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

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DVD Releases: November 17

American Venus (2007) Rebecca De Mornay, Jane McGregor. De Mornay plays an irrational mother pushing her figure-skating daughter toward an Olympic gold medal. But when the girl gets fed up and runs away to Vancouver, mom straps on a pistol and goes looking for her. (IFC Films).

Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series (2007) Two-disc set with all six episodes of the series about an accountant (Andy Richter)turned accidental gumshoe; $24.99, Extras: Retrospective feature "Going Where the Numbers Take You" containing interviews with Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and other members of the cast and creative team; the "Writers Class 101" feature, with co-creator Jonathan Groff and writers Josh Bycel, Jane Espenson and Jon Ross; cast and crew commentaries; gag reel. (Shout! Factory).

Best of Monk Two-disc set with eight episodes, $19.98. (Universal).

Downhill Racer (1969) Dir.: by Michael Ritchie; Stars Robert Redford, Gene Hackman. Astonishing Alpine location photography and a young Robert Redford in one of his earliest starring roles are just two of the visual splendors of Michael Ritchie's visceral debut feature. In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing with an underdog American team in Europe for Olympic gold, and Gene Hackman provides tough support as the coach who tries to temper the upstart's narcissistic drive for glory. With a subtle screenplay by acclaimed novelist James Salter, "Downhill Racer" is a vivid character portrait buoyed by breathtakingly fast and furious imagery that brings the viewer directly into the mind of the competitor. New, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: New video interviews with screenwriter James Salter, film editor Richard Harris, production manager Walter Coblenz, and former downhill skier Joe Jay Jalbert, who served as technical adviser, a ski double, and a cameraman; audio excerpts from a 1979 American Film Institute seminar with director Michael Ritchie; booklet featuring an essay by critic Todd McCarthy. The Criterion Collection).

Elvis Costello - Spectacle: Season 1 (2009) Four-disc set with all 13 episodes of the show that features intimate one-on-one conversations and live performances with legendary artists and notable newcomers. Conceived to provide a forum for in-depth discussion and performance with the most interesting artists and personalities of our time, "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With ..." fuses the best of talk and music television. Each of the thirteen one-hour episodes exposes the essence of iconic and influential figures who are given the rare opportunity to speak intelligently and in-depth about music and their careers -- how their classic songs were written and why; their experiences; their influences and the creative process overall, revealing new insights about their extraordinary work and lives. Guests include Elton John, president Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel The Police, Smokey Robinson, Rufus Wainwright, Jakob Dylan, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Roseanne Cash, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp, James Taylor and more. $49.95. Extras: Extended episodes, behind-the-scenes interviews, outtakes. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (MVD Entertainment Group).

Emerald Cowboy (2002) Eishy Hayata, Eva Hayata, Juan Pablo Shuk. True story of the rise of a Japanese businessman from Los Angeles named Eishy Hayata who transformed himself from an Airline engineer into a legend in the world of emeralds by moving to Columbia in the 70's and -- with six guns at his side -- becoming the czar of emeralds in that country - the Emerald Cowboy. (Indican Pictures).

The Exiles Chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles - transplants from Southwest reservations -- as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. "The Exiles" was completed in 1961 and though well received at a few festivals, it was never theatrically release and rarely seen for nearly 50 years. With UCLA Film & Television Archive's magnificent restoration and Milestone's 2008 release, the film stunned the film world. It introduced a filmmaker of incredible talent and insight. Gritty, realistic, beautifully photographed, energized by the brilliant rock 'n' roll score by Norman Knowles and The Revels, "The Exiles" is a cinematic miracle. Directed by Kent Mackenzie, who died in 1980 at age 50. Two-disc set. Disc One: "The Exiles" from the restored fine grain; "Bunker Hill 1956" by Mackenzie; "Los Angeles Plays Itself," clips from Thom Andersen's masterpiece; Disc Two: "A Skill for Molina" by Mackenzie; "Story of a Rodeo Cowboy" by Mackenzie; "Ivan and His Father" by Mackenzie; "Last Day of Angels Flight," directed by Robert Kirste; "Bunker Hill: A Tale of Urban Renewal," directed by Greg Kimble; "White Fawn's Devotion: The First Native American Film," directed by James Youngdeer in 1910;stills gallery; DVD-ROM material: The Mackenzie Files. (Milestone Film & Video).

Farscape: The Complete Series Megaset (1999-2003) Twenty-five disc set with all 88 episodes of the cult Sci-Fi Channel favorite, $149.95. Extras: 29 Episode commentaries; multiple featurettes and documentaries including "In the Beginning: A Look Back With Brian Henson," "Making of a Space Opera" and "Inside Farscape: Save Farscape"; multiple video profiles featuring archival clips and cast and crew discussing their characters and roles; more than 90 minutes of deleted scenes; sideshows and archival photo galleries, including character concepts and promo photos; production design galleries featuring screenshots, rough drafts and concept slide shows; behind-the-scenes interviews with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard, Wayne Pygram; original TV promos and trailers. In addition to the complete set, "Farscape" will also be available in four single season sets, re-packaged as "Farscape: The Complete Seasons 1-4," with 22 episodes on six discs filled with hours of revealing bonus materials, $44.95 each set. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Gettysburg Three-disc set with 13 documentaries that examine The Battle of Gettysburg and its lasting legacy. Uses rare photographs, stunning and convincing reenactments and revealing interviews with experts to separate fact from legend and put the event in the context of the war and American history at large. $29.98. (MPI Home Video).

Gone With the Wind (1939) Three 50th Anniversary editions: A two-disc standard DVD set, a five-disc standard DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition (with 12 hours of bonus features) and a two-disc Blu-ray Ultimate Collector's Edition with 18 hours of bonus features. The Ultimate Collector's Editions will also contain collectible memorabilia.
Two Disc DVD: Commentary by historian Rudy Behlmer.
DVD & Blu-ray Ultimate Collector's Editions:
Disc 1 and 2: The movie with commentary by historian Rudy Behlmer.
Disc 3: About The Movie:
The Making of a Legend documentary (1989 TV Special) (Narrated by Christopher Plummer)
Restoring a Legend - Chronicles the film/video restoration process
Dixie Hails Gone with the Wind -1939 Premiere newsreel
1940 MGM historical short - The Old South
Atlanta Civil War Centennial 1961 premiere newsreel
International prologue
Foreign language version sample scenes
Theatrical Trailers
Disc 4: About the Cast: Melanie Remembers: Reflections by Olivia de Havilland - Exclusive 2004 Documentary
Cast profile - Gable: The King Remembered
Cast profile - Vivien Leigh: Scarlett and Beyond
The Supporting Players - Cameo portraits of an unforgettable ensemble
Disc 5: New Bonus Disc:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment presents 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year - New documentary about Hollywood's watershed year narrated by Kenneth Branagh
Gone with the Wind: The Legend Lives On - Exploring the legacy of the most beloved film through illuminating interviews, footage and visits to historical sites, events and museums
Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara Wars 1980 WBTV Special never before on home video
(Blu-ray will have all discs above combined onto two discs)
Also: 20-page reproduction of the original and complete 1939 Souvenir Program; 40-page Production History Book with photos and production notes; eight Frameable 5x7 Art Prints; CD soundtrack sampler featuring eight tracks (Main Title, Tara, The Barbecue, Escape From Atlanta, I'll Never Be Hungry Again! Paddock Scene, Scarlett In The Mist/Rhett Leaves, Flashback/Finale)
Exclusive to Blu-ray: MGM: When The Lion Roars Documentary
Two-disc special edition: $24.98; Standard DVD: $69.92; Blu-ray: $84.99.

The Greatest Battles of the Civil War Three-disc set with eight documentaries that give an in-depth look at the hugely important clashes of the Civil War, from the Confederates' surprise attack on Grant's troops at Shiloh in Tennessee, to Chickamauga in Georgia, where the Union suffered one of its most significant defeats, to the two horrible battles on Northern soil: Antietam, in Maryland, and Gettysburg, in southern Pennsylvania. $29.98. (MPI Home Video).

How to Be (2008) Robert Pattinson, Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Hardy. A struggling young musician having an existential crisis convinces a Canadian self-help guru to come to London and live with his parents as his personal life coach. (IFC Films).

Is Anybody There? (2009) Michael Caine, Bill Milner, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey, Thelma Barlow, Linzey Cocker, Rosemary Harris. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Magnolia Home Entertainment)

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (2009) Christmas-themed special with the cast of the FX series. 'Tis the season to be ill-suited as the most deviant, offensive and unwholesome bar owners in "Philly" celebrate the holidays in the raunchiest way possible. Extras: "Young Charlie & Young Mac: Deleted Scenes," behind the scenes featurette, "Sunny Sing-A-Long." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Fox).

Moonshot (2009) History Channel documentary relives the breathtaking story of Apollo 11 and the first manned landing on the Moon; takes viewers aboard the rocket and on its eight-day round trip to outer space for a close-up look at one of the most stunning and courageous personal and technological achievements of humankind; $19.95. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (A&E Home Entertainment).

My Sister's Keeper (2009) Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Abigail Breslin, Jason Patric, Thomas Dekker, Sofia Vassilieva, Joan Cusack. Extras: Additional scenes, digital copy. Blu-ray Disc. adds "From Picoult to Screen" with the author of the book. (New Line)

The Open Road (2009) Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bridges, Mary Steenburgen, Kate Mara. The adult son of a baseball legend embarks on a road trip with his girlfriend and his estranged father. Extras: Commentary by writer-director Michael Meredith and actor Jeff Bridges, "Behind the Scenes of The Open Road." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Anchor Bay).

Penance (aka The Devil's Dungeon) (2008) Marieh Delfino, Graham McTavish, Eve Mauro, Tracy Coogan, Garrett Jones, Jason Connery, Allison Lange, James Duval. A single-mother-turned stripper falls into the hands of a sadistic surgeon intent purifying her - as well as other women in he has incarcerated. (IMD Films and MVD Visual).

Prisoner (2007) Julian McMahon, Elias Koteas. An egotistical Hollywood director - whose take-no-prisoners philosophy of life and work has earned him countless enemies in Hollywood - picks a violent prison drama as his next production. But while scouting locations at an abandoned prison, he's taken captive by a mysterious jailer. (IFC Films).

Rome (2005-2007) Ten-disc set of the HBO series that follows the lives of two soldiers during the "fall of the Roman Empire," $99.98; Also available on Blu-ray Disc for $139.99. (HBO Home Entertainment).

The Sopranos: The Complete Series Thirty-disk set with all 86 episodes, $299.95. Extras: David Chase featurette, "Secrets From the Writers Room," featurette on props stolen from the set, cast auditions, music featurette, lost scenes, 16-page episode guide. A Collector's Edition adds two CD soundtracks on three discs, more. (HBO Home Video).

The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume 5 (2009) Season 2 of the animated TV series that was recently re-launched on Disney's XD network; pits the super hero against super villains Kraven, Mysterio and The Sinister Six. $19.94. (Sony).

Star Trek (2009) Dir.: J.J. Abrams; Stars: John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy, Marlene Forte, Jimmy Bennett. Available as a three-disc Blu-ray set with digital copy, two-disc DVD with digital copy and a single-disc DVD. Extras: Commentary by director J.J. Abrams, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk; "A New Vision" behind-the-scenes featurette; Gag Reel; bloopers featuring the entire principal cast; Digital Copy, deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary ("Spock Birth," "Klingons Take Over Narada," "Young Kirk, Johnny and Uncle Frank," "Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock Fights," "Prison Interrogation and Breakout," "Sarek Gets Amanda," "Dorm Room and Kobayashi Maru (original version)," "Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl," "Sarek Sees Spock"); "To Boldly Go" featurette on the many challenges re-imagining the "Star Trek" franchise; casting featurette; "Aliens Designers" featurette; featurette on the score; "Starfleet Vessel Simulator" that allows viewers to explore extensive data on the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Romulan ship, the Narada, with 360-degree views, close-ups and detailed tech information (by holding their disc packaging up to a webcam, a Star Trek visual cue will morph into a 3D holographic tour on the screen), more. The Blu-ray version adds "NASA News," branching pods, a starship featurette, featurettes on the locations and props, "Gene Roddenberry's Vision" featurette, more. (Paramount).

Wrong Turn at Tahoe (2009) Cuba Gooding Jr., Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Keitel. A tough-as-nails collector for a mob boss one fateful day gets caught in the middle of a double-cross involving the biggest drug lord in the business. When revenge becomes the collector's sole purpose, his life takes a series of very wrong turns. Extras: Making-of featurette. For rental only. (Paramount).

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