Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings For July 23: Enter The Caveman

July 23, 2013 - 4:20 pm   |   By 

First of all, my apologies for missing last week’s Burnt Offerings.  The column got swallowed up by the chaos that is San Diego Comic-Con.  At this point, the event has turned into a giant black hole centered smack dab in the middle of July that consumes everything else in its wake.

Of course, I was down there to participate in The Bits’ annual Blu-ray Producers panel and, as usual, it was a fine discussion with some of the sharpest talents in the industry.  Although they weren’t there as panelists, the team from Warner Archive was nice enough to attend in the audience and they confirmed that Peter Weir’s Fearless will indeed be one of their next Blu-ray titles.  The movie features one of Jeff Bridges’ very best performances and if you like Bridges as much as we do, you know that’s high praise indeed.  Keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement of this highly-anticipated title soon.

Now then, let’s take a look at this week’s new releases:

WARNER ARCHIVE – NEW THIS WEEK

Captain Caveman And The Teen Angels: The Complete Series (1977-80) – I don’t usually lead off with a TV title but come on.  If you’re a member of my generation, you’ve got nothing but fond memories of the shaggy Captain and his infectious signature yell.  If you’re the parent of a member of my generation, you probably don’t.  This was one of my favorite cartoons growing up and I can’t wait to revisit the show on DVD.hildegardewithersdvd

The Beasts Are On The Streets (1978) – Hanna-Barbera made one of their infrequent forays into live-action with this made-for-TV disaster movie about... well, you can probably guess.  An accident at a wild animal park sets all manner of creatures loose on an unsuspecting city.

Hildegard Withers Mystery Collection (1932-37) – Hildegard Withers was a Miss Marple-like sleuth, a schoolteacher by trade who aided Police Inspector Piper in the solving of various crimes and murders over the years.  The first three entries, starring the great Edna May Oliver as Miss Withers, are the best.  After she left the series, Helen Broderick and Zasu Pitts were called in to replace her, while James Gleason starred in all six entries as Inspector Piper.  This set includes all six entries in the entertaining series.

Hurricane Smith (1992) – Carl Weathers is back in action, Jackson, seeking to avenge his sister’s death in Australia.  Jurgen Prochnow is the drug-smuggling villain because of course he is.

Mitchell (1975) – Joe Don Baker has the title role in this 70s action flick which is now better known as one of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I am one of those sticklers who believes that if you’ve seen a movie on MST3K, you haven’t actually seen it, so I’m looking forward to finally checking this out in its original, uncut form.

Sweet Revenge (1976) – Stockard Channing stars as a professional car thief who catches the eye of public defender Sam Waterston.  Jerry Schatzberg directs this little-known crime drama.

Three Faces East (1930) – Constance Bennett stars in this WWI thriller as a spy sent to infiltrate the home of a British official.  Erich Von Stroheim costars as, as usual for him, the official’s servant.  This was remade in 1940 as British Intelligence with Boris Karloff in Stroheim’s role.

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW

Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms and Louis Gossett Jr. head north, way north, for Philip Kaufman’s underrated The White Dawn.

COMING SOON

Several new titles are now up for pre-order on the Warner Archive site.  Paramount titles include Fire In The Sky, The Big Bus, Stuart Saves His Family and The Beautician And The Beast.  Warner Archive classics include Wife Wanted, Going Hollywood, Kilroy Was Here, No Time For Comedy and Lost Angel.  As always, I’ll take a closer look at these in the weeks to come.

- Dr. Adam Jahnke

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by Adam Jahnke