” branching featurette; plus a poster gallery.
American Pie: Band Camp NR (R-rated version also available) Tad Hilgenbrink, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Earles, Eugene Levy, Tara Killian. The latest in the raunchy American Pie series is a direct-to-DVD feature minus almost all of the actors associated with the franchise. So why in the world would you consider buying this? Well, here’s what the press notes say: “Get ready for the wildest, most hilarious slice of American Pie ever! This time around, the bad-boy antics of Stifler’s younger brother Matt get him sentenced to a summer at … Band Camp! Join the fun as the outrageous Stifler tradition lives on in this uproarious romp filled with gorgeous camp counselors, hilarious hidden cameras and a late-night encounter with a certain musical instrument. Co-starring ‘Jim’s Dad,’ Eugene Levy, and an irresistible cast including a pair of Playmates, it’s a Pie-style party you’ll never forget.” 95 minutes. DVD INFO: Three separately packaged DVDs are available: One non-rated version preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other two (R-rated and NR) hack off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. The non-rated versions include the featurette “Poolside with the Band Camp Girls”; “Unrated Love Lessons with Ginger Lynn”; outtakes and deleted scenes; Band Camp Girls music video; “Rover Cam Uncut”; plus “Band Camp’s Dirty Secrets.”
Dark Water: Unrated Widescreen Edition (PG-13) Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite. Dahlia Williams is starting a new life; newly separated with a new job and a new apartment, she’s determined to put her relationship with her estranged husband behind her and devote herself to raising her daughter, Ceci. But when the strained separation disintegrates into a bitter custody battle, her situation takes a turn for the worse. Her new apartment — dilapidated, cramped and worn — seems to take on a life of its own. Mysterious noises, persistent leaks of dark water and strange happenings cause her imagination to run wild, sending her on a puzzling and mystifying pursuit to find out who is behind the endless mind games. As Dahlia frantically searches for the links between the riddles, the dark water seems to close around her. But one thing trumps all others in Dahlia’s world: No matter what it is that’s out there, she’ll stop at nothing to find it. 100 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes deleted scenes; sound design featurette “The Sound of Terror”; a making-of featurette; analyzing key sequences with viewing options; plus “An Extraordinary Ensemble” featurette.
Grizzly Man (R) Timothy Treadwell. Acclaimed director Werner Herzog explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell lived unarmed among the bears for 13 summers, and filmed his adventures in the wild during his final five seasons. In October 2003, Treadwell’s remains, along with those of his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were discovered near their campsite in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Reserve. They had been mauled and devoured by a grizzly, the first known victims of a bear attack in the park. (The bear suspected of the killings was later shot by park officials.) In the film, Herzog plumbs not only the mystery of wild nature, but also the mystery of human nature as he chronicles Treadwell’s final years in the wilderness. Herzog uses Treadwell’s own startling documentary footage to paint a nuanced portrait of a complex and compelling figure while exploring larger questions about the uneasy relationship between man and nature. 103 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes a making-of featurette; music sessions; plus production interviews.
Into the Blue (PG-13) Jessica Alba, Paul Walker, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott. Thriller set in the deep, shark-infested waters of the Bahamas. When young divers discover the wreckage of a cargo plane at the bottom of the sea, they believe their dream of buried treasure has come true. What they don’t realize is that millions of dollars of illegal goods are in that sunken plane and a group of dangerous criminals are already desperately searching for it. As tensions mount and the friends begin to fight about what to do with their find, others get closer to discovering their secret — and the treasure hunters quickly become the hunted. 110 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 the director; a behind-the-scenes featurette; screen tests; a making-of featurette; plus 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary.
Toy Story 2: Two-Disc Special Edition (G) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer. Terrific sequel to the smash computer animated story of the private lives of toys. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and all the others return, along with some dandy new toys. While young Andy is away at camp, Woody gets stolen by a toy collector (Wayne Knight) and Buzz leads a rescue brigade. The characters are even better defined than in the original, the action is fast and furious and there are loads of laughs in this smart, remarkably inventive movie. 92 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary; outtakes; coolest toy featurette; all new game “Which Toy are You?”; “Ponkikies” featuring Woody, Buzz and Jessie; music medley “Riders in the Sky”; all-new making of Toy Story 2; deleted scenes; director John Lasseter’s profile; design galleries and storyboards of the sequence “Woody’s Nightmare” and “Jessie’s Song” with multi-angle feature; numerous featurettes; plus character interviews. —EJO
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (G) Mark Bittner. Filmmaker Judy Irving offers a rich, expertly presented, crowd-pleasing documentary about Mark Bittner, a gentle soul who finds a spot for himself communing with a group of displaced birds. The movie is sweet with a wistful tone — there are funny moments along with scenes that may bring a tear to the eye. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is beautiful to look at, consistently engaging and as dramatically satisfying as any scripted tale on the market. If you’re one of those people who will only watch a documentary on TV at home, I suggest you reconsider, because this one is a real treat. 83 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes the featurettes “Origins of the Flock”; “Urban Legends”; “Update: Mingus at the Oasis”; Parrots music video; “Mark Bittner’s Home Movies”; “Flock Updates”; deleted scenes; plus a “California Quail Bonus Short.” —EJO
TV on DVD THE SHIELD: SEASON 4, THE TWILIGHT ZONE — THE DEFINITIVE EDITION: SEASON 5, TRACEY TAKES ON: SEASON 1, THE HISTORY CHANEL: THE BATTLE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY, NOWHERE MAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES. 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.”