Friday, December 13, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

We skipped a week, sure, but this is still the longest-running more or less continuous feature in the history of...this blog. In that spirit we march on this week:

The Fast and Furious 6: Out of respect to the late Paul Walker, we refrain from any snarky comments about this franchise. We do, however, retain the option to make a wise-ass remark about Vin Diesel at any time in the near future.

Despicable Me 2: I'm at the point in my life now when I judge many movies on the quality of their tie-in ties. For a while, the little aliens from this movie were ubiquitous in Happy Meals. The first time my kids got one, eh, kind of cute. But the second time, it was like, didn't we just get one of these? Only maybe holding a slightly different accessory? So I view this sequel with a wary eye.

Battle of the Year: Remember the brooding bad boy who captivated television audiences for years on "Lost"? Now he's in a breakdancing movie!

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition: It seems like a new edition of this comes out ever few years, but I'm sure this one is a public service offered by Disney to give an optimized version of the product to fans who will be interested by the forthcoming feature film Saving Mr. Banks about Walt Disney's effort to adapt the original novels. It is certainly not a cash grab.

Doc Martin Series 6: I watched this latest (and last?) batch of episodes, unaired as yet on American broadcast TV, via Acorn Online (I owe you guys a post on Acorn, don't I?). I thought the first episode was strained, and I wondered if it was time to hang it up, but the rest of the season was pretty good. The show has passed its peak, perhaps, but I still enjoy the setting and the characters, and I imagine you will, too. Still, you might want to wait for these to run on PBS before you buy the DVDs.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: I've gone 50 years (well, the ones that I've been alive for) without getting into Doctor Who, and I don't know if I'm ready to start now. Actually, I may be nuts, but I'd be more inclined to start with old black-and-white episodes from 50 years ago. Maybe someday I'll take the plunge, though.

And in streaming...

Speaking of Acorn, it's monthly adds effective December 1 include Australian (hey, it ain't just UK stuff at Acorn) series Mr. and Mrs. Murder, Martin Clunes' romantic dramedy William & Mary, Northern Lights, Under Capricorn, a 1990s supernatural soap called Springhill, and the evergreen Upstairs Downstairs (the original version, that is).

Netflix has added new seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, and White Collar. That Lady Gaga and the Muppets holiday special that aired on Thanksgiving is also there, which is cool since I avoided it the night of its airing because 1) football was on and 2) Lady Gaga.

In the, "Hey, didn't you just tank in theaters?" department is the biopic Lovelace, and in the "Got to be terrible, but I like looking at the boxcover" department is something called Paranormal Whacktivity.

Hulu hasn't done a whole lot apart from adding a Christmas spotlight without giving me any apparent way to see what's in the batch of shows, nor to select shows individually from that spotlight.

Warner Instant, which I hope will give me a nice new batch of titles after I post this, possibly including Holiday Affair, one of my favorite Christmas films, DID add some interesting new ones this week, including Bette Davis in Dead Ringers, Fred Astaire in The Belle of New York, John Gilbert in The Show, and Regis Toomey in the provocatively named pre-Code Other Men's Women.

There are also a few new Glenn Ford pics (Cimarron, Blackboard Jungle), several crime/thrillers (The Window,. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Prince of the City), and the seemingly random inclusion of one of the Hardy Family movies (Judge Hardy and Son).

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