History, Fiction, Science and More The Best of DVDs Toys for Learning Books, Videos and More


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The Adventures of Robin Hood (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1938)
Starring: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland
Director: William Keighley, Michael Curtiz
Re- release date: September 30, 2003 $37.78 *

Never has Warner Bros.'s Technicolor classic looked as vibrant and lush as it does on this DVD. The restoration alone is worth the DVD's weight in stolen booty. But adding to its wealth are the pertinent extras that support the film's story, its historical background, its technical achievements, and the Robin Hood legend as a whole. Notable extras include Rudy Behlmer's commentary, which will tell you more than you ever thought you needed to know about the film. The "Welcome to Sherwood" documentary nicely balances the historical state of Warner Bros. studio in the late 1930s, the decision to make the film, its production, and its continuing success. There's even an hourlong documentary on the history of Technicolor, which is interesting and surprisingly scandalous. A perfect addition to any film buff's collection and a great gift for the coming holidays!

The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection (1950) $35.99*
This 50th-anniversary DVD release of The Third Man is a perfect example of how the Criterion Collection continues to raise the bar on how a special edition should be produced. Not only did Carol Reed's classic undergo an impeccable facelift, drastically enhancing the sights and sounds of post-World War II Vienna, but the disc is also packed with pertinent extras that provide deep insight into the film.

The THIRD REICH In Color $29.95*
Gives a fair presentation of various sides in the world conflict, including some amazing color footage of Canadians, Americans, French, Brits, etc. This DVD is also among the best WWII documentaries at conveying the social context of the time. Lots of parades, people on vacation, photograped in the time leading up to the war. Scenes from the ghettos and images of racial/religious injustice and resent, made all very real by the color and crisp photography.

Lawrence of Arabia (Superbit Collection)$22.99*
Lawrence of Arabia raises the bar on Superbit DVDs by not only using the much-publicized higher bit rate, but also offering a brand-new transfer by restoration expert Robert Harris, who worked on the film's restoration for theatrical release in the late 1980s. The original two-DVD set was very well done, but the Superbit has a clear advantage in its sharper picture, richer colors, and correction of some minor flaws. The audio track has more punch as well, though it's still limited by its source material.

Saving Private Ryan$14.99*
When Steven Spielberg was an adolescent, his first home movie was a backyard war film. When he toured Europe with Duel in his 20s, he saw old men crumble in front of headstones at Omaha Beach. That image became the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, his film of a mission following the D-day invasion that many have called the most realistic--and maybe the best--war film ever. Spielberg has been able to create a stunning, unparalleled view of war as hell.

Stargaze - Hubble's View Of The Universe (2000) $21.49*
"StarGaze" brings the beauty and majesty of the universe to your home theater, direct from the Hubble Space Telescope. With over an hour of the most incredible images of the universe you'll ever see, from gaseous clouds to more than 200 other astronomical objects, plus Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound music from popular new age group 2002, "StarGaze" will quickly become a favorite in your DVD collection.

Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition) (1927)
Fritz Lang's Metropolis belongs to legend as much as to cinema. It's a milestone of sci-fi and German expressionism. Perhaps the most famous and influential of all silent films, METROPOLIS has for 75 years been seen only in shortened or truncated versions. Now, restored in Germany with state of the art digital technology, under the supervision of the Murnau Foundation, and with the original 1927 orchestral score by Gottfried Huppertz added, METROPOLIS can be appreciated in its full glory.

The World At War - Complete Set
Sir Jeremy Isaacs highly deserves the numerous awards for documentaries he has earned: the Royal Television Society's Desmond Davis Award, l'Ordre National du Mérit, an Emmy, and a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. His epic The World at War remains unsurpassed as the definitive visual history of World War II.

Midway (Collector's Edition) $12.99*
Six months after the Japanese destroyed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans discovered the Japanese were planning to seize the Naval base at Midway Island--a perfect staging point for invading Hawaii or the mainland. Outnumbered four to one, the Americans won a surprise victory and shattered the backbone of the Japanese Imperial Navy. This 1976 film feels more like a history lesson than a drama, but World War II buffs will appreciate the attention to historical fact (especially the way in which fate and a few bad decisions turned the tide), as well as the generous use of actual battle footage. The all-star cast includes Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Cliff Robertson in cameos and a whole slew of familiar TV faces in supporting roles.

Battle of Britain (1969)$11.21*
There's something about this film that's so irresistible, despite its grandiose manipulation. Maybe because it recounts the greatest air battle in history, achieving the greatest aerial battle in film history. Maybe because it has such a terrific cast (Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curt Jurgens, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Patrick, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Robert Shaw, Patrick Wymark, and Edward Fox). Maybe because it's so technically well-made, thanks to the Bond team of producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy Hamilton and the great cinematographer Freddie Young. Or maybe because there is something truly riveting about watching the British kick the Nazis back to Germany.

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