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.
This week brings a load of new television titles — just in time for the dawn of the 2008 fall season. Time to catch up on what you missed last season! With all of those worthy TV offerings, none of them were able to supplant a film at the top of my heap for this week, still, you will likely want to add a number of these to your personal collections, just like me.
Fist of Legend. This Jet Li film is an absolute must-have for Li fans and martial arts fans in general. The film tells the same story as the Bruce Lee classic Fists of Fury, centering on a student seeking revenge against a rival school for the murder of his teacher. Fist of Legend contains some of the best fights you are likely to see. This DVD release follows the chopped and dubbed "Jet Li Collection" version released through Miramax. This Dragon Dynasty release is in its original form and in its original language, with a load of bonus material. Very much looking forward to this. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
The Office: Season Four. One of the best comedies going right now is preparing to enter its fifth season. Now you can revisit the excellent fourth season on this set. I do not know how anyone can watch any given episode and not laugh. It is funny in a simultaneously smart and stupid way. Steve Carell is brilliant heading the cast, and the humor works its way all the way down to the smallest bit part. Hopefully season five will continue its confirmed excellence. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
Supernatural: The Complete Third Season. Combining the atmosphere of The X-Files with the irreverence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural is an entertaining series that does equally well at one-off episodes as it does longer arcs and themes. The show is surprisingly preparing to enter its fourth season, and I am glad to see it return. The third season has the impending death of Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) based on the conclusion of the prior season. How will it end? What ramifications will it have on season four? Watch and see. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season. When this series first reared its ugly head, I was quick to jump on it, calling it dumb and not funny. I am ready to eat my words as, while certainly not great, the show proved to be addictive, funny, and at times rather smart with its quick wit. Yes, I was won over. Hopefully, season two will continue the positive trend. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
Life: Season One. Just what we needed, another cop show. Fortunately, this one came with a bit of a twist, and despite a strike-shortened season and less then stellar ratings it was picked up to come back a second season. The twist is that the cop at the center spent many years in prison for a murder that he did not commit. When released, he comes with a new Zen-like attitude that he applies to his work. It is an interesting take. Not sure it is worth owning, but it is worth renting. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
Eli Stone: The Complete First Season. Just like Life, just what we need, another lawyer show. The series is also surviving to come back for another go around. Jonny Lee Miller stars in the title role as a lawyer who has a brain aneurysm and is afflicted with visions that guide him to his cases in elliptical patterns. It is imaginative and entertaining. Well worth spending a little time with. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
The Promotion. I could have sworn this was going to have a big screen run, maybe it did and I missed it, but it must have been pretty small. The movie stars Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly as assistant managers of a grocery store competing for the same role. Sounds a little like Employee of the Month; it couldn't be that bad, could it? (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Remastered Deluxe Edition. The classic Halloween cartoon is once again being released on DVD, this time with remastered video and audio. Perhaps this will be the one I will finally pick up? The cartoon from the 1960s is a holiday classic that I always enjoy watching when it is broadcast each year. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
Outsourced. I had my hands on this DVD some weeks ago, and it is quite a good one, definitely worth spending a couple of hours with. It is the story of a man (Josh Hamilton, not the one on the Texas Rangers) who is on the verge of being downsized, but must first travel to India to train his replacement. It is a classic fish out of water story as he is faced with a culture clash, not to mention some romance. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)
Hatebreed: Live Dominance. Do you like hardcore metal? This concert recording is one you will want to check out. The concert was captured earlier this year in Detroit and features Hatebreed at the top of their game. The concert shows the five-piece tearing it up as the crowd feeds off of their energy. Excellent stuff. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)Powered by Sidelines