Friday, November 21, 2008

RoosterFlix DVD Picks for November 18th




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Wall-E (Three-Disc Special Edition) (2008)
dir. Andrew Stanton

Amazing, amazing, amazing movie. Considering Pixar's track record I expected nothing less, but I think this is their best movie yet. It's still a tough decision considering how great both The Incredibles and Ratatouille are, but WALL-E tops them. I had one incredibly tiny problem with the ending, but it's just nitpicking. It's such a great ending, it still gets me choked up just thinking about it. Also, I haven't seen most of the special features yet, but I DID see the short BURN-E, which follows the little welding robot that gets shut out of the spaceship while fixing a light. It's pretty incredible. I would watch the adventures of every single robot on that ship if they were available.

Product Decsription:
Pixar genius reigns in this funny romantic comedy, which stars a robot who says absolutely nothing for a full 25 minutes yet somehow completely transfixes and endears himself to the audience within the first few minutes of the film. As the last robot left on earth, Wall-E (voiced by Ben Burtt) is one small robot--with a big, big heart--who holds the future of earth and mankind squarely in the palm of his metal hand. He's outlasted all the "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class" robots that were assigned some 700 years ago to clean up the environmental mess that man made of earth while man vacationed aboard the luxury spaceship Axiom. Wall-E has dutifully gone about his job compacting trash, the extreme solitude broken only by his pet cockroach, but he's developed some oddly human habits and ideas. When the Axiom sends its regularly scheduled robotic EVE probe (Elissa Knight) to earth, Wall-E is instantly smitten and proceeds to try to impress EVE with his collection of human memorabilia. EVE's directive compels her to bring Wall-E's newly collected plant sprout to the captain of the Axiom and Wall-E follows in hot pursuit. Suddenly, the human world is turned upside down and the Captain (Jeff Garlin) joins forces with Wall-E and a cast of other misfit robots to lead the now lethargic people back home to earth. Wall-E is a great family film with the most impressive aspect being the depth of emotion conveyed by a simple robot--a machine typically considered devoid of emotion, but made so absolutely touching by the magic of Pixar animation. Also well-worth admiring are the sweeping views from space, the creative yet disturbing vision of what strange luxuries a future space vacation might offer, and the innovative use of trash in a future cityscape. Underneath the slapstick comedy and touching love story is a poignant message about the folly of human greed and its potential effects on earth and the entire human race. Wall-E is preceded in theaters by the comical short Presto in which a magician's rabbit, unfed one too many times takes his revenge against the egotistical magician. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

DVD Features:
* A digital copy of the film you can transfer to an iPod, iPhone or similar device.
* An audio commentary with director Andrew Stanton.
* The Pixar short "Presto" that opened for WALL-E in theaters
* A second Pixar short, "BURN-E." This is a short about the welder robot who was seen banging his fists against the door of the Axiom spaceship. It was produced at the same time as the movie for inclusion here.
* BnL Shorts. Some amusing peeks into the workings of the Buy n Large Corporation.
* Deleted scenes (with introductions), including "Garbage Airlock" (WALL-E rescues EVE from being ejected from the ship, then revives her) and "Dumped" (when WALL-E gives the plant to EVE, she realizes she must take it to the bridge so it can be analyzed).
* "Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up." Complete with historic footage, this featurette compares Ben Burtt's work on WALL-E to the sound design in early Disney films.
* "WALL-E's Tour of the Universe." The press release says "Join WALL-E on his own private tour of the Universe through the World-Wide Telescope, narrated by Auto-Pilot."
* An interactive game, "WALL-E's Treasures and Trinkets."
* The "Lots of Bots" storybook, the video re-creation of a cute actual storybook.
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Tropic Thunder (Unrated Director's Cut) (2008)
dir. Ben Stiller

One of the best comedies of the year, although it felt a little long. Great performances all over the place, especially Robert Downey Jr.

Product Decsription:
It's not really a knock to say that nothing in Tropic Thunder is funnier than its first five minutes, so sly that--especially for people watching in theaters--you don't realize right away they are the opening minutes of the movie. This outrageous comedy begins with a series of fake previews, each introducing one of the main characters in the film-proper (not that there's anything proper about this film) and each bearing the familiar logo of a different motion picture studio: Universal, DreamWorks SKG, et al. Such playing fast and loose with corporate talismans verges on sacrilege, but it's an index of how much le tout Tinseltown endorses the movie as a demented valentine to itself. The premise is that the cast of a would-be "Son of Rambo" movie shooting in some Southeast Asian jungle get into a real shooting war with drug-smuggling montagnards. Don't ask--though the movie does have an answer--why such highly paid, usually ultra-pampered personnel as superhero Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), Mozart of fart comedy Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), hip-hop artist Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), and five-time Oscar-winner Kirk Lazarus from Aus-try-leeah (Robert Downey Jr.) should be running through the jungle unattended and very vulnerable. It matters only that the real-life cast has a high time kidding their own profession and flexing their comedic muscles. Bonus points go to Stiller for co-writing the script (with Justin Theroux) and directing, and to Downey, brilliant as a white actor surgically turned black actor for his role and utterly committed to staying in character no matter what ("I don't drop character till I done the DVD commentary").
Be warned: The movie, too, is committed--to being an equal-opportunity offender. Its political incorrectness extends not only to Lazarus's black-like-me posturing but also Speedman's recent, Sean Penn–style Oscar bid playing a cognitively challenged farmboy--or, in Lazarus's deathless phrase, "going the full retard." Others in the cast include Steve Coogan as a director out of his depth, Nick Nolte as the Viet-vet novelist whose book inspired the film-within-the-film, Matthew McConaughey as Speedman's sun-blissed agent back home, and Tom Cruise--bald, fat-suited, and profane--as an epically repulsive studio head. Two hours running time is a mite excessive, but otherwise, what's not to like? --Richard T. Jameson


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Encounters at the End of the World (2008)
dir. Werner Herzog

Really great documentary. I think I'm still partial to Grizzly Man and Little Dieter Needs to Fly (one of my favorite docs ever), but it's almost unfair to compare them all considering how vastly different they are. If you like colorful characters and remote locations, pick this up ASAP.

Product Decsription:
Just about anywhere Werner Herzog goes becomes an interesting place, in part because the director shapes it with his distinctively sardonic eye. In Encounters at the End of the World, the 'Zog heads off to Antarctica, finding there a population of unusual people, hallucinatory underwater life, and penguins. He doesn't appear on camera, but the unmistakably Teutonic Herzog voice is very much with us all the time, a baleful tour guide for this blank destination. In the human outposts of Antarctica, Herzog finds the kind of people you might expect would gravitate to the edge of existence--the curious, the oddball, the wanderers who've run out of other places to explore. He finds some deadpan hilarity, especially in filming a communication drill involving people practicing blizzard conditions (they wear buckets over their heads while roped together). The underwater photography (a realm previously explored in Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder) is by Henry Kaiser, and it meshes perfectly with the director's interest in alien eye-scapes. And when Herzog finally does find penguins, his imagination goes to the idea that some penguins go insane, scurrying off into their own suicidal directions. This isn't as arresting a film as Grizzly Man, but it is an entertaining travelogue spiked with quirky observations. --Robert Horton

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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
dir. Alex Gibney

I haven't had a chance to see this yet, but I can't imagine it's not entertaining. You'd have to be an idiot to end up make a boring documentary about Hunter S. Thompson.

Product Decsription:
After Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side, Hunter S. Thompson seems like an odd subject for Alex Gibney to take on. Unlike the Enron executives or Baghram guards, the gonzo journalist didn't bilk old ladies out of their savings or torture Iraqi citizens. Nonetheless, the director's follow-up to the Oscar-winning Taxi shares an interest in the uses and abuses of power. Gibney recounts the major biographical details, from birth to suicide, but his film really comes alive when he gets to the late-1960s. Though Thompson remains best known for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Gonzo concentrates on his coverage of the 1968 and '72 presidential elections. The author was particularly excited about George McGovern, and chose advocacy over non-partisan reporting. McGovern, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Steadman, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, and others testify to Thompson's enthusiasm for the South Dakota senator--and hatred for Nixon. Gibney argues that the fire started to die after Hunter witnessed the brutal treatment of protesters at Chicago’s Democratic Convention. Disillusionment led to an erosion of his talent and an escalation of his self-destructive tendencies. As Johnny Depp, who played him in Fear and Loathing, reads passages from his work, the doctor's friends and family provide a glimpse of the insecure man behind the brash image. Gibney's evenhanded depiction may disappoint true believers hoping for a glorified puff piece, but Thompson's ability to speak truth to power with wit and passion comes through loud and clear. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Up the Yangtze (2008)
dir. Yung Chang

I just started watching this, but the subtitles aren't working so I'll have to get back to it. The first 10 minutes are pretty good, if that helps.

Product Decsription:
In China, it is simply known as "The River." But the Yangtze--and all of the life that surrounds it--is undergoing a truly astonishing transformation wrought by the largest hydroelectric project in history, the Three Gorges Dam. Canadian documentary filmmaker Yung Chang returns to the gorgeous, now-disappearing landscape of his grandfather's youth to trace the surreal life of a "farewell cruise" that traverses the gargantuan waterway.

With Altmanesque narrative agility, a humanist gaze and wry wit, Chang's Upstairs Downstairs approach beautifully captures the microcosmic society of the luxury liner. Below deck: A bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher--sent to work by her peasant family, who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck: A phalanx of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux. The teenaged employees who serve and entertain them--now tagged with new Westernized names like "Cindy" and "Jerry" by upper management--warily grasp at the prospect of a more prosperous future.

Singularly moving and cinematically breathtaking, Up the Yangtze gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large.


DVD Features:
- New anamorphic master, created from Hi-Def elements and enhanced for widescreen TVs
- Twelve deleted scenes
- Time-lapse flooding footage of the Yangtze River
- 2006 Research Demo Reel
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Optional Traditional Mandarin subtitles
- Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks
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Fanfan La Tulipe (1952)
dir. Christian-Jacque

This cover freaks me out a little bit.

Product Decsription:
Legendary French star Gerard Philipe swashbuckled his way into film history as the peasant soldier Fanfan in Christian-Jaque's devil-may-care romantic action-comedy. In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local lass. And thus begins an adventure that sees Fanfan getting himself out of close scrapes and into tight squeezes with Gina Lollobrigida's impostor fortune teller, Adeline, on his way to fighting in the Seven Years' War. Filled to the brim with dazzling stunts and randy innuendo, Fanfan la Tulipe, which won the best director prize at Cannes and was a smash hit upon its initial release, remains one of France's all-time most beloved films.

DVD Features:
New, restored digital transfer
New video program about actor Gerard Philipe
A clip from the colorized version of the film
Theatrical trailer
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Kenneth Turan and an excerpt from Georges Sadoul's monograph on Philipe
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Mister Lonely (2008)
dir. Harmony Korine

Harmony Korine is horrible, but I have to admit I am mildly interested in this.

Product Decsription:
After the success of indies GUMMO and JULIEN DONKEY-BOY in the late 1990s, writer-director Harmony Korine's follow-up is this dramedy. Diego Luna (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) stars as a Michael Jackson impersonator who follows a dead ringer for Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) to a Scottish commune filled with celebrity lookalikes. Cinema legends Werner Herzog and Anita Pallenberg costar.

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Priceless (2006)
dir. Pierre Salvadori

Product Decsription:
Priceless provides a sweet and sour look at the world of the super-rich. Jean (The Valet's Gad Elmaleh) works at a luxury hotel on the French Riviera. His opposite number, Irène (Amélie's Audrey Tautou), lives off wealthy men, like elderly benefactor Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff). While staying at Jean's Biarritz hotel, Irène meets the bartender, mistakes him for a guest, and plies her considerable charms. Flattered, Jean neglects to tell her the truth, and they spend a drunken evening together. The next day, she's gone. The only trace of her presence: a discarded paper umbrella. A year passes, and Irène returns with Jacques, who dumps her when he find out about the cheating, so she bilks Jean out of everything he owns before disappearing again. Wealthy widow Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam) offers to takes care of Jean's debts--for a price. And just like that, he's sunk to Irène's level. The next time she sees him, she quips, "Now we're equals." So, instead of teaching her the value of legitimate work, Irène teaches Jean how to play Madeleine like a violin. Following in the footsteps of Pierre Salvadori's Après Vous, which centered around a suicidal sommelier, Priceless is unexpectedly melancholy for a comedy. Like the couple in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Jean and Irène are essentially two lost souls. Irène may be an icier creature than Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly, but Salvadori finds a satisfying way to tie a pretty bow on this somewhat prickly package and, naturally, the scenery is ravishing. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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David Lynch: The Lime Green Set (2008)
dir. David Lynch

I have no idea why it's called "The Lime Green Set" and didn't really bother to find out, but it looks like a hell of a set. It's pretty expensive, though. Check the description for details.

Product Decsription:
Writer, director and artist David Lynch has personally selected these works, including many pieces new to DVD, and a Mystery disc of content taken from Lynch's own personal archives and available only in this box set. BOX SET INCLUDES: ERASERHEAD - REMASTERED VERSION, ERASERHEAD SOUNDTRACK, THE SHORT FILMS OF DAVID LYNCH, THE ELEPHANT MAN, THE ELEPHANT MAN EXTRAS - DVD DEBUT, WILD AT HEART, INDUSTRIAL SYMPHONY No. 1 - DVD DEBUT, BLUE VELVET - NEW LYNCH APPROVED 5.1 SOUND MIX, DUMBLAND, MYSTERY DISC - DVD DEBUT, INCLUDES 32 DELETED OR EXTENDED SCENES FROM WILD AT HEART, 40 PAGE COLLECTORS PICTURE BOOK.

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The Zombie Diaries (2006)
dir. Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett

ZZZzzzzzzz borrrrrrrrrrringggggggg. Watched this yesterday and was just mad at how slow it was (at 80 minutes, that should not happen) and how terrible the acting was. It's a home video style accidental fake documentary if that makes any sense (not a mockumentary, huge difference) about a virus spreading around London and everyone turning into Zombies....it's basically an extremely low budget Cloverfield with zombies.

Product Decsription:
"Better than Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later" (beyondhollywood.com), The Zombie Diaries has been hailed as "the most realistic zombie film ever made" (twitchfilm.net). Set in England during a world-wide viral infection, this documentary-style frightfest records the rise of the undead from the videocams of several survivor groups. As each struggles against the flesh-eating hordes, an even more horrifying fate lurks among them. "Dark, uncompromising and frighteningly real" (eatmybrains.com), The Zombie Diaries is smart horror at its bloody best.

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Executive Koala (2005)
dir. Minoru Kawasaki

The cover & title might look extremely weird, but they're incredibly accurate. This movie is about a 6-foot-tall koala bear that works in a pickle factory and works with other giant animals. If you've seen Kawasaki's extremely bizarre Calamari Wrestler, then you might have an idea of what you're in for.

Product Decsription:
AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE U.S., MINORU KAWASAKI S FOLLOW-UP TO CALAMARI WRESTLER, A CULT CLASSIC PSY-KOALA HORROR / COMEDY! Tamura is an average Japanese salaryman working in the offices of a pickle distribution company. He is well liked in the office, hard-working, polite, wears a suit and tie, and also happens to be a six-foot tall koala bear. But when his girlfriend Yoko turns up dead one day and Tamura is the chief suspect, he is forced to enlist the help of his boss (a white rabbit) and a friendly convenience store attendant (a frog) in order to prove his innocence. A psychological thriller wrapped up in the packaging of a nonsense comedy with giant animals EXECUTIVE KOALA is like nothing America has ever produced...which is why it was made in Japan!

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The Rug Cop (2006)
dir. Minoru Kawasaki

Thank you, Synapse. Thank you.

Product Decsription:
A spot-on, hilarious spoof of 1970s Japanese TV cop shows, THE RUG COP follows chrome-domed officer Genda as he transfers to a new precinct just as a group of radical terrorists hijack a shipment of uranium and deliver a ransom demand of five billion yen. Genda and his crack team of detectives must solve the case using their peculiar abilities: champion eater Detective Fatty, abnormally endowed Detective Big Dick, speedy weightlifter Detective Shorty, and ladies man Mr. Handsome. But most dangerous of all is the Rug Cop, whose projectile toupee proves lethal to wrongdoers! Kawasaki s unique comic genius and his love of vintage cop shows combine to produce a silly masterpiece that will have viewers truly believing in Rug Power!

DVD Features:
Anamorphic (1.85:1) Widescreen Transfer -
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo -
Newly-Translated, Removable English Subtitles -
Making Of Featurette -
Japanese Press Conference Footage -
Introductions from Cast and Director -
Theatrical Trailer
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The World Sinks Except Japan (2006)
dir. Minoru Kawasaki

Let's hope Minoru Kawasaki keeps making movies forever.

Product Decsription:
POLITICALLY INCORRECT SATIRE SINKS TO A NEW DEPTH IN THE OUTRAGEOUS SPOOF THAT TELLS THE SHOCKING STORY OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WORLD SINKS...EXCEPT JAPAN! It is 2011, and due to global warming and the shifting of tectonic plates, most of the Earth s land mass has sunk beneath the surface of the ocean. Only Japan remains, and refugees from all nations try to incorporate themselves into Japanese society: famous American actors do TV costume samurai dramas, white women serve as French maids for middle-class families, the former leaders of China and South Korea act as lapdogs for the Prime Minster, and foreigners who don t sufficiently blend in are arrested! Yet geologists have begun to detect signs of another looming global catastrophe, one that threatens to destroy the last piece of earth remaining.

DVD Features:
Anamorphic (1.85:1) Widescreen Transfer -
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo -
Newly-Translated, Removable English Subtitles -
Audio Commentary with Director Minoru Kawasaki and Actor Takenori Murano -
Making Of Featurette -
Introductions from Cast and Director -
Theatrical Trailer
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Cannibal! The Musical: 13th Anniversary Edition (1996)
dir. Trey Parker

I laughed at the idea of a 13th anniversary edition. Leave it to Trey & Matt. It looks like the only new stuff here are the interviews, which I'd really like to see. This movie isn't particularly good...there are some great tunes (one which they adapted into the jingle for their production company) and some funny jokes, but it's kind of a pain in the ass to watch. The drunk commentary is one of the best commentaries of all time and is probably worth the purchase.

Product Decsription:
Before there was South Park, there was Trey Parker's macabre musical comedy masterpiece Cannibal the Musical! Based on the legend of Colorado Cannibal Alferd Packer, Cannibal the Musical tells Packer's version of what really happened when he and a group of gold diggers embarked on their fateful trip into the Rocky Mountains. Gruesomely gory, savagely satirical and painfully funny, Cannibal the Musical, which also stars South Park s co-creator Matt Stone, stands as a predecessor to what would come next for Parker and Stone, and features several in-jokes that would become part of the South Park legacy! Cannibal the Musical has become a worldwide cult sensation to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show, inspiring stage revivals and sing-along screenings all over the world!

DVD Features:
over an hour of new, in depth interviews with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Jason McHugh
two full-length commentary tracks including the infamous 'Inebriated' commentary track
never-before-seen deleted scenes
production stills
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The Who At Kilburn (1977)
dir. n/a

Product Decsription:
The Who have long been hailed as a great live rock act, and the proof is right here in THE WHO AT KILBURN. Recorded in 1977, the show is one of the last performances to include drummer Keith Moon, and captures the band at the very top of their barn-burning, guitar-smashing game. The remarkable set, shot in 35mm as a part of Jeff Stein's film THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, features more than 130 minutes of hits such as "Can't Explain," "Baba O'Reilly," and "Won't Get Fooled Again." In addition to the Kilburn concert, this release contains a legendary 1969 gig at the London Coliseum where the Who--for the first time ever--played TOMMY in its entirety.

DVD Features:
Additional Audio Material
Extended Scenes - Archival Performances
Featurette - THE WHO AT THE COLISEUM 1969 "A Quick One" & "Tommy"
Trailer
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The Warrior (1981)
dir. Sisworo Gautama Putra

OK Mondo Macabro, lets see if we can keep up this pace.

Product Decsription:
Indonesia is a country in turmoil. The people are poor and oppressed by the Dutch Government. However one hope remains in the form of rebel leader Djaka Semboeng. His rebels and his famous fighting ability inspires the people to hang on. Van Shramm, the Dutch representative in Java offers a reward for the death of Semboeng and employs a mighty warrior, the invincible Kobar, to go after him. One short fight later Kobar is dead and Van Shramm turns to a magician for him. The magician resurrects the deadly of enemy of Semboeng, Kieten, to take revenge. Kieten faces Semboeng and defeats him - Semboeng is imprisoned and blinded by the cruel Van Shramm. However Van Shramm's daughter has fallen for Semboeng and frees him. Semboeng again faces Kieten and is overcome by his magic - finally being turned into a pig before escaping the prison! A kindly magician returns Semboeng to his human form and teaches him new skills that he will need as he prepares to face Kieten for the final time.

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Manhattan, Kansas (2005)
dir. Tara Wray

Product Decsription:
Tara Wray travels to rural Kansas to reconnect with her mother, Evie, for the first time since Evie s psychotic breakdown five years earlier. She finds a parent still chasing her demons, both real and imagined, struggling to make a career for herself as an abstract artist and searching for the Geodetic Center of the United States, the finding of which, Evie says, will bring about world peace. Tara helps in her mother s search and sets into motion a surprising chain of events that may rescue Evie from catastrophic fate and help Tara reconcile with her mother on different terms.

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Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan (2008)
dir. Gerald K. Barclay

Laughed at "Raekwon the Chef reveals the Wu-Tang recipe". I'm very interested in seeing what exactly that consists of.

Product Decsription:
The Wu-Tang Clan arose in 1993 to change hip-hop forever, with complex rhymes, dissonant soundscapes, and a personal mythology inspired by martial-arts flicks. The nine-person rap crew from Staten Island was an A-Team of verbal warfare--with GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and others contributing a unique flavor to the mix. And while some rappers become embarrassing by their second album, Wu-Tang continued to produce shockingly original music for a period unrivaled by other artists. Narrated by Gerald "Gee-Bee" Barclay, this documentary examines the history of the Wu, their rise and fall, and what the future may hold for one of the greatest teams in hip-hop.

DVD Features:
Featurettes - 1. "Raekwon the Chef" reveals the Wu-Tang recipe
2. RZA "cuts" through the Hip Hop World
3. Behind The Wu with Director Gee-Bee
4. Icelene's Loss: Her Relationship with ODB
Music Videos - Wu-Tang is Born: Protect Ya Neck
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The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror (2007)
dir. Jaymes Thompson

a modern ASSterpiece!! wokka wokka wokka *shoots self in head*

Product Decsription:
Helen (Mari Marks) and Luella (Georgia Jean) are just another typical God-fearing mother and daughter who happen to bake Mincemeat muffins and run a charming if not a bit faded Bed and Breakfast Inn. Or are they? On the eve of the biggest gay party weekend of the year, and having not made advance reservations, five couples find themselves having to make accommodations far from the city. There's Dom and Alex, the performers (Vinny Markus & Michael Soldier) and Deborah and Gabby, the sophisticated, entrepreneurial lipsticks (Shannon Lee & Denise Heller). There's also Mike and Eric, the upscale guppie power couple (Derek Long & Robert Borzych) and their annoying fag-hag friend, Lizette (Lisa Block-Wieser). Also checking in are Starr and Brenda, the struggling folk singer and tough-talking tomboy (Hilary Schwartz & Allie Rivenbark) and lastly Rodney and Todd, the sugar daddy and personal trainer (Jim Polivka & James Tolins). What should have been the biggest gay party weekend of the year quickly turns into every gay and lesbian's worst nightmare! In the middle of the desert, off the main highway, lies The Sahara Salvation Inn. A small slice of paradise here in the desert. As the guests check in, they slowly come to realize (and some too late!) that The Sahara Salvation is not all it appears to be... Hidden agendas become realized and dark secrets revealed. What evil lurks up in the darkness of the attic? Be careful not to disturb Manfred - perhaps THE most horrifying creature ever created for film! Who will escape and who will survive...

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

RoosterFlix DVD Picks for November 11th





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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
dir. Guillermo del Toro

A truly great movie with some of the best CG imagery in a movie to date, and the cinematography/art direction is amazing, thanks in no small part to Guillermo del Toro. Also, Ron Perlman is so awesome.

Product Decsription:
The feverish Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a very busy sequel that might have looked unhinged in the hands of a less visionary director than Guillermo del Toro. Ron Perlman returns as Hellboy, aka "Red," the Dark Horse Comics demon-hero with roots in the mythical world but personal ties in the human realm. Still working, as he was in Hellboy, for a secret department of the federal government that deals (as in "Men In Black") with forces of the fantastic, Red and his colleagues take on a royal elf (Luke Goss) determined to smash a longtime truce between mankind and the forces of magic. Meanwhile, Red's relationship with girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair), who can burst into flames at will, is going through a rocky stage observed by Red's fishy friend Abe (Doug Jones), himself struck by love in this film. Del Toro brilliantly integrates the ordinary and extraordinary, diving into an extended scene set in a troll market barely hidden behind the façade of typical city streets. He also unleashes a forest monster that devastates an urban neighborhood, but then--interestingly--brings a luminous beauty to the same area as the creature (an "elemental") succumbs to a terrible death. Del Toro's art direction proves masterful, too, in a climactic battle set in a clockworks-like stronghold tucked away in rugged Irish landscape. But it's really the juxtaposition of visual marvels with not-so-unusual relationship issues that gives Hellboy II a certain jaunty appeal hard to find in other superhero movies. --Tom Keogh

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The Sopranos - The Complete Series (1999-2007)
dir. n/a

I'd imagine Sopranos fans that like the show enough to buy the DVDs have already bought all the individual seasons, but if not, you can pick up this behemoth for a pricy $250.

Product Decsription:
For six seasons, fans have devotedly watched Tony Soprano deal with the difficulties of balancing his home life with the criminal organization he leads. Audiences everywhere tuned in to see the mob, the food, the family, and who was next to be whacked. Celebrate the show that Vanity Fair called, "the greatest show in TV history", in the ultimate Sopranos collector's edition.

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Shogun Assassin: 5 Film Collector's Set (1972-1974)
dir. Kenji Misumi

One of the best series of movies that exists. There's actually 6 Lone Wolf & Cub movies, but the American version, Shogun Assassin, splices about 10-15 minutes of the first LW&C with most of the second one. I know purists will always take original audio & subs over dubbing, but there is some top notch dubbing going on here. A weird thing to say, but it's true.

Product Decsription:
He is the most feared assassin in all of Japan, known only as the Lone Wolf. Pushing his young son along the back-roads of feudal Japan in a heavily armed baby-cart, he strikes fear into the hearts of evil-doers everywhere - as long as someone can come up with his fee. Nothing, not even the legions of a mad shogun, hordes of Yagyu ninjas, or the undead, can stop him! This collector's set contains the complete series on 5 DVDs. From the explosive first film that became a cult-classic, to the snow-capped finale, there is never a dull moment for this father and son team.

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The General (The Ultimate 2-Disc Edition) (1926)
dir. Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

One of the greatest movies ever.

Product Decsription:
Buster Keaton's career reached its creative apex with this rousing comic adventure. Not merely one of the finest silent films, this remains one of the great film comedies of all time. The Great Stone Face stars as Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray, a man with only two loves: the sweet Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) and his trustworthy engine, the eponymous General. When Fort Sumner is fired upon he's one of the first to enlist, but when the war office rejects him (he's too valuable as a trained engineer) his sweetie rejects him as a coward. Johnny has the opportunity to prove his bravery when Yankee spies steal his engine and inadvertently kidnap Annabelle, and Johnny pursues with all the resources at his disposal: handcar, bicycle, and finally railroad engine. Keaton's love/hate relationship with technology and machinery shines as he becomes one with his beloved locomotive and wrestles with a finicky cannon that threatens to blow his engine off the tracks; with tremendous dexterity, he nails the humor with inimitably deadpan takes. Spunky Marion Mack makes a perfect partner for Keaton, not merely a foil but a gifted comedienne in her own right. Other Keaton films contain more laughs and inspired comic stunts, but none combines romance, adventure, and comedy into a solid story as seamlessly as this silent masterpiece. --Sean Axmaker

DVD Features:
- Three musical scores to choose from:
(1) Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in 5.1 Stereo Surround or 2.0 Stereo)
(2) Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel
(3) Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin
- A video tour of the authentic General, presented in association with The Southern Museum
- A tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes
- Behind-the-scenes home movie footage
- Filmed introduction by Gloria Swanson
- Filmed introduction by Orson Welles
- The Buster Express, a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton s career
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JFK (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (1991)
dir. Oliver Stone

A bit long, but I still really enjoyed it. One of Oliver Stone's best.

Product Decsription:
Director Oliver Stone added 17 minutes of previously unseen footage for the "director's cut" edition of his hypnotic courtroom epic about the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. That fateful day in Dallas set in motion a sequence of events that would only intensify the mystery behind Kennedy's death, causing New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) to begin an investigation that would gradually become a personal obsession. Bravura filmmaking combined with controversial treatment of historical facts and audacious speculation, this breathtaking revision of history presents a mesmerizing parade of shady figures and conspiracy theories, unfolding like a classic mystery based on history's greatest unsolved crime. A technical triumph boasting Oscar-winning cinematography and editing, Stone's film is guaranteed to grab the viewer's attention with its daring take on the JFK controversy. The stellar supporting cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Jack Lemmon, Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, Kevin Bacon, and Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald. --Jeff Shannon

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Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)
dir. Takashi Miike

I still can't make up my mind whether or not I like this movie. It's so fucking weird. The novelty of an all-Japanese cast that doesn't speak English speaking English wears off pretty quick. I've said it before, but Django really isn't referenced that much. The main plot is more of a Yojimbo remake. Quentin Tarantino's appearances are just bizarre. He's completely out of place, but fun to watch.

Product Decsription:
The prolific Takashi Miike co-wrote and directed this strikingly postmodern remake of Sergio Corbucci's 1966 Spaghetti Western, Django. The story is much the same, but the highly stylized fusion of Japanese gangsterism and operatic musings on the Western form makes for a wild and unexpected cult movie. Still, there is not much here beyond the film's relentlessly creative surface, making Sukiyaki a bit wearying. Feuding for centuries, the Genji and Heiki clans both arrive in a 19th century Nevada town, determined to find hidden treasure rumored to be there. In the midst of their fighting comes a solitary gunslinger (Hideaki Ito) courted by each clan to work for them. When he refuses, the cross-currents of betrayal and murder escalate, and hidden truths behind at least one tragedy, and the real identity of an unlikely shooter, come to the surface. The film's energy, dynamic camerawork and almost tongue-in-cheek performances are fun and admirable, and Miike has a fascinating sense of composition. The story gets a little soft just past the halfway point and Miike attempts to fill the void with exhausting new ways of filming bloody mayhem for its own sake. Quentin Tarantino has a small role as a mystery man with a link to these events. --Tom Keogh

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Quo Vadis (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1951)
dir. Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann

Product Decsription:
"Welcome to Nero's House of Women" greets a concubine to a slave girl, Lygia (Deborah Kerr). Later this self-same greeter reveals that she, too, like Lygia, is really a fellow Christian neophyte. And it's that mixture of tawdry Hollywood sex and a strong Christian message that makes this film an enjoyable "gentiles and gladiators" flick. Marcus Vinicius returns home after conquering the Britons to find that Rome is infected with a crazy new sect called Christians and that his beloved emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov, roly-poly and wicked) has become increasingly wacky. Marcus tries his centurion wiles on Lygia, and she's smitten, but she's also a Christian convert and begs Marcus not to force her to choose between him and her god. The Christians have a tough go of it, with martyrdom in the Coliseum as punishment for belonging to the new religion in town. Though three hours long, director Mervyn LeRoy's film always has something going on. It could help you enjoyably kill any rainy Sunday afternoon. --Keith Simanton

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Love and Honor (2007)
dir. Yoji Yamada

The Japanese Academy really loves Yoji Yamada. I loved Twilight Samurai, so I'll have to check this out soon.

Product Decsription:
Shinnojo (Takuya Kimura) is a low-level samurai bored with his assignment as a food-taster for his emperor. Like any young husband, Shinnojo shares his work frustrations at home with his wife, Kayo (Rei Dan), and dreams of resigning his post to start a dojo that will teach fighting skills to kids in a positive environment. Shinnojo and Kayo clearly care for each other, teasing and sharing laughs just out of earshot of their longtime helper, Tokuhei (Takashi Sasano). Everything changes, however, when Shinnojo eats some bad shellfish intended for the emperor--so bad that it leaves him permanently blind. Feeling useless and facing an uncertain future, Shinnojo experiences grief and anger. Meanwhile, Kayo appeals to his family for help and is only advised to seek assistance from another samurai (Mitsugoro Bando), a man with dubious intentions toward Kayo. The fallout deeply affects Shinnojo and Kayo's marriage, and gives the former a new reason to carry on: defending his and Kayo's honor. This domestic drama by Yôji Yamada, based on a story by Shûhei Fujisawa, has the slow, somber tone both of ritual and a tragedy unfolding behind closed doors. A much more handsome than cinematically exciting movie, Love and Honor is like a silent era melodrama with visually appealing actors, a story blatantly tugging at the audience's heartstrings. A climactic fight scene gets one's adrenaline going, though nothing tops the promise of forgiveness and reconciliation for real excitement here. --Tom Keogh

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Postmen in the Mountains (1999)
dir. Jianqi Huo

Product Decsription:
An old postman has spent his whole life delivering mail to the mountain of Hunan and is about to retire. His only son is due to take over his duties. As father and son journey through the mountains, the son begins to appreciate the toil and burden his father has to bear as postman for the villagers, and the old postman is also deeply moved as his son relates his mother's anxiety as she waits for him to return home from every trip.

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Blood And Bones (2004)
dir. Yoichi Sai

The title + Beat Takeshi = can't not watch

Product Decsription:
Internationally acclaimed actor and director Takeshi Kitano gives his most captivating performance yet as Kim Shunpei, a Korean immigrant in Japan whose life is a disturbing tableau of cruelty, abuse and shocking violence. Kim is a despicable man who physically and emotionally assaults everyone around him the workers at his fish cake factory, his mistress, his estranged wife, and his entire family. Ruthlessly pursuing success at any cost, he wastes away his earnings while keeping the people closest to him in desperate need. Spanning several decades and adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Korean-Japanese author Yang Seok-Il, Blood and Bones is a fiercely beautiful film that exposes the raw brutality of unchecked ambition and greed. Winner of four Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay, Blood and Bones was Japan s official entry as the Best Foreign Language Film for the 2006 Academy Awards.

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Pure (2005)
dir. Gillies MacKinnon

Product Decsription:
Set in the East-End of London, PURE is a story about the bond between a family and the pull of drugs. Following the death of his father, ten-year old Paul (Harry Eden) becomes the caretaker of his family mother Mel (Molly Parker) and youngest brother Lee (Vinni Hunter). His only friend is a flighty waitress Louise (Keira Knightley) who helps Paul in his desperate attempt to protect his family from the mother s drug addiction and her boyfriend, the local dealer (David Wenham).

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Holiday Affair (1949)
dir. Don Hartman

The God Robert Mitchum lookin all young n shit

Product Decsription:
One of the lesser holiday movies, this 1949 comedy stars Janet Leigh as a war widow who can't afford to buy her son a toy train for Christmas. A veteran (Robert Mitchum) who happens to be standing by in a department store overhears her plight and offers to purchase the toy, thus setting into motion a series of funny complications. Wendell Corey plays Leigh's suspicious, condescending boyfriend, whose jealousy compounds Mitchum's problems, and Harry Morgan is very good as a night-court judge trying to make sense of everything that happens. The movie didn't do so well at the box office at the time of its release, but it has gained an affectionate fan base over the years. Don't expect Miracle on 34th Street, but as a spirited lark for Yuletide, this is a lot of fun. --Tom Keogh

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Western (1997)
dir. Manuel Poirier

Product Decsription:
Catalonian Paco is a traveling rep for a shoe manufacturer. When he stops to pick up Russian emigree hitchhiker Nino, Paco soon finds himself on the side of the road with everything stolen out from under him. Local gift shop owner Marinette gives the Spaniard a lift. Their mutual attraction manifests itself quickly, and Paco, who was fired over the stolen-car episode, hangs around. When he happens to spot Nino in the same town, he beats up the scrawny Russian, who lands in the hospital. Oddly enough, this marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Paco and Nino soon take the trip down the road together.

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Thunderbolt Fist (1972)
dir. Il-ho Jang

Product Decsription:
The plot has to do with the takeover of a Chinese town by a group of Japanese who wear traditional costumes, ride horses and carry swords, even though this is set in the early 20th century, long after Japan's modernization. Our hero, Tie Wa, is sent off as a boy to train in the mountains with a resistance group. He has left his family's "Thunderbolt Fist" manual in the care of a female friend, Feng Niou, and, after growing to adulthood returns to the town to scope out the strength of the Japanese fighters and their Chinese lackeys, including one Gu Gang, whom Tie Wa fought as a child. He gets the manual back after some difficulty with Feng Niou's jealous husband, but gets beaten up and maimed by Gu Gang for his trouble and eventually is let go, allowing him to return to the mountain to train his one good arm in the Thunderbolt Fist style so he can lead the others back and retake their town from the Japanese.

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HD Moods Fireplace (2008)
dir. Greg James

For those of us not lucky enough to get the fireplace channel for the holidays. Greg James has the easiest and most relaxing job in the world I bet.

Product Decsription:
Nothing warms the soul and soothes the spirit like a bright crackling fire on a cool winter night. HD Moods Fireplace is so realistic you ll swear it s actually heating your room as the sights and sounds of the burning natural wood bring your HD TV to life!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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Friday, November 7, 2008

RoosterFlix DVD Picks for Oct. 28th & Nov. 4th






DVD Picks for October 28th, 2008

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Baraka (1993)
dir. Ron Fricke

If I made a list of top 10 movies you HAVE to get in Blu-Ray, this would be on it. Should be required viewing.

Product Decsription:
The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages; watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack, the movie draws some surprising connections between various peoples and the spaces they inhabit, whether that space is a lonely mountaintop or a crowded cigarette factory. Some of these attempts at connection are more successful than others: for instance, an early sequence segues between the daily devotions of Tibetan monks, Orthodox Jews, and whirling dervishes, finding more similarity among these rituals than one might expect. And there are other amazing moments, as when sped-up footage of a busy Hong Kong intersection reveals a beautiful symmetry to urban life that could only be appreciated from the perspective of film. The lack of context is occasionally frustrating--not knowing where a section was filmed, or the meaning of the ritual taking place--and some of the transitions are puzzling. However, the DVD includes a short behind-the-scenes featurette in which cinematographer Ron Fricke (Koyaanisqatsi) explains that the effect was intentional: "It's not where you are that's important, it's what's there." And what's here, in Baraka, is a whole world summed up in 104 minutes. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

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The Flintstones: The Complete Series (1960)
dir. Charles A. Nichols

Product Decsription:
Launched as an animated version of THE HONEYMOONERS, Hanna-Barbera's cartoon classic THE FLINTSTONES is family entertainment at its finest. From the town of Bedrock, modern Stone-Age couple Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their goofy best-friend neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble comically trudge through prehistoric daily lives populated by animals-cum-household-appliances with refreshingly sophisticated zaniness and humor. Meanwhile, the Flintstones' affectionate pet dinosaur, Dino, and daughter, Pebbles--not to mention the Rubbles' club-wielding infant Bamm Bamm--cause plenty of havoc in a prehistoric world that's seen through a 1960s lens. This collection includes all 166 episodes of the animated sitcom's six seasons. Yabba dabba doo!

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Hell Ride (2008)
dir. Larry Bishop

Product Decsription:
From Producer Quentin Tarantino (Grindhouse Presents: Death Proof) and Writer/Director Larry Bishop (Mad Dog Time) comes this lean, mean mayhem machine - fully loaded with bikers, babes, and booze. Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2), Eric Balfour (TV's "24") and legendary "Easy Rider" Dennis Hopper are part of a wild motorcycle gang bent on avenging the death of one of their own. With Vinnie Jones (The Condemned) as the crazed arrow-wielding rival gang leader, Hell Ride is a savagely enjoyable good-time where the women are hot, the bikes are even hotter, and the action never stops!

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The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection (1929-1938)
dir. n/a

Product Decsription:
The hunt for those seemingly countless LITTLE RASCALS releases is over. For the first time ever, all 80 of Hal Roach's original 1929-1938 classic shorts featuring Buckwheat, Spanky, Alphalpha, and the rest of Our Gang--from the era before Roach sold the rights to MGM--are available here in one package. Included among this complete collection of uncut, remastered, and restored episodes are numerous contributions of various types from noted film historians, an additional 10 silent shorts from Hal Roach's personal library, several documentaries including a look at racism as it pertains to the show, a special "where are they now" update featuring some of the surviving cast members, and much more.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition] (1988)
dir. n/a

Product Decsription:
Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrates its 20th anniversary with a specially packaged DVD set housed in a limited-edition tin box featuring 4 custom lobby cards and a figurine of Crow T. Robot! Features four of the show's most-requested episodes--First Spaceship on Venus (1960), Laserblast (1978), Werewolf (1996), and Future War (1997).
The Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 became a pop culture landmark in the '90s by poking fun at horrible movies of every genre and time period, and letting us listen in. They made the unwatchable essential viewing.


DVD Features:
* "The Oral History of MST3K" feature in three parts.
* 2008 Comic-Con MST3K Reunion Panel, featuring Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, J. Elvis Weinstein, Paul Chaplin and Bridget Jones-Nelson. Moderated by Patton Oswald.
* Original film trailers.
* "Variations On A Theme Song", featuring all six versions of the theme song.
* Limited-edition version comes in a tin box with 4 lobby cards and a figurine of Crow T. Robot, all exclusive to this set.
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Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection (1940-1955)
dir. n/a

Product Decsription:
Get ready to laugh out loud with the most popular comedy duo of all time in Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection! Now, for the first time ever, all 28 films produced during the height of their popularity at Universal Pictures are available in one collection. Featuring their most popular movies such as Buck Privates, Who Done It? and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, this collection is filled with some of the most hilarious routines of all-time including “Who’s on First?” Loaded with hours of bonus features and an exclusive collectible book, this is the ultimate tribute to two of the funniest, and most enduring, comedians of all time!

Titles Include -
One Night in the Tropics (1940)
Buck Privates (1941)
In the Navy (1941)
Hold That Ghost (1941)
Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
Pardon My Sarong (1942)
Who Done It? (1942)
It Ain't Hay (1943)
Hit the Ice (1943)
In Society (1944)
Here Come the Co-Eds (1945)
The Naughty Nineties (1945)
Little Giant (1946)
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
Buck Privates Come Home (1947)
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Mexican Hayride (1948)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
Comin' Round the Mountain (1951)
Lost in Alaska (1952)
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)


DVD Features:
The World of Abbott and Costello: This compilation includes classic routines from 18 of Bud and Lou's most popular films.
Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld: The popular comic hosts a tribute to Bud and Lou in this insightful retrospective.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters: A behind-the-scenes look at the duo's popular series of films as they meet up with Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolf Man.
6 Feature Commentaries by Noted Film Historians
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Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2007)
dir. Barbara Leibovitz

One of the best, if not the best, commercial photographers ever. Certainly one of the most influential. Looking forward to checking this out.

Product Decsription:
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens traces the arc of Annie's photographic life, her aspirations to artistry and the trajectory of her career. The film depicts the various phases that shaped her life including childhood, the tumultuous sixties, her transition from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair magazine and later her most significant personal relationships including motherhood. The documentary's highlights center on interviews with her most famous subjects, mentors and colleagues, along with personal insight from Leibovitz herself, to reveal the evolution of inarguably one of today's most influential visual artists.

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Death Defying Acts (2007)
dir. Gillian Armstrong

You're a little late to the party, guys. I'd imagine this got shelved because some studio head realized that three movies about magicians released at the same time will probably kill ticket sales, especially if one is clearly better than the others. To be fair, this one is about an actual magician, so it's definitely unique in at least one aspect.

Product Decsription:
Celebrated director Gillian Armstrong (MY BRILLIANT CAREER, LITTLE WOMEN) helms this film about Harry Houdini's romance with a con woman. In his attempts to contact his dead mother, the magician (Guy Pearce) meets a beautiful psychic named Mary (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who isn't all she appears. Joined by her daughter (ATONEMENT's Saoirse Ronan), Mary tries to con Harry out of his $10,000 reward, an effort which is complicated by the love that grows between them. Set in 1926, this lush period drama also stars Timothy Spall (ENCHANTED).

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Body of War - The True Story of an Anti-War Hero (2007)
dir. Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro

Product Decsription:
At the center of Body of War is Tomas Young, a smart, determined guy who enlisted in the military the day after he saw President Bush stride through the ruins of the World Trade Center. He expected to be sent to Afghanistan to get the people who attacked his country; instead, he was shipped to Iraq, where he took a bullet through the collarbone a week after arriving and was paralyzed for life from the chest down. Young's subsequent struggle to be heard, by speaking out and questioning why U.S. soldiers went to Iraq, is chronicled in this film. Directors Phil Donahue (yes, talkshow host Phil Donahue) and Ellen Spiro cast a wider net, which is where the film begins to feel a little scattered, even if their cause is a fervent one. The Senate vote on authorizing the Bush plan for Iraq is a running theme, with the names of the voters emblazoned on the screen (this would be an even more effective drumbeat if it weren't drowning in overbearing music). Meanwhile, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, an old political hand with a checkered past, emerges as the voice of Constitutional sanity. His soaring speeches leading up to the crucial vote are excerpted at length, so it's no surprise that he and Tomas Young should eventually meet. But whatever the film's ambitions, its finest moments are in following Young and bluntly assessing (with considerable physical detail) his status. Original songs by Eddie Vedder are judiciously placed and passionately delivered. --Robert Horton

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Elite Squad (2007)
dir. José Padilha

Upon first glance, it just looks like a generic urban war movie. Then you notice that it was written by Bráulio Mantovani who also wrote City of God, then you find out that it won the Golden Bear, the highest award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Consider my interest piqued.

Product Decsription:
Though José Padilha's action-packed crime drama won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, a steady stream of controversy and acclaim has followed in its wake. Some critics have even accused the director of promoting fascism, while Padilha (Bus 174) contends that Elite Squad argues against police brutality. Like Vic Mackey, who heads up The Shield's LA strike force, narrator Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) heads up Rio de Janeiro's Police Special Operations Battalion (BOPE). It’s 1997, the Pope arrives for a visit in six months, and BOPE will stop at nothing to reduce crime in the favelas. The way they see it, drug traffickers have them outmanned and outgunned, so there's no point in playing by the rules. With their black uniforms and berets, the Skulls certainly cut an imposing figure. New police recruits Neto (Caio Junqueira) and aspiring lawyer Matias (André Ramiro) turn to Nascimento when their efforts to operate by the book only lead to frustration (Matias was inspired by author/law student/BOPE member André Batista). The burned-out captain sees his salvation in the two childhood friends; as soon as he selects a replacement, he plans to leave the force and spend time with his pregnant wife. Nascimento may find his man, but the ending is far from happy. Brutal and bleakly funny, Elite Squad depicts 1990s Rio as Danté's Ninth Circle of Hell. Nonetheless, Brazilians made the film an even bigger sensation than City of God, to which it serves as an essential companion piece. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Black Magic (2008)
dir. Dan Klores

If you watch ESPN on a regular basis, then you're probably sick of hearing about this movie. It looks like a decent doc, though, especially if you're into basketball.

Product Decsription:
Black Magic is dramatic film about the injustice which defined the Civil Rights Movement in America, as told through the lives of basketball players and coaches who attended Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Narrated by Academy Award Nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson and jazz great Wynton Marsalis, with introductions from New Orleans Hornets star point guard Chris Paul and basketball icon Dr. J Julius Erving. Helmed by award-winning director Dan Klores and co-produced by basketball legend and Winston-Salem State University graduate Earl The Pearl Monroe, the film will be aired on March 16th and 17th 2008 on ESPN commercial free.

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The Final Countdown (1980)
dir. Don Taylor

Product Decsription:
With a tantalizing "what-if?" scenario and a respectable cast of Hollywood veterans, The Final Countdown plays like a grand-scale episode of The Twilight Zone. It's really no more than that, and time-travel movies have grown far more sophisticated since this popular 1980 release, but there's still some life remaining in the movie's basic premise: What if a modern-era Navy aircraft carrier--in this case the real-life nuclear-powered U.S.S. Nimitz--was caught in an anomalous storm and thrust 40 years backwards in time to the eve of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor? Will the ship's commander (Kirk Douglas) interfere with history? Will the visiting systems analyst (Martin Sheen) convince him not to? Will a rescued senator from 1941 (Charles Durning) play an unexpected role in the future of American politics? Veteran TV director Don Taylor doesn't do much with the ideas posed by this potentially intriguing plot; he seems more interested in satisfying aviation buffs with loving footage of F-14 "Jolly Roger" fighter jets, made possible by the Navy's generous cooperation. That makes The Final Countdown a better Navy film than a full-fledged time-travel fantasy, but there's a nice little twist at the end, and the plot holes are easy to ignore. James Cameron would've done it better, but this popcorn thriller makes an enjoyable double-bill with The Philadelphia Experiment. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper
"Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood" - Interview with Associate Producer Lloyd Kaufman
"Starring the Jolly Rogers" - Interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems
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Patrick (Special Edition) (1978)
dir. Richard Franklin

Product Decsription:
After violently murdering his mother and her lover, Patrick (Robert Thompson) lays comatose in a private hospital. When a pretty young nurse (Susan Penhaligon) begins working at the hospital, Patrick tries communicating with her, while others in her life are being hurt and killed in mysterious ways.
PATRICK is a classic supernatural thriller from Australia. Directed with amazing style by Richard Franklin (F/X 2, PSYCHO II), this unsettling film of telekinetic terror ...would give CARRIE a run for her money. (Ivan Hutchinson, TV GUIDE). This DVD contains a totally new, re-mastered transfer of the original uncut Australian version in anamorphic widescreen and digital sound. - Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1)


DVD Features:
- Dolby Digital Mono (English, French & Spanish Language Options)
- Audio Commentary with Director Richard Franklin
- Original Theatrical Trailers & TV Spots
- Chapter Selections
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Strange Behavior (Special Edition) (1981)
dir. Michael Laughlin

Product Decsription:
In the peaceful town of Galesburg, Illinois, a brutal serial killer targets the local teenagers. As the bodies pile up, Sheriff John Brady (Michael Murphy) suspects the killer is connected with the high school s Psychology department. There is something sinister about the school research program on behavioral control and Brady is determined to uncover the truth. But he better find the answers fast before his own son (Dan Shor) gets drawn into the strange experiments himself! Co-Written by Oscar Winner Bill Condon (STRANGE INVADERS, GODS AND MONSTERS), STRANGE BEHAVIOR is a frighteningly gory homage to 50 s pulp horror films. Also starring Louise Fletcher (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO S NEST, BRAINSTORM), this cult classic is interesting, suspenseful and quite witty. (TV Guide) Contains a haunting, beautiful score from Tangerine Dream.- Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1)

DVD Features:
- Dolby Digital Mono (English & Spanish Language Options)
- Audio Commentary with Writer Bill Condon & Actors Dan Shor and Dey Young
- U.S. & Australian Theatrical Trailers
- Deleted Scenes
- Photo Gallery
- Isolated Music Score
- Filmographies
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Thirst (Special Edition) (1979)
dir. Rod Hardy

Product Decsription:
She was innocent, pure and unsuspecting. Now, Kate Davis has been kidnapped by a bloodthirsty cult and taken to a remote village. It is there that she discovers her unholy fate! According to the prophecies of the Hyma Brotherhood, she must fulfill her destiny by marrying their leader and helping them quench their eternal thirst for blood. Chantal Contouri, David Hemmings (BLOW-UP, DEEP RED) and Henry Silva (DICK TRACY, ABOVE THE LAW) take you on a terrifying journey inside the world of a demonic cult where satanic rituals, grotesque tortures and deadly surprises await!- Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1)

DVD Features:
- Dolby Digital Mono (English & Spanish Language Options)
- Audio Commentary with Director Rod Hardy & Producer Antony I. Ginnane
- Cast & Filmmaker Biographies
- Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
- Photo Gallery
- Isolated Music Score
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The Watcher in the Attic (1976)
dir. Noboru Tanaka, Tanaka Noboru

Dang, it's been a while since Mondo Macabro last released something. Good to see they're still going.

Product Decsription:
The film is set in 1923 in a cheap Tokyo boarding house. The landlord, Goda, roams through the attic, observing the weird lives of his tenants through holes in the ceiling. One day he sees a prostitute murder one of her clients and decides that at last he has found his soul mate... Based on stories by the Japanese master of horror, Edogawa Rampo, the film features some of the most bizarre sex scenes ever, including the story of a man who hides inside a special chair, so that a naked woman can sit on him.

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Zombie Strippers (Unrated Special Edition) (2008)
dir. Jay Lee

If the title didn't sell you, then I don't know what will.

Product Decsription:
Get yourself a snappy title and a couple of marquee names (however disreputable) and you might just snag your no-budget movie a national release--as Zombie Strippers colorfully proves. The names in question belong to porn star Jenna Jameson and Freddie Krueger himself, Robert Englund, both of whom look quite comfortable in this sleazy milieu. As the title suggests (well, "suggests" might be a mild word), there has been an outbreak of the undead in a strip club, with strippers actually improving their onstage antics after they've become zombies. (Given the number of implants on display, it's a wonder the zombies didn't keel over from silicone poisoning.) Englund is the proprietor of the place, Jameson is a star dancer, and a couple of actresses in the "nice girl" roles don't have to take their tops off, although almost everybody else does. Writer-director Jay Lee fills the movie with political gags and a bunch of philosophy references (Jameson reads Nietzsche, the locale is Sartre, Nebraska), all of which play like a lame attempt to distinguish his movie as something other than a puerile horror-comedy. Only thing is, when you try to disguise the fact that you've made a puerile horror-comedy, it kind of takes the oomph out of both the horror and the comedy. The political jibes are about as feeble as those in Southland Tales, but at least Zombie Strippers is shorter. Shot on video, it looks atrocious, but perhaps that doesn't matter very much. --Robert Horton

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Pieces (1983)
dir. Juan Piquer Simon

Product Decsription:
GRINDHOUSE RELEASING is proud to present the first official US DVD release of the sickest and most violent of all the early '80s slasher movies. A psychopathic killer stalks a Boston campus, brutally slaughtering nubile young college co-eds, collecting body parts from each victim to create the likeness of his mother who he savagely murdered with an axe when he was ten years old! PIECES is a wild, unrated gorefest, with enough splatter and sleaze to shock the most jaded horror fan.

Eli Roth, director of CABIN FEVER and HOSTEL
"One of my top horror films of all time! Not only is this the ultimate chainsaw movie, it's the ultimate slasher film. It has everything you could possibly want, by the bucketful. Full on chainsaw violence, absurd amounts of nudity, and the greatest ending in horror history.
A masterpiece of early 80's sleaze. "


DVD Features:
-2 Disc Deluxe Edition
-Original uncensored theatrical version
-Spectacular new hi-definition digital anamorphic widescreen transfer
-Optional Spanish soundtrack with original score by Librado Pastor
-Special 5.1 audio option - the Vine Theater Hollywood Experience!
-Never before seen in-depth interviews with director Juan Piquer and genre superstar Paul L. Smith
-Gallery of stills and poster art
-Exhaustive filmographies
-Liner notes by legendary horror journalist Chas. Balun
-Plus other surprises!
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Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2007)
dir. Lloyd Kaufman

I have an enormous amount of love and respect for Lloyd Kaufman, but mostly everything Troma releases is garbage. I'm not going to claim to have seen their entire catalog (which would be torturous and damn near impossible) but I've seen enough to know when to stop.

Product Decsription:
Only 15,000 individually numbered DVDs will be pressed! From Director Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Studios and the Creator of The Toxic Avenger comes Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead! When the American Chicken Bunker, a military themed fast food restaurant, builds its latest chain restaurant on the site of an ancient Native American burial ground, the displaced spirits take revenge on unsuspecting diners and transform them into chicken zombies! Now, it's up to a dimwitted counterboy, his collegiate lesbian ex-girlfriend and a burqa-wearing fry cook to put an end to the foul feathered menace once and for all.

The 3-Disc Eggs-clusive Limited Edition DVD includes a feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary 'Poultry in Motion: Truth is Stranger than Chicken'!


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DVD Picks for November 4th, 2008

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Tenacious D: The Complete Masterworks 2 (2008)
dir. Jeremy Konner, Wayne Isham

I love the D, so this is far and away my most anticipated release of the week. For some reason, the blu-ray version is coming out next week, so I'll be waiting for that one.

Product Decsription:
If you're not a Tenacious D fan already, The Complete Master Works might make you an instant convert (or scare you away; it all depends). One thing's for sure: If you thought "the D" were nothing more than a novelty act, this two-disc feast will set you straight, proving that classically trained guitarist Kyle Gass and fast-rising comedy star Jack Black (School of Rock) are a bona fide acoustic power duo, scorching the pop-cultural landscape with their satirically scathing lyrics while qualifying as legitimate musicians with awesome chops and just enough insanity to make them dangerous on stage. Disc 1 ("For Fans") is all meat and potatoes, consisting of a brilliant concert (taped at London's Brixton Academy, November 3, 2002) in which Black casts himself as an abrasive provocateur, daring to offend "KG" and the audience alike with barbed taunts and spiteful attitude (all faked, of course, but convincing enough to sucker the gullible). The musicianship is first-rate, and Black's vocals remarkably spry, a deft combination of rapid-fire scatting and heavy-metal worship. The HBO episodes chronicle TD's early years as their popularity was still mostly an L.A.-based phenomenon, and without exception they're wet-your-pants hilarious.
Disc 2 is aptly dubbed "For Psycho Fans," offering a potpourri of TD ephemera for true devotees, including three HBO short films that are gross enough (and funny enough) to make any Farrelly Brothers comedy look positively tame by comparison (in other words, this definitely isn't kid's stuff). The TV appearances are somewhat redundant with the concert material, and the "On the Road" video diaries are perfunctory but fun. The best is saved for last: two music videos paired with "making-of" featurettes, including Spike Jonze's fantasy-oriented video for "Wonderboy," and a devilishly adult-oriented video for "FHG" (salacious "D" fans know what that means) from the animators of Ren & Stimpy. If you're offended, don't blame "Kage" and "Jables"--their Tenacious DVD has "Parental Advisory" clearly stamped on its cover, and prudes are well-advised to stay away. --Jeff Shannon


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Kung Fu Panda (2008)
dir. John Stevenson

I think this still might be in my top 10 of the year so far if I'm being honest. It's in the 5-10 range so it might slip out before the year's over, but it's still a great movie.

Product Decsription:
What's a panda to do when his dreams of kung-fu awesomeness awake to the cold reality of noodle-making? Clumsy, overweight Po (Jack Black) dreams of becoming a kung fu master like China's revered "furious five," but instead seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the restaurant business. When great leader Oogway has a vision that the imprisoned kung fu warrior Tai Lung (Ian McShane) will soon escape, he declares it time to choose China's dragon warrior--one kung fu master deemed worthy of possessing the dragon's scroll and its secret to limitless power. Po and all the townspeople rush to the Jade Palace atop the highest mountain to witness the contest between Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogan), Crane (David Cross) and Viper (Lucy Liu), but Po is locked outside the palace. After a miracle of sorts, Po lands inside the palace gates, where he is chosen as the dragon warrior and placed under the tutelage of the decidedly non-plussed master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). An unconventional student to say the least, hilarity reigns as Shifu tries desperately to make Po into some semblance of a kung fu warrior. Can Po possibly fulfill his destiny as dragon warrior, or was Oogway's final decision a critical mistake? A film rich with hilarious moments, superior animation, and an important message about believing in oneself and the power that comes from within, Kung Fu Panda is great entertainment that will have the whole family laughing and begging for more. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

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Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection (1983-1987)
dir.

Incredible show, basically anything Jim Henson is associated with will get my seal of approval. A lot of people are upset that HIT Entertainment is releasing this huge set but NOT releasing the 4th and final season seperately, basically screwing everyone that bought the previous 3 seasons earlier. They don't even have any plans to release it in the future, which is really pissing everyone off.

Product Decsription:
The magical underground realm of Fraggle Rock is situated behind a wall in inventor Doc's laboratory, in this charming series from the master of puppets, Jim Henson. Doc's dog Sprocket knows something is back there, and is constantly trying to get to the fraggles, while far below in the brightly lit caverns, the furry fraggles frolic and play, and learn valuable lessons along the way. All 96 episodes of the series are included in this hugely comprehensive set, as Wembley, Gobo, Red, Mobley, and Boober have exciting adventures and present their catchy, infectious repertoire of songs. Adults will revel in the memories while children will delight in the newfound fun, as Boober has to muster his courage after he loses his lucky hat in "You Can't do that Without a Hat," and Red's best-laid plans go awry in "Let the Water Run." Other episodes include "The Thirty Minute Work Week," where Wembley has to choose his occupation; "Catch the Tail by the Tiger," where Gobo ventures into outer space to find Traveling Matt; and "The Finger of Light," which sees Mokey learning how to be in charge.

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Batman - The Complete Animated Series (1992-1995)
dir. n/a

Some of the best Batman stuff available in my opinion, live or animated. I was surprised to see there were only 3 seasons, it felt like this show was on for like 15 years.

Product Decsription:
The legendary caped crusader is back in the Emmy Award-winning BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES. During the day, mild-mannered millionaire Bruce Wayne seems like an average--albeit wealthy--Gotham City resident; but at night, when the criminal comes out, so does his alter-ego. With the help of his trusty sidekick Robin, Batman combats the evil forces that are constantly threatening to overpower Gotham City, including classic villains such as Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. Airing from 1992-1995, this animated BATMAN is acclaimed for remaining true to the original comic book's dark tone while introducing new and exciting storylines and characters. This mammoth collection presents all four seasons of the complete series.

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Futurama: Bender's Game (2008)
dir. Dwayne Carey-Hill

The most important thing that Futurama has that the Simpsons doesn't? Consistency. Granted, it wasn't on NEARLY as long, but there was never a dip in quality. It was always amazing, and these feature length movies are further proof of Futurama's greatness.

Product Decsription:
At once a merciless skewering of all things fanboy and an extremely satisfying addition to the Futurama franchise, Bender's Game is among the best of the animated series' feature length adventures. The game in question is Dungeons and Dragons, and Bender wants in--only robots aren't programmed with the necessary imagination. Naturally, Bender's plans to develop one go completely awry and land him in an android asylum. The role-playing plotline later re-emerges--in typically convoluted Futurama fashion--via a subplot involving Professor Farnsworth's conversion of dark matter into spaceship fuel, which created a key to a very D&D-influenced universe where our hapless heroes eventually find themselves. The alternate world storyline allows for much lampooning of fantasy tropes, with Lord of the Rings receiving the lion's share of the tweaks. Seeing as how the writers have already devoted much of the movie's running time to parodying Star Wars and Star Trek (and their Lego offshoots), one might think that Bender's Game might suffer from pop-culture overload, but surprisingly, it all feels fresh and frequently funny, and the writers are wise to ground the story in their eccentric characters rather than pinballing them through an endless string of gags. The result is probably the strongest of the direct-to-DVD Futurama releases to date, and one that newcomers to the show's cracked universe can appreciate as much as longtime fans. As with previous Futurama DVD releases, the extras come fast and furious on Bender's Game: commentary by members of the cast and production team (including Matt Groening) is both informative and funny, while interviews with the writers and producers discuss, among other topics, the influence of Dungeons and Dragons on the series and the 3D models used in the feature. Aspiring animators might appreciate "How To Draw Futurama in 83 Easy Steps and the storyboard animatic for the first part of the story, while the "Genetics Lab" feature allows for some amusing Dr. Moreau-style cross-breeding of the characters. Recording session bloopers and a deleted scene offer their own laughs, but the most enjoyable extra must be the preview for the next Futurama feature, Into the Wild Green Yonder, which suggests a shocking development for one of the show's regulars. -- Paul Gaita

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A Christmas Story (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (1983)
dir. Bob Clark

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDDDDDDDGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEE

Still the greatest Christmas movie ever.


Product Decsription:
The Christmas spirit isn't served up with more observant hilarity than in this beloved adaptation of Jean Shepherd's holiday story. In 1940s Indiana, nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) dreams of his ideal Christmas gift: a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. But when gruff dad (Darren McGavin) and doting mom (Melinda Dillion) regularly respond with "You'll shoot your eye out!" Ralphie mounts a full-scale Santa-begging campaign. He encounters a slew of calamities from snowsuit paralysis to the dreaded tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole gambit. We triple-dog-dare you to unwrap a more welcome Yuletide classic!

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Budd Boetticher Box Set
MOVIES INCLUDE:
The Tall T (1957)
Decision at Sundown (1957)
Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)
Ride Lonesome (1959)
Comanche Station (1960)

Product Decsription:
Few hauteur directors are more revered and beloved than Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr., who lived a life more amazing than any movie. And few films have been more eagerly-awaited on DVD than the spare, adult westerns he made at Columbia in the late 1950s, all starring Randolph Scott, most written by future director Burt Kennedy, and co-starring such outstanding actors as James Coburn (in his film debut), Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan, Pernell Roberts, Lee Van Cleef, and Craig Stevens. Now, at last, you hold them in your hand: The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station. Rounding out the set is Bruce Ricker's acclaimed feature-length documentary, A Man Can do That, executive produced Budd's friend Clint Eastwood. Sony Pictures and The Film Foundation are honored to present one of the absolutely essential collections of this or any year.

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Get Smart (2008)
dir. Peter Segal

Steve Carell is makes a great Maxwell Smart, and thankfully he's not just blatantly ripping-off Don Adams. The rest of the movie was not incredible, but it wasn't bad either.

Product Decsription:
Steve Carell is in control as Maxwell Smart, the novice agent often out of his depth but never out of options in this action comedy pitting him against the nuclear scheme of the evil spy group KAOS. Anne Hathaway partners with Max as ever capable Agent 99. And Director Peter Segal (The Longest Yard) guides his stars (including Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin) through the dangerous realm of molar radios, multifunction pocketknives, exploding dental floss and more. "Get Smart works as an action film and its funny." (Richard Roeper, At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper)

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Transsiberian (2008)
dir. Brad Anderson

Interesting cast and premise, and I really like The Machinist, one of Brad Anderson's earlier movies. Plus, he directed a couple episodes of The Wire, which instantly makes him awesome.

Product Decsription:
In Transsiberian, a train twisting across the white Siberian landscape becomes a trap for a well-meaning American couple, Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer), who find themselves pursued by a Russian policemen (Ben Kingsley) while on a trip to Moscow. On the train, they befriend a younger couple--but the charming pair hold secrets that draw Roy and Jessie into a frozen nightmare. Transsiberian's snowy setting is both beautiful and eerie, providing an evocative atmosphere that helps carry the viewer through the sometimes bumpy plot. At its core, Transsiberian is about the anxiety of being in a new world--be it a new country or a new phase of your life--and not knowing the rules, the fear of taking the wrong step and falling. The thriller plot is little more than a delivery system for that sensation. But really, all director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Next Stop Wonderland) needed was Mortimer's limpid face; every tremor that crosses her pale skin reverberates through the camera. Her essential vulnerability first came across in Lovely and Amazing; Anderson makes good use of this rare quality. --Bret Fetzer

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Milarepa (2007)
dir. Neten Chokling

Product Decsription:
In his directorial debut, Buddhist lama Neten Chokling vividly presents the captivating story of Milarepa, the man who would become Tibet s greatest yogi and saint. In the dramatic setting of 11th century Tibet- a time of roaming sorcerers and yogis, according to Buddhist legend- a young Milarepa falls into a world of betrayal and hardships. The greed of others upturns his privileged life, dropping him into a void of despair, humiliation, pain and anger. He sets out to learn black magic- and exact revenge on his enemies- encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confronting the consequence of his quest for vengeance that he learns the most. Filmed on the breathtaking scenic Indo-Tibetan border, with Tibetan monks serving as most of the cast and crew, Milarepa glows with a unique visual and spiritual charge.

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The Pistol: Special Edition (1990)
dir. Frank C. Schroeder

Product Decsription:
The Pistol is the uplifting story of a scrawny eight grade boy whose stunning basketball skills earn him a spot on the high school team. Unfortunately for young Pete Maravich (Adam Guier), his style of "showtime" basketball is way ahead of its time, making him the target of ridicule and socially separates him from his teammates. Against all odds, Pete perseveres with he constant encouragement of his mentor and father, Press Maravich (Days of Our Lives) and the love of his mother Helen (Academy Award Nominee Millie Perkins). The legend of college basketball's greatest scorer begins in the heart of a thirteen year old dreamer who soon becomes known to the work as THE PISTOL.

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Waterworld (1995)
dir. Kevin Reynolds

Haven't seen this movie in forever, but from what I remember, it is unfairly hated on. Maybe I need to watch it again.

Product Decsription:
Let's be honest: this 1995 epic isn't nearly as bad as its negative publicity led us to expect. At the time it was the most expensive Hollywood production in history (it had a Titanic-sized $200 million budget), and the film arrived in theaters with so much controversy and negative gossip that it was an easy target for ridicule. The movie itself, a flawed but enjoyable post-apocalypse thriller, deserves better. Waterworld stars Kevin Costner as the Mariner, a lone maverick with gills and webbed feet who navigates the endless seas of Earth after the complete melting of the polar ice caps. The Mariner has been caged like a criminal when he's freed by Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and enlisted to help her and a young girl (Tina Majorino) escape from the Smokers, a group of renegade terrorists led by Dennis Hopper in yet another memorably villainous role. It is too bad the predictable script isn't more intelligent, but as a companion piece to The Road Warrior, this seafaring stunt-fest is adequately impressive. --Jeff Shannon

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Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008)
dir. Robert Hiltzik

Product Decsription:
It's summer camp as usual at Camp Manabe where the kids torment each other for fun while the underpaid camp staff provides as little supervision as possible. Greedy camp owner Frank and junior partner Ronnie do their best to keep everyone in line, but something sinister is about to put a slash in the roster. When campers and staff mysteriously begin disappearing and turning into gruesome corpses, paranoid Ronnie can't shake the memory of a series of grisly murders that took place at Camp Arawak, where he worked two decades earlier.

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