Have your DVD NEWS with a shmoke und a pancake…

What up Freaks?Here’s your DVD NEWS for the week. Things have slowed down quite a bit in the industry, whether because of increasing tension in the Middle East, or because the Oscars are coming and the studios are focused on Campaigning. Maybe it’s just that they’re really frickin’ lazy.I just don’t know!Whatever the reason, while this week has been slim pickins, it doesn’t mean there’s no quality in what few announcements there were…How would you like to know about CHARLIE CHAPLIN COMING BACK TO DVD!!!!!Maybe THE LION KING: PLATINUM EDITION details would float your collective boat?How’s about a little Bruno? TEARS OF THE SUN ALREADY???All that and more goo than you could poke yer stick at…Today, in your DVD NEWS!!!… First up this morning is a welcome bombshell from my new heroes over at Warner Brothers.Warner Home Video has announced their acquisition of a licensing agreement for 10 Charlie Chaplin classics to be released to DVD. July 1, WHV rolls out he first four titles THE GOLD RUSH, THE GREAT DICTATOR, LIMELIGHT and MODERN TIMES. The films have all been remastered and digitally restored and will be presented in double-disc special editions with extras including unreleased footage, behind-the-scenes material and Chaplin home movie footage. Also included will be interviews with Chaplin’s family, documentary retrospectives and a 6-minute clip from the unfinished 1919 film THE PROFESSOR. Sister company TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES will broadcast the films during a one-night special near the DVD release date, and will promote the DVD’s on the Cable channel, in the TCM MOVIE NEWS magazine and on the website, where the DVD’s will be available for pre-order on May 20. The remaining 6 titles will appear in the fall.In other blockbuster DVD news…Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and parent company Disney, have finally released specs and cover art on the long-awaited THE LION KING: PLATINUM EDITION which is now scheduled for an October 7 release date. The film will be presented in a THX certified Anamorphic Widescreen transfer, with both 5.1 DDS and DTS soundtracks. In addition to the original theatrical version of the film, a second version adding in the new musical number MORING REPORT will be available through seamless branching options. Disc one will also include 3 deleted scenes, a making-of featurette on MORNING REPORT, a new music video, a sing-along karaoke track and four set-top games, including a “personality profiler” and something called “Pumbaa’s Sound Sensations”. Disc two features a collection of featurettes – DISNEY ANIMALS, STORYMAKING MAGIC, CHARACTER DESIGN, COMPUTER DESIGN and AFRICAN ART INSPIRATION. Also included are interviews with Julie Taymor, Elton John and Tim Rice, a featurette on the popular Broadway musical, a VIRTUAL SAFARI with Timon and Pumbaa, more music videos and a whole slew of still galleries featuring masks, costumes, people and puppets used in the animation process, etc. etc. etc. This one looks to be the Be-All End-All of Disney DVD extravaganzas!!!Also just announced by BVHE is the recent thriller THE RECRUIT starring Al Motherlovin’ God Pacino and Colin Farrell. This will be a 2.35:1 AW transfer with 5.1 DDS sound as well as commentary by director Roger Donaldsen and Colin Farrell, a SPY SCHOOL CIA training featurette, deleted scenes and trailers. May 27.Also on the way from BVHE? A slew of direct-to-video sequels in the horror section. Two new installments of the HELLRAISER series with HELLRAISER: DEADER and HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD. A new threequel to MIMIC with MIMIC: SENTINEL and THE PROPHECY 4 followed by (wait for it…) THE PROPHECY 5. Seems like there’s just not enough space on the shelves these days…On to our buds over at 20th Century Fox…June 17th marks the day for goin’ to the Chapel with the release of JUST MARRIED the surprise hit comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy. This one comes packed up in a pretty bow with both Fullscreen and 1.85:1 AW transfer, 5.1 DDS sound, commentaries by director, producer and both stars, as well as 4 deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, the Comedy Central REEL COMEDY featurettes and trailers. Brittany Murphy?!?!?! I DO!!Also coming up from Fox Home Entertainment is the July 22 slate of super-kick-ass Martial Arts goodness that includes 5 Hong Kong faves making a big debut with new AW transfers, 5.1 DDS sound ( in the original Cantonese!!!) supplemented by optional English dub or Subtitles. Extras on all of the discs include promo material, trailers, stills and production notes. Some of them also come with music videos, outtakes and interviews. Included in this collection? How about NAKED KILLER starring the insanely gorgeous and ultra-talented Chingmy Yau. Add a little Chow Yun Fat in HONG KONG 1941, a kind of “Chinese Casablanca” set during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in WWII. Maybe some Jackie Chan in CITY HUNTER? and last, but not least, MAGNIFICENT WARRIORS with the magnificent Michelle Yeoh…Very very very coooooool!!And Fox HE will release MASH: SEASON FOUR on July 15. Specs are the same as the previous three collections – 4:3 Fullscreen and mono, with a selectable laugh-track option. “You mean we’re talking about some damn Shaaaahks mutha?” Yup. Believe it. Universal is hauling out the dead-in-the-water third and fourth episodes of the Adventures of Bruce. JAWS 3 and JAWS: THE REVENGE will crawl from the surf, dragging shredded limbs, on June 3. Both will feature new 2.35:1 AW transfers and 2.0 Surround soundtracks, as well as trailers and production notes. And NO, JAWS 3 will NOT be in 3-D!The folks over at New Line have announced a June 3 release date for Werner Herzog’s INVINCIBLE. Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen with 5.1 DDS and DTS soundtracks and a trailer.Also on June 3 get ready for a pair of Roman Polanski flicks, DEATH AND THE MAIDEN and BITTER MOON. Both come in Anamorphic Widescreen with Dolby Digital (2.0 or 5.1, you ask? Nobody seems to know!!) and trailers.A little closer to home, on May 6, New Line rereleases a couple of catalogue nuggets starring Pierce Brosnan. DETONATOR and LIVE WIRE will both include Fullscreen and AW versions of the films, with 5.1 DDS audio and trailers. LIVE WIRE may also be available in R and Unrated versions.Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment has struck another blow in the war on waiting for DVD releases. TEARS OF THE SUN, the Bruce Willis actioner that opened about a week ago in theatres, has been announced for a June 10 DVD release. This will be a “Special Edition” package, but no deets have been announced.Also coming up from CTHE is the Box-Office also-ran NATIONAL SECURITY. Steve Zahn and Martin Lawrence team up as security guards trying to bust a smuggling ring. Lawrence and director Dennis Dugan have made careers out of Box-Office bombs that become cult hits on Home Video, so look for this one to do well when it shows up on shelves May 27. This one comes in a Widescreen transfer with 5.1 DDS sound, commentary, alternate ending, deleted scenes and a music video.Another May 27 release from CTHE, LOVE LIZA is a dark dramedy starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a man shattered by the suicide of his young wife. Kathy Bates co-stars in this weird and contemplative journey through self-pity, self-abuse, gas huffing and remote control cars. AW with 5.1 DDS sound. Commentaries, trailers and DVD-Rom material included.In other CTHE news, look for the new to DVD MONTANA and Blake Edwards’ 1962 horror-thriller EXPERIMENT IN TERROR debuting June 10.And you Almodovar fans should note – CTHE has pushed back the release of Almodovar’s TALK TO HER from May 13 to May 27.And finally, for this really slow week, Paramount has announced a vague release schedule of “Summer 2003” for GREASE 2, THE BRADY BUNCH, A VERY BRADY SEQUEL and Robert Altman’s oft-trashed big screen version of POPEYE starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall (Which I freakin’ LOVE, BTW!)That’s all for now, poh-tots and tomaters. But keep that EYE peeled, because tomorrow we have a little pre-Oscar listage, and Monday morning, check in for the full list of weiners… I mean winners…And to all those embroiled in the recent carnage in Iraq… Keep it real, baby! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,And remember the words of the wise…Hakuna Matata

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