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February 28, 2006

"Only morons are nice on Christmas."

Welcome to another round of DVD release fun. As we head into March, the studios begin to crank out the Oscar films, current nominees and past winners. The big films that are more likely to win will come out after the awards show so they can print the covers to reflect the titles' gains. So here we go, with a list of DVDs that has more interesting stuff than I've seen since the holidays. As always, click here for a complete list with pricing.

The Avengers - The Complete Emma Peel Megaset A 17 DVD set containing every Emma episode with bonuses.

Bleak House The 2005 UK series.

Charmed - The Complete Fourth Season Chaaahhhhmed!

Controversial Classics, Vol. 2 - The Power of Media Another Warners box with three new 2 DVD special editions (all were available as bare-bones DVDs before) which include: All the President's Men, Network, and Dog Day Afternoon. All three are available separately.

Ellen - The Complete Season Three

Fear of Clowns It's time for a visit from the Army of 50 Clowns!

Hijacked The PBS American Experience show.

The Ice Harvest (2005)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) Criterion reissues this British classic.

Lady and the Tramp (50th Anniversary Edition) This is the second time on DVD for this one. This 2 DVD set includes both the "Flat" 4:3 and Cinemascope widescreen versions. This film was shot in both actually since at the time, many theaters weren't equipped to show 'Scope prints. The original 4 channel sound mix and a new 5.1 mix are available.

Newsradio - The Complete Third Season A no-brainer for me; one of the best TV comedies of the 1990s.

Pride & Prejudice (2005) Sure, it doesn't have Colin Firth, but it was pretty good. Be sure to watch the widescreen version though.

Walk the Line 1 or 2 DVD sets available; what, no unrated version?!

February 22, 2006

"Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!"

Here's a quick update fer ya!

Warner Home Video had a chat session with The Home Theater Forum this week about what they've got in the pipeline, DVD-wise. The chat transcript, which can be found here, has a lot of good information for those of you who are classic film fans. One of the interesting bits was that they're planning to re-release L.A. Confidential next year for its 10th anniversary...jeez, ten years on that one already! Anyhow, go check out the chat.

Another Warner-related bit I heard this week was that they're finally going to release Hamlet (1996, Branagh) for the first time. I and others have been waiting a long time for this one.

February 20, 2006

"Anti-communist? That, sir, is not your average profession."

Good day everyone. Are you ready for this week's DVD releases? As always, if you want the whole list (with prices), click here, but here are the ones I feel like commenting on this time around:

3rd Rock from the Sun: Season 3 This show had its moments, but didn't strike me as good enough to re-watch...

All the President's Men (Two-Disc Special Edition) This one is a re-do of a much earlier bare-bones disc. The new set gets an improved film transfer and a bunch of extras.

Daddy Long Legs (1955)

Domino (2005)

Left of the Dial A cable documentary on the Air America radio network.

Midnight Cowboy (Two Disc Collector's Edition) The first X-rated Best Picture film gets an upgraded DVD.

North Country Anyone see this?

NYPD Blue - The Complete Third Season

Orson Welles Collection Short and sweet: don't buy it as the quality stinks...

The Paramount Comedy Shorts 1928-1942: Robert Benchley and the Knights of the Algonquin

The Paramount Comedy Shorts 1929 - 1933 - Cavalcade of Comedy

Pin Up Girl (1944)

Rent (2005)

The Weather Man

February 13, 2006

"I was in 'Nam with a jerk like you."

Well well well, let's see what we have cookin' this week:


The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Fifth Season

La BĂȘte humaine (1938) Another Renoir from Criterion...

Cake The movie, not the band.

Charles in Charge: The Complete First Season Ouch! After all.......Scott Baio did it!

Club Paradise (1986) Anyone remember this one? A quote from the IMDB comments, "The writing is borderline offensive..."

Deal of the Century (1983) Wow, another bad 1980s comedy.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air: The Complete Third Season And the 80s hits roll on...

Gimme a Break!: Season One Man, this show lasted for sixseasons! "The Colonel is breakdancing...GIMME A BREAK!!!"

The Golden Girls: The Complete Fourth Season Hmm, someone I know is interested in this...

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season One Vol. Two OK, "Gimme a Break" was on longer than this 1980s "classic?" So sad...

Metropolitan (1990)

MirrorMask (2005) Sometimes the comments crack me up: "I thought it was better than Labrynth. I know you don't believe me." Ah, but we so want to believe you!

Proof (2005) I've seen a production of the play and thought it was good, so I'm curious about the film version...

Quick Change (1990) Yes, the Bill Murray dark comedy is finally coming out on DVD. I remember this being pretty good, but it's been a while since I've seen it.

Saw II

Up the Academy (1980)

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Criterion issues the John Ford film for the first time on DVD.

And finally, for those of you who are curious, DVD Savant has a good review of the new Dune DVD (the Lynch one) here.

February 8, 2006

"I wouldn't trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I can throw it."

Today, it's time for an update on what the heck I'm pondering in the world of DVD fun.

Don't get too excited...

As many of you know, HDTV is here and here to stay. Standard DVD doesn't have the resolution that HD does so we're about to have new discs coming to market that should take full advantage of the new TVs everyone's been buying. When HD sets came on the scene, just playing standard DVDs on them looked pretty nice; it was a real step up from analog displays. Now that I've seen how good broadcast TV looks in HD, I'm looking forward to having HD movies to play back. Since I was an "early adopter," I don't get to watch these new HD discs in their full HD glory on my set I bought five years ago. My older HD set doesn't have digital connections to enforce copy protection systems to make the MPAA sleep at night, so any HD disc (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray) player I buy will "dumb down" the picture when used on a HD set such as mine. For more info on this issue, check this page out.

OK, so I'm out of the HD disc game for the moment, but sooner or later I'll have a TV to take advantage of the new discs. In the meantime, the question looms ever larger: do I wait on buying films on "old" DVD so I don't end up re-buying the titles on HD format? Have any of you thought about this? I know some don't care at all about it: if you don't own a HD set and don't plan to buy one in the near future, this may seem moot. But right now, some studios are already announcing regular and HD titles at the same time. Here's one example: Warners recently issued a new DVD set of The Wizard of Oz which had a new film transfer. According to restoration expert Robert Harris, the HD transfer of the film (there's no HD announcement for this one at the moment) is a real improvement over the previous DVD. However, the previous DVD was actually pretty good and he said that you'd need to see the new transfer in HD to notice much difference. So Mr. Harris made my buying decision for me, but most aren't that easy.

I certainly don't plan on re-buying everything I own (even if I could afford it), but there are some titles I'd either re-buy or wait on; Lord of the Rings would be a must-have in HD for example. I don't know....I was just curious if anyone else was thinking along those lines. If so, leave a comment. Or even if you don't, feel free to comment!

February 6, 2006

"Who's the dummy writing this show?"

Hello again everyone. This week, no blathering on about my materialistic media storage and purging woes (were they woes?). Let's get right into it and if I feel reflective, I'll post an update for those of you who want to punish yourselves. So here's what we've got this week:

Bambi II This is the 2006 direct-to-video sequel.

The Best of The Electric Company Wow, I haven't thought about this show for a while...I'm sure it'd be fun for some of us who grew up watching this show to re-visit some of the old stuff.

Breakfast At Tiffany's: Anniversary Edition You know, I think it's fine that Paramount's re-doing those earlier DVDs where they were basic and replacing them with special editions. However, they have an awful lot of catalog titles that have never seen the light of day on DVD. How about some of those, huh?

Doom And yes, there's an unrated and rated version...

Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005) We caught part of this when it ran on cable...wow, astonishingly bad!

Elizabethtown

Growing Pains: The Complete First Season Wow, I've been waiting sooo long for this one!!!!

Just Like Heaven (2005)

Ryan's Daughter: Two-Disc Special Edition The first time on DVD for this David Lean film.

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit If any of you haven't seen this, at least give it a rent...really fun.