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DVD Releases for February 13, 2007

February 12th, 2007

Updated 2/15/2007: Zoey 101 is a Nickelodeon production, not a Disney production.

In terms of raw numbers, this isn't as busy a week as last, but there are a lot more releases worthy of discussing, including several that I rate highly. The short-lived series Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon gets its wide release after being an Amazon exclusive since November. Half Nelson - Buy from Amazon comes up just in time for Oscar buzz to reach its peak. Meanwhile, ... So Goes the Nation - Buy from Amazon should get the political junkies all worked up. However, the clear winner of the DVD Pick of the Week is The Departed - 2-Disc Special Edition. My only concern is the likelihood of a super special edition coming out after it wins several Oscars.

13 Tzameti - Buy from Amazon
An amazing film that is best seen with as little knowledge about the plot as possible. Because of this, I won't say anything more about the movie. As for the DVD, the extras are great for a limited release / import and include interviews, deleted scenes, a short film and more. If you were one of the few people who saw it in theaters, you will want to pick it up. If not, you will want to give it a rental for sure and odds are that many people who do give it a chance will end up buying it.

All in the Family - Buy from Amazon
Arguably the greatest TV sitcom of all time. Yet the DVD sets continue to have no special features. This is borderline treasonous... Even so, the 3-disc set is still worth picking up.

Ballykissangel - Complete Series Five - Buy from Amazon
The show had already jumped the shark at this point, although there's still something charming about it. However, the lack of extras further reduces the value of the DVD.

Beauty and the Beast - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
One of those TV shows that a lot of people have probably forgotten; it was mainly a cult favorite and never drew huge ratings. However, fans of the show were known to be rabidly loyal and have waited a long time for this 6-disc set. While they will be disappointed with the total lack of extras, they will consider it still worth picking up.

Blu-Ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Broken Arrow, Chain Reaction, Chronos, Entrapment, Ladder 49, The Marine, Phone Booth, Planet of the Apes, The Princess Bride, Reign of Fire, The Sentinel, and The Usual Suspects
It looks like Blu-Ray is starting to outdistance HD-DVD when it comes to releases. Of this week's list, however, only two are worth owning (The Princess Bride and The Usual Suspects), and none are worth upgrading for.

Cave of the Yellow Dog - Buy from Amazon
A Mongolian film about a little girl who finds a young dog and becomes friends with it. The movie earned unbelievable reviews, mostly for its splendid cinematography, but even fans will admit that the film is slow moving at times and the story is a little thin. Extras are also a little thin with just an interview, but fans of art house cinema will still want to check it out.

The Departed - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc Edition or 2-Disc Special Edition or HD-DVD or Blu-Ray
Ah ha! The first must-have DVD release of the year. Took long enough. Arguably the best wide release of the year (although I would give Casino Royale the slight edge), it is also one of the year's big players this award season and should give Martin Scorsese his first Oscar. As for the two editions coming out tomorrow, there's no choice. The single-disc edition has no real special features (trailers don't count in my book except under very rare circumstances). 2-Disc Special Edition
has special features roughly the same length as the movie itself with deleted scenes, a featurettes on the real-life crime boss that inspired the character of Frank Costello, a featurette on Scorsese's various other mob movies and how their style compares to this movie. However, the big extra is the feature-length documentary on Martin Scorsese. This was actually made pre-The Departed so that movie isn't mentioned in this documentary, but practically every other movie of his is. There are some complaints, for example the lack of an audio commentary track and the lack of captioning is criminal. (And I'm not being overly dramatic here. It should be against the law to release a DVD without captioning, just like you can't have a TV show without captioning.) However, those complaints aside, this is still the best DVD coming out tomorrow and an obvious contender for DVD Pick of the Week.

Emergency - Season Three - Buy from Amazon
TV drama from the 70s about first responders. Those who remember the show will be glad its coming out on DVD, those who have never seen it won't be sold. While it is not as stuck in the 70s as some other shows of the same era, it's doesn't have the same style or edge as similar shows do today. Add in no special features and its overall value is limited.

F*CK - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about profanity, specifically the f-word, or the f-bomb as it is also known. Not the usual topic for a documentary and given the film's short theatrical run, it's easy to see why. It should have done better at the box office. Granted, it's reviews were not great, with many critics complaining that the film seemed more interested in shocking than educating, but there's still more than enough here to make for an interesting time. The DVD should perform better especially with audio commentary track and extended / deleted scenes. On a side note, I've been trying to come up with a list of words that have the same phonetic sound as the f-bomb in them, but are not derivatives. However, I'm drawing a blank. I can't think of one word. They can't be that rare, but the f-bomb is so powerful that it blocks all other words from being retrieved. (If anyone can come up with such a word,

Filed under: Video Releases, The Departed, Ladder 49, Phone Booth, The Sentinel, The Marine, School for Scoundrels, Marie Antoinette, Zoom, Half Nelson, Infamous, The U.S. vs John Lennon, Cave of the Yellow Dog, Mutual Appreciation, F*ck, So Goes the Nation, Shock to the System, Mou gaan dou III: Jung gik mou gaan, Ging chaat goo si juk jaap, Mou gaan dou II, Man About Town, 13 Tzameti