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The Sydney Morning Herald

Dvd Video Releases

Author: Michael Idato
Date: 30/12/2002
Words: 548
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 8
Band of Brothers

Warner Bros, 700 mins,

MA15+, drama (DVD/VHS)

Stephen E. Ambrose's non-fiction account of the US Army's

Easy Company during World War II is brought to life in startling detail. Stars Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Scott Grimes and Neal McDonough.

DVD extras The 80-minute documentary We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company, a 30-minute production featurette, actor Ron Livingston's video production diary, a featurette on the series' premiere at Normandy, biographies, notes, episode trailers, a photo gallery and weblinks. Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1, with an optional French soundtrack. The film is 1.78:1 widescreen.

Verdict Simply breathtaking.

Neighbours: Defining Moments

Sony, 365 mins, G, drama (DVD)

A compilation of 15 "classic" episodes from the long-running serial, including the weddings of Des and Daphne, Scott and Charlene and others; births; and the deaths of Daphne, Todd, Jim, Helen and Madge.

DVD extras A photo gallery only. The episodes are 4:3 or 16:9 widescreen, depending on when they were made, and the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The disc is coded for all regions.

Verdict Charming, but not nearly enough early material.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Buena Vista, 73 mins, G

(DVD, already on VHS)

One of director Tim Burton's

most extraordinary films. Made in 1993, it is set in Halloween Town and features Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King. It is visually breathtaking, evoking the stop-motion animation classics of Rankin Bass.

DVD extras Audio commentary (by Burton and director of photography Pete Kozachik), a production featurette, deleted scenes, featurettes (on Halloween Town, Christmas Town and the real world as they appear in the film), posters and trailers, plus two early Burton films - Vincent (his directorial debut) and Frankenweenie (the "uncut" version). Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and the print is 1.66:1 widescreen, 16:9 enhanced. There is an optional German soundtrack.

Verdict Unlike anything you've ever seen.


Karaoke Abba: A Video Biography

Original footage makes this one a must-have DVD.

Phantom of the Opera

Not the musical, but the much better

1925 film.

The Beastmaster

A sea of pectorals, shame about

the script.


Lost In Space (1998)

Roadshow, 130 mins, PG, science fiction (DVD/VHS)

The cinematic remake of the classic '60s TV series balances the need to deliver a modern-day science fiction blockbuster with its duty to pay homage to the original. The Robinson family, led by Professor John Robinson (William Hurt), is sent into outer space as part of a colonisation program, but they become "lost in space" when their mission is sabotaged by undercover agent Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman). Oldman's Smith is far less flamboyant than Jonathan Harris's memorable original, but his menacing demeanour has echoes of the way Harris played him in the TV show's early black-and-white episodes. The DVD release includes audio commentaries, deleted scenes, production featurettes and trailers.

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