Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Ender's Game: I was going to write about how people wanted to boycott this movie when it hit theaters and joke about the presence or lack of any boycott with the video release. Then I realized someone might interpret any of that as some kind of political statement. Then I realized I almost forgot what the boycott was about. THEN I realized I forgot what the MOVIE was about.

So, anyway...this is available on DVD now.

All is Lost: It's a good thing actors make choices based on the inherent quality of work and not the potential for awards recognition, because, man, every review I read of this one touted Bob Redford as a sure-fire Best Actor nominee for his work as a man adrift at sea and struggling to survive. Keep in mind the guy is in his late 70s and did this without the benefit of a charming volleyball to play off of. Yet Leo DiCaprio gets to plow through broads and drugs for a few hours, and they recognize him. No respect!

The Counselor: You just never know.  It's amazing that a movie with a screenplay by Ridley Scott, direction by Ridley Scott, and an all-star cast can be reduced to "the one where Cameron Diaz has sex with a car."

The Best Man Holiday: I read an offhand reference to "the great Morris Chestnut" in the "Entertainment Weekly" review of this when it came out last year, and I'm still reeling.

The Jungle Book: OK, it's on Blu-Ray, but I just bought the damn 40th Anniversary Edition a few years ago. I think I'm OK with the "bare necessities" for another few years.

Looney Tunes Center Stage: Warner Home Video continues to find new ways of repackaging the old stuff while avoiding bringing out actual new stuff. This is basically disc 3 of the first Golden Collection. Hey, remember the Golden Collections?

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth: What, are YOU gonna tell him it ain't the truth?

The Armstrong Lie: Now, Lance Armstrong, yeah, I might take a shot at calling him a liar.

Dallas Season 2: I saw this was added to Netflix. Unfortunately, it's just the modern TNT version. I wouldn't mind if Netflix added old prime-time soaps to its library, particularly something as fun as the original "Dallas."

Sherlock Season 3: I haven't seen season 2 yet! I know, I know...

Newhart Season 2: Kudos to Shout Factory for reviving this series (and season 3 is already scheduled for April!), but I read some buzz on SitcomsOnline that there are two syndication (that is, edited) versions on this set. How the heck does this stuff always happen with Shout releases? Anyway, season 2 is a lot more like NEWHART "Newhart" than season 1; it's a real transition year, with the show switching from shooting on video to film, getting Dick Loudon out of the inn and into the TV studio, phasing out Kirk, and adding Julia Duffy's Stephanie and Peter Scolari's Michael. If you thought season 1 was a little odd, check out season 2 and get ready for the show to really become what you remember it as in season 3.

Red Skelton Lost Episodes: I don't know, but to me the whole show might as well be lost. I don't think there's ever been any attempt at anything but a scattershot collection of episodes, nobody ever shows it on TV...the term lost episode is sadly redundant with Red Skelton.

And in streaming...

Have I mentioned that Crackle is showing selected "classic" episodes of Jeopardy!? I think it's a cool idea. Other than some reality/game hybrids, not a lot of game shows have popped up on streaming video services, and there could be a real opportunity there now that GSN has given up on classic game shows. still Hulu.

Netflix added 30 for 30: The Price of Gold, which is cool since it just debuted on ESPN, and these documentaries don't usually show up so quickly. Speaking of documentaries, you can check out Filthy Gorgeous, the story of Bob Guiccione.

Brother Bear is a new Disney add, and it's Disney, but I think we're all kind of hoping for a little better from the Disney deal, aren't we?

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