The week of 4/12/2011

group edited by: Troy Anderson



Director: David Yates

Warner Brothers

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Maximum Movie Mode
The seven Harrys
On the green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver, and James
Dan, Rupert, and Emma’s running competition
Additional scenes
Behind the soundtrack


Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is an exercise in understanding literary adaptations. You need to remember that the cinema is an independent beast and the novel is a tamed mistress who secretly laments days gone by. I’ve discussed the film at length in the site’s official Blu-Ray review, so now I’m left putting a capper on the piece. Will you buy it? Sure, everyone digs these popcorn franchise flicks. But, is it a good movie? Well, it’s a portion of a good movie surrounded by a wall of exposition and poorly crafted camping scenes. I also have to bring up the fact that new cinematographer Eduardo Serra’s work on the franchise has translated to Home Video in a muddy dark mess. While that might’ve been the desired aesthetic, it will not set your home theater on fire.





Buy it at Amazon!

  • Restored, complete, uncut version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Excerpts from Cinéastes de notre temps: “Jean-Pierre Melville”
  • Video interviews with assistant director Bernard Stora and Rui Nogueria, the author of Melville on Melville
  • Thirty minutes of rare on-set and archival footage, featuring interviews with director Jean-Pierre Melville and stars Alain Delon, Yves Montand, and André Bourvil
  • Original theatrical trailer and 2003 Rialto Pictures rerelease trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Fujiwara, excerpts from Melville on Melville, a reprinted interview with composer Eric Demarsan, and an appreciation from director John Woo
Le Cercle Rouge is a film that I never really got around to watching when Criterion first released the DVD. One bad cop accidentally loses his prisoner, thus starting a train reaction that leads to a jewel heist. Melville is a great director and he’s the only person that can get me to admire Alain Delon, but there’s something missing. The film works as a greatest hits pastiche of Melville’s work. We get that he loves the crime picture, dramatic layers and playing with the underworld element. However, we never see him grow past that. The Blu-Ray A/V Quality is rather amazing when compared to the dirt-riddled transfer of the DVD, however large chunks of the film still sport minor distortion in the background.



Director: Brad Bird

Walt Disney/Pixar

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

• The Incredibles Revisited: Filmmakers Roundtable
• Paths to Pixar: Story Artists
• Studio Stories: Gary’s Birthday
• Ending With a Bang!: Making the End Credits
• Interactive! “The New Nomanisan” Island: A Top Secret Redevelopment Plan
• Plus classic DVD features

The Incredibles is an amazing animated feature that shows how Randian claptrap can be forced down anyone’s throat. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love this film, as I truly worship at the altar of Brad Bird. It’s just that there’s something a little off about telling kids that other people aren’t as special as them. I would go deeper into it, but there’s plenty of essays to read about the matter. Disney/Pixar has done a fine job of releasing the film on a loaded special edition that couples the DVD special features with a gallery of new production featurettes. The A/V Quality is amazing, as it boosts a DTS-HD master audio track that continues to show that Disney is on their A-Game when it comes to High Definition audio.



Director: Shana Feste


Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Country Strong Soundtrack
movieIQ™+sync featuring the Country Strong playlist
Original Ending
“Shake That Thing” – Extended Performance
Deleted Scenes
Friends In High Places: The Cast of Country Strong
Putting the Words in Their Mouths: The Songwriters
A Little Bit Country: The Costumes
“Country Strong” by Gwyneth Paltrow – Music Video
“A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans – Music Video

Country Strong was a terrible film, but it has a campy charm about it. Gwyneth Paltrow seemed convinced that she had an Oscar contender and she went on a media blitz to push it down America’s throat. What we got was a stilted redneck version of All About Eve. The difference being that All About Eve was a well-written film crafted with immense talent. Leighton Meester and Tim McGraw are lost in the mess of a film that seems to defy logic. Basically, take every story about a self-destructive rock star and remove any sense of self-involvement. The result is a passive aggressive film that wants to fault everything in the world, but a celebrity’s warped personality for their downfall.




Section By Jeb D.


TV on the Radio


Love in the face of apocalypse, intimacy in times of insanity: “If the world all falls apart /  How am I going to keep your heart?“. And that’s just one of many signs that, while Tunde Adebimpe doesn’t see much improvement in the wreck of a world that he surveyed in 2008’s Dear Science, he’s found a new kind of solace. He manages the amazing trick of pulling off a line like “You’re the only one I ever loved” without sounding embarrassed (or, more to the point, embarrassing), and he digs deep into the torchy “Will Do.” Dave Sitek’s production is an ear-enriching aural grab bag, from smoky nightclub piano (well, synthetic keyb, but the point is made) to scratchy JB-era guitar to wailing horns and slippery polythythms. Drummer Jaleel Bunton and Gerard Smith are less upfront this time, but blended expertly into the constantly shifting mix. Of course, things get cutesy here and there: the lead cut is called “Second Song” (Ha. Ha.), and “Caffeinated Consciousness” is already too on-the-nose before it even gets to the line about “optimistic overload.” But the odd bit of excess aside, this is as expertly crafted a pop album as we’ve had this year, the kind of music that makes you suspect (hope?) that an affirmation of love in time of despair isn’t just an adolescent fantasy.



Foo Fighters


Given the amount of time over the years that has been devoted to pissing matches between Courtney Love and the surviving members of Nirvana, it’s nice that Grohl seems to remain on an even keel, relatively low-key, but positive for all of that. Thus, Wasting Light, as straightforward a rock and roll album as we’ve heard this year, full of back-to-basicness (“Cut live! All analog!”). Grohl’s still a much better drummer than songwriter, and his reunion with Butch Vig produces less revelation or revolution than retread (“White Limo” takes us back to thrash, “I Should Have Known” is a power ballad that Time-Life could be proud of).  But the crunch and thump are well in place, the sound big and vigorous, and Bob Mould’s incendiary guest solo on “Dear Rosemary” is a real kick. I don’t know that it’s the hookiest collection of songs that Grohl and company have ever come up with (there’s no “Learn to Fly” instantly burning its way into your synapses), but it gets over on enthusiasm and drive. Foo Fighters are the flannel generation’s Aerosmith, with all that implies for better and/or worse.



Paul Simon


I think what’s always bugged me about Simon is his affectation of offhandedness: a music-biz pro since junior high, he reworked himself into a sensitive college boy to nip at Bob Dylan’s heels; and the worst part of the Graceland experience was the “aw-shucks, I didn’t mean any harm” approach to breaking the apartheid ban, while simultaneously taking all the songwriting credit for what seems, from all accounts, to have been highly collaborative music-making. Three decades on, he’s still at it, a canny veteran posing as the everyman befuddled by relationships (“If you shop for love in a bargain store / And you don’t get what you bargained for / Can you get your money back?” Puh…leeeze). And he takes something of the same approach to the onset of age (the man’s nearly 70, after all): entering heaven is more about bureaucracy than divinity, and God and Jesus are a real pair of cards: on “Love and Hard Times,” they leave behind man’s questions about his relationship with the divine with a dismissive “Well, we got to get going.” It’s nice that Simon can evidently face the dying of the light with such aplomb, but I’ll take that with a grain of salt. On t’other hand, there’s plenty of Graceland-by-way-of-One-Trick-Pony in the music making: catchy, lightly grooved, and with enough vocal playfulness to overcome the occasional patina of smarm.

Alison Krauss and Union Station


The Grammy Goddess is back with her 14th album, and in a field like bluegrass, progress really isn’t the point. Union Station remains the standard-bearer for modern roots playing, and Tyminski, Bales, Block, and Douglas support Krauss with a technical expertise that they make sound back-porch casual, and this side of the Punch Brothers you won’t find more satisfying playing. For all her dominance in the field, though, I find Krauss something of an acquired taste: in contrast to the rough-hewn sound of the band, her clear, bell-like vocal tone has the deracinated purity that was once the province of folikies like Judy Collins or Joan Baez. There’s no question that when she mixes it up with the band, on, say, the Robert Lee Castleman-penned title track, her voice is a strong, confident lead instrument. It’s when the others step back and put her center stage that my attention wanders a bit: as an example, her performance of Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day” is a thing of near-unearthly beauty… but compare it to the achingly understated emotion of Linda Thompson’s vocal on the original: Krauss’ voice might almost be some kind of ethereal musical instrument, but in Thompson’s hands, the song is a very human whisper of pain. In other words, where Krauss is concerned, I’d trade a Grammy or two for more grit.


Other Notable 4/12 Releases

Jason Isbell& the 400 Unit, Here We Rest. Given that Isbell wrote two of my three favorite Drive-By Truckers’ songs, I’m surprised that his solo outings have felt a bit flat to me, even though his strong authorial voice and pungent slide work are instantly recognizable. My guess is that his stuff works best when playing off other, equally strong voices, and there’s no Patterson Hood or Mike Cooley in sight here. An honorable effort, but nothing to fall in love with.

Marcin Wasilewski, Faithful. Eastern Eurpoean jazz used to be the whacked-out soundtrack to didactic black and white cartoons that came out of film festivals behind the Iron Curtain, with a weird freedom that was less common in the West. This Polish trio’s been playing together since they were kids, and while they’ve got chops to spare, they also hark back to that whacked-out spirit; good for them.

Panda Bear, Tomboy. Lisbon agrees with Animal Collective’s resident genius, with Eno-like guitar textures, radiant trance-like grooves, and sly electro-pop vocals. If you found the wait too long since last year’s release of the title single, just dig in to the opener, “You Can Count on Me,” and settle back.

The Feelies, Here Before. After all this time, it’s a little startling to hear Glenn Mercer’s voice transformed from 80’s nerd mumble to a kind of bullfrog croak, but the years’ll do that to ya, and he actually sounds more like Unca Lou than ever. Reuniting the Good Earth lineup circa 1986, the hypnotic, droning guitar-pop is as strong as ever, the gnomic lyrics neat and succinct (“Bring up the past / Like yesterday / Try to recall / What was so great?“).

K.D. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Sing It Loud. The deal here, of course, is that this is Lang’s first album of principally non-cover songs in years, but it rests on the same big-voice, torchy belting that made her reputation as everyone’s favorite duet partner and interpreter of standards. The original material doesn’t have much distinction beyond a hook for her amazing voice, and ironically, it’s a cover that tips the balance to the positive: you pretty much need to hear what she does with Talking Heads’ “Heaven.”

Low, C’mon. Their profile raised by placing two songs on Robert Plant’s Band of Joy album, Sparhawk and Parker step back from their side projects and deliver what sounds like renewal: a little brighter maybe, a tad more tuneful. You still get the slow burners like “Majesty/Magic,” but “Try To Sleep” is achingly lovely, and “You See Everything” would be hitbound in a better time and place.

The Del McCoury Band and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, American Legacies. Unless you listen to a lot of bluegrass and a lot of Dixieland, you’ll probably have some trouble picturing how much imagination it took to wrestle the two musical forms into this highly distinctive album. What you don’t need any background for is recognizing just how weird it sounds: from Calloway-era “wah-wah-wah” horns to sighing Grapelli-like fiddle, to a version of “Jambalaya” that finds its rhythm in a funk more recent than Preservation Hall, it’s more than a bit reminiscent of Springsteen’s “Seeger Session” band: an album that owes more to a love of music-making than to any formal musicology.


edited by: Justin Clark

sales info: Judas Booth





So, this is just Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, but portable and 3D, with virtually no big additions besides the floating instruction gimmick from SC: Conviction. If Splinter Cell‘s your thing, you already know whether you’re onboard with that or not. Now, who does a guy need to blow  to get portable Prince of Persia: Sands of Time in 3D?

360, PS3


This little number’s been released on the Wii already, but fact is, this thing was pretty much the kind of game the Kinect was made for, when hackers aren’t turning the thing into everything short of a working USS Enterprise warp drive. Anyway, it’s basically Dance Central: Michael Jackson edition, with a ton of extras the Wii couldn’t handle. And that’s just fine and dandy, if only just to see hospital admissions for broken Moonwalking ankles increase again after a 20 year drop off.



You may now return to internet porn, already in progress.


Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks Pack 01 ($9.99/800 MS pts)

Fleetwood Mac

  • Dreams X
  • Gold Dust Woman
  • Landslide
  • Rhiannon

Stevie Nicks

  • Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove) X
  • Stand Back

$1.99/160 MS pts per track
X-Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansion available for 99 cents/80 MS pts

Not a damn thing wrong with this week. The Fleetwood Mac picks are all classics, the Stevie Nicks stuff is great, and just maybe the youngins can find out that, no, Courtney Love and Billy Corgan did NOT write Gold Dust Woman and Landslide. Actually, do the youngins even remember those two covers? There are rugrats running around these days who weren’t even born yet when those two covers were omnipresent on rock radio. What the fuck do they play on rock radio anymore? Is rock even a genre that exists anymore? Who are these people? Who are you? Fuck you. Get off my lawn.




The Aleutians: Cradle Of The Storms – World War II
Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series
Antique Bakery
The BBC Tudors Collection: The Shadow Of The Tower/The Six Wives Of Henry VIII/Elizabeth R
Behind The Burly Q: The Story Of Burlesque In America
Bionicle 2: Legends Of Metru Nui (Budget Reissue)
Bionicle 3: Web Of Shadows (Budget Reissue)
Black Heaven
The Blunted House
The Bob Hope Collection, Vol. 2 (Shout! Factory)
Car 54, Where Are You? The Complete First Season
Children Of The Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (Budget Reissue)
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (One-Disc Standard Edition)
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Two-Disc Special Edition)
The Crow: City Of Angels (Budget Reissue)
The Crow: Wicked Prayer (Budget Reissue)
Country Strong
Dallas: The Movie Collection
Dead Man (Budget Reissue)
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Race With The Devil (Double Feature) (Shout! Factory)
Doctor Who: Story 119 – Kinda
Doctor Who: Story 125 – Snakedance
Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (Budget Reissue)
Dracula 2000 (Budget Reissue)
Dragnet 1970: Season Four (Shout! Factory)
Duplex (Budget Reissue)
The Faculty (Budget Reissue)
Female Convict Scorpion
Flipping Out: Season Three
From Dusk Till Dawn (Budget Reissue)
Goodnight For Justice
Gordy (Budget Reissue)
Guy Martin: Portrait Of A Grand Chef
H.R. Pufnstuf: The Complete Series (Standard Edition)
H.R. Pufnstuf: The Complete Series (Collector’s Edition)
Halloween: Resurrection (Budget Reissue)
The Human Stain (Budget Reissue)
I’m Dangerous With Love
The Inheritance
Into The West (1993) (Budget Reissue)
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List – Season Three
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List – Season Four
Keeper Of The Flame
Last Breath
The Last Continent
The Last Continent/Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series (2-Pack)
Last Of The Summer Wine: Vintages 1988 And 1989
The Last Place On Earth: The Complete Epic Miniseries
Let’s Talk About Sex
The LXD: Seasons One And Two
Mandrake (2010)
Mask Maker
Miramax Double Feature – Dracula II: Ascension/Dracula III: Legacy
Miramax Double Feature – The Prophecy/The Prophecy II
Miramax Triple Feature – Children Of The Corn II: The Final Sacrifice/Children Of The Corn III: Urban Harvest/Children Of The Corn IV: The Gathering
Miramax Triple Feature – Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth/Hellraiser: Bloodline/Hellraiser: Inferno
Miramax Triple Feature – Hidden Assassin/Blackjack/Men Of War
Muay Thai Fighter
My Boss’s Daughter (Budget Reissue)
Nature: Broken Tail – A Tiger’s Last Journey (PBS)
Needless, Collection 2
The Paranoids
Plastic Planet
Pokemon Heroes (Budget Reissue)
Prince Of Prisoners: The Life And Crimes Of William Palmer
The Rachel Zoe Project: Season One
The Rachel Zoe Project: Season Two
The Road To Coronation Street
The Sea Of Grass
Snapped: The Killer Collection – Complete Seasons One And Two
The Speed Of Thought
A Summer In Genoa
Summer Lover
The Sweeney: The Complete Collection
Texas Rangers (2001 Movie) (Budget Reissue)
Tracy And Hepburn: The Definitive Collection
2033: Future Apocalypse
UFC 125: Edgar Vs. Maynard
White Material (Criterion Collection)
The Wild Soccer Bunch
The Yards (Budget Reissue)




The Aleutians: Cradle Of The Storms – World War II
Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series
Cars (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray Packaging)
Cars (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (DVD Packaging)
Le Cercle Rouge (Criterion Collection)
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Country Strong
Ga-Rei-Zero: The Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Standard Edition)
Ga-Rei-Zero: The Complete Series (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo) (Limited Edition)
The Incredibles (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
The Inheritance
The Last Continent
The Last Continent/Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series (2-Pack)
Nature: Broken Tail – A Tiger’s Last Journey (PBS)
Needless, Collection 2
White Material (Criterion Collection)







Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1             $14.99 $22.99

Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader                               $15.99 $19.99 $19.99
The Incredibles                                                                       $24.99
Cars                                                                                              $24.99
Country Strong                                                                       $16.99  $19.99
Harry Potter: Years 1-7 giftset                                        $54.99  $94.99



Grandma’s Boy: Unrated

Edward Scissorhands

I Robot

The Shawshank Redemption


I Love Lucy: 20 Episode Collection


Batman: 4 Film Collection (Non Nolan)



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince$17.99

Love and Other Drugs

For Colored Girls

How Do You Know





Eastbound and Down: Season 1

Scrubs: Season 9


Psych: Season 3-4


Supernatural: Season 5

Gossip Girl: Season 3


Sons of Anarchy: Season 2








Tron: Legacy                                                                            $16.99 
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1             $13.99 $16.99 $22.99 $27.99
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader                               $15.99 $22.99
The Incredibles                                                                       $24.99
Cars                                                                                              $24.99
Country Strong                                                                       $16.99  $19.99





Wall Street

Sorority Row (2009)


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince




Treme: The Complete First Season



Best Buy:

Dance Central: $39.99 (Kinect)
– Free $10 BB Gift Card when you buy any two Kinect OR any two 3DS games
Michael Jackson Experience: $49.99 (Kinect/Move)
Carnival: $49.99 (Kinect)
Dance Paradise: $49.99 (Kinect)
Yoostar 2: $49.99 (KInect)
– A bunch of 3DS games are $39.99


Michael Jackson Experience: $49.99 (Kinect/Move/Wii), $19.99 (PSP/NDS)
Kinect Joy Ride: $29.99 (Kinect)
Dance Central: $49.99 (KInect)
Dance Paradise: $39.99 (KInect)
Body and Brain Connection: $39.99 (Kinect)
Carnival: $49.99 (Kinect)
Kinect Sports: $39.99 (Kinect)
– Buy an 2 3DS games and save $10 (choose from 20 games)
– A bunch of 3DS games are $39.99

Toys R Us:

Nada. Zip.

K Mart:

– Get a $10 gaming coupon with the purchase of any of the following 3 Kinect titles:
Michael Jackson Experience: $49.99 (Kinect)
Carnival Games: $49.99 (Kinect)
Fantastic Pets: $49.99 (Kinect)
Lego Battles Ninja II: $29.99 (NDS)
Squinkies: $29.99 (NDS)
Major League Baseball The Show: $59.99 (PS3)