"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Two-Disc Special Edition" (Warner, 2005, PG-13, $30.97, two discs). The "Harry Potter" films continue to entertain, and if this fourth in the series isn't quite up to No. 3, it's nonetheless a well-made continuation.
But it should also be said that each film seems to be darker than the one before (this is the first PG-13 in the series), so think twice before showing it to small fry.
This time out, Harry and friends deal with adolescent angst, Harry finds himself competing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and he finally confronts his arch-enemy Valdemort (Ralph Fiennes).Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, interactive games, DVD-Rom applications. (Also available as a one-disc DVD, separate widescreen and full-frame editions, $28.98.)
"The Shaggy Dog: The Wild Woolly Edition" (Disney, 1959, G, $19.98). This original Disney film about a boy who is magically turned into a dog is a bit too long, and it bogs down toward the end with a silly spy plot. But most of the way it's charming, amusing and boasts an array of winning players from the Disney stock company.
Tommy Kirk is Wilby Daniels, the unfortunate teen who never knows when he'll turn into a dog, Fred MacMurray is his mutt-hating father, and scene-stealer Kevin Corcoran plays younger brother Moochie. Annette Funicello is also on hand as a popular girl who finds a rival in Roberta Shore, and Tim Considine is Wilby's weasely pal.
The colorized version is 10 minutes shorter.
Trivia note: Shore lives in the Salt Lake area these days.Extras: Widescreen black-and-white or full-frame colorized, audio commentary (Kirk, Corcoran, Considine, Shore), featurettes, trailers, language and subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.
"The Shaggy D.A.: The Canine Candidate Edition" (Disney, 1976, G, $19.98). This sequel, with adult Wilby (Dean Jones) running for D.A. against crooked Keenan Wynn, is much sillier and less satisfying than the original. But there are laughs when Tim Conway is on the screen.Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary (Conway, Jo Anne Worley, Dick Van Patten), making-of featurettes, language options (English, Spanish, French), subtitle options (English, French), chapters.
"Buster Keaton Collection" (Columbia, 1939-41, not rated, b/w, $24.96, two discs). These sound shorts were made when Keaton's career was in decline produced and directed by the team that was also doing Three Stooges shorts and none of them match his silent classics. However, there are moments of genius, and for a guy in his mid-40s, Keaton was as agile as ever doing zany physical gags. "Pest from the West" is the best. And listen to the informative commentaries on each short.Extras: Full frame, audio commentaries, featurette, chapters, 45-page reproduction of Keaton's script for "She's Oil Mine."
"The Thing Called Love" (Paramount, 1993, PG-13, $14.99). Peter Bogdanovich directed this nicely done comedy-drama about young aspiring musicians trying to make it in Nashville, with a solid ensemble cast led by Samantha Mathis and the late River Phoenix. Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney are also on hand, along with assorted country singers playing themselves.Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary (by Bogdanovich), extended footage, making-of featurettes, trailer, optional English subtitles, chapters.
"The Warrior" (Sony, 2006; R for violence; $24.96). The violence in this Korean epic about three warring factions from China, Korea and Mongolia is way over the top, almost at a Monty Python level. But the story is compelling as various characters with their own agendas rise to the surface, and it gets a boost from Zhang Ziyi as a kidnapped princess.Extras: Widescreen, trailers, TV spots, language options (English, Korean), optional English subtitles, chapters.
"Zu Warriors" (Miramax, 2001, PG-13, $29.99). Zhang Ziyi is also in this one, a remake directed by martial-arts wizard Tsu Hark. She has a supporting role as the warrior daughter of a general, but the focus is on a mystical battle between good and evil, with emphasis on weird digital special effects. The characters have names like Enigma, Thunder and Amnesia. Sammo Hung is also here, albeit virtually unrecognizable. (Love that nasty Tinker Bell-type character.)Extras: Widescreen, dubbed in English/Chinese with English subtitles, extended Hong Kong version, making-of featurette, optional Spanish subtitles, chapters.
"Prime" (Universal, 2006, PG-13, $29.98). This farce, about a woman in therapy and the eventual revelation that she's dating her therapist's son, gets a big boost from the cast, led by Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. But the script is just an array of dirty jokes that aren't particularly funny.Extras: Separate widescreen and full-frame editions, audio commentary (writer/director Ben Younger, producer Jennifer Todd), deleted scenes, making-of featurette, bloopers, language options (English, French), subtitle options (English, Spanish, French), chapters.
"The Spike Lee Joint Collection" (Universal, 1989-95, $26.98, three discs). This is an inexpensive reissue of five of Lee's films on double-sided discs, sans bonus features. Included are four R-rated films (for violence, sex, nudity, language and drugs); "Do the Right Thing" (1989), which made Lee's reputation; "Jungle Fever" (1991), which cemented it; and "Mo' Better Blues" (1990) and "Clockers" (1995); and one PG-13-rated picture, "Crooklyn" (1994).
Some are better than others, but it's a nice primer on Lee's filmmaking skills with many excellent actors on display in meaty characterizations. And just in time for Lee's latest film, "Inside Man," which opens later this month.Extras: Widescreen, subtitle options (English and Spanish; except "Mo' Better Blues," English-only, and "Jungle Fever," English, Spanish and French), chapters.
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