Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Stockpile

It's quite well known that I love DVDs. I can't help myself. It's almost like an addiction. Sometimes, I fear I have too many. The only time I really feel disgusted with myself is when I have a whole bunch of new DVDs. I get this little stockpile of new DVDs next to my TV, and sometimes, it takes me a while to get through them.

So I'm spending this weekend going through the stockpile.

Right now, I'm nearing the end of the first season of Sports Night. So I'm one of those people that thinks Aaron Sorkin is just one of the most brilliant writers in Hollywood right now. He wrote such classic films as A Few Good Men and The American President. His forays into television include The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Sports Night was his first venture into television. So, when they released Sports Night: The Complete Series -- 10th Anniversary Edition a few weeks back, I dipped into my savings and snatched it up.

For those who don't remember, Sports Night was quite critically acclaimed in its initial run, but it never really found an audience. It just barely made it through two seasons. However, I was one of the few watching it in its initial run, and I was hooked.

Well, actually, I did miss around the first half of season 2. You know, how sometimes, you miss your favourite TV show for a few months? And then, you sit down one evening, eager to catch up on what you missed? Usually, one of two things happens. You've completely lost interest, and the show now bores you, or you find the show has gotten bad and you think, "God, I'm glad I stopped watching this."

Sports Night had that rare third option. I started watching it again halfway through that second season and thought, "My God. This is a brilliant show! I forgot how amazing it is! I must start watching it again!" And you do.

Sports Night takes place at the fictional Continental Sports Channel (i.e. TSN), and it's all about the behind-the-scenes goings-on at their nightly all sports-news show Sports Night. (i.e. SportsCentre)

And it's just a great show. I'm watching it again on DVD, and once again I'm thinking, "My God. This is a brilliant show! I forgot how amazing it is!" It's been 10 years since I've seen most of these episodes, and a lot of the characters' monologues are still burned in my mind. Watching these DVDs...has been serving to remind me of those whole monologues.

Sports Night rocks, and I suggest you pick it up.

I also finally broke down and bought The Black Cauldron on DVD. The Black Cauldron is one of my favourite Disney animated films. My VHS copy is getting pretty worn out, and when I saw it in the discount bin, I knew I had to strike.

I explained to a friend one time why it's so rare to find Disney animated films in the discount bins. Mainly, it's because of their "Disney vault" strategy. Most of their animated films on DVD go out of print and thrown in the vault before they become discount bin fodder. So I counted my lucky stars when I saw The Black Cauldron for only $10.

Many cool things about the DVD. Firstly, it's in widescreen. Disney has only made three films that were designed and optimized for a widescreen format: Sleeping Beauty, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and...The Black Cauldron. So I'm finally seeing it the way it was meant to be seen.

And it's got a few neat bonus features on it, too. It has a still gallery. At first, I thought it would be the usual assortment of publicity photos. But the still gallery actually turned out to be quite an extensive collection of concept art, character designs, and such forth.

I completely geeked out when there was a whole gallery dedicated to Tim Burton's character designs. You know Tim Burton...one of my favourite directors, gave us such classics as Beetlejuice, the 1989 Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish and, most recently Sweeny Todd. Well, he actually began his career as an animator at Disney. He did a lot of character designs and concept art for The Black Cauldron. And, as the legend goes, when the Disney bosses rejected it all, Burton grew disillusioned with animation and decided to go make live-action films. I always wanted to see his Black Cauldron designs, and now I have.

There's also pictures of the Black Cauldron ride at Tokyo Disneyland. I went on the Black Cauldron ride at Tokyo Disneyland. To be confronted by an animatronic Horned King and an animatronic army of his Cauldron Born (i.e. undead army)...well, I think that was the one day I geeked out the most.

And I know have pictures.

So, again, The Black Cauldron on DVD, highly recommended, especially if you can snatch it up for $10, and I sadly don't think we'll be getting a 2-disc special edition any time soon.

Oh, and lest you think that all I get is obscure stuff, I picked up Iron Man, too.

No comments: