12/4/07 Edition -- The New AISLE SEAT BLOG Is Now Live & Relaunched!

Aisle Seat December Madness
The DIE HARD Collection Hits Blu Ray

High-definition fans have had plenty of terrific new releases to take in over these last few weeks, and as we approach the end of 2007, several more high-profile HD-optical titles are looming for your hard-earned dollar.

Leading the way is Fox’s four-disc anthology of the complete DIE HARD COLLECTION, all presented in high-definition on Blu Ray disc.

I’ve always thought of the first two “Die Hard” movies as being ideally suited for Christmas-time viewing, particularly the snow-bound Dulles Airport setting provided by Renny Harlin’s rousing sequel “Die Hard 2.”

Fox’s eagerly-anticipated Blu Ray release offers all four installments in the Bruce Willis series in brand-new, AVC-encoded MPEG-4 transfers and DTS-Master Audio soundtracks. In short the transfers are far superior to Fox’s “Five Star” DVD Special Editions, and some of the supplements have been carried over from each film’s respective double-disc DVD counterpart as well. Here’s a breakdown:

Die Hard (***½, 1988, R): John McTiernan’s original “Die Hard” finally receives a transfer that does full justice to Jan DeBont’s stylish cinematography. The HD transfer capably reproduces the film’s original theatrical presentation -- even if the movie looks its age at times -- while the DTS audio is exceptional. Extras include the majority of special features from the 2-disc DVD edition Fox released years back, with the exception of deleted scenes and the option of watching the film with one previously excised sequence reinserted.

Die Hard 2 (***½, 1990, R): The first “DH” sequel is still, in some ways, the most satisfying of the series, offering a tight, if formulaic, reworking of the first film with marvelous set-pieces and a new, wintry setting for “Bruno” Willis’ tough detective. Again, the AVC-encoded HD transfer isn’t flawless but is still a sizable upgrade on prior DVD editions, the DTS audio likewise pungent, and extras from commentary by director Renny Harlin to deleted scenes, featurettes and trailers (in HD) make for a splendid package all around.

Die Hard With a Vengeance (**, 1995, R): Third, and weakest, entry in the series finds John McClane teaming up with cranky store owner Samuel L. Jackson in a tedious affair set (though mostly not shot) in the Big Apple. Fans of the film, though, will be thrilled that Fox has finally gotten “Die Hard 3" (as it were) right on home video: the AVC-encoded transfer reaps the most of the original three films on Blu Ray, making for an immeasurable enhancement on its prior, poor standard-definition transfers. Extras have also been reprieved here from the Five-Star Collection disc including commentary and that odd alternate ending.

Live Free or Die Hard (***, 2007, PG-13): Rousing, surprisingly entertaining belated fourth entry in the series hits Blu Ray in a somewhat different configuration than its Unrated DVD edition. Fox opted here to include only the PG-13 rated theatrical edit on the Blu Ray disc, something that will come as a disappointment to some fans even if the edits, in reality, amount to little more than several seconds of violence and the requisite f-bombs. The movie survived quite well in theaters and ought to do the same on Blu Ray even without its “R material,” with Fox’s disc containing an excellent AVC-encoded transfer, DTS-MA audio, and numerous extras reprieved from the standard-definition DVD. For more on the supplements check out my review of the standard definition DVD from our last Aisle Seat column.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END: Blu Ray and DVD (*½, 168 mins., 2007, PG-13; Disney): Saddled with a nonsensical script, a ponderous pace, and a shocking dearth of set-pieces, this third entry in director Gore Verbinski’s set of Disney pirate adventures is a borderline-disaster almost from its very start.

After opening with a group of pirates about to be executed at the gallows (as downbeat a prologue as you could possibly imagine), “At World’s End” sets out to answer what happened to Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Davy Jones’ Locker, while Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) attempt to get help from an Asian pirate king (Chow Yun Fat) in order to stave off certain extinction at the hands of evil British captain Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander).

It was reported that the previous “Pirates” sequel, “Dead Man’s Chest,” went into production without a fully completed script. While that film still managed to entertain thanks to a splendid array of action set-pieces, it’s clear now that writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio painted themselves into a corner they couldn’t get out of in “At World’s End,” having here to answer all kinds of questions involving Sparrow’s return from the netherworld (a self-indulgent, endless and unfunny stretch of film), villain Davy Jones’ convoluted backstory involving his “heart” and undying love for the goddess Calypso, not to mention the Flying Dutchman’s power and Will Turner’s father (Stellan Skarsgard), who’s imprisoned as a crew man on the vessel.

Without elaborating upon each and every plot hole, let’s just say that the solution Verbinski, Elliott and Rossio come up with to resolve these disparate story threads is less than satisfying, whether it’s how Jones is supposed to be defeated, to the hugely unsatisfying conclusion to Will and Elizabeth’s relationship. What’s more, side characters who proved to be hugely enjoyable in previous installments like Jonathan Pryce’s Governor and Jack Davenport’s military captain are quickly disposed of here, presumably because the filmmakers couldn’t come up with anything else for them to do.

The weak story would have been one thing had “At World’s End” offered the same kinds of nifty set-pieces as its predecessors, but even there “Pirates 3" sinks to the bottom of Neptune’s depths. One can only assume the film’s mandated release date (it was shot subsequently with the prior installment) put the kibosh on outdoor action sequences, since the colorful Bahamian trappings of “Pirates” 1 & 2 have been replaced here with an abundance of green-screen, almost all-CGI visual effects sequences.

Even worse, though, is that there isn’t a whole lot of action for a film that runs nearly three hours in length -- the opening with Chow Yun Fat could’ve been discarded entirely, while talky stretches dampen the fun at every turn. And when even Rich Heinrichs’ production design disappoints (the pirate hideout “Shipwreck Cove” is nothing but a cross between the Ewok village and a Christmas tree), you know you’re in trouble.

“At World’s End,” then, is the worst kind of sequel: since it ties in so directly with its prior installment, it manages to put a sour taste on the adventure that came before it. And instead of focusing on the sorts of pleasures the very first entry in the series contained, it adds in dozens of sea monsters when one would’ve sufficed, stranding stars like Depp in a convoluted mess of a plot that clumsily concludes the series...for now at least.

Disney’s 2-disc Limited Edition DVD includes a spiffy 16:9 (2.35) transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, but it pales in comparison to the Blu Ray’s AVC-encoded 1080p transfer and uncompressed PCM audio. Copious extras spread across both platforms include bloopers, deleted scenes with commentary from Verbinski, and loads of featurettes, from a profile of Hans Zimmer to Depp and Keith Richards meeting up. Sadly, a lot of these are more fun than sitting through the film itself!

Also New on DVD & Blu Ray

PATHFINDER: Blu Ray (**½, 2007, 107 mins., Unrated; Fox): It’s not “300" -- nor is it even “The 13th Warrior” -- but this box-office flop from April makes for a solid rental, at least, for action fans.

“Pathfinder” (weirdly dubbed “The Legend of the Ghost Warrior” on its actual release -- a subtitle dropped from the DVD) is a simple-minded action epic from director Marcus Nispel and writer Laeta Kalogridis (loosely based on a 1987 Norwegian film of the same name), following a young Viking boy who improbably grows up to be a part of a Native American tribe. Even as an adult (played by Karl Urban), “Pathfinder” is an outsider among his peers, but the tribe turns to him for help once a clan of invading Norsemen -- lead by Clancy Brown -- arrives and wipes out most of their members.

Even though the film is nothing but a series of action sequences with basically non-existent character development, “Pathfinder” is reasonably entertaining for the comic-book vehicle that it is. Nispel’s set-pieces are sufficiently executed through a combination of stylish editing and herky-jerky camera work that might’ve been utilized to cover for the film’s modest budget. There’s little dramatic interest on-hand but regardless, for undiscriminating action fans with HD gear, you could certainly do worse.

Fox’s Unrated Blu Ray edition runs some eight minutes longer than the theatrical cut and includes commentary from Nispel, deleted scenes, the trailer, and Making Of featurettes. The disc loses the promotional trailer that Phoenix Pictures used to sell the film in pre-production but gains an on-screen trivia track exclusive to the BD release, noting -- among other anecdotes -- which footage wasn’t included in the theatrical version.

The MPEG-2 encoded 1080p transfer is markedly sharper than the standard definition release, accentuating the intentionally grainy, desaturated look of the cinematography, while the DTS-Master Audio sound offers a solid Jonathan Elias score that comes off as a bit repetitive in the final cut (it plays far more effectively on the soundtrack album, which includes numerous cues not heard in the film).

RESCUE DAWN: DVD & Blu Ray (***, 125 mins., 2006, PG-13; MGM/Fox): Werner Herzog shifts gears completely -- in a filmmaking sense -- as he adapts the story behind his 1997 documentary “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” into a full-fledged dramatization. This tale of a American pilot gunned down over Laos and imprisoned in a POW camp that he -- along with a fellow hostage -- eventually escape from makes for magnificent storytelling, lead by strong performances from Christian Bale (as Dieter Dengler) and Steve Zahn (as Duane, Dieter’s fellow American POW). Gripping, character-driven suspense and a relatively low-key Klaus Badelt score compliment this atypical outing for its director, which went mostly unseen in the U.S. during a theatrical run last summer. Fox/MGM’s DVD is excellent but the AVC-encoded Blu Ray release boasts an even more magnificent transfer and DTS-HD audio. Extras on both platforms include commentary by Herzog, deleted scenes, featurettes, a pop-up trivia track and the original trailer.

SUPERBAD: Blu Ray (**, 118 mins., 2006, Unrated; Sony): Comedy mogul Judd Apatow struck box-office gold twice last summer, first with the genial (though somewhat over-rated) “Knocked Up” -- starring Apatow’s frequent collaborator Seth Rogen -- and then again with “Superbad,” another vehicle co-written and produced by Rogen, who here takes a supporting role in a cliched, juvenile coming-of-age tale.

And “Superbad” is plenty raunchy, no doubt: Jonah Hill and Michael Cera play a pair of lifelong pals who try and “score” with their respective high school crushes before graduation, with every typical comedic predicament ensuing as things go awry en route to the film’s preordained conclusion.

One of the many problems with “Superbad” is that Hill and Cena aren’t especially appealing, and are upstaged at every turn by newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s performance as their buddy Fogell, aka “McLovin.” While Hill and Cena’s story takes them down the predictable “American Pie”/”Porky’s” route of juvenile comedy, Mintz-Plasse is a riot as a nerd mistaken for a modern-day Valentino by a pair of idiot cops (Rogen and Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader) who end up paralleling the “main” story with misadventures of their own.

That aspect of the film is often funny, but since it’s secondary to the main plot, it can only help the movie overcome its inherent infantile tone so much. “Superbad” is often times simply gross instead of funny, straining for shock effect instead of cultivating genuine laughs. The picture is crudely directed and written, heavily overlong (at a near-two hour running time), and self-indulgent; Rogen has been funny in the past, but if this “tour de force” on the part of the star is any indication, he’s best off working with other collaborators who can temper some of his more perverted sensibilities (no film, ever, has included the amount of male genitalia references as this movie does in its first half-hour alone). What’s more, Rogen, co-writer Evan Goldberg and director Greg Mottola embarrassingly attempt to get a little “serious” in its closing frames -- ending the movie on a would-be emotional chord that feels totally false given these characters and their newfound circumstances.

Sony’s Blu Ray package is a keeper, at least, for the young fans out there who helped propel “Superbad” to an over $100 million box-office gross. The BD release is a two-disc set jammed with content, from extra “Unrated” footage to deleted scenes, a gag reel, cast audition footage, Making Of content, commentary, on-set diaries, a Blu Ray exclusive “SuperMeter” which keeps track of the film’s profanity and crude references, and a preview of the next Rogen-Apatow epic, “Pineapple Express.” The 1080p AVC transfer is excellent and uncompressed PCM and DolbyTrueHD sound round out the disc.

PAPRIKA: Blu Ray (90 mins., 2006, R; Sony): Satoshi Kon’s follow-up to his acclaimed anime “Tokyo Godfathers” is a strange, surreal tale about a machine that can capture and record people’s dreams. Opulent animation makes viewing Sony’s AVC-encoded 1080p transfer a stunning experience, while Dolby TrueHD and uncompressed PCM sound compliment the audio end. Numerous supplements include commentary and several featurettes. A must for anime fans.

DVD New Releases

OLD SCHOOL: HD-DVD (**½, 92 mins., 2003, Unrated; Dreamworks/Paramount)
ANCHORMAN: HD-DVD (***, 97 mins., 2004, Unrated; Dreamworks/Paramount): Two successful Will Ferrell comedies make the leap to High Definition this week courtesy of Paramount and Dreamworks.

“Old School” -- director Todd Phillips' 2003 follow-up to his surprisingly funny "Road Trip" -- isn't as cohesive or consistently amusing, though this box-office hit does sport a few choice moments just the same.

Luke Wilson plays a normal, everyday guy whose old college pals (Vince Vaughn, SNL's Will Ferrell) opt to start a "fraternity" for their friend after his girl is caught cheating with not one but two different accomplices. Yup, it's the ol' collegiate life lived all over again -- crazy initiation ceremonies, huge parties with endless brew, silly pranks and big-time hangovers -- but this time with the added benefit of being older and even more irresponsible than before.

“Old School”’s central "story" -- of Wilson rediscovering his zest for life and love again -- doesn't work at all, and feels like strict filler for the "funny parts." Thankfully, there are enough of them to warrant a viewing, particularly with the manic Ferrell on-hand to single-handedly provide the majority of the script's guffaws. Playing a Party Animal repressed by his recent marriage, Ferrell believably essays an ex-Bluto who's able to find himself again by guzzling mass quantities of beer -- a quest decidedly more entertaining than anything else in the film. So even if the picture is an uneven romp, Ferrell and some uproarious scenes make “Old School” worth enrolling in.

Dreamworks' excellent HD-DVD includes a superb new AVC-encoded transfer, 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus sound, and reprises several terrific special features made exclusively for the original DVD. The 20-minute "Inside the Actors Studio" spoof is a perfect replication of James Lipton's pretentious Bravo chatfest, with Ferrell reprising his spot-on SNL impersonation for a conversation with the cast and crew (including himself). Deleted scenes, bloopers, and more traditional Making Of featurettes round out the package, which also includes an amusing group commentary.

Ferrell took the lead (and reaped some $84 million in domestic box-office) in the 2004 comedy ANCHORMAN, an occasionally hilarious, offbeat comedy from Ferrell and co-writer/director Adam McKay, starring Ferrell as a smug newsman at a San Diego TV station in the 1970s.

Packed with cameos and some truly hysterical moments (including a “West Side Story”-esque showdown between Bay Area anchormen!), this 2004 Judd Apatow production is inspired lunacy in spite of its occasional unevenness, and comes easily recommended for Ferrell fans.

Dreamworks’ HD-DVD offers a similarly satisfying AVC-encoded transfer with Dolby Digital Plus audio and all the extras from the prior Unrated Edition DVD (25 minutes of bloopers/deleted scenes; interviews; a commentary track; and the unforgettable “Afternoon Delight” music video).

MR. BEAN’S HOLIDAY: HD-DVD (**½, 90 mins., 2007, G; Universal): Rowan Atkinson’s befuddled, loveable goof’s second feature is an amiable 90-minute lark with Bean on vacation in the French Riviera. A draggy mid-section is compensated for by a sprightly finish (at the Cannes Film Festival) in “Mr. Bean’s Holiday,” which Universal has brought to HD-DVD in a combo disc package (the standard-def version is available on the opposite side) with a fine VC-1 encoded transfer, Dolby TrueHD sound and several special features. Among the supplements are deleted scenes and featurettes, as well as exclusive web-enabled features. “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” isn’t any great shakes (and indeed the character’s novelty seems to have worn off completely a decade after the phenomenon that was the original “Bean” feature) but it’s breezy and pleasant, and certainly suitable for all ages. Recommended.

New on DVD

WAITRESS (***, 108 mins., 2007, PG-13; Fox): Actress Adrienne Shelly wrote and directed this low-budget, charming, quirky indie comedy, which was released several months after Shelly was murdered by a construction worker in her New York City office.

Shelly’s tragic, premature passing is made all the more regrettable when watching “Waitress,” as this low-key slice of life film manages to be heart-wrenching, warm and romantic in equal measure. Keri Russell plays Jenna, a waitress and pie-maker married to a jerk (Jeremy Sisto) and trying to save up enough cash to enter into a pie contest. Into Jenna’s distressing existence comes a married doctor from Connecticut (Nathan Fillion), who immediately falls for our heroine right after she realizes she’s pregnant -- and stuck in a seemingly inescapable situation with her obnoxious, abusive husband.

Russell, Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Andy Griffith and Shelly herself are all excellent in “Waitress,” a movie that’s equal parts whimsy, character drama and soap opera. The film manages to be funny but never cynical, romantic without being saccharine, and quirky without abandoning reality altogether -- a delicate balance which Shelly manages to achieve in her own screenplay. It’s a charming little film with good performances, and well worth seeing on DVD.

Fox’s DVD includes a tribute to its director, plus three other featurettes and a commentary with Keri Russell and producer Michael Roiff. The 16:9 (1.85) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound are both excellent.

HUDSON HAWK: Special Edition (**½, 1991, 100 mins., R; Sony): Over-budgeted box-office flop from the summer of ‘91 was a vanity project for co-writer and star Bruce Willis, who recruited “Heathers” director Michael Lehmann to helm this tale of an affable burglar coerced into stealing daVinci paintings. Danny Aiello is “Hawk”’s buddy, Andie MacDowell the love interest, and Sandra Bernhard and Richard E. Grant a pair of wacky villains in a lighthearted lark that’s become something of a cult favorite among the film’s devotees over the years. Certainly the locales and Michael Kamen’s breezy score lend a strong assist to the proceeding, which Sony has re-issued as a Special Edition DVD offering new interviews with Willis and Bernhard, a trivia track, and deleted scenes. Carried over from the prior DVD is a director’s commentary with Lehmann, who disappointingly refuses to dish out the real dirt about the film’s turbulent production. The 16:9 (1.85) transfer and 2.0 Dolby Surround audio are both perfectly fine.

ERIK THE VIKING: Director’s Son’s Cut (**, 79 mins., 1989, Unrated; MGM/Fox): Terry Jones’ 1989 box-office bomb has been severely re-edited -- by his son, no less! -- for this unusual “Director’s Cut.” “Erik” stars Jones, fellow Monty Python alumni John Cleese, and Mickey Rooney (yes!) alongside Tim Robbins (as the title character) in a desperately unfunny medieval spoof that tanked whereever it played, but Jones’ son, Bill, has here trimmed nearly a full half-hour (!) from the movie’s original 104-minute running time, resulting in a faster, snappier pace. The movie still comes off as an uncomfortable blending of quest-fantasy with gallows-styled humor, but it does seem to have been improved somewhat by a “less is more” approach (though truth be told it’s been so long since I saw the original, I can’t recall much about it -- except for how awful it was). MGM’s DVD is packed with extras including commentary with Jones, a featurette on the restoration, the original 1989 Making Of and trailer, and a photo gallery. The 16:9 (1.85) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound are both fine.

PETER PAN: RETURN TO NEVERLAND (**½, 2002, 73 mins., G; Disney): Decent 2002 follow-up to “Peter Pan” started out as one of Disney’s countless made-for-video sequels before the studio opted to send it into a theatrical release. Above-average animation and some new special features (deleted scenes, interactive games for kids) make this second go-round for “Return to Neverland” on DVD a good choice for family viewing, with Disney’s DVD offering a 16:9 (1.66) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.

ARCTIC TALE: DVD & HD-DVD (2007, 87 mins., G; Paramount): National Geographic-produced documentary follows two cubs in the arctic -- a polar bear and a seal -- through various trials and tribulations in their harsh environments. Outstanding cinematography is the main draw to “Arctic Tale,” which has clearly been aimed at a younger audience than “March of the Penguins” (witness the soundtrack, stupid jokes, and Queen Latifah narration). Still, parents ought to be less concerned with some of the more “graphic” footage (it still received a G) than with the agenda of the filmmakers: it’s no surprise that there’s a heavy-handed global warming element when Al Gore’s daughter, Kristin, is listed as one of the screenwriters! Others carped that the two main “characters” were fashioned out of over 10 years of compiled footage of numerous, different animals, somewhat cheapening the drama. That said, nature lovers who can overlook the film’s pretentiousness and uneven elements will love the DVD’s 16:9 (1.85) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, with a Making Of featurette and interactive game on the supplemental side. While the DVD looks superb the HD-DVD ought to be even more impressive, the high-definition disc also hitting stores this week.

THE NANNY DIARIES (**, 105 mins., 2007, PG-13; Genius): Scarlett Johansson is appealing as a college grad who takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy mom (Laura Linney) on Manhattan's East Side in this box-office disappointment from last August. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who netted some acclaim for their 2003 effort "American Splendor," wrote and directed this adaptation of 
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus' book, which comes off as an inferior version of "The Devil Wears Prada," this story utilizing a similar theme of a young girl trying to make her way in the world and running into a modern, upscale she-devil along the way. The cast makes it watchable but the film is relentlessly predictable and trite, with Genius' DVD offering a fine 16:9 (1.85) transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and extras including bloopers, the trailer, and two Making Of featurettes.

TEEN TITANS: Season 4 (298 mins., Warner)
THE BATMAN: Season 4 (292 mins., Warner): Two popular WB animated series are back on DVD. “Teen Titans” continues its run on the Cartoon Network here in 13 new fourth-season episodes, presented in their original full-screen format ratio with 2.0 Dolby Stereo sound and a featurette gallery.

The WB’s “Batman” series, meanwhile, includes 13 episodes from the youth-driven Dark Knight variant, likewise presented in full-screen and with Dolby Stereo sound. A bonus featurette is also included profiling the fourth season, which finds Bruce Wayne hooking up with Dick Grayson’s Robin and the Joker finding an ally with psychiatrist Harley Quinn.

7th HEAVEN: Season 5 (2000-01, 22 Episodes; Paramount): The long-running night-time family-soap about a pastor (Stephen Collins), his wife (Catherine Hicks) and their ever-increasing household of kids and transients (watch the later years to find out what I’m describing!) began as a quaint, life-affirming program the whole fam could enjoy. As the years rolled on, though, Brenda Hampton’s series gradually lost its sanity, bordering on near-parody as each one of the show’s aging child stars (like Jessica Biel and Barry Watson) opted to jump before the shark gobbled them up. Year Five of the series, though, at least presents the series in its still-watchable phase, even if by this point a “Very Special Episode” meant Biel’s eldest teen daughter was grounded...for throwing toilet paper in the school gym! Paramount’s box-set preserves the complete fifth season of “7th Heaven” in fine full-screen transfers with 2.0 stereo sound and a disclaimer about music edits on the back package.

BEVERLY HILLS 90210: Season 3 (1992-93, 29 Episodes; Paramount): Fox’s perennial teen soap ran for some 29 episodes in its third season, the next-to-last to star Shannen Doherty. Paramount’s eight-disc box-set includes the complete third season of “90210" in acceptable full-screen transfers and Dolby Stereo soundtracks, with bonus features including a third-season retrospective. Fans should be on the lookout for music edits as well, which is perfectly understandable given how much then-current music was utilized on the soundtrack at times.

GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.: Season 3 (1966-67, 30 Episodes; Paramount): Popular ‘60s military comedy with Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton was shown for a while when I was very young back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, but seemed to have disappeared totally off the face of the Earth in recent years...at least until Paramount resurrected “Gomer Pyle” on DVD. This latest five-disc DVD box set includes the complete third season of the series in fine full-screen color transfers and mono sound.

THE BEST OF CRANK YANKERS (2002-05, 180 mins., Paramount): “Best Of” compilation disc offers nearly three hours of the more humorous crank calls from the Comedy Central series in raw, uncensored form. Fun for a while, but a little goes a long way.

DIAGNOSIS MURDER: Season 3 (1995-96, 18 Episodes; Paramount): CBS’ medical counterpart to “Murder, She Wrote” starred Dick Van Dyke in a series your grandparents likely enjoyed -- and perhaps will again on DVD. Year three of the series hits disc this week with all 18 episodes of “Diagnosis: Murder” offered in full-screen transfers and stereo sound.

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: Season 4, Vol 2. (1998, 14 Episodes; Paramount): Back-end of the CBS inspirational drama’s fourth season with Roma Downey and Della Reese comes to DVD in a no-frills package with full-screen transfers and Dolby Stereo sound.

NEXT TIME: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA on HD-DVD! Until then, don't forget to drop in on the official Aisle Seat Message Boards, check out the newly relaunched Aisle Seat Blog, and direct any emails to our email address. Cheers everyone!

Get Firefox!

Copyright 1997-2007 All Reviews, Site and Design by Andre Dursin