Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Wow, looking at the high-profile releases this week, I realize I can't make smart-ass comments about any of them for various obvious reasons. This is going to be a dull one unless something interesting happens on the streaming end. Hey, maybe I'll answer some reader mail.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

12 Years a Slave: Slavery. Nothing funny about that.

Hours: RIP Paul Walker.

Oldboy: Don't want to aggravate Spike Lee.

Rawhide Season 7: Don't want to aggravate Clint Eastwood. Hey, let's answer some reader mail. Remember, these are not necessarily actual letters from actual readers.

Q: Why didn't you live-tweet the Academy Awards?
A: Well, I am averaging about one tweet every 6 months, but it just so happened I DID return to Twitter on Sunday night in an effort to revitalize my presence there. I was live-tweeting a rerun of "The Mentalist." In retrospect, that might have been a piece of bad timing.

Seattle Seahawks: Super Bowl Champions: Eh, good for them. I'm sure there's no correlation between their success and the high number of PED-suspensions the franchise has had over the last few years. Let's answer another Reader Mail question.

Q:What's a good retro PPV to check out on WWE Network?
A: I'm not saying it's the best--did it really need to give nearly 20 minutes to Michael Hayes vs. Russian Assassin I?--but Chi Town Rumble '89 is one of my old favorites, headlined by Steamboat vs. Flair and memorably featuring Dave Meltzer in the front row facing the hard camera all night long.

Warner Archive had an all-Joan week, and I don't mean Joan Van Ark. No, it's 5 vintage Joan Crawford pictures: The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Our Blushing Brides, I Live My Life, The Bride Wore Red, and Montana Moon.

And in streaming:

Netflix's March 1 catalog haul add yielded few surprises. Oh, there are some goodies--The Bad News Bears, Capote, Easy Rider, Donnie Brasco, Dr. Strangelove, Taxi Driver, Silence of the Lambs--but a lot of it is recycled. I mean, can anyone who has had Netflix more than a year or two be excited about the return of the likes of--Hey, Over the Top is back? YES! I missed that last time around, but I'm finally gonna watch the whole thing through, baby!

Oh, and there's the original version of Rake if the Greg Kinnear series has you curious. And of course, I can't ignore Fireplace for your Home: Cascade.

Hey, Hulu Plus, still waiting on those CBS/Paramount shows!

Warner Archive Instant made an unusual move, adding two seasons of the mid-1990s animated series adaptation of The Mask. That's it. OK...I don't remember it, but it looks like this one was actually decent. I guess it's good to see variety on WAI, but here's hoping for some old movies this weekend.

Acorn TV added the first 3 series of Rumpole of the Bailey, family series Wild at Heart, miniseries Edward and Mrs. Simpson, comedy panel show QI, another set of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Derek Jacobi in Cadafel, and a series of chats at a museum setting called Talks About Nothing. Hey, talk about variety, that's a lot more Brit telly than what you typically see on your local PBS station on Saturday night.

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