Sometimes I feel like a lone figure traversing the dusty plains, DVD news at the ready. Face caked with dirt, squinting in the harsh sun, wondering if I can steer around Bethlehem’s distrust. At least I get to meet Tom Petty. He was famous after all.
Captain Fin’ Magic
Robert Downey, Jr. pissing on a corpse. A Volkswagen with Omar Sharif’s moustache. Corbin Bernsen. These are just a tiny fraction of items that make Shane Black’s supreme Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (read Devin’s ecstatic review) what it is – good. Plus, we told you to go see it (read our interview with Black). You didn’t listen. Russ pined for you to drop everything (including babies) to watch it (here) and even Nick lamented in his DVD review that it’s “the best plague ever” (besides Camus). But still, the howls went unnoticed. So now, on DVD, you’re about to do a lot of lower quadrant punching for missing out on a very boisterous film, filled with bon mots far and wide and enough comedic interplay between Downey, Jr. and Val “my best role since Ghost and the Darkness” Kilmer to power a nuclear reactor. Experience it. The hype might have been deluging, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong (unless, like the good internet Warrior you are, you’re instantly predispositioned to hate widely acclaimed movies) – you needn’t quit your gay job to delight in the buddy cop clichés built up and demolished by Black.
Be sorry you said fuck so much – with:
- Audio commentary with Shane Black, Robert Downey, Jr., and Val Kilmer
- Gag reel
- Theatrical Trailer
What if Dave Chappelle and Michel Gondry threw a party and nobody came? That’s not much of a movie (although I’d tune in for the failure). The pair did however film their exploits for Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (read Devin’s positive review), where almost everyone (minus Marc Dacascos) crashes it. Chappelle’s idea is to bring together a multi-cultural experience for a free concert he’s holding in Bed-Stuy, the place where the reunited Fugees, Kanye, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Dead Prez, and The Roots can jam unmercilessly and without interruption (well, not quite. Dave cuts short several and almost all get only one chance to make you bounce). The real crux of the show is mostly to have Dave interact with the people he’s inviting, especially those in his rural Republican-kneading Ohio. By handing out flashy Golden tickets to a variety of passersby, like Grandmas (not yours), Chappelle and Gondry focus more on the build up to the show. Which I suppose will cause those looking for more catchphrases to destroy their lives will be sadly missing. Fortunately, Dave does say “BAM!”, so that’ll ease their pain. If not, enter our Contest right here.
Hear the one about the industrious prostitute – with:
- 2 featurettes (September in Brooklyn: Making of Block Party and Ohio Players: Bus Ride)
- Extended musical acts
It’s tough for me to describe Michele Soavi’s Dellamorte Dellamore (known to us as the one and only Cemetery Man – read Nick’s DVD review here). Backstory-wise, he apprenticed under Argento, and even Second-Unit directed Gilliam, so you know he’s got chops. The film, equal parts extravagantly tragic and horrific, is best to see it for its encompassing existential commentary. But also because it’s a romantic comedy about battling Zombies (the Italians thought of it first). Rupert Everett is the unassuming Dellamorte, smitten from the first nanosecond he locks onto mourning widow Anna Falchi (he pronounces her the “most beautiful living woman [he’s] ever seen.” Working nights as a Cemetery Watchman, he finally gets his desserts, ravishing her amongst the cold granite. But all is for naught as Falchi’s husband returns from below, killing her and leaving Dellamorte with a deferential complex; it appears as if every woman he loves will be sent packing into Satan’s den. Even more alarming is the fact that the dead are rising once again, a ghastly situation both he and bulbous sidekick Gnaghi will have to rectify, even if it is with a grunt and a non-emote. Watch it and believe a man can die.
Rather be called Andre – with:
- All-new Death is Beautiful featurette including interviews with Actress Anna Falchi. Director Michele Soavi and more.
- Soavi biography
- 8 page Collector’s booklet
If you’ve always loved the film, and you’re Region Free, Italy’s Medua has put out the film in Region 2 PAL with Italian audio commentary (without subtitles, so round up your favorite translator) with Michele Soavi. Click here.
In his graying age, Anthony Hopkins seems happier to slap history in the face. In The World’s Fastest Indian, Hopkins is native New Zelander Burt Monroe, hell-bent on destroying the world land-speed record in the Salt Flats of Utah. Tinkering day and night beyond the human limits of comprehension (like you looking for porn passwords), Hopkins fashions his ye ole motorcycle into the stuff legends are made of, promptly trekking out to blaspheme some young American hooligans. Except that they throw some hurdles his way, threatening his dreams like my writing does to yours. Roger Donaldson, who directs, brings a personal history to the film, as his 1971 documentary followed Monroe as he whooped all sorts of young speedless ass (for those following, that’s what’s called people who clog the merciless L.A. Freeways) and was entitled Offerings to the God of Speed, which is joyously included on the DVD. Side effects will follow.
Dirty old Men need love too – with:
- Audio commentary with Roger Donaldson
- 2 featurettes (Southland: Burt’s Hometown of Invercargill and the Making-of the World’s Fastest Indian)
- Donaldson’s original documentary: Offerings to the God of Speed
- Some deleted scenes
Richard Donner! What happened to you? First there was Timeline, on cable reminding us every hour, and now there’s the interminable 16 Blocks (read Devin’s negative review). Bruce Willis (finally understanding that to pack the houses, you need a furry moustache) is the shuffled Jack Mosley, NYPD. Mos Def, the witness he must take the length of the film’s label fury, is the clichéd character whose dialogue is borderline insulting, and voice is filled with Rain Man malice. David Morse, meanwhile, is the two-note dirty cop (named Frank Nugent, like the critic/writer. You scamps!), whose M.O. is meeting Willis on rooftops while spouting inane things about how dead the pair are, since Mos Def cannot make it to that courthouse on time. Going down is not only the plot, which confuses various New York landmarks into a hodge-podge of singular events disassociated from everything, but also you, the viewer, for forgetting that Donner’s better New York film, Conspiracy Theory, also had a seriously buff Patrick Stewart. Dude.
Be a sunny little shit – with:
- Alternate ending not seen in theatres (viewable separately and incorporated into the film)
- Some deleted scenes with optional Donner/Writer Richard Wenk commentary
- Theatrical Trailer
Is pedestrian too mild a word for The Pink Panther reboot? Steve Martin regresses into churning oddly tuned roles into milk money (read Devin’s negative review), whereas Shawn Levy directs with his usual vanilla transparent style (shown to be at a clip in Just Married). The original, in all of its charms, is still mired in 60’s mod-superfluity, but Seller’s role (for which he *is* Clousseau) is a defining moment of comedic harmony. So changing that is an interesting premise, although it is too bad that Martin doesn’t achieve quite the same. Going in a weird turn, Martin’s Clousseau is more about how he became to be a famous inspector foiling criminals in his own way. The ineptness and superiority complex still remain, as does the mangling of the Francophone language, but Martin can’t seem to get a complete handle on it. Alas, Levy and Martin’s Pink Panther just seems so blasé about everything, it’s safer to say adequacy is its strong suit.
Stop browbeating her – with:
- Audio commentary with Shawn Levy
- 3 featurettes (Animated Trip, Deconstructing the Panther, and Sleuth-cams on Set)
- 11 deleted and extended scenes with optional Levy audio commentary
- Alternate opening sequence with optional Levy audio commentary
- Exclusive Beyonce performance with commentary
- Beyonce music video: Check On It
- Documentary – Cracking the case
Picture Elijah Wood. When I do it’s usually a prepubescent kid extolling the demerits of using your hands during Wild Gunman. Now erase that and pump an American football hooligan into that visual. Expelled from Harvard (probably for being too liberal), Wood jumps ship to London and into the seedy arms of his sister’s brother-in-law (Undeclared’s Charlie Hunnam). Or should I say legs, since he’s running the infamous Green Street Elite, a group known for their violent antics in Green Street Hooligans. Don’t have the money? Pay up. Late? Fuck you, pay it now. That Mametian sort of thing. The violence, by way of German Lexi Alexander (making her SxSW-winning debut), is thrust deep into the animalistic way we deal with one another when mere words won’t suffice. Running away doesn’t cut it either, as some have been prone to do, or even positing a sternly written blog about it. No, these bastards roll harder than Mickey Rouke on Sunday, which is saying something. I just need to figure out what without my pearly chompers, mate.
Be a yanking wanker – with:
- Making-of Hooligans
- Music video: Terence Jay’s One Blood
I grew up around a cacophony of musical tastes and Neil Young was a mini-major part of that, from his short stint with Buffalo Springfield, his time with Crazy Horse, and his fruitful solo career. It seemed like towards the latter part of my teens I couldn’t leave my house without my father letting Harvest Moon or even Hawks & Doves wash over each space. Naturally, when I think of Neil Young: Heart of Gold, I imagine what my Pere would think as I don’t believe it ever got up to playing near his abode. Young, who had a severe medical scare prior to pouring his emotions on Prairie Wind, teamed up with Jonathan Demme, who last made music and film into something more with Stop Making Sense. Young, his band, and a small army of creatives convened in Nashville for two amazing shows. Demme, cutting between the two and Young’s own inner emotions, helps present a splendid configuration of sight and sound that will most likely be ignored by today’s more astute concert film watcher, since neither bitches or hoes are dropped with relative ease.
Old Man, take a look at this! – with:
- Rehearsal diaries, narrated by Director Jonathan Demme
- 6 in-depth featurettes (Fellow Travelers, Cruising with Neil, These Old Guitars, Cruising With the Players, Finishing Touches, Warming Up With Neil and the Jubilee Singers)
- Bonus song: He Was the King
- Up with Neil and the Jubilee Singers
- Blast from the past: 1971 Neil Young performance on the Johnny Cash Show
There is a small game I enjoy playing, calling each Christian offering (whether it be music, movies, ridiculously ignorant games like this or Creed) out on its wondrous teachings. For example, I usually insert “Christian Rock” into a heady chorus of Scott Strapp’s during which he makes sure to let us know how Jesus feels, i.e. “can you take me higher – (guitar chords in unison with belting of) Christian Rock.” As such, the sneaky Christians are at it again with End of the Spear, a wholly 100% Jesus-loved film that presents a group of “savage Amazonians” who kill a group of missionaries and spare a young Son. Growing up, the Son returns and searches for those who killed his family without remorse. Finding them without much (narrative trouble), the Son then confronts the killers and dispatches the Lord to do his Holy work, prompting Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell to shout a much-seconded “Hell Yes!” into the nighttime sky. If it seems hokey, that’s because it is.
Take your father’s life – with:
- FOX Anti Piracy Trailer (This IS NOT an extra, but thanks for playing)
- Beyond the Gates of Splendor Trailer
There are those films which are so unapologetically terrible they transcend the higher plane of existence known as taste and return to Earth, a terrible hybrid of cheeky enjoyableness and raucous unabashed kitsch. One of those films, The Valley of the Dolls, has aged like Bette Davis in Baby Jane, its lines popping like the threads on my Saturday skirt, wearing it out week after week it still remains immensely entertaining. Mark Robson, who some might remember as being a guiding force of great Val Lewton films, worked with original trashy writer Jacqueline Susann to bring her incarnation of clichéd excess at 60’s modernism costs. By all admission, time has been like the mistresses scattered throughout, frayed and dirtied, willing to get down on anything, as long as the fun is still remotely there. It might be, but it’s been a while, and jumping back onto the skewed misadventures of both vixens and steadfast degenerates alike means you’ll at least be repulsed (like many during its first outing) or enthralled (like others who have held it aloft for the test of time). The end watchwords being “a little of both.”
It must have made quite the impression on fledgling critic Roger Ebert, or maybe it was towering impresario Russ Meyer’s unique influence. Either way he put pen to paper to scribble out Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the swinging sequel to the colorful insanity. In less than 6 weeks. Meyer, whose X-rated independent streak never let him down (see this UK DVD page) cajoled a major studio to take in the fun and in the process created a cult classic. The moments abound; playing the Fox fanfare over a beheading, Z-Man’s big reveal, the sucking of a shotgun, each one coolly played for shock and opulence. And don’t forget Strawberry Alarm Clock. Baring little to no resemblance to its predecessor, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is still a fine swirling mess of a film that somehow comes together.
Her hair’s as phony as she is – with:
- Audio commentary with Barbara Parkins and E!’s Ted Casablanca
- Brand-new documentary – Gotta Get Off This Merry-Go-Round: Sex, Dolls and Showtunes
- 2 more documentaries (Valley of the Dolls: A World Premiere Voyage and Jacqueline Susann and Valley of the Dolls)
- 2 featurettes (The Divine Ms. Susann and Hollywood Backstories: Valley of the Dolls)
- Trivia Overdose: A Pill-Popping Guide to Valley of the Dolls
- Still Galleries
- You’ve Got Talent Karaoke
- Star Screen Tests
On Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
- Audio commentary with screenwriter and Film Critic Roger Ebert
- Audio commentary with cast members Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page, John La Zar and Erica Gavin
- Documentary – Above, Beneath and Beyond the Valley: The Making of a Musical-Horror-Sex-Comedy
- 4 featurettes (Look on up at the Bottom: The Music of Dolls, The Best of Beyond, Sex, Drugs, Music and Murder: Signs of the Times, Baby!, and Casey and Roxanne: The Love Scene)
- 6 Photo Galleries
- Actor Screen Tests
Barreling your way Tuesday are these additional titles, like Dave Davis’ Aquamarine (unless he’s already seen the Splash-esque retelling); Sony’s umpteenth reissue, this time with Princess Bride: SE (comes in Dread Pirate or Buttercup Editions); plus, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, although I would have preferred a best-of clip show of the PBS live action game show with Rockapella harmoniously doin’ it.
Big Atonement, Small Atonement
Did you get around for seeing Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance? How about Oldboy? Park Chanwook’s vengeance trilogy, for which (Sympathy for) Lady Vengeance concludes (read Russ’ Toronto coverage, about 1/3rd down here) is a thrilling if not valuable way to spend some time indoors, as his themes (primarily the use of what vengeance constitutes and its effect on normal psyches) inform more than your standard boilerplate narrative. I feel that those who shrugged off Oldboy were not only missing the point, but not fully embracing a sturdy hand at turning audience expectations on their heads by as drastic means possible. Maybe they’ll feel even more (or less so) with Lady Vengeance, which streets here in the states on 9.26.06 and continues Chanwook’s explorations into what exactly violence does to those who practice it against their adversaries. Released from prison after 13 years, Lee Geum-ja seeks to right the unpronounced done her wrongs from existence. A former Teacher, serving Police Officer, and others are wrath-worthy, but all in all, Chanwook moves his abilities as a master craftsman into a better place. I cannot wait for what else he’s capable of, even if it involves more tongue wagging.
Listen carefully – with:
- TBA other extras
- Theatrical Trailer
Future Special Features are forthcoming.
I read about Cavite and thought of Dolores O’Riordan’s “everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I?” Then I realized I was broke (like the filmmakers). But a man can dream (unless you’re Peter Scolari) and visions of well-crafted independent scenes ran through my thoughts. Until I recognized I might be building it up too much. So let’s let the mangled synopsis wash o’er you Mike Binder-style. Ian Gamazon and friend Neill Dela Llana have concocted a fairly interesting story based around a phone call that a young American traveler receives after touching down in the infamous Philippine town. The mysterious voice on the other end demands that he take everything seriously, as his Mother and Sister have been kidnapped. The faction behind it all turns out to be the Abu Sayyaf, whose dreams of having a Southern Philippino state within the country are still miles away. That still doesn’t stop them from barking orders, and soon the real plot materializes with heavy consequences for his family and for those he doesn’t even know. For such a no-name filmed allegedly presented economically and thrillingly, it’d be best for you to at least give it a much-needed shot on 8.08.06, or it might end up calling you.
Gimme back my Son! – with:
- Features TBA
Want to see the Artwork for such illuminating titles as the machismo Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (out on 9.26.06), the completely unnecessary I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (out on 8.01.06), and even the woefully overrated “I don’t follow the rules!” House: Season 2 (out on 8.22.06, which Amazon.com is said made by House)? There you go, but be warned.
This is where other countries come to play in America’s DVD haus.
Hit the ground running months before Bandidas (October here in the states) finally rolls around. If you’re Region Free that is. In one of those “that seems like a no-brainer, don’t it?” moments, both Luc Besson and co-writer Robert Mark Kamen have placed together gorgeous ladies Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz. Dripping off the screen will not only be your television set melting, but also because it’s set in Mexico. It’s hot (and sometimes, I try Avis hard). The duo team up to rob banks and get in zany situations with one another, the main development being that there’s a new dude in town who isn’t taking too kindly to the ladies’ own brand of scrapping. Probably culminating in a “get them!” scene. Take these matters into your own hands, as I’ve heard that the film is a lightweight retelling of a particular William Goldman buddy movie without the same camaraderie attached. Most of what our site caters too probably won’t care anyway, unless someone walks in on them.
Vaminos! – with:
- Forced Russian Subtitles when accessing the English language track
This is a Region 5 PAL DVD, meaning you’ll be inviting reformed Communists into your house. Or not.
I’m a gigantic advocate of short films, as they place filmmakers in a learning capacity and show generations filled with promise. Many have gone on to huge things, and almost everyone on the Cinema 16 – British Short Films have catapulted themselves onto a global stage. Now we can venture back and see where their own cinematic genesis started to take shape, as filmmakers as diverse as Ridley Scott (with Boy & Bicycle), Lynne Ramsey (with her spectacular Gasman), Christopher Nolan (with Doodlebug), and even Mike Leigh’s own Short & Curlies, among many more are presented. Point being is that not only are these series of Cinema 16 discs (for which there are several more, like the American Shorts and European Shorts) entertaining, but also worthwhile for those struggling filmmakers learning the know-how of their craft. Shorts have always been items I’ve studied with tremendous intensity, because the best ones resonate with you well beyond the initial impression.
Extras over 201 minutes include:
- Some Director audio commentaries
This is a Region 2 PAL DVD.
Sometimes that’s what happens to our Reviewers when they have to slog through Princess Adventure III: Happy Little Tea Time. Make sure you read all their stuff too, or else they’ll Hulk freeze-frame your flaming ass.
Scared (Nick’s DVD review),
Season 2, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Glory Road, Underworld:
Evolution, Firewall (Nick’s DVD review),
Silverman: Jesus is Magic (Ian’s DVD review),
and Confused: Criterion Collection, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid: Collector’s Edition, Black Hawk Down: Extended Cut, Missing:
Extended Cut, Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Unrated Cut, Dumbo:
Big Top Edition, Fast and the Furious Franchise Collection,
is Deceitful Above All Things, House of Strangers, I
Wake Up Screaming, Mommie Dearest: SE, Like
Mike 2, A Nos Amours: Criterion, Magician, Thunderbirds, F
Troop: Season One, Wild Wild West: Season One, John
Wayne Batjac Suspense Collection (with Ring of Fear, Man
in the Vault, Plunder of the Sun, and Track
of the Cat), John Ford Collection (with Mary
of Scotland, Lost Patrol, The Informer, Sergeant
Rutledge, and Cheyenne Autumn), and the John
Wayne/John Ford Collection (with Searchers: Ultimate Collector’s Edition,
Special Edition, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fort
Apache, Long Voyage Home, Wings of Eagles, 3
Godfathers, and They Were Expendable). Read last
weeks’ long schlong of a Special Edition
by clicking here.
Movie: Unrated, Night Stalker, Platoon: 20th Anniversary Edition,
of Riddick Trilogy, Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party,
and the Bandit: Special Edition, Alf: Season Three, Venture
Bros.: Season One (Dave’s DVD review),
Davis Collection Volume 2 (with Jezebel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?:
SE, Marked Woman, Man who came to Dinner, and Old
Acquaintance), Numb3rs: Season One, Dukes
of Hazzard: Season Six, John Wayne: Icon Collection, The
Flats, Marilyn Monroe: Special 80th Anniversary Collection, Oh
Calcutta!, Winter Solider, Creation of the Humanoids/War between the
Planets, and Frankenstein meets the Space Monster.
Leonard leads, Donatello does the two-week old Special Edition right here,
All-New Updated Daily CHUD DVD Reviews Forum
Our General Hyperbolic DVD Discussion Forum
Clash of the Tartans
I’m The Hunter
I’ll bring you back the sales goods in my awesome dead Swan dress.
You must read THIS MESSAGE BOARD THREAD if you want other Region Free DVD options.
… is back to having their fairly good 20% off sale, so use these codes – USATODAY, DVDTALK, SUPERSALE, SOUTHSIDE, or even NYTIMES. Enjoy.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is $20.99
Chappelle’s Block Party is $21.77
World’s Fastest Indian is $20.42
Cemetery Man is $11.99
16 Blocks is $16.84
Neil Young: Heart of Gold is $20.71
Pink Panther is $23.87
Green Street Hooligans is $20.99
Beavis & Butthead: Vol. 2 is $29.04
End of the Spear is $21.45
Room 6 is $11.99
Aquamarine is $21.45
Betty Grable Collection is $43.91
Coach: Season One is $24.20
Princess Bride: CE (both Dread Pirate and Buttercup) is $19.66
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is $17.94
Medium: Season One is $41.14
Walker, Texas Ranger: Season One is $36.30
Valley of the Dolls: SE is $19.75
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: SE is $19.75
Alf: Season 2 is $15.95
Rent is $14.02
16 Blocks is $13.96 (click here)
Firewall is $13.96 (click here)
Pink Panther is $13.96 (click here)
Underworld: Evolution FULL SCREEN is $13.96 (click here)
Summer Sale on DVDs (click here for various titles)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is $17.99
Chappelle’s Block Party is $19.96
World’s Fastest Indian is $17.99
Cemetery Man is $12.47 (most likely NOT AVAILABLE in store)
16 Blocks is $13.96 (call ahead for this one)
Neil Young: Heart of Gold is $19.49
Pink Panther is $13.96 (call ahead for this one)
Green Street Hooligans is $17.96
Beavis & Butthead: Vol. 2 is $24.99 + get a FREE $5.00 Target Giftcard
End of the Spear is $19.99
Room 6 is $12.97 (call ahead for this one)
Aquamarine is $16.99
Betty Grable Collection is $44.99 (most likely NOT AVAILABLE in store)
Coach: Season One is $22.96
Princess Bride: CE (both Dread Pirate and Buttercup) is $16.99
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is $20.99
Medium: Season One is $39.99 + get a FREE $5.00 Target Giftcard
Walker, Texas Ranger: Season One is $34.99
Valley of the Dolls: SE is $20.19
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: SE is not available online
$10 DVDs – Ghostbusters 1 & 2, Monster-In-Law, and House of Wax
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is $17.99
Chappelle’s Block Party is $13.99 + get a FREE CC Bonus DVD Disc
World’s Fastest Indian is $17.99
Cemetery Man is $15.99
16 Blocks is $13.99
Neil Young: Heart of Gold is $16.99
Pink Panther is $13.99 + get FREE Pink Panther Ringtones with purchase
Green Street Hooligans is $19.99
Beavis & Butthead: Vol. 2 is $24.99 + get FREE Beavis Ringtones
End of the Spear is $19.99
Room 6 is $15.99
Aquamarine is $17.99
Betty Grable Collection is $49.99
Coach: Season One is $29.99
Princess Bride: CE (both Dread Pirate and Buttercup) is $24.97
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is $24.99
Medium: Season One is $49.99
Walker, Texas Ranger: Season One is $39.99