Weekly Release Roundup
It's a pretty light week for DVDs. Not too much to really satisfy
that digital hunger inside. But there may be a few choice cuts here.
Let us take a look...
Sandler and Barrymore are together again, and guess what? No
one cared. It probably would have helped if 50
First Dates was actually funny, but it's not. Sandler
plays a marine vet in Hawaii and Barrymore the girl he loves.
Problem is, she has no short-term memory and so they have to
keep reliving the day they meet over and over and over again.
Uhg. Groundhog Day this
ain't. The good news is it looks gorgeous in anamorphic
widescreen. There's also a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that serves
the film well. This DVD showcases the film quite nicely. Extras
include a dull commentary with Drew and director Peter Segal, a
few featurettes (including Comedy Central's Reel
Comedy), a blooper reel, and some deleted scenes with
optional commentary. Nothing funny, don't worry. There're also
some music videos, a TV spot for Sandler's upcoming comedy
album, filmographies and trailers. Do yourself a favor and rent
this one first.
Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
A review copy for this wasn't available to me by press time, so
I won't be able to discuss video and audio quality. But for you
Riddick fans out there, be aware that it streets today. It's
animated, a little over 30 minutes in length and concerns a
mysterious woman who captures Riddick with the intention of
making him a trophy for her "killer men" collection.
Vin stars as Riddick's voice and the story takes place
in-between Pitch Black and
Chronicles. Extras include
the featurettes Bridging the Gap
(which looks at the making of this short), Peter
Chung: The Mind of an Animator (which is an interview
the director) and Into the Light
(which focuses on Vin and creator David Twohy discussing the
character of Riddick). You'll also find the feature Animatic
to Animation (which looks at the storyboards).
In his own words, this is the life and death story of Tupac
Shakur. Slowly making his way up to the upper echelon of fallen
"rock" stars, Tupac deserves the attention he's
getting as a voice and poet. I haven't always enjoyed his music,
but he was definitely someone worth listening to. Sadly, his
light was snuffed before we got a chance to hear his true
potential. This documentary shows us his life, using photos and
videos of the man and a narration provided by Tupac himself,
pieced together from various sources. Most eerie is the opening
"I got shot" juxtaposed with his death scene. Fans of
his, of documentary filmmaking or of biographies docs should
really appreciate this. The video and sound quality are only as
good as the source materials used, but they're fine and serve
the film well enough. Extras include an audio commentary with
Shakur's mother, the director, Snoop Dog and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
There's also two archived interviews including one never before
seen, his "Malcolm X" dinner speech, court
depositions, interviews with Eminem and 50 Cent, deleted scenes,
interviews with family and friends (tied together in the Remembering
Tupac section, a look at a proposed arts center
dedicated in his name, and the usual trailers and TV spots. It's
a nice set of features and a worthwhile documentary. Check it
far as TV on DVD, I've got two picks for you this week...
From Image and Playboy comes the Turner Classic Movies
documentary about the misunderstood, but hauntingly beautiful,
Rita Hayworth. Rita was a very fragile soul, and this
documentary - although well produced and thoroughly entertaining
- doesn't really go too far into the life and soul of this
enigmatic woman. Maybe that was the intention, and that's fine,
but if you're going to explore the life of a Goddess from the
Golden Age of Hollywood, we should explore it, not just
summarize it. Still, it's an incredible look at Rita in this
cursory state. The special edition DVD presents the original
documentary along with additional interviews, outtakes, a
handful of home movies, Hayworth's filmography and the extended
clip of her appearance on The Carol
Burnett Show, which is shown in abbreviated form in
the documentary. A second disc is included that contains the
rarely seen Hayworth starrer Trouble
Simpsons: The Complete Fourth Season
The Simpsons season four
is THE season to own. Sure, EVERY season is worth owning, but
four is the season when The Simpsons
became everything we all know it and love it to be. The
animation became flawless, the humor gut busting and the pop
cultural references rapid fire. Some of the best episodes of any
season can be found in this set, and that's not a boast of any
kind: A Streetcar Named Marge,
Kamp Krusty, Mr.
Plow, Marge vs. The
Monorail, Selma's Choice,
The Front. I could keep
going, but I won't. Like the previous three seasons on DVD,
these episodes are presented in full frame video and look
gorgeous. Sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1, which is bigger than
necessary for these shows but serves them fine nonetheless.
Extras include illuminating and hilarious commentaries on each
and every episode from cast and crew alike, animation showcases
(with storyboards and animatics for select episodes across the
four disc set), historical overviews of key events like then
President Bush and First Lady Barbara's comments about the show
and the controversy caused by the Streetcar
episode, commercials starring the Simpson clan and a "making-of"
piece on Disc One. Oh... and creator Matt Groening starts Disc
One off with a promise of more to come. Hope he hurries. Fans of
the show will want this set in their collection, and
non-believers can start their collection off with this brilliant
want to check out these other TV releases as well...
You'll also find
Hills 90210: The Pilot Episode in stores for some reason,
the slowly growing on me HBO comedy
Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Second Season, Showtime's
Like Me: The Complete First Season, Comedy Central's
Man Show: Season One - Volume Two, the critically
Season One, one of my favorite TV shows from last year -
The Complete First Season, and who could resist the charms
Warrior Princess: Season Four?
Also coming to DVD this week...
Also available today: the Superbit version of
School Confidential!, the John Huston version of
Up Your Ears,
Station Agent, the original (re-released in time for the
new theatrical version)
the Void, Ang Lee's brilliant comedy
Wedding Banquet and
Next week looks to be a bit better in terms of volume. Be sure to
come back right about this time next week so we can examine further.
Until then, keep watching the skies.