DVD Releases: March 23 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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DVD Releases: March 23

The African Queen (1951) Dir.: John Huston; Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn. Restored using state-of-the-art 4K digital technology. The restoration process began at the source: Romulus Films, one of the film's original production companies, provided access to the original three-strip negative at a London facility where the film was carefully scanned and digitized. The separate elements were then transferred to Los Angeles and painstakingly recombined and inspected frame by frame to ensure that every detail aligned and that any dirt and scratches were removed. To ensure that the restored picture matched the filmmakers' original vision, Paramount arranged a screening of an MPAA archive print for the film's original cinematographer, Academy Award-winner Jack Cardiff, whose comments were recorded live during the screening. That same archival print was later screened alongside the newly restored version so that the restoration team could ensure that all of Cardiff's notes had been addressed. The result is a vibrant, warm picture that reverentially recreates the film as it was originally meant to be seen. A Commemorative box set will also be available that includes the DVD plus an audio disc with a recording of the Lux Radio Theater broadcast of "The African Queen," a reproduction of Katharine Hepburn's out-of-print memoir "The Making of The African Queen or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind," a Senitype film frame collectible reproduction, and postcards featuring reproductions of images related to the film. Extras: "Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen" comprehensive documentary. DVD: $19.99. Box set: $34.99. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Paramount).

Banshee!!! (2008) A group of college friends on a spring break camping trip are stalked and slashed by an unknown creature with the ability to make them hallucinate through sound waves. The survivors hold up refuge in an isolated farmhouse, cut off from all communication, trying to come up with a plan to kill this unrelenting creature before it kills them. Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers & outtakes, commentary. (MVD Entertainment Group).

Bedford: The Town They Left Behind (2008) Explores war and the home front through the eyes of one small Virginia town and the "boys" of its National Guard unit who "laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom" as the first to land on D-Day in 1944. Sixty years later, echoes of the past travel with the young, fresh-faced members of that same unit, from the same families and from the same town, as they are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. This timely cross-generational story is a thought-provoking, emotional look at those who go to the battlefronts and those they leave behind. (Vanguard Cinema).

Bigger Than Life (1956) Dir.: Nicholas Ray; James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau. Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray's "Bigger Than Life" is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug, resulting in his transformation into a psychotic and ultimately violent household despot. This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family. That it came in the day of "Father Knows Best" makes it all the more shocking - and wildly entertaining. New, restored high-definition digital transfer. Extras: Commentary featuring critic Geoff Andrew ("The Films of Nicholas Ray"); "Profile of Nicholas Ray" (1977), a half-hour television interview with the director; new video appreciation of "Bigger Than Life" with author Jonathan Lethem ("Chronic City"); new video interview with Susan Ray, widow of the director and editor of "I Was Interrupted: Nicholas Ray on Making Movies"; booklet featuring an essay by critic and video maker B. Kite. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Sony). (The Criterion Collection).

The Blind Side (2009) Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Lily Collins, Ray McKinnon, Kim Dickens, Adriane Lenox, Kathy Bates. Available as a standard DVD and in a Blu-ray Combo Pack. Extras: Deleted scenes. Blu-ray adds digital copy, "Acting Coaches: Behind the Blind Side" featurette, "The Story of Big Quinton" featurette, "Sidelines: Conversations on the Blind Side - Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy," "Sidelines: Conversations on the Blind Side - John Lee Hancock and Athor Michael Lewis," Michael Oher interview. (Warner).

Bulletproof Salesman (2008) Documentary about the business of war. The darkly humorous story of Fidelis Cloer, a self-confessed war profiteer. In a career spanning two decades of global turmoil, Fidelis has supplied kings, presidents and dictators with the finest armored vehicles that money can buy. In his world, where security is a commodity, violence (and war) presents sales opportunities just as rain sells umbrellas. Fidelis found the perfect business opportunity when the U.S. invaded Iraq - selling thousands of his hand-crafted vehicles. But as the war evolved, and armor-defeating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) proliferated, Fidelis found himself engaged in an arms race with insurgents who upped their explosive ante to defeat his increasingly higher (and more expensive) levels of armor. (First Run Features).

Carny (2009) Lou Diamond Phillips, Alan C. Peterson, Vlasta Vrana. When a travelling carnival makes a stop in the small town of Reliance, Nebraska, the local townspeople eagerly await the debut of the rarely seen unimaginable Jersey Devil. When the beast is unveiled and goes wild, tearing through the panic-stricken patrons in a violent, feral rampage, the local sheriff joins the carnival's lovely clairvoyant and sets out to capture the carnivorous fugitive. Another installment in the Syfy Channel "Maneater Series." (Vivendi Entertainment).

Damage (2009) Steve Austin, Walton Goggins, Laura Vandervoort, William B. Davis. Slugfest actioner about an ex-con (six-time WWF Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin) who's ready to leave violence behind him until he learns that the young daughter of the man he killed can't afford the heart transplant she needs to save her life; he joins an underground fighting community to win enough prize money to pay for her procedure. (Fox).

Drool (2009) Laura Harring, Jill Marie Jones, Oded Fehr. An abused wife's plan to escape her husband goes awry when she accidentally kills him, causing her to split on a cross-country drive with her kids, her best friend and his corpse in tow. (Strand Releasing).

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) Dir: Wes Anderson. Stars: Voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker. Available as a standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc Combo pack .Extras: "From Script to Screen," "Still Life" (Puppet Animation), "A Beginner's Guide to Whack-Bat." Blue-ray adds "Making Mr. Fox" fantastic, "The Look of Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Puppet Makers," "The Cast," "Bill and His Badger," "Fantastic Mr. Fox: The World of Roald Dahl," digital copy. (Fox)

Four Corners of Suburbia (2005) Paul Blackthorne, Madchen Amick, Alec Newman, Alice Evans. Four young adults - including a schoolteacher and his wife, a painter and a single woman -- spend a chaotic weekend together on a secluded Maine island, where everyone must decide what they really want in life and what they're really willing to do to get it. (Vanguard Cinema).

Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove (2010) Bindi Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter's daughter), Beau Bridges, Falkow, Bongolethu Mbutuma, Siyabulela Ramba. A young girl (Irwin) summering with her grandfather (Bridges) in South Africa discovers a baby orca stranded in the lagoon near her grandfather's rundown seaside amusement park and embarks on a quest to lead the little guy back to his anxious pod before her grandfather's greedy rival turns the whale into a captive, moneymaking attraction at his slick theme park. Available as a standard DVD and in a two-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack. (Warner).

Mad Men: Season Three (2009) Four-disc set with 13 episodes, $49.98. Extras: Commentaries, featurettes. (Lionsgate).

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Rebecca Mader, Terry Serpico Extras: "Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion"; "Project 'Hollywood': A Classified Report From The Set"; commentary by director Grant Heslov; commentary by book author Jon Ronson; character bios; deleted scenes. Blu-ray Disc adds digital copy. (Anchor Bay Entertainment).

The Prisoner (2009) Three-disc set with all six episodes of the minseries starring Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel, $29.98. Extras: Six-part "Inside The Prisoner" featurette, commentaries, unaired scenes, "The Prisoner" Comic-Con panel, McKellen interview, production and story behind-the-scenes featurette. (Warner).

Red Cliff (2008-09) Director John Woo's epic drama about two second century Chinese warlords - sworn enemies - who team up to fight an aggressive Han Dynasty Emperor who wants to pulverize them; one of the most expensive film productions in Chinese cinema and the highest grossing box office. Reunites the director with Tony Leung for the first time since 1992's "Hard Boiled." Available as a standard DVD theatrical version, a Blu-ray theatrical version, the original international version containing Part I and Part II (with a combined runtime of almost five hours) on two-disc DVD and Blu-ray. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch: The Sixth Season (2001-02) Three-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98. (Paramount).

7th Heaven: The Tenth Season (2009) Five-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98. (Paramount).

Stargate: Atlantis: The Complete Series (2004-09) Twenty-six disc giftset with all 100 episodes from Seasons One through Five, including a bonus disc with never-before-seen special features; $199.98. Extras: Commentaries, set tour, photo galleries, featurettes on each disc; 26th disc includes "Mission 100: Atlantis Reaches a Milestone" and "Stargate Atlantis: A Retrospective" featurettes. (MGM).

The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) One of the rarest rock events ever captured on film, the 1964 concert known as The T.A.M.I. Show, will be officially released to DVD for the first time. The T.A.M.I. Show was filmed live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1964, a mere seven months after the Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show." This legendary film has never been seen in its entirety since it originally appeared in theaters, including its "world premiere" at 33 Los Angeles area theaters on Nov. 14, 1964. Mastered from a new High-Definition transfer and restored to its original length, this complete version features the Beach Boys performances that were removed shortly after the film's initial theatrical run. The T.A.M.I. Show is the first concert movie of the rock era, capturing such superstars as the Rolling Stones (with the late Brian Jones), James Brown, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles (featuring Smokey Robinson), Jan and Dean, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Lesley Gore, Gerry and the Pacemakers and many other acts in their early prime. Many of the performers were backed by a band that we've now come to know as "the Wrecking Crew," famed for playing on all the Phil Spector-produced hits, and including future stars Glen Campbell and Leon Russell among others. Fanita James, Jean King, and future solo star Darlene Love, billed as The Blossoms, provided backing vocals. Extras: new commentary by director Steve Binder, original T.A.M.I Show radio spots, and a 20-page booklet with liner notes and rare photos and memorabilia. $19.93. (Shout! Factory)

Tracing Cowboys (2008) Sacha Grunpeter, Megan C. Edwards. Road movie about a young Englishman - obsessed with his hero John Wayne and intent on becoming a Country and Western singer - who travels to Mexico during the festival of the Day of the Dead to find his missing girlfriend. The only map he has is contained within photographs Debi has taken during her journey, and no matter how far he travels the whereabouts of Debi remain elusive, until her photos point him toward the film's surprising and dramatic conclusion. (Vanguard Cinema).

The Vigilante (2008) Robert Diaz, Kazuya Wright, Lexie Symon, Margot Robbie. A successful business trains himself in the martial arts to avenge the rape and murder of his girlfriend. (MTI Home Video).

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