Another week of DVD picks. November 29 will see many
good items out, but December 6 will likely be the
biggest release week of the year when it comes to a
variety of major studio titles.

First, the genre releases:

Now, the non-genre releases:

  • C.S.I.:
    Crime
    Scene Investigations Season Five
    : This 7 DVD set
    is the item I’m
    buying this week. Somehow, it’s considerably cheaper
    in
    Canada
    , where it will be released on December 13,
    according to
    Amazon.ca.
  • Deuce
    Bigalow
    – European Gigalo
    : Did anyone even watch this? I
    had no interest
    in it.
  • Family
    Guy
    Vol. 3
    : This 13 episode collection includes the
    first few episodes
    of the series’ resurrection.
  • Film
    Noir
    Collection
    : Like the collection below, this is a
    grouping of Kino
    Video releases only available through Amazon. This
    film noir
    collection includes The Hitch-Hiker,
    Hangmen Also
    Die
    , Strange Impersonation, Sudden
    Fear
    ,
    They Made Me A Fugitive, Railroaded,
    The Long
    Night
    , and Behind Locked Doors.
  • Havoc
    (Unrated
    Version)
    : This was a well reviewed but little seen
    film.
  • Legends
    of the
    Fall (Deluxe Edition)
    : I worked at a theater when
    this came out.
    It made quite a bit of money, but after the first
    week, the audience
    was mostly made up of small groups of women, with
    virtually no men.
    On their way out, they were talking about Brad Pitt,
    and not about the
    plot, characters, production, etc., so I don’t know if
    there’s
    anything here but the eye candy.
  • March
    of the
    Penguins
    : I don’t think anyone expected this to be
    the box office
    draw it was, given the subject matter.
  • Mr.
    and
    Mrs. Smith
    : This is likely the reason so many
    deluxe editions of
    Brad Pitt movies are out this week. I haven’t seen
    this version, but
    the Alfred Hitchcock film from 1941 was quite
    entertaining.
  • A
    River Runs
    Through It (Deluxe Edition)
    : Unlike Legends of
    the Fall
    ,
    I’ve seen this one myself, and wasn’t impressed.
    (This came out
    before Pitt made 12 Monkeys and Fight
    Club
    , a pair
    which have since earned him the benefit of the doubt
    for the rest of
    his career where I’m concerned.)

Finally, the pick of the week. The Silent and
Early Talkies
Collection
has some excellent material in it.
There’s no text
listing, but the image of the set includes:

  1. L’Age D’Or – which I haven’t seen
    yet.
  2. Birth of a Nation – the first truly epic
    film. It’s a
    bizarre study; the technical aspects were astoudning
    in its time, and
    it showed how effective film could be as a means to
    deliver a
    message. However, the message of this Civil War film
    is clearly “the
    good guys lost.” It’s an exercise in racism that
    makes for difficult
    viewing. In fact, I’ve heard that the Klu Klux Klan
    was all but dead
    in the early part of this century, and then this film
    brought it
    back.
  3. The Blue Angel: Have you ever heard the
    term “blue
    movie?” This is where that term comes from.
  4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: The first
    and foremost
    german expressionist film. It’s a decent movie, great
    in the context
    of its time. Tim Burton fans should definitely check
    it out to see
    where Burton derives his inspiration.
  5. Counsellor at Law
  6. Diary of a Lost Girl
  7. Foolish Wives
  8. Intolerance: This was created by the same
    director as
    Birth of a Nation. Ironic, no? I’m tempted
    to watch it just
    to see what he considered to be intolerant.
  9. The “It” Girl: Another movie that
    launched an entire linguistic
    expression.
  10. Love Me Tonight
  11. The Man Who Laughs: A Murnau
    classic.
  12. Man With A Movie Camera: I can’t tell you
    how many times
    I’ve almost bought this. This was an attempt to
    create a film in a
    universal language. There’s no story, no script, and
    no characters;
    it’s just people going about their daily business, yet
    it’s strangely
    enthralling. A worthwhile experiment.
  13. Metropolis: The Fritz Lang classic, with
    all available
    scenes completely restored. A very nice package.
  14. Our Hospitality and Sherlock
    Jr.
    : A DVD with two
    Buster Keaton movies. He’s my favourite comedian from
    this era, and
    is well worth checking out.
  15. Die Nibelungen
  16. Nosferatu: The first on-screen adaptation
    of
    Dracula, directed by F.W. Murnau. Of course,
    they didn’t ask
    permission to adapt it, and were sued by the Stoker
    estate. It seems
    that changing the names of the characters wasn’t
    enough to avoid
    copyright infringement. This is the movie Shadow
    of the
    Vampire
    was about. This edition is also vastly
    superior to
    others I’ve seen. It’s the most complete cut of the
    film I’ve found,
    and includes over 20 minutes of footage not present in
    other
    editions.
  17. The Old Dark House
  18. The Penalty
  19. Peter Pan
  20. The Thief of Bagdad

Kino does a great job with their DVDs, and they’ve
picked some
excellent movies. This is well worth considering.