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THE BOGART COLLECTION (1940-47) Having recently gone the whole nine yards with Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Warner's home entertainment arm is now releasing four other Humphrey Bogart features (available individually) in more modest DVD packages. They Drive By Night (1940) finds Bogart receiving only fourth billing, supporting George Raft, Ann Sheridan and a dynamic Ida Lupino in an exciting tale about the difficulties facing two truck-driving brothers. High Sierra (1941) is the terrific film that, along with the same year's The Maltese Falcon, turned Bogart into a star, with the actor giving one of his best performances as a hardened criminal whose soft spots for women and dogs prove to be his undoing. Director Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not (1944), with William Faulkner co-adapting Ernest Hemingway's novel, is justly famous for pairing Bogart and Lauren Bacall for the first time, in a wartime adventure oozing with sharp dialogue. Dark Passage (1947), the third of four Bogart-Bacall pairings, brings up the rear, with some interesting camerawork in the service of an utterly preposterous tale about a man wrongly accused of murder. Each DVD includes a 10-minute documentary that packs in an awful lot of info about the movie being discussed; other features on the various discs include trailers and vintage cartoons starring the likes of Bugs Bunny and a hand-drawn Bogart. They Drive By Night / High Sierra / To Have and Have Not: 1/2 / Dark Passage: 1/2 / Extras: 1/2

FINDING NEMO (2003) The year's top moneymaking film (at least until the last Lord of the Rings installment gets cranking) is so beloved that awarding it anything less than four stars will probably lead to the offending critic being labeled a Scrooge, a spawn of Satan, or merely an imbecile. Fair enough, but I still say that this often delightful animated effort from Disney/Pixar doesn't compare to their past triumphs, Monsters, Inc. and the Toy Story pair. Certainly, its animation is stunning, awash in a dazzling array of colors, and the storyline is a sturdy one, centering on the efforts of timid clown fish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) to rescue his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) from an aquarium. But for all its visual splendor and great gags, the character of the absent-minded blue tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) was my equivalent of "fingernails on a chalkboard" and eventually wore me down. Still, it's downright curmudgeonly to remain focused on the negatives when the rest of the picture is saturated with invention and wit. The two-disc DVD set is packed with bonus features, including special activities for small children ("Fisharades," "Storytime"), a quirky short piece hosted by Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Knick Knack, the delightful 1988 cartoon that accompanied the film during its theatrical run. Movie: / Extras:

HULK (2003). Given the recent boon in superhero flicks as well as director Ang Lee's impeccable track record, it's no secret that Hulk turned out to be one of the year's top disappointments. The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon team of Lee and writer James Schamus ended up creating a film that unwittingly condescends to the comic book medium even as it's trying to elevate it to another plateau. The effortless affinity that exists between hero and reader has been lost on the pair; wanting to create something more "meaningful" than a mere popcorn flick, they've decided to add import to their assignment by making a movie that's as much about family dysfunction and harnessing one's untapped potential as it is about a guy who turns into a monster. That's all well and good, but in trying to come up with something of substance, they've largely left out the sharp sense of humor and gee-whiz level of excitement that have ignited the best of superhero cinema, not grasping that these aren't hindrances on the road to respectability but the very things that drive the journey. The CGI-created Hulk looks fine in close-up but fake in the distant shots, while dull Eric Bana, as his alter ego, is a human flatline. Still, the two-disc DVD is imaginatively designed and includes several interesting extras, including a short documentary that examines the character's various incarnations over the years (in print, on TV and in film) and a feature in which four internationally renowned artists each illustrate a sequence from the movie. Movie: / Extras:

-- Matt Brunson

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