DVD Releases for September 28, 2004
September 27th, 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 co-winners of the DVD Pick of the Week Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Buy from Amazon and Degrassi: The Next Generation - Season 1 - Buy from Amazon.
The Alamo - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
This movie sums up Disney's year pretty well. Huge budget, poor reviews, soft box office, (especially internationally.) The DVD release is not bad with enough extras to avoid the appearance of being dumped on the market, but not enough to make this film worth renting.
Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper - Buy from Amazon
A movie based on the best selling toy, one of several such movies. Typical direct-to-DVD kids movie.
Bernard and the Genie - Buy from Amazon
A British made for TV movie staring Alan Cumming, Lenny Henry and Rowan Atkinson. It tells the heartwarming story of a mild-manner art dealer, (Cumming) who loses his job, his girlfriend and all his Earthly possessions in one day. Well, all his Earthly possession except for a lamp that he decides to rub with the expected results. This is an excellent movie that showcases Lenny Henry's comedic timing as the Genie.
The Big One - Buy from Amazon
Michael Moore may have changed the way Hollywood looks at the documentary by setting the record for highest box office gross for a documentary. Not only did he break the record, but if you don't include IMAX films, he smashed it by nearly $100 million. And while you have to wait a week for his latest film you can pick up an earlier work tomorrow. The must-see film deals with the simple question, "If corporations are making record profits, why the still laying off so many workers?" Still relevant today with the huge number or corporation that are still raking in the money but continue to outsource jobs overseas. It is a shame there isn't any special features on the disc, however, but the film is still worth renting.
Broken Lizard's Club Dread - Unrated Extended Edition - Buy from Amazon
The regular edition came out a while ago and the unrated edition has the feel of a cheap marketing ploy.
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Collection - Buy from Amazon
6 episodes from the British series staring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson respectively. The series is excellent, but the very few special features on the disc.
Children of the Corn - Buy from Amazon
I'd like to say that this film is one of Stephen King's worst movie adaptations. But critically speaking, it is about par with his average. That is not to say this is a good film as even the positive reviews are quite critical of the film.
Christine - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
On the other hand, Christine is arguably Stephen King's best horror adaptation. Special features are good for the age of the movie with the commentary track, lots of deleted scenes and featurettes.
Crank Yankers - Season One Uncensored - Buy from Amazon
Prank phone calls acted out by puppets. I can't believe a show like this would be made. I also can't believe the level of comedic talent that's wasted on this show. Denis Leary, Nicole Sullivan, Seth Green, Sarah Silverman and many more. The only thing I can think of is the makers of the show have pictures of them cavorting naked with squirrels and now they are blackmailing them to appear in this show. And the reason its so bad is not the fact that it is a puppet show that's aimed at adults because I can think of several other puppet shows that are aimed at adults that are much, much better. (Greg the Bunny, Puppets Who Kill, Internet Slutts, Spitting Image.)
Creepshow 2 - Divimax Collection - Buy from Amazon
Technically superior to the original, but in every other way this film is much weaker to the cheap looking but effective first film.
Degrassi: The Next Generation - Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
For those of you not from Canada, Degrassi is a long running Canadian show that lasted for a decade in various forms. First it was The Kids of Degrassi Street, then Degrassi High and now Degrassi: The Next Generation. And this really is the Next Generation as several original cast members are back, this time as parents. Two quick points, first, this is a Canadian show, and since very few Canadian shows have made in on DVD it is the patriotic duty of every Canadian to pick it up tomorrow. And secondly, this is a fantastic set with an amazing number of special features, so it's worth picking up regardless of your country of origin.
Easy Rider - 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Buy from Amazon
A Groundbreaking film from the 60s. This DVD is just the previous release with the soundtrack and a pocket book. Considering how important this film was to the American movie industry, the 35th Anniversary Edition should have more.
Ellen - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
The first season this show was a mid-season replacement, so there are only 11 episodes on the 2 disc set. Also, the first season this show was known as, These Friends of Mine and not Ellen, reflecting the more ensemble like nature of the show. Fans of the show might be surprised by the early episodes as the show went through quite a few changes including the name change, the amount of focus on Ellen DeGeneres changed, the loss of a number of characters, etc. I personally didn't become a fan of the show till Jeremy Piven joined the cast in season 3, but the same neurotic appeal was present right from the beginning.
Envy - Buy from Amazon
One of the worst reviewed movies of the year, it bombed at the box office and is now being dumped on the DVD market with very little in the way of special features. If you want a Rags to Riches story, grab Brewster's Millions instead, it is also being released tomorrow.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
The latest from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman had his trademark quirkiness and his distinct look at what makes us who we are. I was expecting more from this film, especially with its excellent reviews, but they were offset by a small release and a premise that probably scared off as many people as it attracted. However, a final box office of $34 million on an estimated production budget of $20 million is still a strong performance. Special features on the disc are good hitting most of the standard fare. If you enjoyed some of Charlie Kaufman's other work, like Being John Malkovich than this DVD is definitely worth picking up.
Footloose - Special Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
Some films are classics that transcend time. Sadly, this is not one of them. A mere average movie that helped launch careers of some of its cast, but is just too outdated now. Special features are also just average and not up to the Special Collector's Edition title.
Homicide Life on the Street - The Complete Season 5 - Buy from Amazon
The penultimate season of this critically acclaimed series comes to DVD. Fans of the franchise know what to expect in terms of show quality and extras, but newcomers should definitely start with Seasons 1 & 2 as there are story arcs that continue from previous seasons.
Hunting the President - Buy from Amazon
This documentary shows that when Hilary Clinton said there was, "a vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband, she was a lot closer to the truth than most people gave her credit for. While the conspiracy just wasn't as vast as she implied, there were some very rich men spending a lot of money to bring down Clinton. If this seems far-fetched, it is important to remember that an estimated $1 billion will be spent during this election cycle. The film is effective, if a little overly dramatic, but the DVD is devoid of features.
In Living Color - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Even better than the first season. Better sketches, better recurring characters, even has better special features. It's just plain better.
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies - Buy from Amazon
A title like that makes you stop and take notice. Unfortunately, the title is the only thing worth noticing. Unless you are into bad movies, skip this one.
Ken Burns' America Collection - Buy from Amazon
Seven made for TV documentaries available in one package, or separately. It is actually cheaper to get them separately, which makes no sense. Brooklyn Bridge, The Congress, Empire of the Air, Huey Long, The Shakers, The Statue of America and Thomas Hart Benton.
MTV Punk'd - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
A step up from most Reality TV shows because instead of regular folk humiliating themselves for a pittance it's Ashton Kutcher humiliating other celebrities for free. Season 2 targets include Halle Berry, Hilary Duff, Taye Diggs and more.
National Lampoon Presents Lost Reality - Buy from Amazon
I don't know what is worse, most of National Lampoon's recent offerings or Reality TV. I have to go with Reality TV, but it's closer than it should be.
Ramones - Raw - Buy from Amazon
An amazing look at an amazing band. The set contains over five hours of concert footage, behind the scenes, TV appearances and more. Fans of the band should snap up this set as soon as it hits the shelves.
Star Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
The odd number curse of the Star Trek Franchise continued with this film. The special features live up to the Special Edition title, but the 2-disc DVD set is for Star Trek completists only.
Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
I stop watching Star Trek long before this season aired, so I know precious little about it. My crack research team did dig up the fact that this was the season that Jeri Ryan and her Borg implants joined the show as a regular cast member. While I may get into trouble with some for that implant remark, but those who knew how close the show was to being cancelled before Seven of Nine was added to the cast know what I'm talking about. Fans of the franchise know what to expect when it comes to extras, and those who are not fans have stopped reading by now.
Strangers With Candy - Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
What happens when a 47 year old runaway final comes home to start her life over? That's the premise of this cable crazy, funny and edgy TV show. This is the final season of the TV shows, but fans shouldn't despair as it is being adapted into a movie for next year.
Super Size Me - Buy from Amazon
The main stream success of this documentary would have been one of the biggest stories of the year if it wasn't for the even bigger success of a certain other documentary. The film documents the transformation of Morgan Spurlock as he lives off of McDonalds food for an entire month, at the same time reducing his activity levels to that of the average American. The only thing shocking about how quickly his health deteriorated was the fact that people were shocked at how fast his health deteriorated. A great film that's worth seeing.
Tess - Buy from Amazon: Special Edition or Classic Masterpiece Book & DVD Set
This adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles definitely has the Roman Polanski touch. And that's bad if you are a fan of the novel. Still a classic movie in its own right.
Walking Tall - Buy from Amazon
After a cameo in The Mummy Returns, The Rock's movie career has stumbled. The latest film was trashed by critics for being a simplistic, by the numbers revenge flick. At the box office it was marginally more successful than his previous movie solely by being much cheaper to make. Extras are good, but not enough to push this DVD above the rental level.
Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
The Alamo - Buy from Amazon: Widescreen or Pan & Scan
Filed under: Video Releases, Walking Tall, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Alamo, Envy, Super Size Me, Club Dread, The Hunting of the President