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Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: Roseanne: The Complete First Season. I’m not a big fan of Roseanne. I’ve never seen her on her own being, you know, funny. So I avoided this show like the plague when it originally aired. That shows you how much I’m not a fan of the woman, since we all know John Goodman is a genius. But hey, I’ve actually seen a few episodes now that Anchor Bay has released these first season’s worth of twenty-three episodes, and I’ll be damned if the thing isn’t actually pretty good. Who knew? You also get bloopers, interviews with Roseanne and Goodman, a highlight reel, and other tidbits. (Buy it)

DVD of the Week: Batman Begins. Sure I was scared in the months leading up to this film. After Burton and Schumacher (especially Schumacher), who wouldn’t be? But director Nolan along with an incredible cast and–thank God–an excellent script laid my fears to rest nicely. And now, Warner Brothers has kicked your direction a massive two-disc deluxe edition. No commentary, but there’s featurettes and docus out the yin yang, covering the making of, the casting, the creation of the new Batmobile, the sets, the effects and more. Comes with a comic book that has the origins of the character and the film for those three of you who haven’t read such tales. A worthy set to a very worthy spandex film. (Buy it)

Docu DVD of the Week: Mary Pickford. This actress was a very busy lady. If you check out her IMDB entry, she’s got almost 250 films to her name as an actress. She also produced and wrote a bit as well. Not bad for a career that lasted thirty-four years. That’s obviously a lot of ground to cover, but this PBS release does just that, giving you a nice overview in just ninety minutes. (Buy it)

Anime DVD of the Week: Melody of Oblivion, Vol. 2: Monotone. A world where the Monsters kicked humanity’s ass years ago is the setting for this Geneon release, containing the next run of episodes. Here, our new warrior Bocca continues on his travels, allowing us to see more of the world as it looks under complete Monster control and encountering Monster spies and mechanical mice. Comes with clean closing animation. (Buy it)

Animation DVD of the Week: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Season 1, Vol. 1. BCI Eclipse makes some fans of the 80s very, very happy with this release of the first thirty-three episodes of the series on DVD. These are across six discs, and–thankfully–they’re not bare bones. You get two docus, one episode comes with a full-length storyboard, deleted scenes and art cards by badass artists Alex Ross and Bill Siekiewicz. Now if we just had an option to ditch Orko. Oh well. (Buy it)

Boxed Set of the Week: The Coen Brothers Collection. For those needing to grab a bunch of Coen at once, Universal invites you to be their guest. Here you get Blood Simple, Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn’t There, plus the new special edition of Big Lebowski. This new edition comes with a new introduction, a slideshow of photography by Jeff Bridges, a making-of featurette and production notes. All the other films are their previously released versions, though nothing new there. Wake me when the Criterion Collection Raising Arizona hits. (Buy it)

Brit DVD of the Week: Ripping Yarns. This followup to Flying Circus by Michael Palin and Terry Jones is getting a great treatment from Acorn Media. Not only do you get all nine episodes spread across two discs, but there’s also Palin/Jones commentaries on all of them plus an audio option to turn off the laugh track (brilliant). These odd tales of derring-do out of some sboolboy adventure book also comes with a deleted scene, photo gallery, the original scripts on DVD-ROM and more. (Buy it)

Family DVD of the Week: The Adventures of Ociee Nash. Fox brings this film to DVD, and young girls will probably enjoy it though adults will probably want to run away, lest its saccharine nature destroy their molars. But still, it’s an adventure of a young girl growing up at the end of the 19th Century who gets sent to live with her prim and proper aunt after a life of being a free spirit in rural Mississippi. Along the way there’s plenty of hijinks and convenient appearances of historical figures of the time. (Buy it)

Adverse Video of the Week: The Prophecy: Forsaken. This blows my mind. I remember seeing the original film in the cinema and thinking that it was a nifty little horror flick that had Chris Walken being creepier than he had been in some time. It was a lot of fun. I had no idea that it would soon into a direct to video franchise engine. But here it is with its fifth–fifth–installment. Which sets up the sixth. And all we can say is that we’re glad folks like Jason Scott Lee, Doug Bradley and Tony Todd are getting work. This comes with an audio commentary with the director and crew, so if you’re looking for something to MST3K this next weekend, be our guest. (Buy it)

Cult DVD of the Week: The Warriors. Freaky gang warfare in a weird parallel universe New York where the hoodlums do such whacky things as running around in makeup with baseball uniforms for a theme. But hey, this is Walter Hill, and while this film doesn’t crank my tractor as much as his guilty pleasure epic, Streets of Fire, it’s big fun all the same. This Paramount release comes with a four-part documentary, along with interviews with the likes of Hill and star Michael Beck, plus many others. Good silly fun. With baseball bats. (Buy it)