Friday, March 03, 2006

The Return of the DVD Releases

OK, seeing as how I started with the idea of posting weekly updates on the latest (and not necessarily greatest) coming out on DVD several months ago, you’d think I’d have been able to produce more than one by now.
Alas, I allowed myself to be distracted – but I shan’t let that happen so easily again. (Nor use the word shan’t again.)
These weekly lists will include mentions of movies, TV show collections, and occasionally, the just plain odd releases of the week. So, once again, here comes my plan to offer weekly rundowns of upcoming DVDs, beginning with some of the notable releases for March 7:

“The Brady Bunch: Season 5” - Here’s the story of the final season from the Brady clan. By now, storylines were becoming even more of a stretch (if that seems possible), and the kids weren’t quite as cute and lovable as they were when the show started. So enters the Notorious Cousin Oliver (nephew to Carol), who proceeds to stay with the family while his parents are in South America – presumably to keep him from screwing up their major drug deal. (I kid!) Anyway, this marked the beginning of the end for the series. That is unless you count the bazillion TV movies they’ve had since then.
Extras: None (but you get plenty of Oliver, so what do you want?)

“The Cosby Show: Season 2” - The Huxtable clan just started to pick up steam in its second season, becoming a #1 hit show for NBC. It was with this show (along with “Cheers”) that NBC built its Must See Thursday ratings powerhouse. Oh, but how they would gladly sell their soul to have that strength back now. Thank you very much, “Joey.” Sorry, I digress.
Extras: Audio commentary from director Jay Sandrich, bloopers and a featurette.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Special Edition” (PG-13) - A two-disc special edition also offered as a single disc, the latest in the “Harry Potter” movies makes its first foray into PG-13 territory. In this one, Harry is entered into a grueling competition known as the Triwizard Tournament. This one was another huge hit in theaters and should do equally well on DVD.
Extras: Interview with the cast, multiple featurettes, additional scenes, and DVD-ROM interactive games (Special Edition only).

“Howl’s Moving Castle” (PG) - A teenager is cursed by a witch into the body of an old woman and embarks on an adventure with a magician named Hauru, his fire demon and a moving castle. Yeah, that’s pretty weird, but this movie, from director Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke”) is Oscar-nominated for best animated film. It was a huge hit overseas, yet made next to no impact in America. Go figure.
Extras: Interview, featurettes and storyboards.

“Jarhead” (R) - Initially thought to be a serious contender at the Oscars, this Gulf War-set drama based on the book by Anthony Swofford didn’t even garner any nominations. It did get quite a few good reviews; it just wasn’t seen as a consensus great movie. But it does feature a topnotch cast, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard and Chris Cooper included.
Extras: Two commentary tracks, deleted scenes with optional commentary. (Also available in Collector’s Edition with additional behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast and former Marines.)

“Prime” (PG-13) - Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman star in this box-office dud about an older single woman (Thurman) falling in love with the son of her therapist (Streep). Naturally, neither woman knows his connection to the other. It’s good to see Streep in a comedy, a genre she’s just as adept at as drama, when given the chance. But this sounds like a case where the actors probably outshine the material.
Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes.

“Three’s Company: Season 6” - During the course of this season, Jenilee Harrison (the first Chrissy replacement) moves out and Priscilla Barnes (the next replacement) moves in. Cue the misinterpreted and partially overheard conversations and let the hilarity ensue! But for those Don Knotts fans out there, this is a chance to see him in fine comic form as landlord Mr. Furley.
Extras: Commentary from director Dave Powers, a presentation from Lucille Ball (?!)

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