Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New on DVD this week (11/01/05)...

We are in a deadly lull marked by the end of the Halloween season (meaning it’ll be a while before we see many new horror titles) and the slew of King Kong related DVDs coming later in the month. In the meantime:

Today’s TV season sets include 21 Jump Street S4; American Chopper S3; Brady Bunch S4; Fame S1; Monster Garage S3; Outer Limits New Series S1; Star Trek Enterprise S4; That ‘70s Show S4; War of the Worlds S1.

Movie releases that I consider noteworthy are incredibly sparse this week. Still, the new The War of the Worlds Collector’s Edition (the 1953 edition) is a worthy DVD of the Week. Although the digital medium will make the wires suspending the (coolest ever) Martian spaceships all the more obvious—which is saying something—and despite the film being otherwise quite stiff and even occasionally campy, the extraordinary special effects, sound effects, and, again, the coolest spaceships ever keep this one a classic.

Moreover, unlike the barebones DVD released several years ago, this one is quite loaded. You get two commentary tracks, including one by the movie’s stars Ann Robinson and Gene Barry (amazing they were both still alive to do it), and another by fans Joe Dante, Bob Burns and Bill Warren. The latter is the author of the seminal Keep Watching the Skies, an epic two-part tome that sets the bar for books on genre films. I honestly can’t think of three guys more knowledgeable about sci-fi films.

As well, the disc features the film’s trailer; a documentary on the film’s production; a 10 minute biography of H. G. Wells; and the original Orson Welles Mercury Theater radio show that famously threw the country into a tizzy.

In other DVDs of (perhaps) interest, there’s the arthouse vampire flick Nadja, filmed with an early children’s video camera that affords the film an intentionally crude look.

Meanwhile, if the War of the Worlds DVD lives up to being a ‘collector’s edition,’ the new Office Space: Special Edition most certainly does not. Fans of this cult favorite have been clamoring for a better package for this one for years now. This isn’t it. There’s a ‘retrospective’ on the film, some deleted scenes, and…that’s it. Not even a friggin’ Mike Judge commentary. What the hell?

4 Comments:

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you post the website link where you got the star trek and 21 jump street dvds for cheap from?

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Generally you can always check any title at http://www.dvdpricesearch.com, a site that tracks the prices of each DVD or set at all the major venders, as well as listing coupons, special deals, shipping charges, etc.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

I picked up the War of the Worlds at Best Buy. For 9.99! Damn, that's a trend I'd like to see continue.

Amongst its splendors WotW also contains one of the best portrayals of a scientist ever put on screen. I'm still surprised Lyz hasn't reviewed it.

 
At 3:44 AM, Anonymous WJL2 said...

War of the Worlds is one of those movies you point out when you're trying to describe the difference between Science Fiction and SciFi. Glad to see this version available.

 

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