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May 31, 2005

"Integrity is something you sell the public."

Late again this week...oh well, here it is anyway. I caught the new Star Wars film (or file) over the weekend and I'll bore you all with my thoughts soon, but for now, here's this week's bucket 'o fun. No huge hit new releases this week, but a mish-mash of catalog titles.

Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) Wow, I've been waiting for this...for...hmm, I don't recall.

Bullit: 2-Disc Special Edition (1968) This was available before as a bare-bonz DVD, now all spruced up and ready for...another box set!

The Complete James Dean Collection The set includes East of Eden, (first time on DVD) Giant (the same DVD that's out already), and Rebel Without a Cause (was out before as a basic disc, now redone). DVD Savant has a good review of the set here.

Danger Mouse: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 I caught this odd British animated show on cable years ago and found it very amusing...it's been available on DVD in the UK for a while now. Cor Chief!

The Essential Steve McQueen Collection: Bullitt, Papillon, The Getaway, The Cincinnati Kid, Tom Horn, and Never So Few. What, is it Steve McQueen month???

The Four Seasons (1981) I remember watching this, Alan Alda's directorial debut, on HBO back in the early 80s...it seemed good, but so did a lot of things that don't hold up so well! Maybe I'll catch it again one of these days.

The Front Page (1974) The not-so-hot Billy Wilder version.

The Gary Cooper Collection Universal spits out a few more titles from the old Paramount library: Design for Living (1933), The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), Peter Ibbetson (1935), The General Died at Dawn (1936), and Beau Geste (1939).

Marlon Brando: The Franchise Collection Another Universal box with, shall we say, less impressive Brando titles. At least it's cheap. It includes: The Ugly American (1963), The Appaloosa (1966), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967, Hmm, Brando in a Charles Chaplin-directed film...), and The Night of the Following Day (1968). DVD Savant reviews this set here.

Moonlighting: Seasons 1 and 2 I never watched this show when it was on. Was it good? How did I avoid seeing it? Oh yeah, it was shown on Tuesdays...

The Parent Trap Special Edition (1998) I'm sure there was a lot of pent-up demand for an SE of this one...

Viva Knievel! (1977) All right! 70s flashback time.

Year of the Dragon (1985) Another film that seemed cool in the 80s. Did you know that Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay? I'd be afraid to watch it again; acting doesn't seem to age well.

May 24, 2005

"I try to be good hard-worker-man, but refrigemater so messy, so so messy."

Jeez, is it Tuesday already? I was just really distracted by the gorgeuous weather we had yesterday...it seemed sorta wrong to write the blog (yeah, yeah, believe whatever you like). The DVDs of the week march on...

Airwolf: Season 1 A box set for those who can't get enough Knight Rider I guess...

The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Second Season Unlike some shows which have unbelieveably popularity, it seems pretty easy to see why this one did well...and it was on for eight years!

The Aviator (2004) I thought this was really good, not Scorsese's best, but good. I might buy this when it gets cheap.

Broken Lance (1954) Another 50s western makes its way.

The Day After Tomorrow: All-Access Collector's Edition As if we needed another DVD of this...couldn't they wait a couple of years?

The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series If I had the scratch right now, I'd be all over this; the whole show in one box. Maybe someday...

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

The Forgotten Film of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle

The Godfather: Part II Paramount finally gets around to offering the films seperately.

The Godfather: Part III They released the whole set as one box a few years back, then Part 1 last year and now II and III...huh?

I, Robot: All-Access Collector's Edition "All-Access?" What is that? Oh yeah, just another way to milk the film. I'm betting the public emits a good ho-hum.

M*A*S*H: Season Eight

NewsRadio: The Complete First and Second Seasons We've been waiting for a while on this one. I'll let y'all know after I get a chance to check it out.

Phantom of Liberty (1974) Criterion does another Bu˝uel film.

The Razor's Edge (1946) DVD Savant has a good review of the film/DVD here.

Spongebob Squarepants - Fear of a Krabby Patty James Dobson's nemesis!

The Superfriends: Season 2

May 19, 2005

"I should hate to see our country endangered by my underwear."

Meanwhile on the "what we've been watching" zone, Stacie and I have made our way through the Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2 DVD set. I've seen most of the series in syndication, but was one of the few people who never caught it when it was on NBC. Since season 1 was a partial one, they combined it with 2. It's remarkable how well this series is right off the bat. Sure, the best shows were later on, but the early ones are still very funny and certainly rewatchable. The picture/sound? Well, they look better than the Mad About You sets we've watched that suffer from too many shows crammed onto a disc, but this is still a sitcom. The quality is fine, but nothing amazing. The bonuses consist of a bunch of featurettes, some audio commentaries, and some promo material. The commentaries we've listened to are interesting (they aren't on all episodes); I wasn't aware so many of the plots in the show came from co-creator Larry David's own experiences. The small intros are fun and interesting but I wish they were consolidated somewhat as there are a lot of them scattered around the set. So, worthwhile for us and now we're on to Season 3...

Warners has ANOTHER classic film box coming...this time it's Garbo: The Signature Collection on 9/6 (SRP $99.92). The box is all Garbo films and has some that weren't on DVD before. Here's what's in it: Anna Christie (1931...both English and German versions perhaps?), Anna Karenina (1935), Camille (1936), Flesh and the Devil (1926), Grand Hotel (1932), Ninotchka (1939), Queen Christina (1933), Mata Hari (1931), a double feature of The Mysterious Lady (1928) and The Temptress (1926) on the same disc and the TCM Archives: Greta Garbo documentary. I'm assuming that most of the big titles in the set will be available seperately...

And Sin City should be out on DVD on 8/16.

May 16, 2005

"Boy, those Germans have a word for everything!"

Sorry about the lateness, kids (I know you've been really suffering without your Monday Dregs fix)...tee hee.

As many line up and wait for the coming of Episode III, more DVDs make their way to friendly retailers across the USA....cue inspiring music.

Blue (1968) Hmm, a Western with Terrence Stamp...

Cheers: The Complete Fifth Season

Clarissa Explains It All: Season One Uh, yeah...did you know it ran for three seasons?!??

The Golden Girls: The Complete Second Season Another gem for my sisters.

The Grudge: Director's Cut Is there life after Buffy for Sarah Michelle Gellar? Not so far...

Hour of the Gun (1967) Is it me or have there been bucketloads of westerns coming out lately? Does anyone know how many times the OK Corral story has been done? Me neither, but here's another one and by a director who'd done one ten years earlier.

Kinsey I may have to give this one a slot on the queue. Anyone seen it?

Leonard Bernstein's Candide This is the performance that ran on PBS not too long ago. We caught it when it was on and thought it was really good and it even features Kristin Chenoweth who's been on The West Wing a lot recently. The DVD should be good technically, based on how nice the HD broadcast looked.

The Mask A reissue to coincide with the bomb of a sequel, also out today.

Scrubs: The Complete First Season Some people like this show pretty well, but I never really found it that compelling.

Seinfeld: Season 4 We've been watching the Seasons 1&2 set of this recently. I'm impressed at how good the early shows are. Sure, it got better later on, but for a sitcom just getting going, it's very good. The commentaries on the DVDs have been fun too.

The Simpsons: Bart Wars Speaking of cashing in...

Six Feet Under: The Complete Third Season Sometime I need to check out this show.

Son of the Mask Wow, floperino baby! This flop earned a whopping 2 stars (out of 10) on IMDB....I don't remember the last time I saw that. Ill-conceived indeed.

The Steve McQueen Collection Includes The Great Escape, Junior Bonner, The Magnificent Seven, and The Thomas Crown Affair.

Team America: World Police

May 9, 2005

"Your information train is jammed, man!"

Greetings DVD consumers!

We enter another week of DVD releases, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Life is good.

As always, this page will get you the complete list and pricing from our friendly big box retailers!

12 Monkeys Special Edition This was originally released back in 1998 or so. From what I can tell, this updated DVD has the same bonus material (very well done IIRC), but an improved picture due to a higher video bitrate. If you like this movie and haven't already picked it up, this would be a good one (it's pretty cheap too)...or you could wait for the HD-DVD version.

Advise and Consent (1962)

The Americanization of Emily (1964)

Assault on Precinct 13

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) This is one I've been looking forward to seeing again in all its early Cinemascope glory.

The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Burden of Dreams (1982) Criterion releases the docu on the making of Fitzcarraldo.

Controversial Classics Collection: Another Warner box containing Advise and Consent, The Americanization of Emily, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Blackboard Jungle, A Face in the Crowd, Fury, I Am a Fugitive from a Chan Gang.

A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Fury (1936)

Hoop Dreams (1994) Criterion brings this highly-regarded documentary to DVD for the first time.

In Good Company

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou You can get this in either a single disc movie-only or Criterion Collection 2 disc version.

Monster Garage Seasons 1 and 2 Huh?

My Favorite Martian: The Complete Second Season

Racing Stripes I'm surprised this dud took as long as it did...

May 5, 2005

"The fate of the world is in my hands? That's so... sad."

Our Tivo died this week; the hard drive finally gave up the ghost (and all of our saved shows with it). Sure, some of you are giving me a big "boo hoo" or two, but you do get used to having one of the most useful consumer electronics devices known to man. We sure do notice it when it's gone. OK, self-pity mode off...

Or is it?

As I mentioned in this post, I'm in an ongoing process of transferring old tapes and LDs to digital form, mainly stuff that isn't likely to be released on DVD in the near future. Of course I always say to myself, (besides "you need to get out more") "as soon as I transfer this film, it will be announced on DVD." This phenomenon did indeed rear its head this week. No sooner did I complete a DVD for Unfaithfully Yours (1948) then Criterion announces they're releasing the film. Oh well, the beta tape I got it from wasn't so hot and I'm sure the Criterion release will be very good, out in July. Hey, at least I'm pretty certain that The Star Wars Holiday Special won't be forthcoming anytime soon!

Warner is once again readying to empty the checking accounts of classic film lovers with another box set: Astaire & Rogers: The Signature Collection - Volume One set for 8/16 - SRP $59.92. It will include The Barkleys of Broadway, Follow the Fleet, Shall We Dance, Swing Time and Top Hat. Each film will also be available separately as well. Very cool. I know they've done a lot of restoration work on the trashed-out RKO (the studio much of Astaire's 1930s films were done at) catalog so this should be really good.

Fox has Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Unrated Version on 8/2 (SRP $26.98). The new Dodgeball DVD will include a new "joke commentary" with by writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber and actors Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, an Easter egg commentary, documentaries, deleted scenes and much more. This is another movie I might buy if it were cheap...it was pretty damn funny. The studio also is releasing The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, starring Gregory Peck on 8/9

HBO has set Six Feet Under: The Complete Fourth Season for release on 8/23 (SRP $99.98). The 5-disc set will include all 12 episodes in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio. Extras will include audio commentary on 7 of the episodes by series creator Alan Ball with various writers and directors, episodic previews and recaps, a Season 1-3 Recap featurette and the "Cut by Cut: Editing Six Feet Under" featurette. Gentlemen, start your queues!

For those of you who care, Paramount has Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Second Season set for 7/26.

Saving the best for last...Warner is going to release a personal fave of my wife's: The Librarian: Quest for the Spear on 8/30! And don't look now, but it appears that The Librarian 2 has been announced!

May 2, 2005

"We shall proceed with the pawprinting"

Before I get to this week's batch, which is a bit long, I thought I'd comment on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which we saw over the weekend. I thought it was pretty good. There are parts of the story that certainly work better on the page, but they handled things well enough even if the film bogs down a bit in the middle. I liked the cast overall and since I've seen it somewhat recently, I couldn't help but compare it to the 1981 TV series. What surprises me most is how well the TV version holds up considering how low-grade it is. The book sequences are actually good in both versions with the film deliberately using more crude CGI, perhaps a tribute to the series which used very primitive vector graphics-like fx; it actually works well. The narrators are good in both and I enjoy the guys playing Arthur in both, though the guy in the series does get a bit whiney at times. The biggest cast improvement in the film has to be woman who plays Trillian. I just never bought the bubbly bimbette version in the series. Zooey Deschanel gets the character right for me. I heard a critic complain about the effects not being very good. Well, I thought the whole thing had a bit of old-fashioned look to it with all the animatronics and real sets. I think it works well and was a deliberate choice on the filmmakers' part. In any case, sure it probably could have been better, but it did the trick for me and it was nice to finally see a film made of this as Adams was trying to get it made until he died in 2001.

And now on to this week's DVD fun.

The Best of Everything (1959) Another entry in Fox's "Studio Classics" line

The Big Red One: The Reconstruction The Sam Fuller war film gets re-jiggered.

Blood Alley (1955) One of the lesser John Wayne films...co-starring with Lauren Bacall???

The Chorus The French re-make "Mr. Holland's Opus"

Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fifth Season Run away!!!!

Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Third Season

Gilmore Girls: The Complete Third Season Did I mention that this show is actually really good???

I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season Someday I'm going to have to buy these...

John Wayne Legendary Heroes Collection Another Warner box including Blood Alley, McQ, Sea Chase, Tall in the Saddle, and The Train Robbers.

King of the Hill: The Complete Fourth Season This show was amusing at first, but 4+ seasons???

National Treasure Jerry Bruckheimer strikes again....anyone here who will admit to liking this???

The Partridge Family: The Compete First Season Uh, OK...

The Phantom of the Opera For those of you who can stomach this (I love how even critics who like the film complain about the songs!), there is a movie-only 1 disc and SE 2 disc version.

Pocahontas: 10th Anniversary Edition Missed it last time on DVD, here's another shot.

Spaceballs: Collector's Edition MGM, or Sony re-does this DVD just in time for that one film coming out later in the month...sounds like a good improvement over the old DVD though.

Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete First Season Just in time for the pre-mature cancellation of the series comes the DVDs! Wow, they're so cool.

That Darn Cat (1965) It's been out before, it's out again...

Three's Company - Season 4 Ooo, Don Knotts shows up!