So here we are lollygagging about, trudging our way through the dog days of summer. Vacations are coming to an end, school is back in session, and there’s precious little on TV beyond the new crop of game shows and reruns of last season’s series episodes. Not to worry, though — this week is brimming with boxed sets of – what else? – TV reruns. They run the gamut, from sitcoms running on cable somewhere at any given time, to epic dramas with lofty aspirations.
Let’s start with the sitcom collections. To be honest, I’m not sure why some of these collections exist, since I can find episodes of them airing on cable at any given moment, day, night or the wee hours between infomercials and Girls Gone Wild blurbs. Still, for those with fond memories of sitcoms they only watched when nothing else was on, FullHouse: The Complete Seventh Season, Roseanne: Season Eight and Home Improvement: The Complete Seventh Season are out this week.
While Full House might give you warm and fuzzy memories of the Olsen twins before they hit it big, The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season remains firmly planted in the time warp that’s made it TV’s longest running comedy. I won’t bore you with why America’s favorite cartoon family is an indelible part of pop culture—you already know all that. But I will advise you to go for the “collectible Bart Head Pack” when you purchase this DVD. It’s going to be a huge seller, so ten years from now, you’ll discover it wasn’t collectible after all.
For those of you yearning for more “serious” fare, Rome: The Complete Second Season should sate your hunger. At 10 hours, it encapsulates the events following Julius Caesar’s assassination, leading to the fall of the Empire. This British effort, presented on HBO, is one of the most lavish depictions of Rome ever put to film. And while it is rife with historical inaccuracies, and has its requisite soap opera moments, it does convey the brutality and excess of the time.
With all the attention on TV this week, releases of theatrical films might get short shrift. Truth to tell, there’s not a lot to shrift, short or otherwise. Disturbia is being touted as the major release, with standees adorning Wal-Marts and Best Buys across the country. Essentially a retelling of Rear Window, it amps up the story with teen angst, cell phone cameras, and digicams.
TMNT sounds ominously utilitarian, but it’s still the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This time it’s all CG animation, and not bad animation, at that. “Teenage” has been taken out of the job description, though, so it can have an appropriately contemporary darker tone. That’s debatable, but the animation is still impressive. Think of this as the end of the franchise.
There are other releases, of course, but nothing that really stands out as a must-have. Here… see for yourselves with the long list.
Daniel Boone: Season Five
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Blu-ray)
Flash Gordon (Saviour of the Universe Edition)
It’s a newly remastered edition 0f the 1980 camp classic, completer with two new featurettes and a Flash Gordon serial. At the time, its biggest selling point was the Queen soundtrack. Some things never change.
Holla at Me
Underground: Real Brutal Action
Book of Revelation (Chi Dol)
Jim Bowie: Complete Collection
Private Fears in Public Places
Road to Koktebel
Rome: The Complete Second Season
The Still Life
8 Simple Rules: The Complete First Season
America’s Funniest Comics 3
Are We Done Yet? (DVD, Blu-ray)
Bubba Ho-Tep (Hail to the King Edition)
Come As You Are
The Dog Problem
The Film Crew: Killers from Space
The second in this new series from the MST3K crew finds Peter Graves foiling an alien plot involving giant insects and reptiles.
Full House : The Complete Seventh Season
Gettin’ It (Unrated)
Home Improvement (The Complete Seventh Season)
I Think I Love My Wife
Man Stroke Woman: The Complete First Series
The Muppet Show: Season Two
My Hero: Season Two
Roseanne: Season Eight
The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season
That Girl: Season Three
Alexander Technique: From Stress to Freedom
Blues. Rags and Hollers: The Koerner, Ray and Glover Story
Elvis: That’s the Way it Is (2 Disc Special Edition)
It’s been 30 years since the King died (or did he?), and to commemorate the anniversary, almost every movie he was ever in is being re-released, as well as several fluffy documentaries of his life, of which this is one.
Elvis Hot Shots and Cool Clips Volume Three
The Metamorphosis—A Study: Nabokov on Kafka
New Orleans Music in Exile
Ray Bradbury: An American Icon
This is Elvis (2 Disc Special Edition)
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Air Gear 4: Wings Reborn
Darkwing Duck: Vol. 2
Dick Tracy Show Vol.1, Vol. 2
Gakuen Heaven Vol. 3: Secret Summers
GTO Semester One Boxed Set
Happy Tree Friends Season One, Vol. 3
Very cute fuzzy animal cartoons—except explosions, impacts, and other occurrences of violence have realistic results. Not to worry, parents—each episode has a “moral” at the end.
Kannazuki No Miko: Box Set
Mar, Vol. 2
Naruto Uncut Boxed Set, Vol. 4
Rambling Hearts: Box Set
Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show: The Complete Series
Teenage Mutant Turtles: Original Series (Season Five)
The Tick Vs. Season Two
Voltron: Defender of the Universe—Revelations
When They Cry, Vol.2
Zach Bell, Vol. 11
So there you have it. It’s another lazy summer week, with plenty of excuses to chill with a DVD. I suggest you take them in measured doses, with a refreshing beverage nearby. Next week, then…Powered by Sidelines