Friday, October 20, 2006
holiday dvd preview
I know, I know. You don’t even want to think about Christmas yet. I don’t either. So, I’m not. I promise. Except....Well, I can’t help but be aware and pick up on news about DVDs and specials coming up for the Christmas Holiday season. I would be remiss if I did not pass them on to you, at least for informational purposes. All you have to do is to mark some dates down on your calendar, and note what comes out when, and then forget about it. You will at least be aware of what’s coming out (and there is some great stuff), and be able to plan your budget (or not) accordingly. You see! This isn’t about Christmas at all. This is a public service. I slave, and I slave and I get no thanks whatsoever.
Every year, around this time of year, a slew of CDs and DVDs hit the market in time for the holidays. I object to the gloss over Thanksgiving that occurs right after October 31st. Long time Shelfers will remember last year when we made the case for celebrating Thanksgiving proudly. I feel Thanksgiving gets short shrift when malls and stores go straight into Christmas mode. However, in this case, this is an exception. I appreciate the fact that some of the new stuff is spread across release dates, which is easier on the consumer and allows them to actually watch them starting after Thanksgiving.
Today I am highlighting some new releases that will definitely bring out the Christmas kid in you. Some are hitting DVD for the first time, others are special editions. Between these and the other animated specials and movie classics, you could make yourself sick this year. So remember, all things in moderation.
Holiday Inn Special Edition: See last weeks roundup for the lowdown.
A Chipmunks Christmas: 25th Anniversary Edition.
Somehow this escaped our notice. Talk about feeling old. Nothing like slapping a year on the old special edition to make a body feel old. Has it been that long? I haven’t seen the original musical cartoon in a long time and I wonder if it’s included here. Either way, this was a warm, sentimental yarn in which Alvin gives his Christmas present (a harmonica) to a sick boy. Try to hold back the tears. *sob!* Also includes a music CD (which you can buy separately) of the Chipmunks Christmas tunes.
Scrooged: Yule Love It! Edition
I think there has been more DVD editions of this film than other versions of A Christmas Carol. At least it seems that way. However, this edition that appropriately comes out on Halloween day ( I always felt that this was a ghost story that happened to take place on Halloween), seems to really deliver on the extras. Personally, I love Bill Murray, but there has to be a lot of time between viewing on this one.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Special Edition
Wolf did a classic Shelf article on this film and what it means. That link is for future reference you know. I mean you don’t totally have to break out of Halloween mode for just a little bit to read it, but you could if you wanted. Yeah, you know. Yeah. Anyway, don’t get to terribly excited by this, as this is a repackaged version of the previous two disc edition of a couple years ago. If you don’t have it, well now you can get it in a nicer box.
March of the Wooden Soldiers
This is the Hal Roach/Laurel and Hardy version of the Babes in Toyland story. There was a colorized version that was trimmed. This set features the restored film and both black and white and colorized versions with a bonus cartoon. This film is a holiday tradition for a lot of folks. I've never seen it before that I can recall. I plan to rectify that this year.
This is new. I don’t know much about it other than it is a Looney Tunes send off on The Christmas Carol. I hope it will be aired in prime time, as I am saving my ducats for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4 and Walt Disney Treasures. Santa, are you reading?
Miracle on 34th Street: Special Edition.
I am looking forward to this, as I have held off on buying a copy in hopes of a special edition. This is a two disc affair, which also includes the colorized version. I don’t care for that, but the extras include commentary and the cooperation of Maureen O’Hara. I am looking forward to that, as her commentaries are great.
O. Henry’s Full House
This is a film from the 1950s, about which I must confess that I have not seen. It was more a collection of films from different directors and actors, which included radio’s Fred Allen. One of the films is, I have been told, an excellent version of O. Henry’s great Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi”.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas: Special Edition.
This is also a two disc special edition which makes the previous DVD version obsolete. I don’t always like double dips, but this looks to be a very nice set packed with great special features. Perhaps the DVD I am looking forward to the most, aside from Miracle on 34th Street.
Well update this list sometime in November as the list warrants updating. Have you marked your calendars? Good. Now forget about Christmas and get to carving those pumpkins. Candy review coming soon.
Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.