COMING ATTRACTIONS

By Curt Fields
Friday, July 20, 2007

Notable DVDs being released Tuesday include:

· The Number 23 (R) Jim Carrey is a dogcatcher who becomes obsessed with the number 23 after reading a novel about a man obsessed with the number 23. Don't worry, you should be safe watching the DVD: It's unlikely to spark a similar obsession, because you'll probably doze off before the number can cast its spell on you (and before the various twists and turns play out to a "surprise" ending).

· Renaissance (R) More interesting -- and less cartoonish, despite being animated -- is this futuristic story set in 2054 Paris. Filmmakers Christian Volckman and Marc Miance create a black-and-white world that is as amazing to watch as it is unpleasant to live in. It's not a classic. The basic plot about a detective (voiced by Daniel Craig) searching for a beautiful and missing scientist is rather routine. But it's so stylish that you don't mind that much.

· Reel Indies (Unrated) A second wave of releases in the series from Mill Creek Entertainment. This batch contains Abby Singer, a dark comedy with a slew of celebrity cameos (it's set at Sundance); Delivery Boy Chronicles, a comedy about 20-something burnouts delivering food; Simply FOBulous, a romantic comedy about a mail-order husband from Vietnam; and No Sleep 'Til Madison, which stars Jim Gaffigan as a guy forced to choose between his girlfriend and an annual pilgrimage to the Wisconsin High School Hockey Tournament (obviously, if he chooses the girl there's not much of a movie, is there?).

· Exterminating Angels (Unrated) Jean-Claude Brisseau's film is about François, a filmmaker who, while having actresses audition for a nude scene, decides to make a film that centers on the minor transgressions that are a source of pleasure. The New York Times' A.O. Scott wrote in a review last year that "a date that begins with 'Exterminating Angels,' Jean-Claude Brisseau's suave and salacious new movie, is likely to end up either in bed or in court." If you rent this with a friend, good luck.

· Frank Sinatra MGM Movie Legends Collection (PG-13) This set is pretty much for completists only, as most Sinatra fans probably already own "Guys and Dolls," the musical co-starring Marlon Brando, and "The Manchurian Candidate," a political thriller about brainwashed soldiers and assassination. (They've both been available for a while.) And, truth be told, fans aren't likely to be clamoring for lesser efforts "A Hole in the Head," about a Miami widower trying to hold on to his hotel and his son; "Kings Go Forth," a World War II flick that's fairly soap opera-ish; and "The Pride and the Passion," co-starring Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.

· The Host (R) One of the top-grossing Korean films ever, this is a monster movie with multiple well-blended elements: a family pulling together in a crisis, anti-government views, comedy and more. It made numerous Top 10 lists for 2006.

· Last Hurrah for Chivalry (Unrated) and Hard Boiled (Unrated) Two John Woo films, each with a variety of featurettes plus commentary from Hong Kong cinema specialist Bey Logan.

· The Monster Squad: 20th Anniversary Edition (PG-13) This release of the cult fave about a group of kids trying to save the world from the likes of Dracula and the Wolf Man includes a five-part retrospective, interviews, deleted scenes and commentaries.

· Suspense: The Lost Episodes Collection, Vol. 1 This contains 30 episodes of a popular '50s TV mystery series previously thought to be lost. A long list of big-name actors appeared on the show, including Boris Karloff, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman, Rod Steiger, Anne Bancroft, Jack Lemmon, John Forsythe, Hume Cronyn, Peter Lorre, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Gabor, Lloyd Bridges, Jack Palance, Jack Klugman, George Reeves, Lee Marvin, Cloris Leachman and Brian Keith.

· The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection All the "heh-heh-heh-HEH-heh" you could want with 75 digitally remastered cartoons.


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