Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, November 05, 2007

New DVD Day!

I know, I know, new DVD day is actually tomorrow, but there are so many good DVDs coming out tomorrow that I just can't wait to tell you about them! As always, if Athabasca were home to a DVD emporium, this is what I'd be blowing my paycheque on tomorrow. Tomorrow being Tuesday, November 6.

Ratatouille - One of my favourite filmmakers, Brad Bird, who gave the world my favourite film, The Iron Giant, gave us his latest animated opus this summer. Ratatouille still stands as the best-reviewed film of 2007, and it's easy to see why. This Disney/Pixar classic tells the rather charming tale of a rat who wants to be a gourmet chef. Sadly, Disney/Pixar DVDs aren't as fully loaded as they once were...for bonus features, all you get are a couple of cut scenes, a featurette about the research they did on food for the film, the animated short film Lifted that ran in theatres before the film, and the new, made just for the DVD animated short film, Your Friend the Rat. It's also available on Blu-Ray, for those who have made the Great Upgrade. The Blu-Ray version also has a picture-in-picture running commentary.

The Pixar Short Film Collection, Volume 1 - Ah, Pixar. Not only did they invent the animated feature film, they've also been hard at work resurrecting the medium of the animated short film. Pixar started pumping out animated shorts as little more than test footage for their animation software. Then, they started winning Oscars and, starting with Geri's Game in front of A Bug's Life, they started sticking them in front of their films. And then, starting with Mike's New Car on the Monsters Inc. DVD, they started producing short films for their DVDs! Pixar head John Lasseter has said that animated short films are now a useful tool for training new animators. But I digress. On this DVD, all 13 of Pixar's animated shorts are now on 1 DVD! All of these have already been released on previous Pixar DVDs, except for two. For bonus material, you get a couple of segments that Pixar produced for Sesame Street, some old Pixar animation tests (think of them as 10-second long short films), and a brand-new, 20 minute documentary on Pixar's shorts. As one of my DVD sites pointed out, if you already own all of Pixar's movies on DVD, then you might want to wait until this one is in the discount bin before picking it up. And I think that's what I'll do. Also available on Blu-Ray, for those who have made the Great Upgrade.

Help!: 2-disc Special Edition - The Beatles' second film doesn't get as much love as A Hard Day's Night or Yellow Submarine, which kind of explains why it took so long to get a special edition. Described by John Lennon as a "campy James Bond film," Help! follows the Beatles as they battle an evil cult around the world. This cult has designs on sacrificing Ringo. For bonus material, you get a new documentary about the making of the film, a new documentary featuring the cast and crew reminiscing, a recently re-discovered, long-lost deleted scene, the trailers, the original radio spots, a new introduction from director Richard Lester, and a new analysis by legendary director Martin Scorsese.

Sicko - Ah, Michael Moore. When I was but a lad in high school, first discovering politics and how the world works, there was you show, TV Nation, showing my now-open-eyes the workings of the world. However, I do miss the Michael Moore who made TV Nation. That Michael Moore used gentle humor to make his points...the Michael Moore who makes documentaries now is a bit of an over-dramatic, left-wing loon. But I'll still be renting Sicko, Moore's latest documentary. In this one, Moore turns his critical eye on the American health care system. This one even turned off folks in the Moore-friendly nations of England and Canada, for presenting the health care systems of those countries in an excessively rosy light. (For example, he walks into a Toronto emergency room on a Wednesday afternoon, is told the wait time is under a half-hour, and he tells the audience this is typical of all Canadian hospitals.) For DVD bonus material, you get a ton of deleted scenes and a Nightwatchmen music video.

Lots of great DVDs. Get renting!

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