DVD Special Editions Arriving

Several eagerly awaited special DVD releases are poised to hit the shelves in coming months. American Beauty, winner of five Academy Awards earlier this year, will debut on DVD on October 24. DreamWorks says that the film will be released in a special "Awards Edition," which will include a "storyboard" feature with commentary by director Sam Mendes and director of cinematography Conrad L. Hall, as well as a "Making of" featurette.

With more than three and a half hours of bonus programming, DreamWorks is hoping the American Beauty: Awards Edition DVD will provide the definitive look at the award-winning movie. The studio says that the DVD will feature both Dolby Digital and DTS sound on the same disc, and will also include a DVD-ROM component offering access to online events, as well as the ability to scroll through the screenplay as the movie plays. The DVD is priced at $26.99.

20th Century Fox is stepping up to the plate with several special DVD releases in the grand style of its previous special-edition laserdiscs. The company plans the release of the 35th-anniversary DVD edition of The Sound of Music on August 29, with six hours of bonus programming and an audio commentary by director Robert Wise.

Just in time for Holloween, The 25th-anniversary DVD of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, set for release October 3, will also feature hours of extra material, plus a video prompt for appropriate audience response, as noted on a special audio audience-participation guidance track.

Other titles planned for release in the next few months from Fox include the Planet of the Apes movies, a four-disc set of The Omen, both remakes of The Fly, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Fantastic Voyage packaged together, and a special edition of Edward Scissorhands that will include audio commentary by director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman.