- Weekly Release Roundup (for the week of 8/10)
And we're back. See? I wouldn't leave you hanging. We flashed back
to last week in my first column, now we're looking at some of the
funky stuff that came out this week. There are plenty of great
titles, which mostly I didn't get so I can't tell you about 'em.
But, there are a few cool pieces that I did get, so we'll look at
First up, the completion to a cult classic in the making...
Bill: Volume 2
Q & U's second (but "might-not-be-final") volume
to the fan fave Kill Bill: Volume One
hits stores this week, and surprise! As a movie it works a lot
better than the first one. And when viewed side-by-side with the
first one, you can see a little more method to Tarantino's
madness. Is Kill Bill a
brilliant opus? Actually, it might be. Time will tell. Volume
Two has The Bride going up against Bud (brother to
Bill), Elle Driver and of course, Bill. This one's filled with
odes to spaghetti western, Kung Fu and QT buddy Robert Rodriguez
films instead of giallo, samurai and American exploitation films
as the first one did. It's a tighter film, a little bit funnier
and a whole lot more satisfying because of the resolution. Kill
Bill: Volume Two is a badass flick and worth picking
up. Who knows when the full blown collected version will street.
anamorphic widescreen picture quality is on this DVD is fairly good.
Bill is noticing an overly digital look to the image on his
huger-than-huge rear projection system, but on standard sets it
looks pretty darn good. The sound is presented in both Dolby Digital
5.1 and DTS 5.1, rip-roaring on both fronts. This one is a little
more packed with special features than the last one. First we get a
deleted scene starring Michael Jai White. His kung fu is sweet, his
acting is awful and I can see why this was killed. There's also a
nice "video" of Robert Rodriguez's band Chingon performing
a song featured at the end of the film and a making-of featurette
which is fluffy in it's own way. Tarantino is a sort-of host (clad
in his Tarantino-as-Simpsons-character T-shirt) and explains the
making of the film as only he can. It's a worthy addition to the
first DVD and will sit well in your library.
Lost Boys: Special Edition
I love this fuckin' movie. I swear I do. I forgot how much I
did until I popped this bad boy in my player last weekend. I
remember just about everything from it, and guess what? I'm not
embarrassed by that. Lost Boys
is like the anti-brat pack film, directed by the guy who made
the ultimate brat pack flick: St.
Elmo's Fire. Michael (Jason Patrick) and his brother
Sam (Corey Haim) move with their recently divorced mom (Dianne
Wiest) to Santa Carla, California - the murder capital of the
world. There they discover the reason for that motto: it's
infested by vampires led by 24's
Kiefer Sutherland. Michael is turned and Sam must align himself
with self-styled vampire hunters Edgar and Allen Frog (Corey
Feldman and Jamison Newlander) in order to get his brother back
and end the threat. But is there more to the story than even
Michael, Sam and the Frog Brothers know about? Yes. Oh, sweet
baby yes. The Lost Boys is
completely badass and cool. It hasn't aged a bit, even the
clothing styles Haim tromps around in work in that even then
(1987), no one in their right mind would wear them. Like I said,
I love this film.
treats it really nice on disc, too. I was very excited to get this
DVD and find how good it looks. The anamorphic transfer is
beautiful, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is full and
well-rendered. The special features are also quite cool. Disc One
features a commentary by director Joel Schumacher discussing the
origins of the film, the casting, the shoot and the effect it's had
on pop culture. It's a very good commentary and worth a listen.
Covering most of the same ground, but with additional voices like
D.P. Michael Chapman and actors Keifer Sutherland, the two Coreys
and Edward Herrmann, is the making-of documentary on Disc Two. It's
good, but not entirely satisfying. Better is a look at the vampire
effects by Greg Cannom and a video montage of his work. There's also
four shorter featurettes, a very silly mini-commentary by the two
Coreys and Jason Newlander set up as a multiple angle featurette and
a very stupid look at vampires across the world done as an
interactive map. Oh, and there's a video for Lost
in the Shadows by Lou Gramm. Neat. All-in-all, this is a
pretty good set for a great late-80s vampire film. Definitely find
money to pick this up.
The story of Sada Abe has been told before, most notably in the
film The Story of Sada Abe
and the classic "Pink" erotic film In
the Realm of the Senses. Here, director Nobuhiko
Obayashi tells a very theatrical tale, allowing us a surreal
look inside the head of Sada herself. We start with her rape,
her self-imposed exile into the world of prostitution and onward
to the crime that rocked Japan in 1936. Yeah, as a man, I don't
really want to discuss that one. It's a very over the top
production, but somehow this film is so hypnotic and its subject
matter so enthralling that it works. Home Vision presents the
film in it's original full frame with mono sound and it looks
and sound very nice. Extras include a trailer, bio and
filmographies for cast and crew and a liner note booklet by
Richard Kadrey with an introduction by Obayashi.
Not a whole lot to say about this one. If you're a fan of Alf
you'll want 'em. The good: the menus are hosted by Alf himself
and they're pretty funny. The transfers are pretty good, but
there's some video drop outs here and there. And the original
pilot is included and is pretty funny. The bad: the packaging
sucks. But truth be told, this is an okay set for a classic 80s
TV show a lot of us hold dear. Check it out if you wanna.
Night with Conan O'Brien: 10th Anniversary Special
Late Night with Conan
O'Brien: The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Mr. Adam Jahnke hasn't been sleeping well these days. So to fill
his sleepless night up, he's been logging time in with the ol' TV on
DVD machine. He lovingly calls 'em TVD, which works for me. Check
newest column where he gives waaaaay too much word count to
these two titles.
TV titles available today: the classic HBO comedy concert
Cosby: Himself, it's a dyno-mite time with
Times: The Complete Third Season and there can be only...
Season 5 that is.
Also available today...
... colorize the stooges with
Three Stooges: Goofs on the Loose and
& Confoosed. Evil can come in child-sized packages:
Bad Seed. Ralph Macchio makes another deal with the devil
Bette Davis, not Jeremy Irons stars in
Ringer. One of us!
Looking for a cute foreign film? Check out
Bye Lenin!. Ya know, I've always said it, now here's the
Duff: The Girl Can Rock - The Concert. Vacation
without Chevy Chase? I dunno:
Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze: Unrated. Something to keep you
away from the theater:
Prince & Me. Wacky kids:
of the Damned/Children of the Damned and two Ichi flicks
in Desperation and
See you next week...