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Reviewed by Mike Szymanski


The Good, Bad & Quirky of DVDs
Released in Late 2007 . . .

Warner Home Video

Halley Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Davidson, James McDaniel, Sam Rockwell, David Marshall Grant & Joseph C. Phillips

For the first time on DVD, this 1991 romantic comedy follows a man, Phillips, who tries to reinvent himself to win the girl of his dreams (Berry). He enlists the help of a Harlem-born hipster, Davidson, and tries to learn "black" from the ground up. Rated PG-13

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Bill Goldberg, Ricard Kurupt Brown, Robert Madrid, Angell Conwell, Morocco Omari, Roberto LaSardo, Stogie Kenyatta & Joe Perez

Other than the big white former World Wrestling Entertainment performer Bill Goldberg, this is a predominantly African American and Latino cast of good actors who know their martial arts. This time, Kurupt from the hip-hop musical group, Tha Dogg Pound and from Johnson Family Vacation, becomes trapped with Goldberg in the middle of a prison riot. They discover that their loved ones are taken hostage by rival gangs. Rated R

A & E Home Video

R. Lee Ermey, who has played the creepy sheriff in the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, is really a retired U.S. Marine gunnery sergeant, so he's the perfect host for this documentary series on the History Channel that asks experts to discuss things like gas masks, Gatling guns, night vision equipment and Samurai swords. It's great to see the many different minority faces of the experts in the military who offer their expertise. This series has bloopers and never-before-seen outtakes, blunders and bloopers and offers an "X-tra Salty" version and "family friendly" version, bleeping out the whole battalion. Rated G

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Lisa Whelchel, Nancy Mckeon, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, Charlotte Rae & Todd Bridges

The Facts of Life third-season DVD release has two shows where Diff'rent Strokes trouble child star Todd Bridges makes an appearance showing interest in Tootie, (Kim Fields). The early 1980's show is responsible for making Mrs. Garrett and the rest of her girls, Blair, Jo, Tootie, and Natalie household names. Nearly three decades later the show has managed to remain a re-run classic and a household favorite. This is the series also when Tootie deals with the fact that her best friend Blair finds out her grandfather is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The third season will include bonus previews, closed captioned, full screen presentations and digitally mastered audio and video. Rated G

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Vivica A. Fox, Brian J. White, Sean Blakemore, Bone Crusher, David Dysinger, Drew Sidora, Hajii Golightly & Tim Blanchard

The killer housewife from Kill Bill, stunning Vivica A. Fox reprises her role from a little-seen film Motives. This time, the sequel's just as good as she relives the part of Connie, whose ex-husband dies while being imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit. Co-starring Bryan White (Stomp The Yard, Trois: The Escort) as the deceased's brother, the story continues from the not-so-memorable first installment, with the brother doggedly determined to uncover the truth, with unexpected twists in the plot. The DVD also comes with a commentary with the cast and crew including Sean Blakemore (Woman Thou Art Loosed) and Drew Sidora (Step Up, White Chicks). Rated R

Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto, Kennieth Nkosi, Mothusi Magano, Zenzo Ngqobe & Zola

The dramatic 2005 best Foreign Language Academy Award winner is on DVD with alternate endings, deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. The emotional story takes place on the gritty streets of Johannesburg following a "tsotsi" (a word for "thug"), who is a violent gang leader. After shooting a young woman and stealing a car, he accidentally kidnaps the victim's baby. Rated R

Sony Home Entertainment

Wesley Snipes, Lena Headey & Charles Dance

Snipes portrays a deadly assassin on the run when his attempt to kill a terrorist goes terribly wrong. Supposedly safe while on a ranch on Montana and retired from the world of killing, Snipes is coaxed back into the world by his former employer and his only hope is a 12-year-old girl he reluctantly befriends. Rated R

Warner Home Entertainment

Kevin Daniels, Eartha Kitt, Michael Boatman, Vanessa Williams & Jeremy Gumbs

Julie Davidson (Williams) seems to have a perfect life until she finds that an anonymous sperm donor has fathered her child (Daniels). This romantic comedy comes with a half-an-hour of extras including three deleted scenes, featurettes and commentaries. Rated R

HBO Video

P. Diddy, Doug E. Fresh & Mister Cee

Five new comic sensations are handpicked by P. Diddy who are delivering some of the funniest comedy material he can find. Also included are a behind-the-scenes commentary by Diddy and footage of the comedians before they go on. These are all raw and untapped talents that may be the stars of the future. Rated TV-MA

HBO Video

Keith David & Richard Dysart

Todd McFarlane's signature edition of the 10th anniversary of his series is in a new animated collection. Spawn follows the story of murder victim Al Simmons who returns from hell to Earth as a collector of souls. The DVD set includes episode storyboards, behind-the-scenes featurettes, an interview with McFarlane and character profiles with costumes, poses and expressions. Rated TV-MA

DreamWorks Animation

Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, John Krasinski & Ian McShane

Prepare for king-sized laughs in the third installment of the adventures of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss in Boots including a magical, misguided Merlin, an awkward Arthur, a powerful posse of Princesses and a bundle of unexpected arrivals. Included in the extras are the “Donkey Dance” with the help of Donkey's wildly entertaining step-by-step instructions and “Shrek's Guide to Parenthood” where viewers receive wise and wacky parental advice from Donkey, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio and Gingy. In addition to cast profiles, “Lost Scenes,” “Big Green Goofs” there is a “How to Be Green” environmental tips for kids. Rated PG

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