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'T2' Goes DVD

A new set of the hit offers two versions of the film, documentaries, background.

August 31, 2000|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

He's back. And he's digital.

"Terminator 2: Judgment Day--The Ultimate DVD Edition" (Artisan, $40) is the spiffy new collector's edition of director James Cameron's boffo 1991 blockbuster sequel to his 1984 "The Terminator" hit.

The DVD is fun. But the "ultimate"? Not quite.

The animated menus of the two-sided disc are quite ingenious and fun to navigate. One side includes two wide-screen versions of the film--the original theatrical release, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick and Edward Furlong, and a special edition that includes scenes left on the cutting-room floor. These snipped sequences include Hamilton being beaten by two of her keepers at the mental hospital and another in which Hamilton tries to destroy Schwarzenegger.

There are also extensive biographies of the cast and crew and a comprehensive audio commentary by more than 25 folks involved in the film, including Cameron and the actors.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday September 1, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Running time--The director's-cut release of "Any Given Sunday" on video and DVD has a shorter running time than the film's theatrical release, not a longer one, as reported in Calendar Weekend on Thursday.

Flip the disc over and there are three documentaries, all of which have been shown before, including "The Making of T2"; "T2: More Than Meets the Eye," a Showtime special focusing on deleted scenes with Cameron's explanation of why he cut them; and the rather snoozy "The Making of T2:3D--Breaking the Screen Barrier," which examines the creation of the Universal Studios' theme park attraction.

There's also tons of reading material packed into the disc, including the screenplay and chapters and chapters on everything from makeup to weapons used to publicity and marketing concepts.

*

Paramount is countering the "T2" juggernaut with its collector's edition of the 1995 Oscar-winning best film, "Braveheart" ($30). Mel Gibson stars in and directed this epic about Scotsman William Wallace, who in the 13th century tried to end the ironclad rule of the British king, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan).

This handsome DVD includes a nice wide-screen transfer, two theatrical trailers and a better-than-average featurette, "A Filmmaker's Passion--The Making of Braveheart."

Gibson provides the low-key and often funny commentary, discussing his passion for the project and how the production had to battle the constant rain in Scotland. He's also very generous with his praise for his co-stars--who include Brain Cox, Catherine McCormack (with whom he admits falling a bit in love) and Patrick McGoohan, whom he admired as a kid in such series as "The Prisoner."

*

Baby boomers take note: "The Sound of Music" (Fox, $30) is finally making its DVD debut with a two-disc collector's edition.

Winner of five Oscars, including the 1965 best picture and best director (Robert Wise), "Sound of Music" tells the story of the famed Von Trapp Family singers, who had to flee Austria when Hitler and the Nazis invaded. Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr star in this classic version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical.

The DVD includes a lovely restored wide-screen transfer of the film and commentary from Wise (who seems in a rush to get through it). There is also an isolated music score.

The second disc includes a quaint little 1965 documentary, "Salzburg Sight and Sound," and a making-of documentary from the 1990s called "The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon." The latter includes interviews with Andrews, Plummer, Wise, Carr and screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Rounding out the disc are storyboards, sketches, production stills, theatrical trailers, radio and TV spots, radio interviews and an audio supplement with Lehman.

*

Oddly enough, New Line's two-disc "Magnolia" DVD ($30) does not include an audio commentary from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson of "Boogie Nights" fame. Thankfully, the second disc does feature a lengthy and consistently entertaining "diary" of the making of the ensemble film set in the San Fernando Valley. There are interviews with Anderson and cast members--including Julianne Moore, Jason Robards and William Macy--and behind-the-scenes footage that chronicles the making of the film from the first rehearsal to its completion. Notably missing, though, are any interviews with Tom Cruise or behind-the-scenes footage from his sequences as the misogynistic motivational speaker.

Besides a wide-screen transfer of the film, the "Magnolia" set includes scenes from Cruise's motivational seminar, a mock infomercial with Cruise and Aimee Mann's' "Save Me" music video.

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Oliver Stone's football epic "Any Given Sunday" makes its DVD debut Friday with a special-edition director's cut (Warner Home Video, $25). The drama that clocked in at nearly three hours in the theater is even longer in both the DVD and video editions. Stone reedited the movie, adding six minutes. The disc also features the wide-screen and full-screen versions of the film, which stars Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid and Jamie Foxx. Other goodies include a "making of" featurette and a music video with co-star LL Cool J.

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