Deseret Morning News Archives
Genevieve Bujold, Richard Burton in "Anne of the Thousand Days."
A trio of vintage historical epics lead this lengthy list of movies released on DVD this week, which includes a pair of new sports-related family-friendly films and some reissues of old favorites.

Vintage movies

"Anne of the Thousand Days"/"Mary, Queen of Scots" (Universal, 1969/1971, PG/PG-13, $19.98). Genevieve Bujold deservedly earned an Oscar nomination for the first film here, as Anne Boleyn, opposite Richard Burton as King Henry VIII (also Oscar-nominated). And Bujold carries the film in a wonderfully modulated performance that rises above the spectacle (and questionable history). Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle co-star.

The second film has also been criticized for historical inaccuracies but forget that and enjoy the show as Queen Mary (Vanessa Redgrave, another Oscar-nominee) and Queen Elizabeth (Glenda Jackson) get into a power struggle. Co-stars include Timothy Dalton, Patrick McGoohan, Ian Holm and Trevor Howard.

Extras: Widescreen, featurettes (for "Mary"), trailer

TV miniseries

"Masada" (Koch, 1981, two discs, $29.98). Emmy nominations went to Peter O'Toole and Peter Strauss as, respectively, the Roman commander whose legions attack the title fortress and the leader of the Jewish zealots who put up a memorable last stand. One of the great miniseries that once were commonplace on network television, with everyone involved at the peak of their powers. (The copyright is NBC/Universal, but it actually aired on ABC over four nights in April 1981.)

Extras: Full frame

"The Starter Wife" (Universal, 2007, two discs, $29.98). Debra Messing ("Will & Grace") stars in this cable miniseries, a comic drama that aired in June, based on a Hollywood insider's novel. Messing is the wife of a studio exec who dumps her, sending her into a tailspin. Pretty good but could have been a two-hour movie. Judy Davis and Joe Mantegna co-star.

Extras: Widescreen, six episodes

Recent films

"Gracie" (New Line, 2007, PG-13, $27.98). Siblings Elisabeth and Andrew Shue developed this uplifting effort (and they take supporting roles). The story focuses on a teenage girl (Carly Schroeder) who steps up to get on the all-male soccer team when her soccer-star brother is killed in an accident.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentaries, featurette, trailer

"We Are Marshall" (Warner, 2007, PG, $28.98). True story of Marshall University rebuilding its football team after a terrible tragedy is another celebration of the human spirit, and also well done. Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox star.

Extras: Separate widescreen and full-frame editions, featurette, trailer

"Lucky You" (Warner, 2007, PG-13, $28.98). Disjointed but fairly enjoyable Vegas gambling yarn, with Eric Bana trying to live up to his legendary poker-champ father (Robert Duvall) and falling for Drew Barrymore. Good cast helps.

Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, featurette

"Two Weeks" (MGM, 2007; R for language; $27.98). Middle-aged North Carolina woman (Sally Field) is dying of cancer while her four adult sons and their families bicker. Well-acted but difficult melodrama.

Extras: Widescreen/full-frame options, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes

"Death Proof" (Dimension/Genius, 2007; R for violence, language, sex, nudity; two discs, $29.95). Quentin Tarantino's half of the "Grindhouse" feature, an interminable chase film with Kurt Russell as a serial killer.

Extras: Widescreen, featurettes, poster gallery, trailers

Foreign films

"The Valet" (Sony Classics, 2007, PG-13, $29.95). Amusing French mistaken-identity farce by Francis Veber ("La Cage aux Folles," "The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe") about a tycoon (Daniel Auteuil) who tries to convince his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) that he's not really having an affair with a supermodel.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurette

"The Flying Scotsman" (MGM, 2007, PG-13, $27.98). Jonny Lee Miller stars as champion cyclist Graeme Obree in this biographical film.

Extras: Widescreen

"Cautiva" (Koch Lorber; not rated but R-level nudity, language; 2005, $26.98). Argentine coming-of-age drama about a teenage girl who suddenly learns her real parents were government-persecuted activists.

Extras: Widescreen, in Spanish with English subtitles

DVD reissue

"Deliverance: Deluxe Edition" (Warner, 1972; R for violence, language; $28.99). The movie that convinced Hollywood Burt Reynolds could act, as he and Jon Voight are among four businessmen whose weekend river trip turns deadly. Still holds up as a terrifying film.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, trailer

"Wall Street: 20th Anniversary Edition" (Fox, 1987; R for language, sex, violence; two discs, $19.98). Michael Douglas won his Oscar for this "greed-is-good" performance, and Charlie Sheen is also fine as the young stock trader Douglas takes under his wing. This director's cut restores the lost footage of Daryl Hannah, among other things.

Extras: deleted scenes, audio commentary (by Stone), introduction (by Stone), featurettes

"Elizabeth" (Focus/Universal, 1998; R for violence, sex; $14.98). Just in time for the sequel, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," comes this overly violent but very well-acted look at the young queen, expertly played by Cate Blanchett.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurette, trailers, photo gallery

"Saturday Night Fever: 30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition" (Paramount, 1977; R for violence, language, sex; $19.99). Overrated but hugely popular dance film made an instant superstar of John Travolta and made the Bee Gees' soundtrack the biggest-selling album ever at the time. Travolta's very good as the Brooklyn kid who is a king on the dance floor, but the film is foul-mouthed, and an attempted rape scene is hard to take.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes

"Flashdance: Special Collector's Edition" (Paramount, 1983; R for nudity, sex, language, violence; $19.99). Jennifer Beals deservedly became a star, but the film is a mediocre mix of "Saturday Night Fever" and "Fame," about a welder who expresses herself each night with sexy dances in a bar.

Extras: Widescreen, featurettes, trailers; includes six-track audio CD

"Commando: Director's Cut" (Fox, 1985; R for violence, language, brief nudity; $19.98). Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with an innocent stewardess (Rae Dawn Chong), goes after the bad guys who've kidnapped his daughter. Mindless way-over-the-top nonstop action.

Extras: Widescreen, original film/director's cut options, deleted/added scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, photo galleries

Animated features

"Superman Doomsday" (Warner, 2007, PG-13 for violence, $19.98).

"Tweety's High-Flying Adventure" (Warner, 2007, $14.98).

Straight to DVD

"Beyond the Gates" (Fox, 2005, $27.98)

"Pittsburgh" (Starz, 2006, $26.98)

"A Dog's Breakfast" (MGM, 2006, PG-13, $22.99)

"BloodRayne 2: Deliverance" (Vivendi, 2007, $26.99)

"The Dead One" (Echo Bridge, 2007, $26.99)

"Final Draft" (Genius, 2007, $19.95)

"Severance" (Magnolia, 2007; R for violence, language, sex, nudity, drugs; $26.98)

"The House of Usher" (THINKFilm, 2007; R for violence, sex; $27.98)

"The Insatiable" (THINKFilm, 2006, $27.98)


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com