Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Video Swatchdog!

In home video news, today sees the release of a Director’s Cut of John Waters’ Cry-Baby on DVD, along with an old favorite of mine from the 70’s, Night Moves, an Arthur Penn film noir updated with ‘70’s angst.

Every once in a while the amount of stuff in the DVD pipeline reaches critical mass and I have trouble keeping track of the upcoming DVD’s I want to keep a eye out for. So here’s a handy guide for me:

In August: On the 9th, the little seen Scott Spiegel low-budget horror flick Intruder finally makes the trip to DVD, with Bruce Campbell’s name prominently displayed on the box even though he’s only got a cameo. A must for Sam Raimi fans who are offered the rare treat of seeing Raimi in front of the camera. Plus, Eb and Mr. Kimball from Green Acres as a pair of bumbling cops. Need we say more?

On the 16th it’s multi-disc set time again with an Astaire/Rogers box and the sixth season of The Simpsons in a Homer head-shaped box!

In September: On the 13th, Rumble Fish returns to DVD with a Special Edition, while Mike Leigh’s Naked, with a remarkable performance from David Thewlis, appears as part of the Criterion Collection.

On the 20th, it’s time to break into the piggy-bank: we start with the budget re-releases of Flesh For Frankenstein and Blood For Dracula, the Paul Morrisey horror flicks originally released as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein and Dracula, respectively. Their Criterion versions now out-of-print, this is a welcome development for those of us who wanted to own them but balked at the $40 price tag. I mean, Fellini is one thing…

The Man Who Fell To Earth shows up again, this time as a Criterion disc with all manner of extras and commentaries. Jeez, I feel like I just bought that Image double-disc version that was supposed to be the last word on it. Sigh. There’ll be a third box of Ren and Stimpy cartoons, collecting material from the 4th and 5th seasons which may be a hard slog for all but the most die-hard fan. And we cap this expensive day off with the Martin Scorsese documentary on Bob Dylan, No Direction Home. This home video release will actually predate its premiere on PBS, as well as include more material than will air in the TV version.

On the 27th, it’s the 1951 version of Scrooge with Alistair Sim that I think the wife is going to insist on.

In October: On the 4th, it’s The Fly: Special Edition (discussed previously here). There's also the release of a huge 15-disc Hitchcock collection which might finally get me to plunk down the dough for such a nice, convenient hunk of favorites. On the 18th, it’s The Big Lebowski: Collector’s Edition, with the option of a more expensive gift set that’ll include a pack of Big L playing cards, coasters and a bar towel! It feels very strange to have witnessed the trip this movie’s taken from being dismissed as a so-so addition to the Coen Brothers catalog to becoming the object of rabid cult worship that it is today. Who’da thunk it? And on the 25th it’s a Super Super Ultra Deluxe Edition of The Wizard Of Oz, with fans given the choice between a 2-disc and 3-disc edition. Toto, I think we’ve maxed out our credit card!

Those are the highlights for me. Yours may differ, of course, as I am a cranky old creature of habit who is loathe to stray from the familiar.

I expect you, dear reader, to be more adventurous.


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