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DVD Pick of the Week: Serenity

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This week brings an Oscar winner, an Emmy nominee, a revolutionary action flick, and a movie based on a canceled television series. That is only a taste of the digital joy that is to be had among this week's releases. The biggest problem with all of these DVDs each week is trying to keep up with them. They are sure to put a dent in your wallet. Fortunately there is always Netflix, and even better, the local library.

The pick of the week is Serenity. Yes, it is true that it arrived on DVD nearly two years ago, but it is receiving a new release with a second disk of extras. I am not sure if the image or sound has been upgraded, but it doesn't matter. Any additional material will be welcomed by this guy!

Serenity is a film based on the short-lived television show Firefly, created by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel). Don't let that fact scare you off, you do not need to be familiar with the series in order to enjoy the movie. Just don't be surprised if you get an itch to see the series after taking in the film. The film has it all — it is a fusion of comedy, drama, action, science fiction, suspense, and even a touch of romance.

The film chronicles the story of the Serenity crew as they play guardian to a young woman who could bring about the undoing of the totalitarian regime ruling the galaxy. That doesn't even bring in the cannibalistic Reavers who will attack just about anything that moves.

I remember when I first saw this on the big screen I was floored. This was a movie that will never compete for the greatest film of all time, but it delivered on all levels. It made me even more mad at how FOX mistreated it during its short run. We should still be enjoying the ongoing adventures of the Serenity crew.

The set carries over all of the extras from the original release, packages it in a spiffy new case and includes the following new extras: Extended Scenes (6:45), Take A Walk on Serenity (4:00) Cast and Crew take us on a special tour of the Serenity space ship, A Filmmaker's Journey (19:49), Take A Journey with Joss Whedon from script to the big screen, The Green Clan (3:03) An expose on Cinematographer Jack Green and his team, Sci-Fi Inside: Serenity (21:41) Hosted by Adam Baldwin, an in-depth look at the film that was resurrected from a canceled television show, as well as its supportive culture, Session 416 (7:52) These Internet pieces document a portion of River's participation in a psychological study and her interactions with her therapist, Feature Commentary with Director Joss Whedon and Cast Members Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass.

Also out this week:

  • House: Season Three. One of the most consistently entertaining series of recent years. They are even better to watch on DVD, as the ongoing threads pop a little more than watching week to week.
  • The Lives of Others. Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, this German film arrives on DVD. I missed it theatrically, now will be my chance to catch up.
  • Dexter: The First Season. A show I have heard good things about. A serial killer who helps the cops catch serial killers. Sounds like a killer concept.
  • The Ultimate Gift. From Fox Faith, this feature is about a trust fund baby sent on a journey of self discovery.
  • Ugly Betty: The Complete First Season. Emmy nominated series that I couldn't get into.
  • Perfect Stranger. This is here as a warning. This is just an awful thriller. If you must, please rent only.
  • RoboCop: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition. This landmark action film gets another release. Hopefully the tech specs got an overhaul to warrant the release.
  • Redline. Eddie Griffin's The Fast and the Furious rip off. It was DOA when it hit theaters earlier this year.
  • The Ex. A movie I wanted to love so badly, but I could only muster a mere like for it. Still, if you like Jason Bateman or Zach Braff, it is definitely worth a peek.
  • Toho Triple Feature: Mysterians, Varan, Matango. Some old school science fiction and monster flicks from the studio that brought us Godzilla.
  • Rob Zombie 3 Disk Collector Set. This includes House of 1000 Corpses and the two disk version of The Devil's Rejects. Just in time for the release of Zombie's reimagining of Halloween.
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