Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Now on DVD (08/02/05)...

The DVD of the Week is The Thin Man Collection, containing all six films and a bonus disc. OK, the sequels are hit and miss (and unsurprisingly get weaker as they go along, especially after Nick and Nora have a kid, but make sure to buy or at least rent The Thin Man, which is a terrific movie. Then get a hold of the Criterion My Man Godfrey. And long live Asta!

The fourth season (!) of Dukes of Hazzard is out today, along with a set collection seasons 1-4. The first season of the ur-‘80s sitcom The Cosby Show is out today as well.

The big TV news of the day, especially if you smoke a lot of weed, is Rhion’s bargain—under $10—Saturday Morning with Sid & Marty Krofft DVD, which includes the pilot episodes for H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, the original Land of the Lost, The Lost Saucer, and Far Out Space Nuts. Includes a Lidsville commentary (!).

Rhino also releases the set Candid Camera: Five Decades of Smiles, collection over forty episodes of the first reality/bloopers-type show. You could do worse as a Christmas present for your parents and grandparents, believe me.

Oliver Stone’s Alexander is out on DVD today in a new director’s cut. I’m sure it’s muuuch better than the theatrical version. (Note: Last sentence was meant sarcastically.)

The High and the Mighty is perhaps the grandfather of the Disaster Movie, starring John Wayne as a pilot on a damaged airliner. The film is getting a deluxe, two-disc treatment. Robert Stack is also in this, presaging his role in Airplane!

Fans of the Duke will also want to check out Island in the Sky, in which a plane crashlands in the frozen tundra of Labrador, and Wayne must keep the survivors alive until rescue comes. Co-stars such actors as James Arness and Llyod Nolan, along with the inevitable Andy Devine (if they ate him, the rest could survive for months) and Harry Carey Jr.

Baseball fans will want to pick up the acclaimed documentary This Old Cub, detailing the story of third baseman Ron Santo.

As a warning, stay away from A Fine Mess, a horrible ‘homage’ to Laurel & Hardy made during director Blake Edwards’ “I suck now” period. Let me put it this way: In place of Laurel & Hardy, we get Ted Danson and Howie Mandel. What, Bobcat Goldthwait wasn’t available? You know you’re in trouble when you see Stuart Margolin’s name in a cast list. Seriously, stick with The Great Race, also dedicated to Stan and Ollie, and made back when Edwards was a great comedy director and available on DVD as well.

Disney releases some of their live action films from that misbegotten period in the ‘70s when they pretty much abandoned animated films. The Boatniks is a film mostly remembered for it’s pun title, and such luminaries as Norman Fell, Phil Silvers, Robert Morse, Wally Cox and Stephanie Powers. If you recognize those names, you might actually want to see this, although the nostalgia bug is always dangerous.

Johnnie Tremaine was a Disney film seen by everyone school kid during the ‘60s, based on a long-famous novel about a kid’s experiences during the American Revolution.

Finally, Disney releases The World’s Greatest Athlete, with the Jan-Michael (what, not Kurt Russell?) as the titular, Tarzan-like dude, co-starring Tim Conway, John Amos, Roscoe Lee Browne and Nancy Walker. Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford play themselves.


At 7:58 AM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

I've heard, about A Fine Mess, that there was supposed to be a re-creation of the Laurel and Hardy "piano moving" bit, but in the finished film it takes place off-screen.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Too bad the entire movie didn't!

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Kit Rex said...

As to what you said about the nostalgia bug, I'm afraid it's too late for me. I was bitten by it a long time ago and now I'm terminally poisoned.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

You're dissing THE ROCKFORD FILES? Oh, dear...

At 6:52 AM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

I find the whole idea of Lidsville sheer nightmare fuel.



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