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DVD EXTRA: MAR 13, 2003

More movies out this week on DVD: Shannon J. Harvey flicks through the latest releases on DVD and VHS; Sidewalks Of New York, The Bourne Identity, Blurred, and Mr Deeds. (For fuller reviews of selected leading titles, please see our DVD menu.)

Sidewalks of New York (M)
VHS and DVD rental and retail, March 7, Paramount.
Edwards Burns (15 Minutes, The Brothers McMullen, Life Or Something Like It) continues his directorial obsession with this talky documentary-style melodrama, interweaving on-the-street interviews with six disparate New Yorkers about their relationships with a biting satire on the vicious game of love. Heather Graham is married to Stanley Tucci, who is having an affair with waitress Brittany Murphy. She's pursued by young musician (David Krumholtz), who's recovering from his divorce to a commitment-phobe (Rosario Dawson) currently being pursued by a TV producer (Ed Burns). It's the circle of life approach in the Big Apple, and you find that the links are driven more by a need to be in a relationship than actual love itself. The ups and downs of dating and marriage are explored with honesty and insight, but
there's no earth-shattering revelations here - just a biting commentary on the game of love. The DVD comes with minimal extras; a Making-Of doco, and a commentary from Burns.

The Bourne Identity (M)
VHS and DVD rental, March 12, Universal
Matt Damon buffs up for his first action film as amnesia-stricken assassin Jason Bourne, a guy found floating in the Mediterranean with bullets in his back and a Swiss bank account number implanted under his skin. He searches for clues as to his identity, receives help from a mini-driving wild-woman (Franka Potente), and takes on the assassins sent to kill him - and the secret buried in his head - by his own CIA boss (Chris Cooper). A nice, nasty little game of cat and mouse ensues through bustling European cities, with terrific car chases - especially in that mini – and some super-slick moves from Damon, convincing as a highly trained killing machine unaware of his ability until instinct kicks in. With solid support from Julia Stiles, Clive Owen and Brian Cox, director Doug Liman (Swingers, Go) creates an enjoyable - but somewhat predictable - espionage thriller that's a much better version of the Richard Chamberlain mini-series based on Robert Ludlum's novel. 

Blurred (M)
DVD and VHS rental, March 12, Magna Pacific
It's a great idea for a movie; 70,000 wild students set loose for schoolies week on the Gold Coast, boozing, drugging, shagging, and partying it up. Yet Evan Clarry's farcical take on this real-life celebration proves it might be better suited to the documentary format. His chaotic comedy stars mostly first-time actors and takes the approach of "the getting there is half the fun" rather than the Gold Coast antics itself. There's rich girls in a limousine driven by a sleaze (Matthew Newton), two farm boy hitchhikers (Travis Cotton, Mark Priestley) with their slabs of beer, and the boy (Tony Brockman) who breaks up with his girl (Jessica Gower) so he can sleep with other girls all week. Blurred does make you wish you were carefree and 17 again, but it's not a clever - nor a particularly honest - account of schoolies week. It keeps strictly within the M-rating boundaries while MA and even R-rated antics are what usually occur. The DVD has deleted scenes, outtakes, blurred emails, a cast production test, and a lively commentary from Clarry.

Mr Deeds (M)
VHS and DVD rental and retail, March 12, Columbia
An almost sacrilegiously goofy remake of Frank Capra's 1936 classic Mr Deeds Goes To Town, with man-child Adam Sandler stepping into Gary Cooper's shoes as Longfellow Deeds and coming up about 10 sizes too short. He's a small town hick who inherits $40 billion from a distant relative and runs his global business, attracting the attention of comely reporter Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder) with a secret to keep. Attended by his ever-attentive foot-fetished servant (a scene stealing John Turturro), nice-guy Deeds goes about reversing the nasty secrets of the business, even if it means giving a corporate lacky (Peter Gallagher) a beating, and winning the heart of Babe. A wacky, watchable, undemanding comedy, Mr Deeds is probably the least offensive Sandler film to date. There's plenty of DVD extras for Sandler fans, including outtakes, deleted scenes, commentaries, and a making-of doco.

Other releases this week:

Lovely and Amazing (M)
Stars Emily Mortimer, Brenda Blethyn, Catherine Keener
VHS and DVD rental, March 12, Magna Pacific.

Triumph of Love (M)
Stars Mira Sorvino, Ben Kingsely.
VHS and DVD rental, March 12.

Topsy Turvy (M)
Stars Jim Broadbent, Allun Corduner.
DVD rental and retail, March 12, Universal.

One Million Years B.C. (PG)
Stars raquel Welch, John richardson
DVD rental and retail, March 12, Universal.

Liar Liar S.E. (M)
Stars Jim Carrey, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Swoosie Kurtz, Maura Tierney,
Jennifer Tilly 
DVD rental and retail, March 12, Universal.

Twister S.E. (PG)
Stars Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt
DVD rental and retail, March 12, Universal.

EdTV S.E. (M)

Stars Matthew McConaughy, Ellen DeGeneres, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson.
DVD rental and retail, March 12, Universal.

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Sidewalks of New York


The Bourne Identity


Liar Liar


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