Artisan Entertainment, $26.98
The movie that let a thousand irony-drenched, blood-soaked, macho- asshole auteurs (a.k.a. "Li'l Scorseses") bloom throughout the '90s celebrates its 10th anniversary with a boffo double-disc DVD release (Aug. 27). Things begin on a dissonant note with a "Collect all five!"-type outer sleeve paying tribute to each of the movie's five core characters; my Mr. Blonde edition included a booklet containing stills, quotes, and, strangely, an ode to a Zippo lighter penned by Michael Madsen. Unless you're of the gaga completist persuasion, ignore this goofy marketing strategy and head straight to the menus for hours of couch exploration.
"This has always been our favorite cut. . . . Quentin had it in his head for years," says producer Lawrence Bender, and Tarantino scores big points for maintaining the brilliance of that original vision by refusing to succumb to the revisionist director's-cut trend. A few rightfully excised bonus scenes include—for the sick- bastard contingent, one assumes—TWO separate alternate-angle takes of the film's celebrated ear-Ginsu sequence.
A lone commentary track is compiled out of punchy observations from cast and crew, offering a steady stream of insider tidbits sure to dampen the undies of every Tarantinophile. Apart from the standard filler, dozens of mini-commentaries, interviews, and short docs further break down the picture into all sorts of angles. Production memories from (a shockingly corpulent) Chris Penn, encomia from legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman and Village Voice critic Amy Taubin, plus a respectful tribute to the late 'n' great Lawrence Tierney are all worth a look-see.
What else can you look for among Aug. 27 releases? Dennis Quaid joins the commentary track on The Rookie, while Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman shirk that duty on High Crimes. Disney's putting out a bunch of kiddie titles, including a Schoolhouse Rock 30th anniversary compilation. Older flicks finding their way to disc include Vampire's Kiss (where Nicolas Cage eats a cockroach) and John Carpenter's The Fog. Among recent fare, Crush and Dahmer are also arriving, but a better bet would be Strictly Sinatra, a nice little British comedy from SIFF '01 that features another fine performance by Ian Hart as a lounge singer.