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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

DVD of the Week: Cinderella. One thing we can always count on from Disney is that their classic films get kickass DVD releases. Granted, they normally include sneak peeks of unnecessary animated sequels–something else we can always count on Disney for–but so be it. This classic comes with a crapload of features in addition to the restored film which looks positively amazing: you get a docu with deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, deleted songs, a spotlight on the Nine Old Men along with Mary Blair, the usual slew of art galleries and much, much more. Definitely worth picking up. (Buy it)

TV DVD of the Week: Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour. Chazzie award winners Penn & Teller simply rock. And we can never get enough of them. That’s why we were pleased as hell to see the announcement that Acorn Media was releasing this show they did for Canada’s CBC, in which they travel all over the world to perform their usual brand of zany irreverent magic. And, joy, there’s bonus footage as well. Nice. (Buy it)

Anime DVD of the Week: Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek. Playing hide and seek in Tokyo? Bad idea. Our hero, Hikora, is doing so, but he’s just doing it to try and find his sister, who disappeared after she chose to play the game. The film is only twenty-five minutes long, so he’s either going to find his sister or find something else he wish he hadn’t…or both. This Central Park Media release comes with interviews with the creators, galleries, and a making-of with commentary. Cree-py. (Buy it)

Animation DVD of the Week: Ziggy’s Gift. Yes, another Xmas animated DVD, but a quality one. Ziggy creator Tom Wilson wrote this and it’s got songs from Nilsson, so what more do you need to know? It’s a story about kindness and honesty but it won’t give you a reaction to too much saccarhine. This BFS release comes with bonus animated shorts, info on creator Wilson, some comic strips and more. (Buy it)

Boxed Set of the Week: WWII 60th Anniversary Collection. This collection comes with four war movies for your weekend viewing pleasure: The Guns of Navarone, From Here to Eternity, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. If that’s not enough, the Columbia-Tristar release has a collectible movie scrapbook, plus a bit from the History Channel: “Weapons of War: The Fighting Leathernecks of WWII.” The bonus features are the same as the individual releases…but if you don’t have those, dig in. (Buy it)

Family DVD of the Week: Robots. While you’re waiting for the next Pixar film or if you just need something to put a buffer between your kids’ 67th and 68th viewings of The Incredibles, this Fox release will suffice. The CG looks good enough to entertain the little ones, but the story will leave you wanting–so be prepared. The features are extensive, however, with two commentaries, a new animated short, a behind the scenes featurette on Ice Age 2, deleted scenes with commentary, the original short, and a slew more. (Buy it)

Horror DVD of the Week: Season of the Witch. The video is shoddy in this Anchor Bay release that features not only a film that people forget about when talking about Romero (I mean, they bring up The Crazies more often than this), but a film that I hadn’t even freaking heard of: There’s Always Vanilla. Wild. This comes with two featurettes plus a retrospective of Romero’s work. Romero completists should at least rent it to see the film, but hold out for better quality video. (Buy it)

Fu DVD of the Week: Unleashed. This film feels a lot like Romeo Must Die–some decent kick with too much story and characters cluttering up the thing. Still, the novelty of seeing Morgan Freeman in a Jet Li film is probably enough to drive you to this. This Universal release comes with a fight featurette, a behind the scenes featurette, an interview with the director and some music videos. Jason Statham is the new Lord of Kicksplode. (Buy it)

Yakuza DVD of the Week: Sex & Fury. Welcome to Tokyo, where a lady by the name of Ocho has run across the men who killed her father. Now she’s a target for death by the yakuza and there’s going to be–because this has yakuza in it–lots and lots of blades flashing around and slicing people before it’s all over with. Panik House has really laid the smackdown with this release, since it comes with an audio commentary by Chris D, one of those Japanese film expert types, bios, production notes, and more. (Buy it)

Musical DVD of the Week: Anything Goes. Don’t be confused as I was. I was expecting the stage musical, but this is an odd reworking that has some songs, the title and that’s about it. They even added some songs that aren’t by Cole Porter…weird. Basically Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor are set to star with a single female actress in a show, but they each find the perfect woman to fill the role. And, of course, hijinks–of the singing kind–ensue. No features. (Buy it)

Music DVD of the Week: Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling. Okay, Live 8 in general–take it or leave it. But this is the show I would have wanted to be there for. Peter Gabriel and his crew from Real World (and WOMAD…which never tours the U.S. anymore…*sniff*) are the focus in this Rhino release. Around for the festivities are Geoffrey Oryema, Youssou N’Dour, Ayub Ogada, and a slew of others. Positively badass. If world music is your thing, and it should be, then you need to check this out. Comes with a docu. (Buy it)

Foreign DVD of the Week: Bad Luck. Poland was a pretty volatile place from the 30s through the 50s. Though Jan, our hero, wouldn’t really know for certain. He was there, of course, but he was a little preoccupied. Now he’s set to be released from prison and he has no intention of going back to the outside world. The comedy of his life story hits DVD from Facets Video and comes with just a bio of the director, Andrzej Munk. (Buy it)

Docu DVD of the Week: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. I’ll be amazed if you haven’t heard of this one by now. Three young boys are found dead in a ditch. Three older boys, who are considered outsiders and misfits in the community (it’s West Memphis, Arkansas), are charged and convicted of the crime. But did they do it? This Docurama release shows you the whole tale and it’s a helluva story. It actually shows you the whole tale and then some since there’s forty-five minutes of extra footage as a bonus bit, along with a timeline, updates, and more. (Buy it)