This week on DVD

Bogart and Truffaut classics, a sitcom star turns video pervert, Marshall Mathers' film debut, Mick Jagger and "NYPD Blue." Oh, and Olivia Newton-John!


Salon Staff
March 19, 2003 2:00AM (UTC)

"Abandon" (2002). Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan. Starring Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Zooey Deschanel. Thriller from the writer of "Traffic" got little commercial buzz. Extras: Commentary by Gaghan and cinematographer Matthew Libatique; "A Look at the Dark Side" making-of featurette; deleted and extended scenes (Paramount).

"Akira Kurosawa's Dreams" (1990). Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Starring Martin Scorsese. One of the most visionary, deeply personal works in the 60-year career of the master behind "Rashomon," "The Seven Samurai" and "Ran" (Warner).

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"Auto Focus" (2002). Directed by Paul Schrader. Starring Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Rita Wilson, Maria Bello. Kinnear is terrific as '60s sitcom star and video pervert Bob Crane. Extras: Commentary by Schrader, commentary by Kinnear and Dafoe, "Murder in Scottsdale" documentary, making-of featurette, five deleted scenes with optional director's commentary, producers' and writers' commentary (Columbia TriStar).

"Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure" (2003). Animated. With the voices of Amanda Bynes, Harrison Chad. Extras: Two educational interactive games (Paramount).

"Cheats" (2002). Directed by Andrew Gurland. Starring: Matthew Lawrence, Trevor Fehrman, Mary Tyler Moore. (Warner).

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"Day for Night" ("La nuit américaine," 1973). Directed by François Truffaut. Starring Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Francois Truffaut, Nathalie Baye. Extras: Two new documentaries: "Day for Night: An Appreciation" with Truffaut biographer Annette Insdorf, and "Day for Night" by Jacqueline Bisset and Nathalie Baye; vintage making-of documentary, "Truffaut: A View From the Inside"; Valentina Cortese interview; two 1973 Truffaut interviews (Warner).

"8 Mile" (2002). Directed by Curtis Hanson. Starring Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Evan Jones, De'Angelo Wilson, Taryn Manning. Two DVD versions, one with censored bonus material and one with uncensored materials. Extras: "The Making of 8 Mile" featurette; never-before-seen footage: Five "rap battles" shot during the making of the film that feature spontaneous rap performances between Eminem and audience extras from the film; the music video for "Superman," from the bestselling album "The Eminem Show," available only on the DVD (Universal).

"The Eighteenth Angel" (1997). Directed by William Bindley. Starring Christopher McDonald, Rachael Leigh Cook, Stanley Tucci, Maximilian Schell. Direct-to-video horror flick apparently has a following (Columbia TriStar).

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"Elephant Parts" (1981). Ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith's 1981 post-psychedelic combination of music videos and comedy sketches. Extras: Commentary by Nesmith (Anchor Bay).

"Empire" (2002). Directed by Franc Reyes. Starring John Leguizamo, Denise Richards, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Sarsgaard, Sonia Braga, Fat Joe, Treach. Saga of a Latino crime lord. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette "The Making of Empire," audio commentary, deleted scenes, footage from the film's Los Angeles premiere (Universal).

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"The Grey Zone" (2001). Directed by Tim Blake Nelson. Starring David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino. Grim tale of Jews forced to work in the Auschwitz crematoria (Lion's Gate).

"In a Lonely Place" (1950). Directed by Nicholas Ray. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy. A genuine Hollywood classic. Deserves to be better known. Extras: "In a Lonely Place: Revisited" featurette, restoration story (Columbia TriStar).

"Just a Kiss" (2002). Directed by Fisher Stevens. Starring Ron Eldard, Kyra Sedgwick, Taye Diggs, Marisa Tomei, Sarita Choudhury. Thirty-somethings struggling with fidelity get to turn back the clock (Paramount).

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"A Man and a Woman" (1966). Directed by Claude Lelouch. Starring: Anouk Aimée, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Barough, Valerie Lagrange, Antoine Sire. Highly influential at the time, and Aimé is an eyeful. Extras: Two documentaries: the new "A Man and a Woman: 37 Years Later" and the vintage "Un Homme et Une Femme," featuring Aimée, Trintignant and Lelouch (Warner).

"The Man From Elysian Fields" (2002). Directed by George Hickenlooper. Starring Olivia Williams, Andy Garcia, Mick Jagger, Julianna Margulies, James Coburn, Anjelica Huston. Entertaining tale of a man who goes to work for an escort service. Jagger's best movie role since "Performance." Extras: Commentary by Hickenlooper, writer Phillip Jayson Lasker and Garcia (Columbia TriStar).

"NYPD Blue" Season 1. Six-disk set. Extras: Commentary by producer/co-creator David Milch and director Brad Silberling, "The Making of Season 1" featurette; "Love on NYPD Blue" featurette, "Cast Blotter" featurette; script-to-screen comparison (Fox).

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"Personal Velocity" (2002). Written and directed by Rebecca Miller. Starring Kyra Sedgwick, David Warshofsky, Parker Posey, Tim Guinee, Wallace Shawn, Ron Leibman, Fairuza Balk. Three women flee deteriorating relationships. Extras: Commentaries by writer-director Miller and cinematographer Ellen Kuras, "In Conversation" featurette with Miller and the cast, behind-the-scenes featurette (MGM).

"Rocky III" (1982), "Rocky IV" (1985), "Rocky V" (1990). Starring Sylvester Stallone. Nothing more need be said (MGM).

"Roger Dodger" (2002). Written and directed by Dylan Kidd. Starring Campbell Scott, Isabella Rossellini, Jesse Eisenberg, Elizabeth Berkley, Jennifer Beals, Ben Shenkman. Acid indie comedy about a ladies' man getting his comeuppance won high praise. Extras: Commentary by writer-director Kidd and cast and crew, deleted scenes, cast and crew video postcards, "Steppin' Out With Jesse Eisenberg" featurette, "Indie on Indie" featurette (Artisan).

"Sordid Lives" (2002). Written and directed by Del Shores. Starring: Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, Delta Burke. No idea, but come on now: Olivia Newton-John! Extras: Commentary by writer-director Shores; commentary by producer Sharyn Lane; various cast commentaries; 10 deleted scenes; interviews with Shores, Bedelia, other cast members (Fox).

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"Welcome to Collinwood" (2002). Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Starring William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, Luis Guzmán, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney. Low-budget heist flick with glitzy cast. Extras: "Welcome to Collinwood" behind-the-scenes "mockumentary," viewer's guide to Collinwood low-life lingo (Warner).


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