Weekly Digital Disc Picks – March 31, 2009

There are a lot of titles this week, but many are for specialized audiences.

First, the DVD picks:

  • After Dark Horrorfest Vol. 3
  • BBC Presents Shakespere’s Age Of Kings: This is a series of for TV performances of Shakespeare’s more famous history plays – going from Richard II all the way through to the Wars of the Roses and Richard III. There are some fairly big name actors on here, including Sean Connery as Hotspur (the young Henry V) in Henry IV, a younger Judi Dench, etc.
  • Beethoven’s Fidelio
  • Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations: I haven’t worked up the nerve to watch #2 yet.
  • Candide: Opera adaptation of Voltaire’s hilarious play. Of note – Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim (Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd) worked on the adaptation.
  • Classic Film Noir Double Feature Vol. 3: Includes “Amazing Mr. X aka The Spiritualist” and “Reign of Terror aka Black Book.” The fact that both have “aka” titles concerns me; this usually means they were made cheaply, released, bombed so badly they didn’t recover the shoe string budget, and then renamed and released again in hopes of recovering the investment.
  • D. Greyman – Season 1, Part 1: I’ve heard some good stuff about this, I didn’t get a chance to watch it before it was licensed though. It’s a Gothic-ish shonen Demon Hunter show.
  • Danton – Criterion Collection
  • Dragonball Z – Brolly Triple Freature: Collection of 3 DBZ films “Brolly: The Legendary Super Saiyan”, “Brolly: The Second Coming”, and “Bio-Brolly” – You should be able to watch these with little to no familiarity with the TV series, as I don’t believe Brolly is referenced in the TV series at all (as opposed to, say, “History of Trunks” – which basically serves as DBZ’s “Days of Future Past” – explaining why Trunks, like Bishop and Cable, traveled back in time – as an aside, someone should totally do that fan-art as an alternate cover for “History of Trunks”). Also available on Blu-Ray.
  • Dragonquest: No description of any kind. I’m guessing it’s not related to the Squaresoft/Enix products.
  • Fallen Angels
  • The Fugitive: Season Two, Vol. 2
  • G.P.S.: The Movie: I’ve had bad experiences from movies whose titles end with “The Movie.” Seriously, Donner’s Superman was good, but is there a second example of a good movie that calls itself a movie in the title?
  • Il Generale Della Rovere – Criterion Collection
  • Gravion/Gravion Zwei Complete Collection: Fanservice-heavy super robot anime.
  • Happy Together (Special Edition)
  • Hope and Faith – Season One
  • In Plain Sight – Season One
  • The IT Crowd: Season 1: British Sitcom about the IT department at a major corporation.
  • Kids’ TV of the 50s: Includes samples from “Captain Video and His Video Rangers,” “The Pinky Lee Show,” “Watch Mr. Wizard,” and “Winky Dink and You.”
  • Maison Ikkoku Collectors Set – Box 6 : I think this is Rumiko Takahashi’s 2nd ran-for-nearly-forever romantic comedy anime and manga, after Urusei Yatsura and followed by Ranma and Inuyasha. I haven’t seen Urusei Yatsura so I can’t speak for that but Maison Ikkoku has little-to-no action elements to it, and apparently had a semi-satisfying ending, as opposed to the open-ended finale of, say, Ranma 1/2.
  • Marley and Me: Single disc edition
  • Marley and Me: Two disc “Bad Dog” edition
  • Massenet’s Manon: Another genre connection on here, this time in the performance. Renee Fleming is in this performance of Manon, as the title role. She did vocals on the score for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
  • Negima!? – Season 2 Part 2: This is the “Re-imagined and Un-Cut” release, which still lacks a lot of the really cool wizard fights I’ve heard the Manga has (I haven’t read the manga, I haven’t been able to find volume 1 yet).
  • One Piece: Season 1, Part 4: Funimation continues with the unMacekered releases of One Piece, free of the horrible changes wrecked upon it by 4Kids.
  • Pokemon – Giratina & The Sky Warrior: Yet another Pokemon movie
  • Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead: 2-Disc Special Edd-Dition!
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Vol. 1: I don’t know if I want to see this or not, for fear of it not holding up. J. Michael Straczynski was the showrunner.
  • Rossini: Early Operas: This is a collection of performances of 4 of Rossini’s early operas (Il signor Bruschino, L’occasione fa il ladre, La cambiale di matrimonio, and La scala di seta). I have not seen these, so I don’t know how good they are. However, according to the description they’re all comedies.
  • Seven Pounds
  • Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete: Actually not a horror anime – it’s a 12-episode series about two rival schools of swordsmanship in feudal japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate (specifically under the rule of Tokugawa Tadanaga – who apparently had some issues). Also available on Blu-Ray.
  • Shuffle: Complete Box Set: Harem romantic comedy anime, which subverts the genre tropes in several respects that I have to say I like, particularly with some character developments with Kaede.
  • Slumdog Millionaire: I haven’t seen it yet, but between word of mouth from those who have and the Oscar sweep, it’s pretty high on my “must see” list.
  • Tokyo Majin: Season 1, Part 2: Somehow this didn’t make it in the anime section for some reason.
  • Urban Legends: Complete Season One
  • Verdi’s Macbeth: This isn’t the performance I saw of the opera, which adjusted the setting to being in the early 20th century, and adjusted the fight between Macbeth and Macduff to a knife fight instead of a sword fight, but it worked, and I liked it. Shakespeare’s tragedies really work well for Opera, plot wise.
  • Verdi’s Requiem: This is the London Symphony Orchestra’s performance from 1982.
  • Vienna State Opera: Opera Exclusive: Another Brick of Operas, this time all performances by… wait for it… the Vienna State Opera. None of the opera’s ring any bells, though the composers do – two by Verdi, Nabucco and Simon Boccanegra. The other is by Massenet – Werther.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Season Four, Volume 1
  • The Wallflower – Complete Collection – Part 2
  • Wild Dogs

Now, the Blu-Ray picks:

Finally, the picks of the week. AceCaseOR votes for “Dr. Atomic” on Blu-Ray. Fiziko hasn’t seen much of this list, and assumes anyone reading this site is already familiar with “The Matrix.” Based solely on reputation, he’d either go with “Slumdog Millionaire” or one of the Criterion Collection or Wong Kar-Wai titles (“Happy Together” or “Fallen Angels”).

4 replies on “Weekly Digital Disc Picks – March 31, 2009”

  1. The IT Crowd
    The IT Crowd is a hilarious, hilarious show. It’s too bad they’re only releasing S1 in the American market (series 3 just finished airing in the UK). I cannot recommend it enough.

    • Re: The IT Crowd

      The IT Crowd is a hilarious, hilarious show. It’s too bad they’re only releasing S1 in the American market (series 3 just finished airing in the UK). I cannot recommend it enough.

      If we’re lucky sales of season one will hopefully prompt bringing the other two over.

      • That’s good to know that it’s good – I’d heard good things about it before. Hopefully NetFlix will stock it so I’ll have a chance to watch it.

  2. D.Grayman
    Saw it via fansubs the first pass… plot was interesting… story/character progression well done. Kept me wanting the next one. Not "the best" but easily top 10 on my list of episodic anime.

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