Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today's New DVDs- 7/28/09

Strangely, a whole mess of discs I've reviewed over the last several weeks are trickling into stores today. Have a look:

12 Monkeys (Blu-ray): I've always been a fan of Terry Gilliam's trippy 1995 time-travel mindfuck; the new Blu-ray disc has a passable transfer and ports over the DVD's excellent bonus material.

Bad Lieutenant: Time has been kind to Abel Ferrara's grim 1992 character study; on its initial VHS release, I was hoping for more fireworks, but on viewing Lionsgate's new special edition I found it to be a more mature, confident, and disturbing picture than I remembered.

A River Runs Through It (Blu-ray): Robert Redford's study of family, religion, and fly-fishing came out around the same time, and conversely, I liked it less on revisiting; it's well-made, yes, and pretty to look at, but mighty dull.

Bart Got a Room: A likable if uneven shaggy-dog indie coming-of-age comedy, notably mainly for William H. Macy's killer supporting turn.

The Terry Jones Collection: History buffs and Python fans will enjoy this collection of grinning historical specials from the clever and enthusiastic Mr. Jones.

The Mafia DVD Set: Another good one from the History Channel; there's too much repeated material (as is often the case with their box sets), but there's an abundance of fascinating information about real-life goodfellas.

Comic Legends- Four-Disc Collection: Some enjoyable vintage TV performances from the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Groucho Marx, and Tim Conway.

Fast & Furious: I saw about a half hour of the original The Fast and the Furious (note all those "the"s in the title!) and just about lost my lunch; the participation of John Singleton got me into a theater for 2 Fast 2 Furious, and it was one of the most miserable moviegoing experiences of my lifetime. So I skipped the third and this new, fourth installment, which reunites (THANK GOD) all of the stars of the first one (clever tagline: "New model. Original parts." Haw haw haw haw STAB ME IN THE FACE). Even Roger Ebert, who gave inexplicable three-star reviews to the first three films in the series, couldn't stomach this one.

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