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holidays are upon us and I have to say, I'm a little bit excited
this year. I didn't put up my tree or anything, and with no rugrats
in my life, I have no real spirit. But for some reason, this year
feels a bit Christmassy to me. Growing up with just
Christmas in my life, I can't vouch for what Hanukah or Kwanza feels
like, but for some reason the holidays feel more holidaytastic to me
One thing is, I received a very early gift and I'm going out on a
limb and I'm recommending to EVERYONE who reads The
Bits, to either make sure you get this on your gift list
or pick it up for that special someone who loves the types of movies
we cover the most here. That gift is
Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio
by Jody Duncan. My. God. Does this thing rock. It weighs a ton and
the sheer amount of photographs, historical information and just...
I dunno... passion that went into this book makes it, for me, one of
the all-time best Hollywood books I've ever read. I got this thing
just the other day and I haven't been able to put it down.
Cinefex writer/editor Jody
Duncan really dives into the life, work and world of Winston, and
comes back with references to just about everything he's left a
thumbprint on (and that's a LOT of stuff). Plus, the production
values here (spearheaded by SWS crew members Jim Charmatz and Paul
Meijas) are incredible. Every photo in this thing is crisp, clear
and without fault. Even the standard edition cover created by
Charmatz rocks. If you love sci-fi and fantasy films as much as we
do here, you really should check it out.
Amazon has it for a really good price and orders made through the
weekend will get to you by the holidays. Again, seeing this thing is
believing and trust me, you give this as a gift and it will make any
film fan love you that much more
But I'm not here to sell books. I'm here to let you know what's
hitting stores this week. Well here they are...
This is a good week for DVD. Even if the volume isn't huge, the
titles are mostly interesting.
The Original Party Animals
I'm about over the whole CGI talking animal thing. But the kids
love it, so... here's another one.
I don't know how this one will fare during awards season, but
World Trade Center is a
powerful film, and understated in terms of Oliver Stone.
Definitely check this one out if you stayed away from it in
theaters. It's worth a look.
Devil Wears Prada
I'm not one for chick flicks, but this one looks cute. And I
have a not-so-secret-crush on star Anne Hathaway, which helps.
Fox & The Hound 2
I actually haven't seen this, so I don't know if it's any good.
I haven't really been blown away by the Disney direct-to-DVD
sequels, but there's always a chance this one is good.
Hilary Duff and her sister star in what looks like a bio of the
Hilton girls. I can't bring myself to care. But if you do, check
Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Ah... the Will Ferrell Express. Everything this guy touches
(and has control over) is gold. This one is no exception. Plus,
it's got the guy who plays Borat.
Ol' Double Dip
Here are a couple re-release discs for you to think about upgrading
Christmas: Special Edition
This is a good flick and the sequel (hitting theaters on
Christmas Day) looks like it might be fun. I'll most likely
review this one, so I'll know more in a few days. We'll keep you
Widescreen Extended Cut
Bugsy is a great f-in'
flick. I can't imagine an extended cut would make it any better.
But if you're looking for more, it's coming to your favorite
shop this week.
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe:
4-Disc Extended Edition
The Lord of the Rings cut
is finally here. More movie! More extras! More more! I didn't
really dig this when I first saw it in theaters, so I can't
really get my excitement level up. But I may rent this just to
see if it becomes a better flick with more story. I mean, it
can't hurt it, right?
You want TV stuff? Nothing here really makes me go whoo-hoo, except
for maybe the last of the Masters of
Horror films. That and the odd inclusion of a film that
was only on TV Monday night: A Year
Without a Santa Claus. Synergy at its finest...
Griffith Show: The Complete Final Season,
Atlas: China Revealed,
the Bounty Hunter: Wedding Special,
House: The Complete Fifth Season,
Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete First Season,
& Order: Criminal Intent - The Second Year,
of Horror: Fair-Haired Child,
The Complete Series,
Defender of the Universe - Volume Two and
Year Without a Santa Claus
Mention Box Set
This week this section means more, because these are sets you might
actually want to ask for this Christmas. Yes, its the next two
James Bond Ultimate Edition,
James Bond Ultimate Edition,
3 features Goldeneye,
Live and Let Die, For
Your Eyes Only, From Russia
With Love and On Her Majesty's
Secret Service, while Volume 4
has Dr. No, You
Only Live Twice, Octopussy,
Tomorrow Never Dies and Moonraker
all in two-disc slimcases with brand spanking new, fully-restored,
Lowry Digital-enhanced anamorphic transfers, bringing all of these
films into the 21st Century. Audio is Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1.
Extras are so vast that writing about them would take too long. Just
know that the effort that's gone into these special editions is
mind-blowing. Think: two commentaries for each film, never before
seen deleted scenes, brand new supplemental features and most (if
not quite all) of the stuff that was on the previous DVDs too. If
you have $160 bucks, then feel free to pick both of these up. As was
the case with the first two volumes, the only way you'll get these
films for now is in the boxes - none are available separately
(though word is they'll be released individually sometime next
Well, that's it for this week. I'm serious about that book I gushed
about up top. Trust me, its worth the 35 or so dollars you can
get it on Amazon. It's actually worth a lot more, but if someone is
stupid enough to sell it for 35, then take it.
I'm not exactly sure if we'll have a column next week, so I may
consolidate for the following week. But to all of you... and I speak
for everyone here at The Bits...
we love each and every one of you. You're the heart and soul of this
website and we all appreciate you reading week after week. So please
have a safe and happy holiday. Get lots of rest, eat lots of food,
read lots of books and spin a lot of discs.
Atlanta, GA 12/12/06
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