DVD Round-Up: 'Clone War,' 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' & 'Shazam'
Week of October 23rd
Published: 10/21/2012 09:04pm
TV on DVD
The top release this week is Star Wars: The Clone Wars—The Complete Season 4 (Warner Bros., 506 min., DVD $44.99, BD $59.99), which includes all 22 episodes of the popular Cartoon Network series that keeps Star Wars a very viable toy property and also insures that the younger generation has an even better understanding of the Star Wars saga than we do.
Collections of contemporary TV shows out this week include Happy Endings: The Complete 2nd Season (Sony, 450 min., $45.99), which collects all 22 episodes of the ABC series about the dysfunctional romantic adventures of six upwardly mobile yuppies living in Chicago, the Canadian supernatural crime drama Lost Girl: Season 1 (Funimation, 572 min. DVD $44.98, BD $49.98), and Law and Order: Criminal Intent—The Complete 8th Year (Shout Factory, 890 min., $44.99).
Another stellar collection out this week is The Ernie Kovacs Show: The Ernie Kovacs Collection Vol. 2 (Shout Factory, 540 min., $29.93), which digs deeper in the treasure trove of zany comedy created by Kovacs, one of TV’s most original humorists. While not for everyone, anyone who is interested in the history of TV comedy will find this set invaluable.
Other vintage releases include the 8-disc Bat Masterson: 24 Hour Marathon Collection (TGG Direct, 1488 min., $29.98), Fantasy Island: The Complete 3rd Season (Shout Factory, 1080 min., $34.97), the In the Heat of the Night: 24 Hour Marathon Collection (TGG Direct, 1440 min., $29.98), the classic lawyer series Perry Mason: The 7th Season, Pt. 2 (Paramount, 758 min., $49.99), Sea Hunt: 24 Hour Marathon Collection (TGG Direct, 1472 min, $29.98), and The Young Riders: 24 Hour Marathon Collection (TGG Direct, 1440 min., $29.98).
Also due this week is The Duchess of Duke Street: The Complete Collection (Acorn Media, 1620 min., $79.99), which collects the original drama created by John Hawkesworth, one of the producers of Upstairs, Downstairs, that was a huge hit here on Masterpiece Theater in the late 1970s.
The critics’ favorite this week is the male stripper drama Magic Mike (Warner Bros., "R," $28.98, BD $38.98). Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike is no prurient bachelorette party video, but a slice-of-life look at the life of a Tampa, Florida go-getter with an interesting nocturnal sideline. Armed with a strong cast that includes Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey, this indie-style drama (that Soderbergh shot with an annoying yellow filter) was a big hit with critics (75% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (it made $114 million domestically and only cost $7 million to make).
Few writer/director/performers are more consistent than Tyler Perry, whose cross-dressing Madea films are reliable moneymakers with the vast majority of their business coming from urban theaters. Madea’s Witness Protection (Lionsgate, "PG-13," $29.99, BD $39.99) manages to get all sorts of ripped-from-the-headlines elements into what turns out to be anything but a typical Madea saga with Eugene Levy playing a businessman (complete with an extended dysfunctional family) on the run from a mob-organized Ponzi scheme who hides out at Madea’s house. Hilarity ensues.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Universal, "R," $28.98, BD $34.98) is a romantic comedy with more than a few twists and an overarching sadness. With an asteroid on a collision course people on Earth have but a few weeks to live and two unlikely characters forge a bond in this existential love story starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Seeking a Friend divided the critics (55% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and only earned $7 million at the box office, but Lorene Scafaria’s first directorial effort is certainly more heartfelt than the majority of Hollywood comedies.
Also new is the Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls (Sentai Filmworks, "17+," 300 min., BD $69.98, DVD $59.98), a 2011 anime series from Lerche that is based on the adult visual novel developed by Minato Soft.
There is a trio of re-priced re-releases this week that includes the Ah! My Buddha Nirvana Collection (Animeworks, "13+," 650 min. $19.95), Kaleido Star Season 2 (Funimation, "13+," 625 min., $29.98), and the Nighthead Genesis Complete Collection (Funimation, "13+," 600 min., $19.99).
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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