Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This week on DVD (09/12/06)...

A pretty weak week.

TV sets of the week: Diagnosis Murder S1; Dick Cavett: Hollywood Greats; Grey’s Anatomy S2; Las Vegas S3; Moonlighting S4; Office S2; Roseanne S5; Smallville S5; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S4


Colin Farrell: Superstar Collection I really only noted this because, you know, how often will any human being type “Colin Farrell” and “Superstar” in the same sentence? Not often, I’d think, especially after Miami Vice. This is the ludicrous example of star inflation I’ve seen in a while. Meanwhile, a number of actors at least more worthy than Farrell of being called a superstar—Nick Cage, Michael Douglas, Cameron Diaz—are getting similar sets called “Celebrity” Collections today. On the other hand, calling Farrell a ‘celebrity’ is not much less exaggerated than calling him a ‘superstar.’

Crypt of the Vampire (click for disc review) Chris Lee went to Italy and Germany in the ‘60s and made a batch of movies. This is an Italian vampire flick. Many of these in the English language versions feature another actor dubbing (!) Lee’s voice. Basically, Lee, and other actors as well, would often do the roles in whatever the native language was, and refused to re-loop the entire film in English too, since that was sort of like giving two performances for one fee. So absurdly in the English dubs another voice would supplant Lee’s stentorian tones. Not here, at least.

Great Yokai War (click for disc review) Modern take on the Japanese “Yokai”, weird monsters and spirits featured in several older Japanese films.

Has Anyone Seen My Pants / High Test Girls Released on separate discs, these are examples of the sort of Euro soft-core nudie/sex films you often used to see during ‘late nite’ cable slots on Showtime and such. Generally a bit silly and thus, arguably, more fun than similar American product, these are for those who want better production values than you get in the sort of Misty Mundae stuff released today. (Actually, Mundae isn’t making those anymore, I think. I’m sure somebody has carried on with those, however.) Joe Bob Briggs noted that High Test Girls—aka Six Girls at a Pump, Gas Pump Girls, etc.—features “excellent dubbed moaning” and “83 full breast exposures.”

Laurel & Hardy Collection V. 2 A-Haunting We Will Go, Dancing Masters, and Bullfighters. Three lesser films of The Boys, but still, Laurel & Hardy. Now about a friggin’ set of all their short subjects? Seriously, WTF.

Murder ala Mod / The Moving Finger A very early De Palma murder film, typically violent, and an unreleased murder flick as a co-feature.

Mutant Wings Hauser and Bo Hopkins try to survive a town full of folks turned zombies following toxic waste exposure.

Star Wars, the Real Ones Finally, the original unaltered cuts of the first three films, begrudgingly included as ‘extras’ with Lucas’ universally adored redoes. (Please read last bit in very sarcastic voice.)

Teen Terror Collection Bundles at a cheap price Teen Doll (Brit JD flick), Teen Monster (horrible, but funny, monster Western) and Teenagers from Outer Space (typically funny cheapie ‘50s sci-fi).


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

I'm not a STAR WARS fan (re: I've only seen the original trilogy maybe three times each), but finally getting the original theatrical versions in their proper OAR is a big deal...even though they're non-anamorphic 14-year-old LD masters. I suspect Lucas knows his nerd fandom will shell out $40 for this and for anamorphic updates a few years from now.

I'm more excited about the Dick Cavett collection. The Rock Icons and Comic Legends sets were wonderful, and I suspect film fans will flip for this new box set.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Frankly, I was never that big of a Star Wars guy, past being in line opening day for Return of the Jedi. I have the old tape set that had the movies in widescreen, and I've never watched them in like ten or fifteen years, so this isn't a huge temptation for me.

On the other hand, it would be nice if billionaire Lucas developed a sense of humor and releashed the Holiday Special. Really, what is he afraid of?

And yeah, I'm with you. These original versions were never to see the light of day again, and yet they'll be available in HD in a few years, I'm sure.

The Cavett stuff is intriguing, and I can easily imagine students twenty years from now plumbing the depths of interview show segments for their dissertations.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

That's hysterical ("Has Anyone Seen My Pants) - I haven't thought about that one in years (I remember when it came out). Also, I don't think Lucas will ever have enough of a sense of humor to release the Holiday Special (he's no Shatner - Lucas is just terminally pompous). Cavett is always interesting - I just saw him do a show with Mel Brooks - priceless.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Tork_110 said...

Hey Lucas! Pay for the rights of Yakity Sax and speed up the Holiday Special! Time to put the Benny Hill Comedy Theory to a real test.

If they released all the Laurel and Hardy shorts on one HD-DVD/Blu-ray (or better yet, a large number of Three Stooges shorts), it would be the only way I'd upgrade to one of those players.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

On the other hand, it would be nice if billionaire Lucas developed a sense of humor and releashed the Holiday Special. Really, what is he afraid of?

I think he's afraid of how creative and fun he used to be as a film-maker. "No! No! CGI has made me MORE creative! I'm writing better than I ever did, thanks to computers!"

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Brad said...

Ken, did you mention that the first season of The Incredible Hulk is out on DVD?

Of course, I have the pilot on DVD already, and it was probably the best episode of the whole series, but still.... he's the HULK! The real one, not the CG version.

More on-topic, George Lucas doesn't seem to realize that it was the little details and touches that made Star Wars special. Ben saying he's not dead... not yet; Threepio telling Artoo to watch his language, Luke telling Han, "YOU put the cuffs on Chewie," that little squeaky robot turning and running when it sees Chewbacca....

And for the second series, he gave us Jar Jar Binks. Lucas wouldn't be able to make Star Wars today. Not even close.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

I agree with that, and also have for years now opined that neither Lucas nor Spiilberg can make another Indiana Jones movie. How the hell can Steven "Guns are bad!" Spielberg make a fun action any longer? Is he going to agonize over each act of violence committed by the hero, asking if it's morally (by his new lights)justified? I mean, who wants to see an introspective, pacifist Indiana Jones?

Frankly, I'm not sure he even has the chops to make this sort of film anymore. Lost World: Jurassic Park amply illustrates the sort of movies he makes when he's not engaged in them.


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