Lots of release news

Credit: DVDActive/DavisDVD

Guns blazin’, bullets flyin’

Universal Home Video has released some details on the Smokin’ Aces DVD. The film, which stars the likes of Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, and Alicia Keys, will be available to own on April 17, 2007. The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras will include an audio commentary with Writer/Director Joe Carnahan and Editor Robert Frazen, a second commentary with Writer/Director Joe Carnahan, Common, Christopher Holley and Zach Cumer, deleted and extended scenes, outtakes, a Shoot ‘Em Up: Stunts & Efffects featurette, a Cowboy Ending featurette, The Line-Up featurette, and The Big Gun featurette. A HD DVD/Combo release will also be available.

Hilary Swank and her merry band of Freedom Writers

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Freedom Writers on April 17, 2007. Hilary Swank and Patrick Dempsey star in yet a retread of a subject we’ve seen many times before (i.e., Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me). vailable in separate anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen editions, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, extras will include deleted scenes, “Making a Dream,” “Freedom Writers Family,” “Freedom Writers: The Story Behind the Story” featurettes, a photo gallery, and trailers.

Dreamgirls to have two different releases

Paramount Home Entertainment has announced single and double-disc editions of Dreamgirls which stars Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, and Eddie Murphy. The film is coming to DVD on May 1, 2007. Extras on the single-disc will include an exclusive never before seen performance from Jennifer Hudson, 12 extended musical numbers/alternate scenes, and a Beyonce “Listen” music video. The two-disc “Showstopper” edition will include that along with 12 never before seen musical numbers, behind the scenes footage, a “Building the Dream” featurette, Beyonce, Jennifer and Anika auditions/screen tests, and much more. HD DVD and Blu-ray releases will be available seperately with identical features.

The Hitcher to be unleashed on DVD

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has finalized its specs for the home release of its recent remake of The Hitcher. Available May 1, 2007, the DVD arrives in separate 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen editions, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Bonus materials include deleted scenes, “Fuel Your Fear: The Making of The Hitcher,” “Dead End,” “Road Kill: The Ultimate Car Crash,” and “Chronicles of a Killer” featurettes. A trailer gallery rounds out the set. Also look for an HD-DVD/DVD Combo with a 2.40:1 1080p transfer, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 tracks and the same extras.

Justin Timberlake delivers a (gulp) good performance?

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has sent over final details for the upcoming release of Alpha Dog, starring Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone. Due on May 1, 2007, the DVD arrives with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Bonus materials will include “A Cautionary Tale: The Making of Alpha Dog” featurette, a “Witness Timeline” feature and a trailer gallery/

Dude looks like a lady

Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing Mrs. Doubtfire: Behind the Seams Edition on May 8, 2007. The comedy, starring Robin Williams, Sally Field, and Pierce Brosnan, will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. Extras will include deleted and extended scenes, alternate scenes, a From Man to Mrs: The Evolution of Mrs. Doubtfire featurette, an Aging Gracefully: Looking Back at Mrs. Doubtfire featurette, a Conversation with Legendary Animator Chuck Jones featurette, an original pencil test, and a final animation sequence with some alternate backgrounds. Completing the package will be five makeup tests, a makeup photo gallery, an original 1993 featurette, a Robin Williams interview, trailers, and more.

Billy Bob is out of this world

Warner Home Video will release The Astronaut Farmer on May 8, 2007. The film, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen, arrives with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Extras are still to be determined.

Edward Norton and The Painted Veil

Warner Home Video has officially announced The Painted Veil which stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Liev Schreiber. This John Curran directed drama will be available to own on May 8, 2007. The film will be presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track.

Pan’s Labyrinth to receive the Platinum treatment

New Line has announced the Guillermo del Toro directed Pan’s Labyrinth. The film will be available in two editions – a single DVD and double-disc – on May 15, 2007. The film itself will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with Spanish 6.1 DTS-ES, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and 2.0 Stereo Surround tracks. English subtitles will also be provided. Extras on the single disc release will include a video prologue from the director, a director commentary, and trailers. The two-disc edition will include that along with a Power of Myth featurette, comic book artists’ interpretations of characters from the film, a visual effects featurette, a featurette on the colours and textures in del Toro films, two featurettes on the musical theme, and a Charlie Rose Show interview. Completing the package will be interactive director’s notes and sketches, storyboard/thumbnail comparisons, galleries, and more.

Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain

Warner Home Video has officially announced The Fountain which stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. This Darren Aronofsky directed film will be available to own on May 15, 2007. The film will be presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks. As of this moment, the only extra included will be a six-part Inside The Fountain: Death and Rebirth feature exploring the movie’s various periods and settings. English, French and Spanish subtitles will also be provided. HD DVD/Combo and Blu-ray releases will also be available seperately.

Did this even come to theaters?

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced Seraphim Falls which stars Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Angie Harmon, and Anjelica Huston. The western will be available to own on May 15, 2007. The film will be presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. Extras will include an audio commentary with Pierce Brosnan, Director David Von Ancken and Michael Hanans, a behind the scenes featurette, and preview trailers for other Sony releases.

Madonna in an “animated” performance

Genius Products and The Weinstein Company will release Arthur and the Invisibles on May 15, 2007. From filmmaker Luc Besson comes a larger-than-life adventure about a boy who sets out to save his family home from real estate developers. Following his grandfather’s ancient clues to a vast treasure, Arthur unlocks a passageway to a spectacular world inhabited by the Minimoys, a nature-loving race of beings so tiny they are considered invisible. Starring Mia Farrow, Freddie Highmore and the voices of Robert De Niro, Jimmy Fallon and Madonna. The disc arrives with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras include “The Voices of Arthur” and “The Visual Effects of Arthur” featurettes, “Quest for Love” Music Video, “The Making of ‘Quest for Love'” and the theatrical trailer.

Time to man up for some John Wayne goodness

Celebrating The Duke’s 100th birthday, Warner Home Video will release Rio Bravo: Special Edition on May 22, 2007. Director Howard Hawks’ classic western arrives with a remastered 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital Mono tracks. Extras on the two-disc set include an audio commentary with filmmaker John Carpenter and film critic Richard Schickel, “Rio Bravo” and “Old Tucson: Where the Legends Walked” featurettes, a vintage documentary and trailers. Also available will be an Ultimate Collector’s Edition which will add a collectible press book, a reprint of the Dell comic book and lobby cards.

Paramount Home Entertainment will release True Grit: Special Collector’s Edition as well on May 22. This classic, starring John Wayne as the drunken one-eyed U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, arrives with an anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital Mono tracks. Bonus materials include an audio coommentary with Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell and J. Stuart Rosebrook, the featurettes “True Writing,” “Working with the Duke,” “Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit,” “The Law and the Lawless,” and the theatrical trailer.

Better the second time around?

Universal Home Video has announced a two-disc special edition of The 40-Year-Old Virgin which stars Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, and Seth Rogen. The set will be available to own on May 22, 2007. The unrated cut will be included – presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks. DVD extras will include a Directing the Virgin video diary feature, hilarious footage of the cast auditions, unedited takes of Steve Carell creating side-splitting scenes, outtakes from the poker scene, a Reel Comedy Roundtable, and more. The set will also include a sneak peak of Knocked Up (from the director of 40 Year Old Virgin), along with a ticket to see the film. A HD-DVD release will be available.

Back to “Summer” School

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Summer School: Life’s a Beach Edition on May 22, 2007. The hit 1987 comedy, starring Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley, arrives with an anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 tracks. Bonus materials include a newly recorded audio commentary track with director Carl Reiner and star Mark Harmon, “Inside the Teacher’s Lounge” and “Summer School Yearbook” featurettes, a photo gallery and the trailer.

Eddie Murphy to get the “special” treatment

Paramount Home Entertainment will release both Trading Places and Coming to America in Special Collector’s Editions on June 5, 2007. The hit comedies arrive with an anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 tracks. Bonus materials for Trading Places will include a deleted scene, a subtitled trivia track, the featurettes “Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places,” “Trading Stories,” “Dressing the Part” and “The Trade in Trading Places,” and trailers.

For Coming to America, extras include the featurettes “Prince-ipal Photography: The Coming Together of America,” “Fir For Akeem: The Costumes of Coming To America,” “Character Building: The Many Faces of Rick Baker,” a vintage sit-down interview with Eddie and Arsenio, and trailers.

Fantastic Four: Extended (Please, no Mr. Fantastic jokes.)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Fantastic Four: Extended Edition on June 5, 2007. This new two-disc set of the superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics series, includes both the 106-minute theatrical version and a new 111-minute extended cut presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Surround tracks. Bonus materials include an audio commentary track, deleted & extended scenes, “Heroes Are Born: The Making of Fantastic Four,” “Jack Kirby: Storyteller,” “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” featurettes, animatics, art and photo galleries, trailers, TV spots and a look at the upcoming sequel “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.”

Coming to DVD sooner than you might think

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Black Snake Moan on June 26, 2007. Details for the film – starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake – have yet to be finalized, but expect an anamorphic widescreen presentation and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks.

Various Street Dates

Here are some helpful street dates so that you can plan future purchases and/or rentals. Letters From Iwo Jima, Miss Potter and Primeval will arrive on May 1, 2007, and Epic Movie on May 15, 2007.

And, coming in June, 20th Century Fox will be releasing new special/collector’s editions of Fantastic Voyage, The Hustler, The Sand Pebbles, Twelve O’Clock High, The Verdict, Von Ryan’s Express, and a title that is Al Gore approved: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Global Warming Edition.