Halley was scrutinizing the pretty greens as they faded into an amber yellow. The rest had their eyes on God. I, personally, was watching the Red carpet pre-show. Whoops. Sorry about that. It was an accident. Blame it on the Grammy Awards if you must. They're what truly kept this column from making its Sunday-Monday run. Never fear, we're back. And this one's going to be thick. DVD announcements are like a dribbling faucet that's impossible to twist off. I'm here to catch the spillage.
First, let's air out the dirty laundry. You all know what today is! DVD-Tuesday. Some wanky on-air television commercial has stooped to calling it DVDuesday. I think that's just dumb. Or maybe I'm jealous I didn't think of it first. Yeah, if I don't like something, it must be because I'm jealous of it. That's the logic some douche bag ghit used on me the other night while I tried to sip beer at an LA bar.
I think that suckah's full of pissy sh*t.
I hate him. What I don't hate is Warner Brothers' decision to finally release some of the most anticipated B titles in its catalogue today. Yes. I've been waiting such a long time. Young Einstein is one of my all-time favorite 80s films. It came late in the game, but I could watch Yahoo Serious in his most famous role to date a thousand times over. The story of how one genius not only invented rock and roll, but also put bubbles into beer, is solid gold and it comes along in 2005 like some classic piece of pop culture. As if that wasn't awesome enough, we also have Robert Urich in Ice Pirates. I remember back in 1999, I stumbled into one of these rundown prop-house stores in Burbank that try to sell you underwear owned by Christy Brinkley, or some such sh*t, and sitting up on a shelf for only fifty dollars were the head and torso pieces to three of the robots used in Ice Pirates. I wanted to buy them so bad, and they were cheap. Sadly, that was more money than I had at the time.
Other Warner Brothers releases finally seeing the light of arrival on this fine Tuesday include the sub par, did-it-for-the-money sequel Arthur 2: On the Rocks, the Fat Boys' second film following Krush Groove, Disorderlies, the two follow-ups to Oh, God!, which would be Oh, God! Book II and Oh, God! You Devil. There's also a movie I've never heard of before called Chain of Fools. It has a pretty impressive cast that includes Steve Zahn, Salma Hayek, Jeff Goldblum, and David Cross (as an overgrown Timber Scout). Could be good. Could also be a big pile of dog sh*t, hence it's straight to video departure. Kevin Costner's Fandango makes its first digital appearance, as does Macaulay Culkin's live-action Richie Rich adaptation. Last, but not least, lets not forget Danny DeVito's Ruthless People follow-up Other People's Money.
Two horror favorites both get loving releases today. SAW arrives with more sinkholes than the planet Utapau (make sure you buy a copy so you can listen to the Soju After Movie audio commentary available only at MovieWeb.com starting Thursday), and Richard Kelley rewrites history with his second editing job tentatively entitled Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (I don't care for this new version too much. Doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it). In other news, we have the equally scary Raise Your Voice, starring Hillary Duff. Kids will love it. So will I. Where's my raincoat? Steven Segal unleashes his direct-to-DVD effort Into The Sun. Its got a lot of Japanese people in it, so it might be worth a look. National Lampoon releases the Vince Vaughn comedy Black Ball just one week after its theatrical run, making it the fastest movie to appear on DVD. Ever. Looks pretty bad. I doubt I'll invest much time in it (though, their last effort, National Lampoon's Dorm Daze, was actually pretty good).
People wondering just who that Che guy is on all those T-Shirts might want to check out The Motorcycle Diaries, which chronicles Guevara's early years. Also of an acclaimed nature is the Korean War Epic Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War. Then there's the not-so-acclaimed remake of the French film Taxi, starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. It's straight-up poop-stink.
If you like documentaries, MGM is finally releasing The Yes Men. Last summer they racked up quiet a hefty dinner tab at Blake (Soju After Movie) Snyder's expense. And Half Baked, starring Dave Chappelle, finally sees a Special Edition with some decent extra features.
As for TV on DVD, there are a couple of worthy entries. Anchor Bay finally kicks out the first season of The Greatest American Hero. Whistle the theme song, won't you? Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh get a Vol. 1 Best of Set. The once popular Buffy spin-off Angel makes its 5th go around, as does Good Times, clocking in with it's 5th season. Yes, I'd say the opportunity is there to blow a lot of cash at Best Buy or Fry's this week.
Now, onto why you really came here. The DVD announcements. Get that pen and calendar ready...
Not even a cameo by Ben Affleck could save this sinking ship. Every single word concerning this Dare Devil spin-off was cruel and mean. I don't think a single person, anywhere, liked it. Personally, I'm not a big Jennifer Garner fan, and will probably skip the retail purchase of her latest flick. It's an expensive disc at thirty bucks. It's being presented in anamorphic widescreen, with both English DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. Extras include three deleted scenes, a thirteen-minute making of Featurette, a Comic-Con Presentation, an "Inside the Editing Room" feature, and both the theatrical teaser and trailer. It's a comic book fan's wet dream come true.
It won the number one spot on movieweb's most mediocre films of 2004 list. Is it bad? Not really. Is it good? I certainly wouldn't say that. I don't ever want to watch it again. And the Julia Roberts subplot defies all description. It's a professional wank-job as performed by one of Hollywood's most talented auteurs; studded with a cast of thousands. Call it Cannon Ball Run 4 (sadly its not as fun as those Burt Reynolds affairs). Damn it, I used to like George Clooney a lot. What happened? Now I can barely tolerate his presence. I'll probably buy this lame sequel, just to complete the set. Brad Pitt does some nice work. It's priced at nearly thirty bucks. Jeezus. What? Do they think I'm rich? I'm going to have to pull off a heist of my own just to own this thing. The movie will be presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, with English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby 2.0 Stereo Surround and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. English, French and Spanish subtitles are also included. Apparently, the only extra feature is a theatrical trailer. Dumb.
Another Don Cheadle release is also being made available on April 12th. Its HOTEL RWANDA, the feel good hit of the year. I guess it's about a hotel manager that saves a bunch of people. Crazy stuff, and Oscar worthy to boot. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Special features include an audio commentary with Director Terry George and Paul Rusesabagina, and select Commentary from Wyclef Jean. There is also selected scene commentary from Don Cheadle, the "A Message for Peace: Making Hotel Rwanda" documentary, a Return to Rwanda documentary, and the film's original theatrical trailer. I can't wait.
Wesley Snipes wasn't the only one pissed about the direction this third entry in the Blade series took. So were the fans. The film served as some sort of weird offshoot, acting as a showcase for a spin-off series that "was" supposed to feature both the Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds characters. That doesn't look likely now, seeing as how this one tanked in theaters. I watched the first fifteen minutes of it on a very bad bootleg. It looked like more of the same too me. Nothing new, but nothing that would disappoint me, either. I can't wait to check out the Unrated Version that's being offered up by New Line. A rated version will also be made available. Both are priced at around $30. The Unrated Blade contains ten minutes of previously unseen footage. Both films will be offered in anamorphic widescreen, with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 6.1 Surround tracks. Extras include two separate commentaries with writer/director David Goyer, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, producer and crew, a 16-part behind-the-scenes documentary, an alternate ending, a blooper reel, a "Goyer on Goyer: The Writer Interviews the Director" Featurette, the VFX Progression and Weapons galleries and the film's theatrical trailer. Also included in the package is a collectable comic book. Finally, the trilogy is complete. Now I can get on with my filthy life.
Also on April 26th, and arriving just in time to coincide with all the accusations being made against him, is Bill Cosby's LEONARD PART 6. My friend swears by this flick. I've never seen it. Its been called one of the worst films of all time, and must be making its appearance to pull in some bucks from all the controversy. I can't really even tell you what its about. I have no idea. Is Bill supposed to be some kind of super hero, a detective, or what? I guess I'll find out in April, when I drive like a bat out of Hell to scoop this one up from the isles of Circuit City. It will retail for about $20. Leonard will be presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78, with English Dolby Surround Sound. The only special features are a couple of Bonus Previews, whatever that means.
Here comes the gayest movie of 2004. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Joel Schumacher really fagged it up this time. Just try getting that main song out of your head after watching this drugged-up sucker. It's dinner theater gone horribly awry. At least the main girl, Emmy Rossum, is an awesome sight to stare at. Warner Brothers will be offering both a single and a double disc version of this braying musical. The single-disc will sell for about $30. The two-disc collector's edition will be priced at around the same rate (gee, wonder which one you'll opt for). Both are presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. English, French and Spanish subtitles included. From what I could guess, the single-disc release will be a pretty barren affair. The collector's edition should have a couple documentaries about the story and the musical's legacy, plus three "making of" featurettes. Fun stuff.
The Longest Yard
To coincide with the theatrical release of Adam Sandler's do-over, Paramount is dropping a "Lockdown Edition" of the original Burt Reynolds classic. Didn't Vinnie Jones remake this movie less than two years ago? Yes, he did, and it carried the original script title of "Mean Machine." I love Burt, and I'm glad they threw him into Adam's forth-coming comedy. Still, I don't have a lot of faith in it, and will stick by this first outing. No extras have been announced, but we do know that the disc will retail for $19.99. Or, you can fetch the previously released version for around ten bucks. Its available right this second.
Quantum Leap: Season 3
Also on May 10th, QUANTUM LEAP SEASON 3 makes its debut, further propelling the mythical adventures of Sam Beckett and his heterosexual time companion Al. This is one of the few series that maintained its clever appeal throughout its run, so you really can't go wrong with this set. All three discs are presented in 1.33:1 full frame, with English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks. English, French and Spanish subtitles are included. No special features have been announced at this time, but I'm sure there will be a few. There always is. The weird thing, it's coming out in the near future, but if you read this six months from now, it will have come out in the recent past. Mind blowing. Really. I wish Sam would come and tell me if I should or shouldn't buy this collection. Conceivably, going to Target to purchase it could greatly alter the course of my life.
God, what a disappointment. I've never been so bored in my life. I went in expecting to laugh and damn near fell asleep. Sure, I got all the jokes. It was just a little bit depressing. I'm excited to check out this Unrated version though, even though it only runs about a minute longer than what we saw in theaters. I want to see what all the hubbub concerning the Puppet Sex actually was. I personally don't think the cuts were justified. The original theatrical version is also being made available, but really…Who's going to buy that? Both versions will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. No extras have been revealed at this current date.
Sheew, that's a lot of stuff to sift through. Doesn't matter, I'll still be there on release day, emptying my wallet on the counter. Why? Because I need my digital fix. So long, and remember…"If I aint givin' it to ya, you shouldn't be getting' it!"