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GIFT GUIDE | VIDEO PICKS

Movies and Concerts Worth Owning?

November 22, 2001|From Calendar Writers

Considering a gift for your favorite videophile? Here are capsules of some of the popular videos and DVDs available this season. Comments are from Times critics.

"Apocalypse Now Redux" (2001). Paramount Home Entertainment ($24.95 for VHS; $29.99 for DVD). Francis Ford Coppola's surreal epic meditation on the Vietnam War returns. No matter what you thought before, no one can fail to be impressed by the beauty, power and ambition of what's on the screen today. R.

"Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001). Buena Vista Home Entertainment ($29.99 for DVD). A cheerful and cheeky confection that survives its excesses and the liberties it takes with the best-selling novel about the comic agonies of being single in a married world. R.

"Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live in New York City" Columbia/Tristar Home Video ($19.98 for VHS; $29.98 for DVD). The Boss reunites with Clarence Clemons, Little Steven, Nils Lofgren and the rest of the E Streeters on his most recent tour.

"Citizen Kane" (1941). Warner Home Video ($19.98 for VHS; $29.99 for DVD). Orson Welles' opus, named the greatest American movie of the 20th century by the American Film Institute, has received a major face lift after extensive detective work and with the use of the latest digital technology.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000). Columbia/Tristar Home Video ($19.96 for VHS; $27.96 for DVD). A delightful one-of-a-kind martial arts romance by Ang Lee in which astounding fight sequences alternate with passionate yet idealistic love duets. PG-13.

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000). Universal Home Video ($24.98 for VHS; $26.98 for DVD). The movie's frenetic attempts to create a full-length feature film out of a slender, albeit beloved, 1957 children's book can be exhausting; however, the lively and amiable spirit of the endeavor converts our inner curmudgeon just as the spirit of Christmas eventually overpowered that larcenous Grinch. PG.

"Doctor Zhivago" (1965). Warner Home Video ($19.98 for VHS; $29.98 for DVD). Revolution and romance in war-torn Russia, very lushly adapted from Boris Pasternak's banned Nobel Prize winner. PG-13.

"Dumbo" (1941). Walt Disney Home Entertainment ($22.99 for VHS; $29.99 for DVD). Walt Disney's animated classic is back in a new, beautifully restored and remastered 60th anniversary edition. G.

"Fiddler on the Roof" (1971). MGM ($19.98 for VHS; $19.98 for DVD). Norman Jewison's film of the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical may well be his best work, a glorious entertainment that takes us right into the turn-of-the-century Ukrainian village of Sholem Aleichem's "Tevye and His Daughters." G. Dec. 18.

"Funny Girl" (1968). Columbia/Tristar Home Video ($14.95 for VHS; $24.95 for DVD). Sony has painstakingly restored the musical in which Barbra Streisand made her smash screen debut, re-creating her stage role as legendary singer-comedian Fanny Brice. G.

"The Godfather Collection" Paramount Home Entertainment ($64.95 for VHS; $105.90 for DVD). Francis Ford Coppola offers commentary you can't refuse on Paramount's super-deluxe trilogy, which includes all three "Godfather" epics.

"Hannibal" (2001). MGM ($29.98 for DVD). The film insists on viewing Dr. Lecter with respect if not outright approval. If he's not scaring us silly, what's the point of having him around? R.

"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962). Columbia/Tristar Home Video ($19.96 for VHS; $39.95 for DVD). Fans of David Lean's Oscar-winning epic, the literate biopic about enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, won't be disappointed with the handsome double-disc set. PG.

"Madonna--Drowned World Tour." WEA ($19.98 for VHS; $24.99 for DVD). Pop's most flamboyant star performs a concert previously shown on HBO.

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975). Columbia/Tristar Home Video ($14.95 for VHS; $29.95 for DVD). The inspired lunacy of the famed British comedy troupe's take on King Arthur and his knights' quest for the Holy Grail is more often amusing than hilarious in effect; if there are laugh-out-loud moments, there are also passages that are dry and overly talky. PG.

"The Mummy Returns" (2001). Universal Home Video ($22.98 for VHS; $26.98 for DVD). The second time is the charm for a sequel that is much improved over the 1999 version. An old-fashioned sensibility and computer-generated special effects have no trouble gaining and holding our attention.PG-13.

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2001). Touchstone Home Entertainment ($14.99 for VHS; $22.99 for DVD). An eccentric, picaresque Southern period comedy, rife with the kinds of genial madness only writer-director Joel Coen and writer-producer Ethan Coen can come up with. PG-13.

"Shrek" (2001). DreamWorks Home Video ($24.99 for VHS; $26.99 for DVD). A gleeful piece of wisenheimer computer animation, this new version of William Steig's fractured fairy tale about an ogre who rescues a princess is all comic attitude, all the time. PG.

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