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entertainment > dvd's

shrek
This DVD, issued, like the film, by DreamWorks and Universal, includes two discs. The first one presents the feature full-frame, with lots of extras supported by animated menus. The second disc includes the feature letterboxed and more extras; the second disc has an Easter egg that leads you to a "karoke party" that's merely one of the menu selections on the first disc. There's an HBO documentary on the making of "Shrek" on disc one, which is quite interesting, but much of the interview footage from this documentary turns up in one of the several documentaries on disc two. more info

cheaper by the dozen

On the widescreen side, there's a five minute featurettes with the director telling how he got the movie and cast the kids. It's a nice, but mostly useless thing. We also get two commentaries. The first is with director Shawn Levy who does a good job in keeping it fresh and interesting - your usual good director's commentary. Less exciting is the commentary by "the Baker Kids" which finds several of the young actors doing commentary. more info

pirates of the caribbean

Disney offers up one of the biggest films of the year with a hugely-packed two disc special edition. The disc offers viewers a THX-certified, 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture that really showcases the beautiful locales of the open sea and the colonial port towns. The picture quality is exquisite with not a hint of murky fades or blacks. Disney pleases me more than ever with the choice of either the standard Dolby Digital soundtrack or the more pleasing in my opinion DTS 5.1 track. I've long been a fan of the DTS format and could not be happier that a grand adventure such as this offers up that choice. Having taken a listen to both, I can say this movie benefits either way, with the DTS offering a slightly deeper bass and surround experience. more info

x2: x-men united

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing two different versions of "X2: X-Men United" on DVD, one containing the movie in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and the other containing the movie in pan & scan (1.33:1). Both are two-disc sets and both provide the same bonus materials: a feature-length audio commentary track by director Bryan Singer and cinematographer Tom Sigel; a second feature-length audio commentary track by producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter and screenwriters Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter; a making-of documentary; 10 featurettes; 11 deleted scenes; and other bonus materials as well. more info

finding nemo

Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clownfish, has his life turned upside down one unfortunate night. His lone remaining family is his son with one deformed flipper, Nemo. This leaves Marlin a very overprotective father. Finally convincing his father to allow him to go to school, disaster happens on the first day. Nemo is unexpectedly caught by scuba divers and later ends up in an aquarium at a dentist's office. Marlin is now hot on the trail of finding his lost son. more info

spiderman

There are three versions of Spiderman available on DVD. A two-disc set is presented in your choice of full screen or anamorphic widescreen. There is also a special collector's 'gift' set that includes additional extras like a mock up of the comic Amazing Fantasy #15, a cell from the film and "collectable" drawings. All sets include a commentary with Raimi, Dunst and other production people. There is a subtitled facts track that runs along with the film, comic/film comparison, special effects featurette and the hit music video. There are even DVDROM features to let you surf the web in search of even more details of Spiderman. more info

brother bear

The highlight of Disc 1 is Rutt & Tuke's Commentary, which is just like any audio commentary, except that the speakers are Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in character as the film's comic relief moose. It feels totally improvised, and Moranis and Thomas are in prime form. It's mostly quite funny, and I do wish it wasn't only on the reformatted disc. You can choose to listen to the commentary with visuals or without; with the former selected, you occassionally get to see well-done silhouettes of the moose. Of course, the entertainment value of the commentary, like Strange Brew, is totally subject to taste. more info

the haunted mansion

The Haunted Mansion is all about the spectacle. The special effects and make-up are extremely good throughout. In fact the film is quite scary in parts for younger children, especially during the crypt sequence, which could give any child under the age of seven nightmares for a very long time. This does not make a great movie however as it all falls apart because of the very flimsy plot that is very reminiscent of many films in the genre, especially "The Haunting". more info

charlie's angels: full throttle

Once again, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu star as Natalie, Dylan and Alex, three girls recruited by "Charlie" to fight crime and save the day and all that good stuff. The plot this time around, which is almost not worth discussing as it gets thrown out and forgotten about halfway, deals with decoder rings that reveal the identity of those in the witness protection program. There's also the business of a "fallen angel", one Madison Lee (Demi Moore), who has plans for both the angels and the list. more info

ice age

Though not exactly know as a studio that produces a lot of animated features, occasionally 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment does have such a film in their repertoire. "Ice Age" is that film currently, and after a very successful theatrical run it is now coming to DVD as a 2-disc Special Edition. Not only does it contain the film itself but also a flurry of extras and even a completely new animated short, so let's see how the DVD shaped up. more info

monsters inc.

There's a lot of bonus features here in this 2-disc set. Most of it is on the dedicated bonus disc. The first disc contains the feature film, including audio commentary by the filmmakers and a dedicated Dolby Digital EX 5.1 sound effects-only soundtrack, a THX Optimizer feature, and the usual Disney sneak peaks/trailers of upcoming theatrical and DVD/home video releases. more info

harry potter and the chamber of secrets

The Chamber of Secrets is a good film, even for a sequel. But ultimately, I found it a far cry from The Sorcerer's Stone. As far as the DVD goes, the 2-disc Chamber of Secrets is very collectible, thanks to the rich set of bonus features. Warner Home Entertainment seems to have cooked up the perfect potion (again!) for another successful DVD release! more info




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