John Heder in Napoleon Dynamite

A new edition of the 'Napoleon Dynamite' DVD hits stores today, and it's 'Like, the Best Special Edition Ever!' I'm not just blowing sunshine up your butt here. That's the actual title of this two-disc set. Having not, in fact, watched the bountiful bonus features -- I believe the discs include more extended/deleted scenes, a new blooper reel and some clips of Napolen (Jon Heder) and Pedro's (Efren Ramirez) TV appearances -- I'm going to have to take the word of the people manufacturing the DVD and agree that this is truly the best special edition DVD ever made. I mean, they wouldn't just say that in some insane attempt to milk more money from devoted fans who already own the regular edition of the film but just have to, have to, have to have this newer edition, with its super-sweet cover and stuff. Never!

But I digress. If you don't already own 'Napoleon,' this is the perfect opportunity to throw down some ducket and buy a little nugget of indie comedy gold. From its opening credits -- brilliantly set to the White Stripes' 'We're Going to Be Friends' -- to its tender tetherball finale, 'Napoleon' is a dynamite film about how friggin' awesome friendship is no matter where you find it. It's also about ligers, nunchakus and white-man afros -- but that is a different story for another day.

Enemy of the State

And, just in time for summer, a trio of previously released popcorn thrillers are seeing the light of day on DVD once again -- this time in "unrated extended" form. Two of these flicks, 'Enemy of the State' and 'Crimson Tide,' were directed by Tony Scott and star Gene Hackman. The third is 'Con Air,' and it stars Nicolas Cage, sporting a mullet of such white-trash grandeur that Joe Dirt would weep with envy. While I must admit to liking all three movies, their simultaneous release raises a couple questions.

Con Air

1) Did Gene Hackman star in -- or did Tony Scott direct -- 'Con Air'? Because otherwise it seems like a weird coincidence that all three of these flicks should be released in unrated extended editions on the same day. I mean, neither the stars nor the directors of any of the films has a movie coming out anytime soon, so they're not trying to ride coattails or anything. My contention: The DVD distributors are under the mistaken impression that Tony Scott directed 'Con Air.' They're like, "Lots of stuff blows up, there are plenty of sweeping 360-degree camera shots, and movie fans seem to enjoy eating popcorn while watching it. Must be a Tony Scott film!"

2) What do people think they're in for when they buy the "Unrated Extended Edition" of a movie that was originally rated PG or PG-13? I get the "extended" part. OK, that means there's added footage, maybe a new subplot or two. But "unrated"? These three movies are all geared toward a younger male audience. So when these guys see the word "unrated," the first thing they think is: "Added nudity!" But for a movie like 'Crimson Tide,' in which the entire cast is dudes, what's the draw? Are the fans like, "Man, you know what's missing from 'Crimson Tide? Gene Hackman full frontal.'" I doubt it. They probably know that when a DVD is labeled "Unrated Extended Edition," it's unrated BECAUSE it's extended: The added footage was not a part of the movie's theatrical release, and thus never recieved a rating from the MPAA. Well, if you didn't know that before, now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

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Tags:Napoleon Dynamite, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State,Con Air, Jon Heder, Tony Scott, Summer Movies

categories Features, Cinematical