Author: Dean McCarthy

Dean McCarthy is a registered film fanatic with a near druglike addiction to DVD collecting. He has been writing in various forms for many years but most of his published works can be found here on Pop Culture Zoo. He is also the co-host of the podcast found at www.stunksstage.com. He is delighted you even bothered reading his article and can be easily reached HERE for any questions, queries, or quarrels.

DVDs With Dean – Release Date December 8th

This Week’s Tastiest Morsel
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Two-Disc Limited Special Edition + Digital Copy)
It is a little frustrating seeing this released next to epic 4-disc editions of the first two movies knowing full well that we will be double dipped at some point in the future. But until then these discs are packed with features and in the new family style each feature is hosted by a cast member.

Fresh Catches
Public Enemies (Two-Disc Special Edition)
This was a tough week of competition or this would have been my pick of the week. You just can’t lose with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp heading up a Michael Mann film. Although I find it odd that all the TV ads for the DVD don’t show Bale a year after starring in one of the highest grossing movies of all time (The Dark Knight). Get the two-disc so you can enjoy all the features on the history of John Dillinger and the Michael Mann commentary.

Julie & Julia
Meryl Streep channels Julia Childs while Amy Adams tries to hack her way through one of Child’s cookbooks in present day to hopefully inspire her to write. As usual women get shafted on features but it does include a commentary from Nora Ephron and has a featurette on the cooking prep that Streep and Adams went through.

World’s Greatest Dad
Bobcat Goldthwait continues to distance himself from his wild 80’s persona with a strong directorial effort in this Robin Williams led dark comedy.

Moonlight Serenade
Amy Adams hits again this week with the tale of two aspiring jazz musicians. However, buyer beware, this movie was panned by most critics and was held to be released next to Julie & Julia to help it get sales.

Lost: The Complete Fifth Season
The show finally embraces the hardcore fans by featuring a cool “Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit” version of the 5th season for increased shelf and nerd appeal. And for the normal fans you can grab the regular edition which has similar features to past releases with a bonus celebrating the 100th episode.

Rescue Me: Season 5, Volume 2
If you bought Vol. 1 you might as well lock it up. Personally, I plan to wait until the show wraps up and grab the complete collection.

AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa (Criterion Collection)
If you are shopping with a fat wallet and want to stun your cinephile friend/relative/spouse this is a slam dunk. Even caressing the box can make you smarter.

Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides
Called a “Rock You Mentary” this film chronicles the life and times of the wild Wesley Willis who penned unforgettable tunes like “Rock and Roll McDonalds”, “The Chicken Frog”, and “Birdman Kicked My Ass”. I was saddened when he passed away and I am excited that this exists and will run to get a copy.

Double Dip DVDs
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Ultimate Edition) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Ultimate Edition)
This is a 4 disc reissue on the first two Harry Potter films which were The Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. Each film gets an extended cut and 2-3 new features with a collector’s book. Both are also available in Bluray.

Coraline (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition w/ 3D)
This is the same as the previous release but with a new casing, 4 sets of 3-D glasses, and a Book and Postcard set.

DVDs With Dean – Release Date December 2nd

This week’s Tastiest Morsel
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVI [Limited Edition]
I will once again strongly urge those interested in buying this set to act quickly. They are usually worth twice as much in a few short weeks/months. In fact it is becoming regular enough to be a worthy business decision. This set includes a Tom Servo action figure to pair with the Crow T. Robot in last year’s collector set. The four movies include The Corpse Vanishes, Warriors of the Lost World, Santa Claus, and Night of the Blood Beast.

Fresh Catches
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
For people who want all the features you need to find the Monkey Mischief Pack for Standard DVDs or get the 3-Disc Blu-ray which also comes with a digital copy. The set has a lot of interactive and kid-centric features and many of the cast took part in the features like a Behind-the-Scenes tour with Ben Stiller and a Pharaoh feature with Hank Azaria.

Terminator Salvation
The DVD is featureless so this is only for Blu-ray fans who get a Director’s Cut and a digital copy.

Paper Heart
Another awkward and original romantic comedy from Michael Cera who is co-starring with the film’s writer and his ex-girlfriend Charlyne Yi. If you loved Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Juno this is a safe bet.

Into the Storm
Brendan Gleeson is one of my favorite actors and this film has him playing the passionate Winston Churchill as England enters into WWII. For most this is a rental, but I might support Gleeson with a purchase.

A Christmas Tale (The Criterion Collection)
Criterion chose a recent French film to give their special Criterion treatment. This film centers on a fractured family who are brought back together for the holidays and the need to find a bone marrow transplant match for the newly diagnosed mother. Despite that story, it is actually a bit of a comedy.

Pale Force
This collects all the hilarious Pale Force sketches from Conan O’Brien’s show featuring Jim Gaffigan. The set also includes Gaffigan’s interview and banter before and after the sketch and a few featurettes.

Better Off Ted: Season One
I wasn’t sure this show was going to survive it’s first season but it pulled through and will likely get better going forward as most comedies do. This set has all thirteen episodes from the first season and is thankfully being priced like a short season.

Tom Wilson: Bigger Than You
Known primarily as “Biff” from Back to the Future, Tom Wilson is actually an accomplished stand-up comedian and guitar player. He is a solid family safe comedian who I would recommend checking out if you like comedians like Brian Regan or Bill Engvall.

Saturday Night Live: The Complete Fifth Season
At the snail’s pace they are releasing these I imagine the DVD format will be extinct when they get to the 90’s.

Double-Dip DVDs
The Jazz Singer: 30th Anniversary Edition
I couldn’t find information about the DVD’s features which makes me scared that it might not have any. I would assume at least a remaster.

DVDs With Dean – Release Date November 17th

This Week’s Tastiest Morsel
Star Trek (Two-Disc Digital Copy Edition)
The reboot of the Star Trek franchise was much better and more successful than I had imagined and they follow it up with a solid DVD launch. You can choose between the Two-Disc standard edition and a Three-Disc Blu-ray which has game demos on the extra third disc for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Included on the sets are deleted scenes which include a peek of the Klingons which will likely be in the next feature film.

Fresh Catches
Bruno
Sacha Baron Cohen returns with a little less success and fanfare as he follows up Borat with another improv laden hoax on the public. The DVD has a bunch of deleted and extended scenes and a commentary with the star and director giving behind the scenes insight into the film.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Its A Very Sunny Christmas
This is a 60 minute special episode which is being released early on DVD to enjoy this holiday season, although this will likely be included in the 5th season set if you have been collecting them all.

The Limits of Control
Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers) enters the realm of crime thriller with an international cast including Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Isaach De Bankole. His movies are usually a little talky, but I think this might be an interesting genre for him so I will check it out.

Thirst
The director of the wild foreign film Oldboy takes on the tale of a priest who becomes a vampire after getting a blood transfusion. He naturally struggles with his new desires and this should make for another compelling story worth your time. And if you haven’t seen Oldboy check it out before the rumored Hollywood remake which will surely be weaker.

My Sister’s Keeper
Cameron Diaz stars in this film about a mother who has a special needs daughter who relies on the blood of her sister to survive, and the sister now wants to be freed from her life as a donor and live her own life. The DVD is nearly featureless.

Downhill Racer (The Criterion Collection)
Criterion has procured the rights to this early Robert Redford film where he plays a cocky professional downhill skier who’s coach (Gene Hackman) tries to reign him in.

Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series
Conan’s returning sidekick, Andy Richter, had two stints in the sitcom world and this was his last effort which was cut short and until now unavailable on DVD. The set has some interesting and funny behind the scenes coverage with Richter, Conan, and his writing team including Jane Espenson (Buffy), and Jonathan Groff (How I Met Your Mother).

Dane Cook: ISolated INcident
This has Dane Cook toning down his more over-the-top antics for a more intimate set filmed at the Laugh Factory in L.A.

Double Dip DVDs
Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition)
The re-issue has three new documentaries on the Two-Disc set or you can choose one of the epic Five-Disc sets with a limited edition case full of prints, programs, and the CD soundtrack. I recommend the big set because the artwork on the base Two-Disc DVD is terribly photoshopped work while the set has the classic artwork from the poster.

The Sopranos: The Complete Series
This is almost identical to the set released last year, but they cut out the soundtrack and the book. There are no new features so this is a strange re-issue less than a year later.

Rome: The Complete Series
This is another HBO reissue which unites the previously available sets into one new case.

Farscape: The Complete Series
All four seasons united with a ton of features including 29 commentaries, a bunch of documentaries and featurettes, and cast interviews.

DVDs With Dean – Release Date November 10th

This week’s Tastiest Morsel
UP (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition + Digital Copy)
Pixar continues to pump out near perfect films and this film didn’t disappoint even though I doubted them after I saw that the premise was about a grumpy old man who builds a balloon house. I will never doubt them again. You can choose between the four-disc Blu-ray combo pack or a two-Disc Standard edition.

Fresh Catches
The Ugly Truth (Widescreen Edition)
Katherine Heigl seemed like she was on the brink of stardom before she starting biting all the hands that feed her by ripping apart the writers from Grey’s Anatomy and pissing on Judd Apatow after Knocked Up. I hope this is the last time she is mentioned on this site with this formulaic rom-com.

Spread
Ashton Kutcher stars in Spread as a young man who sleeps with rich older women to enjoy all the comforts of money. It may be interesting to see this movie since this story is usually about a female who uses her body to her advantage and not a male, and surprisingly the movie is being hyped a little for its acting which seems impossible with Ashton in the lead and Anne Heche as his sugar mama.

The Accidental Husband
I hadn’t heard much about this film so I checked it out on Rotten Tomatoes where it is enjoying a 0%. That was enough for me to skip this Uma Thurman romantic comedy.

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Complete Collectors Set [The Complete Series]
Finally, they are releasing the full series instead of odd collections of partial seasons. Just like the recent Transformers set it comes with the old PSAs and some featurettes, and unlike that set it comes with a dog tag flash drive and a Footlocker collector’s case.

Greg Behrendt is That Guy from That Thing
Greg Behrendt is that Guy who wrote that book He’s Just Not That Into You and had a weird TV advice show for a long time touring stand-up comedian. This is him getting back to comedy.

Double Dip DVDs
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Ugh. This double dip hurt me because I fell into the trap of buying one of the Best Buy exclusive versions for the initial DVD release. Now, they release a loaded set for less than thirty bucks and I am kicking myself. This includes five discs of content some of which was available separately before like the animated comic book, The Tales of the Black Freighter (which you can watch interwoven into the film), and the “Under the Hood” short.

Monsters, Inc. (Four-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray]
This is the same as the previous release but it comes in the traditional Disney Blu-ray style with a standard DVD and a digital copy.

Mamma Mia! The Movie – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! DVD Gift Set Version
After the random reissues last Christmas season made decent money we can expect to see a lot of double dipping over the next few weeks. This first set includes the soundtrack and a booklet.

Dawson’s Creek: The Complete Series
This is a reissue with a nicer casing but no new features or content.

DVDs With Dean – Discs To Keep You Warm For November 3rd

This Week’s Tastiest Morsel
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition)
This marks the first Alfred Hitchcock film on Blu-ray and comes with 2 new featurettes and a 44 page booklet to go with the previously available features. The Hitchcock catalog has been getting more attention lately and I hope his other hits get similar treatment.

Fresh Catches
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Two-Disc Edition)
Why are they using super suits? And what is a Wayans doing in this movie? Maybe they answer these questions in one of the two behind the scenes features, although I bet they don’t. The single disc edition just comes with a director commentary, but if you step it up to the 2-disc it comes with those behind the scenes features and a digital copy.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Tony Scott resurrects the classic Pelham with his muse Denzel Washington and while it underperformed in the theater they rolled out a bunch of features to tempt us to see it at home. And it worked as I intend to rent it and enjoy the director’s commentary.

Aliens in the Attic
If you are hunting for films for your kids this might be worth getting with the hope that the scenes with Kevin Nealon and Tim Meadows are enjoyable enough to compensate for silly aliens and Ashley Tisdale.

Food, Inc.
This is a popular documentary exploring the food industry with special attention on the meat providing animals like chickens and cows. It is praised for being less preachy than most films on the subject matter and taking a wider approach to the various concerns.

I Love You, Beth Cooper
I hear that there are a few sneaky fun scenes in the midst of this mediocre teen rom-com. You can also look forward to an alternate ending and a few featurettes. And if that doesn’t sell you that makes two of us.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series)
All 22 episodes are included and each episode gets a behind the scenes feature.

Doctor Who – “The War Games” and Doctor Who – The Black Guardian Trilogy
“The War Games” set is from the Patrick Troughton years and is the conclusion to his run. The Black Guardian Trilogy is from the Peter Davison years and includes the popular “Mawdryn Undead” episode.

Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome, America. A Final Night with George W. Bush
Will Ferrell must love playing the much maligned president as he takes time out of headlining blockbuster movies to portray him on Broadway. The reviews were mixed but this might be a good bet for those who love the star or hate the ex-president.

Double Dip DVDs
It’s a Wonderful Life (Two-Disc Collector’s Gift Set And Limited Edition Ornament)
This is the two-Disc edition from two years ago repackaged with an Ornament, which might make a good stocking stuffer for your grandmother.

Say Anything
This new edition has two new featurettes (four if you get the Blu-ray) to commemorate the 20th Anniversary.

Forrest Gump: Chocolate Box Giftset
The set is rumored to have new features, a feather bookmark, a collector’s booklet, and a chocolate scent. While I like the idea, I dislike how much space this will eat up on my shelf, and it doesn’t look special even though the chocolate box is appropriate given the movie.

Rocky: The Undisputed Collection [Blu-ray]
The Rocky films finally hit Blu-ray in the face in HD. There are no announced new features.

Da Ali G Show – Da Compleet Seereez
This was previously available although the new price of 20 bucks is verrrry niiiice.

The Shield: Complete Series
This is one of the best TV series of all time, and this is a must have for anyone who hasn’t been picking up the seasons one at a time over the last few years. The price point is also very reasonable.

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