This week on DVD

A smoldering tale of forbidden love. Plus: WB actors when they were young enough to play teenagers, and rare Beatles footage.


Salon Staff
April 2, 2003 2:00AM (UTC)

"The Andromeda Strain" (1971). Directed by Robert Wise. Starring Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson, Kate Reid, Paula Kelly. Extras: "The Making of 'The Andromeda Strain,'" "A Portrait of Michael Crichton" (Universal). Sci-fi thriller about a deadly virus from outer space.

"The Beatles Anthology" (1996). Five-disc set. All eight episodes of the TV documentary on the Beatles, which was tied in to the release of the three "Anthology" double-CD albums. Extras: Fifth disc contains an additional 50 minutes of rare and never-before-seen footage (EMI).

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"Brainscan" (1994). Starring Jamie Marsh, Amy Hargreaves, Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Rider- Smith, Victor Ertmanis. (Columbia TriStar).

"Continental Divide" (1981). Directed by Michael Apted. Starring John Belushi, Blair Brown, Allen Garfield (Universal). Belushi playing a regular Joe, city-guy newspaper columnist who falls for a naturalist. Title is a metaphor.

"The Couch Trip" (1988). Starring Dan Aykroyd, Charles Grodin, Donna Dixon, Walter Matthau (MGM). Boy, did all those "Saturday Night Live" people make some bad movies!

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"The Crime of Padre Amaro" (2002, Spanish). Starring Sancho Gracia, Ana Claudia Talancón, Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Gael García Bernal. Extras: Photo gallery, poster exploration, director and actor commentary, making-of featurette (Columbia TriStar). Smoldering tale of forbidden love and Mexico's most successful movie ever. Plus, Gael García Bernal is hot.

"Dawson's Creek: First Season" (1998). Extras: three-disc set: commentary by creator Kevin Williamson; retrospective featurette: "Dawson's Creek: From Day One"; Season 1 time capsule (Columbia TriStar). Remember when Joey finally fell for Dawson? And Dawson went for that tramp next door? Remember when these 20-somethings could still pass for high schoolers?

"Fahrenheit 451" (1966). Directed by François Truffaut. Starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack. Extras: Commentary by Christie; The Novel: A Discussion with Author Ray Bradbury, "The Making of Fahrenheit 451," "The Music of Fahrenheit 451," original title sequence, photo poster gallery (Universal). Before Ashcroft we used to really worry about stuff like censorship.

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"Far From Heaven" (2002). Directed by Todd Haynes. Starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn, Celia Weston. Extras: Commentary by Haynes; "The Making of 'Far From Heaven'"; a Q&A segment with Moore and Haynes, filmed in front of a live audience; the Sundance Channel's "Anatomy of a Scene," an insightful and detailed look at the filmmaking process that explores one of the film's key scenes (the cocktail party) through the actors, the choice of wardrobe, the set decoration, the score, the editing decisions, and other significant components (Universal). Todd Haynes' loving tribute to the melodramas of Douglas Sirk.

"Fatal Instinct" (1993). Directed by Carl Reiner. Starring Armand Assante, Sherilyn Fenn, Kate Nelligan, Sean Young. Extras: Commentary by Reiner and screenwriter David O'Malley, deleted scenes, outtakes (MGM). Film noir spoof.

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"Friends: The Complete Third Season" (1996). Four-disc set with 25 episodes. Extras: Commentary by creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kaufman and David Crane on selected episodes; "Bachelor Pad" interactive map; "Friends of Friends" video guestbook (Warner). The golden era for six 20-somethings living a life of luxury in New York City. With breakups, crushes and guest stars galore.

"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947). Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Starring Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Natalie Wood. Restored and digitally remastered. Commentary, A&E Biography: "Rex Harrison: The Man Who Would Be King," still gallery (Fox Studio Classics). A lonely widow, a sea captain's ghost. And romance!

"Hysterical Blindness" (2002). Directed by Mira Nair. Starring Uma Thurman, Gena Rowlands, Juliette Lewis, Justin Chambers, Ben Gazzara (Warner). Watchable comedy about two young women looking for the perfect '80s man.

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"Legal Eagles" (1986). Directed by Ivan Reitman. Starring Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Daryl Hannah, Brian Dennehy, Terence Stamp, Steven Hill. Extras: "The Making of 'Legal Eagles'" (Universal). Romantic comedy about an assistant D.A. who falls for a flaky lawyer.

"Married to It" (1993). Starring Beau Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Stockard Channing, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ron Silver (MGM). Extremely likely unlikely characters meet in Manhattan.

"Memories of Me" (1988). Starring Alan King, Billy Crystal, JoBeth Williams (MGM). There was a time when Billy Crystal could do no wrong. This was not made in one of those times.

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"The Missionary" (1982). Starring Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott (MGM). Palin plays a young missionary running a home for fallen women.

"The Other Side of Heaven" (2002). Starring Christopher Gorham, Anne Hathaway. Extras: Commentary by director Mitch Davis, "The Making of 'The Other Side of Heaven'" featurette, still gallery (Disney). Another missionary movie, from Disney.

"Palookaville" (1996). Starring John Forsythe, Vincent Gallo, Adam Trese (MGM). Three old friends try to become petty criminals.

"The Perez Family" (1995). Starring Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Anjelica Huston, Trini Alvarado (MGM).

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"Popi" (1969). Directed by Arthur Hiller. Starring Alan Arkin (MGM). Zany Puerto Rican comedy where a dad arranges to have his sons wash up on the shore as Cuban refugees.

"A Private Function" (1984). Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Palin (MGM). Another Michael Palin movie, in one week. This one is about a simpering wimp in postwar England.

"Privates on Parade" (1982). Starring John Cleese (MGM). Drag.

"Red Dragon" (2002). Directed by Brett Ratner. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Extras: Commentary by Ratner; "The Hannibal Lecter Story"; Behind the scenes: "The Making of 'Red Dragon'"; deleted scenes; "The Art of Criminal Profiling"; "The Making of a Killer"; interview with FBI profiler John Douglas; "Inside the FBI" (Universal). The first in the Hannibal Lecter trilogy, done better in "Manhunter."

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"Secretary" (2002). Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Leslie Ann Warren, Jeremy Davies. Extras: Commentary by director Steven Shainberg, commentary by Spader, commentary by Gyllenhaal, deleted scenes (Lions Gate). A love story, with S&M.

"Sibling Rivalry" (1990). Starring: Kirstie Alley, Jamie Gertz, Scott Bakula (MGM).

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine": Season 2 (1994). Extras: "New Frontiers: The Story of 'Deep Space Nine,'" sketchbook of Season 2 designs and props, crew dossier on Jadzia Dax, "Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season Two," "New Stations, New Ships," "Section 31 Hidden Files" (Paramount).

"The Truth About Charlie" (2002). Directed by Jonathan Demme. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton, Tim Robbins, Joong Hoon Park, Ted Levine, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Christine Boisson, Stephen Dillane. Extras: Commentary by Demme, making-of featurette, deleted scenes; the widescreen version of the film "Charlie" pays homage to Stanley Donen's 1963 "Charade," starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (Universal).

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"Uncle Saddam" (2000). Directed by Joel Soler. Satirical yet sobering look inside the world of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Award-winning filmmaker Soler, who is still under U.S. government protection, risked life and limb to shoot and smuggle this strange and captivating footage out of Iraq (Xenon).

"Undercover Blues" (1993). Starring Dennis Quaid, Kathleen Turner (MGM). Like "The Thin Man," but not.

"West Side Story" Special Edition Collector's Set (1961). Directed by Robert Wise. Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris. Extras: Two-disc set with exclusive footage of Wood's original recording of "I Feel Pretty," which was later replaced with Marni Nixon's voice in the final version of the film; new one-hour "West Side Memories" documentary on the making of "West Side Story," with new cast and crew interviews; gallery of 230 stills, featuring never-before-seen behind-the-scene photos, production design snapshots and storyboard sketches; animated storyboard-to-film comparison; optional original orchestral intermission; remixed and remastered in 5.1 surround; collectible scrapbook with working script with revision pages and song lyrics, letters from Wise, reproduction of the original lobby brochure, timeline and film reviews (MGM).

"The Wild Thornberrys Movie" (2002). Starring voices of Lacey Chabert, Tom Kane, Tim Curry, Jodi Carlisle, Michael Balzary (aka Flea), Danielle Harris, Lynn Redgrave, Rupert Everett, Marisa Tomei, Brenda Blethyn. Extras: Music video of Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter" (Paramount).

Special thanks to "Dawson's Creek" enthusiast Kristin Wong.


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