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Kansascity.com - Video / DVD News (angel s5 dvd mention)

By David Germain

Thursday 17 February 2005, by Webmaster


‘Angel: Season Five’

The final year of David Boreanaz’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spin-off gets some fresh blood as “Buffy” regular Spike (James Marsters) joins the cast. The six-disc set has 22 episodes, with commentary on seven by Boreanaz, series creator Joss Whedon and other collaborators, plus seven background featurettes.


The low-budget exercise in sadism became a $50 million hit with the horror crowd and has a quickie sequel in the works for this fall, just a year after release of the original. The players: A doctor (Cary Elwes) and a photographer (co-screenwriter Leigh Whannell) awaken chained in a dank basement bathroom with a bloody corpse between them. The game: a serial killer’s twisted test of their moral fiber as each man is informed he must kill the other or suffer horrific consequences. Whannell and director and co-writer James Wan collaborate on commentary. The DVD also offers a background featurette, two music videos, a making-of segment on one of the videos and a collection of the movie’s advertising images. The Star’s film rating: 2 1/2


Queen Latifah is a sassy cabbie, and Jimmy Fallon is an inept undercover cop in this forgettable buddy comedy that teams them up for a series of high-speed chases throughout Manhattan on the high heels of gorgeous female bank robbers (led by model Gisele Bundchen). Thankfully, Ann-Margret is on hand to provide a few chuckles as Fallon’s boozy mother. Along with the theatrical cut, the DVD features an extended version that adds a few minutes of footage. Director Tim Story provides commentary for the theatrical version. The DVD also has four deleted scenes and a batch of background featurettes, including a Comedy Central segment with Latifah and Fallon cruising New York in a cab. The Star’s film rating: 1 star.

‘The Motorcycle Diaries’

This exhilarating portrait of the young Ernesto “Che” Guevara in his pre-revolutionary days was one of the finest films of 2004. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as Guevara, an idealistic medical student who embarks with buddy Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) on a rowdy road trip throughout South America aboard a battered motorcycle. In a brief conversation on the DVD, the real Granado looks back on the trip 50 years earlier and notes how events depicted in the film, including a stay at a leper colony, sowed the seeds of Che’s rebellious humanism: “His farewell to the lepers seemed to say, ‘I am leaving this common medicine to become a doctor of souls, of the people,’ ” Granado says. The disc also has two Spanish television segments on Bernal and three substantive deleted sequences. The Star’s film rating: 3 stars

‘Raise Your Voice’

Hilary Duff’s latest ignores its titular advice in favor of a faint whisper of a movie. This snoozer stars Duff as an angelic teen who heads off to summer music school in the big city, where her goody-goody ways clash with the urban angst of her classmates. The DVD has deleted scenes and the music video for Duff’s “Fly.” The Star’s film rating: 1 star.

‘Howards End’

One of the best films from the team of producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, this 1992 adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel stars Emma Thompson (who won the best actress Academy Award) and Helena Bonham Carter as progressive sisters whose relations with a wealthy conservative family (headed by Anthony Hopkins) present an insightful examination of class distinction in Edwardian England. Previously available on a bare-bones single DVD, the film is reissued in a two-disc set whose extras include a 1984 documentary about the long history of Merchant-Ivory Productions and new interviews with Bonham Carter, Merchant and Ivory, plus some of their “Howards End” collaborators.