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DVD Releases for September 27, 2005

September 26th, 2005

Every week films get a second chance at success from the home market; or, in some cases, a first chance at success. Here is a list of wide releases, limited releases, classics and a few from the growing TV on DVD section. There are two entries on the DVD Pick of the Week, both from the TV on DVD section: Gilmore Girls - The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon and Corner Gas - Season 2 - Buy from

The Amazing Race - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
It's Reality TV. Granted, it has less of the cringe-inducing scenes that populate most Reality Competition shows (unlike the documentary variety that are generally worth watching), but it is still not something I can recommend.

American Pie - Trilogy - Buy from Amazon: Unrated or R-Rated
All three movies in the American Pie franchise released in one box set. It's a good price for those who really like the movies but never bothered to pick up the DVDs when they were originally released, but without a bonus disc with added features there's no reason to upgrade.

Anything Goes - Buy from Amazon
An unenthusiastic musical starring Bing Crosby. Without any real special features, the DVD is best skipped.

Are We There Yet? - Buy from Amazon
This is a DVD for kids to give them something to do on long road trips and not the Ice Cube movie of the same name.

Beethoven Pooch Pack - Buy from Amazon
The original Beethoven was awful. The first sequel was no better. The rest all went direct-to-video. This set contains all five movies crammed onto 2 discs and the only kind thing I can think to say is as least it doesn't cost a lot.

Beverly Hillbillies: The Ultimate Collection - Volume 1 - Buy from Amazon
26 episodes from the first season released on one 4-disc set. This set looks better than other previously released versions, and there are more special features than one would expect given the age of the show, but I'm still a little concerned why there are only 26 of the 36 first season episodes on this set. If I were a fan of the show I'd wait to see how the other episodes are being released before I purchased this set.

Carlito's Way - Rise to Power - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
A direct-to-DVD prequel to Carlito's Way, which is nowhere near the same calibre. Indeed, it is reportedly so bad that it might adversely affect your opinion of the original. Skip it.

Corner Gas - Season 2 - Buy from
A Canadian comedy about a small town in Saskatchewan. Of course saying small when talking about a town in Saskatchewan is redundant as the entire province has about three residents. Season 2 has plenty of highlights including the security camera incident, Oscar's found pants, the time capsule, and the new Doctor. It is a Canadian show and some of the humor, or humour as it is spelled up here, may not connect with audiences in the States. However, it is still worth importing and for the Canadians reading this, it is your patriotic duty to buy this DVD set.

Creature Comforts - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
With the movie just around the corner, there's no better time to release the first season of Nick Park's TV shorts. The series is a mockumentary show that asks various animals about their opinions on the topics that matter the most to them. Special features include a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes, montage, and the original Oscar Winning Short of the same name. A must have for fans of Nick Park's work.

Dr. 90210 - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
The Reality TV version of Nip/Tuck. Now I dislike Nip/Tuck and despise Reality TV so there's little doubt on my opinion of this show. Skip it.

The Evil Dead 2 - Book Of The Dead Limited Edition - Buy from Amazon
Arguably the funniest horror film of all time and the DVD presentation is amazing. However, I can't give it a DVD Pick of the Week rating because there have been too many other special edition releases for this movie. If you don't own the previous release then this DVD is a must have, but it's not quite worth the upgrade.

Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story - Uncensored - Buy from Amazon: DVD or UMD Mini
Normally when it comes to TV on DVD I stick with season sets only. In fact, of the 105 sets I've purchased all but three are full season sets or full series sets. ... Hang on a second. I've purchased 105 TV on DVD sets? There's obviously something wrong with me. Oh well, what are you going to do? As I was saying, I vastly prefer to buy full season sets when it comes to TV on DVD, but with this release I'll make a rare exception. You see, while this 'movie' is in fact just three episodes combined into one and it will be released later on in a full season set, this release includes the uncensored audio track allowing the writers and the actor to get away with stuff the network would never let them get away with. Fans of the series will want to pick this up right away.

Gilmore Girls - The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
I must admit, I stopped watching the show regularly by this season. I just prefer watching TV shows on DVD, which is why I own 105 sets. (I still can't believe I own 105 TV on DVD sets. ... Nevermind, it's now 106 sets, my copy of Edgemont just arrived in the mail.) Moving on, this season sees Rory head off to Yale, which means this is the first season with Danny Strong as a guest star. Special features are on par with other seasons, with deleted scenes, montage, trivia track, etc. but there is still no audio commentary tracks. On a side note, Season 5 is scheduled for release in just a couple of months, which leads me to believe Season 6 (now airing) is the final season.

Hogan's Heroes - The Complete 2nd Season - Buy from Amazon
The special features on this 5-disc set and much better than the First Season. On the other hand, the show itself is no better and was arguably getting worse. But I'll admit my opinion is probably in the minority as the set is selling very well and is worth it for fans of the show.

Kingdom Hospital - Making the Rounds - Buy from Amazon
A re-release of two episodes of the mini-series. If you own the complete mini-series then there is no reason to buy this.

A Knight's Tale - Extended Edition - Buy from Amazon
I'm not sure the world was clamoring for an extended edition of this movie. The movie is mostly mediocre, as is the DVD release. There's not enough here to make it stand out and it is certainly not worth the upgrade.

Law & Order - Special Victims Unit 2 - Buy from Amazon
This series is the first spin-off of the long-running Law & Order franchise. Season 2 was a marked improvement from Season 1 with a greater focus on the courtroom procedures, but was still different enough from Law & Order that it doesn't feel like you are watching the same show, right down to the same character archetypes. Special features are on par with the other releases but not enough to make it stand out in a crowded field.

Lords of Dogtown - Buy from Amazon: Extended and Unrated, Theatrical Cut, or UMD Mini
This film tells the same story as the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, and that film is simply much, much better than this one is. The Extended and Unrated cut is the definitely the better version and the special features help round out the film, but even so it doesn't rate past the rental level.

The Man Who Fell to Earth - Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon
David Bowie is one cool customer. His music career spans decades and he was able to effortlessly change personas many times. The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of his first forays into the world of acting, and one of his better films. There was a previous Special Edition, but this one is marginally better since it includes the original audio commentary track from the LaserDisc edition, as well as other special features, interviews and more. Worth checking out, possibly even worth the upgrade, but that's a personal decision. On a side note, another Nicolas Roeg film, Bad Timing, is also being released tomorrow.

Modigliani - Buy from Amazon
This film earned one of the best Tomatometer ratings of the year, but while only one review gave the film a positive reviews, most others were merely ambivalent and not hostile to the film. The DVD has only a documentary featurette as its lone special feature further reducing its value to below the rental level.

The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus - 16-Ton Megaset - Buy from Amazon
All 45 episodes of this groundbreaking sketch comedy show on 14 discs, plus 2 disc of bonus features including live performances (including Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl). A must have for fans of all things Monty Python but not worth the upgrade from the previous megaset.

Oliver Gift Set With CD Soundtrack - Buy from Amazon
The latest adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic hit theatres over the weekend so there's no better time to release this 1968 classic on DVD. The special features are good for a movie that's about 40 years old with a making of featurette and a behind-the-scenes look, as well as the CD soundtrack.

The Parent Trap 2-Movie Collection - Buy from Amazon
The original from 1961 and the made for TV sequel in one set. The first film was already released so this set is only worth it for those who don't own that one or really, really, like the second film.

Robots - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen, Pan & Scan, or UMD Mini
The shine has really come off the Digital Animation genre; over the past year or so several such films have missed expectations and it doesn't look like it will get any better. When it took a couple of years to make a single movie the creators were a lot more careful to make sure the end product would be worth the effort. Now the technology has become cheap enough that the studios are starting to crank them out. Robots earned average reviews and went on to show a small profit after its international run, but didn't live up to loftier expectations. The DVD release has a good selection of special features including two audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, a short behind the scenes look, character profiles and more. It's worth a rental, but not much more.

Slaughterhouse of the Rising Sun - Buy from Amazon
This film has an interesting marketing ploy: supposedly the film was made in the 1970s but was confiscated by police when the director killed the producer over the final cut of the film and it wasn't until now that it was released. Like I said, that's quite a marketing ploy, but that's all it is, as the whole thing is a lie. Given the type of film it is (low budget Teenage Slasher) it's not a bad film and worth a rental for fans of the genre.

SpongeBob SquarePants - The Complete 3rd Season - Buy from Amazon
For all of those that have been avoiding the smaller collections, the Third Season finally hits the home market. The show is just as strong as ever, but the special features seem to be getting weaker with just pop-up trivia track, pilot episode, and a how to draw SpongeBob featurette.

Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
Depending on who you talk to, this was either the best season or the worst season of the latest Star Trek series. The show had a season long story arc to it and while that should have improved the show the execution was lackluster. Even so, there were some signs that the show was getting on track. Too bad they only had one more season. Special features are good, but not great, and the price tag is just too much to justify purchasing except for hard core fans and Star Trek completists.

Television Favorites - Buy from Amazon: Cheyenne, Chico and the Man, Dukes of Hazzard, F Troop, and Maverick
Stick with full season sets. Yes, most of these haven't been released on full season sets yet, but I'm willing to bet that they will be.

The Vicar of Dibley - 10th Anniversary Specials - Buy from Amazon
Those of us that own The Divine Collection have been eagerly awaiting this release. There are a couple of problems, however. Firstly, for a TV of DVD release, it is pricey on a per minute basis and as I say below it's too early for a Christmas special. It is, on the other hand, one of the funniest specials and better than the average episode from the series, so well worth picking up.

We're No Angels - Buy from Amazon
A rare comedy starring Humphrey Bogart. It's a well done film, if a little predictable, but there are no special features on the disc and it's just too early for a Christmas movie.

The X-Files Mythology - Volume 3 - Colonization - Buy from Amazon
As I've mentioned before, this series is for people who are either casual fans of the X-Files and don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars to collect to the whole season sets, or ultra hardcore fans who want to have anything and everything X-Files related. If you don't fit into either of those categories, then skip this release.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Robots, American Wedding, The Lords of Dogtown, Modigliani, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power