As a service to YOU, the illustrious and inevitably wonderful Cinematical reader, I've decided to kick-start a semi-regular* column called (cleverly enough) New Special Editions, in which I'll ... well, inform you of new Special Edition DVDs that have recently been announced. Won't that be fun? Indeed. So let's get started.

That Thing You Do! -- I've always had a real soft spot for this ultra-scrubbed '50s pop Cinderella story, mostly because of the cast (and ok, the music) but also because of the ending. Heck, who knew Tom Hanks could direct such a lovable little flick? Well get this: Coming in March is a 155-minute(!) version of the movie, which used to run about 105 and didn't seem to have much fat on its bones. Color me curious, especially with a Tom Hanks audio commentary, some new featurettes, and a variety of "One-der"-intensive goodies.

Spider-Man 2 -- Like you didn't see this Extended Edition coming a mile away. Arriving just in time for the theatrical release of Spider-Man 3, the longer version of SM2 is sure to offer at least a few stray nuggets to keep the Marvelites happy. And hey, if you don't want to wait until April, check out the FX Network on January 2, because that's when they'll be running the longer version ... for free!

Payback -- Brian Helgeland went back and re-cut his Mel Gibson flick, and you can check out the results on April 10. Haven't seen this one since its theatrical run, so into the Netqueue it goes!

Alexander
-- Dubbed Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut, this umpteenth DVD release of Oliver Stone's oft-derided epic will offer more than 45 previously unseen minutes. Yee-ikes. This one hits the shelves on February 27, so don't say you haven't been warned. (Do any of those new 45 include a few minutes of, say, Rosario Dawson? Unclothed, perhaps? If so, I'll struggle through the flick one more time. But that's it!)

The Full Monty -- This Fully Exposed Edition offers the same movie you saw in theaters, but now with an extra disc packed with complete male nudity tons of extra features. Cute movie and all, but does anyone actually love The Full Monty enough to NEED a 2-disc Special Edition?

(* Semi-regular = When three or four new Special Editions happen to hit the horizon.)

[Big thanks to DavisDVD.com for their consistently awesome DVD news.]