DVD Round-Up: 'Spider-Man,' 'Gremlins 2,' & New 'Power Rangers'
Week of June 19th
Published: 06/17/2012 10:18pm
Classics on Blu-ray
Sony has already released Spider-Man 1 and Spider-Man 2 on Blu-ray twice before, first in a trilogy-only box with Spider-Man 3 in 2007, and then individually in 2010. With the impending July 3rd debut of Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot, Sony has decided to release new Blu-ray versions of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man Trilogy. Spider-Man (Sony, "PG-13," $19.99), Spider-Man 2 (Sony, "PG-13," $19.99) and Spider-Man 3 (Sony, "PG-13," $19.99) are now available in spiffy new editions with some nice new extras. While the triple-dipping is obnoxious, it must be said the new high-def transfer looks great, in fact at times such as when Spidey is swinging through the stone canyons of New York City the high level of detail occasionally makes the special effects look cheesy. That aside it is hard to find many faults in the first two Spider-Man movies (all right, the Green Goblin does look a little like a Power Ranger), and it’s important to remember how important the first Raimi Spider-Man film was as the first mega-hit comic book-based movie since Tim Burton’s Batman. Spider-Man 3 remains a bloated mess with too many storylines and too many villains, but the first two films established the most lucrative comic book movie franchise ever (at least until Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie’s tally is added to the Dark Knight’s total later this year).
TV on DVD
Batman fans might also want to check out the Best of Batman (Warner Bros. 322 min., $19.98), which includes 13 all-time favorite Batman animated episodes from various different Batman animated series including the "Bane" episode featuring the same villain who will grace the big screen in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises this summer.
Other series due this week include the "funny legal procedural" Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. $45.99) that airs on the cable channel TNT, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Vol. 9: Episodes 173-192, which collects another popular Turner Broadcasting Series, plus Web Therapy: The Complete 1st Season (eOne Entertainment, 286 min., $29.98), which collects the Showtime improv comedy series starring Lisa Kudrow that originated on the Web, and Wilfred: The Complete First Season (Fox, $29.99, BD $39.99), which collects the first season of the American version of the Australian stoner comedy starring Elijah Wood.
Also out this week is a special favorite series for old-school otaku, Golgo 13 Collection 4 (Sentai Filmworks, "17+," 300 min., $59.98), which includes episodes 39-50 of the 50-episode anime series produced by The Answer Studio. This series is "old school" not because it was produced in the 20th century, it actually aired in 2008 and 2009 in Japan, but because it is based on Takao Saito’s manga series about a hardboiled assassin that debuted way back in 1969 and features old school character design and plotting.
The only re-priced re-release of the week is Dragonaut: The Resonance Complete Series (FUNimation, "14+," 630 min., $29.98), which includes all 25 episodes (plus an OVA) of the fantasy/mecha series produced by Gonzo that aired in Japan in 2007 and 2008, and which is now available at an extremely reasonable price.
A mixed bag of releases this week includes 3 "R" rated comedies, all of which failed to connect with big audiences in theaters, but which have their moments nonetheless. Project X (Warner Bros. "R," $28.98, BD $35.99) is the most predictable of the lot, a found-footage epic about an epic teen party that features director Todd Phillips’ (The Hangover) over-the-top excesses. Wanderlust (Universal, "R" $29.98, $34.98), which stars the always reliable Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, is a bit better as two downsized New York yuppies end up in a crazy Georgia commune, where raunchy, vulgar humor ensues—this is a movie that might have some life on DVD. The slacker comedy, Jeff, Who Lives at Home (Paramount, "R," $29.99, $39.99) stars Jason Segel in film by the mumblecore veterans the Duplass brothers, who eschew belly laughs for wry humor in a film that is as much wistful drama as comedy.
This week’s other releases include the “feel good” family film Big Miracle (Universal, "PG," $29.98, BD $34.98) a whale rescue saga starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski based on a true story, and Seeking Justice (Anchor Bay, "R," $26.98, BD $34.98), a revenge thriller starring Nicolas Cage that earned a pitiful 24% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
For those who enjoy art house movies, My Afternoon with Marguerite (New Video Group, "Not Rated," $29.95), a 2010 French film starring Gerard Depardieu as a sort of village idiot and the 97-year-old Gisele Casadesus as Marguerite, an aging novelist who introduces Depardieu’s character to the world of literature.
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.
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