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The Week in Stuff: June 22, 2010 – Tom & Jerry & Judy & Vince & Aang

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Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Complete Book 1 Collector's Edition DVD Cover Art
Tom & Jerry Deluxe Anniversary Collection DVD Cover Art

[ad#longpost]Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender is out in a new “Complete Book 1 Collector’s Edition,” which is a long title to have to type out. And we know this, because we just did it. Anyway, first things first–and maybe it’s a nit–but the set is designed to look like a hardback book, which is nice. Eventually, Paramount and Nickelodeon hope you’ll have a string of these on your shelf and the book look is a good one. However, while the covers are nice and sturdy the spine is not so much, and mine got creased. I’m not so protective of my cases, but if you’re going for the hardback book collection look, nothing cries bogus louder than a crease in the box. This is all of Book 1: Water across seven discs and trumps the previous collection because we get a new disc of extras and an art book. But that’s the only bonus over the previous set, which had primarily audio commentaries plus featurettes. The new disc of extra bits here is a fairly short retrospective piece on the series. Now, if you already own the previous Book 1 set, I don’t see a reason to double dip. If you haven’t bought it previously but want to, then it makes sense to grab this one. As I type this, they’re virtually the same price. And if you don’t know what all the fuss is about, I won’t say rent it to try it–since Nicktoons is playing episodes all the time. Hmm, wonder why. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

There are two kinds of animation collections. There’s the kind that’s for kids and for people who just like a particular character. And then there’s the kind for serious enthusiasts. Walt Disney Treasures falls into the latter as well as the Looney Tunes Golden sets. But the Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection looks like one and acts like another. Neither fish nor fowl. On one hand, it has a disc of classic shorts, plus an additional disc of shorts, sampling the duo through the ages and up until the present day. So if you’re grading this on the “smattering of Tom & Jerry through the ages” curve, I guess it holds up. But all the classic shorts previously appeared on the Spotlight Collections, and a number of the more modern ones have as well. So there’s first little that’s new. There’s also a retrospective of the characters. The problem I think comes from the fact that this feels like a Greatest Hits reissue from EMI when it’s trying to be a set for the serious collector. If you’re a casual fan and want to get a set that you can just dip into from time to time, this might work. It’s only about $20 as I write this. If you want the whole enchilada, though, grab the three Spotlight collections and the Chuck Jones set for just about twice the price. (Tip: just use this link and buy Tom & Jerry stuff–but buying the three Spotlights together is more expensive than getting them individually–no idea why.) (Or click here to buy the Anniversary Collection from Amazon.)

Entourage Season 6 DVD Cover Art
A Star is Born Blu-ray Cover Art

The sixth season of Entourage is out on DVD from HBO. All twelve episodes are here across three discs. In addition to the episodes, there’s a making-of featurette, a behind-the-scenes featurette spent racing Ferraris, a PSA directed by Matt Damon and three audio commentaries. On one hand, the price point isn’t bad for this: as I write this, it’s $22.99 on Amazon, which means you’re looking at less than $2 an episode, which for a cable series is not terrible. On the other hand, if you’re looking at just rewatching these but not owning them, they appear to be playing on various flavors of HBO at all hours of the day and night. It comes down to what it usually does with a television show: if you’re a fan and want to own it, snag it. If your relationship with the show is more casual, catch it or TiVo it. Or if you just want to sample the features, give it a rental. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

A Star is Born starring Judy Garland and James Rommel the Desert Mason hits Blu-Ray from Warner Brothers in a fairly snazzy collection. The first thing you’ve got is the hi-def movie on the first disc, looking better than it ever has and is the as-restored-as-its-gonna get version considering it got chopped up by the studio previously. Second disc is a regular DVD with all your bonus bits. These include deleted scenes and alternate takes, newsreels, promotional shorts, the Looney Tunes short “A Star is Bored,” a television special, and a crapload of audio. You don’t get the original maimed cut, which is good for completists. And I’m a bit startled we don’t have an audio commentary. They couldn’t find some historian to take us through the film? Weird. Anyway, this also comes with a book containing photos and a history of the film. If you’re a Judy Garland fan or love the film, then this is a no-brainer. The previous DVD release was pretty packed for a Warner Brothers title, but a great deal of the extra bits, including the audio–appear to be new to this release. This is from what I have been able to glean, as I don’t have the previous release to compare to in the flesh (as it were). It looks great, the price point is not outrageous, and provides decent features. There could always be more, but until they remake it again, this is the best we’re going to have. (Click here to buy it from Amazon. It’s also available on demand from Amazon.)


  • The big problem I found with the Tom and Jerry collection I have is that they redubbed Mammy and really badly, which ruined every cartoon she was in. Is it the same in this one?

  • From what I’ve read, I believe the problems from the previous, uncorrected collections are carried over here. I say “From what I’ve read,” because I’m no tomandjerryologist.