DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT BLANK, LET ME WORRY ABOUT BLANK

With the recent release of Futurama: Volume 4, I have come to side with those who say that the entire run of Futurama is better than The Simpsons, even if you compare great run of the latter with the full run of the former. Those people who burned that trail are right. But I’m not one to follow. I’m not a lemming. I’m a barn stormer. When Nick told me to write a DVD news column, I said, “How about I publish my journal instead, which includes fresh, cool emo lyrics with a touch of new wave sentiment?” He ignored me, but I paid off Dave Davis to upload my stuff because I’m that much of a leader. When the College Republicans approached me and said, “Mr. President, who are we endorsing?” I told them, “John Kerry, jerkface.” I’m the hot stuff. So I don’t want to say that Futurama is better than The Simpsons. Season 5 of The Simpsons is coming to DVD on December 21, when it will retail for $49.98. I’m going to come out and say it right now: Father of the Pride is better than Season 5 of The Simpsons. It’s true. The characters are quirkier, the animals speak. It’s just an all-around better show. FOX sucks, too. NBC is where it’s at. Here are the extras, which are not as good as the Father of the Pride extras that we will eventually see:

– 1.33:1 full frame
– English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Stereo and French Stereo tracks
– Commentary on Homer’s Barbershop Quartet by Matt Groening, Al Jean, Hank Azaria, Jon Lovitz, Jeff Martin and Mark Kirkland
– Commentary on Cape Feare by Matt Groening, Al Jean and Jon Vitti
– Commentary on Homer Goes to College by Matt Groening, David Mirkin, James L. Brookes, Conan O’Brien, Jim Reardon and David Silverman
– Commentary by Matt Groening, David Mirkin, Wes Archer and David Silverman on Rosebud
– Commentary on Treehouse of Horror by Matt Groening, James L. Brookes, David Mirkin, Conan O’Brien, Greg Daniels, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein and David Silverman
– Commentary on Marge on the Lam by Matt Groening, David Mirkin, Mark Kirkland, David Silverman
– Animatics and storyboards with illustrated commentary
– Commercials
– Tree House of Horror Sketches
– Deleted scenes for Homer’s Barbershop Quartet, Cape Fear, Homer Goes to College, Rosebud & Treehouse of Horror IV

MEOW MIX MEOW MIX PLEASE DELIVER

Best movie ever!Reading the CHUD Message Boards is a daily ritual of mine. I like the interaction and the hyperbole. I also like to see what movies the general nerd populace chooses to love and hate, and then I like to see what nerds the elite nerds choose to love and hate. It’s a nice cycle, sort of like Darwin’s theory, except without the eating of people and stuff. I prefer the version where Nick creates CHUD in six days and then rests at a coffee meeting on the seventh. One of the big CHUD debates has been about “easy targets” since some posters go after terrible films with a tenacity they wouldn’t show for good films or even challenging films. These attacked posters then fight back. No one seems to break down the wall though and go to the next level: overrated underrated overhated films. Catwoman, which will retail for $27.95 when it’s released on January 18, is one of these films. People see the trailer and start hating it. There are claims of molestation and pissing in someone’s mouth. Then the tide rolls in with the film’s weird defenders who claim that the film made love to their eyes, much like that dancer who rubbed her nipple on the thin window that separated dancer and audience member. Finally, there are those like me who say the film and the people discussing the film are all overrated and they should just go masturbate and forget about the movie in the morning. That’s right. Yoink yoink:

– 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen
– English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks
– HBO First Look Special
– Documentary on the many faces of Catwoman
– Additional scenes
– Alternate endings

THAT SCENE IN AMERICAN HISTORY X

Better than you, this show is.I’m not good at buying gifts. I’m not very creative, and I never know how much money to spend. My parents are the worst to shop for. They never want anything and the only hints they drop are vague and general. I sometimes scour the house after Christmas for my dad’s secret closet of golf balls, which must be overflowing. I’d also like to see the giant vat of perfume that my must be accumulating. I hope that, for their sake, they set some sort of record in a few years. Then they can buy what they really want. Of course, I haven’t had that problem over the past two years. My parents discovered HBO and TV on DVD, and I will try to milk this cow forever. My dad loves Curb Your Enthusiasm. He can’t enough. And I am willing to put that to the test. The next gift will be Season Three of Larry David’s show, which will retail for $39.98 when it comes out on January 18. But I won’t stop there. If they make mugs, I’ll buy mugs. If they make ties, I’ll buy ties. If they make golf balls…I’ll buy more ties. Hell, I hope they double dip, triple dip, release box sets with snazzy exteriors. Bring it on, HBO. These special features aren’t enough to sate my gift-giving appetite:

– 4:3 full frame
– English and French Dolby 2.0 Stereo Surround tracks
– Episodic previews
– U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Panel with the cast and crew of the show

JARED

Do you think there’s a guy out there who snuck McDonald’s food into Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle? There has to be one, right? Or maybe Burger King, if you’re into that. I want to meet this guy. I want to shake his hand, rub his belly, and then give him a hug by taking one Man and sticking it to another Man. Because, really, that’s what this country is all about, that and networking at every possible cost. I think when this disc comes out on January 4 (retailing for $27.95), I’ll take the disc and put it in my Super Size Me case and then let my dad borrow it. That will BLOW. HIS. MIND. Especially if I get the Unrated version, which features footage “too unsuitable” for theaters, as well as an “extreme” commentary and some “extreme” deleted scenes. Extreme Nooch:

– 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer
– English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo tracks
– Audio commentary with the director Danny Leiner, John Cho and Kal Penn
– Audio commentary with the writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
– Deleted and alternate scenes
– Back Seat Interview with John Cho, Kal Penn and Bobby Lee
– Art of the Fart sound documentary
– Cast & Crew: Drive-Thru Bites
– A Trip to the Land of Burgers featurette
– Script to screen feature with storyboards
– Me and Weedy photo activity
– Theatrical trailer

THERE’S A SNICKERS BAR IN THE POOL

So, there’s a big difference between me and the people who made Open Water. What’s that difference? I’m successful and cool and hip. Hi-ooo! When I was a kid, I’d get into the pool with my friends and we’d walk around in circles as quickly as possible, generating a weird whirlpool sensation. After watching GoodFellas later that day, I figured, “Hey, I should make a movie about the whirlpool.” So I cued up “Layla” and my friends and I started running around the pool in circles. I ducked down into the water and the camera stopped working. I put the camera into a trash bag and took it back under water, and the camera still wouldn’t work. My avant garde next door neighbor, however, loved what I had done. Fast forward a few weeks and I filmed the camera (WITH MY BRAND NEW, ABOVE WATER CAMERA!!!) in the bag lying at the bottom of the pool. I showed that film at the Philadelphia Film Festival and was hailed as “THE NEXT ANDY WARHOL.” I now travel the night with a band of misfits and grunge stars, filming trash and spitting in the faces of corporate whores. When Open Water comes to DVD on December 28 for a retail price of $26.98, I will put it at the bottom of the pool and film it. SEQUEL, baby:

– Anamorphic widescreen
– English Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 6.1 tracks
– Crew commentary with Director Chris Kentis and Producer Laura Lau
– Cast audio commentary with stars Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis
– Indie Essentials filmmaker guide to marketing a movie
– On The High Seas: Making Open Water feature

LICKER ME WICKER

Where's the burning Ed Woodward?I was with my girlfriend at the movies and we came across a poster for Josh Hartnett’s Wicker Park, which comes to DVD on December 28 for a retail price of $26.98. Being the amazing snarky movie commenter that I am, I said that, “Wow, it’ll be Forty Days, Forty Nights until I see that flick!” I proceeded to cackle madly until I realized that the dolts scarfing down their popcorn didn’t get the joke as they passed me by. I proceeded to scowl at these people, occasionally yelling, “SEABISCUIT SUCKS YOU MORONS.” My girlfriend had wandered off at that point, so I took advantage of my time to educate moviegoers. I started to tell people that, No, Hugh Grant is, amazingly, not in a movie called Wicker Park. I then called these people xenophobes. They didn’t know what xenophobes meant, so I told them that they hate foreigners. They scoffed at me, but I made sure to let that group of Mexican kids know that the white people in The Village theater definitely hated them:

– 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer
– English Dolby Digital 5.1 track
– Audio commentary by Director Paul McGuigan and Josh Hartnett
– Deleted scenes
– Gag Reel
– Against All Odds music video
– Photo gallery
– Soundtrack spot
– Original theatrical trailer

COMMUNITY SERVICE

One of the great, downplayed services of CHUD is the work that we do in the community. Last week, Nick hosted a Singles Night banquet where he auctioned off various CHUD writers and contributors to very willing ladies who love their nerds. All proceeds went to the Measles in England Group, an association that strives to end the annoying plague of measles in the U.K. I am proud to say that my out-of-shape, witless form dragged in 300 dollars for MEG. That’s 300 dollars that will prevent a bad-toothed British child from having to miss three days of school. I hope that chap enjoys his time back in class. When I was on my date, I found out some things for my audience. “Donna,” I began, “What do women want from a man?” She looked at me and told me three things that women love: the right to vote, a hot bath, and The Notebook. So, as your woman punches that vote for Kerry on November 2, be sure to tell her that The Notebook is coming to DVD on February 8, retailing for $27.95. That will get you laid for a week. Guaranteed:

– Anamorphic widescreen and full screen editions
– English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo tracks
– Audio commentary with the director
– Audio commentary with novelist Nicholas Sparks
– 12 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
– All in the Family: Nick Cassavetes Profile featurette
– Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story Well Told featurette
– Southern Exposure: Locating The Notebook feature
– Casting Rachel and Ryan featurette
– Screen test for Rachel McAdams
– Theatrical trailer

SNAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL

See that headline? GREATEST. GAME. EVER. I used to work at a GameStop and when people came in to return that NES classic, I’d literally fall to the floor and laugh at them. I mean, really, do people lack taste altogether these days? The gaming industry has become pitiful over the past decade. I know, I’ve been working in it. And I see the same thing in the movie industry. Anacondas is coming to DVD on December 7. It will retail for $26.96. Now, I love snakes, but Hollywood is merely trying to cash in on a previous name. Why not change this film and gear it towards a white, scaredy-cat suburban audience who are afraid to enter urban areas? You could call it @n@cond@z. That would be the heroic group, enter motorcycle races over bridges to thwart the bad guy and show everyone that, hey, you won’t necessarily get shot if you go into the city, but if you do, there will be a heroic group of badass bikers headed your way to save you. The video game spin-off would be terrific. Here are the Anacondas extras:

– Anamorphic widescreen presentation
– English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track
– Creating Anacondas featurette
– Deleted scenes
– Trailers for other Columbia releases

HEART! LUNG! SPLEEN!

I’m really hoping I can write this blurb without typing Internal Affairs. And no, that doesn’t count. Infernal Affairs is coming to DVD on December 7, when it will retail for $29.99, about half off what you paid that Asian girl to date you for a week. I mean, I know you want to justify your poor English by adopting another nationality, but let’s get real. You’d be illiterate in almost any language. In fact, you’re probably laughing at this right now because everybody else is laughing about it and it couldn’t possibly be about you. Well, guess what: it is about you. YOU. So go buy Infernal Affairs, say that it didn’t live up to your expectations, and then get back to quietly mourning that girl was way too good for you. You traitor:

– 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
– English and the Original Cantonese audio
– English and Spanish subtitles
– Making Of Infernal Affairs featurette
– ‘Confidential File’ behind-the-scenes featurette
– Alternate ending
– Original International and Chinese theatrical trailers

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, HIPPIE

I was going to see We Don’t Live Here Anymore until I saw some stills from the trailer. Do you see the beards on those guys? Don’t they know that the “This is a beard although I’m going to pretend it’s not really, it’s just there and mangled and cool” look is over. I mean, I’d say it’s so ten minutes ago except now it’s 10 minutes and 15 seconds ago and now 20 and now 22 and ohmigod the power of the Internet is still just too damn slow for me. The hip indie flick (it has Laura Dern, dammit!) will be released on December 14 to the tune of $27.95. For that price, you can get at least two good shaves from your local barber. You’ll also get some scintillating discussion on the weather and why the Red Sox suck. Only $27.95. Buy now.

WHY DOESN’T SHE HAVE FREAKY ADULT FANS?

Saturday morning tween dramedies are always fertile ground for soon-to-be hotties. Or for soon-to-be uggs who work in glamour-less jobs (sigh, Anna Chlumsky – yeah, I know she wasn’t on a TV show, but whatever. It’s hard to get over). So really, it’s all a guessing game, but there’s really nothing more fun than waking up at 9a on a Saturday with your friends to play “Guess That Hottie.” We recently battled to an “undecided” vote on Raven Simone, who we also think is 30 years old. Wasn’t this girl on TV back in the 80s? I wouldn’t know because I’m a skateboard-loving teenager who would rather watch Tony Hawk speak than George Bush (and I’d drink Mountain Dew while watching, ROCK). Now that I check IMDB I see that she’s 19. Shouldn’t she be moving on to more adult stuff, like music videos that suggest subtle sexual content? If anything, she’s regressing. That’s So Raven: Supernaturally Stylish Volume 1 comes to DVD on December 7. It will retail for $19.99. Personally, I think Volume 2 is better, but I’ll take whatever supernatural style I can get. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to Urban Outfitters. I don’t feel like editing this rambling piece. Really, wouldn’t a good writer go back and edit the part where he fact-checks himself? I’m such a hack.. Extras:

– 4 episodes
– 1.33:1 full frame
– English Dolby Digital 5.1
– Never-before-seen episode
– Music videos
– Blooper reel

THE CARTOON GIRL: HOT OR NOT?

Speaking of Saturday morning stalking, I have to admit that I’ve seen a fair share of The Lizzie McGuire Show. The one thing that I’ve never understood: how did a diva like her let Disney create such an awful, scrawny cartoon version of Lizzie? The cartoon looks like Little Calista Flockhart. It’s not flattering. The other day, I was watching the show with my friends and I leaned back and wondered aloud, “Would Dave Davis sleep with the cartoon chick?” My friends looked at me and said, “Who the fuck is Dave Davis?” That turned out to be a terrible day. Volume 1 of The Lizzie McGuire Show will feature the first 22 episodes of the series. The 4-disc set will retail for $49.99 when it is released on November 23. Here are the features:

– Audio commentaries on selected episodes by the cast members
– Teen Attitude featurette on getting the Lizzie look, hot Hollywood hair tips as well as dishing the dirt
– I’d tell you other features, but I do not know how to dish the dirt. I’ll know on 11/23 though!!!

EXHIBITION

Internet nerds are special for many reasons. They’re socially inept, they read Star Wars closer than they would Catcher in the Rye, and they love to talk about relatively unimportant things (which is saying a lot consider that summer blockbusters are relatively important to them). One of those quirks is DVD cover art. It’s become a big deal, and while it’s nice to see some good looking artwork, it really doesn’t affect anyone’s decision to purchase either way (at least, it shouldn’t). Still, artwork has become such a big deal to marketers that we usually get DVD disc details without the art work, which will trickle in a few weeks later. I always feel bad about not running the DVD artwork with a news blurb because it doesn’t look as good, plus I fear for my life when I read the frightening “Where the FUCK was the artwork?” e-mails that come in. So, here’s a new weekly feature to sate your rabid, frightening appetite for all things marketing: the latest cover art for upcoming DVD releases:


Bourne Supremacy


Collateral


Deep Impact


I, Robot


Meet the Parents


The Terminal

I was going to grade these and provide “snarky” commentary, but then I realized that I was not, in fact, an Entertainment Weekly contributor. I will, however, start my fashion column next week.

(NOTE: How weird is the world of DVD cover art? The Collateral cover was changed again while I wrote this column. Wild.)

LETTERS

As you can see, this week’s featured news blurb is the fifth season of The Simpsons. So, I’d like to hear what you own so far. Do you have the first four seasons? If not, why? Also, at what season does it all stop? Where will your purchases end? I have all four, and I think I’d go up to season eight, although I might be off by a season either way. Anyway, let me hear you: johnpc@sas.upenn.edu.