March 24, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Andy Richter Controls the Universe

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles and what follows are not necessarily reviews. It is my opinion based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe: The Complete Series. This series disappeared way too soon. Like so many series that done the same thing, allow me to say thank you, Fox. Andy Richter starred in this series (duh), playing an aspiring writer who works writing How-To manuals. All day he dreams about what things could be like had they taken a slightly different turn. It has been awhile since I have seen any of these episodes, it will be nice to see them again as the show is very funny.

Quantum of Solace (also Blu-ray). This is filled with wall to wall action and is likely the most action-packed of the series. There are few moments where one can catch one's breath. In less than an hour and fifty minutes you get car chases, shoot-outs, fist fights, boat chases, plane chases, plane shoot-outs, and more. It is quite jammed up. Better than it would appear at first glance, although not as strong as Casino Royale. This is a fine part 2 story that completes Bond's "origin" story.

Bolt. The Blu-ray was released this past Sunday and now the standard DVD is available. It is a wonderful journey as Bolt learns what the real world actually is and how he can use his real strengths to his advantage, that not having super powers is not a detriment at all. Likewise, Mittens is also on a personal journey, learning that the world does not have to be as tough as she is making it out to be, learning to get over her abandonment issues. Rhino, well, I think he is just along for the ride as he is perfectly happy within his own skin. Isn't that all that any of us want? Simply delightful.

Goldfinger (Blu-ray). One of the greatest Bond's ever made makes its debut in high definition. This was the third film of the Connery era and it contains one of the most memorable scenes of any film of the series. I look forward to seeing this in hi-def.

The World is Not Enough (Blu-ray). This Pierce Brosnan outing is not a high-water mark for the series, but is still sort of fun. Not one I will be rushing out to get, but there it is!

Moonraker (Blu-ray). This Roger Moore Bond is not terribly well regarded and seems to have been made as a reaction to the success of Star Wars more than anything. It also features the return of evil henchman Jaws, the only henchman to appear in more than one film in the series.

In Treatment. Gabriel Byrne stars in this 5 nights a week HBO series. I have not seen a single episode, but have heard that it is quite good. It is a series about a therapist with each night focusing on a different patient, then following them on a weekly basis.

Motley Crue: Crue Fest 2008. Like the Crue boys? If so, you may want to check this out. It chronicles their big festival tour last year and features other acts such as Trapt, Papa Roach, Sixx AM, and Buckcherry.

Never Say Never Again (Blu-ray). One of only a handful of Bond films that is not a part of the official series. Sean Connery returned to the role for this 1983 film, which is essentially a new take on Thunderball. It is not really all that good, but still fun and a must have for the completist.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided. Give this one a pass, it only has a handful of episodes from the series and it has already been announced that full season set with extras is coming in the not too distant future.

Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disk Big Wave Edition. Where's the Blu-ray? This film was surprisingly good. I did not have high expectations for it before I saw it. Looking forward to a high definition release.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service. George Lazenby's only outing as James Bond and is it a good one! I really like this film, it is a bit different, offers some nice character development and features a wedding for a main character. Too bad this isn't a Blu-ray release.

A Mighty Heart (Blu-ray). This a triumph of a film that gives us incredible human drama, a tense story that keeps you at attention, even knowing the ending, and is at its heart, a story of love between Mariane and Daniel. It is a movie that does not belittle what happened, nor does it aim to make Daniel or Mariane a hero, it does give us a story that is free of the politics that you would expect to see, and also aims to put focus on the continuing ongoing tragedies that are occurring in the Middle East.

Snakehead Terror. I remember watching this on Sci-Fi (or is it SyFy?). It is simply terrible. If you like bad movies, be my guest. Don't say I didn't warn you.


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