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DVDs nuts



Chinatown (Centennial Collection) Has it already been 100 years since the recently arrested Roman Polanski's inarguably perfect L.A. noir? Of course not, but it has been almost that long since Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky formed Paramount; hence the confusing addendum to this nice repackaging. Jack Nicholson stars in the murder mystery centered on Los Angeles' infamous water dispute at the turn of the century. (Think water wars can't get that nasty? Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger how it's going today.) The video and audio remains as pristine as that on the "Special Collector's Edition" version released two years ago, but the reason to shell out another $15 is the new commentary with Chinatown writer Robert Towne, who won an Oscar for the script, and Fight Club director David Fincher. (R)


In a Dream Isaiah Zagar is a South Philly mosaic artist whose work incorporates his feelings about his wife and two sons (one of whom directs this documentary). So when he makes a mistake and watches that family life implode, it's not just his personal life that suffers, it's his creative mind. In a Dream combines old home videos and expert editing to match Zagar's wild-eyed, difficult journey to self-fulfillment, and the vibe goes from joyous to dark in the blink of an eye. (NR)


Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Very few films are as in love with their subjects as this look at the forgotten genre of Australian exploitation – or Ozploitation – films of the late '70s and early '80s. That's not to say that the film is self-important or bloated. Instead, it's like having a film lover (like Quentin Tarantino, who provides the most exciting anecdotes, of course) sit you down and explain to you why you should be just as obsessed with the genre as they are, and then proving it by popping in the first tape. It's expertly edited, with nonstop clips from movies like Alvin Purple, Stork and Dead-End Drive In. (R)


Shrink Here is a film that seems on the surface like a waste of time. But there is a reason to watch. The plot is a throwaway, Hollywood-insider "character study" of the kind that executives love but audiences see right through. Kevin Spacey plays a therapist to the stars who is having some fun wallowing in his demise. (Spacey is actually taking on the role he was only supporting in the much superior Hurlyburly.) The value in this premise, though, is that Shrink trots in a steady parade of actors to sit in a chair and spill their secrets. While the cast isn't given challenging monologues by any means, one gets the feeling that these scenes might be similar to warm-up exercises at the Stella Adler Studio, which is enough of a pleasure to sit through the film. (R)


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Diamond Edition No other woman holds film lovers' collective hearts and leads them around on a leash as much as that teenage princess, Snow White, and with all the money she's demanded over the years, you start to sympathize just a bit with her jealous stepmother, the Queen. After all, 2001's Platinum Edition seemed like it would hold a solid place for decades to come, with its crystalline sound and picture. But along comes Disney again, now boasting high-definition and Blu-ray goodness. To ease the transition, this package includes both a standard DVD (oh, now it's just "standard") and a Blu-ray disc in case you decide to upgrade your player. There are new discoveries, like storyboards for a possible sequel ol' Walt might've been planning. There's also plenty of back-patting, including a new featurette that details the game-changing aspects of the film. Here's the genius part: Another two-disc, regular-ass DVD with no Blu-ray anything comes out next month. You know what, princess? Eat my apple. (G)


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