THE CINEMA LASER
Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links
Follow us on:


2001 NEWS TIDBITS

November 2001 Headlines 

11/28/01

PARAMOUNT ANNOUNCES HARDBALL FOR DVD

On February 19, 2002, Paramount Home Entertainment will release the No.1 U.S. boxoffice feel-good hit 'HARDBALL', starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, Speed) and Diane Lane (The Perfect Storm, The Cotton Club).

The disc comes quite feature-loaded, sporting a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, English 5.1 and English and French 2.0 surround tracks, audio commentary with director Brian Robbins and writer John Gatins, "The Making Of Hardball" featurette, three deleted scenes, the "Hardball" music video by Lil Bow Wow, Lil' Wayne, Lil' Zane & Sammie, the theatrical trailer, and "Interstitials" and more! Retail is $29.95

 


BLIND DATE TO DEBUT ON DVD FEBRUARY 5, 2002

BLIND DATE, director Blake Edwards' (Academy Award-nominee Victor Victoria) sexy comedy caper about a beautiful alcoholic who turns a perfect workaholic's life into shambles, will debut on DVD February 5, 2002.  The film stars Academy Award-winner Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential), Bruce Willis (Bandits), Emmy Award-winner John Laroquette (TV's Night Court), Emmy Award-winner William Daniels (TV's St. Elsewhere) and Phil Hartman (TV's News Radio).

Synopsis

When Walter Davis (Willis) is set up with gorgeous Nadia Gates (Basinger), the perfect BLIND DATE dissolves into disaster.  Walter invites beautiful southern belle Nadia to a button-down corporate dinner, expecting to impress his associates with this dazzling beauty.  But all hell breaks loose when Nadia has "one too many" and reduces the evening, and Walter's career, to shambles.  Bad turns to worse when Nadia's insanely jealous ex-beau (Laroquette) discovers them together and decides to annihilate Walter.  Can true love blossom amidst this hilarious havoc?  Will Nadia and Walter ever get down to courting each other instead of courting disaster?

DVD:

 


LIFE WITHOUT DICK COMES TO DVD

LIFE WITHOUT DICK, the quirky romantic comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker (TV's "Sex and the City"), Harry Connick, Jr. ("Hope Floats") and Johnny Knoxville (MTV's "Jackass"), will be released on DVD and videocassette by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Street date is scheduled for February 5, 2002. The outstanding cast also includes Teri Garr (Oscar Nominee for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for  "Tootsie"), Craig Ferguson (TV's "The Drew Carey Show") and Ever Carradine ("Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back").

Synopsis

Sarah Jessica Parker plays Colleen Bigson, a young girl madly in love with Dick (Knoxville).  When a fortune-teller (Garr) convinces Colleen that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she decides to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, the gun she uses to threaten him with accidentally fires and kills him! Enter Daniel (Connick, Jr.), a professional hit man who can sing like a bird but can't seem to bring himself to kill anyone.  Colleen hooks up with Daniel and soon finds out that he had been assigned the task of knocking off Dick!  And when Dan discovers that Colleen had fulfilled his assignment for him, well, it's a match made in Mafia heaven!

LIFE WITHOUT DICK was written and directed by Bix Skahill (who wrote "Chain of Fools") and produced by Matthew Weaver, Emily Stevens and Happy Walters.

The DVD includes:

 


DVD TITLE ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM MEDIA BLASTERS

BEYOND THE DARKNESS:

Joe D'Amato's classic is coming to DVD in special edition from Shriek Show, a division of Media Blasters. Also known as Buio Omega and Buried Alive - This disturbing film set a new standard for gore films with a no holds barred approach and an intense score by Goblin. When released in February, You can expect a new uncut anamorphic widescreen with trailers, talent bios, and a few other surprises.  Retail is $24.95

JUNGLE HOLOCAUST:

Before director Ruggero Deodato made Cannibal Holocaust, he made this classic tale of survival. Robert Harper was an average entrepreneur with a comfortable life, until his plane crashes near an isolated development in New Guinea.  When a cruel twist of fate separates him from his companion Rolf, Robert finds himself stranded alone in the wilderness.  He discovers a hidden native civilization in the jungle, but they are a cruel tribe of cannibals with only malicious intensions.  Tortured and humiliated, Robert is taken to the edge of his sanity by a series of acts so horrible that they are practically beyond human comprehension.  Only the fact that one of the cannibal women sympathizes with him gives Robert the strength to plan a desperate escape. Starring Euro-horror movie legends Ivan Rassimov and Me Me Lai.

When released this December, you can expect a uncut anamorphic widescreen transfer, 10 lobby card reproductions included inside the packaging, trailers, interviews with stars Ivan Rassimov, and Massimo Foschi, & a still gallery. Retail is $24.95.

11/21/01

COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINMENT TO REPRICE SEVEN BEST-SELLING DVDS TO $14.95 ON FEBRUARY 5, 2002

On February 5, 2002 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will reprice the following seven hit DVD titles to $14.95 SLP:

 


GRATEFUL DAWG DEBUTING ON DVD FEBRUARY 5, 2002

On February 5, 2002, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release on DVD and videocassette the award-winning documentary GRATEFUL DAWG.  This film is a raw, behind-the-scenes look at the musical friendship between Grateful Dead's guitarist/lead vocalist Jerry Garcia and mandolinist David Grisman.  The documentary features Jerry Garcia (guitar/banjo/vocals), David Grisman (mandolin/banjo), Joe Craven (percussion) and Jim Kerwin (bass).

Synopsis

The documentary uses rare concert footage, never-before-released recordings and exclusive home video of private jam sessions.  GRATEFUL DAWG reveals the unique Garcia/Grisman connection from their earliest days as budding blue-glass aficionados through the renowned 1973 "Old & In the Way" sessions to the classic Garcia/Grisman Band albums that highlighted Jerry's final years. Included are rare concert performances from San Francisco's Warfield Theatre, the infamous reunion concert at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley and the unreleased music video for "The Thrill Is Gone."  Featuring previously unreleased versions of the songs "Grateful Dawg," "Off to Sea Once More," "Sweet Sunny South," "Sittin' Here in Limbo," "Friend of the Devil" and "Arabia," GRATEFUL DAWG will electrify fans and music lovers of all ages.

DVD:

 


FUNNY LADY TO DEBUT ON DVD FEBRUARY 5, 2002

Barbra Streisand Returns Along with Omar Sharif, James Caan, Roddy McDowell and Ben Vereen. Nominated for Five Academy Awards

FUNNY LADY, the sequel to the Academy Award- winning Funny Girl will be released on DVD on February 5, 2002 by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.  Directed by Academy Award-nominee Herbert Ross (The Turning Point), FUNNY LADY continues the story of Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.  Barbara Streisand and Omar Sharif return along with James Caan (Academy Award-nominee The Godfather), Roddy McDowell (Overboard) and Ben Vereen (TV's Roots).

Synopsis

This lively, lavish musical opens a new chapter in Fanny's career and love life. Now divorced from wealthy Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), she teams up with songwriter Billy Rose (James Caan), a brash and unkempt showman who is bursting with enthusiasm and theatrical ambitions. They make an unusual couple - the polished performer and the upstart producer - but a friendship blossoms into love. FUNNY LADY is the poignant story of their show business magic, their unbridled temperaments, and their touching, bittersweet romance. Featuring dazzling production numbers, elegant costuming by Bob Mackie and an electric cast - Streisand is a FUNNY LADY you'll never forget!

Nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music, Best Song and Best Sound.

DVD:

 


COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINMENT TO REPRICE EIGHT BEST-SELLING DVDS TO $19.95 ON FEBRUARY 5, 2002

On February 5, 2001 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will reprice the following eight hit DVD titles to $19.95 SLP:

 

11/20/01

BY POPULAR DEMAND ARTISAN HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS THE CULT PHENOMENON TWIN PEAKS: THE FIRST SEASON SPECIAL EDITION DVD

Digitally Remastered with DTS Surround Sound

This Special Edition 4 Disc DVD Set of the First Season (Episodes 1 - 7) from Executive Producer Mark Frost and Three- Time Academy Award Nominee David Lynch is Packed With Special Features Including New In -Depth Interviews with the Cast and Crew, Including Directors, Writers and Film and Television Experts

Street Date December 18, 2001

Artisan Home Entertainment is proud to present the legendary, cult television series, TWIN PEAKS: THE FIRST SEASON, for the first time ever on Special Edition DVD.   This wildly imaginative and darkly comic television series is the first to be digitally remastered with DTS Digital Surround Sound for DVD.   The maverick film noire producer/director, David Lynch, created a huge cult following with the classic and surreal television series, Twin Peaks, starring Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Laura Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn.  This special edition DVD will be released on 4 discs with the first 7 Twin Peaks episodes in a collectible "reveal" packaging for only $59.98 on December 18, 2001 (366 minutes).

The special edition Twin Peaks DVD is packed with special features including all of the following; newly remastered high-definition transfers of the original television program, full screen version, DTS Digital Surround Sound, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, interactive menus, scene access, digitally mastered, select episode analysis by the directors, new in-depth interviews with the cast and crew including: series co-creator, Mark Frost, writers, directors, film and television experts, optional Log Lady introductions to each episode, script notes: optional guide to the "unseen Twin Peaks" rare archival material from Wrapped in Plastic; the official Twin Peaks magazine. 

SYNOPSIS

After the brutal killing of Twin Peaks Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer, Agent Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan) discovers the small town is seething with deadly secrets and killer cherry pie. Then, Cooper interprets an unusual dream about the murder, has tea with the Log Lady, finds a macabre crime scene in the woods and is determined to solve the mystery.


 

LAGAAN ONCE UPON A TIME IN INDIA DEBUTING ON DVD JANUARY 22, 2002

On January 22, 2002, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release on DVD and videocassette LAGAAN, winner of the Audience Award at the 2001 Locarno International Film Festival.  This is the story of extraordinary circumstance thrust upon ordinary people and how their faith and courage are confronted with arrogance and ruthlessness.  The film stars India's most accomplished actor Aamir Khan, and also Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne.

Synopsis

The year is 1893 when Britain's Queen Victoria was the unsympathetic ruler of India. The British crushed every uprising, large or small in exchange for protection and wealth. The people of Champaner, a small farming village in Central India, faced adversity with fortitude and injustice with dignity when they were forced to pay twice the amount of "lagaan" (tax) that year to the local king. This is an inspiring story of a battle without bloodshed fought by a group of unlikely heroes led by Bhuvan (Khan), an enigmatic young farmer with courage born of conviction - and a dream in his heart.  Helped by Elizabeth (Shelley), an English rose who came to India and lost her heart, and Bhuvan's pillar of strength, Gauri (Singh), the young and perky village girl who dreams only of a home with the man she loves, Bhuvan. Will a game of cricket, totally alien and unknown to the villages, stop three years of lagaan (tax) for the Indian people?

DVD

 


WHEN STRANGERS APPEAR-- A SUSPENSE THRILLER COMING ON DVD JANUARY 29, 2002

On January 29, 2002, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release on DVD and videocassette WHEN STRANGERS APPEAR, an intense, terrifying psychological thriller set in a small beachside community.  Starring a hot, young cast including Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black), Barry Watson (TV's "7th Heaven") and Josh Lucas (The Deep End).  Directed and written by Scott Reynolds.

Synopsis

When Beth (Mitchell) opens her remote roadside diner, it seems to be yet another routine, hot summer, and a deathly quiet day.  She has no idea that the first customer to walk through the door will throw her world into a spin. Jack (Watson) is a twenty- something, scared and jumpy kid who enters the diner, with not much money, but a lot on his mind.  He claims a trio of surfers is chasing him, but when the trio arrives they seem to be just friendly, down-to-earth guys. Already suspicious of her community, Beth doesn't know who to trust in this group of newcomers.  It's not in Beth's nature to be unkind, but in helping Jack she is putting her own life in peril.  The surfers say Jack's a road-rage lunatic, Jack claims they are trying to kill him.  Meanwhile the only person in town that Beth trusts has disappeared. Beth must unravel the tangle of truths, half-truths and lies that are spinning around her, and she better do it soon or be the next target.

DVD:

 


GROUNDHOG DAY SPECIAL EDITION DVD COMING ON JANUARY 29, 2002

On January 29, 2002 Columbia TriStar Home Video will release a special edition DVD version of GROUNDHOG DAY.  Written and directed by Harold Ramis (Bedazzled), this hilarious comedy about a weatherman trapped in his own personal time warp on the worst day of his life stars Bill Murray (Charlie's Angels), Andie MacDowell (Town & Country), Chris Elliott (Osmosis Jones), Stephen Tobolowsky (Freddy Got Fingered) and Brian Doyle-Murray (Bedazzled).

SYNOPSIS

Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart- aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard that he failed to predict and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn't get worse, they do; Phil wakes the next morning to find it Groundhog Day all over again... and again... and again.

DVD

 


THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN DEBUTS ON DVD ON JANUARY 29, 2002

On January 29, 2002 Columbia TriStar Home Video will debut THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN, the hilarious story of a man whose mid-life crisis leads him to a new lease on life in the form of an attractive shrink, on DVD.  Directed by the legendary Blake Edwards (Victor, Victoria), Academy Award-nominee Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights) heads an all-star cast which includes Academy Award-winner Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), Academy Award-winner Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential), Emmy Award-winner Sela Ward (TV's Once and Again), Marilu Henner (TV's Taxi) and Cynthia Sikes.

SYNOPSIS

David Fowler (Reynolds) has two passions, sculpting and women, and he is quite successful in both departments until now.  David finds that his insatiable hunger for women begins to render him socially, artistically and finally, sexually impotent. His desperate inner struggle drives him to the couch of an attractive psychiatrist Marianna (Andrews), to whom David reveals everything from his first sexual encounter to his currently disturbing, and often hilarious, romantic adventures. But can Marianna help David control his roving eye before it's too late?

DVD

 


RICHARD PRYOR HERE AND NOW TO DEBUT ON DVD JANUARY 29, 2002

RICHARD PRYOR HERE AND NOW, a rare glimpse of a high-voltage comedian in a unique, piercing and incredibly funny performance, debuts on DVD January 29, 2002.

Synopsis

Richard Pryor is sizzling hot in yet another hilarious performance. This high- voltage comedy shot in New Orleans' beautiful Saenger Theater features the sensational Pryor in his prime, with his newest and most innovative material. Sharp, witty commentaries are delivered with a unique, piercing humor. But the fun doesn't stop there.  Pryor continues to delight his audiences with uproarious tales of politics, sex and drugs!  This magnificent stand-up comic takes charge on stage with an electrifying style and unequalled comedic genius.  RICHARD PRYOR HERE AND NOW provides a rare glimpse at one of the most amazing and quick- witted comedians in an incredibly funny performance guaranteed to rock you with sidesplitting laughter.

DVD

 


ARTISAN HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS GALE FORCE

A Friendly Contest on a Reality Television Show Becomes A Deadly Game of Man vs. The Elements

Special Features Include

Director Commentary, Director & Cast Filmographies, And 16:9 Widescreen Version w/5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

Artisan Home Entertainment presents GALE FORCE, a high-intensity natural disaster film, starring Treat Williams (The Devil's Own, The Deep End of the Ocean) and Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja, Uncommon Valor).  GALE FORCE will be available on VHS rental and DVD sell through at $24.98 SRP with a street date of January 15, 2002.

SYNOPSIS

When a violent group of real-life criminals infiltrate "Treasure Hunt," the hot new TV show where contestants compete to find a $10 million treasure buried on a remote island, the competition turns deadly.  As the contestants race to save their very lives, another disaster is on the rise.  A deadly hurricane is headed straight for their island - cutting off all means of escape.

Packed with special features, the GALE FORCE DVD offers a digitally mastered 16:9 widescreen version of the film, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, 2.0 Dolby Stereo; director commentary; director and cast filmographies; sneak peak trailer gallery; official trailer; optional English & Spanish subtitles; interactive motion menus; and scene selection with motion images.

 

11/15/01

CALL ME CLAUS ARRIVING ON DVD DECEMBER 11, 2001

Stars Academy AwardŽ -Winner Whoopi Goldberg ("Ghost") and Academy AwardŽ-Nominee Nigel Hawthorne ("The Madness of King George") Executive Produced by Lisa Sanderson, Garth Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg Includes New Music by Garth Brooks Exclusively Created for "CALL ME CLAUS" "CALL ME CLAUS" Will Air on the TNT Network as a Major Holiday Television Event Garth Brooks' "The Magic of Christmas" Is Available on Capitol Records

DVD

On December 11, 2001 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release a new holiday classic destined to become a perennial favorite, CALL ME CLAUS, which teaches how lost hope can be rediscovered by the magic of Christmas.

SYNOPSIS

In the film, Goldberg plays Lucy Cullins, a slick and cynical producer at the Shop- A-Lot home-shopping network, who is desperately in need of some Christmas spirit. Help arrives just in the Nick of time, when Lucy hires an actor to play Santa Claus on her station's holiday programming.  She gets more than she bargained for: The actor, not so coincidentally named Nick, really is Santa Claus and faces mandatory retirement after 200 years on the job.  Nick must find his replacement by Christmas Eve or the world will face dire consequences.  His sights are set on Lucy, but can he thaw her heart in time? Academy AwardŽ-nominated actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George) stars as Nick, the soon-to-be-retiring Santa Claus; Tony Award-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell (Broadway's Ragtime and Kiss Me Kate) stars as the network boss; Victor Garber (Titanic) stars as Lucy's stage manager; and Taylor Negron (Stuart Little) stars as Santa's head elf. CALL ME CLAUS will be supported with TV spots being shown during each of the eight broadcasts on TNT generating 20-30 million impressions.

DVD SPECS

 

11/14/01

BRIAN'S SONG AN INSPIRING TRUE STORY OF FRIENDSHIP AND COURAGE DEBUTING ON DVD JANUARY 22, 2002

On January 22, 2002, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will proudly debut on DVD and videocassette BRAIN'S SONG, an emotion packed story based on the real-life relationship between NFL Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers.   BRIAN’S SONG shows the bond established between two teammates as they help each other face challenges both on and off the field. Starring in this excellent remake of the 1971 Emmy Award-winning drama are Sean Maher (TV's "Party of Five") and Mekhi Phifer (Soul Food).  Directed by TV's acclaimed director John Gray ("Haven", "The Hunley", "The Day Lincoln Was Shot").

Synopsis

When Gale Sayers (Phifer) joins the Chicago Bears in 1965, fellow rookie Brian Piccolo (Maher), a brash young man whose personality is the exact opposite of the stoic Sayers, befriends the running back.  As their friendship begins, the two compete for starting positions on the team, but Sayers' talent far outshines Piccolo's and he quickly rises to the top of the game. When they become roommates, their friendship deepens when Sayers injures his knee, it is Piccolo who encourages him to get back in shape and back in the game - only so Piccolo can compete against him on an even playing field.  Both men become better ball players because of - and in spite of - each other.  Piccolo quickly begins his decent into illness, they form a bond that will last forever.

DVD

 


THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR A MYSTERIOUS LOVE STORY DEBUTING ON DVD JANUARY 29, 2002

On January 29, 2002 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release on DVD and videocassette THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR, a startling, fresh and compelling romantic drama that will leave you breathless.  Directed by internationally acclaimed director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). The film stars sexy, magnetic international star Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) and hot newcomer Benno Furmann.

Synopsis

When shy, beautiful nurse Sissi (Potente) is the victim of a horrible car accident, a handsome small-time criminal (Furmann) miraculously saves her life. When she recovers, Sissi sets out to find him and discovers a violent man with a conflicted past and dangerous future.  Soon, the two meet again in the middle of a deadly bank robbery, and Sissi realizes her fate is pre-destined - or is it?

DVD Elements Include:

 

11/13/01

THE 6TH DAY SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE DISC DVD ON JANUARY 22, 2002

On January 22, 2002 Columbia TriStar Home Video will release a special edition double disc DVD version of THE 6TH DAY. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies), this futuristic action thriller stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies), Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies) and Michael Rapaport (Dr. Dolittle 2).

SYNOPSIS

In the not too distant future when cloning plants, pets and human organs is accepted, a sinister corporation has begun illegally duplicating entire human beings.  They mistakenly clone the wrong man, a man who is now the only one with the power to expose their evil.  They desperately want to kill him, but he will do anything to reclaim his family and life.

DVD

 

 

 

11/12/01

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE TO DEBUT ON DVD JANUARY 22, 2002

Winner of the Best Song Academy Award for "You Light Up My Life" Performed by Debbie Boone

You Light Up My Life, director Joseph Brooks (The Lords of Flatbush) poignant story of a young woman who sets out to fulfill her show business dreams debuts on DVD January 22, 2002. The film stars Didi Conn (Thomas and the Magic Railroad), Joe Silver (Switching Channels) and Melanie Mayron (TV's thirtysomething).

 Synopsis

Laurie Robinson (Conn) has come to a crossroads in her life; she does not want to follow in the footsteps of her well-known comedian father, and she doesn't really love the man to whom she is engaged.  Leaving all behind, Laurie sets out on her own, determined to become an actress and songwriter.  Her dreams seem to be realized when she successfully auditions for a film role and has a whirlwind affair with the director.  Just as quickly, however, the dream begins to disintegrate. This special and touching story of a young woman's dreams is highlighted by one of the most popular and melodic title songs ever composed for a motion picture, "You Light Up My Life."

DVD

 

11/08/01

ON JANUARY 15, 2002 ROOTS COMES TO DVD IN A 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Landmark TV Series Debuts on DVD in a Three-Disc Collector's Edition Newly Remastered From Original Elements

"ROOTS" -- the 1977 landmark Emmy-AwardŽ winning television mini-series based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alex Haley -- makes its DVD debut January 15, 2002 with ROOTS 25th Anniversary Edition, a three-disc DVD set.  Winner of more than 145 awards, including nine Emmys, a Golden Globe, five Television Critics Circle Awards and the George F. Peabody Award, the Warner Home Video release has been digitally remastered for optimal video and audio presentation from the original elements.

ROOTS 25th Anniversary Edition will be available on DVD, selling for $59.98 (SRP). 

A LEGACY OF GREATNESS

Produced by David L. Wolper and Stan Margulies and originally broadcast in January 1977, "ROOTS: The Miniseries" was the highest-rated TV event of its day, seen by 130-million viewers (85% of all TV homes) during its initial U.S. telecasts.  It is still the third highest-rated broadcast in TV history, and a quarter-century later remains vital and engrossing entertainment.

Viewed across eight nights, the mini-series was universally lauded, praised by such critics as Sander Vanocur of The Washington Post who called the series "extraordinary and more than a drama.  We are witnessing an experience."  Father John Banahan of New World called "ROOTS" "an experience similar to watching the first men walk on the moon."

Alex Haley's best-selling saga also boasts a galaxy of star power, including award-winning performances by Louis Gossett, Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman," "Iron Eagle"), Edward Asner ("Lou Grant," "The Bachelor," "Hard Rain"), Ben Vereen ("Pippin," "Tenspeed and Brownshoe"), and Leslie Uggams ("All My Children," "Harlem").  Also starring are LeVar Burton ("Star Trek X," "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), Maya Angelou ("How to Make an American Quilt," "The Runaway"), Lorne Greene ("Bonanza," "Battlestar Gallactica"), George Hamilton ("Love at First Bite," "The Bold and the Beautiful") and Cicely Tyson ("Fried Green Tomatoes," "A Lesson Before Dying").  Georg Stanford Brown, Burl Ives, Ian McShane, Richard Roundtree and O.J. Simpson are also featured.

A DVD EVENT TO REMEMBER

A 25th anniversary retrospective special, "ROOTS - Celebrating 25 Years," will be broadcast January 18 on NBC coinciding with this important DVD debut.  This commemorative program will include interviews and reflections on the "ROOTS" experience with cast members and a diverse mix of television viewers whose lives were touched by the original miniseries.

THE EXTRAS

The complete ROOTS 25th Anniversary Edition 3-disc DVD includes these special features:

SYNOPSIS

"ROOTS" details African-American life in the United States from the time of early slavery and is set against key events in U.S. history -- from the Revolutionary to the Civil Wars and eventual emancipation.  The series begins with its main character, Kunta Kinte (Burton), being abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to this country where he refuses to accept his slave name of Toby.  He makes several escape attempts but is finally caught and brutalized.  He marries Bell (Madge Sinclair), his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy (Uggams), who is eventually sold away from them to a new master by whom she has a son.  The boy grows up to become Chicken George (Vereen), a legendary cock fighter, who leads his family to freedom. 

 

GLITTER COMING ON DVD JANUARY 15, 2002

All-Star Cast Including Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Terrence Howard, Dorian Harewood and Eric Benet.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will debut GLITTER on DVD and videocassette January 15, 2002.  Making her much anticipated feature film debut, Grammy Award winning superstar Mariah Carey stars in this powerful and unforgettable story about an incredibly gifted young singer who finds that the road to her dreams leads straight to her heart.  Also starring Max Beesley (The Match), Terrence Howard (Big Momma's House), Dorian Harewood (Space Jam), and featuring sensational musical performances from Eric Benet and Da Brat.

Synopsis

Set in 1982, GLITTER tells the story of Billie Frank (Carey), whose drug and alcohol addicted mother loses custody of her when she's 10 years old.  Billie grows up in a foster home in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City where she meets Julian Dice (Beesley), an energetic, irresistible "bad boy" nightclub DJ who soon becomes her partner and lover. With Dice, she begins an exciting but often volatile and precarious journey as she struggles through both her personal and professional life, the roller coaster ride to superstardom.

DVD

 

11/05/01

ACTION-PACKED WORLD WAR II MINISERIES UPRISING ARRIVES ON DVD FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO DECEMBER 18

Double-Disc DVD Features Behind-the-Scenes Documentary and Interviews with Actual Survivors of the Warsaw Uprising

UPRISING

Epic Production Stars Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight, Donald Sutherland Cary Elwes, Stephen Moyer, Sadie Frost, Radha Mitchell, Mili Avital and Alexandra Holden

On December 18, Warner Home Video (WHV) will release a double-disc DVD and double-cassette VHS of NBC's miniseries UPRISING, the heroic true stories of Jewish resistance fighters who battled the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.  The action-filled epic, drawn from accounts of survivors, stars Emmy nominee Leelee Sobieski (Joan of Arc, Eyes Wide Shut), three-time Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria (Tuesdays with Morrie, "The Simpsons"), Emmy Award nominee David Schwimmer ("Friends," "Band of Brothers"), Oscar winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, Pearl Harbor), Emmy Award winner Donald Sutherland (Space Cowboys) and Cary Elwes (Twister).  The miniseries was also directed and executive-produced by Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes, Up Close and Personal), written by Paul Brickman (Risky Business) and Jon Avnet and filmed in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The miniseries is augmented for DVD and VHS with "Breaking Down the Walls: The Road to Recreating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising," a documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.  In addition, the DVD includes a historical background documentary entitled "Resistance," about actual survivors of the Warsaw uprising, audio commentary with Avnet, and a second audio commentary with cast members Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer and Jon Voight.  The UPRISING DVD is available for $24.98 SRP/$19.98 MAP and VHS will be sold for $19.98 SRP/$14.95 MAP.

"This film has been seven years in the making," said Avnet.  "It has been a very, very long journey and a very enriching one personally.  These people are truly inspiring, and I've made every attempt to be as accurate as possible in a non-documentary situation." After Germany invades Poland in 1939, the Nazis decree that 350,000 Warsaw Jews be forcibly moved into a cordoned area known as the Warsaw Ghetto. Idealistic teacher Mordechai Anielewicz (Azaria) decides the Jews must rise up against the Nazis and creates the Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO).  He tries to secure the support of Adam Czerniakow (Sutherland), the morally conflicted head of the Warsaw Ghetto's Jewish Council, but Adam declines because he knows that any act of resistance will provoke the Germans to retaliate by killing innocent Jews.  Determined to mobilize a resistance alone if he has to, Mordechai recruits his friends and covert couriers whose ability to pass as Aryan helps them smuggle in arms and explosives from the Aryan side of the city, building up an arsenal to fight the Nazis.

When the Germans begin deporting 300,000 Jews to the Treblinka death camp, the JFO begins acts of resistance that culminate with ghetto fighters firing their first gunshots against the Nazis.  When it becomes clear that the JFO is a force to be reckoned with, the German High Command sends in General Stroop (Voight), who is determined to end the uprising in two or three days. Capturing the horror that unfolds is Fritz Hippler (Elwes), a filmmaker assigned by Hitler's chief propagandist to promote anti-Semitism with a film about Jewish life in the ghetto. 

When the Nazis continue to suffer more casualties in their battle with the ghetto fighters, General Stroop decides to raze the ghetto.  But even that can't stop the JFO.  Forced to go underground into bunkers but energized by their success, the resisters fight on, ultimately holding off the Nazi army longer than the entire country of Poland.  They're determined to live with honor - and if need be, die with honor - while lighting the torch for resistance in the occupied territories.

The UPRISING double-disc DVD also includes the following special features:

 


MARK WAHLBERG AND JENNIFER ANISTON HEADLINE WARNER HOME VIDEO'S JANUARY LINEUP IN: ROCK STAR

Available January 22 On VHS & DVD

TNT's Portrait of the Enduring Rebel, JAMES DEAN, Also Available On VHS & DVD

Warner Home Video (WHV) cranks it up for consumers on January 22 with the release of ROCK STAR, the "irresistible" 1 story of a copy machine repairman hired to be the new lead singer for his favorite band.  Starring Hollywood heartthrob and box-office success Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes, The Perfect Storm, Three Kings) and television's favorite funny girl, Jennifer Aniston (TV's Friends, Office Space, Picture Perfect), ROCK STAR is the story of the wanna-be who got to be. 

The ROCK STAR DVD will be presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio and 16x9 widescreen format and includes the following special features:

ROCK STAR has a running time of 106 minutes, is rated "R" (language, sexuality and some drug content) and will be available for rent on VHS and for sale on DVD, priced at $19.98 SRP.

Also available January 22 is JAMES DEAN, the TNT Original watched by 11 million viewers during its premiere run, starring James Franco (this winter's Deuces Wild, City by the Sea and May 2002's Spider Man) and Michael Moriarty (TV's Law & Order, Along Came a Spider, Shiloh).  Directed by Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond, The Rose), a personal friend of the famed actor, the film takes a knowing look at 1950s Hollywood and the man behind the legend.

JAMES DEAN has a running time of 96 minutes and will be available for rent on VHS and for sale on DVD, priced at $19.98 SRP.  The DVD includes the following special features:

 


TORTILLA SOUP DEBUTS ON DVD JANUARY 15, 2002

All Star Cast Includes Hector Elizondo, Screen Legend Raquel Welch, Jacqueline Obradors, Elizabeth Pena and Tamara Mello

On January 5, 2001 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release TORTILLA SOUP, a crowd-pleasing comedy in the tradition of Like Water for Chocolate and Big Night on videocassette and DVD.  This remake of Ang Lee's Eat, Drink, Man, Woman stars Emmy Award-winner Hector Elizondo (TV's Chicago Hope), Raquel Welch (Legally Blonde), Jacqueline Obradors (Six Days Seven Nights), Elizabeth Pena (Rush Hour) and Tamara Mello (She's All That).  Produced by John Bard Manulis (Swing Kids, Foxfire, Basketball Diaries).

Synopsis

TORTILLA SOUP is a deliciously heartwarming comedy that's all about food, family, and a certain kind of magic that only happens around the dinner table.  Martin Naranjo (Elizondo) is the culinary genius behind a successful restaurant and the widowed father of three daughters. His passion for cooking is surpassed only by his devotion to his family and a compulsion to steer their lives in the right direction. But the girls have their own recipe for happiness. Hungry for independence, they find themselves at odds with their traditionalist father. And when a spicy, sexy widow (Welch) moves down the street, Martin's world really comes to a full boil in this touching, charming and hilarious comedy co-starring Elizabeth Pena, Jacqueline Obradors and Tamara Mello.

DVD

 

11/05/01

PLANET OF THE APES-- TIM BURTON’S VISIONARY ACTION ADVENTURE BLASTS ONTO SPECIAL EDITION DVD NOVEMBER 20, 2001

Out Of This World 2-Disc DVD Contains More Than 13 Hours Of Viewing, Including 28 Never-Before-Seen Bonus Programs, Behind-The Scenes And Multi-Angle Features, Commentary By Tim Burton, And More

The event film of 2001 evolves into the year’s most spectacular home video and DVD release on November 20, when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) launches its $180 million (to date) futuristic action adventure epic, PLANET OF THE APES VHS (for rent) and Special Edition DVD (for sale). Director Tim Burton’s visual feast, starring Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth, Michael Clarke Duncan and Estella Warren, marked the largest three-day non-holiday gross in history with an impressive $68.5 million in its opening weekend, and was hailed as "the summer blockbuster we’ve been waiting for" (San Francisco Chronicle) and "not just worthy of comparison to the original…it’s better," (Richard Roeper, "Ebert & Roeper At The Movies"). Supported by an aggressive, multi-million dollar marketing campaign, the "must-see" PLANET OF THE APES is primed to be among the top rental and sell-through releases for holiday 2001. Eagerly awaited by the millions of original PLANET OF THE APES science fiction fans, as well as the legion of newly introduced general consumers, the PLANET OF THE APES Special Edition DVD will be available for $29.98 ($46.98 Canada) and priced for rental on VHS. Pre-book for both DVD and VHS is October 24.

The highly evolved PLANET OF THE APES Special Edition DVD is loaded with added-value materials, enhancing the experience for viewers with 28 never-before-seen programs created specifically for the DVD during filming, a full-length feature commentary by Director Tim Burton, nine behind-the-scenes/multi-angle features, menus shot on-set by Philippe Rousselot, the film’s Director of Photography, and much more.

PLANET OF THE APES SPECIAL EDITION DVD

In keeping with the film’s sophisticated visual effects, the world-class PLANET OF THE APES Special Edition DVD is one of the most ambitious and technically-advanced DVDs ever produced, providing unprecedented interactivity for viewers. Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (Aspect Ratio 2:35:1) with English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish Dolby surround sound, both Special Edition discs contain a multitude of bonus features.

Disc one includes:

Disc two contains:

SYNOPSIS

In the year 2029, interstellar reconnaissance missions are relegated to chimpanzee pilots from the Space Station Oberon in deep space. On such a mission, a chimp loses communication and vanishes from the radar. Fearless astronaut Leo Davidson launches a rescue mission and, following a malfunction, lands on a jungle-like planet not unlike the Earth. To Leo’s astonishment, English-speaking apes and primitive humans inhabit the planet. Following his capture by the apes and subsequent escape, Leo assembles a small band of defiant humans and empathetic apes in an attempt to re-establish contact with Oberon, but his focus changes following an unexpected discovery. Armed with this new information, Leo leads a rebellion against an overpowering ape force that will result in freedom or complete annihilation.


RON HOWARD’S EPIC FANTASY ADVENTURE WILLOW BOWS ON DVD NOVEMBER 27, 2001

Featuring Groundbreaking Special Effects And Volumes Of Unique Material, The Special Edition DVD Enables A Whole New Generation To Experience The Magic

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announce the DVD debut of one of the most successful fantasy adventure movies of all time, WILLOW. Directed by Ron Howard and executive produced by George Lucas, WILLOW is among the most requested DVDs on the Internet, consistently ranking in the Top 10 on DVD websites. The film stars Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh and Warwick Davis and was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. The Special Edition DVD features exclusive material enabling fans of the movie, as well as a new generation, to experience the mystical adventure like never before.

This pivotal film in visual effects history has been THX digitally re-mastered for superior sound and picture quality and is presented in new 5.1 Dolby surround sound. Features on the disc include a commentary by Warwick Davis, an all new documentary showcasing WILLOW's history making achievements in special effects, a classic "Making of an Adventure" documentary, the original theatrical trailers, TV spots, a still photo gallery at more.

Based on a story by George Lucas, with a screenplay written by Bob Dolman, WILLOW is director Ron Howard's fantasy world of medieval adventure. WILLOW stars Val Kilmer as Madmartigan, a swashbuckling warrior, and Warwick Davis as the title character. In a mythical kingdom, the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) plots to kill all infants so that the newborn princess, Elora, will never take over the throne. But a midwife sets the baby adrift in a river, and she is rescued by Willow, a farmer in Nelwyn, a peaceful village of trolls, fairies, and little folk. Willow and Madmartigan begin a quest to deliver the baby from evil while being chased by Queen Bavmorda’s daughter, Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), sent to bring the baby back to Nockmaar.

11/02/01

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME VIDEO ANNOUNCES THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS RACING ONTO DVD JANUARY 2, 2002

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS -- this year’s $145 million-grossing action-adventure film starring some of Hollywood’s hottest new talents -- will debut in a Collector’s Edition DVD and video rental from Universal Studios Home Video. Launching the new 2002 year with a massive marketing campaign combined with exciting consumer promotions, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS will street on January 2, 2002. The Collector’s Edition DVD packed with bonus features is priced to own at $26.98, suggested retail price. Order close is November 20 for DVD and December 4 for VHS.

With Over 6 hours of high-octane entertainment, the DVD revs up the standard of DVD added value. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS DVD includes an unparalleled interactive eight car angle stunt sequence, exclusive demo of Activision’s hot new racing game, Supercar Street Challenge on DVD-Rom, and the hard-driving music videos of Ja Rule, Saliva and Cadillac Tah plus a lot more.

Fully-Loaded DVD Will Be the New Year’s First Must-Own

Loaded with hours of added value, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS DVD will include the following bonus materials:

SYNOPSIS

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS is loosely based on a Vibe magazine article about street clubs that race Japanese cars late at night. The film stars Vin Diesel as Domenic Toretto, the leader of a street gang that is suspected of stealing expensive electronic equipment. Paul Walker stars as a rookie cop who goes undercover to find out exactly who is stealing the equipment. Posing as a racing team member, he manages to ingratiate himself with the team’s leaders and even finds himself falling for Domenic’s younger sister (played by Jordana Brewster). Eventually, his assignment and life become jeopardized when the other members begin to suspect an imposter within their ranks, and the stage is set for an exciting climactic showdown.

DVD

Bonus Material:

Interactive eight camera angle stunt sequence (A behind-the-camera glimpse from eight different locations enables viewers to witness as never-before the final stunt); Movie Magic Interactive Special Effects (A unique look at the train and car footage shot independently and then shown merged to create the final film sequence); Visual effect montage featuring the first race; Racer X: the Vibe magazine article that inspired the movie; The Making of The Fast And The Furious; Feature-length commentary with Director Rob Cohen; Exclusive featurette on editing for the Motion Picture of America Association; Deleted scenes with optional director commentary; Storyboards to final feature comparison; DVD-ROM features including: EXCLUSIVE HOTLINK of never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage of the film; supercar street challenge demo; Music videos: Ja Rule’s "Furious;" Caddillac Tah’s "POV City Anthem," and Saliva’s "Click Click Boom"; Theatrical trailer


DIRECTOR JOHN SINGLETON WILL BE MAKING A PERSONAL APPEARANCE TO PROMOTE THE RELEASE OF BABY BOY ON DVD

On November 7, between 6-8 PM, Acclaimed director John Singleton will be making a personal appearance at the Wherehouse in Los Angeles. The Wherehouse is located at 5390 Centinela Ave in Ladera heights.


ALMOST FAMOUS UNTITLED THE BOOTLEG CUT AUDIO COMMENTARY UPDATE

In a clarification to the previous press release, the audio commentary on the ALMOST FAMOUS UNTITLED THE BOOTLEG CUT will feature Cameron Crowe and his mom, Alice Crowe.

11/01/01

ZEBRA LOUNGE DEBUTS ON DVD JANUARY 8, 2002

On January 8, 2002, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment will release on DVD and videocassette ZEBRA LOUNGE, an erotic thriller from director Kari Skogland (TV's Family Law, The Size of Watermelons) about two couples whose dangerous liaison becomes a deadly affair.  The film stars Kristy Swanson (Dude, Where's My Car?, Big Daddy), Stephen Baldwin (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, The Usual Suspects), Brandy Ledford and Cameron Daddo.

Synopsis

Alan and Wendy Barnet are a normal couple, who find their seemingly perfect marriage has lost its spark.  They want to reclaim their passion and make their sexual fantasies come true.  An ad placed in a swinger's magazine leads them to the Zebra Lounge and a couple of experienced swingers - Louise and Jack Bauer, whose erotic prowess knows no boundaries. Initially resisting but eventually yielding to the charms of Jack and Louise, Wendy and Alan agree to an erotic liaison.  The event is electrifying and begins their descent into a world of reckless abandon and sexual pleasure.  But Jack and Louise become obsessed and soon Wendy and Alan realize they are involved in a far deadlier game than they ever imagined.

DVD

November 2001 Headlines


Home

Blu-ray

DVD

Archives

Menu