Lawrence has a close encounter with Columbia

Lawrence of Arabia will make its Region 1 debut on April 3rd in a double-disc limited edition including an anamorphic transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, an hour-long documentary (plus eight further featurettes) and more. If it's half as good as The Bridge on the River Kwai (and there's no reason that it shouldn't be, going from that spec) it should be well worth waiting for - and a Region 2 release is imminent as well. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is also getting the two-disc treatment, based around a new 137-minute cut of the film that restores the original theatrical ending (although many of the changes in the controversial 1980 "special edition" remain intact). Extras will include deleted footage, production featurettes and unspecified new material, the transfer will of course be anamorphic, and it may offer a DTS soundtrack as well. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is due for late spring in Region 1 - and will apparently include extras not featured on the Region 3 disc, though precisely what these could be hasn't yet been specified. Other Columbia back catalogue titles scheduled for the first half of the year include Absence of Malice, A Few Good Men, Gandhi, Ice Castles, Kramer vs Kramer, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Natural, A Passage to India, The Prince of Tides and Tootsie. All are likely to have anamorphic transfers, though other details remain to be announced. Late 2001 will see a box set of the various Muppet movies. Finally, Charlie's Angels and Girlfight (now there's a double bill!) are due out on 27 March.

Michael Brooke

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