This is a most eclectic collection of releases that I’ve seen for the roundup in quite a while. And only one major classic film release to choose from. But we’ve got some great TV on DVD, Disney, cartoons, super heroes and Stephen King to boot. So let’s hop to it shall we?
Top Shelf Pick of the Week!
Funny Face: 50th Anniversary Edition
We’re big fans of Astaire, here at the Shelf. Something that probably started for me with Rankin Bass classics on Santa and the Easter Bunny where Fred was the narrator. Then, I saw him in Easter Parade and was fascinated by a guy that seemingly had to be on wires or something. Nobody could move like that really, could they? Then to discover what a true talent he was not only with dancing, but with acting, singing and light comedy- I came to really admire the performer and the man. This week sees the release of one Fred’s films from late in his career, after he had returned from his first retirement. Funny Face costars Audrey Hepburn, and is another instance when Fred is paired with someone so much younger than he, but he is charming enough to pull it off. This 50th Anniversary Special Edition is an upgrade from the previous edition to be sure. It features a new high definition restored print and sound, and several bonus features. Included on the disc are the new featurettes: The Fashion Designer & His Muse and Parisian Dreams. The previous disc’s featurettes: Paramount in the '50s, photo gallery and the trailer are present as well. Also, if you are low on Audrey Hepburn flicks, might I suggest the new Audrey Hepburn 5 pack, which includes this disc in addition to Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, Paris When It Sizzles and Sabrina.
Jungle Book: 2-disc, 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition
I love this movie. I just flat out love this film. I know that there are some of you who have problems with it, but for me it’s pure fun. I love the characters, I love the voice actors and the music. I just love it. You’ve probably seen all of the commercials talking about how this film is coming out of the mythical Disney Vault. I’ve always wanted to take a look inside that vault. There is probably several things just wasting away in there that I could be enjoying right now. Including my Donald Duck hat that I lost at Disney World. I bet they’ve got Walt in there and he’s wearing my hat. But I digress…
Anyway, this is a great release, and I’m glad I didn’t buy the previous edition. This new edition features a brand new digital restoration of the film, with enhanced image and sound. It’s also jammed packed with features like Junglemaina!: Learn About the Real-Life Animals From the Film; The Jungle Book Fun With Langauge Games; Meet the Long-Lost Character: Rocky the Rhino; Deleted Songs; Disney Kipling: Walt's Magic Touch on a Literary Classic; The Making of the Jungle Book and a whole lot more. It’s a great set for one of my all time favorite Disney features.
Fantastic Four 2: The Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Super Hero films can be tricky. On one hand you’ve got to appease and bring along existing fans. On the other hand, you’ve got to entertain and create new fans. That means you’ve got to be able to blend just the right amount of story, background and detail from the comic books with movie effects, action and plotting. All without going overboard. And no matter what you do, someone is going to have a problem with it. I am a fan of the Fantastic Four from my comic book days, but being a fan of films, I also know that not everything can make it from the comic book into the film and appeal to a wide audience. I really like the Fantastic Four series. I like the plotting and special effects, but I think the characters need further plumbing. The second film improved on the first, and that’s a good sign for the series. I have been looking forward to this DVD for a while, and am picking up the 2 disc special edition.
I was surprised to find out that this movie is PG-13. The way the advertised it, I thought it was surely an R. I also didn’t know that this was a Stephen King flick. Not only does it have that going for it, but it stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. How does it stack up? You can find out by checking back here at the Shelf. Wolf will be back with an exclusive review of this title for our ongoing Halloween Madness at the Shelf!
TV on DVD:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Complete Series
20th Anniversary Edition
My little sister will be happy when she sees the picture below. Yep, that is the whole ball o’ wax as they say, all in one set. You get the whole series in one huge package. Also at a huge price tag.
Little People, Big World: Season One.
I haven’t sent this series until recently and have been intrigued by the many people I know who highly recommend it. It is the story of a family where the parents and a couple of children have dwarfism and a couple of the kids do not. It’s a reality series that focuses on their struggles and triumphs, and highs and lows. And yet it is still about being a family. You can check back with us, as we’ll also have a full review of this Season One set.
That's all for today, kiddies. But stay tuned. As we mentioned above we have reviews of 1408, Little People, Big World Season 1, and The Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland Collection coming your way. Also be on the look out for our first ever Shelf Contest, where we will be giving away a DVD to one lucky winner. So stick around...
Gentlemen: may I take this opportunity to tell you that you look like a mess of worms? And that you not only look like a mess of worms, but you ARE a mess of worms. And I'll bet you've been sitting at this table all these years because if you ever left it you'd be picked up on a vagrancy charge..