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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 1: Abduction. At first, when I heard that Fox had announced this set, my reaction was two-fold. Number one: ah, yet another re-packaging trying to eek more coin from fans. Number two: well, at least it will be good to go back and watch the series back when, you know, it was coherent enough to warrant a collection as this. Now I think about it, number three would be that it gives a chance for Duchovny to go back on record as saying, “X-Files 2? Sure! Any day now!” Whatever, David. Go back to sleep. Anyway, you get fifteen episodes from the first three seasons, five of which come with new audio commentaries (so much for my first reaction, huh). And a new featurette. This is spread across four discs. (Buy)

DVD of the Week: Sling Blade. This Miramax release gives an excellent treatment to this film, which I found to be simply damn good. Not only is it well acted, by then-unknown also-writer-director Thornton, but Dwight Yoakam of all people was just intense as an abusive ass. The Director’s Cut of the film winds up being twenty-two minutes longer, and comes with an audio commentary by Thornton. There are convos with both Thornton and Robert Duvall, and three featurettes. This is all spread out over two discs. A helluva lot better showing than the previous bare bones release. (Buy)

Docu DVD of the Week: Midnight Blue: The Deep Throat Special Edition. Receiving DVDs through this site, I learn all kinds of stuff that I never knew before. And, you know, most people don’t need to know. But that’s the point of being a pop culture custodian, you find out that there was a late night cable show devoted to the exploration of porn. Here, Blue Underground has mashed together a bunch of the bits this show, Midnight Blue, aired concerning the ground-breaking porn flick, Deep Throat. Interviews with the cast and crew abound, and it’s all uncensored and unrated. So it’s not for the faint of heart. (Buy)

Anime DVD of the Week: Gilgamesh, Vol. 1: Orphans of the Apocalypse. Apparently an act of extreme terror turned the sky into a dome. And no, smartass, it wasn’t Highlander 2–although for a while that was the prime suspect. No, this also wiped out a good portion of the human race, and now years later we pick up with a brother and sister on the run. And of course, because this is dystopian anime, we must have superhuman powers, strange shadowy organizations, and monsters and shit running around. The first five episodes appear on this ADV release, along with production sketches, and clean opening and closing animation. Moody goths will gnaw on this like crazy. (Buy)

Brit DVD of the Week: Benny Hill: The Lost Years. Long before a reference to him on Family Guy confused youngsters across the nation, Benny Hill was making people laugh. This BBC Home Video release contains some of Hill’s stuff, including three episodes. The bonus bits include some extra footage, but the main attraction to Hill fans will be the thirty-four minutes of sketches that are hitting DVD for the first time. Otherwise, the completist may already have this goodness. (Buy)

Family DVD of the Week: The Wind in the Willows: The Complete Second Series. The stop motion goodness, bringing Kenneth Grahame’s world to life, continues in A&E’s two-disc boxed set, which contains all thirteen episodes of the second series. And if you’ve checked out the first TV movie, or the first series, you understand that the quality of animation in here is just amazing. I wasn’t aware of this Brit series until it hit DVD, but I honestly think it kicks the Disney version’s ass. You know, in a gentle English countryside kind of asskicking way. (Buy)