Not a particularly strong week, but there a few must have’s to hit the shelves. So here we go!
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The film that started it all for Walt Disney returns to DVD in all new edition, but is mainly being hyped because this is the first time the film has been on Blu-Ray. If you don’t know the story by now, it is about a princess who has to run away from her evil stepmother and finds a hiding spot in a house lived in by seven dwarfs. The movie is a classic, and although I won’t be upgrading from the previous DVD edition, if you don’t have a copy of it, you should rush out and buy this on Tuesday. It’s a must have for your collection.
Trick ‘R Treat – This film has been waiting to see the light of day for a long time, and it finally arrives as a Direct-to-DVD feature from Warner Premiere. What’s interesting is that buzz on the film is actually very good (rare for a horror film), so why the film never made it to theatres is probably a very interesting story. Trick ‘R Treat is actually four inter-woven stories that take place on Halloween. The film stars Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, and Brian Cox, so there is some excellent talent involved. We’ll see if all the hype is justified when it gets released today.
Anvil – This is a documentary that follows Canadian rock band Anvil. I (like most people) had never heard of them until this film, but they have influenced many bands over their career including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. The film received wide praise, so it is worth checking out.
Year One – Considered to be one of the bigger disappointments of the summer, the film stars Jack Black and Michael Cera and is directed by Harold Ramis, so it has a great pedigree. Unfortunately, like in sports, just because you have a great team on paper; it doesn’t mean you are going to get a great result. The film was universally panned, with many people just not finding it funny. The premise is that Black and Cera’s characters get thrown out of their village, and embark on a quest because the Black character feels that God has chosen him for a higher purpose. I’m not helping with my synopsis, but I think this is a film for fans of Black or Cera only.
My Life In Ruins – Nia Vardalos tried to recapture the magic of My Big Fat Greek Wedding with a film that takes place in Greece, and is about a lonely tour guide whose life is miserable. Will she find love? You betcha! Reviews were awful for the film, but it might be worth checking out to see some of the sights in Greece.
Imagine That – Yet another box office bomb arrives on DVD this week. Check that. It arrives on Blu-Ray this week. Imagine That is the second film from Paramount that is getting a staggered DVD launch with the Blu-Ray coming out first, and then the DVD coming out 4-8 weeks later. The film stars Eddie Murphy, and is about his relationship with his daughter and the magical world she creates. It just so happens that this magical world also helps Murphy become a financial wizard, after struggling at his job as of late. Again, I’m not doing the premise justice, but it did not get good reviews. Interesting note – the screenwriters of this film also wrote Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Dance Flick – This film arrives on DVD this week. As mentioned above, Dance Flick was actually the first ever film to have the staggered Blu-Ray // DVD release. Like I said in the September 8th column – there is not much to say about this film – it’s a parody of Dance Flicks. If you’re a fan of the Wayans brothers then you’ll like this, but I’ll be passing on this.
TV on DVD
Ally McBeal – The Complete Series – To me this show is one of the most identifiable of the 1990’s. It stars Calista Flockhart as a lawyer who along with her co-workers tackle many cases, both normal and weird. Many highlights of the series include the unisex washroom, the dancing baby, and Vonda Shepard’s regular musical appearances. The series also starred Peter MacNicol, Jane Krakowski, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu, and Robert Downey Jr. (he is only in season 4, and apparently was written out at the end because of Downey’s battle with substance abuse). It polarized some people, with Time Magazine asking the question on its cover “Is Feminism Dead?” because of the show. It lasted five seasons, and you can get all five in this box set.
Bones: Season Four – The series stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz as a prosaic forensic anthropologist and a FBI agent who team up together to solve murders. Yet another show that I do not watch, but it is an interesting take on the TV crime genre. The real reason to watch this show (from what I hear) is the chemistry between Deschanel and Boreanaz.
The Hills: Season Five, Part One – A very polarizing show, you either love this “reality” show about privileged kids on the west coast, or you hate it. Starring Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Audrina Patridge, and Spencer Pratt, we continue to follow the drama that surrounds these privileged young adults lives. The season ends with the “wedding” between Heidi and Spencer.
My Pet Monster: The Complete Series – I remember this cartoon from my youth about a doll that magically comes to life when his shackles come off from a magic key. Monster has battles with his nemesis Beastur (great name) and comedic hijinks ensue. Amazingly, this show only lasted one season (13 episodes to be exact), and according to Wikipedia, most of the voice talent was later used on Beetlejuice: The Animated Series. A nostalgia purchase for sure.
Nip/Tuck – Season Five, Part Two – I have always wanted to watch this show, but never have. The series is about two plastic surgeons who lead completely different lives. One is a family man who is a workaholic because he cannot deal with his home life, while the other is a ladies man who will do anything to get ahead in life. In part one of season five, the surgeons relocated to Los Angeles; this DVD set is not very long, as it is only 8 episodes, so you might not want to fork out the money to see so few episodes.
Medium: Season Five – This is the last season the show aired on NBC (it got picked up by CBS where it made its debut on September 25, 2009). I don’t know much about the show, but it stars Patricia Arquette who uses visions to helps solve murders. Like Bones, it is another interesting take on the TV crime genre, and it has a loyal fan base.