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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

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

TV DVD of the Week: Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. 7. Ah yes. Bring the boxed sets on. The only sad part about these, released by Rhino, is that it’s one less until we finally run out of them. Can there be such a day? Try not to think about it. Enjoy instead the four movies, skewered and roasted by the people who do it better than anyone else. You get The Killer Shrews, Hercules Unchained, Hercules Against the Moon Men, and Prince of Space. The short “Junior Rodeo Daredevils” is on there as well. Beautiful. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD of the Week: Hamlet by Brook/Brook by Brook. We’re suckers for Shakespeare here, and me, I’m a huge sucker for Hamlet. It’s my show, dammit. Back off. But hey, when I hear that Peter Brook is bringing the thing to the stage (or screen in this case) in a completely stripped down version with Adrian Lester playing the prince and a cast of international actors–consider my attention gotten. This Facets Video release also comes with a bonus docu on the director, which was directed by Simon Brook–his son. Tasty bard goodness. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Animation DVD of the Week: Danger Mouse: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2. A staple of the early evolutionary state of Nickelodeon, A&E Home Video brings the first two seasons of this beloved animated super agent to DVD in a two-disc set. All seventeen episodes are here which includes the pilot episode, “The Lost Chord.” Nothing else in the way of bonus bits, but you get D.M. and his sidekick Penfold here how they originally aired. Excellent boxed set nostalgia for your weekend, or to introduce your own kids to this classic. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Adverse Video of the Week: Drive-in Double Feature: Horror 101 & 102. Anchor Bay smacks you with the two films up in lights and a bonus flick, Museum of the Dead. 101 concerns a psychology course on serial killers where the pop quizzes can be…lethal! DUN-DUN! 102: Endgame has students on a field trip doing the #2 stupidest thing ever to do in a horror movie…tour an abandoned mental hospital. And then Museum concerns an exhibition of cursed shit that ends up with lots of people being eaten. What more could you possibly ask for? (US)(UK)(CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:Fraggle Rock: Live By the Rule of the Rock. Waiting for the first season to hit DVD? Well, be patient. It’s coming. However, if you can’t be patient, or you just want to introduce your kiddies to what the Jim Henson Company used to mean, you can grab this release from Hit Entertainment. You get four episodes from the series, along with two bonus episodes from the animated series and some behind the scenes fun as well. The fourth episode from the series requires trivia knowledge to get to. So do what we do: cheat. Often. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week: Dogtown & Z-Boys. Columbia-Tristar re-released this film in a special edition in order to capitalize on the flick Lords of Dogtown. If that didn’t crank your tractor, and you haven’t checked out this docu before, go back to the primary source material. This time around, yes, there’s some stuff geared towards the new movie, with a “sneak peek” and “exclusive webisodes,” but you also get a running audio commentary by director Stacy Peralta and the editor, and extra skate footage. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Music DVD of the Week: Brian Wilson: Smile. The lost Brian Wilson album (which he abandoned and finally saw release almost forty years later, in 2004) is found again and it’s available on DVD from Rhino. And man, does it get the star treatment on these two DVDs. There’s a feature-length making-of docu which shows the death and inevitable resurrection of the album, a bonus performance, interviews, featurettes, solo piano performances, outtakes, a photo gallery, and of course, the concert peformance of the whole shebang. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week: Kyo Kara Maoh, Vol. 1: God (?) Save Our King!. Well, the whole protagonist-transported-to-another-world spiel had gone just about everywhere we could think of…and now we can confirm that we’re slapping ourselves for having missed this one: getting flushed down the toilet. Instead of going to Mr. Hankey’s homeland, however, Yuri winds up as King of the Demon World. So now what? This Geneon release comes with textless opening animation and character profiles. And it’s in anamorphic widescreen to boot. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD Boxed Set of the Week: Hanzo the Razor. His name is…well, it’s Hanzo the Razor. Like that’s a giveaway. And when he’s not slicing the shit out of bad guys, he’s interrogating women in brutal ways. He’s basically pissed at everybody, it seems, including himself. Over the course of three films–all collected here by Home Vision–he delivers beatdowns while backed by the best in the funkdified musical score of the 70s. Can you stand it? You get trailers for the three films and that’s it, but still: for some hackemup sordid goodness from the brain of Lone Wolf and Cub‘s dad, you can’t go wrong. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Comedy DVD of the Week: Chappelle’s Show: Season 2, Uncensored. If I was a cynical bastard (oh, wait), I’d think Dave fled to South Africa in order to shine the spotlight where it needed to be: on this DVD release. Because you know sales were driven up by the added exposure. Honestly, Comedy Central and Paramount should be pleased as hell. But it would have sold well anyway: the show’s freaking hilarious. And even better when all fourteen episodes are uncensored. You also get commentary by Dave and co-creator Neal Brennan, extra Dave stand-up, blooper reels and deleted scenes, and lots more. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Noir DVD of the Week: House of Bamboo. The first American film to shoot in Post-World War II Japan, it follows a group of Americans in Japan stealing U.S. military supplies. Robert Ryan is the crime boss, Robert Stack is a newcomer who may not be all that he seems, and director Samuel Fuller is enjoying the newly adopted Cinescope widescreen format…a bunch. In true Fox fashion, they’ve managed to give this film better treatment than you might expect: audio commentary by a pair of film historians, Fox Movietone News sequences, and two trailers. (US)(UK)(CAN)

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