One of the wonderful aspects about being dreadfully sick is that your body tries to reject the little things – like your soul. At least mine is. So in order for me to make it out of this thing alive with Jim Morrison, the SE is going to be pared down this week. Once I find myself able to mumble without coughing up my skeleton, think without a splitting sinus headache and walk around on all 4 appendages, you should see me waxing even more DVD news out of my busted tailpipe.
He’s No Jeff Fahey…
Fernando Meirelles’ previous film, City of God (buy it from CHUD), was such a force of nature, a terrific trumpeting for all of us inbred Americans living on the edge and a prayer. So naturally, when I heard he’d be using those talents to make his next feature a thriller from novelist John le Carré – The Constant Gardener, I pretty much asked where I could sign up. The twisty-turvy plot has firebrand activist Rachel Weisz (read Devin’s interview with her) being brutally murdered and her diplomatic widow, Ralph Fiennes, not resting on his laurels (read Devin’s interview with him here). Instead, the Rafe-man attempts to uncover one of the more sinister plots between drug companies and governments, both acting in cahoots to stomp those less fortunate. That is, unless Bill Nighy and his vicious brand of heavies can stop him.
Why you should check it out: Meirelles’ personal stamp on the filmmaking world is fuller defined with this film. The Constant Gardener handles the complexities of teaching an unknown audience with the horrifying situation in Africa regarding Western corruption deftly well. Those interested in watching such an ‘adult’ theme should pull up a chair. Additionally, the inclusion of one Danny Huston makes me happy, considering he’s filled with shiftiness and wavy hair.
Extras include an extended scene – Haruma – Play in Kibera, some deleted scenes and 3 features (Embracing Africa: Filming in Kenya, John Le Carre: From Page to the Screen and Anatomy of a Global Thriller: Behind the Scenes of The Constant Gardener).
Like most people, you probably stayed away from DJay’s pimpin’ good times in Hustle & Flow (read Devin’s review), filled with enough Ho slapping to cause Rick James to arise from the dead. DJay is powerhouse actor Terrence Howard, and it’s a testament to his abilities that he never makes you feel pure hatred for the man. Instead, his DJay is filled with overpowering dreams – his demo of Whoop That Trick is the key. But in order for him to bust out of his unfulfilled life in Memphis, all he has to do, it seems, is make sure it finds its way into the hands of Skinny Black (played with authority by rap-tor Ludacris). But if it’s getting too hot in here for a motherfuckin’ pimp while you’re waiting for the outcome, you’ll just have to sit back and wait, or go to that stupid site that ruins movie endings.
Why you should watch this: Howard all the way. His portrayal is one of finesse, of a man desperate to survive. The raps are also incredibly catchy, but as a purveyor of the finest Appalachian blues this side of the Mason-Dixon, I don’t think I fully understood their meaning. What’s “show you bitches who you fuckin’ with” mean?
Why you shouldn’t: If it brings back painful memories about your Mother’s sordid past, I’d say anchor your freighter somewhere else.
Extras include audio commentary by Writer/Director Craig Brewer, a Memphis Hometown Premiere feature, 3 featurettes (Behind the Hustle, By Any Means Necessary and Creatin’ Crunk), as well as 6 promotional spots.
If we as a collective mass learned anything from Transporter 1, it’s that cars can be made to do some necessarily awe-inspiring things. Taking that statement to the extreme(z) is Transporter 2, which showcases a variety of vehicular-wuxia. Nick had an absolute blast with the film (read his glowing review), where he basically says “Transporter 2 is dumber than a bucket of lotion and proud of it.” Statham returns as the driver, this time finding himself embroiled in a snatch-and-grab kidnap case with a young’un that happens to be close to the shape of his heart. The Sting in the situation are the infamous villans, one of whom is Kate Nauta and subsequently has trouble keeping her clothes on. Need evidence? Take a look at all of those production photos of her in those skimpy pistol holders. Luc Besson is back in the producer’s chair as well, and he’s brought along reality brush-off pills for you to pop. Just don’t take too many, or you might think The Messenger was a masterpiece.
Why you should check this out: The virtual ballet of cars, streaming in between one another, as Statham uses all manner of instruments (from belts to wires to XM radio) in order to sedate his nemeses across the land.
Why you should stay away: If Nick’s review causes twitching and intense gagging, you might want to get that man-sword out of your mouth.
Extras include: An inside look at the film, some extended fight sequences, the making-of Transporter 2, "Off the Record" Shooting, some deleted scenes, X-3 (version 2), the film’s theatrical trailer and trailers for Eragon & Night Watch (the latter should be out … um… where the hell is it!?!).
Wes Craven’s more recent films bring about a sense of dreadful perspiration amongst me and my group of friends – quite noticeably, because the Master of Horror’s films have been anything but. I’m not sure if you can call yourself that after having made Music of the Heart. Or Shocker. Although, scanning his resume, Paris Je t’aime sounds interesting, but not in that bloodied bits clouding the sidewalk of death type of way. Either way, Craven’s latest – Red Eye – has It girl Rachel McAdams frothing at the mouth at the nefarious advances of one Cillian Murphy as Jackson Ripner. I hope the writers receive a special commendation from the WGA, possibly a Medal of Freedom from our Overlords. As it stands, Ripner wants to destroy the Secretary for Homeland Security and needs Ms. McAdams to do it. Will she cooperate? Will Murphy light someone on fire? How much Cox (Brian, that is) will viewers get to see? If anything, I hope it’s enough, all 5’ 7” of it.
Why you should check this out: The movie’s only 86 minutes, so you won’t feel too cheated out of life. Plus, I hear this is Craven returning to his mildly entertaining roots, which means somewhere along the equation of:
Why you shouldn’t: I just can’t get too excited about scary Airplane movies until Snakes are on them, or Ray Liotta reprises his role as a seducing homicidal maniac.
Extras include audio commentary with Craven, Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier (who you might recognize as Mr. Director from the Dracula Legacy greatness), 2 features (The Making of Red Eye and Wes Craven: A New Kind of Thriller), along with a gag reel and some previews.
While you’re crying foul over the years-old news of Miramax remaking The Seven Samurai, you adroit MB thinkers might realize Hollywood had done it before – as the marvelous The Magnificent Seven. John Sturges’ film, which had the tremendous foresight of casting McQueen, Brenner, Bronson, Coburn, Dexter, Vaughn and the fastidious Horst Buchholz against the wily escapades of the dastardly Eli Wallach, playing yet another unscrupulous Mexican bandito. You already know the story, steeped in Western lore, itchy trigger fingers and Elmer Bernstein’s rousing score, so it’s high-time you punched those who haven’t right in the anus.
When you should watch this: Immediately. It’s a damned fine film, filled with bravado and masculinity. Which makes it more becoming for those without it. Struges’ is a master craftsman who understands the power of a good tale told well (just look at the Great Escape or Bad Day At Black Rock). Also because you can throw your old $9.99 copy to the deranged wolves next door. Apologies if it’s your Aunt.
Why you shouldn’t: You should. No if’s and’s or Buchholz’s about it.
Extra’s include a high-definition transfer, all-new audio commentary with Film Historian Christopher Frayling and 4 featurettes (Christopher Frayling on The Magnificent Seven, Elmer Berstein and The Magnificent Seven, The Linen Book: Lost Images from The Magnificent Seven and The Magnificent Seven), a photo gallery and some previews, all spilled out over 2-discs.
It might be my brain slowly shutting down, or quite possibly the venereal diseases racking my immune system, but I can’t remember a goddamned thing about The Flash – The Complete Series. You think it’d have a more prominent place in there, considering it was during the Burton era of Batman and TNG’s of me ignoring it (maybe because a couple fans were out chasing my young friends), but alas, CBS still saw to cancel it. Our Nation’s Pastime was unfortunately the culprit, and I don’t mean watching those cursed ytmnd gifs, but balls. Still, in the Complete Series, you’ll be able to revisit old friends, like the jowl-tastic M. Emmet Walsh and cocky Richard Belzer, who presumably was rocking the shades. And if you need to even know what the show or the character is about, I think you’ve come to the wrong website/end of the Internet.
Why you should watch this: It’s the fucking Flash! Plus, I keep hearing it’s good. Like pure unadulterated butter.
Why you shouldn’t: It is Television, so be prepared for the obligatory early nineties hair and clothing. And, of course, the sense of pride in knowing you’re still not over that.
Extras include all 21 episodes plus the 90 minute Pilot.
Kate Beckinsale got all Goth for her husband in Underworld, except that no one saw the tale of Vampires versus Werewolves battling for supreme domination and a tasty art direction belt. However, DVD proved that people are (foolhardy) enough to embrace films that are shunned correctly the first time. So, in honor of Underworld: Evolution, those sneaky DVD honchos are busting out a brand-new Underworld: Unrated Extended Cut, which should serve as another unwatched edition right next to your old one. The extra 23 minutes thrown back into this version have more screentime with vampress Sophia Myles, backstories on some characters (including the dude from Creed) and the kicker – a new battle scene. Obviously, Director Len Wisemen isn’t one of the Scotts. Still, if you enjoyed the original, more unnecessarily muted power to you.
Why you should watch this: The film’s look, from the colors to the costumes, is right-on the nose. Plus, if you’re a fan of bloated excess, you could go worse places than watching the extra 23 spliced in.
Why you shouldn’t: Because of the movie. Not great.
Slather these extras on for size: 12 minutes of additional footage, 11 minutes of replacement footage, audio commentary with Wiseman, Beckinsale and Actor Scott Speedman, "Fang vs. Fiction": 45-minute documentary examining the history of vampires and werewolves, 4 featurettes (The Making of Underworld, Creature effects, Stunts and Sights and sound), a Finch music video for "Worms of the Earth", a storyboard comparison, 3 features (Designing Underworld, The Visual Effects of Underworld and The Look of Underworld), an outtake reel, a collectible production sketch notebook and a 48-page mini-comic.
If The Bad Sleep Well, then how do you explain Klaus Kinski? In Akira Kurosawa’s flick, Il maestro Toshiro Mifune is a Japanese businessman looking for revenge in the oncoming wave of corporations, one of which has unceremoniously murdered his papa. Tipping his fedora to Mr. Willie Shakespeare, Kurosawa infuses the plot by way of Hamlet, and Mifune is the one seeing fit that all the world’s his stage, the people merely players. Except for those deceased souls wandering about. Those guys have minds of their own. Still, The Bad Sleep Well is a strong indictment from Kurosawa against the relative cut-throat tactics of the business world, and though it might be madness, there is a method in’t.
Watch this! – or die. At the hands of the fateful who crossed Mifune’s Koichi Nishi. You’ll also have fun delving into the documentary about the making-of.
Why you shouldn’t: If you’re no fan of subtitles and black and white filmmaking, I’m afraid all is lost. Get out of the way for others, deadwood.
It should come to this! – with: a newly restored high-definition transfer, new and improved subtitle translations, the 36-minute documentary on The Bad Sleep Well, created for the Toho Masterworks series, new essays by film scholar Richard Combs and screenwriter-director Michael Almereyda (Deadwood, Hamlet) and the film’s theatrical trailer round it all out.
Sam Peckinpah was one hell of a filmmaker. He was also, allegedly, a belligerent drunk and a raging cocaine addict. There were other items that informed his films, and most converge to make the Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns Collection. You should know, though, that it’s Peckinpah week here at CHUD, so read Russ’ DVD review of Ride the High Country and his own hopped-up thoughts on the man, the myth, the legend here. Using a stylistic approach to his rugged films that was out in force – slo-motion and quick visceral editing told the bloodied tales of weathered Men; haunted by their own demons, scarred by the terrible truths of life. And it shows in such films as The Wild Bunch, once called the most violent movie ever made (it has since been surpassed by Commando – he fights for love, after all), through the under-seen Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, his final ode to the dusty myths he helped shape. There’s Ride the High Country and The Ballad of Cable Hogue too, both films about the twilight of Men’s glory years. Peckinpah’s movies are still as fresh and exciting today as they were the day someone got up in arms about them. Except that, as someone astute once said, we’ve come a long way, baby.
You need to see these because: it’s Peckinpah, and to see him means to understand the base urges of Men in their natural habitats. These films are mighty enjoyable and irresistibly engrossing.
Why you shouldn’t: If you don’t like seeing blood-soaked Men with bullet holes out their pancreases, then you might wish to rethink Shandling’s proposal of What Planet Are You From?
Extras are plentiful! On The Wild Bunch, it gets upgrading with: audio commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, some addition scenes, some never-before-seen outtakes, and 3 documentaries (Sam Peckinpah’s West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade, 1996 Oscar Nominee The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage and A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and The Wild Bunch). Ride The High Country has audio commentary by Peckinpah documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, a new documentary – A Justified Life: Sam Peckinpah and the Hogue Country and a Peckinpah trailer gallery.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is reincarnated in its 2005 SE version (115 mins.) and has audio commentary by Special Edition Producer Nick Redman, Supervising Editor Paul Seydor and fellow Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Garner Simmons and David Weddle. On the 1988 Turner Preview Version (122 mins.) you have audio commentary by Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle and 2 new featurettes (One Foot in the Groove: Remembering Sam Peckinpah and Other Things, One for the Money: Sam’s Song). Finally, on Ballad of Cable Hogue, you’re gonna get audio commentary with Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, a new featurette – The Ladiest Damn’d Lady with Stella Stevens and a Peckinpah trailer gallery.
Ingmar Bergman raises his old fist once again triumphantly in Saraband while Jaime Bell gets hopped up on Prescription Drugs with a plethora of mighty thespians (such as Ralph Fiennes, John Heard, Glenn Close, and the FITCHNER) in The Chumscrubber. Then, Ferris Bueller gets one of the most annoying subtitle ploys in recent memory (and a movie Dellamorte won’t be buying any time soon…). Either way, these are also coming out in this semi-packed week. If you can’t find anything, then you don’t like movies.
You got me hotter than Georgia asphalt
That might be apropos for the relatively temping influx of cover art during these sleepy early days of the New Year. Announcements are few and far between – but when they happen, they rock my tiny insignificant little world.
Jarhead is a terrific film, with reservations (read Devin’s review). It’s tough when nothing happens. There’s no moral/spiritual/animal crisis for our hero – in this case it’s Jake Gylhennnhockleningalical’s Anthony Swofford – to come into. Granted, his Platoon’s situation in the first Gulf War was of a lot of sitting and waiting. Not like my Uncle, who was in his Apache trailblazing the desert. Instead, Gyllenhaal’s crisis is one of what to do to pass the time. In that respect, it’s one of the more truthful exploitations of Marine life around. Then come the scenes of waiting, of wandering, of having Jaime Foxx say ‘whoo-hah’ with a deranged smile all his own. Still, Jarhead is a good movie, its cinematography (from Roger Deakins, ASC) is splendid, it’s just that it’s an odd one. I think a second viewing would help, and on March 7th, looks like the ability to do that is in the bag. Whoo-hah.
Extras on both are still TBA, although expect some commentaries, interviews with the real-life Marines whose story this tells, and some featurettes.
New Line went up and changed A History of Violence’s Cover Art on us (changed to 3.14.06 from 2.28.06 as well!). Personally, I thought the original poster was a good visual image to keep using. This is a tough movie to sum up in one image. Still, I hope NL’s Home Video Department doesn’t mess around anymore, lest we end up with something along the lines of a character coughing some nastiness on the ground. Actually, that’d be a pretty sexy cover.
The magnetically attractive Keira Knightley uses her sexy beanpole status quite nicely in the more modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I’ll keep this brief, considering the amount of time lavished on the classics by our MB constituents (you know, people like Fulci, Carpenter, and Leeroy Jenkins), so make sure to check out Devin’s interview, where he falls in love with Ms. Knightley, then read Ian’s book review. I completely forgot about that last one. Weird. Knightley, on the other hand, is supposedly ravishing, throwing her all into the doomed Elizabeth Bennet and her uneasy relationship with Mr. Darcy. Before you all get hot and stuffy under the collar about the period aspects of the film you’ve heard about through a friend of a mother’s friend, let it be known (ring the bell, dammit!) that I hear Pride & Prejudice is a wonderful film. It arrives on 2.28.06, and hopefully you’ll forgive your pride, if it’s not been mortified.
Extras include audio commentary with Director Joe Wright, 3 features (A Bennet Family Portrait, Jane Austen, Ahead of Her Time and a Behind-the-Scenes at the Ball) as well as an HBO first-look.
Crashers: Uncorked, Broken Flowers, The Cave, My
Date With Drew, Secuestro Express, Alien Nation – Complete Series,
Snatch – Deluxe Edition (with Poker Kit), Dumb and Dumber:
Unrated (Thor’s DVD review),
Hunter: Season Three, Valachi Papers, The
Gospel, School of Life, Cloud 9, Or
My Treasure, Gunsmoke: 50th Anniversary, Have Gun
Will Travel: Season Three and The Cartoon Adventures of Gerald
McBoing Boing. Read last weeks’ Special Edition here,
in between bouts of Porn.
Water (Ian’s DVD review),
the Blue, Toy Story 2, Grizzly Man, 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
DVD Reviews Forum
General DVD Discussion Forum
I hear that Irish Horse Traders agree on deals by slapping hands. One can only imagine what the Kraken do with the slimy tentacles. No, I wasn’t equating the Irish with the Kraken, although both have been known to drink one another under the table. That said, if you feel unsure about anything, make sure to call your local retail ahead of your visit to confirm anything. If you actually inform them you’ll be trekking out there, I wish I could have been on the other line, so Jimmy and I could make fun of you.
Additionally, you’ll probably want to check out THIS MESSAGE BOARD THREAD for other Region Free DVD options as well.
Constant Gardner is $21.95
Hustle & Flow is $21.54
Red Eye is $21.95
Transporter 2 is $17.94
Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns is $43.52
Wild Bunch: SE is $20.57 (at this point, just purchase the above)
Magnificent Seven: SE is $19.50
Flash – Complete Series is $41.97
Underworld: Extended is $24.14
The Bad Sleep Well: Criterion is $21.56
Saraband is $22.06
Ferris Bueller: SE is $13.56
Chumscrubber is $20.47
Island in the Sun is $14.64
Constant Gardner is $14.99
Rwanda, Ghostbusters I and II Giftset, Closer (Superbit), Hitch, Be Cool,
Spanglish, Spider-Man 2
are all $9.97/EACH
And where is Wal*Mart? As long as it recommends Unforgivable Blackness and Introducing Dorthy Dandridge alongside Planet of the Apes, consider it off this list indefinitely. There have been many places that this was reported, but check it out here if you haven’t heard.
Constant Gardner is $18.96
Hustle & Flow is $16.99
Red Eye is $16.99
Transporter 2 is $16.99
Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns is $41.99
Magnificent Seven: SE is $18.72
Flash – Complete Series is $41.99
Underworld: Extended is $25.99
The Bad Sleep Well: Criterion is $20.99
Saraband is $22.46
Ferris Bueller: SE is $13.99
Chumscrubber is $20.99
Island in the Sun is $14.99
Simpsons: Season Seven is $29.99
Scrubs: Seasons I and II are $29.99/EACH
a FREE $5.00 Target Giftcard when you purchase Cinderella Man (non-CE), Bad
News Bears, Fantastic Four, War of the Worlds (non-LE),
Devil’s Rejects, Madagascar, Four Brothers, Stealth, Sound of Music, Mr. and
Mrs. Smith and the 40-Year-Old Virgin. All titles
listed above are $19.99/EACH
2, Get 1 FREE with: E.T., Shrek 2, Scarface, Harold and Kumar, Meet the Fockkers, Miss
Congeniality 2, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (non-SE), and Natural
Born Killers. All titles listed above are $13.78/EACH
Constant Gardner is $19.99
Hustle & Flow is $14.99
Red Eye is $14.99
Transporter 2 is $14.99 (+ get a FREE Bonus Disc with over 20 minutes of additional footage from the film)
Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns is $49.99
Magnificent Seven: SE is $19.99
Flash – Complete Series is $49.99
Underworld: Extended is $12.99 (+ get a FREE Bonus Disc with sneak peeks from Underworld: Evolution)
The Bad Sleep Well: Criterion is $19.99
Saraband is $24.99
Ferris Bueller: SE is $12.99
Chumscrubber is $24.99
Island in the Sun is $15.99
2/$15 SALE, involving: The Best Man, Walking Tall, Return of the
Pink Panther, Die Another Day, Mad Max, School of Rock, Rocky Horror Picture
Show, Dazed and Confused, He Got Game, Longest Yard: Lockdown, The Jackal,
Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, McClintock: SE, DareDevil: SE, The
Hurricane, Hondo: SE, Untouchables: SE, Groundhog Day, X2, Natural Born
Killers, Steel Magnolias, Horse Whisperer, King Kong (1976): SE, School Daze,
Cyborg, Johnson Family Vacation, The Hot Check, Sense and Sensibility
Constant Gardner is $17.99
Hustle & Flow is $17.99 (+ get 1 title FREE – Harlem Nights, Shaft, Beverly Hills Cop, or Beverly Hills Cop 2)
Red Eye is $16.99
Transporter 2 is $16.99
Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns is $42.99
Wild Bunch: SE is $24.99 (at that price, just purchase the above in the set)
Magnificent Seven: SE is $16.99
Flash – Complete Series is $39.99 (or $34.99 + a FREE Comic Book for RZ Members ONLY)
Underworld: Extended is $14.99 (+ comes with FREE Moviecash to see Underworld: Evolution)
The Bad Sleep Well: Criterion is $21.99
Saraband is $24.99
Ferris Bueller: SE is $12.99
Chumscrubber is $19.99
The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. are all $12.99/EACH
2/$15 SALE for: Groundhog Day SE, Steel Magnolias SE, Super Troopers, Eurotrip Unrated
, Men In Black DE, Snatch, Natural Born Killers: Director’s Cut, Bad Boys,
Dazed & Confused SE, Half Baked: Fully Baked Edition, Reservoir Dogs SE,
Fast Times At Ridgemont High SE, Requiem For A Dream, Boondock Saints, Seven,
DUNE: Special Edition, Eddie Murphy: RAW, Donnie Darko (Regular Edition), Planes,
Trains, & Automobiles, War of the Worlds (1953), Three Amigos, Texas
Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Three Kings, Rush Hour 2, GIA, Almost Heroes, Deuce
Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams and The
41 Television Sets (Seasoned Boxed Sets) are on sale (prices vary), and when you BUY 1, GET 1 AT EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE FREE.
Since I’ve taken a store off of the Bargain Bin, let me know which places you shop (online or not) that I haven’t mentioned. I know there’s a couple. I want to make sure that they are accessible for a wide range of people in the US of A. International readers are welcomed to submit their sites as well, particularly because I need to build up a better Region Free section. It’s slacking every week. Your help is appreciated! You know the e-mail:
That raps up this week. The bow might be a little leaner than weeks past and I don’t know how comfortable I am recommending silly barbs on why you shouldn’t see good films. Bad films I have no problem. But good ones? Toughness. For our Mortal Kombat “Finality!” – I say thanks for reading and I wish you an excellent time pawing through the new releases this week. Be gone!