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Headsup: The Baron, The Caballeros, and That Guy With the Whip

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.

All You Need is Love DVD cover art
Endgame, 1945 book cover art
Classic Caballeros Collection: Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros DVD Cover Art

All You Need is Love is a massive, seventeen episode, nearly fifteen hour exploration of popular music. Not just a time capsule of when it first aired in the late 70s, it ended there just because that was the present. It takes you through popular music’s roots back to jazz, vaudeville, folk music and works its way up. Creator/director/editor Tony Palmer interviewed veritable truckloads of major music stars and legends of the day in order to map out as much as he could of how music got to where it was. It’s never hit DVD before and Music Video Distributors is handling it here stateside. It’s all-region so no matter what pond you’re on one side or the other of, you can snag this and be content. It is truly massive and truly a documentary that any lover of music is going to want to have in their collection. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)

Endgame, 1945 by David Stafford is the “rest of the story” when it comes to World War II as it was waged in Europe. The book talks about the war right before and right after VE Day and how the infernal engines finally ground to a halt. You had Hitler’s suicide, you had the various armies racing to Berlin, you had the camps being liberated…utter chaos. And then what came next? VE Day is just a blip on the radar of the mayhem. Stafford takes you through it at the personal level of people “on the ground” as well as higher levels up so you can get the full tale. World War II buffs owe it to themselves to check this out. It’s out from Little Brown. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)

The Classic Caballeros Collection brings together Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros on one disc with a bit less to offer than when they were available separately. You do get both features, plus a half-hour “Backstage Disney” segment, an except with an interview with Walt Disney, and a couple of bonus shorts. Sadly, Saludos still has the cigarette edited out of it. Which might not sound like a big deal, but it’s just annoying. I would much rather they put this out as a Walt Disney Treasure release so they can “get away” with showing the unedited film. It seems sort of…well, goofy to think that a short sequence of Goofy smoking a cigarette is going to turn kids into lifers. But whatever. If you didn’t catch these the last time they were released and want them, you will feel no shame. If you already own them, you’re covered. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Blu-Ray DVD cover art
African American Lives 2 DVD cover art
The Indiana Jones Adventure Collection DVD cover art

[ad#longpost]Yes, so, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is one of those flicks that I would definitely want in my hi-def collection. Partly because I’m a sucker for fantasy films just in general, and partly because I just love this…it’s unbridled Gilliam at his maddest. So I can’t help myself. And I’d be snagging this if it were bare bones, frankly. But luckily I don’t have to, because Sony/Columbia has got this with bonus bits. Commentary with Gilliam and his co-conspirator Charles McKeown, a three-part making of docu, storyboard sequences with vocals by Gilliam and McKeown, deleted scenes and the Blu-Ray exclusive bit: an enchanced graphics and trivia track. If you haven’t seen this, then you’re mental. And if you have the capacity to play Blu-Ray goodness, then you should snag this. Well worth it. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)

African American Lives 2 is another trip through history in order to unravel the genealogy of yet another Who’s Who of African American celebs, including Don Cheadle, Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, and Tina Turner. This is done by genetic analysis, so that they can pinpoint where the participants’ ancestors came from. It’s hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr and goes back from the 20th Century to early America. In addition to the folks listed above, Kathleen Henderson was chosen from among a series of applicants (read: non-celebs) to get included. Interesting stuff, it makes me wish we’d get some Who Do You Think You Are? action on this side of the pond. All four episodes are here from PBS Video. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)

Okay, so I hear there’s another Indiana Jones movie coming out. You might have heard some rumors about this too. I knew that Paramount would be smacking out another boxed set, but I wasn’t expecting it until after the fourth film, frankly. Yes, I was naive. What’s odd is that this boxed set I have here, Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection, has a “First Time Available” sticker on the front. The only thing I can figure is that it also says “First Time Available – Special Editions” along the bottom. So, yes, these special editions are available for the first time. But the films were released in…Jesus, almost five years ago? Sorry for the shock there. Anyway, yes, that was a four disc set. And that bonus disc which had a feature-length making-of docu…well, forget it. It’s tossed. None of that is here. (Although you can still snag it on Amazon so I guess it’s not out of print yet.) You do get some other bonus bits, but they’re a bit scattered and less meaty than the previous release. The new features they have are intros by Spielberg and Lucas, a featurette on the lovely melting face (which you can use to explain things to your three-your-old), storyboards different sequences, featurettes on Indy’s lady loves and various allies and enemies, and of course, promo stuff for the fourth film. The completist will want these–but bear in mind, you’ve probably got a four-movie boxed set coming (maybe for Christmas?) and then Blu-Ray to follow hard upon. (Click here to order it from Amazon.)