Saturday, September 19, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: September 15th, 2009

You'll have to forgive me for this rare lapse, for the release of NHL 10 (which you can read my review of in a couple of days) took up all my attention ever since its release on Tuesday. But don't be worried, because DVDs will always have a huge place in my heart, no matter how good NHL 10 might be (and it's VERY good).

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 [DVD]

The newest season of Always Sunny started up this past Thursday and to coincide with that came the release of season four on DVD. The fourth season might not always hold up to the rest of the show, but it still has a few gems, including most notably the production of Nightman Cometh, which has since been turned into a live show featuring the cast. The highlight of the special features is a 50 minute broadcast of the live show, a must see for fans. If you haven't seen this show, start from the beginning, you'll find yourself hooked if you have any sense of humor inside you.

Army of Darkness: Screwhead Edition [Blu-ray][DVD]

Yeah, another release for Army of Darkness. It seems like once a year one of the films out of the famed Evil Dead series gets a reissue. The big deal here is the debut of Army of Darkness on Blu-ray. Reviews say the video and audio vary from mediocre to good, and that some of the lapses in quality are almost unavoidable. So, Sam Raimi fans, this might be the best you're going to do right now in terms of picture quality. A true collector will probably buy this along with the countless other iterations of the film anyways.

Phantasm II [DVD]

The reissue and release pattern for the Phantasm series was a strange one. What probably was the result of strange rights issues, the second Phantasm film ended up being the last of the four to get released by Anchor Bay. I actually already own the third film, but just haven't watched it because a doable copy of the second one has yet to become available. In time for October, it seems it's about time to pick up both the second and fourth film to complete the Phantasm series. The first film is absolute classic of the genre, by the way, so see that if you haven't.

Misery [Blu-ray]

Yeah, The Shining is awesome, but Misery has got to be one of the best Stephen King adaptations. Kathy Bates is absolutely terrific and demonic as the obsessive fan of a famous writer here. She finds him struggling to live after he survives an accident. What begins as being a nice person turns to being a loony. If you haven't seen this one, it's another must see title, especially on Blu-ray, just in time for October. It's got a perfect tense feel to it, and some terrific acting to go along with it.

Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood [DVD]
Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Way back on June 16th, I wrote about the five Friday the 13th titles that had been reissued in new "deluxe" editions to coincide with the release of the Friday the 13th remake. At that time I hoped that eventually a box set would be released, and that I might wait for that. Little did I know that I would find the first three films in the series, in deluxe reissued format, for as cheap as $2.50 each used online. Now combine the fact that I bought those and the fact that I am a series completest, and you'll realize that I must complete the series at some point. So I was happy to see that two more titles have been reissued. Released this week are "The New Blood" and "Jason Takes Manhattan", two later titles in the series. Just a heads up for all those slasher fans out there.

John Carpenter: Master of Fear Collection [DVD]
Wes Craven Collection [DVD]

Not that these two fantastic filmmakers are very similar, but I felt like including these two collections together for a few reasons. One, they come out on the same day. Two, they cost the same. And three, they're the same concept. Repackage a bunch of titles and sell them cheap. For those that don't own these films, you can't do much better at getting them this cheap. For starters, the Carpenter collection includes The Thing, arguably his greatest achievement, and one of the genre's masterpieces. Additionally, They Live is one of the more fun films the director has ever made. Craven's triple-headed collection includes The Serpent and the Rainbow, an old school take on the zombie genre, and one of the most underlooked of its kind. Also, The People Under the Stairs, is a sight to behold. Just trust me on that one. Anyways, these are two good places to start to get more involved with these two talented filmmakers.

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