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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Time for Part 2. Here’s yer DVD goodness…

DVD cover art for The Greatest American Hero: Season One DVD cover art for The Motorcycle Diaries DVD cover art for Man on the Tracks

TV DVD of the Week: The Greatest American Hero: Season One. Oh shut up. It was the early 80s. If we craved superheroes we had to watch something when Incredible Hulk wasn’t on. What were we supposed to do, watch Manimal? So shut up! This Anchor Bay release comes with a slew of interviews with pretty much everybody they could lay hands upon, plus the startling revelation that is the unused Greatest American Heroine spinoff pilot. Go ahead and read that sentence again. It won’t change. (Buy it from Amazon.)

DVD of the Week: The Motorcycle Diaries. If you had no other reason to love this movie, just remember this: watching Jorge Drexler get up and hand Antonio Banderas his musical ass at the Oscars. Nothing against Banderas, but you just gotta love justice. This Universal release does bring a decent amount of bonus to the table, including deleted scenes, a convo with the author, Alberto Granado, a making-of featurette, an interview with Mexican go-to actor Gael García Bernal, and a talk with the composer, too. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Foreign Film of the Week: Man on the Tracks. A guy who’s driven trains for a career suddenly winds up committing suicide by laying down in front of one. Ah, but did he commit suicide? And if so, why make such a mess for his co-workers to clean up? These are the some of the questions that make of the mystery of this Facets Video release, a 1957 Polish film. The investigation leads us down conflicting stories, all of which demonstrate how people deal with being replaced and outdated, as well as having their individuality threatened, if not totally erased. Kind of like working at this site. (Buy it from Amazon.)

DVD cover art for Paranoia Agent, Vol. 3: Serial Psychosis DVD cover art for Reform School Girl DVD cover art for Hand of Death

Anime DVD of the Week: Paranoia Agent, Vol. 3: Serial Psychosis. Yes, it’s more from Geneon and that cuddly little whackjob on skates who wields a baseball bat, Li’l Slugger. His mission to knock the crap out of folks with his bat continues, and he’s steadily becoming a bit of a hero in his own right. These three episodes take a sidebar and show how his asswhuppings have affected other characters outside the main narrative. As bonus bits, you get the original Japanese cover art plus an art gallery. (Buy it from Amazon)

Adverse Video of the Week:Reform School Girl. Let’s get one thing straight: this is nowhere near as exciting as the title and the cover make it out to be. A made-for-TV remake of the one from the 50s, this one features Matt LeBlanc as the bad boy who winds up with his girlfriend in a juvenile facility rather than face the music for what he’s done. Once in there, it’s like a women in prison flick, but, you know, watered down to the point where…well, there is no point. You know what the women in prison genre is for. Sadly funny, in a way. This hits from Buena Vista with no features. (Buy it from Amazon)

Kung Fu DVD of the Week: Hand of Death. An early film of John Woo’s, long before his creativity got sucked out by the Hollywood death machines. Is it high class stuff? Nah, but it’s chop socky good, with Jackie Chan having a smaller role than the cover would have you believe (but still worthy), Sammo Hung along to choreograph the buttkicking (and also play a villain), and even Woo himself in a cameo. If you want a glimpse at these guys trying to find their footing in the fu, then check out this Fox release. No features. (Buy it from Amazon)

DVD cover art for Empires: Peter & Paul DVD cover art for The Professionals

Docu DVD of the Week: Empires: Peter & Paul. There’s an entire line of “Empires” titles out there on DVD from PBS, but this time we’re grabbing one that covers the rise of the Christian religion from cult status all the way up to where it’s dictating whether or not you can watch Desperate Housewives. We’re kidding (mostly). But Peter and Paul were the two guys responsible for handling Jesus’ PR after the guy shuffled off this mortal coil. Well, the second time, anyway. If you’ve bought into the Judeo-Christian mythos, then this might not be your bag, as it looks at it from a historical perspective and not a completely Biblical perspective. Yes, there’s a difference. (Buy it from Amazon)

Western DVD of the Week: The Professionals. Ralph Bellamy’s young wife has been stolen by Jack Palance, playing a Mexican revolutionary. He hires a quartet of badasses, led by Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster, to go and get her back, come hell, high water or a crapload of desert. It’s not the deepest western in the world, but sometimes you just need something in the genre, ya know? Especially when it’s shot like this by cinematographer god Conrad Hall. Three featurettes are here on this Columbia-Tristar release as well as a couple of trailers. (Buy it from Amazon)