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DVD Releases for August 4th, 2009

August 3rd, 2009

A rather slow week for new releases with very few real first run releases that stand out. The best releases on this week's list are Dollhouse - Season One on DVD or Blu-ray, as well as Watchmen - Three-Disc Director's Cut Blu-ray, but both of those came out in weeks past and are on this list because the screener arrived late. The best from this week is Flight of the Conchords - Season Two, which is the DVD Pick of the Week. However, if you are Canadian, you have to grab Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy on DVD; it's your patriotic duty.

Agatha Christie's Marple: Series 4 - Buy from Amazon
Four TV movies based on the stories by Agatha Christie. The Marple mysteries have been adapted so many times that it is nearly impossible to live up to the best of them, but most of these stories are still quite well done and should please fans.

August - Buy from Amazon
Josh Hartnett stars in this box office and critical dud about the Dotcom bubble bursting. Add in a featureless DVD, and it is worth a rental, at the absolute most.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Beast, Big Trouble in Little China, Four Seasons - Peak Escape, Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, Jamiroquai - Live at Montreux 2003, Labor Pains, Mutant Chronicles, My Cousin Vinny, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Obsessed, Puppies & Kittens, Race to Witch Mountain, Sling Blade, The Soloist, Stargate Atlantis - Fans' Choice, and The Waterboy
A collection of first run releases, catalogue titles, and other miscellaneous Blu-rays are coming out this week. According to Amazon, the best selling Blu-ray of the week is Big Trouble in Little China, but that is likely an anomaly and I can't see it being the number one selling new Blu-ray overall, as much as I would like it to be so. Race to Witch Mountain could top that list, but there will be a huge drop-off from last week in terms of sales.

Cravings - Buy from Amazon
Richard Harrington stars a Stephen, a psychologist who recently lost his wife, and former patient, to suicide. Trying to put the past behind him, he throws himself into his work. This includes dealing with a young lady, Nina (played by Jaime Winstone), who was brought in after an apparent suicide attempt. But her issues are not as she is a vampire. Well, not really. She has Renfield's syndrome, a.k.a., clinical vampirism, meaning she has a craving to drink blood. I give away this major spoiler because the cover of the DVD shows her with fangs, and I consider this to be false advertising and thought it was prudent to start with a warning.

This is a low-budget British film that was made in 2006 under the name Daddy's Girl, which is used in the credits. However, since then it has not been able to secure distributors in many markets, including apparently the U.K. It's the kind of film you grab at your local rental place when you can't think of anything else you want to see, but I'm not sure it will please those who want a good vampire movie. It moves a little too slow, or has a deliberate pace if you want to be generous. The psychological angle and the bloody gory scenes do not mesh well giving the film a schizophrenic feel at times. That said, it's not a bad movie and it is worth checking out, as long as you know what you are getting into.

There are no extras on the DVD.

Cravings, a.k.a. Daddy's Girl is purely a rental, as the movie doesn't have enough replay value, nor does the DVD have any extras to compensate.

The Chaos Experiment - Buy from Amazon
Does Val Kilmer have unpaid tax bills? He's making a whole lot of low-budget, direct-to-DVD films like this. Mostly forgettable.

Daffy Duck's Quackbusters - Buy from Amazon
A compilation of shorts edited into a feature-length movie. It's a fun movie, but the individual shorts are better. Extras on the DVD include three additional short films. ... Can we please get chronological releases? Please?

Delgo - Buy from Amazon
Regarded by many as the biggest box office bomb of all time. I will hopefully be getting a copy of the DVD soon so I can judge if this was fair, or if the movie deserved better.

Dollhouse - Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is mostly just an update for last week's review now that the Blu-ray has arrived. Comparing this version to the DVD is a little more difficult, as I never received the full retail version of the DVD, so I'm not sure what is and is not exclusion to Blu-ray. I'm not sure why Fox feels the need to send out incomplete TV on DVD sets to critics, but it is not help us do our jobs.

The extras that are present include the two audio commentary tracks mentioned previously. There are also two unaired episodes, the original pilot and the 13th episode, Epitaph One. Epitaph One also includes audio commentary with Joss Whedon and another writer, Maurissa Tancharoen. For fans of the show, or of Joss Whedon in general, being able to see Epitaph One will make this set worth picking up; however, it is impossible to talk about it without entering unacceptable spoiler territory. (I will say it features guest appearances by Felicia Day and Zack Ward, among others.)

Other extras includes nearly two-dozen deleted scenes with a total running time of just under 30 minutes. There is a 21-minute making of featurette and a 7-minute featurette called Coming Home that is about the number of cast and crewmembers that have worked with Joss Whedon in the past. Finding Echo is about how Eliza Dushku got Joss Whedon to be part of the show and how the two created the show. Designing the Perfect Dollhouse is a 6-minute featurette on the main Dollhouse set. A Private Engagement has the cast and crew talk about what it would be like if the Dollhouse was real. This got me thinking about the show. It is implied that the actives are volunteers for a set period of time, but what do they get out of it when their contract is expired? What would it take to convince someone to have their personality destroyed for five years? It can't just be the money, so I was thinking once they are done, their personalities are rebuilt but they get to pick certain skills to be imprinted with. Imaging getting rid of all of your phobias? Or suddenly being able to sing and dance like a pro? I think you could convince a lot of people to make that deal.

All extras are presented in high definition. As for the quality of the high definition transfer, it's a bit mixed. I suspect that this is because it was made for TV, and high definition on TV, while much better than standard definition TV, is not as good as the high definition you get on Blu-ray. The audio and video are good, but not great compared to some other Blu-rays I've reviewed.

Dollhouse - Season One is definitely worth buying while the Blu-ray is 40% more than the DVD. This is a little high of a premium compared to most Blu-ray releases, but better than average for most TV on DVD releases, and I think it is worth the extra money.

Dragonball Evolution - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The second Blu-ray update on this week's list. Like I said last week, I am not a fan of the movie, but for those who are, is the Blu-ray worth picking up?

There is a Blu-ray exclusive extra on the disc called Goku's Quest Game that allows you to watch the movie while trying to collect the seven Dragonballs as they appear on the screen. If you collect all seven, something happens, I hope. Quite frankly, I could sit through the movie a second time to find out. Of the rest of the extras (deleted scenes, outtakes, music video, 'workout' and two Fox Movie Channel Presents) only the two Fox Movie Channel Presents are not presented in high definition. Additionally, the high definition audio and video are strong throughout most of the movie with very few scenes that show any sign of problems. That said, it costs more than 70% more than the DVD does, at least over on Amazon.com, which is completely unacceptable. The list price difference is only 33%, which is a lot more acceptable, so you can't blame the studio on this one.

I tried watching the movie a second time with Goku's Quest Game on and I just couldn't do it. It really is quite a terrible movie and there's almost nothing here that works. (I liked Bulma Briefs and that's about it.) The Blu-ray does have one exclusive extra, and the video and audio are strong, but unless you have abandoned DVD in favor of Blu-ray, it is not worth paying the extra money to grab it.

Flight of the Conchords - Season Two - Buy from Amazon
The multi-Emmy nominated comedy series from New Zealand. This year Jemaine Clement was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series while the other half of the musical comedy duo, Bret McKenzie, was not. I wonder if this will cause problems on the show, or if the two will laugh it off. Hopefully it's the latter, because I really want this show to continue. As for this two-disc set, it is clearly worth picking up at that price, and with extras that include a making of featurette and a full episode's worth of deleted scenes, it is a contender for DVD Pick of the Week.

Fragments - Buy from Amazon
An impressive cast for a direct-to-DVD film, but the reviews are less impressive. It follows a group of people who survive a shooting at a diner and how they deal with the trauma. Hardly a unique setup and too many other films do it better to make it worth anything more than a rental.

Gomorrah - Buy from Amazon
This Italian film was a big hit in its home market, and other European markets, and it even crossed $1 million here. An amazing movie that is a must have for those interested in the history of the Mafia.

Harvard Beats Yale 29 - 29 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Didn't this come out last week? Hopefully it's not on this list next week as well.

Icons of Screwball Comedy - Buy from Amazons: Volume 1 and Volume 2
Two two-disc sets, each with four films from the 1930s to 1940s. Extras include a vintage short and both are worth checking out for fans of this genre. However, it's hard to recommend buying over just renting for the average person.

Labor Pains - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV movie starring Lindsay Lohan as a businesswoman who tries to get ahead by pretending she's pregnant. I'll be getting a copy of both the DVD and the Blu-ray to review later this week, while we will be getting a few copies for our Box Office Prediction Contest. Stay tuned for that.

Love Boat - Season Two - Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
This show is just too cheesy for me, and I hate split season releases.

The Mutant Chronicles - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Blu-ray
This limited release film earned terrible reviews and went nowhere at the box office. The DVD has plenty of extras, including a massive, feature-length, making of documentary, and several shorter interview clips. Worth checking out, but there's not enough replay value to justify buying. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray is 25% more expensive, which is a good premium to pay.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh - Buy from Amazon: DVD, DVD plus Digital Copy, or Blu-ray
A recent college graduate spends his last summer of freedom trying to decide if he should go into the business like he father wants, or if there's something more he wants to do with his life. This movie has an unoriginal plot and earned terrible reviews, but it is noteworthy as the Blu-ray is the cheapest of the three versions coming out tomorrow.

Nature's Grace - Buy from Amazon
A remake of the Australian horror film, Long Weekend. That film is a mostly forgotten low budget gem, while this film is a soon to be forgotten dud.

New York - Buy from Amazon
This movie looks at the lives of several Indian students in the aftermath of 9/11. The film earned solid reviews and made nearly $1 million at the box office and should please its niche audience. Crossover appeal is limited, but it is still worth checking out for the general population.

NFL - History of the Buffalo Bills - Buy from Amazon
Full games. Give us full games.

NFL - Run for the Championship - 2008 Season in Review - Buy from Amazon
Less than 90 minutes to wrap up an entire season? Not long enough to be worth the cash.

Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy - Buy from Amazon
This is the TV movie pilot for the Canadian series starring Sarah Chalke, among others. This was a great series and I hope this DVD sells well enough to get the full show release on DVD. And at just $7, it is certainly worth picking up over just renting.

Obsessed - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The biggest first run release on this week's list, and it's only a midlevel hit. The movie was savaged by the critics while the DVD is underpowered with a trio of making on featurettes. The first is on the movie in general, the second is on the fashion, and the third is on the catfight. The Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled, but costs 60% more, which is too much to pay. Then again, I can't even recommend renting here, so it doesn't matter.

Project Runway - Season Five - Buy from Amazon
For those interested in fashion, this reality TV series is very interesting to watch. I do think this is one of the best of the genre, but there's still a little too much 'drama' for my taste.

Race to Witch Mountain - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Blu-ray
First of all, I only have the Blu-ray and I won't be getting either of the other versions. However, since the Blu-ray contains the DVD and the Digital Copy, there's no reason for Disney to send out anything more to critics like me.

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson as Jack Bruno, and ex-con who used to be a driver for some organized crime boss name Mr. Wolfe but is now clean driving a taxi. One day, during the Sci-fi convention, he picks up two kids (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) who pay him way too much money to drive to a strange abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. After recovering an item, the trio are attacked by an alien assassin, and all hell breaks loose. That's when Jack learns he's wandered into a whole mountain of trouble involving aliens, an immanent invasion, a government conspiracy, and his life just became a lot more complicated. Now he has to find people who will help him, or at least believe him, as he tries to protect his two young passengers.

There are a few main issues that hurt this film when compared to the original. Firstly, it stars Dwayne Johnson, which was not supposed to come out as an insult when I first wrote it. It stars Dwayne Johnson, but it should star AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig; the alien kids should be the star of the movie, not the human trying to rescue them. Secondly, there's too much action that starts too fast. We don't have enough time to really become emotionally invested in these characters, especially the aliens, before the action starts. That said, this is still a good movie, better than its overall reviews would indicate. It's a fun chase movie that should please its target audience while adult should at least have some fun watching it with their kids.

Extras on the DVDstart with nine deleted scenes running just over 23 minutes, including introductions from the director, Andy Fickman. Next up are three-and-a-half minutes of outtakes, which have some cute moments.

The Two-Disc DVD has those extras, and the Digital Copy of the movie.

The Blu-ray has the all of the above, including the movie on DVD. The only exclusive extra is an 8-minute featurette on all of the homages to the original movie, and a few other movies they gave nods to. It is also the only extra that is in High Definition.

Looking at the special features, I'm rather disappointed. Granted, the movie wasn't a huge hit, but it did make more than twice its reported budget worldwide, so it will show a profit during its initial run on the home market, so I was expecting more. The total running time is only around 35 minutes, which is not enough for a first run release like this.

Race to Witch Mountain suffers in comparison to the original, but that is not surprising. It is still worth checking out for many, and I think kids will like it enough that it is worth buying. As for which version is worth buying the most, the Blu-ray costs 75% more than the DVD, which is way too much, but only 22% more than the Two-Disc DVD, which is an excellent deal. If you like digital copies, which make sense for kids movies, the Blu-ray is obviously the way to go, even if you haven't yet made the upgrade to High Definition. Black Friday is only a few months away, and Blu-ray prices should be below $100 by then, and buying the Blu-ray now will save double-dipping later.

Sling Blade - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Written, directed, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, he stars as Karl, a mentally challenged man who, as a boy, killed a man, whom he thought was raping his mother, and then killed her when he found out he wasn't. He spent the next 30 years or so in a mental institute. Now he's served his time and he's about to get out, but he has nowhere to go. He does manage to find a job fixing small motors, and befriends a young boy, Frank, and his mother, Linda, and they invite him to stay in their garage. Despite being good at his job and finding some friends, he still has trouble with the outside world, especially with Linda's abusive boyfriend, Doyle.

This is the movie that made Billy Bob Thornton's career and it is still considered by most to be the best movie he's been a part of. (This is especially true if you don't count his voicework in Princess Mononoke.) The Oscar-winning script hits all the right notes, and his performance carries the movie. That said, the Blu-ray presentation is only mixed. First of all, it is Shovelware; granted, its Shovelware from the 2006 special edition, which was loaded with extras, but it is still Shovelware. Extras include an audio commentary track with Billy Bob Thornton that is informative, but lack energy. Billy Bob Thornton is the focus of Mr. Thornton Goes to Hollywood, which is a massive, hour-long look at Billy Bob Thornton early years and how he came to Hollywood how he made this movie, etc. Billy Bob Thornton is also the focus of Bravo Profiles - Billy Bob Thornton, which is just over 43 minutes long. There is a 75-minute long roundtable discussion with Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, Mickey Jones, as well as the producer David Bushell. There's some interesting stories told, but again, not a lot of energy. There are two interviews that run a total of 16 minutes, the first is with Billy Bob Thornton and Robery Duvall, while the second is with just Robery Duvall. There is a 23-minute featurette on the creation of the score, which also features Billy Bob Thornton. Billy Bob Thornton rehearses for 4 minutes in another extra, we are shown 8 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, and finally there's a deleted song that was supposed to appear during the closing credits. That's just over four hours of material. The only thing missing is the director's cut of the film, or even the scenes that were returned to the movie to make the director's cut. Not sure why these weren't included on the Blu-ray.

As for the film's high definition presentation, it's mixed. On the one hand, the film has never looked better. On the other hand, it is a low budget independent film and there are definite limitations in the source material that pop out every now and then. Additionally, the sound is solid, but not spectacular. Finally, none of the extras are presented in high definition.

If you don't own Sling Blade on DVD, the Blu-ray is worth picking up. If you have the Director's Cut on DVD, you won't be happy with this release, as it doesn't have the longer version of the movie. If you have the special edition from 2006, I don't think this version is worth the upgrade, at least not at the full price. If you can grab it on sale, then that's another matter.

The Soloist - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
First of all, I only have the DVD review, but I hope the Blu-ray will arrive shortly.

In the movie, Jamie Foxx plays Nathaniel Ayers, a child prodigy musician who was diagnosed with schizophrenia while at Juilliard and is at the beginning of the movie homeless playing on the streets. One day, Steve Lopez, a newspaper columnist who recently had a biking accident and lost a week's worth of memories. When these two men meet, Steve decides Nathaniel would make an interesting subject for a newspaper column, and thus begins a friendship in a movie that is as much about loneliness as it is about the lives of two men.

This film was originally scheduled to open during the heart of Awards Season before being pushed back till the end of April. That's a terrible move, especially for a film like this. I went from expecting the movie to be Oscar worthy, to worrying it would be crap. Good news, bad news situation... It's neither. The film does feature great performances by the two leads, as well as the very impressive cast of supporting characters (Catherine Keener, Stephen Root, Rachael Harris, etc.). The trouble is, the movie can be a tad melodramatic at times. The story is emotionally moving, but sometimes slips into the realm of emotionally manipulative. The final flaw in the film is the lack of originality. I know it is based on real life events, but the story of a crusading journalist trying to help someone in need is hardly groundbreaking. The movie needed to do something with the story to make it really unique if they wanted it to stand out, but sadly they didn't. The movie is still worth checking out, but it would have never have been an Awards Season player had it kept its previous release date.

Extras on the DVD start with an audio commentary track with the director, Joe Wright, who flies solo here. However, there are just too many starts and stops for the track to maintain any momentum. Next up is a 20-minute featurette on the making of the soloist from its origins as a newspaper article to the making of the movie and includes interviews with the cast, the crew, and the real life Steve and Nathaniel. The two are also the focus of Kindness, Courtesy, and Respect, which is a five-minute interview featurette. One Size Does Not Fit All is a 10-minute featurette on the homelessness problem in Los Angeles, and how the filmmakers worked with a lot of the homeless people while making the movie. Beth's Story is a 2-minute animated short about homelessness. Finally, there are five deleted with a total running time of just under 10 minutes.

I do not have the Blu-ray, but I believe there is one additional featurette on the Blu-ray. I'll be able to confirm or refute that when my screener gets here.

The Soloist is good movie, but not a great movie. It's one that is worthy of seeing, but not one that demands to be seen again and again. I would call the DVD a solid rental, leaning towards a purchase, while the Blu-ray is too expensive compared to the DVD to be worth the extra money.

The Tigger Movie - 10th Anniversary Edition - Buy from Amazon
No High Definition love for Tigger?

Tigger's bouncing gets him into trouble, as is usual, but this time he decides to do something about it. He decides to find others that will appreciate his bouncing: other Tiggers. But as the song says, the most wonderful things about Tiggers is he's the only one. He consults with the wisest among them, Owl, about how to go about and he's off to find his family tree, an objective he takes literally. And it is a task the Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore decide to help him with.

Originally this was set to be a direct-to-DVD sequel to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. It clearly uses a lot of the same structural devices, including the live action opening, the narration, the turning of the pages, breaking the fourth wall, etc. It also includes music that feels very similar. In fact, it was the music that led to this film earning a theatrical release, which turned out to be a wise decision, as it made nearly $100 million worldwide. On the one hand, it is much better than the average Disney direct-to-DVD sequel, much better. On the other hand, as I was watching this film, I couldn't help think that it is inferior to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in every way. The songs are not as good, although still catchy. The story isn't bad, but not a classic. And the flourishes that added so much charm the first time around, like the turning of the pages, don't have the same effect this time. If you have kids of the right age, then getting this DVD makes sense. If you had kids back then, then there's little point in going back as an adult are re-living it again.

Extras on the Anniversary Edition DVD are divided into three sections: Music & More, Games & Activities, and Bonus Episodes. Music & More has two music videos, including "Round My Family Tree" in sing-along mode. Games & Activities has four extras starting with a trivia game with 16 questions. If you get them all correct, you get to see a 90-second clip of origins of Winnie the Pooh. Thingamajigger Matching Game is a trivia type game, but there's no prize at the end of this one. Round Your Family Tree talks about how to make your family tree. Tigger Movie DVD Storybook is a storybook version of the movie that you can read, or you can have read to you. Finally, there are two episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the Bonus Episodes section. The second disc is a digital copy of the movie.

The Tigger Movie - 10th Anniversary Edition has a couple of extras that make their debut on this DVD, including one of the songs, one of the games, and both of the bonus episodes. Is that worth paying $20 for the double-dip? Probably not. But if you have kids of the right age, it is very likely that they will enjoy the movie enough that it is worth buying over just renting.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! - Season Three - Buy from Amazon
An Adult Swim show that is just too bizarre for my taste.

Ulysses - Buy from Amazon
An Italian adaptation of the Greek epic by Homer. In it, Kirk Douglas plays Ulysses, the hero Greece who defeated the Trojans and is now on the journey home to his wife (Silvana Mangano). However, the journey is fraught with danger while he need to return is urgent, as many suitors are trying to steal his wife away from him. Chief among these is Antinous (Anthony Quinn). Those who know this story know what dangers await Ulysses, dangers ranging from powerful Cyclops, to the enchanting Sirens, and the powerful sorceress Circe.

This film was made in the 1950s when the 'Sword and Sandal' ancient world epics were at their peak. However, it wasn't made by a Hollywood company and didn't have a large budget, and at times you can really tell. The production quality is quite low compared to epics like Spartacus, for instance. Some of the special effects seem quite dodgy, or completely absent. (In one scene, the Cyclops grabs and eats one of the Greek sailors, but I guess either the censors or the producers had problems with the prospect of seeing someone eaten on screen, so all we see are the reactions of his shipmates. It looks pretty goofy. That said, the acting is solid, the sets and the costumes are great, and the story is certainly epic. It's worth checking out.

However, while the movie is fun, the DVD is very weak. There are no extras on the DVD, while the video and audio quality can be shockingly bad at times. Granted, the movie is more than 50 years old, and so flaws in the print are to be expected, but even so, I would be remiss if I didn't mention these problems.

Ulysses is not a classic of the Sword and Sandal genre, but it is a fun movie and it is worth checking out. However, with a featureless DVD and problems with the print, a rental will be enough for most.

Warning: This Blu-ray does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 21st. However, the Blu-ray screener arrived late, hence the delay in the review.

Watchmen - Buy from Amazon: Theatrical DVD, Two-Disc Director's Cut DVD, Two-Disc Director's Cut Blu-ray, or Blu-ray Gift Set
One of the most anticipated movies of the year. One of the most anticipated mvoies of any year, as people have been looking forward to the movie being made since the amazing comic book series was published more than 20 years ago. Now that it's finally out, does it live up to the source material? Is that even medically possible?

Normally when I do these spotlight reviews, the first thing I do after the short intro is discuss the plot, but I don't want to do that here. If you've read the comics, you don't need me to recap the plot. If you haven't, I don't want to be the one who spoils any of the details. You really can go into the story without any background information and get sucked in right away. It really is written that well. The characters have a real feeling to them, despite the unreal situation they are very unreal. The world they inhabit is one you can recognize, which is of the utmost importance in telling a story like this. Additionally, not only does the film have this amazing story at its heart, stylistically it is also superb. On the other hand, my only complaint has to do with this part of the movie. The movie oozes style, but at times the styles can overshadow the story. To emphasize, this is a minor complaint and not enough to change my opinion of the movie.

Looking at the extras on the Three-Disc Director's Cut Blu-ray, there are two extras on the first disc starting with the Maximum Movie Mode. Maximum Movie Mode is a massive beyond picture-in-picture track. It has a picture-in-picture component, as well as branching featurettes, image galleries, etc. Every once and a while Zach Snyder will pause the movie to talk about a particular scene or theme in more detail. Even if you don't check out all of the featurette / image galleries, it takes more than three hours to watch the entire thing and if it you watch it all, add about an hour onto that, but it's worth it. The second extra on disc one is the BD-Live components, which included a community viewing. (Sadly, that happened before my copy arrived.) I don't know if more will be scheduled for the future.

Over on disc two, there are three major featurettes. The first is on the graphic novel that started it all. It's heavy on the praise, but rightfully so. Real Super Heroes: Real Vigilantes spends just over 26 minutes talking about real world vigilantes and how they relate to the world of comic book super heroes. Mechanics - Technologies of a Fantastic World runs just under 17 minutes and talks about the lengths the filmmakers went through to try and make the technology in the movie as realistic as possible. That's only 72 minutes long, but they are quite fascinating to watch. There is also a music video from My Chemical Romance and the disc is BD-Live enabled.

Disc three is the digital copy of the movie.

As for the film's technical presentation, this is one of the best looking, and sounding, Blu-rays I've reviewed. I would describe the video as nearly flawless, while the audio pushes my surround sound system for the first time since I bought it.

Everything about the Watchmen Three-Disc Director's Cut Blu-ray release screams must have. Everything except one thing... there's a five-disc set in the works. If you are not interested in the Motion Comic or Tales of the Black Freighter / Under the Hood, then this is the release to grab. Otherwise, it might be wise to wait.

The Waterboy - Buy from Amazon
It's amazing this movie came out the same year as The Wedding Singer. It is a sad fact that this movie made twice as much as The Wedding Singer did at the box office.

Adam Sandler plays Bobby Boucher, a social inept man who has spent most of his life as the waterboy for the University of Louisiana Cougars football team. However, he's fired at the beginning of the movie for disrupting the practices (the football players were districted beating him up) much to the delight of his overprotective mother. However, he quickly gets a job at South Central Louisiana State University working for Coach Klein as a waterboy. And then after he sees potential in the boy, as his star tackle. Can he keep his football playing a secret from his mother? Can he help his knew coach beat his old coach? Can he get the girl?

At the time this movie was released, it was Adam Sandler's first $100 million hit and it is still his second biggest hit of his career. (The only film of his to top it is Big Daddy, which was release the following year.) However, while it is massively popular with his fans at the time, it was not popular with critics, and I have to agree with the latter group. Firstly, the voice Adam Sandler uses drives me nuts. I assume it was supposed to be funny, but I hated it from the beginning and the longer the movie lasted, the more it grated on my nerves. Secondly, there's not a single beat of this movie that isn't obvious; there's not a single plot point that is original or surprising. Finally, at least half the jokes fall flat. There are entire scenes where none of the jokes hit there mark. Unoriginality is one thing, but for a comedy to be unfunny is unforgivable.

As for the Blu-ray presentation... it's shovelware. It's shovelware of a featureless DVD. Additionally, the video and audio, while solid, will not blow you away. Then again, this is not a movie that needs to be seen in high definition.

The Waterboy makes its debut on Blu-ray this week, but it is as weak of a release as you can get. Right now on Amazon.com it costs $25.99, which is much too high a price to pay; $15.99 is too high a price to pay for this Blu-ray.

Wolfhound - Buy from Amazon
One of the most expensive Russian movies ever made. It was also a massive hit in its native market. It's an epic fantasy film that has been described as a combination of Conan and Lord of the Rings. Fans of either of those films should definitely check this one out.

You Must Remember This - Buy from Amazon
A two-disc, nearly five-hour documentary on the history of Warner Bros. narrated by Clint Eastwood. Anyone interested in the history of movie business, then this is a must have DVD.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Watchmen, Obsessed, Race to Witch Mountain, The Soloist, Dragonball Evolution, Gomorra, New York, Delgo, Harvard Beats Yale, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, August, The Mutant Chronicles, Cravings, Volkodav, Nature's Grave, Labor Pains, Winged Creatures