Tuesday, August 07, 2007
viva las roundup
Before we begin today's roundup, let me add a little disclaimer: There's a whole lotta Elvis out there!
This is one of those weeks, Shelfers, where we will actually be reviewing several of the titles included in today's edition of the roundup. So keep checking back. In fact we should have a DVD review a day for the rest of the week. So settle in for a wild one today. We may not be headlining a Vegas show- but we've got what it takes to entertain!
Top Shelf Pick of the Week!
TCM Spotlight: Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection
When Warner's released The Thin Man Box set in 2005, it was like a megawatt bomb being dropped on film fans: everyone felt the effects. It became Warner Home Video's best selling Box set, surpassing previous title holders the Astaire and Rogers Sets. I believe it's success encouraged WHV to dig further and release more great classic films and to continue to do it right. Fans do their part by buying up the sets for their collections, and courage even others to do more. Hence, we have today the long promised set of the rest of Powell and Loy's films on DVD. The Great Ziegfeld and Libeled Lady are also out there, so today it is possible to have a complete William Powell and Myrna Loy collection (unless you count The Senator was Indiscreet in which Myrna had a cameo- we're still waiting on that one).
This set includes the films Manhattan Melodrama, Evelyn Prentice, Double Wedding, I Love You Again and Love Crazy. Each disc has special features including shorts and cartoons, plus a radio adaptation of Love Crazy on that disc. The TCM Spotlight Collection: The Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection is at the top of our list!
We will have a full review of the set up soon, so keep checking The Shelf!
Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!
Elvis: The Hollywood Collection
If you haven't been able to tell there's a whole lotta Elvis going on. That's because this month marks the 30th Anniversary of his death. Why we have to mark and celebrate someone's life on the anniversary of their death is beyond me, but I digress. This anniversary means a lot of Elvis tributes, television specials, re-released CDs and lots of Elvis being released and re-released on DVD. And I mean a lot. First up is the Elvis: The Hollywood Collection Box set which includes the films Charro!, Girl Happy, Kissin' Cousins, Live a Little, Love A Little, Stay Away, Joe and Tickle Me. We will have a full review of this set up later this week! Aren't we special? No - you are special. We're working hard for you!
Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, Lights, Camera, Elvis!
I've said before that I'm not a big fan of the "beach/clambake" musicals of the 60s, and I know some of Elvis' films fall into this category. In fact many music fans claim that his films are what killed his music during the 60s, until his popular comeback of '68. Some musicians and critics claim that the "Hollywood-zation" of Elvis was a blow to music and what Elvis had started. John Lennon even went as far as to say that Elvis' stint in the army is what "killed him". Lennon also stated that Elvis and his music had a great affect on him (as did many other artists claim) "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beatles."
Of course, legions of fans decry any criticism of Elvis. I kind of fall in the middle. I love his music, and like some of his films, but not all of them. Elvis wanted to be a movie star as much as the Hollywood machine wanted to make him one. He just wasn't the most talented actor on Earth. That doesn't mean he didn't make good films or even entertaining films. And don't forget - some those Elvis songs that we all know and love started out as songs for his movies. And if nothing else a lot these films end up being campy fun. Not Citizen Kane, but not everything needs to be to be a great and fun film. I think Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, and King Creole are among some of the best he did and if that's what you are looking for and more- this your week.
Re-released or out for the first time on DVD are deluxe two disc special editions of Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas, more titles from Warner Brothers like: It Happened at The World's Fair, Harum Scarum, Spinout, The Trouble With Girls, Double Trouble and Speedway .(most of which were previously released in The Elvis Presley Collection from WHV in 2004)
Also from MGM the Lights, Camera, Elvis! Box Set which features the films: King Creole, G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii, Roustabout, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Fun in Acapulco, Paradise, Hawaiian Style and Easy Come, Easy Go.
Like I said before, If you love Elvis- this is your week.
And for the next few weeks we'll have reviews of several of these Elvis releases, so stay tuned.
Wait! Even More Elvis!
Elvis: That's The Way It Is
This is Elvis
Elvis had some great concert footage on television. In fact his Hawaii concert in the early 70s was the first one broadcast via satellite. So if you already own the MGM Elvis Comeback Special '68 DVD set, you'll want to add these two to your collection. Elvis: That's the Way It Is and This is Elvis. The first is a witness to the birth of Vegas Elvis. It is a edited concert of footage of the rehearsals and his six night headlining the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. The second is a sort of a docu-drama the life of Elvis Presley mixed in with concert footage. Both are two disc special editions with extra footage and special features. Anyway you cut it the Elvis fan in your life (even if that's you!) would love to add any of these to their collections.
More DVD Goodness!
It ain't all Elvis today folks. Some other great stuff hits the stores today!
Feasting on Asphalt: Season 1
If you listened to me last week, then you watched the first episode of Feasting on Asphalt 2 and found out, once and for all, that Alligator does not taste like chicken. I am willing to take Alton's word for it. If you're enjoying the second season of FOA, then you might want to pick up the 3 disc set of Feasting on Asphalt Season 1: Takeout Edition. Included in the set is 3 more hours of never before seen footage. Pick it up- Alton will be pleased. And can anyone find me one of those great FOA ballcaps that he wears?
From the guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead (in case you forgot, don't worry- it's plastered everywhere. Take a look at the big sticker on the DVD), comes Hot Fuzz. I've heard good things about the film and am interested to see it but I haven't. So let's go to someone who has.
Wolf saw the film and says: "It was great, you had to be open to it. If you are fans of their other film, you'll love it. But if you've never seen this style of comedy before, watch it and keep an open mind with it, you'll like it."
That's good enough for me. I plan on checking it out. Their are plenty of extras too, including the stars of the film, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, acting out a scene as Sean Connery and Michael Caine. That piques my interest. Well played, sir. Well played.
Flash Gordon: Savior of the Universe Edition
I know that many fans are licking their chops, waiting to get their paws on this one. Great Alex Ross DVD art on the cover? Check! A great 80s sci-fi pop culture classic finally remastered on DVD? Check! Beautiful video and audio? Check! Tons of extras? Ch- wait a minute. Hold the phone.
This edition does have a few extras- including a commentary by Alex Ross, a featurette about the screenwriter and an chapter of the 1936 serial of Flash Gordon. Well, that's all fine and dandy; but the British version, The Silver Anniversary Edition had more. Like commentary from the director and one of the stars, interviews, production stills, and much more. Darn the Europeans! I'm not knocking it, especially because I know fans are eager to get it- just be forewarned. Caveat Emptor. If you know that going it, you'll still love getting this 80s classic.
Don't forget the second episode of Feasting on Asphalt 2 this Saturday!
Shelf Picks for Turner Classic Movies
As always, check local listings for times.
All this month on TCM is the annual Summer Under the Stars celebration. Each night a different star is featured. Here are our picks for this week!
Aug. 8: Star: Dana Andrews
A Walk in the Sun (1946), Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (1956), Comanche (1956) and The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
Aug. 9: Star: Myrna Loy
All six of The Thin Man movies! (1934-46), Libeled Lady (1936), Love Crazy (1941) and The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer (1947).
Aug. 10: Star: Vincent Price
Tower Of London (1962), House Of Usher (1960) and The Masque Of The Red Death (1964).
Aug. 11: Star: Doris Day
Please Don't Eat The Daisies (1960), Lover Come Back (1961), That Touch of Mink (1962) and Love Me Or Leave Me (1952).
Aug. 12: Star: Alan Ladd
The Badlanders (1958), Shane (1953), Whispering Smith (1948) and 13 West Street (1962).
Aug. 13: Star: June Allyson
Two Girls And A Sailor (1944), Good News (1947), Little Women (1949) and The Glenn Miller Story (1954).
That's it for the roundup today, folks. Don't forget to check back with us this week for lots of DVD reviews. Stay tuned!
I often wished I could turn your head - on a spit, over a slow fire.