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DVD Pick of the Week: How I Met Your Mother

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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 releases, including a bunch of television seasons and films from earlier in the year. Time to catch up on what you missed! Well, maybe… not all of them were all that great, but some are surprisingly good. I am sure you will likely want to add a number of these to your personal collections, just like me.

How I Met Your Mother: The Legendary Season 3. I love this show! I never watched the first season and discovered the second season, by accident on DVD. The show has a clever setup, a strong cast, and very good writing. I am not sure why I didn't start watching it sooner, but I guess late is better than never. I have not seen all of the third season episodes yet, but I am sure going to! Who knew Neil Patrick Harris was so funny? It's also nice to see Alyson Hannigan playing someone other than Willow. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Sleeping Beauty: Platinum Edition. This is one of Disney's all time classics and it has gotten the remaster treatment, and it looks like it is also having its aspect ratio adjusted. The commercials show the new image compared to the old image and it looks like the sides have been opened to reveal more image. A quick search shows originally screened rations of 2.20 for 70mm prints and 2.35 for 35mm prints, while the original negative is 2.55. Not sure what is correct, but the new footage I have seen looks quite good. On another note, the Blu-ray is a three-disk set where the third disk is a standard DVD of the movie. Not a bad way to get your first Blu disk while waiting to get a player. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

30 Rock: Season 2. One of my favorite sitcoms going right now. The writing is clever, the acting first rate, and it genuinely makes me laugh without needing a laugh track. I also noticed with the first season that watching episodes in groups seems to make them funnier. I hope that remains true for the second season. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Simpsons: The Eleventh Season. I stopped buying these a few seasons ago, but I still enjoy the show and will eventually get around to getting more of them. The season is available in Krusty head collector packaging as well as the usual box. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 4: 1943-1945. Love the Stooges! I also love these chronological sets. They have been coming out in very nice transfers. These are must haves for any fan of classic comedy. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Happening. This is a good movie. It tells me that M. Night has not completely lost it and is moving in the right direction. If nothing else, he is a filmmaker who is not afraid of making films that do not appeal to everyone, they do not pander to the lowest common denominator. Whether he is successful in what he is attempting is a separate issue. With The Happening we are given an intriguing film that is left for interpretation while offering as much as you want to take from it. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Visitor. Richard Jenkins stars in this quiet drama about a man who returns to his apartment to find squatters have taken up residence there. Rather than calling the police, he befriends them and they wind up having a profound effect on each other. I missed this on the big screen, now it's to check it out. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Robot Chicken: Season Three. I only watch this sporadically but it never fails to make me laugh. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Picture of Dorian Gray. Classic tale of the man in search of eternal youth who barters his soul to get it in a new DVD release. This is the original 1945 film. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete First Season. This spin-off of Doctor Who targets the younger set, but is still relatively enjoyable as Sarah Jane and children friends track aliens in London. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Psycho: Universal Legacy Series. A new two disk set of the Alfred Hitchcock classic. The set includes a number of featurettes on the classic thriller. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Rear Window: Universal Legacy Series. See above. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Vertigo: Universal Legacy Series. See above, again. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

You Don't Mess with the Zohan. I laughed. There, I said it. I went to an Adam Sandler movie and I laughed. Why? It was funny. At times it was riotously funny. It is shameless in its willingness to push the boundaries of good taste. I daresay You Don't Mess with the Zohan may just be Sandler's funniest "stupid" comedy since the 1990s. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds. The first film, a result of the reality series Project Greenlight, was plenty of fun; will the sequel live up to it? Probably. The first is far from a classic, but well worth it for fans of horror films. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Touch of Evil: 50th Anniversary Edition. Orson Welles directed this classic that opens with a great tracking shot and features Charlton Heston playing a Mexican. Regardless of the casting issue, this is a classic crime film that everyone should see and own. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Lexx: Season One. Remember this series? It aired on the Sci Fi Channel and was quite strange, even for me. This first season is actually a compilation of four television movies. I have been wanting to revisit this series, to see if I liked it any better. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Halloween: 3-Disk Unrated Collector's Edition. Not sure if this is necessary, but I do like the movie. It looks like the first two disks are the same that were released before with the third disk being a four-and-a-half hour making of documentary. If it is near as good as the one with The Devil's Rejects, maybe it will be worth it. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

WWE: Hell in a Cell. Here is a multi-disk set that collects one of the better gimmick matches that the WWE has had. If you are a fan of pro wrestling, this is one you will likely want to add to your personal collection. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead. Really? A sequel? I like the original film but cannot say I ever saw sequel potential in it. May be worth a rental. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Kill Switch. Steven Seagal's stream of DVD titles continues. I have to say that I do love his '80s films, but his current output… (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Original Faces of Death: 30th Anniversary Edition. I have never seen this or any of the collections that followed. Being a horror fan, perhaps it is time that I dove in and took a peek. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

20 Years After. Post-apocalyptic tale about a young woman who survived the bombs and the plagues and is having the first baby the world has seen in fifteen years. Sounds good to me. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Over Sexed Rugsuckers From Mars. What? Nearly twenty years old and I've never heard of this? Title alone makes it worth looking into. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Within Temptation: Black Symphony. I have seen a clip of this concert disk and it looks spectacular! (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

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About Draven99

  • http://bibbyroo.blogspot.com bibbyroo

    it seems that no matter how crappy, you are willing to give it a try. while i appreciate your optimism, why even have the ‘skip’ option if you are never going to use it?

  • http://draven99.blogspot.,com Chris Beaumont

    I use it, I just felt nothing was worthy of it this week.

  • http://bibbyroo.blogspot.com bibbyroo

    really?!? with movies like ‘the happening’, and straight to video junk like ‘joy ride 2′, ‘feast 2′, and ‘kill switch’? are you really suggesting that i should rent them? including a steven segal movie?!? you even write how his movies lately have not been any good, but i should still watch it anyway? you havent seen it, yet you are recommending that i do? at some point a pattern must be acknowleged: his last 10 films were terrible, and most likely, this one will be too. thats not really a strech for me to make that assumption. i guess i am just looking for some sort of discrimination between what might be good, and what is obvious junk. im not trying to make a personal attack, im just wondering if you are letting too much junk through along side the good stuff. let us know what is genuinely good, and what is worthless filler. perhaps that is impossible considering you have not seen all the movies, so it isnt really possible to let us know right on release day what is good and what is bad. maybe this feature should be changed from an opinion piece to an informational piece, and leave the ‘buy/rent/skip’ for an actual review of the films.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Sure, why not. The beauty of the suggestion is that you can choose to take it or not. I take a look at the new release lists and pick out the titles that interest me or that I want to say a bit about. Sure, the skip is chosen least often as I do not go through every single new release for this column (otherwise you would see a lot more skips).

    As for good versus obvious junk, I am (un)fortunately saddled with the ability to enjoy films from all walks, A list to Z list. Therefore, I am more willing to give a larger variety of films a chance. Now, whether or not I ever get to everything is an entirely different matter, I have many titles in my collection that I have not gotten to yet.

    This column is more news of notable titles that are out, seen or unseen by me, and my opinion/impression of them. If only this were my day job, I’d probably be able to give more information. As it is, I do what I can.

    Thanks for reading.