Believe it or not, I’ve been banging out your weekly DVD needs for a goddamned year now. I suppose that’s cause for some sort of celebration. What does the future hold? More of the same, really – deals, blurbs, and enough non sequiturs to keep your plate full for another year. First, though, a big hearty thanks to all who continually scan the cover art week after week. And to all the ones who get all hot and bothered at the mere mention of my writing skills – I hope to add even more fuel to your ever-burning fire.
Back to that semi-question though – what should we do to celebrate?
Let’s Paint Some Homo Things
David Dobkin’s three-forths baked romp of The Wedding Crashers (read Devin’s review) never fully ignited my fancy, and to this day I still question my thoughts before sobbing sweetly. You’d think I’d get a kick out of the ongoing adventures of two loveable crazies – the charismatically cast Vaughn and Wilson – as they maneuver their skirt chasing skills crashing various shindigs in the D.C. area – that is, until they find themselves in over their heads when they attract the Treasury Secretary (Christopher Walken; being himself, as usual) and his family into their own Enterprising tractor beam. What follows were some supreme moments of comedy – getting furiously handled under the table (with Grandma watching!), working secular ceremonies and its peoples and the inane banter back and forth between the two newly-crowned Mafiosos. But it was in those moments towards the end of the film where I felt the momentum so wonderfully established in the beginning grounded to a halt. The jokes started trailing off, the off-shoot involving Vaughn (arguably at his best here) and the clingy Isla Fischer started rearing up, and before I knew it, it was all lumbering towards the pleasing finale of-sorts. It’s a shame too, considering the amount of Splinter’s funnies scattered throughout their escapades.
Feel like Jodie Foster in ‘The Accused’ – with: the now semi-standard two Editions. First up is the Uncorked Edition, containing an additional 8.5 minutes of extra footage most-obviously “too hot!” for theatres. You’ll also get audio commentary with Director David Dobkin, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the regular R-rated version included (in case you’re a tight purist), 4 deleted scenes (Cleary tests John, Jeremy consoles John, Bluefish and "99 Red Balloons"), 2 featurettes (Event Planning and The Rules of Wedding Crashing), The Sights "Circus" music video plus an interactive soundtrack promo as well as some TV spots and the film’s teaser and theatrical trailers. A regular R-Rated Edition comes with: audio commentary with Director David Dobkin, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, 3 deleted scenes, 2 featurettes (Event Planning and The Rules of Wedding Crashing), The Sights "Circus" music video plus an interactive soundtrack promo and a Wedding Crashers game, thus leading us all to believe it’s not quite up to par as the former. Fuck!
Bill “Ghostbustin’ ass” Murray continues his independently minded ways through the world of famed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch’s amusing Broken Flowers (read Devin’s review). Whereas Murray’s progression into the land of minimalist acting has been fined tuned over the various roles he’s inhabited, Broken Flowers allows his Don Johnston to really shine through the possibilities of freaking out and breaking down. However, this is a more mature Murray, one whose past is about to catch up with him – he’s sired a child with an unknown (female, to your dismay) accomplice and a note arrives informing him of the dirty deed (most likely not done cheap). Brushing it off rather quickly irritates his Columbo-esque next door neighbor – the wonderfully cast Jeffrey Wright – as he schemes to plan Johnston’s trip into the intersecting lives of three former flames. But not before Murray can drive somewhere, simply because I think Jarmusch might be in love with taking trips in a car – Murray, sunglass-clad, takes stock in his life for what felt like half of the movie’s progression. Still, Broken Flowers is arguably Director Jarmusch’s most ‘commercial’ film, in terms of a wider audience connection (than say, his great Down By Law), and you should definitely check it out if you’re looking for a more rewarding watching experience. Which isn’t to say that your fifteenth viewing of People Under The Stairs isn’t…
Be a Stalker in a Taurus – with: 2 featurettes (Girls in the Bus and Broken Flowers: Start to Finish), some Soundtrack information and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Cole Hauser fans can finally rejoice that another one of his magnum opuses – The Cave (read what the crazies on our MBs had to say here) – arrives with a warning sounding curiously close to the UK flick The Descent. That word of caution is not to go spelunking in dangerous places, especially when someone describes it as “the Amazon of underground rivers.” Last time a group of unseasoned hardbodies attempted to forge the Amazonian aspects of a plot, I believe we ended up in Anaconda territory, people. In the Carpathian Mountains, where obviously only good things happen, our scientifically-inclined heroes – including Hauser, Piper Perabo, Morris Chestnut, and Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim – find themselves ensconced in a maze-like cavern of horrors. Stopping by to say hello are the underground creatures that dwell in such a dank place, and famed creatureologist Patrick Tatopoulos is on the case; borrowing liberally from everyone to craft a being so frightening, the filmmakers had to give it away in the trailers (surprise=out the window). You can imagine where the events explode from there, and if you’ve seen Aliens, Leviathan, or Grey Gardens, you know that not everything ends up being all rose colored when the end comes a-callin’.
They fly! They frickin’ fly! – with: audio commentary with the filmmakers and 2 featurettes (Designing Evolution: Tatopolous Studios and Into The Cave).
Brian Herzlinger did what most of everyone else in our Budding Filmmakers Forum has done – he took out a lot of cash on his credit cards and purchased a new DV Camera. But he didn’t have everything melt down on him instantly, as his goal was merely attainable: get a date with Drew Barrymore. Giving himself exactly one month (so Circuit City could take back the camera) to accomplish such a Herculean feat; Herzlinger, armed with $1,100 he won a game show, maneuvered the insanely tricky waters of Hollywood (through Publicists, Agents who won’t return calls, and Interns out on a drinking bender at Howl at the Moon) in order to give Ms. Barrymore a call and ask her out on a date in the aptly titled My Date With Drew. Seemed simple enough, but as Herzlinger quickly discovered, many clichés are about to unfold; all the way from becoming a celebrity stalker to getting within sight of telling Drew how huge a fan he was of her work in Waxwork II (coincidentally, I’d say the same too!). I think the moral in Herzlinger’s odyssey is that fairy tales can come true (if the price is right and you’re spayed and neutered) with enough tenacity and a gigantic nonplussed attitude about the threat of restraining orders (surely, this is the only parting gift I’d be receiving in such a quest).
Have a wasted soul – with: a never-before-seen filmmaker featurette and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Literally translated the film means Kidnap Express, and rightly so. Focusing in on the brash wave of recent abductions across the tense landscape of Caracas, Venezuela, Secuestro Express has garnered recent word of mouth because of its relatively shocking portrayals of true-to-life events. A wealthy nouveau-riche couple (one of whom is the ravishing beauty Mía Maestro), is on their way back home after a night of debauchery when three kidnappers quickly take hold of their fortunes and snatch them right out from under their lives. The nefarious Men, who have done this before, demand an instant $20,000 for their release, much to the dismay of Maestro’s father (the ever present Rubén Blades) as he struggles to raise the funds in a mere two hour timeframe. And what may not seem a lot by relative standards, the money is almost equivalent to several years at Venezuela’s poverty-stricken minimum wage. The frightening series of botched events that follows should cause a lot of you to think of what might be going on outside of your own bubble, considering the statistics in Venezuela alone: every 60 minutes someone is kidnapped and 70% of those do not survive.
Extras include audio commentary with Writer/Director Jonathan Jakubowicz, a Spanish language commentary with the Director and his Cast, some deleted scenes, the making-of Secuestro Express, Secuestro Express: The film & the facts, Vagos y Maleantes music video and some theatrical trailers.
A lot of the time, shows based upon relatively ho-hum movies don’t necessarily translate to the sprawled out confines of the boobtube. The newest point in a long series of I told you so’s is Alien Nation – The Complete Series. Capitalizing on the movie of the same name, the premise is mightily similar: Aliens land in the Mojave Desert and slowly begin to assimilate into the population of Los Angeles. One of these Newcomers is named George Francisco (for reasons unknown) and he finds himself in the L.A.P.D. with a mildly racist human partner named Matthew Sikes (originally played with mustard and relish by CAAN). Except that in the movie, where Patinkin and Caan were solving the Newcomer underworld, the television show more or less finds itself drawing in on what happened to our antagonists after those events unfolded. Now you can relive the glory of this show when you want and how you want (if you dress up, please e-mail me! – with photos! thx!), even though Sci-Fi shows the reruns all of the goddamned time.
The only extra you’ll get is an audio commentary with series creator Kenneth Johnson on the episodes Alien Nation: The Movie (parts 1 & 2).
How many releases of Snatch have there been? There was the original Edition, the Special Edition, the UMD Edition, the Superbit Edition, and now, adding to a long line of timeless purchases – Snatch: The Deluxe Edition (with Poker Kit). Guy Ritchie’s continuation of all things British crime has always most notable, for me anyway, for the insanely mumbling accent Brangelina threw on while being all cocky for the camera. That’s about all I can remember. Ritchie’s been busy returning to this fold (in his more recent supposedly abominable Revolver, I hear) ever since marrying Madonna and taking on their Island vanity project together, which oddly enough, turned out to be one of his most cohesive films. But Snatch, however, wasn’t seemingly a retread of Lock, Stock, but rather a mix-up of Gypsies, Irish Pig Farmers, and Gangsters, as opposed to Drug Dealers, East End Hard Men, and believe it or not – Gangsters. The only reason I can even imagine those who aren’t familiar with Ritchie’s odorous Snatch would want to grab this one is the Poker Kit – so go on, take that fifth bite at the Snatch apple!
Yeah. Don’t go to England – with: a new Poker Kit and Collectible Scrapbook. All other extras (such as Ritchie audio commentary, storyboards and deleted scenes have all been previously released on other DVDs – i.e. the Special Edition).
When Jeff Daniels is expunging everything from his system via the loudest method imaginable, you’ve got comedy. When Jim Carrey rips out a Chef’s heart before placing it in a doggie bag, all curiously scored to some muzak – you’ve got smile-inducing insanity. Arguably one of the Farrelly Brothers ‘finest’ efforts – the Dumb and Dumber: Unrated Edition (CHUD’s DVD review is coming soon) is here to make you all feel intellectually stimulated all over again. Carrey and Daniel’s adventures, from their lonely Rhode Island, Parakeet-killin’ abode to the wintery mix of Aspen, are still as humorously low-brow as you can imagine: nothing is left out, from moments of bowel movements, shaggin’ wagons, mating bulldogs with shiatsus, sideways suckin’ and enough annoyingly singing Mockingbird songs to blow your sorry little brains out. That’s if you’re not pissing your cares away in beer bottles stashed throughout your piece of shit automobile. In all of this though, your inner thirteen-year-old should be sufficiently espoused by the promise of another 90+ minutes of your live devoted to the virtues of lighting your farts on fire. This Unrated Edition comes with over 30 minutes of extra footage, so you can now go onto Internet Message Boards and act all smarmy and above everyone else. Just remember what movie you’re talking about, fool!
Right on my sandwich after you kiss it! – with: more than 24 minutes of deleted scenes, more than 17 minutes of alternate scenes, two alternate endings, a retrospective documentary – “Still Dumb After All These Years”, a deleted scenes short montage with introduction by Jeff Daniels, two fake trailers and the film’s theatrical trailer. No commentary? Where’s Carrey’s involvement? Does he shun the film that helped put him on the map? What’s with all my questions, poindexter?
The Cartoon Adventures With Gerald McBoing Boing might be older than dirt (and your girlfriends sorry-ass virginity, but that’s another story for a very public forum). Winning a 1950 Animated Short Oscar might have gone to his head as well – considering all Mr. McBoing Boing does is speak in sound effects (curiously giving cadence to Mr. Winslow himself later on) and sip Mimosas by his overtly-sized pool. Words do not mean anything to our titular hero and as such, he must imitate everything he sees – almost like a Frat Boy watching any Dave Chappelle skit. But whereas that situation would end in a bloodily unfunny realization of premature ejaculation (trust me), McBoing Boing comes backed by a plethora of heavies – i.e. Dr. Seuss and Bill Scott (of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame). McBoing Boing’s adventures have him venturing out to Planet Moo (in search of those nefarious milk-in-a-bag devices that plagued my youth), working as a one-man symphony using effects as his means of aural communication, and living life in the fast line. All the while he’s also teaching us values, dammit, so that we don’t have to run to our windows and shout things were not going to take anymore. After McBoing Boing, I think we all might find ourselves a little more tolerant of different people. Unless you happen to work for AFA.
Boing Boing yourself – with: the immortal 4 episodes (Gerald McBoing Boing, Gerald McBoing Boing On Planet Moo, Gerald McBoing Boing’s Symphony and How Now Boing Boing), all remastered in high-definition goodness.
Ring in all of your alone time in the new year with these titles as well. They’re a perfect fit for those lonely hours away from Halo and your friend’s Wiccan witchcraft and wizardry.
This time of the year is usually relatively slow in terms of announcements. Expect some primo announcements regarding the titles of this Winter soon, but January is notorious for being in the doldrums in its relative DVD excitement.
All Wallace & Gromit fans are most likely excited for 2.07.06 (and since I missed this in theaters, I certainly am), while purveyors of early avant-garde will await with baited breath for the Busby Berkeley Collection on 3.21.06 (which comes with Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames and Gold Diggers of 1935, a repackaged 42nd Street and the all-new three-hour The Busby Berkeley Disc). Finally, there’s the controversial Midnight Cowboy (and the only X Best Picture Winner) in its new Special Edition incarnation on 2.21.06. That SE will come packaged with an all-new high-definition digital transfer and a host of other extras, still awaiting confirmation. One of the many items I absolutely love about that movie are the subtle ways that Voight and Hoffman inhabit their characters. Their craft just spills across the screen and envelopes you.
Fans of Fox’s Noir Series (and you should be, considering the raw amount of excellent titles bequeathed upon us) should gear up for March 7th, which has plenty of sneaky suspicions and arched eyebrows engulfed in the shadows. No Way Out is arguably the most controversial of the bunch, resonating these many decades later with its portrayal of racial tensions in America.
When Cover Art Attacks!
Waiting was just one of those films that escaped my clutches due to me eating copious amounts of babies. Personally, the escapades of those working in the service industry really appeals to me – I think everyone, including the richie riches should be required to slave away hours serving people, catering to their every whim. If such a program would be in place, the world could be a better place. That is, until we destroy one another with visions of Andy Sedaris’ villains dancing around our heads.
My little rant aside, check out the poster for the film (on the right). Then, switch over to the DVD’s cover art (oddly enough, right next to it!). I don’t know about you, but that’s what I call something short of great. Three million steps removed. Photoshop, you could say, isn’t this film’s friend. If I wanted heads removed from bodies in an eerie manner, I would have taken Frightmare to the prom instead.
Region Free Arse Kickers
Technically, this is a VCD, but still – it’s Tony Jaa kicking even more bodies into pummeling dust in Tom-Yum Goong. The plot has Jaa going after his families’ stolen Elephants in his native Thailand, following it to Men At Work’s land down under. See, these Elephants aren’t merely for his family, but also for the King of Thailand as well, so getting them back is an utter necessity. It’s in Sydney where Jaa discovers Fosters isn’t only Australian for beer, but also for intensive butt-whooping the likes of which haven’t been seen since you dreamed of beating up that bully seventeen years ago. Jaa must force off against a band of evil poachers, and as Dave Davis mentions in this Best of 2005 review (click here) “he wriggles and elbows his way through increasingly insane setpieces (including an astounding restaurant skirmish apparently done in one long take). I’ve seen more kung fu movies than just about anyone this side of Tarantino and the RZA, but I still found myself laughing, cheering and gasping with sheer amazement.” If that’s not a recommendation right there, I’m not sure you’re fully grasping what I’m trying to say. Either way, consider Tom-Yum Goong or it might consider destroying whatever soul you have left and banishing it off into the wild red bloodied yonder.
This is a Region 0 PAL VCD, requiring the use of a Region Free DVD player. There are no special features, and BEWARE! – There are NO ENGLIGH SUBTITLES on this film at all. Allegedly, it shouldn’t detract from your viewing of the film, unless you’re a hardened language tightwad.
One of Takeshi Beat Kitano’s most spectacular films gets a deluxe upgrade with Sontaine: Ultimate Limited Edition. The film, which you should all see right quick, has Kitano contemplating leaving the Yakuza life. Fed up with all of the violence he starts looking for outs, only to be drawn back in defusing a gang war in a local town. Assured that it will be an easy time for all, it turns backward and even more prophetically violent than ever before, but not before Kitano’s Murakawa can find love, happiness, and adventure in a nearby coastal town; a summer vacation of sorts. Punctuated with Kitano’s signature visual style of insane comedic skills and lyrical in-your-face violence, Sonatine remains one of his best films, a testament to his abilities as a master craftsman and a dude who will knock your socks off with his skill and ability to put bullets into brains from point-blank range.
The Ultimate Limited Edition comes with audio commentary, a photo gallery, character biographies, and a 12-page Collectable booklet. Be forewarned that most of these items will be in Korean, though, although the film does have English subtitles. This is a Region 3 NTSC release, requiring the use of a Region Free DVD player or your mom’s patented hacking skills.
That’s how my thoughts feel every week when I re-check all of the other titles that are unleashed upon us with ultimate fury. Make sure to check out CHUD’s DVD reviews, considering we don’t do this for our Mothers.
Water, 2046, Into the Blue, Toy Story 2 (CHUD’s DVD
review is coming soon, Mr. Impatient), Grizzly Man (Nick’s DVD review arrives soon), American Pie: Band Camp, SeaQuest
DSV: Season One, The Shield: Season Four, Segal in Black
Dawn, A Hole In One, Empire of the Wolves, Diary
of a Mad Black Woman: The Play, Twilight Zone: Definitive Edition Season
Five, Nowhere Man: Complete Series, Tracey Takes On: Season One,
Idle’s Mikado and When The Last Sword is Drawn. Read
the last Special Edition of 2005
(Russ’ DVD review), Four Brothers, Brothers
Grimm (await Dave’s DVD review!), Battlestar Galactica: Season Two, Cry_Wolf,
of Emily Rose, Great Raid (CHUD’s DVD review is
forthcoming), Santa’s Slay, Must Love Dogs (Thor’s DVD Rack
Hours at Munich, One Day in September, 7 Men
From Now, November, Chicago: Razzle-Dazzle Edition (Ian’s DVD review), Kong
Island, Queen Kong, White Dragon, John Ford Goes To War, Once
Upon A Mattress (Ian’s DVD Rack review) and E.R.: Season Four. Read a
two-week old Special Edition right here, and then upchuck accordingly.
DVD Reviews Forum
General DVD Discussion Forum
Bargain Bin Of 2006
What better way to ring in the New Year (other than fostering illegitimate children in a black market scheme) than to take advantage of corporations! Make ‘em fight for your dollars.
Additionally, you’ll probably want to check out THIS MESSAGE BOARD THREAD for other Region Free DVD options as well.
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $21.92
Broken Flowers is $21.95
The Cave is $21.54
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated is $13.48
Alien Nation: Complete Series is $34.87
Snatch: Deluxe Edition is $13.91
My Date With Drew is $8.99
Secuestro Express is $21.59
Cartoon Adv. with Gerald McBoing Boing is $9.42
Hunter: Season Three is $24.29
Valachi Papers is $13.91
Gospel is $21.54
Matrix: Ultimate Collection is $39.33
Buy 1, Get 1 Free on Select UMD titles (click here!)
Donnie Darko: 2-disc SE is $12.99 (click here)
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $14.99
The Cave is $14.99
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $15.87
Broken Flowers is $18.86
The Cave is $24.61
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated is $15.87
Alien Nation: Complete Series is $42.48
Snatch: Deluxe Edition is $23.15
My Date With Drew is $12.73
Secuestro Express is $25.49
Cartoon Adv. with Gerald McBoing Boing is $13.44
Valachi Papers is $17.94
Gospel is $19.88
Selected Season (i.e. The First Season) of Firefly, Wonderfalls, Tru Calling, The Shield, Arrested Development,
Millenium, and Angel are all $19.88/EACH
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $16.99 (+ get a FREE Trivia Challenge book)
Broken Flowers is $19.99
The Cave is $19.99
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated is $13.99
Alien Nation: Complete Series is $34.99
My Date With Drew is $11.24
Secuestro Express is $26.99
Cartoon Adv. with Gerald McBoing Boing is $9.99
Valachi Papers is $14.96
Gospel is $19.99
Gunsmoke: 50th Anniversary is $22.99
Or My Treasure is $26.96
Spiderman 2, Spanglish, Miss Congeniality: DE, Be Cool, Phantom of the Opera
State of the Union
Wilder, T2: EE, Never Been Kissed, Young Guns, Reservoir Dogs, First Blood,
SNL: Will Ferrel
Arizona are all $7.50/EACH
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $14.99 (+ get FREE Playing Cards)
Broken Flowers is $19.99
The Cave is $17.99
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated is $12.99
Alien Nation: Complete Series is $39.99
Snatch: Deluxe Edition is $12.99
My Date With Drew is $8.99
Secuestro Express is $24.99
Cartoon Adv. with Gerald McBoing Boing is $14.94
Hunter: Season Three is $34.99
Valachi Papers is $15.99
Gospel is $17.99
$9.99 SALE for the following 2 Packs – Aviator/Million Dollar Baby,
Alexander/Constantine, Racing Stripes/ A Cinderella Story, Ocean’s Twelve/
Starsky & Hutch and the worst – Catwoman/ Miss Congeniality 2
& Kumar, Friday After Next, All About the Benjamins, Player’s Club, Ocean’s
Eleven, Beetlejuice, Rules of Engagement, Coming to America, American History
X, Love & Basketball, Armageddon, Dumb & Dumberer, Training Day, Menace
To Society, Rush Hour, Money Talks, Last Man Standing, Private Parts, My Big
Fat Greek Wedding, Final Destination, Up In Smoke, Seven, Risky Business, Men
of Honor, Now & Then, Pleasantville, The Big Bounce, Boiler Room, American
Outlaws, Runaway Bride
Amigos are all $7.50/EACH
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked is $14.99
Broken Flowers is $17.99
The Cave is $19.99
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated is $14.99
Alien Nation: Complete Series is $34.99
Snatch: Deluxe Edition is $14.99
My Date With Drew is $12.99
Secuestro Express is $19.99
Cartoon Adv. with Gerald McBoing Boing is $12.99
Hunter: Season Three is $29.99
Valachi Papers is $14.99
Gospel is $19.99 (purchase and get 15,000 FREE RZ Bonus points)
Or My Treasure is $24.99
$9.99 SALE for: Kingdom of Heaven, The Notebook, Monster In Law, The Upside of Anger,
Blade: Trinity, Constantine, Million Dollar Baby, Sisterhood of the Traveling
Pants, Scarface: Anniversary, Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy Unrated,
Orgazmo: Unrated Special Edition, Meet The Fockers, Garden State, Office Space:
Special Edition With Flair!, The Breakfast Club (High School Reunion Collection
Version), Tommy Boy: Holy Schinke Edition, Beauty Shop, Guess Who, Girl Next
Door Unrated, Shaun of the Dead, Braveheart, George Lopez: Why You Crying?, Man
of the House, XXX: State of the Union, House of Flying Daggers, Kung Fu Hustle,
White Chicks, Old School Unrated, Jackass: Volume 1 and Cheech
& Chong: Still Smokin
Seasons 1 through 4, Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1 through 4 and One Tree Hill: Seasons 1 through 3
are all $24.99/EACH
Nothing is written
Truly, if for some men, nothing is written, then what I write is a trifle compared to the rest. Thanks for reading this week, and if you’ve been around these past 52, then a gigantic bear-hug of awesomeness to you for sticking around. Alas, there’ll be no reach around action. We hardly know one another. But, feel free to try! You can always e-mail me your hideous words of praise, of thought, and of intensive hatred to try and wash all of my inanities away.
The first week of the year isn’t quite as bam-tastic as it should be, but with a little help, this year should tax me like no other. There’s several titles in the works that I wish would see the light of day in 2006 (please, please, please Sony release The David Lean Collection – thanks!), but for now all I can do is hope with my puny power. Anyway – thanks for reading, and I wish you all a terrific movie watching experience in this terrible, terrible New Year.