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The Week in Stuff: August 3, 2010 – The Devil, The King and Death

There are a lot of things out there you can buy. We try to give you the information you need to make an educated purchasing decision. Because we have no lives. If you find the info here to be of use, do us a favor and purchase stuff from Amazon through us. Especially if you were going to buy the stuff anyway. That gives us kickbacks, which help pay for things. Like the server. And coffee. And therapy. Thanks.

SGU Season 1.5 Blu-ray Cover Art
Elvis on Tour Blu-Ray
After.Life Blu-ray Cover Art

[ad#longpost]The second half of Stargate Universe, Season 1.5, is out on Blu-Ray from MGM. Ten episodes across three Blu-Ray discs. It comes with a “chatting with the cast” featurette, video diaries, an alien design featurette, and commentary on each episode. Plus the Blu-Ray exclusive game. The only other item that could be considered Blu-Ray exclusive is a $10 coupon that’s good towards an SG-1 or SG-Atlantis boxed set. So that shows you where this is aimed: fans. No surprise there, especially given the stacking of features. Although I’m thinking if you like this series enough to buy it on Blu-Ray, you probably already own the previous series. But that’s just a guess. But I’m assuming the $10 coupon is to make you feel better about spending $12 over and above the DVD price–but again, I only received the Blu-Ray so maybe the DVD comes with its own coupon. But like I said: fans. Right now the series has half of these episodes on Hulu but elsewhere: no sign I could tell. So buying would be your only way to catch them–and fans will know whether or not hi-def is worth the extra cash. (Click here to snag it from Amazon.)

Elvis on Tour on Blu-Ray is a great way to experience that man Doing His Thing. And he was quite good at doing it. The concert film also takes you behind the scenes while on the road and gives some time talking with the man and also dealing with his film career (this was his last film). The release from Warner Brothers doesn’t have much in the way of features because the Elvis fan is going to want to check out a live concert in 5.1 and hi-def. And that’s pretty much the bottom line–if that’s what you’re looking for and want the ability to rewatch, then this is the ticket. The face that it comes with a forty page book doesn’t hurt matters, but that’s not what you came for. Now, again, you’re looking at a $13 difference between hi-def and DVD, but it is a concert experience you’re going for. (Click here to snag it from Amazon; or here from On Demand; or here from iTunes.)

After.Life surprised me because what seemed to be a direct-to-video horror flick starred Christina Ricci, Justin Long and…Liam Neeson? But later I learned it had had a limited release before hitting home video. The premise is Christina Ricci is not only barely dressed but dead. Maybe. And Liam Neeson plays your friendly neighborhood funeral director who claims to be able to talk to her dead self. Maybe. This will tap the interest of fans of horror, Ricci and Neeson. Neeson especially since this is his first entry into the genre since 1999’s The Haunting, which was horrific just because it was made. Features include a making-of featurette and a commentary with co-scribe/director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, whose name is fun to type. Definitely a rental for the curious. (Click here to snag it from Amazon.)

La Corda d'Oro Primo Passo Collection 2 DVD Cover Art
The Dungeon Masters DVD Cover Art

The second collection of La Corda D’Oro: Primo Passo is out from Sentai Filmworks. What’s the problem with getting a magical violin from a fairy? Better than getting it from Nicolò Bussotti, but yes: Hino can’t play a lick until she gets the enchanted fiddle and then winds up in a competition. And then winds up having to deal with the people in said competition. This is based on the game series. The set is thirteen episodes across two DVDs and features the standard bonus bit of clean opening and closing animation. The set goes for $36.99 as I type this and that’s less than $3 an episode. It doesn’t appear to be airing anywhere stateside, so the fan will want to snag this to add them to their library. (Click here to snag it from Amazon.)

The Dungeon Masters will be of interest to many of our readers, as it focuses on the lives of three gamers and how their gaming life helps to serve their “real” life. Everything from job and financial issues to hurricane Katrina rolls through but the game is an important part of their lives and it helps them deal. It’s out on DVD from MPI and comes with outtakes and “not outtakes” which spring from when the film was being formed. Worth a rental for the fans of tabletop play. (Click here to snag it from Amazon.)

The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson Cover Art
Sympathy for the Devil Cover Art

The next two titles are out from Night Shade Books. The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson is exactly what it says it is: giving you twenty-one short stories plus one previously unpublished piece from the author who brought you, among other things, The Mars Trilogy. Among the stories are “The Blind Geometer,” which snagged the Nebula and “Black Air,” which won the World Fantasy Award. It’s a nice hardback edition that’s going for $18.45 as I type this, which is less than $1 a story–and considering the nice edition, it would be worth it for the fan. Also on tap is another short story collection, this one themed about The Big Red Dude and entitled Sympathy for the Devil. Nice. Among those authors represented are Michael Chabon, Stephen King, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman (twice) and some others you might have heard of: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s thirty-five short stories and four-hundred plus pages for just a shade over $10 as I type this. So if you would like a buffet of fiction along those lines, then by all means. (Click here to snag Robinson from Amazon; click here to snag Devil from Amazon.)