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September 25, 2006

"You don't give a monkey a latte!"

Ah, another week, the extra dogs have gone back to their home, and we have more new DVDs this week, so here's what we have:

Beowulf & Grendel (2005)

Brotherhood - The Complete First Season Another pay-channel series comes to DVD.

Curious George (2006) Danger! Will Ferell alert!

The Dead Zone - Special Collector's Edition (1983) The previous version was a bare-bones release. Good news for fans of this Stephen King depresso-fest.

Dracula - 75th Anniversary Edition Universal does another DVD of the 1931 classic with a better transfer and some additional extras not found on the previous DVD. Good for those who don't own it, but probably not worth a repeat buy.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift The third installment in this lame francise.

Frankenstein - 75th Anniversary Edition Just like Dracula, this classic gets the treatment with similar loads of features. Knowing Universal, these will be out on HD before long.

The Ground Truth

The Lake House Wow, two of my favorite actors, Bullock and Reeves, in one movie!

Mama's Family - The Complete First Season

The Notorious Bettie Page

One Tree Hill - The Complete Third Season

A Slight Case of Murder

September 18, 2006

"Politics is the only thing more boring than blood samples."

Today feels like Fall has actually started. It's only supposed to be in the low 50s for a high temparature and some leaves are beginning to turn. But, with the cooler weather comes the new Fall TV material and the studios begin ramping up their DVD releases for the all-too-soon holiday season.

Anyone catch the CG-enhanced Star Trek over the weekend? It aired on the local ABC affiliate at 1AM or something...I'd check it out and post some thoughts if the local station hadn't pre-empted it at the last minute for some gospel choir thing. Once I catch it via other means, I'll let you know what I think.

The main thing I'm hearing right now is that some effects look pretty cool and some not so much. Apparently, the film transfers are better than on the current DVDs, which look pretty decent already. If they couple the original versions with the new ones on a HD disc, they might get some to double-dip. If you plan to try the shows being run on broadcast, be aware that they haven't worked out their screw-up preventing them from distributing the shows in HD and that people are saying that the episodes are being cut. Since this show ran about 50 minutes per episode, almost 7 minutes is being cut for each show. Lame.

Anyhow, let's see what we've got coming out on DVD this week:

Backdraft - 2 Disc Anniversary Edition Fans of this firefighter "epic" (not sure why this movie should have bona fide fans, but maybe that's just me) can re-purchase it as a new special edition...and re-buy it next year in HD.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 Just before Season 3 begins (10/6), they release the second half of Season 2. There's some bonuses here and an extended version of the "Pegasus" episode, but I'd be surprised if they don't re-issue this show down the road either with both halves together or the entire run of the show in one box.

The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Fourth Season

The Boris Karloff Collection Another cheap, no-frills set from Universal; this time devoted to some lesser Karloff films, which are only available in this set, which would be annoying if the set wasn't so cheap (between $20 and $25). It includes Night Key (1937), Tower of London (1939), The Climax (1944), The Strange Door (1951), and The Black Castle (1952).

The Chris Rock Show: Seasons 1 & 2

Chucky: The Killer DVD Collection Yes, all of the Chucky films...except for the first one(?). If anyone really wants to know the names of these gems, by all means click here.

Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete Seventh Season

Gilmore Girls - The Complete Sixth Season

Hart To Hart - The Complete Second Season

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Vol. Two Wow, two classics in a row!

Jigoku (1960)

My Name Is Earl - Season One

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Stay Alive

Stick It

September 15, 2006

"Would you... like to be upgraded?"

Friday already...nice, but my how the week flew by this time!

Things are starting to settle down a bit more here at work, so maybe next week I'll manage to write something other than DVD news and snarky comments...like writing about having two extra dogs staying with us for a week! :-)

A few of you might be interested in this...The Digital Bits website has new reviews of the latest Star Wars DVDs that came out last week. If you scroll down, you'll also find a review for the new Blade Runner DVD. Check it out here.

And while we're talking re-dos, check out DVD Savant's review of the new Criterion Brazil DVD here.

September 11, 2006

"Damnit, he put my stapler in jello again."

Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of new DVDs. As always, clicking here will take you to the whole list, even the stuff I ignore, including prices. And, for you Battlestar Galactica fans, be sure to check out the online preview videos for the upcoming (October 6) third season.

The Adventures of Chico and Guapo - The Complete First Season MTV makes another try at re-entering the animated comedy biz.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America - Special Collector's Edition It's time for more Paramount DVD re-dos. I can't imagine buying this one twice (or once actually), but I suppose someone will.

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

Diagnosis Murder - The Complete First Season Dick Van Dyke's other big TV role.

The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats Another collection of Cavett shows, this time devoted to Hollywood stars and directors.

Goal! The Dream Begins

Grease - Rockin' Rydell Edition It was inevitable that they reissue this DVD with extra goodies for this extremely overrated musical. Sorry if I stepped on someone's favorite, but this one is a turd (and yes, I know about the stage version). If you want more, read this and you'll get a good idea why this one stinks, IMO of course.

Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Second Season Oooh, this one's uncut!

Las Vegas - Season Three

Lucky Number Slevin

The Office - Season Two The American version, which is surprisingly good for an adapted Brit show. Season 2 is a whole 22 episode run, unlike the shorter season 1.

Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi - Limited Editions I think I wrote about this release before, but here's the deal: all three films are being released individually (2 DVD sets) and include the previously-released "enhanced" versions plus the original versions which are being included as "bonus features." By calling them bonuses, they can justify the use of inferior Laserdisc quality transfers for the original films. Oh, and of course if you bought the original trilogy SE's before as a box set, you get to buy them again to get the "bonuses" which should have been released in their own right...yadda yadda...so buy or don't buy, but know what you're getting. But look on the bright side, LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy also comes out tomorrow!

TAPS - 25th Anniversary Special Edition

September 5, 2006

"It's time you've learned how to rule the universe."

It's the first day of classes here at the U of M, things are crazy, the raging student hordes are at the gate, and somehow I manage to crank out this week's list of new DVDs. It's a miracle...

ALF- Season Four Gee, aren't you glad I took time out of my busy day to tell you about this?!

All the King's Men (1949)

Amacord (1973) Criterion redoes their earlier DVD release.

Blade Runner - The Director's Cut This is a basic release of the 1992 cut with a new film transfer (the previous DVD was non-anamorphic, same sound mix). There's a deluxe-o version in the works for next year that will have multiple cuts of the film with other goodies. This is a good cheap way to get a good copy of the '92 cut, but some will want to wait until next year.

Brazil - Criterion Single Disc Edition Criterion releases a DVD with a new transfer on a single basic disc for those who don't want to spring for the 3 disc SE set.

Commander in Chief - The Inaugural Edition, Part 2

Family: The Complete First and Second Seasons

Fraggle Rock - Season 2

Gojira/Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Collector's Edition (1954) The original Godzilla film gets the deluxe treatment with both Japan and USA versions. DVD Savant takes a look at it here.

Hustle - Complete Season One

Lost: The Complete Second Season Time for all you addicts to warm up your DVD players for some more Lost action.

Oz - The Complete Sixth Season

Playtime. The Tati film gets a new DVD release via Criterion.

Seven Samurai (1954) It's Criterion re-do time again. To be fair, this film was one the first titles they released on DVD and it was non-16x9. This new version has some added bonuses as well.

Supernatural - The Complete First Season

United 93 Now here's something everyone will want to own and re-watch...

September 1, 2006

"Scotch was invented by a little old lady from Leningrad."

Speaking of altered history, here's some interesting stuff for any Star Trek fans out there.


Paramount is pulling a George Lucas and "improving" Star Trek: The Original Series. Here's the short version:

The shows are being re-done with new CGI effects in HD and will initially be broadcast by CBS (shares corporate parent with Paramount, natch) starting 9/16. The shows will be done via syndication so it will air at different times depending on local stations. For a more complete scoop, click here. The series will not be broadcast in production order or original air date. Supposedly the order is being dictated by some kind of fan polling. The first episode will be "Balance of Terror."

So here's another way to re-package the show. No doubt it will be released on some form of HD disc down the road. I will check one out to see what it looks like, but I doubt it will ever replace the old show, which I grew up watching. The old 1960s models and matte paintings (don't forget plastic boulders!) have a certain look that still sticks in my mind. So as long as they keep the originals in circulation, what the heck.