DVD Releases for June 12th 2007

52 Pickup Dir: John Frankenheimer; Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret. (Fox)
Click here to order from Amazon.

In 1986, John Frankenheimer tried his hand at making an Elmore Leonard film that didn’t suck. The result was a decent film, with Scheider and Ann-Margret a solid job, but it would still be almost a decade before somebody actually nailed the fabulous dialogue (Get Shorty) that makes Mr. Leonard so special.

Blue Murder set one (Acorn Media)

Miz Naomi has a review for us. It should be online in the next couple of days.

Criminal Law Dir: Martin Campbell; Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon (Fox)
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Gary Oldman as the protagonist! Who would have thought? Mr. Campbell directed a couple Bond flicks (including Casino Royale).

The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season Two
Click here to order The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season Two from Amazon.

America’s iconic teen sleuths solving crimes in the 70s. Watch Joe (Shawn Cassidy) distract folks, by singing Da Doo Run Run, while Frank (Parker Stevenson) sneaks around.

The Hustler (Collector’s Edition) Dir: Robert Rossen: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C Scott. Extras: Commentary by Paul Newman, Carol Rossen (Robert Rossen’s Daughter), Dede Allen (Editor), Stefan Gierasch (Actor), Ulu Grosbard (Assistant Director), Richard Schickel (Film Critic, Time Magazine) and Jeff Young (Film Historian), Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and The Search for Greatness, Milestones in Cinema History: The Making of The Hustler, Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle, The Hustler: The Inside Story, Paul Newman: Hollywood’s Cool Hand, How To Make The Shot: Opening Scene Demonstration, Six in the Corner, Eddie Makes A Cross Corner Combo Shot, Fast Eddie One Ball in Corner Pocket, Massey Shot. Still Gallery (9 stills), Theatrical Trailer
Click here to order The Hustler (Collector’s Edition) from Amazon.

Paul Newman just announced his intention to retire from acting. Now is a great time to look back at some of the outstanding films he has made. This special edition is loaded with interesting tidbits on the making of The Hustler.

Randy has been going over all of the assorted goodies and will be offering his thoughts on this release. His review should be online later this week.

JESSE STONE: DEATH IN PARADISE Tom Selleck (Sony)
JESSE STONE: NIGHT PASSAGE Tom Selleck (Sony)

If all goes well (and the damn discs show up!), Gerald So will be giving us his thoughts on Mr. Selleck’s portrayal of Jesse Stone.

The Mapmaker (2001) Brian F. O’Byrne, Susan Lynch, Brendan Coyle. Thriller about a mapmaker who uncovers the body of an alleged informer while mapping in Ireland. (BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Ltd.).

The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection Two-disc set with four Nancy Drew mysteries starring Bonita Granville: “Nancy Drew, Detective” (1938), “Nancy Drew, Reporter” (1939), “Nancy Drew, Troubleshooter” (1939) and “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” (1939); $24.98. (Warner)
Click here to order from Amazon.

What we got here is some golden oldies. Most of us likely remember Nancy Drew from the aforementioned Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries from the 70s, but these, from the late 30s, are closer to the original novels in style.

The Practice Volume One Four DVD-set containing 13 episodes that make up the first and second season, $39.98. (Fox)
Click here to order The Practice Vol One from Amazon.

For me, The Practice is simply a pre-cursor to the wonder that is the Alan and Denny show (AKA Boston Legal) as the last season of the Practice was really season one of Boston Legal).

But the early seasons contain some very good stories and are worth checking out, if you are a fan of legal dramas.

The Verdict (Collector’s Edition) Dir: Sidney Lumet; Paul Newman, Jack Warden, James Mason. $19.98 Extras: Commentary by Sidney Lumet & Paul Newman, “Making Of” Featurette, Paul Newman: The Craft of Acting, Sidney Lumet: The Craft of Directing, Milestones in Cinema History: The Verdict, Hollywood Backstory: The Verdict, Still Gallery (30 Images), Theatrical Trailer. (Fox)
Click here to order The Verdict (collector’s Edition) from Amazon.

After not getting nominated for over a decade, the early 80s found a lot of love being tossed at Mr. Newman by the Academy Awards. The Verdict was Newman’s second straight year of being nominated for Best Actor (1981’s Absence of Malice being the first).

While it does not feature as many extras as the Collector’s edition of The Hustler, it does give us a commentary track with both Newman and legendary director Sidney Lumet.

We get a look at Paul and his approach to acting, as well as Lumet and his approach to directing. Both are certainly worth watching, especially if you are a cinemaphille.

As mentioned in my comments for The Hustler, Newman has announced his retirement from acting. The Verdict is an excellent example of the fine acting Mr. Newman was capable of.

Walker, Texas Ranger: The Third Season (Paramount)
Click here to order Walker, Texas Ranger: The Third Season from Amazon.

A year ago, I would be tossing out some of the Chuck Norris jokes, but this is 2007 and that would be so 2006.

Chuck’s fists and feet are back fighting crime in this, the third season of the show. I really should be able to offer up more info, but I honestly have never seen the show. See my comments for Diagnosis Murder (Last Week) for the reason why.