November 2006

Tube Watch

by Alan Rapp on November 30, 2006

in Television Reviews , Uncategorized

Well the new fall shows have been running for a couple months now.  It’s time to give our initial look at eight of these new programs.  Which ones are instant hits?  Which ones are horrific misfires?  Which ones are too close to call?  Well, we’re here to answer, so get your scorecard ready as we get set to play Hit or Miss.

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Simple grading system here folks – pass, fail, or incomplete.  So let’s get down to business and find out which shows are HITs and which MISS the mark.

30 Rock – The “other” NBC show focused behind the scenes of a late night sketch show has been dismal, disappointing, and downright dumb.  Surprising, considering the good early commercials and talent involved (Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey).  More dumb funny (heavy on dumb, light on funny) from a former SNL head writer; it’s a complete misfire. MISS

Brothers and Sisters – I haven’t caught much of Brothers and Sisters, but what I have seen has been brutal to watch.  The show focuses on a dysfunctional family with a harsh eye.  Think Arrested Development done as a straight drama.  Some good acting, but why cast Calista Flockhart in a role that doesn’t allow her to use her considerable comic chops in this dreadfully serious show? MISS

The Class – A third-grade class reunited years later?  Seemed like an odd idea for a storyline, but the pilot was Damn Funny and the off-beat nature of the show works well, though the scripts since have not been as high quality.  There’s some nice situational comedy and some good chemistry between loser Richie (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Lina (Heather Goldenhersh), handy-man Duncan (Jon Bernthal) and trophy wife Nicole (Andrea Anders), and wild Kat (Lizzy Caplan) and straight-laced Ethan (Jason Ritter).  If only they could drop the idiotic character of the gay-acting straight man (Sam Harris) that makes me want to change the channel, or kill something – depending on how far away the remote is.  Right now it looks like it’s one of those shows were the cast is more talented than the writing; we’ll just see if it can skate by long enough to improve, or if we’ll see some of these actors in better shows next year. INCOMPLETE

Friday Night Lights – For those viewers whose lives peaked in their teens, we get high school football mixed with teen soap opera.  You know I liked Varsity Blues, but I don’t need to watch it every week.  Though it’s got its heart in the right place the odd small town atmosphere (seemingly pulled directly out of the 50’s) doesn’t quite mix with the teen sizzle and sexuality shown in the same frame.  A close call, and I admit I might be in the minority here, but I’m saying this one goes wide left. MISS

Heroes – “Save the Cheerleader.  Save the world.”  Save your sanity.  Change the channel.  NBC’s big show this year.  Why is that again?  I know this has become a huge hit for NBC, but seriously, why is that again?  I’ve watched Heroes and come to the conclusion it wants to be a super-hero type show but it’s being made by people who have evidently never read a comic book.  The show might just as well be called Freaks or Mutants.  The characters powers are unexplained including limits, weaknesses, and most importantly origin.  Why did these powers all manifest in such a diverse and random group (and no, vague references to X-Men don’t cut it).  I’ve now seen a half dozen or so episodes and have yet to see anything ‘heroic.”  Although it appears the characters may indeed have special powers, I just don’t see any heroes.  Perhaps the characters, all 50 or so of them (new ones just keep popping up), will be further developed as the series continues, but it hasn’t given me any reason to stick around to find out. MISS

The Nine – ABC’s newest ensemble drama may not be the show everyone’s talking about, but it should be.  The show is focused on nine survivors (Timothy Daly, John Billingsley, Jessica Collins, Scott Wolf, Chi McBride, Kim Raver, Camille Guaty, Dana Davis) of a 52-hour bank robbery and hostage situation.  Each week a little more of the events inside those tense hours are glimpsed, but the real heart of the show is watching these people deal with the after-effects and trauma of this life-changing event.  The pilot was simply one of the best I’ve ever seen, and if the show can keep the drama without falling into melodrama and soap opera (which it’s teetered close too in a couple recent episodes) then it truly has a chance to be great. HIT

Standoff – Pre-empted by the MLB Playoffs and World Series, the show hasn’t aired that many episodes, but what it appears to be so far is a cast who are better than the writing allows.  Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt play lovers and FBI agents called in during hostage negotiations.  The show plays the relationship a little too cute for me, and could use some actual heat between the pair.  There are some nice performances including Whedon alumni Gina Torres.  Will the writing improve or will the cast end up with hernias and broken backs, from carrying the dead weight, by the end of the season?  INCOMPLETE

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Despite not being the runaway hit NBC imagined when it wooed Aaron Sorkin back to the network, and fighting off rumors of early cancellation, Studio 60 has been a critical smash and one of the best new shows on television.  Sorkin’s backstage look at a variety show on NBS has given us a rant against the state of current television, the battle between free-speech liberals and conservative Christains, the struggle to fight drug addiction, and all of that in just the first episode.  Great writing and a stellar cast (Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amada Peet, Sarah Paulson, D.L. Hughley and so many more) make this the show I crave more of, and feel pangs each time the closing credits roll.  You’ve got me addicted Mr. Sorkin, please don’t stop.  This one’s a winner in my book and in case you missed Ian’s opinion, know that he agrees as well.  HIT

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Comic Book Shelf

by Alan Rapp on November 29, 2006

in Comics

Hey there true believers!  Today the sixteenth issue of our Comic Book Shelf edition hits our newsstand.  Want to know what’s getting released today at the old comic shop but too busy, or lazy (not that there’s anything wrong with that), to bother?  Well no sweat Bat-fans as we’ve got the scoop of what comics and graphic novels are hitting the shelves today.

This week’s releases include Batman, Crossing Midnight, Deathblow, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Ghost in the Shell 1.5, Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage, Immortal Iron Fist, Stan Lee Meets Dr. Doom, Trials of Shazam!, and more!

If you’re looking for graphic novels you don’t want to miss Avengers: Galactic Storm Vol.2, Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 5, Essential Man-Thing Vol.1, Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns, Gungrave Archives, and more.

For the full list check inside…

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Superman Returns to DVD

by Alan Rapp on November 28, 2006

in Uncategorized

Superman Returns was a big hit at the theaters this summer, though not as big as the studio had hoped (despite making just over $200 million it came up short of making back its $270 million price tag).  Still Superman proved he could be a powerful force at the box office.  The film comes out on DVD today and we’ve got a quick look.

Superman Returns
Custom Rating

I enjoyed Superman Returns in the theater, but had some problems with the script, continuity errors, and the lack of originality (all of which you can read more about in my original review).  December liked the film a little more than me (as you can read here).  So it’s been a couple months, and now it’s out on DVD, so let’s get to it.

After a five-year absence Kal-El (Brandon Routh) returns from the wreckage of Krypton to his adopted home of Earth.  On arriving he discovers life has moved on without him.  Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is engaged and has a young son, and Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has been busy making some withdrawals from the Fortress of Solitude.

The film works as well, if not slightly better on DVD than in the theater, given it’s length and breadth, though you also have more opportunity to wonder at the lunacy of Lex Luthor’s plan.  The effects work just as well on DVD and with a proper stereo system you can sit back and crank John Williams score.

I stick by my qualms with the film.  However, I will say that with each viewing I like Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth more and more in their respected roles.  Though Routh is no Christopher Reeve, he does have a little of his openness and charm that grows on you.  And Bosworth shines in what is one of the oddest casting decisions of the year.

But I still hate that new suit!

Is it a must have for your collection?  Probably not.  But the DVD does give you the remastered John Williams score and some nice performances and fun moments.  Aside from the look at the Marlon Brando scenes, I’m not sure the Special Edition warrants the added cost, except for huge fans of the film, and I think the single disc will serve most viewers just fine.

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New On DVD

by Ian T. McFarland on November 28, 2006

in Home Video/DVD News 

There’s not too much on the plate this week, but if you’re a fan of the man in blue tights, then get ready to wet yourself.

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Film:

Clerks II – If you’re a regular reader of the weekly DVD column, you’re probably tired of having to read me talking about 2006’s wealth of comedies.  So, sorry in advance for the repetition, but Clerks II is one damn funny movie and might be the best comedy of the year, even with the tough competition from Little Miss Sunshine and Strangers With Candy.  For all of the indie cred that is given to the original Clerks., a visit down memory lane to the DIY 1994 film reveals something surprising: the film isn’t that good.  Sure, the dialogue, as is typical for Kevin Smith-written fare, is golden and quotable; but the acting is shit and there’s hardly an interesting shot in the entire film.  12 years later, the actors have grown, Smith’s direction has improved and with the addition of new characters, II greatly out-paces it’s predecessor.  A guy’s comedy with full, exposed and clashing characters, the film is the most mature immature comedy maybe ever.  You can read reviews of the film by either Alan or me.

This two-disc set will be a more than worthy purchase for Askewniverse denizens out there.  With a 90-minute documentary, a whopping three commentaries and – you’ve got to love the DVD producers for this one – a vignette entitled ‘A Closer Look at Interspecies Erotica,’ you could easily find this movie mentioned in my letter to Santa Claus this year.

Superman Returns – You know, I think the reaction was somewhat mixed, but I have to say that I think that Superman Returns was a pretty good flick.  Whereas Bryan Singer‘s X-Men films were trying to take superheroes and plant them into the real world as realistically as possible, his version of Superman is a whimsical ode to the classical Superhero, and just how high and mighty the ideal man in tights is.  It was maybe a bit too wishy-washy and too long; but Singer has given us a different kind action film, and makes me excited for the planned sequel to the film

The film comes in two editions: a bare-bones single disc edition and a double disc set.  You can read Alan’s take on the discs in his DVD review of the releases.  You can also read his review of the film, or if you were wanting just one more link, you can also read December’s review of the film, both of which were fairly positive.

Special Edition:

The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection – This is the big one – again.  Much like the set that came out five years ago, this set includes Superman, Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, albeit with each one accompanied by a new companion disc of special features.  If you really feel like going ape-shit for the man of Metropolis, you can pick up the 13 disc extravaganza known as The Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition, with every Reeve film, the Routh film and that spontaneous ‘Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman’ DVD that got released over the summer.  Although, according to the guyzos at DVD Active, that might not be such a hot idea; as these sets mistakenly carry the disc for Superman III from the 2001 disc.  That means there won’t be any of the new commentaries, deleted scenes or the feature.  So it might be a better idea to either purchase each of the films seperately, or go for the mere 8-pack compilation – neither one of which carry the newer disc.

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This Week

by December Lambeth on November 27, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

So what’s out there this week?  It’s an interesting week at the movie plex coming to a theater near you and in limited release: 3 Needles, The Architect, Christmas at Maxwell’s, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, The Nativity Story and Turistas.

C’mon in and let us get you ready for the week!

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Here’s what’s scheduled to hit theaters this week.  Want to know more?  Just click on the title for film info including a full cast list.  Want a closer look?  Just click on the poster to watch the trailer.

Opening Friday:

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

Just in case the first bomb wasn’t enough for you, here is another. National Lampoon is back again and in it’s usual color. They should have stopped with National Lampoon’s Christmas and left it at that. Now we have to suffer through some film that should have went straight to DVD. How do they get such bad humor green lit?  Taj, Van Wilder’s geeky apprentice from the first film, goes international. He heads off to Camden University in England and adopts a group of misfit geeks and teaches them a little Wilder magic. Plenty of T & A and nerds being picked on, but they win in the end.

Rated R for pervasive crude sexual content (like the first), some nudity and language. Projected bomb.

The Nativity Story

Director Catherine Hardwicke and crew painstakingly produce this story down to the finest detail. A great deal of work and fine-tuning went into the set design, costuming and location. Well acted and written, The Nativity Story comes to the big screen in all its marvelous wonder glory. I don’t feel I need to summarize the film, it’s well known throughout. Just in time for the holidays and family gatherings.

Rated PG for some violent content. Projected 3.5 out of 5 razors.

Turistas

Just in case the first bomb wasn’t enough for you, here is another. National Lampoon is back again and in it’s usual color. They should have stopped with National Lampoon’s Christmas and left it at that. Now we have to suffer through some film that should have went straight to DVD. How do they get such bad humor green lit? As if Hostel wasn’t enough, now we have Turistas. A group of young and beautiful Americans go on vacation off the beaten path in beautiful exotic Brazil. After a bus crash and being a little shook up, the group runs into a couple of British travelers and some kind locals.

As the night draws on and the exotic drinks keep coming, the tourists wake up the next morning on the beach with no wallets, id’s or passports. Left in a country with no way out, they trust a local boy to take them to a safe house, or not. They find other passports and photo ids’s from past tourists and start to become unnerved. Sleeping in groups with one eye open, they are attacked in the middle of the night, but by whom? Horrible tortures and experiments locked in a cage and trying to escape the “Turistas” may not make it through their lavish vacation. After some of the films released this year and last, I may never want to travel out of the U.S., or my own hometown, for that matter, again.

Rated R for strong graphic violence and disturbing content, sexuality, nudity, drug use and language. On a fear factor and pure adrenaline projected 4 out 5 razors. You must remember I’m rating this based on the genre, not the Oscars.

Limited Release:

3 Needles

Beautiful visuals and touching stories, 3 Needles hits on 3 continents, South Africa, China and North America. In South Africa, Clara (Chloe Sevigny) tries to lead the dying to Jesus before it’s too late. She and her crew run across a group of orphans and she finds herself making a deal with a wealthy plantation owner to by the safety of the orphans. In China, Jin Ping (Lucy Liu) sets up a blood collection service. A local farmer, Tong Sam (Tanabadee Chokpikultong), has the flu and cannot sell his blood, so he lies about his daughter’s age and sells hers. He uses the money to make improvements on his farm, but when his farm finally prospers his daughter and wife mysteriously die.

Sam sets out on a journey to find out what caused their deaths and when he returns, he finds the whole town ill and the mobile blood collection out of business. In North America, Denny (Shawn Ashmore) is a porn star that passes his blood tests with his father’s blood. He is busted and the family falls on extremely hard times. His mother, Olive (Stockard Channing), takes out a large life insurance policy, purposely contracts a life threatening disease and sells her life insurance for a settlement worth millions. All stories have a strong tie to a particular disease and blood, each story is human and touching and spread through out the world. Projected 4 out of 5 razors.

Christmas at Maxwell’s

From the site:Christmas at Maxwell’s is an inspirational but light romantic Christmas drama, a story about the human struggle, the power of love, forgiveness, trust and uplifting the human spirit. It is the story of a fortysomething man confronting the overwhelming effect his past actions seem to be taking on his life and his family. Christmas at Maxwell’s was created to supplement the lack of family-friendly movies on the market today. It is inspired by a true story of faith, hope, love, and forgiveness, and is a movie based on traditional spiritual values.

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Jack and Kyle Strike Back

by Alan Rapp on November 22, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

Despite a terrific opening and some pretty darn good music there’s something desperately wrong with Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.  Parody, fart jokes, and a stoner two-some can only take you so far, ask Kevin Smith.  Actually the film feels quite like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  I’m all for copying Smith’s style, but couldn’t you have done one of his better films?

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
3 Stars

It’s not as bad as I feared it would be, but it’s nowhere near as good as it should be.  Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny tells the “true story” of how the band got together and discovered their talent.  The thing is, there just isn’t much talent in the film.  It steals most of its bits and moments by parodying other films, held together by dick and fart jokes, rather than craft a coherent and compelling story.  Well, at least it’s not Nacho Libre.

The first ten minutes of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny rock.  In an ode to rock opera, the film opens in a flashback scene as the young JB (voiced by Jack Black) is chastised by his father (Meat Loaf) for his his love of Rock.  Having his posters taken and his hide tanned, the youngster heads out to find the land of Rock, Hollywood.  (It’s bad for a film when your best moments all come in the first ten minutes.)

Years later JB finally reaches his destination and meets up with a fellow musician, KG (Kyle Gass), who agrees to train him.  Insert many parodies from Star Wars to the Karate Kid here.  Finally the two become a band, naming themselves after the matching birthmarks on their asses.  Um, yeah…

The band struggles for an audience despite their “awesomeness.”  When a guitar shop owner (Ben Stiller) tells the legend of a magic guitar pick made from the tooth of Satan (David Grohl) the two set out to the Rock Museum (conveniently relocated to Sacramento for the movie) to steal the pick and earn fame and glory.

The film isn’t much of a story, there’s the intro to the characters, the long training scenes, and the trip to steal the pick, all of which contain countless parodies from other films, music, television, and more.  The list contains Entrapment, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and many others.

There’s just such little original content here it’s hard to view the film as anything more than a funnier than avearage 93 minute SNL sketch, with a couple of good hosts and musical guests.

Despite some funny bits and some pretty good animation sequence and title cards there’s little here that’s memorable.  You’ll laugh, you’ll groan, but leaving the theater you’ll promptly forget about the film, about the wasted potential, and the broken promise of “awesomeness” those first ten minutes.  Sure you’ll enjoy yourself, but in the end, there’s just not enough there worth remembering.

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Haven’t I Seen This Before?

by Alan Rapp on November 22, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Deja Vu
  • IMDB: link

deja-vu-posterA cop goes back in time to prevent the murder of a woman who will give birth to the future leader of the human race and lead them against the machines run by Skynet … um, I mean a woman who, well, isn’t really that important at all.  But she’s cute, so there’s that.  Yeah…

When a ferry explodes killing Naval officers and civilians, ATF agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) is called in on the case.  The discovery of a woman (Paula Patton)  killed moments before the explosion leads Carlin on the path of a terrorist (James Caviezel), but even if he succeeds he can’t save the girl.  Or can he?

A new top secret military project (headed up by Val Kilmer and Adam Goldberg) allows a team to look back exactly 100 hours into the past to discover the events that led to Clarie’s death and the identity of the terrorist.  Doug joins the team to find the identity of the killer, but also begins to wonder if it might not be possible to journey through time and chance the past.

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For Your Consideration

by Alan Rapp on November 21, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

Christopher Guest has enjoyed poking fun at many different groups of people, from folk singers (A Mighty Wind), to dog lovers (Best in Show), to community theater (Waiting for Guffman), to a heavy metal band (This is Spinal Tap).  Here Guest takes on those ripe for parody – the entertainment industry, and the fickle and surprising effects the word Oscar can cause amongst them.

For Your Consideration
3 & 1/2 Stars

The latest from writer/director Christopher Guest is a scathing look at the entertainment industry.  Though it seems to lack the heart of some of Guest’s better work, the jokes are deliciously droll and derisive.

A new film titled “Home for Purim” gets some unexpected Oscar buzz on the Internet (“the one with e-mail”) for aging actress Marilyn Hack (Catherine O’Hara), commercial actor Victor Allen Miller (Harry Shearer), and comedian turned actress Callie Webb (Parker Posey) whose one woman show, “No Penis Intended,” was described distinctly as “a humorless romp.”

All of a sudden these struggling actors are the focus of interviews, speculation, and studio intervention to try and convince the writers (Bob Balaban, Michael McKean) to make the film “less Jewish” to appeal to a broader audience.  And Jennifer Coolidge provides an example of what Guest believes the role and importance of a producer to be.

The film sinks its teeth into Hollywood’s self-importance and just rips it to shreds.  Particularly vicious, and amusing, are Fred Willard and Jane Lynch as Entertainment Tonight/Access Hollywood “reporters,” and the writer’s public appearance on The Charlie Rose Show (which might be the best scene of the film).

The major problem with the film is every situation and every person is rife for satire and so become walking punchlines.  Unlike some of Guest’s previous films, we don’t get a sense that he cares for these characters, and so why should we?  Still, he manages to put them in humorous, and sometimes near perfect, moments to laugh disdainfully with glee at their misfortune.  Cruel?  Without a doubt, but damn funny too.

It’s not Guest’s best work, but the film contains many good jokes and gags and some bitterly funny parodies of what has been come to be known as “entertainment news.”  Fans of his other films will enjoy themselves while others might wonder if the writer/director hasn’t chosen a subject too easy for him to mock, and too hard for him to care about.

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Comic Book Shelf

by Alan Rapp on November 21, 2006

in Comics

Hey there true believers!  Due to the short week, and our need to stuff our faces with turkey and stuffing, the fifteenth issue of our Comic Book Shelf edition hits our newsstand one day early.  Want to know what’s getting released tomorrow at the old comic shop but too busy, or lazy (not that there’s anything wrong with that), to bother?  Well no sweat Bat-fans as we’ve got the scoop of what comics and graphic novels are hitting the shelves tomorrow.

This week’s releases include Conan, Daredevil, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Heroes for Hire, Red Menace, Superman/Batman, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Wolverine, and more!

If you’re looking for graphic novels you don’t want to miss Captain America: Red Menace, Marvel Holiday, Emily the Strange Vol. 1, Showcase Presents: The Unknown Soldier Vol. 1, Superman/Batman: Absolute Power, Swamp Thing: Infernal Triangles, and more.

For the full list check inside…

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New On DVD

by Ian T. McFarland on November 21, 2006

in Home Video/DVD News 

Need something to throw in the DVD player while all that tryptophan takes effect?  Don’t worry, Razorfine’s got you covered.

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Oh man, I love Thanksgiving.  From the delicious sweet potatoes, the standard turkey and the under-rated stuffing, nothing makes me happier than stuffing a plates full of food into my face.  Nothing, that is, except for writing about NEW DVDs!!!

Film:

An Inconvenient Truth – As charming as Al Gore makes this documentary, I don’t know that it’s the kind of movie ripe for purchase – there’s not much replay value to a film that works like a well organized college lecture.  But for those who have yet to see the film and don’t mind being educated about impending dilemma of Global Warming rather than being entertained, it’s worth a rental.  Gore is just funny and likable enough to make you feel like a fun evening with that kooky guy Al, and justifies the price of rental.  You can check out Alan’s review here.

Scoop – I’ll admit that I’m not a connoisseur of Woody Allen, I’ve only seen a select few from the long list of films he’s directed.  Still, I can’t come close to understanding why so many critics lashed out at Allen’s latest, the supernatural comedy Scoop, just because it was one of the director’s weakest.  But even after seeing what I’ve been led to believe is his best work, namely Bananas and Annie Hall, it alludes me as to how seeing those superior films makes this gut-buster any less worthy of viewing.  No, it isn’t a brilliant character study like Annie Hall, but how many movies are?  Scoop is a delightfully silly comedy that delivers laughs and is worth viewing, even if you’ve seen every other Allen flick around.  Alan liked it too, you can read his review here.

Special Edition:

Home Alone: Family Fun Edition – Oh man, I enjoyed Home Alone to no end as a child whenever it was run on TNT and other basic cable networks.  Hell, who am I kidding, I still check it out whenever I find it on the tube.  But, well gee, I just wish there was a little something more to it.  You know a little bit of extra umph.  Wait, what’s that?  You say that there’s a new edition of the film out on DVD today, a film with more family fun?  Well, heck, that’s exactly what I was looking for, why didn’t you say so in the first place!?  Although the single-disc edition of the film doesn’t merit a double dip for owners of previous releases of the film, I know for a fact that I would have killed for a special feature like “How to Burglar Proof Your Home: The Stunts of Home Alone” when I was five-years-old.  And hey, they even have the feature “Mac Cam: Behind the Scenes with Macaulay Culkin!”  Oh man, that Macaulay.  What a cute kid.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Special Edition – Now available in a brand new, shiny special edition DVD is perhaps one of the best examples that not everything can be made into a decent movie.  But the top grosser at the 2000 box office is, nevertheless, reacquainting itself with the new releases wall at Wal-Marts nationwide.  Unless you’re a fan of blooper reels and Faith Hill music videos, there shouldn’t be any reason to pick up this wannabe Holiday Classic.

Television:

Alias: Season Five – I was a diehard J.J. AbramsAlias for a solid year and a half, until the show introduced a sort of family of super spies dynamic that felt more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a prime-time drama.  Ever since then, I’ve felt alienated.  Still, I watched the show every once and a while through its five year run, and I was sad to hear of the show’s cancellation earlier this year.  This last season of Alias houses somewhat of a return to the original formula of the show: sexy spy (Jennifer Garner) gets into sticky situations on international missions and sometimes with a total cutie pie (Michael Vartan,) instead of complicating the show with extranious subplots that try to turn Garner’s character into someone that might have shown up on Felicity (another show created by Abrams.)

Also available today is the 29-disc box set of the entire series.  The set includes everything from the previous five season releases over the past five years, along with an extra bonus disc.  But what sets the set apart is its design, modeled after the highly sought Rembaldi Artifact – an item dating back five centuries whose mythology often drove the show when there wasn’t anything else interesting about it.  The design is detailed and, sorry for the awful pun that is about to ensue, but utterly geekgasmic for the Alias fans out there.

Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet Seereez – Now available for all of you haters out there who didn’t buy these seasons individually comes the complete, two-season, four-disc set with all 12 episodes starring Sasha Baron Cohen.  There’s nothing new in this set, so don’t get too excited for this obvious tie-in with the insane success of Cohen’s film recent film that you may have heard of, Borat.

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