© (c) 2007 Fox Home Entertainment THE SIMPSONS - SEASON 10
What iF Picks: 'ROME THE SECOND SEASON' ONE OF THE TOP 5 DVDs TO OWN FOR AUG. 7, 2007
Also worth buying CRIME STORY, THE SIMPSONS SEASON 10, BUBBA HO-TEP and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1977)
By PETER BROWN, Associate Editor
EDITOR'S NOTE: So many movies, television shows, independent films and animated joints being released on DVD each week, we don't have the time or manpower to cover each and every one of them. Hence, we have a nice round up called "WHAT iF PICKS" which will give you the skinny every Tuesday of what iF picks as the Top 5 DVDs to spend your money on.
While adolescents will enjoy the remake of the classic cartoon TMNT, and you should really avoid the terrible DISTRUBIA, you should spend your hard earned crab fishing money on the following:
1) ROME - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
© 2007 HBO Home Video
Holy crap did HBO have some great programming at one point in time on their pay network … now, yeah not so much, but when DEADWOOD, THE SOPRANOS, CARNIVALE and, yes, ROME were on around the same time you couldn’t find better programming on cable or networks combined. The first season of ROME was a kick-ass, brutal, nudity filled bonanza with enough bloody and violence to shock the hell out of you. The second season blows the first season out of the water in all these aspects. Not for the weak of heart or the timid, ROME is an awesome series that unfortunately didn’t last longer than it should have (because of costs and because the stars were getting other offers – see the upcoming JOURNEYMAN and NEW AMSTERDAMN). The DVD includes all 10 episodes of the second season plus a ton of great special features such as five featurettes on the history of Rome as well as a making of the show, five audio commentaries and much more. An awesome DVD and a must have for fans.
2) CRIME STORY SPECIAL EDITION
© 2007 Dragon Dynasty
If you think you know Jackie Chan from RUSH HOUR only, boy you’ve got some watching to do. CRIME STORY is the most serious Jackie Chan movie you will ever see as he plays a special agent that is assigned to protect a wealthy businessman but things go bad when that businessman is kidnapped and Jackie must get him back. Supposedly this is based on a true story, but whatever, the only true thing you need to know is that it kicks ass. It is a powerful, raw highly under-rated probably because it isn’t traditional Chan slapstick stunt-filled. But don’t be fooled, there are still plenty of amazing fight sequences and some of them because of the seriousness are the best Chan has ever done. The special edition includes a brilliant new digital cut of the film, director audio commentary, deleted scenes and much more.
3) THE SIMPSONS – THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON
© 2007 Fox Home Entertainment
Wow, nothing craptacular about this DVD. With THE SIMPSONS MOVIE a ginormous hit in the theaters and already talk of a sequel but it is hard to believe that we are only at the 10th season of the DVD releases given the series is going into its 19th season. Some of the best episodes of the season include “Lard of the Dance” where Homer tries to sell grease, “Screaming Yellow Honkers,” an excellent satire about SUVs and soccer moms, “Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken” is when the kids of Springfield fight back against an unjust curfew and “Kidney Trouble” where Homer chickens out on giving up his kidney to grandpa. As usual with all SIMPSONS DVDs there are audio commentaries on every 23 episode of this season, image galleries, original art sketches, animation showcases and much more.
4) BUBBA HO-TEP SPECIAL EDITION
© 2007 MGM Home Video
The man, Bruce Campbell, may have made himself known to the masses with the EVIL DEAD and ARMY OF DARKNESS films, but he certainly didn’t stop there and with BUBBA HO-TEP he cemented himself as an icon for cult cravers everywhere. The story of Elvis Presley in a retirement home who must defend his fellow seniors against an Egyptian cowboy zombie is the best schlock you will ever see. Of course, I’m forgetting his partner, a black JFK played by Ossie Davis. Comedy at its very best is here and if you haven’t seen or purchased the film yet, this is a great version to own with a new digital remaster and Elvis box cover. The DVD includes audio commentaries from the director and Campbell, making of featurettes, deleted scenes and much more.
5) INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS 2-DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION
© 2007 MGM Home Video
With THE INVASION coming to theaters very soon what better time than to re-release what will likely be the superior first remake with Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Brooke Adams in this new-two DVD set about a small town that discovers the human race is quietly being taken over by an alien race devoid of all emotion but mimicking the look of humans. The DVD set includes a host of bonus material including an audio commentary by Philip Kaufman, a retrospective look at the film from “Re-Visitors From Outer Space or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pod,” new interviews with the cast and crew and the usual fare. If you haven’t picked up this DVD yet, this new digital transfer of the original source material is a good bet.
6) THE TICK VS. SEASON TWO
© 2007 Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Yeah, yeah, six DVDs on a Top 5 list but there is just so much good stuff out this week to buy you need to know about! While the live action TICK series may have been a bomb – despite being damn good – the animated series at least made it to three seasons. This is the second season of the series features 12 episodes, but is missing the 13th episode of the season … why? Not sure, but it may have to do with a copyright or trademark issue. Unfortunately, that does taint this DVD to a degree, but I can’t just say not to buy it because it still is one of the best animated series to ever make it to the light of day. Here’s hoping that season three (which is a shorter season) will include the missing episodes from the first two seasons of the show.