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A Spaceship, A Battleship, And A Vintage Corvette: New DVD Releases for October 23

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This week's releases are fairly lackluster. The recent theatrical releases that are making it to the small(er) screen this week include Kevin Costner's thriller Mr. Brooks, gore-fest sequel Hostel: Part II, and the animated Disney feature Meet the Robinsons. Since I don't find any of that particularly exciting, I've perused the list to see if there's anything worth excavating, and I think I've discovered a few things that might be worth your while.

Actor James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) is the executive producer of the documentary Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, in which he interviews ten veterans of the Iraq war who have returned home wounded. This HBO film, which has been called "resolutely apolitical," aims to bring home to a relatively sheltered country the cost of war and the life-altering impact it has on those who serve.

Warner Home Video has released a Stanley Kubrick collection as part of their Director's Series. This box set includes five newly remastered, two-disc editions of 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut. The discs are packed with extras, including interviews, commentaries, and documentaries. The set also includes the documentary A Life In Pictures, narrated by Tom Cruise, which looks at Kubrick's life and work.

Film students and serious cinephiles will be interested in the newly restored edition of Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin from Kino International. Eisenstein's silent classic has been censored, cut, and altered innumerable times since its 1925 release, and this version, made in collaboration with film institutes from several countries, is supposedly as close to the director's original vision as possible. Notable is the restoration of missing shots, the inclusion of all the title cards done to the director's original specifications, and the 1926 score by Edmund Meisel, newly orchestrated and recorded.

The release that really caught my eye this week is a TV-on-DVD feature that's a blast from the past — Route 66: Season 1, Volume 1. Readers of a certain age might actually remember this series; it ran from 1960 to 1964 and starred Martin Milner and George Maharis as road buddies traversing America in search of themselves and of some greater truth of the type that young men on an endless road trip search for. If this show doesn't make you want to hop in the car and take off, there's no hope for you. I was just a little kid at the time, but I do remember the Nelson Riddle theme music, which even now elicits a pang of wanderlust. And that 'Vette… oh my. If the house in the suburbs was part of the American dream we grew up with in the '50s and '60s, certainly the lure of the open road was the other side of the coin, and this show depicts it in all its television glory.

Still waiting on that Battlestar Galactica set… is anyone listening?

If this isn't enough for you this week and you'd like to uncover your own gems, here's the list:

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama – (2006)
2001 – A Space Odyssey (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (1968)
305 – (2007)
Abbott & Costello – Comedy Collection
Adventures of Aquaman – Complete Collection (DC Comics Classic Collection), The
Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, The – Volume One – (1992)
Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq – (2007)
American Gangster: The Complete First Season
American Pit Bull – (2007)
Apartment 1303 – (2007)
Autumn Moon – (1992)
Ava Gardner Collection – (2007)
Barbara Stanwyck Collection – (2007)
Barry Lyndon – (1975)
Basilisk – Box Set
Battleship Potemkin (The Ultimate Edition) – (1925)
Bava Box Set, Vol. 2
Beatles: Up Close & Personal, The – (2007)
Best of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis – (2007)
Black Sabbath – (1963)
Black Sunday – (1960)
Boss Hogg Outlawz: Serve and Collect – (2007)
Breathless – Criterion Collection – (1960)
Brute (El Bruto), The – (1952)
Bump in the Night: Twas the Night Before Bumpy – (1999)
Buried Alive – (2007)
Burt Lancaster – The Signature Collection (The Flame and the Arrow / Jim Thorpe All-American / His Majesty O'Keefe / South Sea Woman / Executive Action)
Carlito's Way [HD DVD] – (1993)
Carlito's Way: Rise To Power [HD DVD] – (2005)
Carnival In the Night – (1982)
Christmas Card, The – (2006)
Christmas Carol, A (Ultimate Collector's Edition) – (1951)
Christmas Memory, A – (1997)
Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, The – (2007)
Clockwork Orange, A (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (1972)
Commune – (2005)
Company, The – (2007)
Crispy, Crackers & Beans – (2007)
Cutting Class (Unrated Version) – (1989)
Dark Storm – (2006)
Days of Heaven – Criterion Collection – (1978)
Devil, The – (1972)
Dog Bite Dog – (2006)
Energy Action Circuit – (2007)
Erik the Conqueror – (1961)
Eternal Summer – (2006)
Executive Action – (1973)
Eyes Wide Shut (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (1999)
Fantastic Planet – (1973)
Fido – (2006)
Film Noir, Vol. 3 – (2007)
Flame and the Arrow, The – (1950)
For Your Consideration – (2006)
Fruitcake Christmas, A – (2005)
Full Metal Jacket (Deluxe Edition) – (1987)
Gag – (2006)
George Burns & Gracie Allen Collection, The
Grand Finale, The – (2007)
Hamish MacBeth: Series Three
Harcastle And McCormick (The Complete and Final Season)
Hellraiser: 20th Anniversary Edition – (1987)
Hills Have Eyes 2: Unrated [Blu-ray], The – (2007)
His Majesty O'Keefe – (1953)
History of a Secret – (2003)
Hits of Iron Maiden – (2007)
Home of the Brave – (2006)
Home of the Brave, The – (2007)
Horror Rises from the Tomb – (1972)
Hostel (Director's Cut) – (2005)
Hostel – Part II – (2007)
I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition – (1964)
I Love Lucy: The Complete Series
I Was Nineteen – (1968)
In Transit – (2007)
Inside Man [HD DVD] – (2006)
Interkosmos – (2006)
Into Great Silence (Two-Disc Set) – (2005)
Inuyasha Complete Delux Movies Box Set (Limited Edition) – (2007)
Irwin Allen TV Giftset – (1965)
Jack Benny Collection
Jack Ryan Collection [HD DVD], The
Jack's Big Music Show: Let's Rock!
Jim Thorpe: All American – (1951)
Kaw – (2007)
King Of Kings Live (2 DVD) – (2007)
King Of New York [Blu-ray] – (1990)
L Word, The – Complete Fourth Season – (2004)
Laurel & Hardy Collection
Life and Times of Gangsta Brown, The – (2007)
Little Rascals Collection
Lolita – (1962)
Looking For A Grail Legend – (2007)
Loreley's Grasp, The – (1973)
Lucille Ball Collection, The
Martin & Lewis Collection: When TV Was Funny – Vol. 2
Martin & Lewis: Collection – Vol. 1
Marx Brothers Collection
Maureen O'Hara Collection – (2007)
Meet the Robinsons – (2007)
Mind Of Mencia: Uncensored Season 3 – (2007)
Mr. Brooks – (2007)
NCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service – The Fourth Season
Nearing Grace – (2005)
Negativland: Our Favorite Things – (2007)
O Amor Natural – (1997)
O Lucky Man! (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (1973)
Our Hitler – (1977)
A Place Called Okavango, A – (1993)
Rapid Eye Movement – (2006)
Rose's Songs – (2002)
Route 66 – Season 1, Vol. 1
Rum and Coke – (2000)
Saw III – The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (2006)
Saw Trilogy
Scary Movie [Blu-ray] – (2000)
Seed of Chucky [HD DVD] – (2004)
Shining, The (Two-Disc Special Edition) – (1980)
Shirley Temple Collection, The
Silence – (2007)
Sopranos, The – Season 6, Part 2 – (2007)
South Sea Woman – (1953)
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures – (2001)
Star of Bethlehem, The – (2007)
Strange Case of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, The – (1998)
Strong Step – (2007)
Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season
Thomas the Tank Engine: Ultimate Christmas Collection
Toreros – (2000)
Trace of Stones – (1966)
Trap – (2006)
Tripper, The – (2007)
Unborn in the USA – (2007)
Under the Volcano – Criterion Collection – (1984)
United Artists Cinema Greats Collection, Set 1 (The Pink Panther / A Fistful of Dollars / Dr. No / The Magnificent Seven)
Work Series: Sheriff – (2006)
World's Last Great Places Collection
Yusuf's Cafe Session – (2007)

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