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Harry's November DVD Picks & Peeks Are Finally Here!!! No, Really!

Hey folks, Harry here… Bit ashamed at how late this is, and I’m sorry as hell. I will endeavor to do better by all of you. The added workload of BNAT is a bitch every year, this year more than most. There’s a brilliant amount of cool shit out this month as I’m sure you know. In addition to my regular pics – as it is the Holiday Season – there’s some amazing deals on collections that I thought some of you may want to check out that Amazon is running. As always comparatively shop. There’s one item on here that’s going for cheaper than that damn XBOX 360 – that’s a 1000 times the deal and coolness in my book. Here ya go…

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005






ALIENS OF THE DEEP

If you didn’t get a chance to see this in IMAX 3-D… you definitely missed out, but having said that – this DVD is packed with all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from a Cameron film (fiction or non-fiction) and I have to say – I’d love to have seen the 99 minute version of this doc in 3-D. Maybe now that Disney has the kinks worked out on Digital 3D – we could get this back in theaters to see the “Director’s Cut” edition in Digital 3D. Having said that, seeing it on this DVD is better than nothing. I’m just a 3D junkie. Some of the visuals in this though may be indicative of the future science fiction work that we’re to see from Cameron on his next two features.






Brat Pack Collection (THE BREAKFAST CLUB / SIXTEEN CANDLES / WEIRD SCIENCE )

Bliss – Just Bliss. One wonderful morning earlier this month, I broke out this set and sat down and just fell back in love with John Hughes. I know it’s a sad reality that directors just lose their amazing inspiration and their work suffers – but man… these 3 films are just absolute bliss. The odd part is deciding which film I love most of this selection. I guess… the one I could watch the most is WEIRD SCIENCE, it’s just a non-stop quote factory of smiles and laughs. That… that and Kelly LeBrock was the greatest teen fantasy ever. I mean… I came this close to putting the bra on my head, buying a Barbie and giving my TRS 80 the work out of its life. But THE BREAKFAST CLUB is just so fucking perfect and real feeling. Like 12 ANGRY MEN in a high school detention. You see through the shallow veneers of high school identities. What an amazing cast. Then there’s SIXTEEN CANDLES – yeah, I had a major crush on Molly. I love the binder packaging and the music CD is really cool – but I can’t help but wish it was an MP3 disc with every bit of music from all 3 films. Ahem.






Fox Film Noir Collection

This is an AMAZON EXCLUSIVE that I felt that you folks looking for Christmas Gifts would like to know about. Individually these would go for around $134, but Amazon has packaged them together for $74.99. That’s a helluva deal, and for that – you get an excellent collection of Fox Film Noirs. I’ve mentioned several of these in past DVD articles, but here’s what you get – LAURA, CALL NORTHSIDE 777, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, PANIC IN THE STREETS, THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET, HOUSE OF BAMBOO, THE STREET WITH NO NAME, WHIRLPOOL, SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT. Every single one of those has a commentary and extras and represent some very damn good Film Noir. Great gift.






Fox Studio Classics Collection (Amazon.Com Exclusive)

Here’s another AMAZON EXCLUSIVE that is just a helluva gift for someone. Individually they’d cost $554, but Amazon has it at $300, saving a little over $250. And for that – all with a varying degree of extras is a selection of some of the very best titles in the Fox Classic Collection. Here’s what you get: ALL ABOUT EVE, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, IN OLD CHICAGO, TWO FOR THE ROAD, ZORBA THE GREEK, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, TITANIC (1953), HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, HUSH… HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, PEYTON PLACE, RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE, GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT, THE MARK OF ZORRO, THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, THE RAZOR’S EDGE, THE THREE FACES OF EVE, THE SNAKE PIT, ANASTASIA, THE SONG OF BERNADETTE, DESK SET, A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING, THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT, THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN, THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS, THE RAINS CAME, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ORCHESTRA WIVES, ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (1946) and ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND. This collection is the sort of thing, that for a real movie geek is just the joyous age of discovery. I own each and every one of these titles and let me tell you. They’re great. The titles you look at cross-eyed thinking… that’s a lame title, well it deceptively hides an amazing film. So many often talk about hating remakes, well try seeing the originals.






Jar Jar Binks: The F True Hollywood Story

This is the film for all those folks out there that love to hate JAR JAR or love to love JAR JAR. It’s amazing to me that this hasn’t been targeted by Lucasfilm for litigious hell. Personally, I found it funny as hell as far as Star Wars parody work goes. This is definitely one worth checking out.






OFFICE SPACE – Special Edition With Flair

Next to a Red Stapler, the best thing you could get for someone stuck in an office day in and day out is this. I find it absolutely hilarious. Specially the guy that’s gonna burn the building down. He’s my hero. While you wait for Mike Judge’s IDIOCRACY due out sometime next year… you have a ton of extras to get through, and the documentary is very funny. Not as funny as the film mind you, but very funny. Mike Judge has the gift of seeing the mundane and finding the endless laughs in it. I’d love for him to do a whole film on hunters. I think it’d be the greatest Mike Judge film ever.






STAR WARS, EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH

Well, I guess this completes the collection of the latest editions. Definitely not the final editions. We all know that for the rest of our lives and George’s he’ll be tinkering with these suckers. Oddly, the docs don’t show Spielberg storyboarding a bunch of stuff for George and they don’t contain the original 33 page treatment. But someday maybe. I’d love to see the complete film in ANIMATIC form. Cuz, I am that geek. This is quite a nice “first edition” dvd. Not the greatest, but buyable.






TALES OF TOMORROW

This was a great great great TV series that sort of birth televised science fiction. Basically the first anthology science fiction series. A year ago they came out with the first selection of episodes. This is the second. SNEAK ATTACK is fucking great. This is for anyone that loves old sci-fi!






WAR OF THE WORLDS (Special Collector’s Edition)

Don’t judge this dvd by its shitty cover – this is a great dvd. Just $10 gets you a dazzling transfer of George Pal’s film. In addition you get Orson Welles’ original radio broadcast, but then there’s all the documentaries. You get a great collection of experts, fans and people associated with the film. Having Joe Dante and Bob Burns and Bill Warren do a commentary is just a delight. But they’re also on the documentaries along with Forry Ackerman and Nicholas Meyer and a great many others. The doc on H.G. Wells is brief, but very very good. Love the bit about his rivalry with Verne. This is an essential for anyone that thinks they’re a good film geek.






WWE WrestleMania – The Complete Anthology 1985-2005

Wow – the first 4 or 5 in this collection, I’d actually love to have. From 1985-89, when I graduated High School – I was a freak for Wrestling. I remember going to see matches live and thinking wrestling was the most “awesome” thing. I remember the homo-erotic wrestling that every kid in Seymour was into. “Let’s practice moves” – God… I remember being KING KONG BUNDY to another friend’s Roddy Piper. Obviously – this collection is for the hardest core Wrestlemania lover. But ya know, at least for my personal 4 year addiction, it’d be a fun bit of nostalgia to get those specific discs. LOL – I just remembered the Ultimate Warrior! LOL.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005






BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD, Vol 1 – The Mike Judge Collection

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This is packed. I wasn’t a BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD geek till they “did America” – but for those that can’t say the word “fire” once. Here’s what you get: 40 episodes, including 23 director's cut (*) versions: No Laughing *, Home Improvement *, Lawn and Garden *, Washing the Dog, The Crush *, Plate Frisbee *, Most Wanted, They're Coming to Take Me Away Huh Huh, Patients Patients, Blackout! *, Rabies Scare *, 1-900-BEAVIS *, Madame Blavatsky *, Late Night with Butt-Head *, Pool Toys *, The Final Judgement of Beavis, Right On, Date Bait *, Butt Is It Art? *, Figure Drawing *, Mr. Anderson's Balls, Teen Talk *, Manners Suck *, The Pipe of Doom, Safe Driving, Liar! Liar!, Generation in Crisis, Beavis and Butt-Head Vs. the Vending Machine, Radio Sweethearts, The Great Cornholio, Held Back *, Choke *, Killing Time, Safe House *, Dude A Reward, Walkathon, Temporary Insanity, Tainted Meat *, Dream On *, Beaverly Buttbillies * .

Music videos: Matthew Sweet: Superdeformed, Pantera: This Love, Moist: Push, Deus: Suds & Soda, Grim Reaper: Fear No Evil, Monster Magnet: Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Korn: Blind, Catherine Wheel: Waydown, Beastie Boys: Pass the Mic, Wilco: Box Full of Letters, Hum: Stars .

Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-Head, Part 1 (27 mins) .

Special appearances: 1994 Video Music Awards (2 parts), 1994 Video Music Awards with David Letterman, 1996 Video Music Awards, Thanksgiving Special with Kurt Loder (9 segments) .

Promos: Clinton promo, Waco promo, Dumb Fun in the Sun promo

Montages: Terms of Endearment, Greatest Hits






BURN

Ok – with films like SYRIANA and LORD OF WAR – the idea of some guy being sent into a nation to disrupt it, exploit it and get rich leaving it for the worse… well it’s just such a common story of our modern reality, but it kinda has always been a part of things. The military industrial complex and exploitive corporations – it’s what they do and have always done. See Brando’s take on a role we’ve seen recently (kinda) – cuz ya know, it doesn’t get better than Brando!






CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2-Disc)

I really liked this film. It doesn’t hold the nostalgia that the original has for me, but it’s a very worthy remake – or re-adaptation of the source material. I love finding out how they trained wild squirrels – incredibly enlightening. Filled with lots and lots of extras, the film is still a really damn charming work. It goes on my Tim Burton shelf.






CRONICAS

This was one of the best little films that came out recently. Nobody saw it unfortunately – and I discovered it on DVD myself. This is “fantastic” John Leguizamo work – and is in Spanish (there is an English tract for heathens). Story of a Miami reporter that investigates a serial killer in Ecuador. The result is probably the best lead performance in Leguizamo’s career. The director is somebody to absolutely watch. He does great work here!






THE DEVIL’S PLAYTHING

Any film about a lesbian vampire’s soul being passed down through the descendants… well, when it is directed by Joseph Sarno – you better believe it’s got a certain level of genius… Especially when it has a Swedish sensations on screen. Brilliant film for the whole family!






THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (Unrated Edition)

Rob completely redeems himself… either that or I finally got it. Whatever the case, I absolutely loved this film. It’s unrelenting, dirty, filthy, cool as hell. This doesn’t pull a single punch, and across the board I love all the performers and scenes. When I saw this in theaters I thought it was unrated, but this is even harder! Great exploitation film! The extras on this disc are indeed for the sick and depraved… IE – me and Scott Swan. The rest of you are a bit too vag to handle em!






EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (Collectible Tin Anniversary Edition)

If you thought the last two picks were vile, disgusting inhumane works of the devil, that was nothing… Oh, wait… It’s EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. I love this film. Vincent Price was just… perfect. As was almost every step in the film. I love that we get audio commentaries by Tim and Danny on this. It’s very possibly my fave pairing of the two. I also have a fetish for these Tin editions. I know… it’s lame of me, but I’m a geek. Side note – when they sent these out for reviewers – mine came with a landscaped miniature shrub by Eddy Chop Chop… very cool. Pinnochio is walking by it on my desk.






GEORGE PAL- FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

I admit it, I’m George Pal’s faithful follower. I dropped a thousand to have his Director’s chair as a holy relic of goodness to hopefully radiate and fill my life with the unrelenting joy that his work fills me with. This box set has the doc, THE FANTASY FILM WORLDS OF GEORGE PAL, THE PUPPETOON MOVIE and THE GREAT RUPERT! And all the extras that you’d hope for on those! This will take you through his amazing Puppetoons, fill you with a love for this man that you can’t imagine as just talent after talent sings his praises. Including Gumby! And if you thought they trained those squirrels in the Tim Burton CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY… well, George Pal’s squirrel is 10 times better trained in THE GREAT RUPERT… you’ll see! This is one of the great Geek Gods of the Universe – and I’m so so happy that I had the chance to meet him in my life.






HOLLYWOOD BURLESQUE / PEEK a BOO

I love old burlesque shows. There’s something innocent, yet risqué about them that’s missing from modern titillation. Looking over my TalkBacks on RENT – that Rosario Dawson doesn’t get naked, causes some to dismiss the film – I find that sad. She’s so incredibly sensual and goofily erotically innocent – that it is delicious. Much like a lot of the gals in these old films and reels. It’s an era that is basically gone. There is a Burlesque revival that’s coming back, and that’s what I loved about that Suicide Girls show – it wasn’t slutty, there was a sense of PERFORMANCE, not sheer exploitation.






LA DOLCE VITA (Deluxe Collector’s Edition)

Ok – Here’s one of the greatest films of all time. Flat out. And this is a stunning edition. 3 Discs loaded with not just the film, but: .

Audio commentary by noted critic & film historian Richard Schickel .

Introduction by acclaimed director Alexander Payne .

Disc 2 - Bonus Materials .

Fellini TV - Collection of never-before-seen Felinni shorts .

Remembering the Sweet Life- Interviews with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg .

Cinecitta: The House of Fellini - Musical montage of Fellini's beloved studio .

Fellini, Roma and Cinecitta - Interview with Fellini .

Extensive Photo Gallery .

Restoration Demo .

Disc 3 - Bonus Materials .

Documentary of La Doce Vita composer Nino Rota .

Interview with Anita Ekberg (2004) .

Interview with Federico Fellini from France TV (1960) .

Marcello Mastroianni speaking about La Dolce Vita on France TV (1960) .

Discussion with Fellini's closest friend and colleague, Rinaldo Gelend

Footage with the last surviving La Dolce Vita screenwriter, Tullio Pinelli

This is exactly how this film should be treated. As a jewel of cinema!






LADY SNOWBLOOD (Collector’s Boxed Set)

They’ve packaged the two LADY SNOWBLOOD films together and now we got a box set. If you haven’t seen this work of utter badassness and yet you love KILL BILL – GO NOW! GET THIS! You will not be sorry!






PICKPOCKET

Criterion gives Bresson’s PICKPOCKET the treatment it deserves. A great great film on contemplating CRIME AND PUNISHMENT – a film that any petty shoplifter or thief should be shown. This film is Bresson at his best. This is a film that shows a master using untrained actors to the absolute best affect. Very pure cinema and a great film.






REEFER MADNESS – THE MOVIE MUSICAL

I really hate that this film didn’t play at the Drafthouse accompanied by a Brownie Feast and piano concierto at warp speed. Sigh. This is a must for all up-tight conservative relatives in your life.






Warner Bros. Classic Holiday Collection (BOYS TOWN, A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) / CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT)

Now here ya go, here’s some great Holiday goodness from Warner Brothers. Spencer Tracy’s BOYS TOWN is just absolutely fantastic. The ’38 CHRISTMAS CAROL is arguably the best version of that tale – and then CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT – well it is the that I grew up with that has always left me suspicious of Martha Stewart. I know she’s hiding Felix and that one prison turn is just the beginning of her shame! Heh. Maybe she needs a heroic sailor!

November 15th, 2005






THE HAROLD LLOYD COMEDY COLLECTION Vols. 1-3

Now here’s an amazing treat for lovers of Harold Lloyd and Silent Comedy. You’ve seen his comedies remade by the likes of Adam Sandler – and while he was never the “proclaimed” genius that Chaplin or Keaton were – Lloyd was absolutely hilarious. This is a fantastic collection including: SAFETY LAST, THE FRESHMAN, GRANDMA’S BOY, SPEEDY, THE KID BROTHER, GIRL SHY, MOVIE CRAZY, THE MILKY WAY, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, THE CAT’S-PAW, FEET FIRST, HAUNTED SPOOKS, WHY WORRY?, HOT WATER, BILLY BLAZES ESQ., NEVER WEAKEN, DOCTOR JACK, HAROLD’S HOLLYWOOD – THEN AND NOW, NOW OR NEVER, FROM HAND TO MOUTH, GET OUT AND GET UNDER, BUMPING INTO BROADWAY, A SAILOR-MADE MAN, I DO, NUMBER PLEASE?, AMONG THOSE PRESENT, ASK FATHER, HIGH AND DIZZY and AN EASTERN WESTERNER. Discover one of the great American Comedy Geniuses!






KING KONG, Vol 1 (Animated TV Series)

Got a kid that can’t get enough of the big monkey? This is a lot of fun for kids, and for Kong freaks that frankly just can not get enough. Besides – you need to know how to sing the KING KONG theme song!






KING KONG, Vol 2 (Animated TV Series)

If you got the first one, might as well complete the set. After all… How can you live knowing that some blonde is likely to steal Kong’s affections from this boy and doom him to fall from the top of the world. So sad. Heh.






MADAGASCAR

Personally I prefer this to the SHREK films – mainly because of the whole Larry Talbot routine they go through with the Lion and the “trip” sequences which I really can’t believe they have in a family film – but it’s no more outrageous than DUMBO’s trip. Penguin commentary is very funny – and there’s a good amount of extras.






OKLAHOMA! (50th Anniversary Edition)

Very surreal film for me. Something utterly perverse about seeing redneck cowboys tap dancing in boots. However, the film is absolutely gorgeous – and everything having to do with Rod Steiger is amazing. And man… I love Shirley Jones. The songs are classic and it’s just so much bigger than you’d expect. 2 discs – the second is full to the brim with musical goodness and how they did this and vintage stage numbers. Fantastic. Including Florence Henderson singing!!!






OLD YELLER 2-Movie Collection (OLD YELLER / SAVAGE SAM)

One of the great classics from Disney’s Live Action realm. And the follow-up film about zombie Old Yeller… Just kidding. SAVAGE SAM isn’t the sledgehammer to the heart that OLD YELLER is, but it’s a damn fine family film too. If you’re getting your kid a dog for Christmas – this is an excellent film to show him the responsibility of pet ownership. Ahem.






SHAOLIN DOLEMITE & BLACK SAMURAI

Ok – If you even need to ask why this isn’t the fucking bomb of cool, then you need a fist up your ass and a foot down your throat. Jim Kelly. Rudy Ray Moore. Two films for a cheap price that will make you giggle and laugh and delight. Great fun!






THE SOUND OF MUSIC (40th Anniversary Edition)

An outstanding DVD for a great great great Musical classic. I love the “Play all songs” feature – for background entertainment – and the documentaries on the second disc are fantastic. Really great look at this fantastic Robert Wise film. Between the Val Lewton collection and this – it’s been a great year for his work on DVD, shame he left us this year. No family is complete without this film.






STATE FAIR (60th Anniversary Edition)

Of the 3 old Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals – this is the oldest – and in some ways the most charming. Though I don’t feel the songs are as classic as the other two. However, I really do like that you get both the original and the 62 remake of the Musical. Both have their strong points.






WAR OF THE PLANETS (aka TERRARIUM)

Now this film isn’t for everyone, but fans of extremely low budget sci-fi might be surprised. This is a science-fiction flick on the same budget as Rodriguez’s EL MARIACHI and it has a good deal of charm to it, and some surprising aspects that you just wouldn’t expect. Worth a look for those that scour the indie scene for Sci Fi.

November 22nd, 2005






AEON FLUX – The Complete Animated Collection

No matter what we may end up thinking of the theatrical version of AEON FLUX – it all began with this bit of genius from Peter Chung. Here you get the AEON FLUX pilot and all the shorts. Docs on the world, the animation and the thought behind AEON FLUX’s creation – and tons of art, Liquid Television shorts and Chung’s other work. Great dvd.






FIGHTING SULLIVANS

Roan did a great job putting this out. I feel this film is one of the under-sung classics of WWII filmmaking. Telling, one American families tragic, yet heroic sacrifice in the fight for freedom – rings true all these years later. I love Anne Baxter and Thomas Mitchell in this – and the writing is just top notch. Great film.






KING KONG (1976)

People love to beat up on this film – but the love that Rick Baker put into his work – just a few years shy of what he could have done with this film. You look at his work in the remake of MIGHTY JOE YOUNG with the physical creation – and frankly it is a wonder. Here… Rick pulls a Bob Burns and gets into the monkey suit. Why own this? Because Jeff Bridges rules, Jessica Lange rules and John Barry’s score is outstanding. The World Trade Center location shift for the end is oddly powerfully enhancing to the end of the film. This was one of the biggest events of my youth – and though it was never for a second close to being better than the original – I have fond memories of the artwork, the Burger King promotion and the Reese’s Peanut Butter cup contest to win a part in the movie. Fucking hate Charles Grodin for all time because of this – and for liberals – that BIG OIL is behind the evil of it all – is kitschly cool.






KING KONG (1933) Collector’s Edition

This is bliss. Greatest thing ever. I’ve been utterly useless since Tuesday when this came out. The real reason to get this particular edition is for the reproduction of the original 33 souvenir program – from the original Grauman’s Chinese Theater premiere. This item in its original form is extremely pricey and hard to get on EBAY – I’ve been trying for years, and I haven’t been able to get the damn thing. So having this mini-repro will hold me over till I get the real thing… if I get the real one. But the real reason to just you’re your jaw – is the transfer of KING KONG and then the second disc documentaries that are just bliss. I’m not saying that because I am in the doc, but because this documentary was put together with a level of love that you just can’t really imagine. As for the SPIDER PIT SEQUENCE recreation… it’s pretty daggum great… but for me, God… my imagination of what that sequence was… Obie used to say it was his best work – knowing his work and looking at the work in KONG – this recreation doesn’t begin to get close to being better than most of Obie’s work, BUT… it’s still outstanding. I personally think Willis’ version was more intense in a gloriously brutal way. The model work, sound work and music work on this sequence is great great great. But the clothes are all a bit too clean – and the sailor in the striped shirt… well in the original, he had a tear in the shirt across his back and stains – and that’s not there on the striped shirt sailor at the bottom of the pit. GIGGLE. Ok, I know, I know… I’m being a bitch… But, don’t get me wrong. I was absolutely delighted by what they did, and in terms of fan films and fan tributes… it’s the greatest goddamn work of loving adoration that I’ve seen for a film. Now – Weta just needs to do a full recreation of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT… heh. The real jewel – even over the SPIDER PIT – is the making of – the purpose behind doing this was to show how, the most talented visual effects artists and sculptors in the world were challenged and tested at a point they couldn’t even begin to expect in attempting to recreate the effects of the original KING KONG only using materials that would have existed and techniques used for the making of the film… and they had the advantage of knowing how they did it – imagine if they actually had to innovate and make it up without that knowledge. In addition to my brief comments – you get Peter Jackson, Frank Darabont, John Landis, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Phil Tippett, Joe Dante, Richard Taylor, Fay Wray, Ernest Spivak, Bob Burns, Rick Baker, Randy Cook and tons of other Kong-philes, experts, family and friends of the original filmmakers and more. The Documentary is put together with a breathless love – as everyone was interviewed and asked to tell the story of how KING KONG was made – and then it was all intercut – so that you see that this group of people that so love KONG – are telling you, sometimes completing each other’s sentences and thoughts. So much love went into this. So much. Watching Peter, Frank Darabont and Rick Baker sitting around a room brainstorming and analyzing and comparing the Kong film to the actual script in trying to figure out what the SPIDER PIT scene could have been… Well, it’s greatness. THEN THERE’S the MERIAN C COOPER documentary which is one of the hands down greatest damn insane bio-film-docs I’ve ever seen. This made me the happiest I’ve been all year, this DVD. This is just… it’s such a great treat.






THE KING KONG COLLECTION (KING KONG 2-DISC Special Edition / SON OF KONG / MIGHTY JOE YOUNG)

Basically – you get all the “media content” of the KING KONG collector’s edition I describe above, but instead of the program and other goodies and the TIN BOX – you get the Sequel to KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG. Both of which were absolutely fantastic. The MIGHTY JOE disc has commentary by Harryhausen, Terry Moore and Ken Ralston – and there’s a featurettte with Ray, the Chiodo Brothers and more about the film. This is a great value and box set!






KONG – KING OF ATLANTIS

Have I mentioned that I love KING KONG? Ahem. Disney’s cartoon Kong is actually kinda fun in a cheeseball lowest common denominator sort of way. Once again – if you have an under age 10 Kong freak on your hands – they may enjoy this quite a bit. However, I’d recommend getting every film by Ray Harryhausen and George Pal first… your kid will be better for it. And so will you.






THE POLAR EXPRESS Gift Set (2-Disc Widescreen Edition with Snow Globe & Toy)

This comes with a nifty snowglobe and toy train… I just watched this about an hour ago – you know… for THANKSGIVING morning… as I get ready to wake up my nephew to view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and sing Christmas songs and delight at giant balloons pulling an Alex Ross through Manhattan… well, this movie certainly gets me in the spirit. If you have an IMAX 3D theater that has this coming out this weekend – definitely see it in that format… it’s magic. Really neat extras and you get an idea behind how “Performance Capture” the Zemeckis way works.






RAN

If you were disappointed as hell in the transfer of the FOX LORBER dvd of this film earlier – then relax – Criterion has finally given their treatment to one of the great Akira Kurosawa films. This movie was actually responsible for the arrest and jailing of Father Geek… I’ll tell that story another day, but the film is worth Jail Time. And this DVD is really worth it!






RINGERS – LORD OF THE FANS

Hate that I never was able to hook up with OneRing to take part on this project, but by golly they did a fucking great job with this DVD and documentary. One – this isn’t about TheOneRing.Net or Peter Jackson’s film. Well, not exclusively. Actually far more time is dedicated to the history of fandom surrounding LORD OF THE RINGS. From literary societies and critics to hippies and beatniks to rock stars and actors to the previous attempts at the film – to finally the modern age of Tolkein geekdom. Really great job, everyone involved did a fantastic bit of work to not make this be a freakshow work of exploitation, but a historic documentary about fandom. I’d LOVE to see this sort of treatment done to STAR WARS – with old footage from the seventies – but exploring everything, the way this does.






SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL COLLECTION: Celebrating 25 Years

The Great American Film Festival has come out with a DVD featuring “the greatest hits” in the 25 years of them birthing Independent films into the limelight. You get SSEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, CLERKS, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, SMOKE SIGNALS, BOYS DON’T CRY, AMERICAN MOVIE, IN THE BEDROOM, REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS and AMERICAN SPLENDOR. This is a great gift for someone with headier cinephile tastes. Every one of these films is worth it.






SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE

Tartan’s fantastic ASIA EXTREME label finally puts out this film for American release on DVD. Many feel this is better than OLDBOY – for me, it is simply different. OLDBOY is the great Korean ‘western’ film. SYMPATHY is great cinema. I still remember Tim League and Eli Roth’s faces when they got out of seeing this film at Sitges. They had a glow of discovery about them, as if Film God had burned a revelatory work into their minds. I had the same look after seeing it. Kicks off the REVENGE trilogy. See this and OLDBOY – but remember – Tartan will be releasing LADY VENGEANCE next year in theaters and on DVD… can’t wait for the inevitable BOX SET!






WAR OF THE WORLDS ( 2-Disc Limited Edition) Spielberg

Love this movie. A very different film from George Pal’s… but still beating with aa very similar heart. Watching this in theaters earlier this year was one of the best visceral film experiences I’ve had this year. Paramount and Dreamworks kept this film very well hid – in terms of not giving out spoilers or the shock of what was to come. Shame that Cruise’s media insanity hit when it did, felt it put people in the wrong place to truly appreciate this. The dvd is great, second disc extras are awesome, in particular – Spielberg and the original film bit. LOVED IT.






WARNER CLASSICS MEGA COLLECTION

237 Discs of the Greatest American Films From The Greatest Film Vault In the World… Warners. Pricey as hell, this is the ultimate movie gift this year. You got a rich relative that loves to spoil you? This is what to ask for. The Titles? Click on the image for a look at them all. The CRITERION COLLECTION I had in last year’s column was pretty great, but this may very well be better. This is a brilliant cornerstone to a Great DVD collection – having just about everything a film lover could want in terms of genre, stars, subjects and quality. This is just the best. The price is $1449.98 – that’s a savings of $2,550.00. Amazing, eh? That’s a 64% break on the greatest titles ever. Years of joy.



November 29th, 2005






DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE

The single most disturbing film that Quentin Tarantino has ever shown at QT FEST! It is horrific and brutal and just… just – if this is the type of film you like, you will not be disappointed. It’s a kick in the nuts. It will give you ideas for the ultimate home entertainment system. Like it did Moriarty’s writing partner. DISTURBING AS HELL, not for the queasy.






FRIGHTENERS (Unrated Director’s Cut)

Haven’t gotten this DVD yet, can’t wait to get it. I’ve always enjoyed FRIGHTENERS – but I’ve always felt there was something more. Here it is. It’ll have an exhaustive making of, and commentary by Peter Jackson – but I can’t wait to see the longer cut. This is a real treat.






MARCH OF THE PENGUINS

The unexpected super documentary hit of the year. Pretty amazing. Very emotional, beautiful and touching – this is a family film that shows the harsh reality and touching beauty of the Emperor Penguins’ existence. The dvd goes into how they made it, but also you get a Bugs Bunny/ Penguin cartoon from the classic era and more. Hopefully we’ll see great marketing and treatments for other Nature docs.






MR & MRS SMITH

This movie is crack – I love it. One – Angelina Jolie is smoking in this movie. And Brad Pitt is dreamy as hell. Together – it’s more physical attraction on screen than the world could handle. Doug Liman did a great job, and the maligned Simon Kinberg really did a great job here as well. Playful yet brutal. The dvd has commentaries, deleted scenes and much more. Had this been NC-17 – it could have grossed $1.8 billion. The world would pay to see these two fuck, like you wouldn’t believe. It’d break records the like of which you wouldn’t imagine. You know it is true.






THE MUPPET MOVIE – Kermit’s 50th Anniversary Edition

One of the great family films. Magic. That bicycle scene… I still don’t know how they did it. History of Kermit doc is quite nice – still wish there was more to this. Love Orson Welles in this. Makes me cry though. Wish Jim Henson was still here, while watching this, he is.






MURDERBALL

One of the best documentaries of the year. Though – doesn’t that wheelchair totally look dysfunctional as hell… You’d think the guy could afford to have that straightened out… right? Heh. This is a great film about an utterly insane game. I love it. The DVD has a crazy special with Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O and Mark Zupan that you’ll love. Plus Larry King interviews, deleted scenes, commentary from the filmmakers and the players as well as the NYC premiere! Great dvd.






SKY HIGH

Geek Crack! One of my personal favorites of 2005 – I will compulsively watch this when I get the dvd. I wish this had been the sleeper hit of the year, but the marketing just… unfortunately sucked balls. A great fun film along the lines of GALAXY QUEST, but with Kurt Russell, Bruce Campbell and Lynda Carter --- and those KIDS IN THE HALL guys. And the teenagers absolutely kicked ass in this film. Really great.

Time for MACY’s PARADE!!!

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