Friday, October 28, 2016

Fall/Holiday DVD Preview

These are new DVDs/Blu-Rays I want this year. Me. Me want! Me want discs!

Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (out now): 5 of my favorite films of all time (Yes, even the stagy Cocoanuts is still great) finally hit Blu-Ray, and there are some new extras (though not as many as these classics merit)!

The big news is that these are remastered, and not just in the "We can call it remastered; what, is someone gonna SUE us?" way. No, reports indicate that while these aren't perfect, owing to deteriorated source elements, the y really do look better than they have on home video. Also, sound is improved, and that's a big deal considering how bad the audio was on the DVD releases.

At 60 bucks on Amazon as of this writing, this set is absolutely "worth the money" if you consider you're getting Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Duck Soup, Horsefeathers, and Monkey Business in upgraded form with some extras. However, this is 2016, not 2010. That price is way too high for a marketplace that often gets much better value in box sets. I really want this set, but I don't want to pay 60 bucks for it.

Wheeler and Woolsey Comedy Classics Volume 2 (out now): At the low, low price of 35 bucks (Amazon again), you get another batch of flicks from the underappreciated comedy duo I like to call "The Boys."

OK, it's only low compared to the $40 SRP. It's made on demand, not pressed, and really this is too high as well. But it's The Boys! I haven't heard much about how these oldies look in these versions, but Warner Archive said for years it was working on them.

In addition to Dixiana, Cockeyed Cavaliers, Silly Billies, and The Cuckoos, you get a pair of solo efforts: Wheeler in Too Many Cooks and Woolsey in Everything's Rosie. I've seen most of the W&W library on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind over the years, but I've never seen those ones, so that makes this set even more intriguing. The rest of the collection ain't bad, either. It lacks the highs of Volume 1, but it also lacks the lows. Yep, me want this.

The Peter Potamus Show (ships November 1): Well, this isn't on Amazon yet, but since it's from Warner Archive, we can be sure it'll be priced too high.

(Goes to the WA website)

Yep, 30 bucks is too expensive. It should be something like 20 bucks.

I don't have strong memories of Peter Potamus, nor his co-stars Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey, but I DO remember loving Sneezely and Breezely on Magilla Gorilla. To me those scheming polar bears are the real draw of this set.

Sam Benedict: The Complete Series (November 22): I wish I could have seen all the episodes on Warner Instant for 10 bucks a month, but, well, I stopped getting Warner Instant, and Warner Instant stopped streaming this 1962 legal drama, anyway.

Is it a great show?  No.  Is it a historically remarkable show? No. Is it--Wait, why do I want this Warner Archive DVD set again?

Ah, yes. Because it's old. And because it has Edmond O'Brien. Good enough for me!

How to Marry a Millionaire (out ?): I have no idea when this is coming, and, yes, it's MOD, not pressed. but 30 bucks for the complete series (two seasons, 52 episodes) is surprisingly reasonable coming from CBS/Paramount.

I know very little about this sitcom. I know it was syndicated in the late 1950s, it was based on the movie of the same name, and it featured a pre-Jeannie Barbara Eden. Maybe it's terrible. But it's that rarest of rarities--an actual rarity coming on DVD from a major studio. That alone interests me.

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