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DVD Releases for August 31, 2004

August 30th, 2004

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 and a few from the growing TV on DVD section, including the winners of the DVD Pick of the Week, Star Trek - The Original Series - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon and, for those of you who have a taste for the twisted, Videodrome - Criterion Collection - Unrated and Uncut - Buy from Amazon.

Chris Rock - Never Scared - Buy from Amazon
Chris Rock sticking to what he does best, Stand Up Comedy. Can't say this is his best work, but still quite funny.

Forbidden Zone - Buy from Amazon
A cult classic that is sure to generate a strong reaction in the viewer. Whether that reaction is good or bad depends on who is watching. The DVD also has plenty of special features, especially for a film from 1980, audio commentary, documentary, interviews, outtakes, deleted scenes, etc. The film also have composer Danny Elfman in a rare acting role.

Frank Capra - Double-Shot - Buy from Amazon: Broadway Bill and Riding High
Broadway Bill was made by Frank Capra in 1934 and then remade in 1950 as Riding High. Neither film is considered to be among his better works.

I Love Lucy - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
The effects of this sitcom can still be felt today as it has inspired countless imitators. The second season is a lot cheaper than the first season mainly because the first season is just a repackaging of all the four episode volumes that were previously released. This season set still has plenty of bonus features, which is amazing for a show that is 50 years old.

Invader ZIM - Progressive Stupidity - Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
The latest in this wonderfully twisted cartoon is coming to DVD. This is a show that really got screwed by the politics of show business as it could, and should, have been resurrected after its untimely cancellation.

Jesus Christ Superstar - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
One of many DVDs being released today to take advantage of the publicity for The Passion of the Christ and only one of two I'll even bother mentioning. This film earned much better reviews than Passion did. And the DVD has more special features, (but not enough for the Special Edition moniker.)

Lemora: A Child's tale of the Supernatural - Buy from Amazon
Lesbians, Vampires and a two decade long ban by the Catholic Film Board, (a.k.a. Legion of Decency.) What more could you want? The film is actually a rather good vampire flick and the special features are impressive for a 30 year old movie.

Lion King II - Simba's Pride - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
Direct to video sequel for Disney's The Lion King. The movie is better than most direct to video Disney sequels, but still an obvious derivative of the early work.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection - The Essentials - Buy from Amazon
Two of the worst movie ever made receive the MST3K touch. Normally I wouldn't recommend buy TV on DVD unless it is Complete Season Sets. However, the treatment some of these films received, (and I use the term, 'film' loosely) was so harsh that the owners have refused to allowed those episodes to be released on DVD. So, you have to do with what you can get. This set contains Manos: the Hands of Fate, widely regarded as the worse movie ever made and Santa Conquers the Martians, which is not nearly as bad. But comparing the quality of these two films is like debating what type of oil you'd like to be boiled alive with, Peanut Oil or Palm Oil.

The Passion of the Christ - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen, Pan & Scan or the 50 Unit Church Pack
The film was one of the biggest hits of the year, and certainly one of the most profitable. It has been estimated that Mel Gibson made between $60 million and $80 million himself. So to say thanks all the moviegoers who made it possible, they are releasing the DVD without any special features at all. None. So they wouldn't spend any money on special features but they'd spend money on 260,000 postcards trying to get priests to shill the DVD. Maybe Mel Gilbson should take time out of his busy schedule of counting his profits and actually read the bible, specifically John 2: 12 - 16. It's pretty clear what Jesus thought about people doing business in church.

Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Classic cartoon from the 60s, but unfortunately the studio decided to put a bug in the corner of the screen. This was done purportedly to stop piracy, but will most likely just annoy those who buy the set. Personally, I'm waiting till they'll re-release the sets without the bug before I buy them.

South Park - Passion of the Jew - Buy from Amazon
One of many DVDs being released today to take advantage of the publicity for The Passion of the Christ and only one of two I'll even bother mentioning. The three episodes of South Park included on the DVD are very funny, but I'd rather wait till the season sets came out.

Star Trek - The Original Series - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
The series that started it all. Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones and the ever present Random Redshirt. The original and the best finally come out on a special feature laden DVD box set. And if that's not enough to get you excited, Season 2 comes out November 2nd and Season 3 comes out December 14th. The sets may seem a little pricey compared to other TV on DVD, but you must keep two things in mind: firstly, the show is from 1966 so that bound to add a few dollars to the cost and secondly, the series has 29 episodes, about 30% more episodes than the average series now.

Survivor All-Stars - The Complete Season - Buy from Amazon
Reality TV, 'nuff said.

Trekkies 2 - Buy from Amazon
Continuing the look at Star Trek fanatics around the world. A lighthearted documentary that could have easily made the subjects the target of cruel jokes.

Twisted - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
One of the worst films of the year. The DVD has more special features than I thought it would, but no amount of special features could make up for the quality of the movie.

Videodrome - Criterion Collection - Unrated and Uncut - Buy from Amazon
The movie was directed by David Cronenberg and the DVD is a Criterion Collection release. That's pretty much all you need to know. David Cronenberg has a reputation for the bizarre, the unusual and the just plane weird. Videodrome is one of his best films and very much deserves the Criterion touch with audio commentaries, featurettes and bonus shorts. Considering the state of TV today, specifically the over abundance of 'Reality TV, there couldn't be a better time to release this DVD.

The Zack Files - The Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
Teenage X-Files of sorts from Canada. The lead actor in this series went on to star in Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, another Canadian Teenage X-Files show.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Passion of the Christ, Twisted