Weekly Release Roundup
I greatly and deeply apologize to everyone for not having a full
column today. I had a set of very personal emergencies occur this
weekend that prevented me from both watching and writing.
Instead, here is a list of the stuff coming this week with a few
comments for the really worthwhile discs you might want to look for.
This may be the format for next week as well. Hopefully, I can get
my life back together so that my hobby will be fun again soon.
The big release this week isn't what you think it is. It's actually
the best TV set we've ever seen put to disc. That's right, instead
of part three of a trilogy, our big disc is...
and Geeks: The Complete Series
This is a must have for everyone. It's a stupendous example of
how a TV show can look on DVD. Every episode of this tragically
underrated series is shown in nice transfer with wonderful sound
representing the 80s soundtrack and brilliant dialogue.
Commentaries on every episode including writers, directors,
stars, fans, producers and characters from the show are
featured, along with featurettes, outtakes, audition tapes and
promos. Fans will likely want to check out
Freaks and Geeks website for a super duper set
with two extra discs which include a script for an unfilmed
episode, table readings and more. I'll say again, this set is
the absolute best set for a TV series ever produced for DVD.
Great show, great disc. The super duper addition will be hard to
beat at this year's Bitsy Awards.
Complete your collection, and get this one too. The two-disc
special edition looks and sounds great, and there are a few nice
special features here and there, but it's obvious a bigger set
will come as part of a The Matrix
Trilogy set once we all forget the second two films
sucked. Watch for a full review in the next few days.
Criterion revisits one of its earlier releases with a nice new
anamorphic transfer. Sound and extras are the same, however. But
still, the old disc didn't look this good and is worth replacing
if you're a Criterion fan.
Angels: The Complete Second Season
Now that Farrah is gone, it's Cheryl Ladd time. Season
Two comes to us looking and sounding swell. 26
episodes fill out 6-discs nicely so don't look for extras. But
getting this fun TV series is enough for most of us.
by the Dozen
Fox's remake with Steve Martin looks and sounds as good as
you'd expect a Fox disc looking and sounding (both widescreen
and full frame versions are on flip sides). Extras are two
commentaries, one with the director (the guy REALLY enjoys his
craft) and five of the children in the film. There's also
deleted scenes and a featurette with the director.
The Complete Seventh Season
Looking good and sounding good on DVD, this set comes out with
no surprises for those who are filling their library with Friends
seasons. Extras include more footage edited back into the shows,
a couple of commentaries with the producers, supporting actor "guest
book" interview featurette, gag reel and trivia.
Grapes of Wrath
The ever so classic John Ford film (of the John Steinbeck novel
of the same name) comes to DVD as an incredible special edition.
Wonderful video, great mono sound and a nice set of extras
including a scholarly commentary track, archival introduction
titles cards for International releases giving context to the
Dust Bowl scenario, a A&E
Biography of producer Daryl Zanuck, trailers,
newsreel footage, stills and promo material. A fine Fox Studio
Anchor Bay re-releases all of their lovely Ilsa
titles in one handy dandy box set. You can read
reviews of these discs here.
Living Color: Season One
The first season of this often-brilliant TV comedy sketch show
is on DVD. I say it's about time. Presented in standard
television video and sound, with a handful of featurettes and
commentary from Tommy Davidson on a couple of episodes. It could
have been better, but still, having this show readily available
on disc is pretty good.
Judy Garland Signature Collection
Fans of Judy Garland (you know who you are) will have fun with
this set of discs. Four new standard releases (Love
Finds Andy Hardy, In the
Good Old Summertime, Ziegfeld
Girl and For Me and My Gal),
join a handy staple of classic releases (A
Star is Born, The Wizard
of Oz and The Harvey Girls)
in one box set.
Me in St. Louis
Also available today and featuring Judy is Meet
Me in St. Louis. The eagerly awaited DVD release of
the classic MGM musical features very nice video and audio as
well as a huge plate of extras including trailers, an isolated
score, documentaries, featurettes, commentaries, an introduction
from Liza Minnelli, shorts and a TCM special. It's a very nice
two-disc set and well worth the cash.
Panther Film Collection
Gotta love it: all the Pink Panther
films (save for Return
which is controlled by Artisan) are together in a nice
faux-leather case complete with re-imagined Panther
art by pop art fave Shag. All the films in this set have been
remastered for anamorphic and feature DD 5.1 sound. Blake
Edwards provides commentary on the first film, trailers appear
on all the others. A bonus sixth disc rounds out the set,
housing a documentary about the films, a featurette on the
cartoon character as well as six cartoons. Fans of this film
series will really want this one.
Academy Complete Collection
If you want it, you can have it. All the Police
Academy movies are out now, complete in a box for
easy storage. The widescreen transfers are all anamorphic (save
for the two full frame films Assignment
Miami Beach and Citizens
on Patrol -- but they were shot open with no panning
and scanning), some are better than others. Sound is in mono
generally, with the most recent sporting a 2.0. Extras include a
commentary track on film 1 featuring Steve "Mahoney"
Guttenberg, Michael "Larvell Jones" Winslow, Leslie "Debbie
Callahan" Easterbrook, G.W. "Lt. Harris" Bailey,
Director Hugh Wilson and Writer Paul Maslansky, along with a
short featurette and trailer. The other films are light. But
hey, now everyone can stop asking us to get the Police
Academy series out on DVD, right?
Jack Deth is back, but this time he's in the body of his
beautiful daughter. In the year 2022, Deth must leap into the
body of the daughter he never knew he had in order to stop the
evil Trancers from taking over the world. Jay Woelfel's
ambitious sequel does the Deth name proud, running around the
Evil Dead rip-off the film
series became after part 3. This DVD features good sound and
video as well as trailers for various Full Moon projects,
deleted scenes/alternate shots and the original Trancers,
which is a huge bonus in and of itself.
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
This Koch disc is a huge step above the previous Fox Lorber
release of this wonderful French film. Good video and sound and
an interesting excerpt from a documentary on director Jacques
Demy make this a very good replacement for the previous disc:
unless, of course, you don't have the original release. Then you
need to check out this wonderful film starring the always
beautiful Catherine Deneuve.
Another Anchor Bay box set, this one focusing on Wim Wenders.
It includes: The American Friend,
Lightning Over Water and
Notebook on Cities and Clothes.
The Festival of Fire
Ichi! Ichi! Ichi! Yes, another of the great Blind Swordsman
DVDs from AnimEigo finally becomes available at retail stores.
our review here.
coming this week...
...are lots of studio catalog titles. Look for: Barbet Schroeder's
and After, Ron Shelton's
Britney Spears is
the Zone, it's a Patrick Swayze double feature with
of Joy and
Hood, Christina Aguilera is
- Live in the UK, William Hurt gets medical in
Doctor, Peter Yates'
Dresser finally gets released, Charlton Heston presents
himself in Cecil B. DeMille's
Greatest Show on Earth, it's Tommy Steele in George
a Sixpence, Shelley Long says
Again, Colin Firth, Heather Graham and Minnie Driver find
Springs, look out, it's
the Giant Killer, Merchant/Ivory's
in Paris comes to DVD,
The White Stallion shows, Howie Mandel and Fred Savage
star in a pre-cursor to Monster's Inc.,
Monsters, the classic
Oil, Rock Hudson and Doris Day star in two cult classics
Come Back and
Talk, Richard Burton stars in
Selma Hayek makes her directorial debut with
Maldonado Miracle, Danny Aiello makes a kid's flick with
and the Kid, Julie Strain heads a coven of vampires in
Edward James Olmos leads an all-star cast in
Family, Jason Issacs isn't a bad guy in
Sadie Frost is just plain hot in
Pyromaniac's Love Story, looking for Grandma it's
Riding Hood, love the cover to this one:
to Horror High, Mij the otter stars in
of Bright Water, the special edition re-release by Warner
Room with a View, New Line's
Passage, my parent's favorite movie of all-time (which is
Time, Next Year, learn how to apply make-up with
Gorgeous, Fred McMurray returns in
of Flubber, Connery sounds cool in
of the Valiant and a young president of SAG stars in
Until next week...