DVD NEWS strokin’ to the East and strokin’ to the West…

YO ANGELO! ANNNNGELLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!Here’s a little DVD News to send you off to your carousing on a loverly St. Paddy’s weekend…Deets on THE MATRIX: SPECIAL EDITION cancellation…A veritable booty-trove of HOT! NEW HITS! And tasty catalogue releases…Including BELLE EPOQUEDIE ANOTHER DAY!!!…ABOUT SCHMIDT!!!…EMPIRE RECORDS: BOOTLEG CUT… and …BLACKHAWK DOWN on THREE FREAKIN’ DISCS!!!Get it while it’s hot, baby! Cuz it don’t stay hot for long… First off today, lets start with the ultra-productive folks over at Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment…May 20, CTHE will release the Gangster comedy AVENGING ANGELO, starring Sylvester Stallone, Madelaine Stowe and the late, great Anthony Quinn in his final film. Digitally mastered Widescreen and Fullscreen on a single disc, extras include a directors commentary, interview with the writer, a featurette and bonus trailers. Stallone’s previous foray into Mafiosa satire was the supremely underrated OSCAR, so this may be worth having a look at, especially for a last look at the mighty Quinn.Also on May 20, CTHE unleashes the 1994 Foreign Language Academy Award winner BELLE EPOQUE, Fernando Trueba’s sexy romp about a Spanish Civil War deserter, his friend the old farmer, and the farmers’ four beautiful daughters. Also notable as the worlds introduction to Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz, this one comes in remastered Anamorphic Widescreen with the original Spanish dialogue or dubbed English, corresponding subtitles and bonus trailers.May 20 also sees the CTHE release of Sidney Lumets’ superstar-powered crime comedy FAMILY BUSINESS starring, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman and Mathew Broderick as three generations of career criminals teaming up for one last heist. Anamorphic Widescreen and 2.0 Surround with trailers as extras.Last on the May 20 list, CTHE has the quirky British dramedy BEAUTIFUL THING ready for shelves. The story of two teenage boys struggling with their sexuality and friendship in working-class London was a critical success in theatres a few years ago. Anamorphic Wide, with 2.0 Stereo sound and bonus trailers.On June 3, CTHE releases it’s much rumored 3-disc “Special Edition” of Ridley Scott’s BLACK HAWK DOWN. A newly remastered 2.35:1 AW transfer is backed up with 5.1 DDS sound mixes in English, Spanish and French. Disc one contains the feature along with 3 audio commentaries, including 1 with U.S. Special Forces vets. Disc two includes the 6-part documentary THE ESSENCE OF COMBAT: MAKING BLACKHAWK DOWN, 8 deleted and alternate scenes, a production design gallery, a look at the opening title sequence, “Ridleygrams”, storyboards with commentary, and Jerry Bruckheimers personal photo album from the film. Disc 3 includes THE HISTORY CHANNEL PRESENTS: THE TRUE STORY OF BLACKHAWK DOWN, the PBS special FRONTLINE:AMBUSH IN MOGADISHU, as well as an interactive mission map and timeline, “Target Building Insertion sequence” multi-angle featurette, BAFTA Q&A’s with Ridley Scott, Bruckheimer, and most of the lead actors, including Hartnett, McGregor and Jason Isaac, an American Cinematheque Q&A with Bruckheimer and Scott, an Editor’s Guild tribute to Pietro Scalia, a music video, poster gallery and trailers. Hoooooooo-aaaaaaaaaaaah!Also on June 3 from CTHE, look for the 3-disc set of S.W.A.T.:THE FIRST SEASON featuring the first season of the cult fave, in it’s original Fullscreen aspect ratio and mono sound.Last but not least is a pair of indie faves – EAT A BOWL OF TEA and THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, both in new Anamorphic Widescreen transfers with 2.0 Surround and trailers for extras.MGM Home Entertainment has dropped the bomb on 007. DIE ANOTHER DAY aka JAMES BOND 20, will live to see another day on June 3. This one is packed to the gills with super-spy goodness, and for the first time, ol’ J.B. will be presented in a 2-disc “Special Edition”. Available separately in both 2.35:1 AW and Fullscreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and 6.1 DTS ES sound mixes. On disc 1, you will find two commentary tracks, one with director Lee Tamahori and producer Michael Wilson and one with Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike, as well as a branching option that provides text commentary and video supplements. On disc 2, you get the INSIDE DIE ANOTHER DAY documentary, storyboard-to-film comparisons, multi-angle featurettes on the stunts in the film, a featurette on digital grading and 2 other featurettes as well as a separate section labeled THE MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA which houses the video for Madonna’s title-song, a making-of for the music video, trailer, TV spots and a making-of for the NIGHTFIRE video game. Extensive DVD-Rom material will also be included.Also on the MGM list,A GUY THING will hit the streets on May 27. The Jason Lee – Julia Stiles romantic comedy will come in a nice 1.85:1 AW package with 5.1 DDS sound and extras including audio commentary, 2 featurettes, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a subtitle trivia track, gag reel, interactive game and trailers.The official statement has been made by Warner Home Video in regards to that surprise cancellation of THE MATRIX: SPECIAL EDITION set, which was to have debuted on April 29. Instead, WB will drop the price on the current edition of THE MATRIX as well as the price on THE MATRIX/THE MATRIX REVISITED 2-pack. Apparently, producer Joel Silver wanted to hold off on the set, because included extras gave away too much of the plot of the two upcoming sequels, and also to allow them to put some serious work in to a completely new set, with new features and extras.In other WB news, we have deets on that long-promised EMPIRE RECORDS: BOOTLEG CUT – SPECIAL FAN EDITION due on June 3. It will feature a new Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with 5.1 DDS sound. You can scour the film for the 16 minutes of previously unseen footage reintroduced into the film, and then check out an additional 4 deleted scenes, 3 music videos, and trailers.Also debuting on June 3, FAME will also be presented in an AW transfer, and (probably) 5.1 DDS sound. Extras will include a “Class Reunion” audio commentary with Alan Parker and members of the cast, as well as a making-of featurette, a tour of the school and the trailer.SPIRIT OF 76’, the irreverent goofball satire featuring modern Americans time-travelling to 1776, will come loaded with a behind-the-scenes featurette, a Red Kross music video, trailers, deleted scenes and eater eggs. This one also comes in Anamorphic Wide, although audio specs have not been announced.New Line Home Video has announced a June 3 release date for Oscar hopeful ABOUT SCHMIDT. This one will feature an AW transfer, 5.1 DDS and DTS tracks, an alternate opening sequence, deleted scenes, a featurette and trailers.Anchor Bay Entertainment is going to release a retrospective set of Nordic auteur Paul Verhoeven’s early works. THE PAUL VERHOEVEN COLLECTION will include the films TURKISH DELIGHT, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS, SOLDIER OF ORANGE, KATIE TIPPEL and THE 4th MAN. This is basically a simple repackaging of the current Anchor Bay releases of these films, but the low price and increased availability are a big plus for Verhoeven fans.HBO will release ARLI$$: THE BEST OF – VOLUME 1 on June 10. This 2-discer will feature 6 episodes in the original Fullscreen ratio with extras including audio commentaries with the cast, an episode guide and filmographies.And finally, for today, Synapse Films has just announced that they will release the 1978 cult classic THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, William Sachs’ homage to the Creature Features of the 50’s and 60’s. While the deal has just been signed, and no details have been set, this one will debut later this year, hopefully with commentary or interviews with Rick Baker, who did the FX on this gooey splat-fest masterpiece.That’s all for now, folks. It’s been an awfully light week for DVD News. But keep an EYE out, because we’ve got new reviews on the way, from Shane-O, JT and myself, as well as an intro to our newest reviewer, the mysterious Lady Frick…We’re also overhauling the CraveGear stores and adding a whack of sweet-ass new SWAG.Also be sure to check out our upcoming HYPED UP! And some pre-Oscar madness…All next week, right here at EYECRAVEDVD, home of the “Banana Hammock Boogie Burger”…Back into the dark recesses of The Den for me…Axel

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