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Headsup: Big Boxes of Adult Swim, Kevin Smith & John Denver

There’s a lot of stuff that comes out each week. We’re here to run it down for you and help you decide what’s worth buying. Because somebody had to, right?

Adult Swim in a Box DVD cover art
Kevin Smith 3-Movie Collection Blu-Ray cover art
Monty Python: Almost the Truth Blu-Ray cover art

Adult Swim in a Box. At first glance, this set seems like a total no-brainer. Season sets from six Adult Swim shows plus a bonus disc of never-before-seen pilots? Brilliant. Then on second glance, you see that we’re not talking a true Adult Swim primer, i.e. first season sets from everybody. We’re talking the second seasons of Sealab 2021 and Robot Chicken, the third season of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, and the second volume of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The only first seasons in here are Metalocalypse and Moral Orel. So what was the perfect gift and primer for a sick individual you know could use some Adult Swim is now…suspect. It seems like they’re just trying to unload some inventory, frankly. But the Adult Swim hardcore…should they buy it? Since, after all, they’re the ones that will be drawn the most to the pilots on here: The Best of Totally For Teens, Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge, Korgoth of Barbaria, Perfect Hair Forever and Evan Dorkin‘s Welcome to Eltingville. And that coupled with the price point–it’s $47.99 on Amazon as I type this–it becomes a two-pronged conditional recommendation. If you don’t own the sets involved and want them, you’d be crazy not to snag this, because once you’ve bought two of the sets individually, you’ve paid for the Box. And if you’re an Adult Swim fanatic and want the pilots on DVD, well, this is where you can find them. Click here to buy it from Amazon.

[ad#rightpost]Kevin Smith 3-Movie Collection. Streets this coming week and has Clerks, Chasing Amy and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back hitting Blu-Ray for the first time. First things first: all three films are available individually on Blu-Ray, but you’re basically getting three for the price of two by buying them in this set. If you just want one, by all means, snag them individually (list here) but I’ve got a feeling this works best for most Smith fans. Although do bear in mind that Jay & Silent Bob was previously available on Blu-Ray–it’s the first two films that are making their debut. As to features, you do have a bit of a crapload, the majority you’ve seen before–although the new ones aren’t without merit.

Starting with Clerks, there’s both the theatrical and the “first cut” versions of the film, each with their own commentary. The theatrical version comes with a trivia track. There’s the animated version of “The Lost Scenes,” the “Flying Car” short (from The Tonight Show), a restoration featurette, the original auditions, “Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks” and outtakes from the same, “Mae Day: The Crumbling Of A Documentary” with introduction, the 10th Anniversary Q&A, MTV Spots, and more. The new bits are an intro by Smith and “Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party: The Making of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.”

With Chasing Amy, you get new stuff: a new commentary from Smith and Scott Mosier rather than the scene-specific one from the previously released (and still available) Criterion edition, a docu, a convo with Smith and Joey Lauren Adams, and a Q&A with Smith and the cast for the 10th anniversary. There’s also the obligatory deleted scenes and outtakes.

It’s on Jay & Silent Bob that you have just an audio commentary. So if you want Smith on Blu-Ray, this is your best bet–the only thing to bear in mind is that Jay & Silent Bob will no doubt have a Blu-Ray special edition at some point, incorporating the bonus bits from its more packed DVD release. Yes, I know…it’s not easy to decide, but that’s the downside of being an adult. Click here to buy the set from Amazon.

Monty Python: Almost the Truth: The Lawyer’s Cut. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Eagle Rock Entertainment, it’s a Python special (for their 40th birthday) that I’m going to go ahead and recommend for any fan. Period. So goodbye.

Oh hell, you want me to back that up. Well, fine. You get all six episodes of the series that looks at the series. It also has a number of Python sketches that I previously stated were exclusive to hi-def to this set on Blu-Ray (since the series hasn’t been remastered and re-released yet). And then beyond the regular outtakes, you’ve got a slew of extended interview footage with each of the Pythons. Now, it’s available on both formats, but with only $4 difference between the two on Amazon, I would say if you’ve got Blu-Ray capability, you’d be nuts not to go ahead and pay the few more bucks. Oh, certainly, there will be more stuff ten years from now, but for now, if you only add one title to your Python collection in celebration of the 40th anniversary, this is the one. Click here to snag it on Blu-Ray; click here to snag it on DVD.

I Love You, Beth Cooper DVD cover art
I Love You, Beth Cooper Blu-Ray cover art

I Love You, Beth Cooper was Chris Columbus‘ layover in comedy-land (after leaving musical-land with Rent) in-between his big budget kids’ film stints with Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief. And it underperformed at the box office, especially considering the inclusion of Heroes darling Hayden Panettiere. She’s the head cheerleader that Paul Rust’s character declares his love for as part of his valedictorian speech. But that didn’t draw out audiences, who were no doubt waiting for home video. Well, it’s out on both DVD and Blu-Ray from Fox, and both editions have an alternate ending, deleted scenes, a featurette on the source material with author Larry Doyle, a making-of docu, and more. Most people are going to be fine with a rental or a Netflix on this one if they wish to see it at all, but if you must own, let your capability be your guide. If you have Blu-Ray capability, it’s only $4 extra. So there you have it. Click here to snag it on DVD; click here to snag it on Blu-Ray.

Rome: The Complete Series DVD cover art
John Denver: Around the World Live DVD cover art
John Denver: Rocky Mountain High: Live in Japan DVD cover art

Rome: The Complete Series hits DVD this coming week with all twenty-two episodes across eleven discs. And because this is out from HBO, that’s an hour an episode, so you do the math. This is both seasons of the aborted series (which brought much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth at the time it occurred) and although I don’t have each of the single season sets here to compare them to, it appears there’s nothing exclusive to this set. The main reason to buy this–if you don’t already have the individual season sets–is, well, the whole thing in one box, since the complete set is pretty much the same price as the two sets combined: $64.99 on Amazon as I type this. But there’s a great deal of content here besides just the episodes: thirteen audio commentaries on various episodes, four historical featurettes, five making-of docus and more. Whether or not you want this on your shelf depends on how big a fan you are of the series itself along with your feeling of historical epics. But HBO has made the set worth owning, certainly. Click here to snag it from Amazon.

Some people might ask: John Denver, Widge? Seriously? Seriously. Say what you want, but he was a close personal friend of The Muppets, and that makes him aces in my book, buddy. Eagle Rock has put out a crapload of live Denver content. First up, the five-disc monster that is Around the World Live. The title basically explains what this is pretty succinctly: live bits from 1977 to 1990, with stops in Australia, Japan, England, as well as his Farm Aid performances. It’s ninety-seven live tracks of Denver’s music for close to nine hours of goodness. That’s a haul, friends. And the boxed set is definitely the way to go, since Rocky Mountain High: Live in Japan is a single disc of material from the overall big five-disc set…but the other material isn’t available elsewhere, from what I can tell. Oh, and did I mention there’s extra stuff on the big set as well? Denver’s 1990 Earth Day program is here as well as a 1972 show regarding bighorn sheep. If you or someone you love is a serious Denver fan, then the Around the World set is a must-own. Click here to snag Around the World; click here to snag Rocky Mountain High.

Some of you might be wondering: did Widge just talk about the bloody series of Rome right next to some John Denver releases? Yes. Because he takes his amusements wherever he can.