Return: This Time It's Personal
Views - Main Page
kids... I'm bringing back the Weekly
Round-Up. Why? Well, like most of you out there, I have
to buy my stuff. Between the way the studio publicity machine works
now that Blu-ray and HD-DVD are on the shelves, and the fact that my
real-life has gotten in the way of my DVD hobby, I don't get much
sent to me for early review. So I find myself at the store on
Tuesday just like a lot of you to buy my faves. Now, up until
recently, I was finding Moriarty at AICN
a reliable source for my shopping list. But he's got a real life
more hectic than mine (hard to believe, but true), and so he's been
disappearing on us for long stretches. So I figured, if I'm culling
together a list of stuff to buy for myself, why not do it for all of
you? Thus, the Weekly Round-Up
has been brought back from the dead.
There's just one problem. I don't have a single one of these titles
for review (I just have PR material), so I have no idea what's
really on them or if the transfers are any good. Oh, well - buyer
beware or something else Latin. It's just a list right?
With that, I give you the Doogan's Views
Weekly Round-Up for October 24, 2006.
These are the discs making their premiere on DVD this week...
Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek lead the cast for this
cinematic telling of one of the first American ghost stories:
the tale of The Bell Witch. As legend has it, it's also the only
documented case, on American soil at least, of a person being
killed by a ghost. Makes you think, doesn't it? But no, not a
single person dies in Poltergeist.
Still, that's not a true story is it? And Amityville
Horror doesn't count either, because it was a wigged
out dude with a shotgun that killed everyone. Oh, and while
we're at it, The Shining
shouldn't count either, 'cause that was an axe. In any case,
this is actually not a very good film, but I'm sure there's an
audience out there for it. If you have to, pick up the Unrated
version. The disc is presented anamorphic widescreen at 1.85:1,
and includes with a "making of" piece, a blooper reel,
deleted scenes, promos and interviews from the set.
Kid and I
I haven't seen this one, nor do I have any idea what it's
about. But Penelope Spheeris directs, and if she can make Heavy
Metal rockers funny (in Decline 2),
then there's hope for Tom Arnold. The disc should contain both
full frame and anamorphic widescreen video, a behind-the-scenes
featurette, a blooper reel, outtakes and promo material.
Well, I've seen this one, and I have to say; it's cute. It's
not a great film, but it does its job and it gives me some hope
that CGI toons can be stylized works of art when it comes to
human characters (and actually work). Monster
House marks a major step in the evolution of the
medium. The disc, produced by Bits
friend Charles de Lazurika, contains the film in anamorphic
widescreen (2.40:1) video and adds an audio commentary with the
filmmakers, a small pile of featurettes and DVD-ROM goodies for
the kids. Not a bad set.
Like Nekromantic and Return
of the Living Dead 3, My
Dead Girlfriend proves that no two things go better
together than the dead and love stories. Is this horror/comedy
hybrid any good? I dunno, I haven't seen it. But it's coming out
from the guys who gave us Dead Next
Door and Ozone,
so I have hope. The film is presented in full frame as it was
shot (it's a low-budget Canadian production) with stereo audio.
Extras include a commentary with director Brett Kelly and the
crew, a short film from Kelly and plenty o' promo trailers from
Tempe (the before-mentioned guys behind Dead
Next Door and Ozone).
Star and force of nature Jack Black, writer Mike White (don't
think I'll ever shake the image of him in Chuck
& Buck) and director Jared Hess come together to
give us the fun and charming tale of a Mexican (or Lucha Libre)
wrestler with a heart of gold. It may not be as iconic as Napoleon
Dynamite or School of Rock,
but it's still a good flick. Nacho
gets a nice anamorphic widescreen presentation with 5.1 and 2.0
sound (a French 2.0 track is also included for our French
Canadian friends). Bonus material includes a commentary with
Black, White and Hess, a horde of featurettes, video of Black
singing some Mexican tunes, a couple of deleted scenes, promo
material and a photo gallery.
Writer/director James Gunn, better known as the guy who wrote
Dawn of the Dead (2004),
Scooby-Doo and Tromeo
& Juliet, brings us this tongue-in-cheek creature
feature, that's essentially what we'd get if Troma could secure
B-list talent and a couple of million dollars in shooting funds.
Slither is good old
fashioned invaders from space type film, with zombie-like
creatures and gross out effects. You know... your type of flick.
Think Cronenberg's Shivers,
mixed with The Blob
(either version will do) and 80s cult horror-comedy Night
of the Creeps. It's funny, gross and a good ol'
Halloween view. Slither
comes in anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 sound. Extras are plump
with a commentary by Gunn and star Nathan "Firefly"
Fillion, a nice selection of featurettes, 8 deleted scenes, 4
extended scenes, a gag reel and a video diary with Mr. Troma and
my adoptive uncle Mr. Lloyd Kaufman.
Girls: Italian Villa
I'm a big fan of Italy and a big fan of Suicide Girls, so if
this is anything like the previous Suicide DVD, The
First Tour, count me in.
World According to Sesame Street
I'm pretty torn here. Based on the story itself, this
documentary would be the one disc I planned to buy on Tuesday,
as it follows the creation of Sesame
Street shows across the globe. You see, instead of
repacking episodes that air here in North America, the producers
at Children's Television Workshop create original shows for
children in (amongst others) Israel, Germany, Bangladesh, Kosovo
and South Africa, hoping to educate them on concerns from their
country. Where we have to learn how to open and close things in
Spanish or share our toys; kids in other countries have to learn
about land mines and how to prepare suitable drinking water. The
problem is, a lot of reviews of this doc claim that it fails in
living up to the story. A lot of things are left unexplored and
many references are illustrated while leaving the viewer
frustrated. A personal viewing will help me decide better, but
this may end up being a rental instead of a must buy. Instead I
may have to pick up the Sesame Street
disc listed below in the TV section.
Ol' Double Dip
You may already have these on DVD. Are they worth the upgrade? I
have no idea, maybe...
Heat: Deluxe Edition
Lawrence Kasdan's ode to film noir makes a return to DVD. The
original disc featured an only okay transfer, so this one is
bound to be better. But if you upgrade, upgrade for the extras.
Here you get 5 deleted scenes, 3 nice long featurettes on the
making of the film, the original trailer and a pair of archival
interviews with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.
I'm not sure, but I think the only way this flick was available
on DVD before was as a double feature with Porky's
II: The Next Day. I have to say that the original
presentation was pretty good, so I can't imagine this being THAT
much of an improvement and I don't really know what's on this
edition to make it special. So, I'm putting it here because if
you don't own the double feature edition, this is a good flick
and you should own it. If you like guy humor at all, this is one
of the kings of the genre.
Dogs: 15th Anniversary Edition
Hmm... well it's been five years since the 10th anniversary and
everyone having to collect all of the different color variant
covers. And yes, I have all of them including the rare Mr. Brown
cover, so there. This edition simply screams MILKING to me.
Especially when one of the extras focuses on the upcoming
multi-platform video game release from EIDOS. But, in its
defense, there is some other new stuff on here worth picking it
up for. Plus there's the packaging (a matchbook inside a gas
can) which is pretty sweet. I want it, but I hate it. Damn you
Lionsgate. Damn you.
II: Special Edition
See, I was smart about this one. I knew a special edition would
come out after seeing the semi-sweet special edition of Saw
last year. So for me, this is less of a double dip than the
others. I could care less about the first Saw,
but this one was okay, so I may pick it up.
Do I really have the time to write something about all of these
shows? No, I don't. But damn, look at this list! If you're a fan of
TV on DVD, this is either a good week or a bad week. Good because
there's so much. Bad because you'll be missing your rent/mortgage
next week. On behalf of the studios: sorry. Anyway, here's the
The Addams Family: Volume 1,
Batman Beyond: Season Two,
Bewitched: The Complete Fourth Season,
Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas
Everybody, Creature Comforts:
The Complete Second Season, Degrassi
Season 4: Next Generation, The
Facts of Life: The Complete Third Season, Greg
the Bunny: The Best of the Film Parodies, Groovie
Goolies: Saturday Mourning Collection, Hannah
Montana: Volume 1 - Livin' the Rock Star Life, I'm
Alan Partridge: Series 1, Justice
League Unlimited: Season 1, Krypto
the Superdog: Volume 2, The L
Word: The Complete Third Season, MacGyver:
The Complete Final Season, Nightmares
& Dreamscapes, The O.C.:
The Complete Third Season, SCTV:
Best of the Early Years, Sesame
Street: Old School, Volume 1 - 1969-1974, SNL:
Best of Saturday TV Funhouse, The
Swan: The Complete Series, Voyage
to the Bottom of the Sea: Season 2, Volume 1, Wings:
The Complete Third Season, That's
My Bush: The Definitive Collection
And here's the the artwork...
Criterion Collection Corner
So, because I've supported Criterion even before they took a wait
and see approach to DVD, I've decided to pull them out and spotlight
them for you each week. You know you want these, because having a
gap in your collection sucks.
Jane Campion's first full-length film finally makes it to
Criterion's line-up. And it's a welcomed addition. The film
focuses on the tense relationship between two sisters: the
uptight and upright Kay and her polar opposite; the sensual and
free Sweetie. It's a tense, emotional and gorgeously shot film
that will suck you right in. Of course, the film will look
gorgeous on DVD. Extras include a commentary track, interviews
and three of Campion's shorts from the early 1980s: Peel,
Passionless Moments and
A Girl's Own Story. Don't
let this one be a gap in your collection.
Over the City
Francesco Rosi's docudrama studies the effect of bureaucratic
corruption on society. By focusing on a building's collapse in
1960s Italy, he explores responsibility, corporational
responsibility and humanity. Thoughtful, yet emotionless, Hands
Over the City may have you thinking in terms of
modern times, which is probably why this film was deemed
important enough to release by Criterion. Rod Steiger stars with
Carlo Fermariello. The film transfer is anamorphic at 1.85:1,
with sound in Italian mono. Extras include the feature length
documentary Neapolitan Diary,
which has Rosi going back to Naples in 1992 to revisit the film,
its locations and themes. There's also a selection of interviews
with Rosi, film critic Tullio Kezich and filmmaker Jean-Pierre
Gorin, and a video discussion with Rosi, co-writer Raffaele La
Capria and film critic Michel Ciment. The liner notes booklet
features an essay by Stuart Klawans and a full text interview
with Rosi. Pick this one up.
Mention Box Set
This is where we can showcase a super expensive but worthwhile
product. In this case, it's...
& Rogers: Ultimate Collector's Edition
Ah... the Astaire & Rogers collaborations. For those many
of you who have been wondering where the RKO films were on
DVD... well, here you go. With this one box you get Flying
Down to Rio, The Gay
Top Hat, Follow
the Fleet, Swing Time,
Shall We Dance, Carefree,
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
and The Barkleys of Broadway.
That's a lot of bang for your buck, my friend. A lot of bang.
Not a single bad film in there. If you're a fan of classics or
dance, there are worse ways to spend your dollars.
that's it for this Tuesday. Check back in with me next week and
we'll go over more new releases waiting for your bucks.
Until then, keep spinnin' those discs.
Atlanta, GA 10/23/06
Views - Main Page