Category Archives: Home Video

DVD Review: Lost In Space, Season Two, Volume One

Lost in Space
Season 2, Volume 1
20th Century Fox Home Video
LostInSpaceS2V1 BoxArtsmall.jpgWhile a bare bones collection, this box is actually something I am happy I own. This show, while incredibly dated and absurd beyond all reason, is fantastically funny and very well-acted. Jonathan Harris as Dr. Smith does actually project that smarmy, pedophilic undertone that you think you remember from watching the originals (or in my case, Saturday morning re-runs) and oddly, that’s a positive, here. Too many times have I re-visited a TV series or movie from my childhood only to be disappointed by the reality. Not so with Lost in Space, although the familiar theme song that most of us remember was actually only present in the final season of this show’s three-year run. However, all the rest is there, complete with Robot B-9 (“Danger, Will Robinson!”), Bill Mumy (later to shine as Lennier on Babylon 5) as Will Robinson and guest stars like Warren Oates, Michael J. Pollard, Kurt Russell, Werner Klemperer, Strother Martin, Lyle Waggoner, Arte Johnson and even Robbie the Robot (not all in this box set). If you’re up for a little nostalgia that actually holds up, give these sets a try.
One major drawback, however, is the complete lack of any extras and mono sound. Otherwise, these discs are a blast, man!
To buy Lost In Space – Season 2, Vol. 1, please click on this link!

DVD Review – “Saved!”

Saved!
Written by Brian Dannelly and Michael Urban
Directed by Brian Dannelly
Saved_boxart_smallcropped.jpg
Saved! is a sharp, funny and ultimately very insightful film that gets a particular aspect of the fundamentalist Christian segment of the US in its sights and fires away with both barrels, leaping up and down on the carcass with high-heeled boots for good measure. A fresh and original look at teen genre comedies, Saved! looks at what life might be like in a fundamentalist Christian high school through the uber-satirical mind of Dannelly and Urban. To wit, the first line of the film is: “I’ve been born again my whole life.”
The cast is universally fantastic, with both Jena Malone as Mary and Mandy Moore as best friend Hilary Faye shining as students at American Eagle Christian High School. This friendship is put to the test when over summer break Mary’s misstep causes her to undergo some, uh, changes, putting her gradually at odds with the strict, unfeeling dogma pouring from Hilary Faye’s mouth.
To read the rest of this review, Click Here.
To purchase the DVD of Saved!, please visit my afilliate, Barnes & Noble:
Saved!

DVD Review-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Sixth Season
20th Century Fox Home Video
Warning: Spoiler’s Ahead! This review was written for people who know the series and have seen season 6.
BuffyI have to say, this review is a bittersweet experience for me. Round about season three of this series I became a convert. I don’t remember when I started watching it, but it was early enough that I got it. I mean, I became an addict. The fact that the show, and it’s spin-off Angel aren’t around in first-run anymore is a sad state of affairs, and writing this just reminds me that season 7 is the end. Well things end, I guess.
This season, the series first on UPN after five seasons on rival fledgling network The WB, raises the bar once again for network series television. Not only is there a full-length musical episode (“Once More, With Feeling,” a natural counterpart to season four’s largely silent “Hush”) it is also jam-packed with series turning points. Among them, this season’s mortality is ratcheted up several notches, with the death of a main character (this time permanent, as opposed to Buffy’s season five demise) and Willow’s wanton murder of Warren and near slaughter of Anya and Giles. In addition, Willow and Tara’s relationship reaches a level of intimacy that is rarely, if ever, seen between two women in film, much less on network television. The courage shown by Whedon, the cast and crew, and UPN should be commended.
Season 6 is also significantly darker in overall tone, with quite a bit less overall humor than some of the previous seasons but a wealth of pivotal moments. Buffy and Spike’s relationship, the death of Tara, Willow’s transformation into an evil, magic-addicted murderess, Giles’ return to England, the journey of the Nerds from comic relief to killers and the end of Xander and Anya’s relationship pack an absurd level of pivotal character development into this 22 episode season.

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DVD Review-The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly-Special Edition
Directed by Sergio Leone
“Therefore, according to the powers vested in us, we sentence the accused here before us, Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez…”
“Known as ‘The Rat’.”
“…and any other aliases he may have, to hang by the neck until dead. May God have mercy on his soul. Proceed.”

GoodBadandUgly_clintsmall.jpgA true classic in all senses of the word, The Good the Bad and the Ugly makes a triumphant return to DVD in a new 2-disc collector’s set that is packed with extras and restores the film to the length of the original Italian release of nearly 3 hours. This tale of revenge, robbery and murder set against the Civil War is a riveting example of a master Italian filmmaker completely dominating a classic American genre.

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DVD Review-Independence Day

Yeah, I know what you’re all saying. Yes, this film has been released on DVD a few times and yes, it’s 8 years old. But it is indeed a new version (albeit without a whole lot of new stuff on it) and I figured, why not start off my DVD reviews with something I know pretty well? Anyway, read and I hope, enjoy. There are many more DVD and theatrical reviews, indie and studio, classics and new releases, to come! Coming up next week: “Speed Racer” limited collecter’s edition vol. 2 and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly special edition collector’s set, and in coming weeks, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” complete 6th season, The Great Escape special edition, “Dead Like Me” the complete first season, and Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, among others.
As of now I plan on running DVD reviews on Tuesday and Friday.
-M
Independence Day
Directed by Roland Emmerich
ID4scene1sml.jpgBy now, most of you know the basic story of this movie. In addition to the fact that the film grossed over $300 million at the US box office alone, most of you have seen an alien invasion movie before, be that War of the Worlds, the TV mini-series “V” or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, so you know the deal. Aliens come, kill a lot of people then the remaining inhabitants of Earth band together and kill the aliens. Well, most of the time. While not the best movie in the world, Independence Day is a mostly rousing tale of humanity fighting off the threat of extinction. Yeah, I don’t buy that, either. It’s hokey as all hell and you have to be able to seriously suspend your disbelief in several spots. That said, it’s not the worst way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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