DVD Releases: February 17 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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DVD Releases: February 17

Alice in Wondertown (1990 -- Cuba) In this iconoclastic film inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Alice is a drama teacher who goes on a cultural mission to a small town where the most bizarre occurrences are commonplace. Mirrors become doors, circus animals walk the streets, and it seems anything can happen -- and everyone except Alice seems resigned to the situation. She discovers that the town's population is made up of officials and workers who have been fired for violating rules, minor or illusionary, and now cannot find their way out of this strange town. Banned in Cuba for satirizing the opportunism and indolence embedded in Cuban bureaucracy. Extras: Booklet with an interview with director Daniel Diaz Torres, a Diaz Torres biography and filmography, and a director's note: "To Alice, On Her 17th Birthday." (First Run Features).

Alien from Earth: The Little People of Flores (2009) NOVA presents an exclusive new investigation into the sensational discovery of the bizarre ancient bones of the so-called "Hobbit" unearthed in a cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia. No more than 3 feet tall when fully grown, these tiny humans survived in the cave for tens of thousands of years, hunting the huge and fierce Komodo dragons that roamed their remote island home. NOVA explores the latest evidence in a furious scientific debate on what the Hobbit bones represent. $24.99. (WGBH Boston Video).

Alien Raiders (2008) Carlos Bernard, Mathew St. Patrick, Courtney Ford, Rockmond Dunbar. A Nerve-shredding battle for human survival against aliens that invade our world by invading our bodies. (Warner).

American Scary (2008) Documentary on late-night TV horror show hosts, from the obscure to the famous to the infamous, including Zacherley (John Zacherle, who began his horror hosting career in the late 1950's in Philadelphia as "Roland" and became one of the most iconic nationally recognized figures in the genre), Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson, an anarchic hipster creation who exploded on Cleveland television in the winter of 1962, and proceeded to excite and warp the minds of his fanatic followers until 1966) and Vampira (Maila Nurmi, who modeled her character on elements of Charles Addams cartoons, screen glamour queens and bondage magazines. $19.95. (Cinema Libre)

Arctic Dinosaurs: Warm-Blooded Creatures of the Cretaceous? (2009) How is it that dinosaurs managed to survive and even thrive in the gloom of the dark and frigid polar regions? It is one of paleontology's most intriguing enigmas; but now, a unique field expedition covered exclusively by NOVA will set out for Alaska's North Slope to defrost a jackpot of new fossil clues; $24.99. (WGBH Boston Video).

Body of Lies (2008) Dir.: Ridley Scott; Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Simon McBurney. Available on standard DVD, two-disc Special Edition with a digital copy, and on Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Behind-the-scene featurettes, interactive interviews. (Warner).

Choke (2008) Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald, Bijou Phillips, Brad William Henke. Extras: Commentary by writer-director-actor Clark Gregg and Sam Rockwell, deleted scenes, gag reel, featurettes, more. (Fox).

Columbia: Space Shuttle Disaster (2009)On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas just 16 minutes before it was due to land. All seven astronauts aboard perished; NASA responded by announcing the retirement of the shuttle program in 2010. What caused the Columbia disaster? An engineering flaw? A failure within NASA? Could this catastrophe have been avoided? Through interviews with astronauts, NASA personnel, and members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, "Space Shuttle Disaster" gives viewers a new look at the Columbia tragedy; $24.99. (WGBH Boston Video).

Dead Like Me (2009) Callum Blue, Ellen Muth, Henry Ian Cusick, Sarah Wynter. Feature film based on the series. Set two years after the critically acclaimed Showtime series ended, the undead reapers are introduced to their new boss, Cameron Kane, whose new agenda creates disorder within the reaper clan. While Daisy and Mason fall prey to Cameron's temptations, the infamous Georgia "George" Lass creates more reaper havoc by breaking an important reaper rule: revealing herself to her Earthly family. Extras:

Dead Like Me The Complete Collection Nine-disc set with 29 episodes as well as the "Dead Like Me" feature film, $69.98. Extras: Four featurettes, commentary, deleted scenes. (MGM).

Essential Art House: Volume II - No-frills editions of "Black Orpheus," "The 400 Blows," "Ikiru," "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp," "Pygmalion," "La Strada." Available separately at $19.95 each and in a boxed-set for $99.95. (The Criterion Collection).

Faces (1968) Dir.: John Cassavetes; Gena Rowlands, Starring Seymour Cassel, John Marley. Double-disc set with new, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: Seventeen-minute alternate opening sequence, from an early edit of the film; "Cineastes de notre temps" (1968), a 48-minute episode from the French television series dedicated to Cassavetes, featuring rare interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; "Making Faces," a 2004 documentary including interviews with actors Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Gena Rowlands, and director of photography Al Ruban; "Lighting and Shooting the Film," a short documentary from 2004 in which Ruban explains how he and the crew achieved the distinct look of "Faces"; booklet featuring an essay by critic Stuart Klawans. (The Criterion Collection).

Feast III: The Happy Finish (2009) Jenny Wade, Martin Klebba, Clu Gulager, Craig Henningsen. Third installment of director John Gulager's blood-curdling "Feast" series. Picks up moments after the end of "Feast II," with the survivors getting saved by a mysterious prophet who has the uncanny ability to control the beasts. Armed with new information and a renewed interest in living, the motley crew of strangers decide to fight back and destroy the beasts once and for all. (The Weinstein Co./Dimension Extreme/Genius Products).

The Helen Morgan Story (1957) Dir.: Michael Curtiz; Ann Blyth, Paul Newman. (Warner).

High School Musical 3: Senior Year -- Extended Edition (2008) Extras: Available in a single-disc DVD with the theatrical version of the movie plus "Cast Goodbyes"; a two-disc Extended Edition DVD includes the extended version of the film plus "Cast Goodbyes," a sing-along feature, bloopers, deleted scenes, "It's All in the Dress" featurette, "Night of Nights" featurette, DisneyFile digital copy of the extended movie; a three-disc Blu-ray Deluxe Extended Edition includes the extended version of the film, all the bonus features from the DVD including the DisneyFile digital copy of the extended movie, plus new cast profiles, "Senior Awards," "BD Live Experience." (Disney).

Hobson's Choice (1954) Dir.: David Lean; Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda De Banzie. High-definition digital transfer-restoration by the BFI National Archive, funded by the David Lean Foundation and StudioCanal. Extras: Commentary by film scholars Alain Silver and James Ursini, co-authors of "David Lean and His Films"; "The Hollywood Greats: Charles Laughton," a 1978 BBC documentary about the actor's life and career, featuring interviews with his friends and colleagues; new essay by critic Armond White. (The Criterion Collection).

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (2008) Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox, Max Minghella, Jeff Bridges (MGM).

I Served the King of England (2006 -- Czech Republic) Ivan Barnev, Oldrich Kaiser, Julia Jentsch. Satiric tale of an ambitious Czech waiter who finds himself collaborating with the Nazis during World War II. Latest film from director Jiri Menzel, who won an Academy Award for his Czech New Wave classic "Closely Watched Trains." (Sony).

The Kaiser's Lackey (1951) Once banned throughout Germany, now hailed as "one of the best films of all time," "The Kaiser's Lackey" is director Wolfgang Staudte's biting satire of Germany's penchant for ultra-nationalism and authoritarianism. Based on Heinrich Mann's influential novel "Der Untertan." A young boy named Diedrich is afraid of everything. But as Diedrich grows older he learns that by groveling before his superiors and manipulating or stepping on everyone else, he is capable of advancing his position in life. As he progresses from a beer swilling cadet to a ruthless factory owner and finally to a lackey for the Kaiser, Diedrich's ambition for power and prestige comes to fruition. $24.95. (First Run Features).

Moving Midway (2007) Following the real-life family commotion that swirls around one of America's most contested and controversial icons, the Southern plantation, New York-based film critic Godfrey Cheshire's critically acclaimed documentary, "Moving Midway," proves Faulkner's famous adage: "the past is not dead ... it's not even past." Humorous, poignant, probing and suspenseful, "Moving Midway is a dual-journey, in which the director explores the plantation mythology embodied in our cultural history -- from "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to "Gone with the Wind" to "Roots" -- while his own family's plantation house is literally hoisted from its foundation and transported several miles across a dramatic landscape. $24.95. (First Run Features).

Out at the Wedding (2008) Andrea Marcellus, Desi Lydic, Charlie Schlatter, Mike Farrell, Mink Stole. After telling her new fiance that her family is dead, Alex travels from NYC to South Carolina to serve as her sister Jeannie's bridesmaid. A rumor spreads at the wedding that Alex is gay, and when her family is surprisingly supportive, Alex decides to play along believing it's easier than telling the truth about her engagement to a Jewish black man. But when Jeannie comes to visit Alex in New York and Alex has to prove that she's a lesbian, things take an unexpected turn. LOGOS channel telefilm. Extras: Commentary by director Lee Friedlander, cast interviews. (Paramount).

The Outrage (1964) Dir.: Martin Ritt; Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Edward G. Robinson. (Warner).

Quarantine (2008) Jennifer Carpenter, Johnathon Schaech, Jay Hernandez. Extras: Commentary by writer-director John Erick Dowdle and writer-producer Drew Dowdle, "Locked In: The Making-of Quarantine" featurette, "Anatomy of a Stunt" featurette, "Dressing the Infected: Make-Up Design" featurette. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Sony).

Rachel, Rachel (1968) Dir.: Paul Newman; Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Estelle Parsons. (Warner).

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest: Season One, Volume One (1996) Two-disc set with 13 episodes of the sequel to one of TV's first animated science fiction action-adventure series, $26.99. Extras: New and vintage bonus materials from Hanna-Barbera. (Warner).

Screamers: The Hunting (2009) Lance Henriksen, Gina Holden, Jana Pallaske. The killing machines of the cult hit "Screamers" are back and deadlier than ever. It's been 13 years since the robotic killing machines known as Screamers destroyed the human population of Sirius 6B. But now a distress signal brings a team of rescuers to the supposedly abandoned planet. Can it be a long-lost colony of human survivors? Or have the Screamers evolved into something even more sinister: a half-man/half-machine hybrid that needs to escape Sirius 6B to finish its mission: the complete annihilation of the human race? Extras: "Screamers: The Hunting Behind the Scenes" featurette. (Sony).

Shadows (1959) Dir.: John Cassavetes; Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd. New, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: Video interviews from 2004 with actress Lelia Goldoni and associate producer Seymour Cassel, rare silent 16 mm footage of John Cassavetes and Burt Lane's acting workshop, restoration demonstration, stills gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes production photos, booklet featuring an essay by Gary Giddins and a reprinted essay by Cassavetes. (The Criterion Collection).

The Silver Chalice (1954) Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Virginia Mayo, Jack Palance. (Warner).

The Smurfs: Season 2, Volume One Two-disc set of the Saturday morning cartoon series ; $14.98. (Warner).

Touch the Top of the World (2008) Peter Facinelli, Bruce Campbell, Sarah Manninen. A&E Network telefilm that depicts the determination and heroism of Erik Weihenmayer, a rock and ice climber who overcomes insurmountable odds to become the first blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest. (Sony).

When Time Ran Out (1980) Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edward Albert, Red Buttons, Veronica Hamel. (Warner).

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