October 10, 2006

DVD Pick of the Week: A Prairie Home Companion

This week brings a few notable titles, but not many that I would define as "must have." There is the usual array of films, new and old, and some decent television titles. Still, there is nary a week that goes by that I cannot find a title that would be worthy of adding to my own growing library.

This weeks pick is the deceptively good A Prairie Home Companion. I remember when I saw it on the big screen, I cannot say that I was terribly fond of it, but the more I thought about it, the more it dug itself into my head and carved out a nice warm hole to call home. It really grows on you more in retrospect than it does upon its initial viewing.

The movie is Robert Altman's love song to the glory days of live radio. The film is set during the final airing of the radio show of the same name, hosted by GK, played by Garrison Keillor who also wrote the screenplay, based on his book. This final show brings together all of its stars for the last time, playing music, cracking jokes, preparing for the inevitable.

A Prairie Home Companion washes over you, and just like that it is gone. I did not feel that much of a connection to it, as it played out before me, but like I said, it had a bigger effect later on as I thought about it. After it ends, you will want to spend more time with these people, you will want to go back to the disk and give it another spin.

Also out this week:

  • Scrubs: Season Four. One of the best sitcoms on television is also one of its most poorly treated. Thankfully we are getting these season sets to watch the episodes at our leisure.
  • Click. The Adam Sandler vehicle combines slapstick with a more sentimental Sandler, sadly, it has its moments, but the gimmick wears thin pretty quick. It is worth a rental.
  • Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. I am one of the few to somewhat enjoy the first movie, but I never made it out to this one.
  • The Fox and the Hound. I loved this as a kid and would consider picking this up if there wasn't so much conflicting word on the aspect ratio. I don't love it enough to get it in an altered ratio.
  • Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection (Doctor X, The Return of Doctor X, Mad Love, The Devil Doll, Mark of the Vampire, The Mask of Fu Manchu). This looks like a fun collection of old MGM and Warner horror films from the 1930s.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: Gruesome Edition. Ahh, Dennis Hopper dons a cowboy hat and faces off with the cannibal family that has a penchant for chainsaws.
  • Black Rain: Special Collector's Edition. The Ridley Scott film finally gets an edition with some extras on it. I have not seen this in some time, but have some good memories of it.
  • Art School Confidential. Terry Zwigoff's followup to Bad Santa isn't quite as good as it could be, mostly due to the poorly conceived subplot that runs through it. Still, it is rather entertaining.
  • The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology (Original, The Version You've Never Seen, Exorcist II: The Heretic, Exorcist III, The Beginning, Dominion). If you were waiting for everything Exorcist, here it is.
  • Waist Deep. I remember when this Tyrese Gibson flick hit the screens, I thought it looked pretty good, but never did get to see it. Maybe now I will.
  • The Butterfly Effect 2. Why? I just have to scratch my head over some of these direct to DVD movies that come out.
  • Everybody Hates Chris: The First Season. The early years of Chris Rock have proven to be very entertaining fodder for television. If you haven't seen this, now you can.
  • Ju-On 2. Soon to be seen on the big screen in its remade form, Takashi Shimizu's The Grudge 2.
  • MPD Psycho: The Complete Mini Series. The crazy television series from twisted master Takashi Miike.

What are you getting this week?


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