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Headsup: The Martian From Down Under

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure DVD Cover Art
Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Funny We Shrunk The Adults DVD Cover Art

Well, hopefully you were all good citizens and didn’t go see the crazed CG Chipmunks movie. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to everyone, because the damn thing’s made over $350 million worldwide. Now we must all live in fear of a sequel. Let’s just hope Jason Lee got a big honking paycheck from it. Anyway, we much prefer the original Chipmunk Adventure, where our heroes take part in a hot air balloon race around the world. This is actually a two-disc set–disc two is the soundtrack. The only special feature is original artwork from the film. There’s also Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies, which isn’t a feature so much as some movie parody episodes from their cartoon. Neither of these, sadly, comes with a Neil Cicierega audio track. I think you know what I mean. (Click here to buy Chipmunk Adventure from Amazon. Click here to buy …Go to the Movies from Amazon.)

Howard the Duck Umbrella Entertainment Region-Free DVD Cover Art
Super Mario Bros Umbrella Entertainment Region 4 DVD Cover Art
My Favorite Martian: The Complete First Series DVD cover art

Now we’ve got the first time this film has hit DVD in Australia: it’s Howard the Duck. Now I know it’s got a bad reputation, but I thought the film was fun when it was released. You have Chip Zien voicing the titular character, you’ve got a scary young Tim Robbins, you’ve got a Jeffrey Jones who’s serving as the cinematic dad to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Edgar, and you’ve got Lea Thompson. Of course, my affection for this film has nothing to do with the fact that in 1986 I had a huge crush on Lea Thompson. Nothing. Whatsoever. But even that being said (or said and discarded), I’ve never understood why this film has been smacked around like it has. Other than the fact that…well, if you think about it, the concept of Howard is so very odd, how can you sell that as a feature film? Good question. This disc will work in all regions. (Click here to buy it from Umbrella Entertainment.)

All right, I’m not going to do anything to defend this next one: Super Mario Bros. Sure, from an Adverse Video perspective, I’m sure there’s a lot to recommend it. You’ve got Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo doing the best they can with the material, as is Dennis Hopper as the lizard king (from Morrison’s nightmares, I’m sure). Our world could merge with an evil version of Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs. And it’s up to two plumber brothers to stop it. I hear this might have been at least a little bit based on a video game? Nah. Also has Samantha Mathis as the princess. This is a Region 4 release. If you make a drinking game out of it, be our guest. (Click here to buy it from Umbrella Entertainment.)

You might have said to yourself, “Self, I sure wish there was a release of My Favorite Martian that had some worthy special features on it.” I can’t speak for other regions, but the Region 1 release had all of nada on it. Who can save us? Well, Umbrella Entertainment has got an all-region version of The Complete First Series that is downright brilliant when it comes to bonus bits. Not only do you have thirty-seven episodes, uncut and looking better than they ever have–across six discs–but you’ve got an extended edition of the pilot with restored scenes, an interview with Ann Marshall (“Angela Brown”), a stills gallery and “Sir Charles,” a script for a missing first season episode. And Ann Marshall and Peter Greenwood, who’s the archivist for Jack Chertok (producer of the series), are on board for a pilot episode commentary. Nice! Seriously, there are times when it’s worthwhile to internationally order a DVD–and for fans of the series frustrated by the Rhino releases and their lack of oomph, Umbrella will take care of you. (Click here to buy it from Umbrella Entertainment.)