CATEGORIES DVDsHappy 70th anniversary, Scarlett, Rhett and Melanie. Warner Home Video is re-releasing that grandest of all romantic spectacles, 'Gone With the Wind,' in new standard DVD and Blu-ray editions so we can better see Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh fight it out on the big screen (and watch General Sherman destroy Atlanta). Our next stop is outer space, where we land with 'Farscape: The Complete Series.' Gone With the Wind
Why the Rerelease? Warner Home Video has a great present for fans of the greatest movie of all time: They've remastered and restored the film from an original negative and packaged it in three ways. There's a two-disc standard DVD set, a five-disc standard DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition (with 12 hours of bonus features) and a two-disc Blu-ray Ultimate Collector's Edition with 18 hours of bonus features. The Ultimate Collector's Editions will also contain collectible memorabilia including a 20-page reproduction of the original 1939 Souvenir Program, a 40-page production history book with photos and production notes, eight frameable 5x7 art prints and a CD soundtrack sampler.
New Special Features: There are so many extras on the five-disc standard DVD set (which have been condensed to two discs for the Blu-ray version) that they're impossible to list here. Highlights are three new-to-DVD documentaries: '1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year,' narrated by Kenneth Branagh, 'Gone With the Wind: The Legend Lives On,' an exploration of the legacy of the film through interviews, footage and visits to historical sites, events and museums, and a WBTV special, 'Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara Wars.' There's also commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer, 'The Making of a Legend' documentary, a 1989 TV special narrated by Christopher Plummer, and restoration and cast documentaries.
Is It Worth Upgrading? Definitely. This version of the film supplants all previous editions in sound and visual quality, and the packaging of the Ultimate Editions just can't be beat. A must for every film lover's library.
'Farscape': The Complete Series
What's the Deal? 'Farscape' was one of our favorite Sci-Fi channel space operas, one that always threw a surprise at us when we least expected it. The series followed the adventures of an American astronaut mysteriously transported to a strange universe where he encountered even stranger beings and outlandish situations. A&E Home Entertainment has put together 'Farscape: The Complete Series Megaset' (1999-2003), a 25-five disc set with all 88 episodes.
Noteworthy Special Features: The set boasts multiple commentaries, featurettes and documentaries, including 'In the Beginning: A Look Back With [co-producer] Brian Henson,' 'Making of a Space Opera' and 'Inside Farscape: Save Farscape.' There are also video profiles of the cast and crew, more than 90 minutes of deleted scenes, and much, much more.
Is It Collection Worthy? This package is a fan's delight. Since the Sci-Fi channel abruptly canceled the show just before the start of the fourth season, this is a fitting memorial to a series that had a strong following but whose ratings couldn't justify the expense of another season. And that's a shame because the ensemble cast of characters was beginning to rival 'Star Trek' in its intricate characterizations.
Other Notable Blu-ray Releases:
'Leon: The Professional' (1994) is director Luc Besson's follow up to his ground-breaking 1990 film 'La Femme Nikita.' This action-packed thriller stars Jean Reno (who played a 'cleaner' in 'Nikita') as a professional assassin who reluctantly befriends a 12-year-old girl (Natalie Portman) whose parents are killed; he takes her under his wing and teaches her his trade. Co-stars Gary Oldman as a very, very nasty corrupt cop. This edition includes both the international and U.S. versions as well as three featurettes: '10 Year Retrospective: The Cast and Crew Look Back,' 'Jean Reno: The Road to Leon' and 'Natalie Portman: Starting Young.' From Sony.
'Fight Club': 10th Anniversary Edition (1999)
Director David Fincher's unflinching look at a "pair" of isolated thirtysomething young professionals who seek escape from their mundane existence through underground fight clubs. The film is a marvel of no-holds-barred violence and nihilism, and caused quite a stir (for its violence) when it was released. The Blu-ray disc comes with two cool interactive features: 'A Hit In the Ear: Ren Klyce and the Sound Design of Fight Club' allows users to remix four key scenes with the help of Oscar-nominated sound designer Ren Klyce); and 'Insomniac Mode: I Am Jack's Search Index' gives viewers the ability to access any part of the disc's extensive bonus material via interactive tools. There's also behind-the-scenes vignettes on production, visual effects and location, interviews, and commentary by Fincher and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. From Fox.
The Kevin Smith Collection
A three-disc set with the 'Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back' Blu-ray edition and all-new Blu-ray editions of 'Clerks' and 'Chasing Amy.' Loaded with bonus features for Kevin Smith fans. From Miramax.