Believe me when I tell you that even though I’d rather not, circumstances beyond my absolute control have forced me to begin today’s news with New Line Home Entertainment’s announcement that the inexplicably popular Hilary Duff’s latest vehicle Raise Your Voice will be hitting the bedroom DVD players of tweens everywhere on February 15th, 2005. (admittedly, it would be kinda creepy if I did, but I just don’t get it) The “film” will reportedly be presented in both full screen and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo Surround Sound. Disc extras will for reasons unknown include a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes complete with optional director’s commentary, a music video, an Orchestra sequence, something referred to as an interactive menu jam (the horror, the horror) that will apparently allow viewers to compose their own songs and get critiqued by a professor, the films theatrical trailer, outtakes and a Script to Screen DVD-ROM feature. It will be setting unfortunate parents (or fortunate parents, I’m still not sure) back somewhere around $27.99.

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Unfortunately I’m unable to significantly improve my mood by relating Warner Bros foolhardy intention to release similarly targeted One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season on January 25th, 2005. Each and every episode from season one (hey, why do they always/sometimes say that—I mean, isn’t that what the words “complete first season” mean) will be presented in their televised 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio with English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Set extras will include cast and crew audio commentaries on three episodes, a "Building a Winning Team" making of documentary, fourty-eight minutes of unaired scenes—with introductions, a "Diaries From The Set" behind-the-scenes vignette, an "Oh, Chariot" musical performance by Gavin DeGraw and a gag reel. The 6-disc set will arriving bearing a retail price of right around $59.99.

On the side of brightening my news day up a bit, Paramount Home Entertainment has reportedly decided to unleash their truly excellent “one of the planet's biggest rock bands in crisis” documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster on January 25th, 2005.

Disc Extras Will Include:

• Exclusive Intimate Interviews with Metallica about the film

• 40 Additional Scenes

• 2 Audio Commentaries by the Band and Directors

• 2 Trailers and a Music Video

• Highlights from Festivals and Premieres

Look for it to hit the streets with an attached price-tag of $29.99 or somewhere thereabouts.

Meanwhile, Buena Vista Home Entertainment has announced a February 1st, 2005 release of Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon’s recent so-called romantic comedy Shall We Dance?. The film will be presented in both full screen and anamorphic widescreen transfers with English and French DD5.1 Surround Sound and English and Spanish subtitles.

Disc Extras Will Include:

• a Feature Commentary from Director Peter Chelsom

• a selection of Deleted Scenes featuring optional director commentary

• a “Behind The Scenes” featurette on the making of the film

• a “Beginner’s Ballroom” featurette on ballroom dancing

• a Pussycat Dolls “Sway” music video

• a “The Music of Shall We Dance?” featurette

J-Lo fans will be shelling out around $29.99 for the privilege while all others will merely be required to cringe from sheer terror.

Lastly, (for the pre-release news at any rate) a group of misguided individuals over at DreamWorks have officially announced that Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate and James Gandolfini’s Mike Mitchell directed. . . uh comedy Surviving Christmas will be available to own from this December 21st. (just in time for its titular holiday, what a coincidence) The film will be presented in both full screen and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 audio options. Its extras will reportedly include an alternate opening sequence, an HBO First Look featurette, a storyboard gallery and more. It really shouldn’t, but reportedly will retail for around $29.99. Prompting the question: When are we all just going to admit that Chasing Amy was just a freakin’ fluke.

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