September, for a change, has a lot of new old DVDs that are actually probably worth picking up. There are a few classics, a few previously unreleased gems and a good mix of mainstream lovelies.
I do apologize, though, for not having this up by the first Tuesday of the month. But considering I feel like I have Captain Trips, I think this day late tardiness can be excused.
Emily Blunt, the girl with the British accent from The Devil Wears Prada, was in a movie called Wind Chill that, supposedly, came out theatrically in April. I don’t remember such an event, which is likely not a very good sign.
The original House on Haunted Hill has been available on all kinds of DVD sets for a while now, but now there is a disc claiming to be the first time it is in color. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
Those two round out the only mentionable horror titles of the week, but we do finally get the PALME D’OR winning Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes the Barley. I’m not too familiar with Loach’s past works, but the AFI Silver is doing a retrospective on him soon, so he has to be worth his salt and it has Cillian Murphy, which is never a bad thing.
Finally, what I consider the release of the week, and possibly the month, "30 Rock" season 1. I actually just watched practically this entire season today while laying in bed, producing more bodily fluids than a human body should be able to, and it quickly rose as the second best thing NBC is doing. It stumbles a bit in the first few episodes, but it quickly finds its style and never falters. Damn good stuff and were it not for "The Office", this would be the best thing on NBC. I do think it has more raw laughs than the latter, but you can’t deny the heart "The Office" has in almost every episode.
Speaking of, Season 3 of "The Office" is out today as well. The best season to date, plus, Joss Whedon directs an episode!
Does anything sound as awesome as Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror? Well, a lot of things, but an urban horror anthology about the afterlife basically hosted by the rapper? I’ll be Netflixing.
Previously unavailable, Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond (review) gets a nice little, unrated director’s cut package. I’ve heard ups and downs, but I like the movie. It is a quirky little bit of ’80s horror.
There is a new edition of Michael Mann’s Manhunter out, though I couldn’t tell you what makes the DVD any different than previous presses. MGM is putting out a Vincent Price ‘Scream Legends Collection’ that includes 7 titles.
One of the better horror comedies of late, Severance (review), finally comes out on a US DVD. It was directed by Christopher Smith, who did a previous solid with Creep, the flick I stole the banner for this site from. Even if you didn’t like Creep, I think you’ll appreciate Severance’s brand of things.
The asshats at the Weinstein company decided it was a great idea to release each half of Grindhouse (review) on its own, to inevitably release the full thing later. I won’t be bothering with Death Proof on its own for this very reason.
Lastly, another classic with another new DVD; Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. Again, I really don’t know the precise differences between the new disc and the old, but it should, by principal, be better, right?
Uwe Boll strikes again! Alone in the Dark: Unrated Director’s Cut! Now even longer! Le sigh.
William Friedkin won over most critics with the undeniably intimate Bug (review), but I can’t exactly recommend it as something to rush out and see. It’s like recommending you be depressed for a night.
Whenever I talked about my love for The Dentist, I was almost inevitably met with, "Have you seen Dr. Giggles?" No, I haven’t, but that will soon change. Same goes for Spider Baby, though that has nothing to do with a dentist or doctor.
The flawed-but-fun-with-a-crowd Reeker (review) finally gets a US DVD release. I don’t know why the movie was sat on for so long. Lately it has gotten some face time on Showtime’s various channels, but other than that, the flick has been pretty absent from the American landscape. I like it and I am, for once, happy to see news of a sequel to a possible STD franchise.
Rounding out the horror offerings for the month is a special edition of Dario Argento’s cult classic Suspiria (review). Again, I’m not anal enough to know the differences between this new disc and the old one, but a whole new second disc should be enough to entice fans for a re-purchase. Oh, and speaking of special editions, Cujo gets one as well. That counts as a classic, right?
One of the two comedy gems of the year, Knocked Up, has 3 separate DVD packages and one unifying HD DVD. Time will tell if I love Knocked Up more than The 40 Year Old Virgin, but after only one theatrical viewing I can easily say it is up there. Exhaustingly funny with a true heart, a downright rarity in R rated comedy.
And to close out the month, Black Book, the critically loved film by Paul Verhoeven, who happens to be a personal favorite around this parts. It has none of the Starship Troopers, Total Recall Sci-Fi trappings, leaning far closer to the director’s original drama roots. I’ve heard nothing but an endless stream of positive things, so this will be a blind buy for me.