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Headsup: Jones, Langella and Sinatra

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

One Foot in the Grave Season 3 DVD Cover Art
One Foot in the Grave Season 4 DVD Cover Art
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives DVD Cover Art

The classic Brit comedy One Foot in the Grave hits with two more series from BBC Home Video. Richard Wilson plays Victor Meldrew, a pensioner who has got so much bad luck in his life that Murphy just lets Victor call him “Mur.” Annette Crosbie plays his long-suffering wife and Angus Deayton, formerly of Have I Got News For You? is in the cast as well. Six issues come on each two-disc set and there’s decent features for a Region 1 BBC release: the third season comes with the 1991 Christmas Special, “The Man in the Long Black Coat,” and the fourth season comes with the 1993 Christmas Special, “One Foot in the Algarve.” Each set also comes with a commentary on one episode from creator David Renwick and actor Wilson. (Click here to buy Series 3 and click here to buy Series 4, both from Amazon.)

If Terry Jones was teaching history classes, then our students would be in a lot better shape. I’ve long complained that history classes make it seem like all of history as boring as a dog turd. And Jones is an excellent presenter, balancing the humor with the “damn, I didn’t know that–that’s cool” factor. With Medieval Lives, Jones fixes his spotlight on medieval times and tries to cut through all of the unsubstantiated stories we’re all familiar with and get back to what it was actually like. It hits Region 1 from BBC Home Video with all eight episodes across two discs. It also comes with a bonus bit concerning gladiators in case, you know, you like movies about gladiators. History buffs and Python buffs alike should check it out. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Starting Out in the Evening DVD cover art
Frank Sinatra: The Golden Years
P.S. I Love You Blu-Ray cover art

[ad#longpost]Hmm. Let’s see. How to get Widge’s attention with a film? What if we have a film about a novelist in his twilight years trying desperately to finish what could very well be his last novel (after taking ten years to get it this far)? What if we cast Frank Langella as said novelist? Done. Langella is somebody I’ll watch in just about anything. So Starting Out in the Evening has got my vote from the get-go. Sure, there’s the graduate student played by Lauren Ambrose who wants to write a thesis about him and also Lily Taylor and Adrian Lester are on hand as well. But I’m in. This is out from Lionsgate, and comes with a director’s commentary. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The new Frank Sinatra: The Golden Years collection comes with five films on as many discs: The Man With the Golden Arm, Marriage on the Rocks, None But the Brave, Some Came Running and The Tender Trap. On first glance, this seems like a sweet deal: it’s $6 a film based on the price I’m seeing on Amazon right now. And the stars that appear in these films with Sinatra–Kim Novak, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds–seems like a classic movie bonanza, right? Well, maybe. The biggest film in here, Golden Arm, has only a new featurette, when previous versions have had at least a commentary. So if you’re a Sinatra fan, you’re basically buying this for the other four films–from what I can tell, this is their first time to hit Region 1. The only other bonus bits are featurettes on Trap and Running. But as I stated, $6 a film. You must decide. This is out from Warner Brothers. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

I hesitate to use the term “chick flick.” Even though I’m the proud owner of a penis, I still feel they are films that supposedly will only appeal to women that click with me. That being said, perhaps it’s because I’m a guy or because I’ve seen a few too many horror films that “romantic comedy” is not the genre I’d expect to find “Dead husband sends his wife a year’s worth of letters.” That being said, a lot of people, perhaps primarily female, will enjoy P.S. I Love You just for the sheer romantic tearjerkiness of it all. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then that’s fine. But just know what you’re getting in for. We’ve got here the Blu-Ray edition of this Warner Brothers release. You’ve got additional scenes, a convo with the author of the novel that the film is based on, and more. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

1 comment

  • I was just watching the Father Ted episode, where Richard Wilson makes a cameo, earlier today!

    “I don’t believe it!”