So St. Patrick’s Day was a recent thing and to celebrate the evening, we watched this stand-up DVD from Tommy Tiernan, Something Mental. Beats what Chazz did. Took him forever to get that green out of his hair. Anyway, the set is excellent. Tiernan is an Irish dynamo, and it’s easy to see how he stays so fit, the bastard, jumping and leaping about the stage as he does. Two things strike me about Tiernan’s style. First, he pushes jokes to their limit and then beyond because they come back around and are funny again. Second, he gets this amused look on his face because he’s enjoying himself–he knows what he’s up to and that it’s working. There are stories of him coming home from school to his psycho mother, his philosophy of drinking, and a terrifying but hilarious incident where he tried giving and receiving sex that involved the arse. There’s a CD version of this too, and it’s out from Image Entertainment. Should you buy it? If you’re a fan, sure. But otherwise, at least rent it. (Click here to buy the DVD from Amazon.)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone seem to be making a renewed assault on the hearts and minds of the world these days. They just released their new online vid jukebox of South Park episodes, SouthParkStudios.com, and I think…what, isn’t the show renewed through 2047 or something? Anyway, lest it be lost in the shuffle, we bring to your attention the madness that is Imaginationland, available from Paramount and Comedy Central in an uncensored director’s cut edition. The gist is that there is a place called Imaginationland, and basically everything we’ve conjured up from our imaginations is there, good and bad. But terrorists are mucking about with the scenery and cause our collective imaginations to go batshit crazy. This was originally three episodes, now cut together and complete with some storyboards, commentary by Trey and Matt (which is a massive amount of commentary for the two of them) and two bonus episodes. South Park fans will want to at least give it a rental for the commentary, even if they caught the episodes (or watched them online on the new site, natch). Completists will want to own. (Click here to buy the DVD from Amazon.)
No Country For Old Men took away two Chazzies (one for Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor and one for the Brothers Coen for their screenplay adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book). I’m sure that’s going to be the deciding factor that will cause a special edition of this film to hit DVD, probably late this year. Yup. That would be the exact reason. However, we shouldn’t ignore this release from Miramax and Paramount Vantage. Not in the least. Because the film is pretty badass, friends. Not only is Bardem the best on screen psycho since Hannibal Lecter, but Josh Brolin is superb. And Tommy Lee Jones takes a role that he could have done in his sleep and made it a masterwork–I mean, honestly, like the man ever does subpar work. (
Batman and Robin Batman Forever never actually happened, so don’t even bring that up.) If you haven’t seen it, you should: but be aware that because it’s based on something by McCarthy, it’s not what we would call a gentle film. In fact, there’s very little in the way of bad stuff that happens on screen, and that’s what gives it so much impact. I’m looking at you, Burton and Del Toro. Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and tell you to rent it unless you just can’t wait for the inevitable better version. This comes with three featurettes. Whatever you do, just see it. (Click here to buy the DVD from Amazon.)
Update: Sensaes is absolutely right to call me out on that. Jones was Two-Face in the third Batman movie, not the fourth. It’s just that the interpretation forced on him by Schumacher was so bad that it lingered into the fourth film. Yup, that’s the ticket.
Then we have Atonement, starring James McAvoy, who seems to be everywhere these days, along with Chazzie nominee Keira Knightley, who isn’t doing so badly herself. The film itself was up for three Chazzies, so you know you need to see it–just trust us. Especially if you appreciate big epic romances–and here’s a bonus–at just over two hours, it manages to do so without a lot of sprawl. In that compact amount of time, you get the story of a young couple whose chance at getting to know each other better gets completely screwed over by a very, very confused, very young girl. Needcoffee faves Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Blethyn are also on hand. The Universal DVD coems with a commentary from director Joe Wright, deleted scenes, a making-of, and a featurette on the adaptation of the novel. If you’re a fan of the film and want to snag the DVD, you could do a lot worse than grabbing it now. If it had won more Oscars apart from Best Original Score, you would have had a two-disc set on your hands before the end of the year for certain. Still, with the amount of awards it did rack up, plus the Oscar noms, I’m certain there’s a specialer edition coming…but if it’s not this year it might be a ways off. (Click here to buy the DVD from Amazon.)
August Rush is a musical fantasy tale about a young boy who’s a musical prodigy and wanders off in search of…well, parents, destiny, music, and Robin Williams as an odd take on Fagin. I think some people with a sentimental view of the musical process (or people who really are good enough to just sneeze music like you or I hit a light switch) will probably dig it, but it would take the right frame of mind, suspension of disbelief and a manic belief in the power of music. So. Take that for whatever it’s worth. This Warner Brothers release comes in a bare bones edition with just some additional scenes. Still, I’ve also liked Freddie Highmore, and I’m glad he’s got a check. (Click here to buy the DVD from Amazon.)
And one last one here: the new Live 1969 album from Simon & Garfunkel. To put this in context, this is from shows on their…well, 1969 tour obviously…but their last tour together for a while. There was supposed to be a live album released to be the album to follow Bridge Over Troubled Water, but since they broke up…well, that never happened. But 1969/1970’s loss is your gain. An hour of goodness here–seventeen tracks on this release from Sony Legacy. You get all the songs you would want from such an album, like “Homeward Bound,” “Sound of Silence,” and one I have a personal attachment to: “Mrs. Robinson.” An excellent release from the vaults and fans will want to snag it. Now bear in mind this is a Starbucks exclusive release for the moment–it won’t be released to stores that don’t sell coffee and overpriced wifi until much later in the year.
Nobody is likely to bring up Batman and Robin – at least in the context of Tommy Lee Jones.
He wasn’t in it.
(He played Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman Forever.)