DVD Picks of the Week: May 19th, 2009

Today was the day the great Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell film Army of Darkness was supposed to be released on Blu-ray. For whatever reason, that release hasn’t come, so I can’t give you a lecture in double dipping, something that all three films in the Evil Dead trilogy have been apart of. It’s fine and all as there is plenty of other worthy titles to talk about. Check it out.

24: Season Seven [DVD][Blu-ray]

The newest season of 24 is available on DVD and Blu-ray today. One day after it officially ended. The decision by Fox to release the show, one of my personal favorites, a day after the season ends is puzzling on many levels. I don’t see many people outside of the hardcore 24 completists going out to purchase this just yet. Would you really sit down and watch through the entire season again already? Probably not. Another point of confusion comes from the danger of the season finale leaking to the internet, which it so expectedly did late Sunday night. I can’t end this submission without talking about the actual content here. I’m easily pleased by the badass life Jack Bauer lives and I’m sure most of you are too. This season wasn’t the greatest, but it was most enjoyable. We were treated to some fine acting and thrilling moments. Sure, the show only has a few plot devices, but it still works to this day. If you want to get into the show, I can only suggest you start from the beginning with season one.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle [Criterion DVD#475]

I’m sure you’ve caught on to the fact that I absolutely love the Criterion Collection. I think what they do in terms of releasing films that haven’t seen the light of day on the home video format is exactly what the format was meant to do. It lets people dive into the archives and dig up films from the past that might have gone by under the radar. Here’s another example. The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a 1973 crime drama that stars one of my favorite actors, Robert Mitchum. This Peter Yates directed film seems to cool to pass over. Check out the trailer below — it’s real old school style with that gritty voiceover from the trailer announcer. I watched it once and I’m sold!

Man Hunt [DVD]

Fritz Lang is one of my favorite directors of all time. To find out why, check out the profile I wrote on him for The Recorder last semester. Lang has directed a variety of genres, including early science fiction, crime thrillers and film noir. Man Hunt is a film about a British hunter who has Hitler in his sights before being captured and beaten before escaping back to London. Knowing Lang’s unique and more than capable directing abilities I’m sure this is a thriller, and probably a better alternative to the other kill Hitler film released today, Valkyrie.

The Last Horror Film [Uncut Special Edition]

The Last Horror Film appears to be yet another great archival release from Lloyd Kaufman and Troma, a company I love and respect dearly. Bill Gibron at DVDTalk.com gave this release the “DVD Talk Collector Series” label, the website’s highest honor, which was more than enough to catch my eye. The film is highly approriate right now, as it deals with a taxi driver who stalks an actress attending the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars unsung actor Joe Spinell, who was in films such as The Godfather and Maniac.

Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes: 3 Films By Shohei Imamura [Criterion DVD]

Sorry, I’m going to stay arthouse and Criterion with you for just another minute or two. How could I ignore a boxset titled Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes. If that isn’t enough to interest you in Imamura’s work, then I don’t know what is. Title #471 in the Criterion Collection is a set of three films by Japanese director Imamura. These films, all made in the 1960s, appear to be significant to the new wave of filmmaking that occured in Imamura’s homeland at the time. Murder, gangsters and human relationships seem to make up the three titles available here. Worth a look? Most definitely.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Skynet Edition)
[Blu-ray] [6-Disc Blu-ray Collector’s Set w/Endoskull]

Ah, the old studio favorite. Wait until just before the next big film in a series to release a new edition of a previous classic. It’s exactly what has been done here with two new choices for all your T2 action on Blu-ray. Let’s get one obvious thing out of the way here: Terminator 2 is a tremendous film. It’s one of the greatest action/science fiction films of all time. For the fans that want to get all that goodness on Blu-ray, you have two options. One is the single disc release of the extended cut. The other is a 6-disc collector’s set complete with that nifty looking Endoskull pictured sidebar. If you want to spend $100+ on one film, by all means, go for it. I won’t judge you one bit. I’m serious here. Apparently the 6-disc set includes the following former and current releases: Terminator 2: Judgment Day-Skynet Edition (Blu-ray), Terminator 2: Judgment Day-Extreme DVD (DVD), Terminator 2: Judgment Day-Ultimate Edition (DVD). Why someone would need all of those versions, I don’t know. Here’s a link to what exactly is included in the set.

Okay. Phew. I’m fatigued. There is so much to cover this week. Since I don’t know if anyone actually reads this damn thing I’m going to cut it short and hit up the rest of the relevant titles with my scapegoat for laziness quick picks.

What else comes out this week:
True Blood: Season 1 [DVD][Blu-ray], Valkyrie [DVD][2-disc DVD][Blu-ray], Fanboys, Friday Night Lights: The Third Season, Paul Blart: Mall Cop [DVD][Blu-ray], A Bug’s Life [Blu-ray], My Blood Valentine 3D [DVD][Blu-ray], Enemy at the Gates [Blu-ray], 3 Days of the Condor [Blu-ray], Batman [Blu-ray], The Machinist [Blu-ray], The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Centennial Collection), Charles Bronson Collection, Paycheck [Blu-ray], Nightmare Castle, Spy Game [Blu-ray], Billy Jack, El Dorado (Centennial Collection), Lions for Lambs [Blu-ray], Changing Lanes [Blu-ray], Circle of Iron [Blu-ray], Fast Company [Blu-ray], Bollywood Horror Collection, Vol. 3.

See, I wasn’t lying, that’s a lot of relevant titles to look into this week. I’m probably missing more stuff, but that’s the way she goes.

What to stay away from:
To keep things closer to the mainstream, I’ll tell you to stay away from Paul Blart: Mall Cop [DVD][Blu-ray]. Not because I’ve seen it and because I thought it was bad, but because this giant has already made so much unnecessary money this year and it doesn’t need anymore. Also it probably was really bad. The only film about a mall cop that you need in 2009 is Observe and Report, one of the most brilliant comedies in a long time.

And that wraps up an absolutely amazing and jam-packed week. I would like to thank both of my hands for being able to withstand all the typing and copy+pasting along with my mind for being able to handle the huge load of information. If you read this, please do comment on what you think I should change or do differently, or what you thought of any of this week’s releases.

Next week looks kind of weak, but I’ll be putting together an entry just like I always do. For the love of the game, I say. Until then, so long. Walsh out (yes I did just say that).


2 thoughts on “DVD Picks of the Week: May 19th, 2009

  1. I both read and love your reviews. Don’t be apologetic about loving the criterion collection.Also Paul Blart was just as bad as you assume it was. Maybe worse.

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