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DVD Releases for January 2, 2007

January 3rd, 2007

Wow. This is a terrible week for DVD releases. There are only a handful worth mentioning, and none that are must haves. Snakes on a Plane - Buy from Amazon is the best of the short list, but even here there's legitimate reasons not to buy. Interestingly, there are a ton of re-releases coming out tomorrow. So many that there are drowning out the real releases.

Artie Lange's Beer League - Buy from Amazon
Typical slobs vs. snobs story that was largely attacked by critics and all but ignored by moviegoers. The film isn't the total train wreck some imagined, but it is overloaded with clich├ęs and never really feels fresh. On the other hand, the 2-disc set is better than expected with an audio commentary track, behind-the-scenes, a few interviews, the premiere and more. However, considering the movie is less than 90 minutes long, the extras probably could have fit on one disc. Also, I'm surprised they didn't go the Unrated route just to drum up extras sales, but perhaps they are saving that for a later release.

The Covenant - Buy from Amazon
One of the worst reviewed movies to come out last year. The story was, for the most part, unoriginal and uninspired; the special effects were overdone and distracting; and the cast was filled with good looking guys who couldn't act. (The best actor in the movie was Jessica Lucas, and she ... spoiler ... was in a coma through most of the movie). As for the DVD, there's the usual audio commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette, but nothing that lifts the film past the rental level, and even that is being very generous.

Dark Portals: The Chronicles of Vidocq - Buy from Amazon
You walk by this DVD cover and it is going to make you stop and take notice. It was directed by a man who goes by the name Pitof, who is probably best known here for directing Catwoman, but don't hold that against him. I would compare the film more with Brotherhood of the Wolf, thanks to its amazing visuals and cinematography (although the story is not as compelling). The DVD is excellent for an import with audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, making of featurette, and more. Certainly worth checking out and fans of French cinema will want to pick it up.

Drake and Josh Go Hollywood - The Movie - - Buy from Amazon
TV on DVD should come in full seasons sets with very few exceptions.

Godzilla - Buy from Amazon: Godzilla Raids Again and Mothra vs. Godzilla
There have been a ton of Godzilla DVD box sets released recently (I'm assuming they are now public domain), but for the most part they have been cheaply done. This is not the case here. Both DVDs contain the original Japanese version and the American recut, the video has been remastered (although not to the original aspect ratio), and there are extras including audio commentary and a featurette each. For those who just like these movies for the camp quality, upgrading is probably not necessary, but those who enjoy these movies for their distinct quality, these are certainly worth the money. One last note, Amazon has these coming out on December 31st... of 2025. I fairly sure that's an error.

Love's Abiding Joy - Buy from Amazon
Pure cheese. A western aimed at a Christian audience but feels like a movie of the week. Given the film's terrible theatrical run, it is not a surprise that the DVD has no special features. I wouldn't even call it a rental for its target audience.

Martin - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
The show that first made Martin Lawrence famous, although I'm not sure that's a good thing. It was your typical Fox show from the mid-90s that showcased Martin Lawrence's talents and the fans found it very quotable. As for the 4-disc set, there are some outtakes and commentary on select scenes. Nothing great, but at least there's something.

Snakes on a Plane - Buy from Amazon
One of the most over-hyped movies to come out in many, many years. I was convinced there was no way this film was going to live up to the hype. In fact, I figured it would be a train wreck with the critics and bomb at the box office. I was pleasantly surprised that the reviews were actually good ... and then the movie bombed anyway. There are two possible explanations for this. Firstly, the hype started too soon and by the time the movie came out the people who wanted to see it were suffering from burnout. Secondly, there were no people that wanted to see the movie and all the hype was people laughing at the movie and not with it. The home market numbers will determine which of these scenarios is more likely. The DVD is well done with the ever-present audio commentary track, 5 minutes of outtakes, 12 minutes of deleted scenes, making of featurettes, featurette on the snakes, the special effects, Internet Buzz, and a music video. I would say is it worth picking up, except for one factor. It isn't an Unrated DVD and there is likely one in the works. Even so, I'm leaning towards a purchase on this one, because if it doesn't sell well enough, that Special Unrated Edition won't come out.

Sparkle - Buy from Amazon
For those who watched Dreamgirls and want to see it again without leaving their house. Sparkle is loosely, very loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes, which also inspired the musical that Dreamgirls is based on. However, this movie is not as good, although better than the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes indicate. Extras on the DVD are practically non-existent, but it does come with a CD containing 5 Aretha Franklin songs.


Filed under: Video Releases, Snakes on a Plane, The Covenant, Artie Lange's Beer League, Love's Abiding Joy