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It Isn’t Christmas Yet: New DVD Releases, October 2, 2007

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Once again we pass the baton on this weekly feature, and I'd like to thank Ray Ellis for bringing his own brand of humor to the proceedings for the past few months. I've decided to try this out myself for a bit, so for the next while, I'll be your guide to the weekly DVD release list.

I'm not going to divide the list by genre — this is an alphabetical, unexpurgated list of what's expected to hit your store shelves on Tuesday. What I will do is tell you what looks good to me and point out noteworthy entries that might be worth a rental or even a purchase.

What's pretty clear from this list is that we haven't hit the pre-holiday season bonanza yet — there aren't any really noteworthy films here, and the TV-on-DVD offerings are fairly lackluster as well.

The stand-out release this week is the box set of Ken Burns' World War II doc, simply titled The War. I managed to watch some of this when it aired on PBS, and it was quite powerful. Instead of a global overview of the war, Burns tells the story of the soldiers on the battlefield by focusing on four men and the towns from which they hailed. The filmmakers dug deep into historic archives and unearthed still photos and film footage which, amazingly enough, have never been seen before (some of the film is in color, which brings an immediacy to it often lacking in newsreel footage of WWII). By using not only their stories but the recollections of family members as well, Burns brings the tale of "the greatest generation" to the screen at a very personal level. The set consists of six discs and clocks in at 840 minutes.

For a complete change of pace, the Audrey Hepburn 5-Pack, from Paramount Home Video, contains some good stuff, most notably the classic Breakfast at Tiffany's, based on a short story by Truman Capote. Fans of older movies will find much to enjoy here. You might want to compare Hepburn's turn as the title character in 1954's Sabrina (with William Holden and Humphrey Bogart as her would-be suitors) to the 1995 remake with Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear, and Julia Ormond (which, frankly, doesn't hold a candle to the original).

Horror fans – and Stephen King fans – might want to check out 1408, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, which releases in both a regular edition and a two-disc collector's edition. Comic fans might or might not cheer the arrival of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which received mixed reviews. Some people might be curious about the release of the unrated version of 1979's infamous Caligula, a film about which Roger Ebert said, "this film is not only garbage on an artistic level, but … also garbage on the crude and base level where it no doubt hopes to find its audience." Noted for its violent and sexual excess, the film stars Malcolm McDowell and John Gielgud.

The TV-on-DVD crowd should note that season one of The Sarah Silverman Program arrives today, as does the second season of the very funny How I Met Your Mother. Star Trek fans with very deep pockets will want to check out Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Complete Series. This release, from Paramount Home Video, comes in a handsome box, contains 49 discs, and retails at Amazon for a whopping $304.99. A reviewer at Amazon notes that this is cheaper than buying the seasons separately, which is no doubt true, but at that price it ought to come with a ticket for a trip aboard the Enterprise.

Here's the long list for your perusal:

1408 – (2007)
60 Minutes – Alan Greenspan (September 16, 2007) – (2007)
About Sarah – (1998)
Above and Beyond – (2006)
Adrift – (1993)
After… – (2006)
Air Gear 5: A Battle of Kings
All In – (2006)
Alligator Eyes – (1990)
An Element of Truth – (1995)
And, There You Are
Ant Bully, The – (2006)
Antlers (Subtitled) – (2007)
Appointment for a Killing – (1993)
Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages
Audrey Hepburn 5-Pack (Funny Face – SCE, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, Sabrina – 1954, Paris When it Sizzles)
Bad Blood (1981) – (1982)
Big Job – (1965)
Bigger And Better
Blood Creek – (2006)
Blue Gender Movie: The Warrior – Reprice
Blue Planet – Seas of Life (5-disc Special Edition), The
Body & Soul (1993) (2pc) – (1993)
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Collector's Edition) – (1992)
Cab to Canada – (1998)
Caligula (The Unrated Edition) – (1980)
Celtic Woman Complete Collection (DVD)
Chicken Soup: Conversations For The Golfer's Soul – (2007)
Christmas Celebration, A – (2007)
Christmas Comedy Collection
Christmas Miracle at Sage Creek
Christmas Television Favorites
Civic Duty – (2006)
Clockwork Fighters: Hiwou's War, Vol. 2
Colony – (1996)
Comedians of Comedy, The – (2007)
Cottage on Dartmoor / Silent Britain, A – (1930)
Craziest Christmas Collection
Criminal Minds – The Second Season – (2005)
Dawn of the Dead [Blu-ray] – (1978)
Day After Tomorrow [Blu-ray], The
Day of the Dead [Blu-ray] – (1985)
Daynight Daynight – (2006)
Deadly Family Secrets – (1995)
Deadly Silence – (1989)
Death By Engagement
Decadent Evil 2 – (2007)
Departed (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) – (2006)
Derby – (1995)
Document, The
Double Edge
Drowning Man (Subtitled), A – (2000)
Dynamite Jim – (1966)
Elf Bowling: The Movie – (2006)
Entourage – Season 3, Part 2 – (2004)
Evil Aliens (Unrated) – (2005)
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [Blu-ray] – (1987)
Fantasia Live in Tokyo (Ws)
Fantastic Four – Rise of the Silver Surfer – (2007)
Fantastic Four 2 Pack (Fantastic 4 / Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Felix the Cat: The Complete 1958-1959 Series
Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 2, The – (2007)
Flashy Dancer, The – (2007)
Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane – (2006)
Flintstones Christmas Carol, A – (1994)
Forest For the Trees, The – (2003)
Fountain [HD DVD], The – (2006)
Funny Face (50th Anniversary Edition) – (1957)
Galapagos [Blu-ray] – (2006)
Galapagos [HD DVD] – (2006)
Geographically Speaking
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Laughing
Girl Friday
Hail to the Chief: Presidential Elections
Halloween [Blu-ray] – (1978)
Hapkido – (1972)
Happy Feet (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) – (2006)
Holiday on the Buses – (1973)
Hoodz: Big Beef – (2007)
Horror: The Gore Pack Box Set – (2007)
Horses of Gettysburg – CIVIL WAR MINUTES IV Public Television Edition DVD – (2007)
How I Met Your Mother – Season Two – (2005)
I Believe in Santa Claus – (1984)
I Love New York: The Complete First Season – (2007)
I Passed for White (B&W) – (1960)
Inspector Lynley Mysteries: Set 5, The
Jericho – The First Season
Jindabyne – (2006)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – (1973)
Joy To the World – (2007)
Jungle Book (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition), The – (1967)
Kill Them and Eat Them
King Lear (1916) (Silent) (B&W) – (1916)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) – (2005)
Ladies Night
Lady Forgets, The – (1989)
Lady in the Water [HD DVD] – (2006)
Lake House (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) – (2006)
Last Wish – (1992)
Leopard in the Snow – (1978)
Letters From Iwo Jima (Ws) – (2007)
Lies Before Kisses – (1992)
Little People Big World – Season 1
Lives of Girls & Women, The – (1994)
Long Way Home – (1981)
Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus
Man Next Door – (1995)
Mar Vol. 3
Marv,The Soul of Five Star Basketball Camp
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Blu-ray]Max & Ruby – A Merry Bunny Christmas – (2002)
Metalocalypse – Season One – (2006)
Misery (Collector's Edition) – (1990)
Most Dangerous Game, The – (1932)
Mystics In Bali – (2007)
Night in Hawaii with Don Ho, A
Night Trap – (1993)
Nine Lives – (2006)
On the Buses – (1971)
Other Side of Love – (1991)
Other Side, The – (2005)
Our Guys – (1999)
Palace of Mirrors Live
Party Line – (1988)
Paul Lynde Halloween Special – (1976)
Peach All-Stars
Peach Girl – Vol. 5
Planet Earth & The Blue Planet Seas of Life (Special Collector's Edition) – (2007)
Plasterhead (Ws Sub)
Proelite Presents Elitexc: Destiny – (2007)
Prom Night (Widescreen) – (1980)
Pumpkinhead 4 – Blood Feud – (2007)
Rapturious – (2006)
Raw Nerve – (1991)
Red Without Blue – (2007)
Reluctant Agent – (1989)
Rescue Me: Mave-Chan – (2005)
Rock Hudson: A Life Shrouded in Mystery – (1990)
Room with a View [Blu-ray], A – (1986)
Room with a View [HD DVD], A – (1986)
Rumor Has It (2005) (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) – (2005)
Salute To Hee Haw, A – (2007)
Sarah Silverman Program – Season One, The – (2007)
School of Horror
School Rumble, Vol. 2
Sci Fi Trash-O-Rama (Full Dol)
Secret World of Alex Mack – Season 1 – (1994)
Semi-Precious – (1994)
Seven Days of Grace
Shark – Season One
Shattering the Silence – (1992)
Side By Side – (1988)
Southern Fried Chicks – (2007)
Species (Collector's Edition) – (1995)
Species IV – The Awakening – (2007)
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Complete Series – (1987)
Stolen From the Heart – (2000)
Story of Prostitutes (Sub)
Stronger – (2007)
Sun Dogs (Ws)
Superbug Rides Again – (2007)
Superman Returns [HD DVD] – (2006)
Sweet Temptation – (1996)
Switching Parents – (1992)
Tender Loving Care – (2005)
Tenjho Tenge: Complete Collection
Terror Inside, The – (1996)
Three Secrets – (1999)
To Love Honor and Deceive (DVD) – (1996)
Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Top Gun [HD DVD] – (1986)
Torn Apart (Ws Dol Dts) – (2007)
Tricks of the Trade – (1988)
Violation of Trust – (1991)
Voices From Within – (1994)
Vows of Deception – (1996)
Wailer 2 ( La Llorona 2 ), The – (2007)
War, The – A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – (2007)
Welcome to Grindhouse: The Beach Girls/Coach
Welcome to Grindhouse: The Hellcats/Chain Gang Women
Welcome to the Nhk 1: 1st Conspiracy
West Coast Factors – (2007)
When They Cry, Vol. 3
Wild Seven
Women of Indie Film Box Set, The – (2007)
Wonder Pets – Save the Reindeer – (2006)
Wounded: The Bandit Queen
Wrecking Everything: Live (2pc) (Ws Reis)
Year Without a Santa Claus (Deluxe Edition), The – (1974)
Zatch Bell! – Vol. 12
Zegapain, Vol. 1

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About Lisa McKay

  • Ray Ellis

    Well done, Lisa! I couldn’t have said it better myself. And a heart tip of the hat and a bow of gratitude to you for bailing me out on short notice.

    You’ve set a new standard here.

  • Lisa McKay

    Thank you, Ray, but I feel that between you and David before you, I’ve got big shoes to fill, so let’s see how this goes over the next few weeks.

    One of the things I’m going to try to do every week is link to reviews of items that have appeared here at BC, so maybe folks will get a chance to read some reviews they might have missed the first time around.