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Doogan's Views at The Digital Bits
page added: 12/13/06



Ho-Ho-Ho

Doogan's Views - Main Page

The holidays are upon us and I have to say, I'm a little bit excited this year. I didn't put up my tree or anything, and with no rugrats in my life, I have no real spirit. But for some reason, this year feels a bit “Christmassy” to me. Growing up with just Christmas in my life, I can't vouch for what Hanukah or Kwanza “feels” like, but for some reason the holidays feel more holidaytastic to me this year.

One thing is, I received a very early gift and I'm going out on a limb and I'm recommending to EVERYONE who reads The Bits, to either make sure you get this on your gift list or pick it up for that special someone who loves the types of movies we cover the most here. That gift is The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio by Jody Duncan. My. God. Does this thing rock. It weighs a ton and the sheer amount of photographs, historical information and just... I dunno... passion that went into this book makes it, for me, one of the all-time best Hollywood books I've ever read. I got this thing just the other day and I haven't been able to put it down.

The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio

Cinefex writer/editor Jody Duncan really dives into the life, work and world of Winston, and comes back with references to just about everything he's left a thumbprint on (and that's a LOT of stuff). Plus, the production values here (spearheaded by SWS crew members Jim Charmatz and Paul Meijas) are incredible. Every photo in this thing is crisp, clear and without fault. Even the standard edition cover created by Charmatz rocks. If you love sci-fi and fantasy films as much as we do here, you really should check it out.

Amazon has it for a really good price and orders made through the weekend will get to you by the holidays. Again, seeing this thing is believing and trust me, you give this as a gift and it will make any film fan love you that much more

But I'm not here to sell books. I'm here to let you know what's hitting stores this week. Well here they are...


New Releases

This is a good week for DVD. Even if the volume isn't huge, the titles are mostly interesting.


Barnyard: The Original Party Animals

Barnyard: The Original Party Animals

I'm about over the whole CGI talking animal thing. But the kids love it, so... here's another one.

World Trade Center

World Trade Center

I don't know how this one will fare during awards season, but World Trade Center is a powerful film, and understated in terms of Oliver Stone. Definitely check this one out if you stayed away from it in theaters. It's worth a look.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

I'm not one for chick flicks, but this one looks cute. And I have a not-so-secret-crush on star Anne Hathaway, which helps.

The Fox & The Hound 2

The Fox & The Hound 2

I actually haven't seen this, so I don't know if it's any good. I haven't really been blown away by the Disney direct-to-DVD sequels, but there's always a chance this one is good.

Material Girls

Material Girls

Hilary Duff and her sister star in what looks like a bio of the Hilton girls. I can't bring myself to care. But if you do, check it out.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Ah... the Will Ferrell Express. Everything this guy touches (and has control over) is gold. This one is no exception. Plus, it's got the guy who plays Borat.

The Ol' Double Dip

Here are a couple re-release discs for you to think about upgrading to.

Black Christmas: Special Edition

Black Christmas: Special Edition

This is a good flick and the sequel (hitting theaters on Christmas Day) looks like it might be fun. I'll most likely review this one, so I'll know more in a few days. We'll keep you posted.

Bugsy: Widescreen Extended Cut

Bugsy: Widescreen Extended Cut

Bugsy is a great f-in' flick. I can't imagine an extended cut would make it any better. But if you're looking for more, it's coming to your favorite shop this week.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe: 4-Disc Extended Edition

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe: 4-Disc Extended Edition

The Lord of the Rings cut is finally here. More movie! More extras! More more! I didn't really dig this when I first saw it in theaters, so I can't really get my excitement level up. But I may rent this just to see if it becomes a better flick with more story. I mean, it can't hurt it, right?

TV on DVD

You want TV stuff? Nothing here really makes me go whoo-hoo, except for maybe the last of the Masters of Horror films. That and the odd inclusion of a film that was only on TV Monday night: A Year Without a Santa Claus. Synergy at its finest...

Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Final Season, Discovery Atlas: China Revealed, Dog the Bounty Hunter: Wedding Special, Full House: The Complete Fifth Season, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete First Season, Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Second Year, Masters of Horror: Fair-Haired Child, Stacked: The Complete Series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe - Volume Two and The Year Without a Santa Claus


Special Mention Box Set

This week this section means more, because these are sets you might actually want to ask for this Christmas. Yes, it’s the next two Bond boxes...


James Bond Ultimate Edition, Volume 3
James Bond Ultimate Edition, Volume 4

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Volume 3James Bond Ultimate Edition, Volume 4

Volume 3 features Goldeneye, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, while Volume 4 has Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies and Moonraker all in two-disc slimcases with brand spanking new, fully-restored, Lowry Digital-enhanced anamorphic transfers, bringing all of these films into the 21st Century. Audio is Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. Extras are so vast that writing about them would take too long. Just know that the effort that's gone into these special editions is mind-blowing. Think: two commentaries for each film, never before seen deleted scenes, brand new supplemental features and most (if not quite all) of the stuff that was on the previous DVDs too. If you have $160 bucks, then feel free to pick both of these up. As was the case with the first two volumes, the only way you'll get these films for now is in the boxes - none are available separately (though word is they'll be released individually sometime next spring).


Well, that's it for this week. I'm serious about that book I gushed about up top. Trust me, it’s worth the 35 or so dollars you can get it on Amazon. It's actually worth a lot more, but if someone is stupid enough to sell it for 35, then take it.

I'm not exactly sure if we'll have a column next week, so I may consolidate for the following week. But to all of you... and I speak for everyone here at The Bits... we love each and every one of you. You're the heart and soul of this website and we all appreciate you reading week after week. So please have a safe and happy holiday. Get lots of rest, eat lots of food, read lots of books and spin a lot of discs.

Merry Happy!

Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com
Atlanta, GA 12/12/06


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