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Oh what a beautiful DVD news day ’tis!!

Deets on everything from SWIMFAN to SANFORD AND SON…


From Winston Churchill to Joe Bob Briggs!!!

Read on disciples of the DVD funk!!

Fox Home Entertainment has the campy teen FATAL ATTRACTION redux SWIMFAN lined up for a March 11 release. This will be a double sided disc featuring Fullscreen and 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfers with 5.1 DDS and 2.0 Surround sound audio. Extras will include a commentary from director John Polson and star Jesse Bradford, a featurette lovingly entitled “Girlfriend From Hell”, 10 deleted scenes, a music video and trailers.

Fox also has THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, featuring Rex Harrison, Gene Tierney and a young Natalie Wood, in a newly remastered 1.37:1 transfer. Extras and a release date have yet to be announced, but this will be part of the “Classics” line, which has a pretty good track record.

In TV news, Fox has the first two STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE DVD’s in prep for a spring release. MEET STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and SPRING FOR STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE will be presented in their original 4:3 Fullscreen ratios with 2.0 Surround audio and music videos for extras. More details to follow…

Fox has also announced AMERICAN FAMILY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, to be released as a 6-disc set. No details are available at this time, but stay tuned…

Artisan Entertainment has announced a new February 18 street date for it’s long awaited STARGATE: ULTIMATE EDITION. The 2-disc set will include a 2.35:1 AW transfer of both the theatrical version and the extended cut of the film, through the magic of “seamless” branching. Also look for both 5.1 DDS and DTS soundtracks, audio commentaries, two featurettes, filmographies, trailers, photo galleries and more!

Those swell cats over at the WB have an impressive roster of old and new on the way…
Warner Home Video has announced the release of the Emmy-winning HBO docudrama THE GATHERING STORM, which stars Albert Finney as Winston Churchill and Vanessa Redgrave as his wife Clementine, in the years preceding WWII. A 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer is accompanied by 5.1 DDS sound and extras including director commentary and Cast and Crew bios. February 4.

Also from WB is an April Fool’s Day treat – The cable classic Goldie Hawn football comedy WILDCATS finally makes it’s way to DVD on April 1, accompanied by CITY SLICKERS II: LEGEND OF CURLY’S GOLD, THE SPIRIT OF 76’ and the hilarious John Cusack teen-romp ONE CRAZY SUMMER. On May 13, they follow up with the Bing Crosby / Frank Sinatra hit HIGH SOCIETY, the original version of FATHER OF THE BRIDE, THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER(the film, not the TV show), and the Peter Falk / Alan Arkin classic THE IN-LAWS. Then June 3, “I’m gonna live forever…” takes on a whole new meaning with the DVD ebut of FAME with a new 1.85:1 AW transfer and 5.1 DDS audio.

On April 29, if you really want to, look for THE BARBARA STREISAND COLLECTION, the legions of Babs’ fans will be pleased to know that the set contains MAIN EVENT, NUTS, UP THE SANDBOX and WHAT’S UP DOC? Which features director commentary from the almighty Bogdanovich, trailers and a Surround sound audio mix (the others are all mono). All four films are presented in new AW transfers.

Finally, on the animated series front, WB offers up 4 new specials – X-MEN: EVOLUTION/ MUTANTS RISING, BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: TALES OF THE DARK KNIGHT, CHALLENGE OF THE SUPERFRIENDS and JUSTICE LEAGUE: JUSTICE ON TRIAL. Are all presented in standard TV mode – 4:3 Fullscreen with 2.0 Surround, extras and release dates to come… (BTW – SUPERFRIENDS RULE!!!)

Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment also has a spate of new releases you could choke a donkey with. Speaking of choking a donkey, the recent Madonna / Guy Ritchie disaster film SWEPT AWAY makes it’s debut on DVD February 11, just in time to rent for that romantic night of video nookie – Valentine’s Day. Guy Ritchie directs his wife Madonna as a snobbish socialite who ends up shipwrecked with a brutish Italian fisherman, who shows her the truth about love and friendship, as he abuses and degrades her so that she’ll agree to do nasty things with him in the sand… Fullscreen or Anamorphic Widescreen with 5.1 DDS sound, commentary, deleted scenes, bonus trailers and a featurette.

CTHE repents for unleashing SWEPT AWAY on us, with a preemptive strike on February 4. ALL IN THE FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON and SANFORD AND SON: THE SECOND SEASON both arrive in 3-disc sets, featuring all 24 second season ep’s in the original fullscreen ratio and very few extras. Hey! Who needs extras when ya got 12 hours of Archie Bunker and the Foxx? – Ba-pu-Dwee-Da… Ba-pu-Dwee-Da-Da-pu-Pow!!!

The good folks at Criterion have announced another extra in their excellent upcoming package of THE KILLERS, featuring both the 1946 Robert Siodmak version and Don Siegel’s 1964 version of the Ernest Hemingway story of two hitmen and their mysterious target. Criterion has just announced that they will also include the 1956 student-film version by legendary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. January 28.

Elite Entertainment has announced that it will release the DVD version of Dante Tomaselli’s recent cult hit HORROR. The film has drawn raves at festivals, and though not widely released theatrically, has received several awards including Best Cinematography at the NYC Horror Film Festival in 2002. Following a group of wayward teens who escape from a drug rehab center only to come face to face with pure evil, in a rural farmhouse owned by a crazed reverend who uses drugs to brainwash his own family. The DVD will feature an Anamorphic Widescreen transfer, commentary by writer/director Tomaselli, behind-the-scenes footage and a still gallery. Release will be some time in the first quarter, stay tuned for more deets.

Also from Elite comes the announcement of an exclusive agreement between Elite and Drive-In B-movie guru (and personal hero) Joe Bob Briggs which will see the Redneck Reviewer introduce and provide commentary on several upcoming Elite releases. The first title is JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEINS DAUGHTER which will be released in the second quarter of 2003. YEEEEEE-HAW!!!

Finally, last but not least, also in the Cult cinema vein, Synapse Films will release a DVD version of the underground classic BLUE SUNSHINE from writer/director Jeff Leiberman. Originally released in 1976, the film follows the story of a group of people who took the same experimental LSD in the mid-60’s. Now that batch of bad acid seems to be having quite the effect, as one by one, they become bald maniacs bent on murder and mayhem! Starring Zalman King (who would go on to write and produce 80’s soft-core classic like 9 ½ WEEKS and RED SHOE DIARIES) and Mark Goddard (Major Don West from TV’s LOST IN SPACE), this long-overdue freak-classic has been restored from a fully uncut print. A 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer and new 5.1 DDS audio mix is accompanied by the optional original mono audio track, a commentary track with Jeff Lieberman, still gallery, original trailer, restoration comparison, the short film THE RINGER also directed by Jeff Lieberman, a 30 minute interview with Lieberman, extensive liner notes and (in the “Limited Edition” package) a full CD soundtrack. April 15 at fine dealers everywhere!!

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