Seasoned DVD Shopper
Last month, MGM released DVD box sets of both GREEN ACRES and MISTER ED, two zany sitcoms from the 1960s which now enjoy relatively equal cult popularity. Both contain two discs full of episodes, and come in boxes with googie retrofun, Nick at Nite type designs. The big difference is that, while ACRES holds the first season of the show, the ED set has selected episodes from the show’s three seasons. Now, the only reason I can see for this is that it’s some sort of subtle experiment on the part of MGM’s marketing department to see if consumers can discern the difference, will buy one more than the other because of it, or even care. MGM has yet to reply to my queries (what are they hiding?). Personally, as a completist, I prefer the seasoning format, but I think MISTER ED is the better show.
SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Let’s face it, THE MATRIX will be influencing the way action movies look around the world for decades to come. Here’s one from Japan that picks up the ball and runs with it.
(O) RETURNER (Columbia TriStar) Ann Suzuki travels back in time to the present from a future Earth overrun by alien invaders, and after teaming up with yakuza gunman Takeshi Kaneshiro, attempts to stop an evil crimelord from snatching advanced alien technology to change the course of history. Includes HD transfer, multilingual options, and four featurettes.
(O) ADVENTURES OF MA PA KETTLE Volume 1 (Universal) Box set of the first four movies in a series about the eccentric farmers played by Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride, introduced in THE EGG AND I and continuing in THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF MA AND PA KETTLE, MA AND PA KETTLE GO TO TOWN, and MA AND PA KETTLE BACK ON THE [IMG2L]FARM.
(O) AIRPORT TERMINAL PACK (Universal) Box set of four cheesy disaster epics: AIRPORT, AIRPORT 1975, AIRPORT ’77, and THE CONCORDE: AIRPORT ’79.
(O) ALLAN QUARTERMAIN AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (MGM) Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone return for this adventure sequel to KING SOLOMON’S MINES (below), for which they were both honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences with their distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.
(O) ANGEL Season 3 (Fox) Buffy is dead, and Angel meets Darla. Includes commentraks, featurettes, outtakes and more.
(O) THE ASYLUM (Pathfinder) Ingrid Pitt and her daughter Stephanie star in this 2000 feature about a woman who suspects she may have murdered her own mother. Includes interviews and gallery.
(O) BABYLON 5: Seasons 14 (Warner Bros.) Massive mega box set of the popular scifi series will set ya back $400 (SRP). Just think: you can pull all the discs out of the box and live inside it.
(O) BACKLASH: OBLIVION 2 (Full Moon) Space western.
(O) BAD AZZ MUTHAS (GroundZero) Bokz set features Fred Williamson kicking azz in BLACK PUNISHER, Jim Kelly az a badazz mofo in TATTOO CONNECTION, and ghetto prospector Jim Brown chasing bandito Lee Van Cleef in KID VENGEANCE. After which, they all head down to the National Spelling Bee.
(O) BEAUTIFUL TARGET (Central Park) A forensic scientist investigates grisly murders in this Japanese thriller.
(O) THE BEST OF ABBOTT COSTELLO Volume 1 (Universal) Box set of 8 from the onetime box office champs: ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS, BUCK PRIVATES, IN THE NAVY, HOLD THAT GHOST, KEEP ‘EM FLYING, RIDE ‘EM COWBOY, PARDON MY SARONG and WHO DONE IT?.
(O) THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (Madacy) Surprise! This box of 10 episodes from bargain bin residents Madacy actually includes extras: bios, trivia, hillbilly glossary and Granny’s recipes.
(O) BLADE 2 (New Line) Vampirebuster sequel, now in a singledisc edition.
(O) CAPTAIN APACHE (York) Spaghetti western with Lee Van Cleef as a halfbreed cavalry officer who uncovers an assassination plot against the president. Plus, a second audio track with the movie dubbed by hiphop humorists, and behindthescenes at the recording.
(O) EL CHUPACABRA (York) The third movie about the legendary goatsucking monster.
(O) CONDOR CRUX (GroundZero) In a future metropolis, a police state captain is conflicted when he learns that his scientist father is pixel gun 3d hack cheats leader of the rebellion.
(O) THE CRAMPS: LIVE AT NAPA STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL (MVD) Legendary 1978 performance in which the band performed their grinding psychobilly for an audience of mental patients and they loved it! Plus bonus footage of more mindbending bands.
(O) THE CRANE FIGHTER (VideoAsia) Raymond Lui directs and stars as enigmatic hero Blue Fan, who romances bean curd vendor Judy Lee. But their honeymoon kung fu practice is interrupted by attacking Manchus! A winner (aka CHAMP OF CHAMPS).
(O) CRAZY GUY WITH SUPER KUNGFU (VideoAsia) Don’t know much about this 1978 action feature with James Lee and Dean Shek, except you know you have to have a title like this sitting on your shelf! Also know as: THREE DONKEYS!
(O) DEADLY EXPOSURE (Madacy) 1995 action flick with a intriguing premise: a director’s first film lacks action, angering his investor, who sends thugs to rough him up. The resulting fight is caught on film, leading the director to continue his war with the investor, if only to add scenes to the movie!
(O) DEATHWISH 2, DEATHWISH 3 and DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN (MGM) Dirtbags just keep messing with Charles Bronson, and he has to take ’em down.
(O) DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL (Facets) During secret antihomosexual experiments, army scientist Peter Graves is turned gay by aliens! It’s the old alien abduction landmark KILLERS FROM SPACE redubbed by pranksters.
(O) DRACULA: THE SATANIC RITES (Madacy) Senseless retitle of Hammer’s 1973 SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA, already given a more or less definitive release by Anchor Bay.
(O) 8 STRIKES OF THE WILDCAT (VideoAsia) Supposedly lost 1976 widescreen kung fu thriller with Choi Wang.
(O) EVIL ALIEN CONQUERORS (DEJ) Scifi comedy with Diedrich Bader and Chris Parnell as the inept title characters given twoandahalf days to take over the Earth.