Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Moriarty's DVD Shelf!! What Happened To January?! Warner Bros Event!! ULTIMATE AVENGERS Clip!! ELECTRIC COMPANY!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

So, just in case I haven’t said it already... Happy New Year.

I don’t know about you, but my holidays ended suddenly as January began, and I’ve been working my ass off pretty much every single day of the month trying to get some pretty major chunks of work off my desk. Scotty and I wrote a couple of drafts of our second MASTERS OF HORROR episode, we’re working on two other things at the same time, I turned out that 15,000 word article about my favorite films of last year, and I had to deal with a fairly debilitating back injury.

Which is to say, I somehow managed to miss every single new release Tuesday in January. This hasn’t been the biggest month of new titles, so if there’s any month that would be okay to sort of ignore, this is it, but I still feel like I dropped the ball. I’ve enjoyed publishing the column on a weekly basis over the last fifteen months, and I’ll get back to it at the end of today’s column.

And actually, let me ask you about that while I’m thinking of it. Would you prefer to see the new release column on Monday morning or on Tuesday morning? Some people have been asking me to move it to Monday so that they’ll have already read it by the time Tuesday morning rolls around. Drop me an e-mail and let me know which you prefer.

In the meantime, let’s dig into today’s column, starting with that Warner Home Video event I attended last Monday. Fittingly, I’ll throw on Warner’s release of THE FLASH: THE COMPLETE SERIES as I work, and let’s look at what Warner has in store for the year to come.


It’s strange to see how Warner has their act so together right now, considering how long they were pretty much the worst major studio in terms of how they handled their titles on DVD. Their first few years in the market were marked by lots of flip-side discs, VHS masters used for transfers, and terrible packaging that was just frustrating for any collector. Then, sometime in the last three years, they turned it all around, and now... I’d call them the very best studio in terms of how they handle catalog titles.

It helps that they have the best catalog around, too.

Last Monday, as a number of reporters sat around a large conference table, Warner executives took turns talking up different highlights of their upcoming slate. They’re looking at releasing over 200 titles that are new to DVD completely this year, along with several films that are getting deluxe treatment.

If I had to pinpoint the reason for the turn-around at Warner, I’m sure every executive there has played a role, but creatively speaking, I’m willing to bet a lot of it boils down to one person: George Feltenstein. I first met George in 1991, when I was working at Dave’s Video. George was a rabid laserdisc fan, and he was also involved in putting out MGM’s library titles. I met a lot of people working at that store who loved movies, but George struck me, even then, as a guy who had a profound passion for the preservation of Hollywood’s golden age, desperate to do whatever he could to get titles released that had been lost or forgotten or just plain neglected. Listening to George speak last Monday, it was obvious that not only is his passion intact, but he’s finally in a position to be able to do something about it. And the winner in that scenario is us... the public.

As George explained, Warner Home Video owns every MGM film produced before May of 1986, every Warner film, and every RKO film. That’s a library of 6,600 titles. Right now, 1,200 of those are out on DVD. That’s a nice chunk, but it just barely scratches the surface. There’s little or no chance we’ll ever see all 6,600 titles on any home video format, but with over 5,000 titles still waiting to be released, they’ve still got plenty of product to work on for years to come.

The releases that made 2005 so great in my opinion were their film noir titles, the KING KONG tin, and, in particular, that THIN MAN box set. Their Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers box was beautifully produced, and I was also thrilled with the Peckinpah box they just put out. The point is, time and time again right now, Warner steps up and makes their catalog releases something special while many other companies put out catalog titles almost like they’re embarrassed by them, or just doing it as an obligation. Warner treats them like what they are... the jewels of their company, the things that their company was built on. They’re the movies that George Feltenstein is passionate about, and really… if you ask me what’s most exciting about Warner in 2006... it’s their catalog titles. By the end of the year, all their big summer releases will be on home video already, so it’s sort of like they’re all on an even playing field. As a Marlon Brando fan, am I more excited about adding SUPERMAN RETURNS to my DVD shelf, or the Richard Donner cut of SUPERMAN II, or the brand-new two-disc special edition of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, with the restored negative and the commentaries and the full-length documentary? Honestly… I don’t know. As a science-fiction fan, what’s the science-fiction film that most excites me from Warner Bros this year? Richard Linklater’s A SCANNER DARKLY, which was one of the best screenplays I’ve read in the last five years, and which has an amazing cast, or that brand-new 2-disc special edition of FORBIDDEN PLANET, re-mastered in high definition and with a new full-length documentary? I genuinely don’t know.

There are a few double-dips coming this year that I’m not complaining about. I bought the original Kubrick box set from a few years back. EYES WIDE SHUT isn’t even in it. So this year, they’re putting out four new Kubrick special editions, part of a new collection, starting with 2001, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE SHINING, and for the first time on American DVD, the full uncensored EYES WIDE SHUT. As Feltenstein said, “New management feels differently than old management.” In other words, they’re ready to treat us like adults now. Thanks. I appreciate it. And in return, I’ll buy the film this time, gladly. Each of the four films is sporting a brand-new “state-of-the-art High Definition Master.” And each disc is reported to contain never-before-seen footage. Evidently, the estate (most likely meaning Jan Harlan) has provided Warner Bros with documentary footage that is new. The films themselves will not contain new footage (except, obviously, for EYES WIDE SHUT), since there’s no new footage to put in. Feltenstein said that as far as he knows, Kubrick had all his unused footage burned. All that remains is behind-the-scenes, which is honestly what I’m most interested in. If you’ve looked through THE KUBRICK ARCHIVES, that mammoth coffee table book, you’ve probably got a good sense of how well documented Kubrick’s thought process is. If Harlan even begins to open up that material to Warner, the stuff they could add to these new DVDs would be fascinating.

I love the way they’re handling 1941’s THE MALTESE FALCON, including the 1931 and 1936 versions of the film in the 2-disc set as well. They’re giving you a chance to compare the way three totally different creative teams handled the same material for the studio. There’s THE MALTESE FALCON – DANGEROUS FEMALE first, then SATAN MET A LADY, and I’ve only ever read about either one of them. So even though I’ve seen THE MALTESE FALCON many times (and it really is one of the great Hollywood movies of all time), this disc will give me a whole new way to watch it. That’s pretty great.

There’s another Astaire/Rogers box, which completes the full release of the studio’s films with the pair. 10 films, five per collection. This time out, you’ll get FLYING DOWN TO RIO, THE GAY DIVORCEE, ROBERTA, CAREFREE, and THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE, spanning the 1930’s from one end to the other. What a treat. I’m sure Harry will write an article soon in which he uses an uncomfortably frank sexual metaphor to express his joy over THE BUSBY BERKELEY COLLECTION. I can think of no finer gift to buy the film geek in your life. Most of them won’t buy it for themselves, but if they end up owning it and actually watching it, they will probably be fans for life. These films are total candy, meant to be enjoyed over and over. FOOTLIGHT PARADE, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, DAMES, and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935, along with the previously-released 42ND STREET and a bonus disc of three hours worth of Berkeley musical numbers. Bliss. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the way Warner and Fox and Universal have all been competing to put out the best film noir collections over the past few years. I think Universal bowed out quickly, and Fox put out a damn fine collection of 12 titles that I would recommend to any film fan. But again… the depth of the Warner catalog gives them the edge in terms of releasing genuine classics.

They pulled out some big guns last year, and this year, they’re releasing a more interesting, diverse line-up. “G” MEN, BULLETS OR BALLOTS, SAN QUENTIN, A SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER, EVERY DAWN I DIE, and CITY FOR CONQUEST. Like Fox, they’re starting to dig deeper into their collection, and the result is exciting, all new to me. This is exactly the sort of stuff I’ve complained in the past that they weren’t releasing. Arguably the greatest sports film of all time, KNUTE ROCKNE ALL AMERICAN, is coming out finally. And Brando freaks can look forward to JULIUS CAESAR, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, and THE FORMULA in addition to BOUNTY, which I mentioned earlier.

And did I mention musicals? I’m pretty sure I did, but I’m also pretty sure there’s a metric assload of musicals coming out from the studio this year. Making their DVD debuts are IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, SUMMER STOCK, THREE LITTLE WORDS, TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY, and ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES. That’s a pretty stacked line-up. I’ve been reading that recent book about Mayer recently, and this is the stuff he really considered his bread and butter, his big pictures. Equally interesting, but from a totally different period of Hollywood history, is the TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FILM COLLECTION, coming out in May. SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, BABY DOLL, and THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE are all new to DVD, and there’s a brand-new STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (See? You see how much Brando there is this year?) and a new remastered CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Tons of bonus material. Sounds great to me.

You see what I mean? Warner’s going to make something like 15 or 20 new films this year, and even if they’re all awesome, that’s still just such a small percentage of what the company’s putting out. I’m listing this stuff off and thinking about the year of film viewing I’ve got ahead, and it’s a rush. This is what I love about DVD in general. Like for example, A&E is sending me a review copy of the AVENGERS EMMA PEEL MEGASET for review. I have an excuse to watch every episode of the Avengers with Emma Peel in them, and that’s something I’ll set aside time for. How much fun is that? We have all become Billy Pilgrims, unstuck in cinema, bouncing around between new and old films in a way that was never really this easy or interesting before. Even when VHS exploded in the ‘80s, it was a rental market, not an owner’s market, and catalog stuff was just sort of dumped out there in bulk. It was never treated like this, like a brand-new event. Every studio gets to program a sort of tour through their history each year, emphasizing different stuff, making sure to always keep certain titles in release in the most up-to-date format.

This year, there’s a lot of John Ford coming. If you just want his John Wayne stuff, there’s a big giant mega SEARCHERS set that’s coming that sounds genuinely awesome. There’s a new STAGECOACH as well, remastered. FORT APACHE, THE LONG WAY HOME, WINGS OF EAGLES, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, and THREE GODFATHERS. All of those together in one box. I haven’t bought any of them so far, so even the five that were out before are going to be better if I get them now as part of this set.

Then there’s a John Ford collection that’s stuff he didn’t do with John Wayne, and in this case, the whole box is new stuff, things that have never been out on DVD before. THE INFORMER. THE LOST PATROL. CHEYENNE AUTUMN. MARY OF SCOTLAND. SERGEANT RUTLEDGE. Two of them will only be available in the box, so it just makes sense to get that if you’re getting any of them. And it just goes on and on like that. Clark Gable. James Stewart. Humphrey Bogart. Paul Newman. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Gary Cooper. Bette Davis (again). Lucy and Desi. All of them are getting box sets, with combinations of new and old titles. You buy the movies in these big gulps, and you’ll end up with some awesome combinations of films. THE SPIRIT OF ST. LEWIS. MOGAMBO. SERGEANT YORK. LADY IN THE LAKE. ACROSS THE PACIFIC. The Newman box, for example, has the Harper movies in it finally, great news for fans of the character. The Taylor and Burton box sounds great. They’re doing a few more of those TCM ARCHIVES collections. Laurel & Hardy fans can look forward to BONNIE SCOTLAND, THE DEVIL’S BROTHER, vintage experts, and a new feature-length documentary. I’m more interested personally in their FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD COLLECTION, VOLUME ONE, which is a group of films from before the Hays Code, films that are shown here in their unedited and sometimes scandalous versions. BABY FACE, RED HEADED WOMAN. And, for the first time pretty much since it came out, the original 1931 version of WATERLOO BRIDGE that was completely replaced by the 1940 version with Vivian Leigh. That was directed by Mervyn Le Roy, who did a very good job and turned out a fairly beloved movie. But the earlier version, the one that’s never really been available on home video except for occasional showings on TCM until now, was directed by James Whale. It stars Mae Clarke, the girl who Cagney gave the grapefruit in the face to, the girl from Frankenstein, and because it was pre-code, I’ve always heard it was a grittier, more ferocious version of the story. Can’t wait.

And I know that if Hercules The Strong has read this far into this article, one thing’s on his mind, nagging at him, and by now he’s no doubt saying it out loud, over and over. “You’re throwing your money away! It’s DVD! It’s on its way out! It’s already obsolete!”

My DVD collection seems to irritate him on some near-molecular level because he’s convinced that this next step is where it’s really at. After all, this is the year that Warner Home Video and the other studios all premiere their first line-up of HD-DVD titles, and their first Blu-Ray titles. They’ve decided to support both formats. The unspoken end to that sentence, of course is “They’ve decide to support both formats until one or both of them inevitably fail.” Because we are, after all, gearing up for a format war for the first time since VHS and Beta went head-to-head. Everything’s significant. People hyper-analyze everything about the launches of these new formats. For example, HD-DVD is going to beat Blu-Ray onto the shelf. Warner doesn’t have an exact date for their first HD-DVD title to ship, but they’ll be rolling out a few at a time by mid-Spring. Many of them are going to be day-and-date with the regular DVD releases.

Of course, they promise that whatever they put out in HD-DVD, they’ll put out in Blu-Ray as soon as the Blu-Ray launches. Later this year. Whenever that is.

I think we’re approaching an event horizon in terms of home video, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Already, the consumer is overwhelmed by choice on a daily basis, and it seems like every day, someone pops up with some new way that movies are going to be offered to you at home, or there’s some innovation about how movies are going to be shown in theaters, or we’ve got someone trying to explode the entire business model, like with Soderbergh’s BUBBLE. And the result tends to be a type of paralysis that sets in. I know I’ve got literally hundreds of DVDs here at the house that I haven’t seen, and the result is that I find myself sometimes staring at the shelves, not sure what to put on, with too many choices available for me to be able to narrow my options down. I’m sure I’m not alone. Between cable and satellite and the iPod and DVD and the internet and radio and now satellite radio, not to mention things like “books,” whatever those are, or live theater and live music and even more options, I think the last thing consumers are demanding at the moment is yet another possibility.

It’s weird. My parents were early proponents of the video store model. My dad invested in one of the first video stores to open in Chattanooga, and it was fascinating to see the way their rental library grew, and what titles were coming out at that point. I wish I had every one of those tapes still, because there would be titles I would watch that I’m sure still aren’t out on DVD. Then when laserdisc showed up, I was managing a video store in Tampa, one of the early chain stores that was in direct competition with Blockbuster, called Rent-A-Movie, and I would read about laserdiscs, and I would read the announcements, the stuff they were planning to do, and the first thing that jumped out at me was that almost every title said “Letterboxed” next to it.

And one of those titles they announced was STAR WARS.

There were no widescreen VHS versions at that point. There had never been a letterboxed STAR WARS print on home video at all. And I’d never really thought about it. Because I’d been watching that VHS pan and scan print for so long, that’s what I thought STAR WARS was. And then Obi-Swan and I found STAR WARS for sale at one store in Tampa, and it really wasn’t a question at that point. We picked it up and watched it. And it was mind-boggling. It was a different movie. But in a way, it was like finally seeing the STAR WARS I remembered from childhood. It was revelatory. And it was also deeply habit-forming. Once I realized how different it was, there was an appetite to see everything that way. To see what else I’d been missing.

When we moved to LA, we started work at Dave’s Video, which was one of the first big DVD stores anywhere. And unlike every video store I’d ever worked at, this was a store that was more about sales than rentals. Laserdisc was a market for serious collectors, people who wanted to spend serious money on their serious collections. You bought them to have them. You bought them to build a library. It was pretty intoxicating, and I watched everything I could.

So many films felt brand new to me when I finally saw them widescreen. By now, that’s such a standard thing that I think audiences are almost blasé about it. Don’t be. It’s awesome, and it was not easy to do. There was a real resistance to letterboxing in the mainstream for a long time, and to see it be something that’s so ordinary and accepted now is really gratifying to anyone who remembers when it wasn’t. Same thing with special features. Criterion was nothing before laserdisc. They were the company that genuinely started the idea of the special edition. Their CAV deluxe box sets were the Rolls Royce of movie collecting. Gorgeous. Eclectic and beautifully produced. And then other companies got in the game more and more. Packaging was a huge thing. These were great to hold, great to unfold and display and look at during the film. Laserdisc was where a lot of the fetishes that anyone who loves DVD enjoys first got started. But no matter how cool they were, no matter how great the releases, laserdisc remained a niche market, and it never really blew up the way the studios hoped it would. For one thing, they were always too expensive, and so were the players, and they were easy to damage or even break. And for another thing, just as they started to get a real foothold in the market, slowly but surely making inroads…

… DVD came along. At first, they were sort of like laserdisc’s smaller louder brother. The picture was compressed to such a degree that it was clear but too digital, but sound was actually pretty nice right away. It took a few years for DVDs to start looking as good as they could. It happened pretty fast, though, and then it seemed like DVD just sort of blew up, particularly in the past three years or so. Even the staunchest defenders of VHS seem to be giving up and finally trading up to DVD.

And one of the secrets of the success of DVD is that this entire time, DVD has been the only game in town. Anything else that’s come along in the meantime has pretty much just crashed on the rocks. DVD gets better and better each year, and libraries get better and better, and the way DVDs are put together gets smarter and smarter.

So who’s out there right now demanding that there be something to replace DVD? I mean besides Hercules The Strong. How many people are outraged at the incredible shittiness of DVD, fed up with how badly they’re made and how few titles there are? How many people are genuinely asking for a trade up? More importantly, how many people are arguing for two trades up at the same time that are negligibly different and in direct competition for market share? Is anyone out there thinking, “Oh, good, a format war! Maybe I can buy twice as many discs as normal... or even three times as many if I keep buying regular DVD.”

Which I might.

In fact, I may sit this format war out completely. Until I’m buying my house later this year, I’m not going to trade up to a giant HD screen, and I’m not really sure which way I’ll go when I do. I’m not going to make any decision about HD software until I know what equipment I’ll be using. And I know that me trading up is simply because I’m a junkie, a film freak who is going to have to be able to look at every new format out a sort of compulsive need.

A lot of people love movies, and I’m sure many of them feel like they’re really active collectors, and for that exact reason, I can’t picture many of them feeling like they really want to rebuy their collection again right now. And they won’t need to. The first three years or so of DVD was basically no better than laserdisc. Just smaller. Packaged differently. Is there any rush at all for anyone to adopt one of these new formats to the exclusion of all others?

So I’m sorry if I’ve rambled at the end of this at all. It’s just that the Warner event really had me thinking about what I love about DVD right now, and it was obvious that for every exec there, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are an afterthought. They opened the event by saying, “The death of DVD has been greatly exaggerated.” So has the birth of HD and Blu-Ray. I honestly feel like DVD is the last truly mainstream hard-copy home video format. This is the last time most people are going to buy things that they can hold in their hands.

I think the future is video on demand, films that you will download for your use directly through whatever that information pipe into your house is. It’ll be the same pipe where you get your digital HD cable and your high-speed internet access and your satellite radio and all your mp3s. That pipe is going to be your lifeline. And the idea of buying movies and having thousands and thousands of them stacked all over your house will be primarily for a certain type of collector, and not for the majority of viewers.

So bring it on, Warner. And that goes for the other studios, too. Keep your DVD release schedule on-track, and keep raising your game. Don’t get caught up in this rush toward the new and forget that many of us are enjoying this, enjoying the effort you’re putting in. I think 2006 sounds awesome, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Fox ad Paramount and Disney and Sony all respond to this, and I’m looking forward to the way companies like Lionsgate and Mondo Macabro and NoShame and Synapse and, yes, Criterion, and all the other specialty labels who are doing such interesting work all respond. I’m looking forward to each and every one of you buying a copy of Anchor Bay’s MASTERS OF HORROR: CIGARETTE BURNS, directed by John Carpenter and featuring a commentary by the brilliant screenwriters Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan in which you will hear two people who are so hopped up on sheer “HOLYFUCKCANYOUBELIEVESOMEONELETUSINTHISSTUDIO?!?” energy that if there are three coherent words in that commentary, it’s a miracle.

If you want to see what’s literally on my desk right now, waiting for review, check out this entry on my DVD blog and click on the small picture for a large high-res version. That’s just one stack in the apartment, one batch of stuff to be enjoyed. It’s going to be a great year of coverage of DVD here on AICN, and I’m not about to jump ship.

I’ll be putting out a column tomorrow where we catch up on January’s new releases and look at this week and next week for February, and then I’ll get back onto the regular schedule based on which day of the week you guys want.

For now, though, I’ve got a couple of cool treats for you guys to help bring the column back in style.


Special Ops Media and Lionsgate have been kind enough to provide us with an exclusive clip from their upcoming ULTIMATE AVENGERS direct-to-dvd release, which marks a new sort of approach for Marvel movies, and one that I’m pretty curious about. I really dig THE ULTIMATES, and the idea that they’re making a film version of it that’s animated and aimed at adults in terms of violence and content... that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty much what fanboys have always wanted. It’s a chance to literally see the Marvel stories we dig the most come to life without being “revinvented” or “reinterpreted”. This is going to be a pretty faithful adaptation of the material by all accounts, and today, several clips popped up online for it. I really dig the Captain America clip that had, and I’m equally pleased to be able to present a clip that shows Thor facing down a bunch of whalers as our AICN Exclusive.




If you’re at Wondercon in San Francisco this weekend, you’ll be the first audience to actually get a look at the film, and please... I beg you… send us your reactions. I’m dying to hear how it is.



Absolutely fantastic. I would love to shake the hand of the person who put this together. Lorrie Shapiro, Robert Bader, Mark Evestaff, Howard Lieb, Brian Blum... thank you for producing this disc. And kudos to George McWilliams, Jason Ko, and Todd Gallop at Meat & Potatoes for the way they put the actual package together. This is a thing of beauty. The booklet is just as nice as the discs, and just as informative and enjoyable. And believe me... this whole box is a blast.

So often, when you revisit something from your childhood, you find that it’s not the way you remember it. It’s not as good, or it just doesn’t play the same for you now, or it’s so cheap or so dated that you can’t enjoy it. Your nostalgia buzz ruined, you find yourself sorry you watched it again, almost wishing you had just gone on remembering it fondly. Well, with THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, I find myself a little bit blown away by it all over again. I was stunned to learn who the show’s two head writers were. One was Paul Dooley, the actor you’ve seen in a million things like BREAKING AWAY, SLAP SHOT, STRANGE BREW, SIXTEEN CANDLES, DREAM ON, and, more recently, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. The other was Tom Whedon, a TV vet who worked on CAPTAIN KANGEROO, THE DICK CAVETT SHOW, ALICE, BENSON, and who also happens to be the father of the new messiah of television, Joss Whedon. The show featured songs by guys like Joe Raposo, one of the big brains behind SESAME STREET, and the very funny Tom Lehrer, whose “Silent E” is one of the greatest things the series every produced. The cast included Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, a very young Irene Cara, a very young Todd Graff, and the voices of Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, and Joan Rivers, among others. The show was really cool, smart and surreal and fast-paced. And it’s ingenious in the way it teaches and entertains at the same time. I was reading by the age of three, and I can see why. This show went on the air in 1971. I was exposed to it for the first two years it was on, and by the age of three, I’d just absorbed enough of it to get the whole idea of reading. This and SESAME STREET were working on me in ways my parents didn’t totally understand, and they were shocked when I just started reading unprompted one day.

Watching the 20 episodes contained here, which sample every season of the show from 1971 to 1977, it’s amazing how much of it feels completely familiar, immediately recognizable. These are deeply ingrained memories for me, and I’ve been watching the show with my son, who has been fascinated by it so far, clapping along now every time he hears the theme song and Rita Moreno’s “HEEEEEYYYY YOOOOOOOOUUU GUUUUUUYYYYYYYSSSSS!!” There are so many repeated motifs or characters or ideas or sketches, like Easy Reader or “The Adventures of Letterman” or those two silhouetted faces, each saying half a word, or the two people on a bike running down a vocabulary game that plays like an Abbott & Costello routine, or Spider-Man, or the Road Runner, or “It’s The Plumber… And I’ve Come To Fix The Sink!” or J. Arthur Crank or LOVE OF CHAIR, or FARGO NORTH, DECODER, or “Golly, This Lollipop Is Following Me” or “Pun…pun…pun… PUNC-tu-a-tion!” or any of a dozen other things I could name. It’s just a flood of familiar material, and there’s such a great hit-to-miss ratio that I would recommend this even for people who don’t have kids right now. It’s just a pleasure, all ten hours or more.

There are some really nice documentaries with writers, Rita Moreno, June Angela (one of the Short Circus dancers and singers who were such an important part of the show), and of course, Joan Ganz Cooney, the founder of the Children’s Television Workshop, and a karaoke version of Lehrer’s “Silent E.”

I can’t recommend this one highly enough, and I’m hoping there’s a volume two in our future at some point. This just whets my appetite for this groundbreaking and still great show, and Shout! Factory deserves every bit of praise I can heap on them.

Like I said… I’ll be back this time tomorrow with a new release column and with my review of FINAL DESTINATION 3. I’ll also be bringing back the AICN Script Review, something we’ve sort of laid off of in the last year or so, and I think I’ll have some stuff to discuss with you that you’ll really enjoy. This is, after all, the tenth anniversary of Ain’t It Cool News, and we’re going to be bringing you special articles all year long to help celebrate that fact. For now, though…

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus