This week on DVD

"Spirited Away" and other classic anime from Hayao Miyazaki, an almost-forgotten '80s musical, the action star who couldn't and the long-awaited DVD premiere of "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo."


Salon Staff
April 16, 2003 12:00AM (UTC)

"Absolute Beginners" (1986). Directed by Julien Temple. Starring Eddie O'Connell, Patsy Kensit, with appearances by David Bowie, Ray Davies, Sade (MGM). Musical set in 1950s England has a cult following, not utterly undeserved.

"Beat Street" (1984). Directed by Stan Lathan. Starring Guy Davis, Rae Dawn Chong (MGM). At the time, it was the greatest hip-hop film ever made.

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"Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" (1984). Directed by Sam Firstenberg. Starring Lucinda Dickey, Adolfo "Shabba Doo" Quinones, Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers (MGM). Perennial fave of drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs. Must be seen to be believed.

"Castle in the Sky" (1986). Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. English-language voices by James van der Beek, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mandy Patinkin, Mark Hamill, Andy Dick. Two-disc set. Extras: Original Japanese language track, introduction by John Lasseter ("Toy Story"), "Behind the Microphone" voice talent featurette, original Japanese trailers, original Japanese storyboards (Disney). Early classic from the genius of anime.

"A Chorus Line" (1985). Directed by Richard Attenborough. Starring Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Audrey Landers. Extras: "From Broadway to Hollywood" featurette with Marvin Hamlisch (MGM). Can we just admit that the whole "Chorus Line" phenomenon was embarrassing? Thank you.

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"Drumline" (2002). Directed by Charles Stone III. Starring Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones, Leonard Roberts, GQ, Jason Weaver, Earl C. Poitier, J. Anthony Brown. Extras: Commentary by director Stone, 10 deleted scenes, JC Chasez's "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" music video, Joe featuring Jadakiss' "I Want a Girl Like You" music video, BET special featurette (Fox).

"Evelyn" Special Edition (2002). Directed by Bruce Beresford. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Julianna Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Bates. Extras: Commentary by Beresford, commentary by Brosnan and producer Beau St. Clair, "The Story Behind the Story" featurette, "making-of" featurette, photo gallery (MGM).

"Family Guy" Vol. 1 (1999-2000). Four-disc set of the first and second seasons (28 episodes) of the animated Fox series. Extras: Commentary on select episodes (Fox).

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"Henry IV" (1984). Directed by Marco Bellocchio. Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale (Accent Cinema). Adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's theater classic; a must for drama buffs.

"Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989). Directed by Hayao Miyazaki; voices of Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Matthew Lawrence, Debbie Reynolds, Janeane Garofalo. Two-disc set. Extras: Original Japanese language track, introduction by John ("Toy Story") Lasseter, voice talent featurette "Behind the Microphone," original Japanese trailers, original storyboards (Disney). More great animation from Miyazaki.

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"Lolita" (1997). Directed by Adrian Lyne. Starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella, Dominique Swain (Lions Gate). A scandal, for some now-forgotten reason. Opinions vary, but not nearly as bad as advertised at the time.

"Rabbit-Proof Fence" (2002). Directed by Phillip Noyce. Starring Evelyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, Kenneth Branagh. Extras: Commentary by Noyce, musician Peter Gabriel, Branagh, screenwriter Christine Olsen and author Doris Pilkington Garimara; "Following the Rabbit-Proof Fence" documentary (Miramax). Aboriginal girls escape from racist captors in affecting Aussie period drama.

"Rappin'" (1985). Directed by Joel Silberg. Starring Mario Van Peebles, Kadeem Hardison, Eriq La Salle (MGM). We haven't seen it, but we're guessing La Salle (later a star of "ER") would like this one buried.

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"Roadie" (1980). Directed by Alan Rudolph. Starring Meat Loaf, with performances by Blondie, Alice Cooper, Roy Orbison (MGM). Completely baffling. Was there a lower point in any of these people's careers?

"Salsa" (1988). Directed by Boaz Davidson. Starring Robby Rosa, Rodney Harvey, Magali Alvarado, Miranda Garrison (MGM). No idea whatever, except that it's "steamy" and real-life salsa legends Celia Cruz and Willie Colón appear briefly.

"Spirited Away" (2002). Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Voices of Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshett, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers, Lauren Holly, Michael Chiklis. Extras: Two-disc set with original Japanese language track, introduction by John Lasseter, executive producer of the English-language version; "Behind the Microphone" voice talent feature; "The Art of 'Spirited Away'"; select storyboard to scene comparison; original Japanese trailers; English subtitles; English-language track in Dolby 5.1 (Disney).

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"The Transporter" (2002). Directed by Corey Yuen. Starring Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze, Francois Berléand, Ric Young. Extras: Commentary by Yuen and Statham, 15 minutes of additional unrated action footage. deleted scenes, "making-of" documentary (Fox). Statham was going to be the next action star. Back to the drawing board.


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