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DVD Releases for May 26th, 2009 - Part I

May 26th, 2009

It's a slow week, not that you can tell from the number of spotlight reviews. Over the past week, I received close to a dozen DVDs that were late. Fortunately, I was able to get to all of them, at least I until this afternoon when a couple more arrived late. (It never ends.) As for the DVD / Blu-rays coming out this week, there's not much of a selection. The best is Jeeves & Wooster - The Complete Series, but the lack of extras prevents it from being awarded the DVD Pick of the Week. On the other hand, the best on this week's list is Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Collection, which actually came out a couple of weeks ago. Even so, it is deserving of the DVD Pick of the Week. A slow week plus a lot of late reviews still results in a list so long it had to be spit into two. The second part can be found here.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and makes its home market debut on the 19th. However, the DVD screener arrived late, hence the delay in the review.

8 Simple Rules - Season Two - Buy from Amazon
Lots of late reviews this week, so let's get right into it.

Season two starts off where season one ended, with Paul Hennessy finding a used pregnancy test in the trash and trying to figure out which of his teenage daughters it belongs to. It turns out it's neither of them, and he could be becoming a dad, again. Episode two is one of the highlights of the season, and it has Cate taking over as the teacher for Bridget's Sex Ed class, which sees her more liberal morals regarding teenage sex go out the window when she thinks her daughter is being pressured into having sex. And then after episode three, it happened. John Ritter suddenly collapsed on set, and died shortly after. This happened more than five years ago, and I still have trouble watching the show because of that. (The same is true of Newsradio.) On the other hand, the quality of the show didn't go down. James Garner was added to the cast as Cate's father, and under any other circumstance, this would have been a boon to the show, as he is fantastic in his role.

To emphasize, despite the tragic turn this show took during its second season, there was no downturn in quality.

Extras on the three-disc set are non-existent, as are the subtitles. They do have play-all buttons and proper chapter placements, where needed. (The credits change partway through and the new format doesn't need to be skipped.)

It took me two tries to get through the season opener, but when I finally did get over tragedy of the situation, it is clear 8 Simple Rules is a very strong sitcom that is worth checking out. Even though Season Two has no extras, many fans will still want to pick up the show over just renting.

Action Packed - Buy from Amazon
Wow. A Spotlight review for a DVD that's coming out this week. Sort of. This is a multi-show "Best Of" DVD featuring the pilots for four action series, all of which have already been released on DVD. Those four shows are...

MacGyver - Pilot
Starring Richard Dean Anderson as Angus MacGyver, a.k.a., Mac, a Secret Agent working for the government dealing with problems that are too difficult to solve with just a gun. (A Swiss army knife, on the other hand...) He has a scientific training and incredible resourcefulness, not to mention the ability to construct a fully functioning molecular transporter out of bubble-gum and a paperclip. (That might be an exaggeration, but not by much.) In the pilot, he's called into help rescue survivors of an explosion in a research laboratory. He has to combat a cave in, acid leaks, and whatever it was that caused the accident in the first place.

Mission: Impossible - Pilot
Another show about government agents, this time they are the team at Impossible Missions Force. Most people who remember this show remember Peter Graves' character, Jim Phelps, being in charge of this group. However, for the first season, Dan Briggs (played by Steven Hill) was the leader. In the pilot he organizes a team including Rollin Hand, a master of disguise and stage magician; Barney Collier, a electrical genius; Willy Armitage, the strongman; Cinnamon Carter, a top model; and Terry Targo, expert safe cracker. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the headquarters of a Caribbean dictator and recover two nuclear weapons.

NCIS - Yankee White
This JAG spin-off starts on Air Force One where a Navy Commander has died and it is up to the team to figure out what happened. This is further complicated by the three teams looking to take jurisdiction (the FBI, the Secret Service, and NCIS). Things are not made any less complicated when they find no foul cause for his death... and then another serviceman dies of similar causes. Contagion? Or something worse?

Walker, Texas Ranger - One Riot, One Ranger
... It's good to know that this show didn't gradually become a pale shadow of its former glory. It was always that bad. Chuck Norris stars as the titular character, a Texas Ranger, who in this 2-hour TV movie seeks revenge against some bank robbers who killed his former partner. His main tool of revenge? Really slow roundhouse kicks. Seriously, the fights scenes in this show are really poorly staged, and they are the only selling point here. Well, that and the camp value.

There are no extras on this DVD, nor are there subtitles.

Of the four TV shows represented on this DVD, three of them are worth checking out (Walker, Texas Ranger is the sole exception). However, all four TV series have already made their way to DVD, and if you are a fan of these shows, you likely already have these episodes on DVD, or you don't care. Because of this, I have a hard time figuring out who would want to buy Action Packed on DVD. There appears to be no target audience. Maybe it's worth a rental for those who haven't seen these shows and want to check them out.

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

The Arrival - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of nearly a dozen spotlight reviews on this week's list, and that's just counting the ones that arrived late. Since there are so many that are late, there's no point in delaying any longer.

Charlie Sheen stars as Zane Ziminski, an astrophysicist who discovers a signal that might be evidence of extraterrestial life, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. The movie starts with a scientist admiring a patch of lush green flora, which wouldn't be unusual, except its in the middle of the glaciers of Greenland. Zane Ziminski and his partner at SETI finally find a signal that could be a sign of intelligence life, and its from a very nearby planet. However, as soon as he reports the signal, his life is turned to hell. He's fired from his job due to "budget cutbacks," his boss spreads rumors that he's faking signals, and then his partner dies in an alleged suicide. It's obvious there's a conspiracy, but who, or what is behind it? And what does it have to do with plants growing in Greenland?

This film is a solid Sci-fi thriller that has more than enough that work to be worth checking out, but there are enough flaws that it will never be considered a classic by the average moviegoer. The pacing is good, for example, while the mystery is solid (and there's enough foreshadowing that repeat viewing is rewarded). On the other hand, the twists tend to be telegraphed at times, and this film does deal with a subject that is not exactly new to cinema. For this reason I can recommend checking it out if you haven't seen it, but rent first. It's not a blind buy kind of movie.

As for the extras... there are none. Absolutely nothing. Also, the video is merely mediocre for High Definition (obviously better than the DVD, but not by a huge amount) and the sound is only average. I have a hard time recommending spending $18 to upgrade to High Definition when there nothing on the disc to really justify that. (On a side note, it's on a 25GB disc, which is likely why there are no extras and the video / audio is only average. They didn't have the room for anything better.)

At the time Charlie Sheen made this movie, he was better known for his partying than he was for his acting. He was hired in this movie because his price tag was low enough to help get the movie made, despite its low budget. At the time it would be hard to imagine that a decade later he would be the highest paid comedic actor on TV. The Arrival might not be the role he's best known for, and the Blu-ray is as bare bones as it gets, but it is still worth checking out. Call it a solid rental.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Amazon - River of the Sun, Carnivorous, Children of Men, Cinderella Man, Diana Krall - Live in Rio, Don Giovanni, Falling Down, Field of Dreams, Lost Worlds - Life in the Balance, New In Town, Powder Blue, Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves, Seabiscuit, Sky Crawlers, Spy Game, True Romance, and Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - Acoustic Reality Experience
Ugh. This could be the worst week for Blu-ray all year. In fact, it could be the worst week for Blu-ray since day-and-date releases became standard. The highest-grossing day-and-date release is New In Town, which made a whopping $16.74 million at the box office. There are some catalogue titles, limited releases, and special titles to pick up some of the slack, but I can't imagine this will be a good week for Blu-ray sales.

Carnivorous - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
DMX stars in this low-budget, direct-to-DVD horror film about a giant snake summoned through voodoo to get revenge on some teenagers who were involved in a hit-and-run accident. By all reports it is as bad as it sounds, while the Blu-ray is incredibly overpriced. (A $70 list price? Are they serious?)

The Closer - Season Four - Buy from Amazon
Kyra Sedgwick stars as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, a woman with an uncanny ability to get people to confess. An excellent show that begins its fifth season soon. My only concern is the sheer number of films that are in direct competition with it. It's not like there's not enough police procedurals on TV at the moment.

Designing Women - Season One - Buy from Amazon
I don't remember a lot about this show, but I do remember it being a solid ratings winner, as well as being a perennial Emmy nominee. I also remember a lot of crap about Delta Burke's weight, which seemed to be an overwhelming preoccupation of shows like Entertainment Tonight. Like most shows, it took a couple of years to find its footing, but the first season is worth checking out, and with a reunion featurette, the 4-disc set will be worth picking up for fans. Also of note, the second season comes out in August, so you won't have to wait long for more of this show.

The Devil's Tomb - Buy from Amazon
At this point I can not longer even act surprised when a Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie goes direct-to-DVD.

Diana Krall - Live in Rio - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
On an interesting note, the Blu-ray of this concert performance is currently outselling the DVD. At least according to I doubt that will be true overall.

Falling Down - Deluxe Edition - Buy from Amazon: DVD and Blu-ray
A film about a man who just can't take it anymore. It's a really basic plot, which is stretched too thin over the film's running time. Granted, there are some good performances, but Michael Douglas's character is a prick, and a racist one at that. On the other hand, my opinion seems to be in the minority here. Extras on both versions include an audio commentary and an interview with the star, but that's it. Not enough to be called a "Deluxe Edition."

Forever Funny - Buy from Amazon
The pilot episodes to seven TV sitcoms that are considered classic by many. These shows range from the 1950s to the 1990s and every decade in between. This DVD is very similar to Action Packed, which I reviewed above. However, while pilots for hour-long drama tend to have real plots, the pilots for half-hour sitcoms tend to just set up the characters, the situations, and throw in a few jokes. They plots are hardly integral to the episodes. (Plots do become more important in subsequent episodes, once the characters and situations are established.) This makes reviewing this DVD a little more difficult.

The Brady Bunch - The Honeymoon
The set up is simple, a woman with three daughters and a man with three sons meet, fall in love, and get married. This complicates the lives of their kids and hilarity ensues. I hated this show as a kid, and I hate it now. The funny thing is, it was never a big hit with critics or audiences back when it first aired, but nostalgia has turned it into a slice of Americana.

Cheers - Give Me A Ring Sometime
One of the best sitcoms of all time, the show started out slowly with audiences, but the quality was clear from day one. The show focuses on the inhabitants of a local bar, including the owner, who was a former baseball player and former alcoholic. The humor comes from the interactions between the employees and patrons, all of which have their own quirks. The first season isn't the best, and most people probably remember the Woody Boyd / Frasier Crane era the most.

Frasier - The Good Son
In a spin-off of Cheers, Frasier Crane returns to Seattle to take a job as a radio psychologist and has to deal with his brother and his father on the home front, as well as his producer and other co-workers while at work. During the first episode, in order to help alleviate the stress of having his dad live with him, Frasier hires a live-in healthcare worker, and thus completes the cast. Again, a great show from day one, which is to be expected as the main character was already well established before the show started.

The Honeymooners - TV or Not TV
This show stars Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden and Née Gibson as Alice Kramden, a married couple living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. Their neighbors, Ed and Trixie Norton (played by Art Carney and Joyce Randolph) are their best friends, and in the case of Ralph and Ed, frequent foils. This episode has a real plot, as the characters were introduced in Jackie Gleason's previous show, Cavalcade of Stars. On a side note, a lot of people have made fun of / complained about the "domestic abuse" that was made light of in the show. "One of these days...Pow! Right to the MOON!" However, it's clear from the show that this is not a threat of violence. It's not even an empty threat of violence. Alice never took it seriously. She never even flinched. She just stared Ralph down.

I Love Lucy - The Girls Want to go to a Nightclub
The oldest show on this DVD. In fact, it's one of the oldest TV sitcoms of all time. Lucille Ball stars with her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, as a married couple, whose friends and neighbors and Fred and Ethel Mertz. The show focused on the couple's family life, as well as Lucy's desire to join her husband in show business, but a lot of the humor was derived from Lucille Ball's amazing talent at physical comedy. She was a master at this, perhaps one of the best of all time.

The Odd Couple - The Laundry Orgy
Another pilot with a real plot, as the TV show was based on the movie of the same name, there was little need to set up the characters or the situation. In fact, that was taken care of in the opening narration during the credits. Oscar and Felix have dates with the Pigeon Sisters, but Felix is not as enthusiastic as Oscar is, and he tries to use poker night, laundry night, and whatever excuses he can to sabotage it.

Taxi - Like Father, Like Daughter
A workplace sitcom from the 1970s, that focuses on the drivers at a New York City taxi company. The lead character is Alex Rieger, who is one of the few drivers who considers his job his career. Tony wants to be a boxer, Bobby wants to be an actor, John is working his way through college. This show was nominated for countless Emmys and Golden Globes, and it was quality from day one. However, two of my favorite characters, Reverend Jim and Simka were introduced during later seasons.

Like with Action Packed, I'm unsure what target audience this DVD is aimed at. People who really like sitcoms, but don't like any one sitcom enough to buy the previously released DVDs? Worse still, most sitcoms usually take a while for the cast and writers to gel, so you are not getting the best episodes for any of these shows on this DVD. Like before, I would recommend Forever Funny to see if you would enjoy watching these shows, and then renting / buying the full season sets.

Forever Strong - Buy from Amazon
This film opened in limited release, but its theater count was too high while its Tomatometer Score was too low and it went nowhere at the box office. Amazon has it coming out this week, other sources are no so sure. Regardless of when it comes out, it is worth a rental at most.

Gunsmoke - Season 3 - Volume - 2 - Buy from Amazon
One of the longest running scripted TV shows of all time, which makes splitting the seasons into two volumes all the more unforgivable. Do you have any idea how long it will take to get through the entire series at this pace? DVD will cease to exist by then. Hell, Blu-ray might be replaced by then. My screener just arrived this afternoon, and I'll try to get to a review for next week. If I can't get to it, might put it up as part of a contest instead.

Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Harlan Ellison, who has written countless books, short stories, screenplays, and magazine articles. The movie earned amazing reviews, but went nowhere at the box office. The DVD has more than an hour of additional footage, and its worth buying over just renting.

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

Inside the Third Reich - Buy from Amazon
A four-disc set that contains four documentaries about the Nazis during World War II, starting with...

Looks at the strategic bombing of German cities and whether they could be considered war crimes, as it would be if they were targeting civilians in order to demoralize a population. Or were bombing cities, which included factories that helped produce the weapons and armaments, as well as the economic engine of the nation, legitimate targets. We hear from people arguing both sides, including Germans who accepts these practices as legitimate, if horrible, military strategy. Along with talking heads, we see archival footage, as well as first hand reports from people who lived through these events on both sides. It's a complicated topic, but when they start talking about 'Morale Bombing', it's hard to argue that they were not targeting civilians directly.

Extras include home movies of the destruction of Berlin from 1947, as well as text biographies of the filmmakers and image galleries.

The Goebbels Experiment
Kenneth Branagh narrates this documentary using the very words of Joseph Goebbels set to archival footage. We hear about his childhood and his life as a young adult. How he became an associate and confidant of Adolf Hitler, and of course his raging anti-Semitism. When the DVD was released originally, I described it as effective and scary, as that's a perfect way to describe the movie. We hear diary entries that were written decades before the start of World War II, which is excellent insight, and this is aided by its simple format. Perhaps it's not very cinematic, but it is still effective.

Extras are limited to production notes and filmmakers bios.

The Reich Underground
The least political of the movies, this one looks at the technological marvels that were the underground cities planned to help the German war machine survive the British and American bombing attacks against German cities. I had no idea these even existed, and for that reason I enjoyed this documentary the most. Well, maybe not enjoyed, but I was most fascinated by this one out of the four presented. Watching this film, I was reminded of War of the Worlds where the artilleryman decided that humanity would rebuild massive cities underground. The Nazis were far most successful than this lone individual was, but it still seems quixotic.

Extras include just the filmmakers' bios.

Television Under the Swastika
The world's first television broadcast began in 1935 with the words, 'Heil, Hitler'. I did not know that. Learning something new is the reason I like watching documentaries in the first place, and I had no idea the Nazi's had TV, which means I enjoyed this documentary quite a lot. The only reason it's not my favorite one on this 4-disc set is the quality of Nazi TV. It was unsophisticated, to say the least. A lot of it was historically significant, but I can see why it didn't catch on.

Again, the only extras are the filmmakers' bios.

Inside the Third Reich contains four documentaries about the Nazis looking at a diverse range of topics from early TV to almost autobiographical stories. They are almost no real extras on the DVD, but it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for those who like to study the history of the era.

Jeeves & Wooster - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A Britcom starring Hugh Laurie as an upper class twit, and Stephen Fry as his sensible valet. These two men have such great chemistry together, that fans of their work in A Bit of Fry and Laurie or Blackadder will want to give this one a try. And even with no real extras, it is worth a blind buy.

Killshot - Buy from Amazon
Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard is no longer a selling point. This film was made in 2005, pushed back several times, and eventually dumped in a handful of theaters at the beginning of the year. Granted, the reviews are quite bad with the two-word review being, 'A mess.' Add in zero extras on the DVD, and it is impossible to recommend anything more than a rental. Even that might be too much.

Land of the Lost - The Complete Series - DVD or Lunchbox Giftset
With the movie just around the corner, there's no better time to release the full series on DVD. In fact, because it's an eight-disc set, it might take the full week for fans to watch all of the episodes, and that's if they decide on marathon sessions each day. With more casual viewing, it could take weeks to get through all 43 episodes. As for which version is better, the Lunchbox Giftset does cost $10 more, and all you get is the lunchbox, but for more hardcore fans, that might be enough. After all, it would probably costs more than $10 to get a lunchbox like that.

Law & Order - Special Victims Unit - Season Nine - Buy from Amazon
Great show, weak DVD releases. The nature of the show leaves little replay value, and the number of times it is repeated in syndication limits its value on DVD. It needs to have an impressive number of extras to make up for this and the Law & Order franchise is not known for that.

The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk - Buy from Amazon
A Dragon Dynasty DVD that I'm not reviewing? I'm going to have to check and see why that is. Hopefully I'll be able to get a screener.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus - Buy from Amazon
I thought this came out last week. Doesn't matter, as it is a terrible movie.

The Mod Squad - Season 2 - Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
I hate it when they split TV season into two volumes. It is a good show, but the price-per-minute is high, mainly because they split the season into two. I can't say more than that until I get a chance to look over the screener, which just arrived this afternoon. It arrived at roughly the same time as seven other DVDs / Blu-rays, so I might have to punt this one over to the prize pool for an upcoming Box Office Prediction contest.

Murder Most English - Buy from Amazon
Four British murder mysteries that first aired on TV more than 30 years ago. As far as I can tell, they're mostly forgotten, but solid entries in the genre.

New in Town - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This romantic comedy opened at the end of January, and I thought that was close enough to Valentine's Day that the film should get a bit of the boost at the box office. However, it missed the top five during its opening weekend, and by the time Valentine's Day finally rolled around, it was barely able to reach the top 20. So what happened?

Renee Zellweger stars as Lucy Hill, an ambitious businesswoman whose trying to get ahead at work. In doing so, she inadvertently agrees to travel to Minnesota to try and restructure a plant that is losing money. At first she hates the place. She hates the weather. She hates the plant. She hates the small town atmosphere. And she really hates the Union Rep she has to deal with, Ted Mitchell. But as this is a romantic comedy, a romantic comedy about a big city girl in a small town, you know that's all going to change in the end.

At this point, I feel like I could give away the ending of the movie any no one would a.) be surprised and b.) enjoy the movie any less. It won't make them enjoy the movie anymore, so I would discuss it here, but the point is the plot is not a real factor in the quality of the movie. The real selling point of films like this is the chemistry between the two leads, and here I wasn't impressed. Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr. are fine actors and I've enjoyed quite a few of their movies, but I didn't believe their relationship in this movie. And if you don't believe the romance, there's not much else in a romantic comedy. There are a few stronger performances, including from the always reliable J.K. Simmons and Siobhan Fallon; however, it is not enough. Even fans of the genre who are used to the overwhelming number of clichés that are usually found in these movies will have a hard time dealing with them here.

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by the extras on the DVD starting with an audio commentary track with Siobhan Fallon, J.K. Simmons, and a couple of the writers. There is an 18-minute making of featurette, which spend a lot of time talking about how cold it was filming in Winnipeg (Official Motto: Brrrrr!). Normally when people film in Canada and complain about the weather, I say, 'It's not that cold.' ... It is that cold in Winnipeg in the winter. There is a 6-minute featurette on the role Tapioca played in the movie and an 8-minute featurette on scrapbooks, which also have a significant role in the movie. Finally, there are 12 deleted scenes, with a total running time of just under 15 minutes.

As for the Blu-ray, it has all of the above extras, and all of them are presented in High Definition. Also, the audio commentary track is upgraded to a Picture-in-Picture track. Plus the disc is BD-Live enabled with MoLog and you can set your own bookmarks. That's more than enough to justify the 23% extra cost on

New in Town is perhaps not as bad as its reviews would indicate, but it is still not good and it is worth at most a rental. That said, there are more extras than I was expecting, and the Blu-ray is the better deal than the DVD.

Phillies Memories - The Greatest Moments in Philadelphia Phillies History - Buy from Amazon
125 years boiled down to 120 minutes. Real fans might be interested in this DVD, but most would rather have full games.

Powder Blue - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Better known by many as, 'That Jessica Biel stripper movie.' It certainly won't be remember for its critical reception or its box office numbers. Both versions have just an audio commentary track and a making of featurette, but the Blu-ray costs 65% more, which is way too much for a film of this type. Then again, I don't think it is worth a rental, so it doesn't matter.

The Princess of Nebraska - Buy from Amazon
First released online, this film is now making its debut on DVD. I've seen very few reviews online, but most are positive, if not enthusiastically positive. With no information on the DVD, it's hard to tell if it is worth a purchase or just a rental, but if you do want to buy it, grab the Combo Disc, which also has A Thousand Year of Good Prayers, which is also directed by Wayne Wang.

The Ramen Girl - Buy from Amazon
This movie was pushed back a number of times before being dumped direct-to-DVD. This is not a good sign, but it is not necessarily fatal, as there were some mitigating circumstances. Namely, the film's original distributor went bankrupt. There are almost no reviews online, but the few I've seen have been tepid in their praise and I would recommend renting only.

Revolution - Revisited - Buy from Amazon
When a movie is this bad, do you really want to visited it again?

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 12th. However, the DVD screener arrived late, hence the delay in the review.

S. Darko - A Donnie Darko Tale - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
First a quick note, while the DVD finally arrived, the Blu-ray has not. At this point, I don't think it will show up.

A direct-to-DVD sequel to the cult favorite, Donnie Darko. Set seven years after the events of the first movie, Samantha has run away from her home and is travelling with her friend, Corey, to Los Angeles when their car breaks down in a small town in Utah. There they meet a number of people, including one who goes by the name Iraq Jack (James Lafferty of One Tree Hill). Samantha is drawn to him, as he appears to be going through the same things her brother was going through in the original. Essentially, it's the story from the first movie, but looked at from the eyes of Samantha, and not the main actor in the story, but from one of the observers. This could be a setup that allows this sequel to not only emulate the original, but also set it apart, and that's the first step for a film like this if it wants to succeed.

While that's the first step, it is not the only step. And sadly, it's the only step this movie gets right. The script here just doesn't work. I like the idea, but the execution is terrible, while some of the dialogue is groan inducing. While watching this movie, I was reminded of the Pulse direct-to-DVD sequels, and that is far from a compliment. The thought that went through my head the most while watching this movie was, 'Why?' Why did they make this movie? It seems so pointless.

On the other hand, the extras on the DVD are better than expected starting with an audio commentary track. There are also six deleted / alternate scenes with a total running time of six minutes. There's a 15-minute making of featurette, and a seven-minute featurette on filming in Utah and the song it inspired. That's not a great collection of extras, but it is better than most similar releases.

I don't have the Blu-ray, so I can't say if the audio and video are worth the upgrade, but there are no exclusive extras to be found. On the other hand, it costs exactly the same price on, so there's no reason not to buy it over the DVD.

I love Donnie Darko and I really wanted to like this one. But I did not. Utterly disappointing. Extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray are better than the movie, but I'm still hesitant to recommend renting. For most people, including Donnie Darko fans, it is worth skipping.

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Buy from Amazon: 1960s - Volume 1 and 1970s - Volume 1
Two 2-disc DVDs coming out this week celebrating Saturday morning cartoons from the 1960s and 1970s. Both contain a mix of classics and those that are mostly forgotten. Add in better than expected extras, and both are worth picking up, especially if you grew up during the 60s or 70s.

The rest of this week's list, which includes a lot more spotlight reviews, can be found here.


Filed under: Video Releases, Seabiscuit, Cinderella Man, Children of Men, New in Town, Forever Strong, Das Goebbels-Experiment, Killshot, Powder Blue, Carnivorous, S. Darko, Dreams With Sharp Teeth, The Ramen Girl, The Princess of Nebraska