Entertainment Weekly picks best DVD's

 
Old 01-03-04, 11:32 PM
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Entertainment Weekly picks best DVD's

EW Top 10

Entertainment Weelky picked its top 10 DVD's of the year and its interesting to see how they can compare to what has been said by us.
Top ten
1- Lonney Tunes golden Collection
2-The Adventures of Antoine Doinel
3-Indianna Jones
4-LOTR Two Towers Extended Edition
5-Three colors
6-Singing Detective
7-West Side Story
8-Warner Legends
9-20,000 Leauges Under the Sea
10-Alien
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Old 01-03-04, 11:35 PM
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Old 01-03-04, 11:42 PM
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Thats so stupid, why does EW always do this. here

The Looney Tunes Golden Collection Purists may pout. Completists may complain. But the fact is, 56 animated shorts from the Warner Bros. library have finally been cleaned up and committed to disc, at a time when our fond memories of Bugs and Daffy are being ruthlessly diluted by blah brand metastasis. (''Looney Tunes: Back in Action,'' anyone? No, apparently not.) Yes, the highly navigable four-disc archive (Warner, unrated) may represent only a fraction of Termite Terrace's output, exclude gems like ''What's Opera, Doc?'' and downplay the work of animator Tex Avery. But it's also the one way to watch these contraptions of wit, madness, and comic discipline in their original, pristine form. ''Golden'' is packaged for adults -- and, of course, any kids who might enjoy the occasional minidoc on the birth of Speedy Gonzales, a selection of rare war cartoons, or perhaps some music-only tracks that demonstrate the tremendous atmospheric contributions of longtime ''Looney'' musical director Carl Stalling. And here's hoping a few minors do dip into the extras, if only to understand what so many of us take for granted: The Looney Tunes are both the last caretakers of vaudeville and the first lesson in comedy for multitudes of young novitiates -- which practically makes them a public trust. As for the omissions, well, we'll doubtless see platinum and silver collections sometime soon, in the profit-minded manner of all DVD releases. But if that's the deal, then hey, let me have it! (Cue anvil.)

The Adventures of Antoine Doinel (Criterion, unrated) Squirrelly and furtive in all things, especially love, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) is a man for one season: the long modern winter of his discontent. He's most at home in the cold, bundled up in himself and his books, hunkered down for the worst but hoping for the best. Looking for the child and, finally, the man he imagined himself to be, François Truffaut concocted this scheming, dreaming, perpetually on-the-lam avatar. His journey from raw, love-starved adolescence (''The 400 Blows,'' ''Antoine and Colette'') to antsy, lovelorn manhood (''Stolen Kisses,'' ''Bed and Board,'' ''Love on the Run'') is charted over five movies and 20 years -- and mirrored the rule-breaking odyssey of the French new wave. (This is borne out quite well in the copious interviews with Truffaut, his reprinted notes and writings, and a sine qua non commentary from Brian Stonehill, taken from ''The 400 Blows''' original laserdisc.) Without Antoine, it's arguable there would be no Lloyd Dobler, no Max Fischer -- and, worst of all, no sophisticated cinematic precedent for the excruciating awkwardness of ordinary young men. But enough analysis! To quote one Cannes commentator on Truffaut: ''Let's enjoy his films before he starts lecturing on them.''

The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Paramount, PG/PG-13) Squirrelly and furtive in all things, especially love...oh, wait. Wrong adventures. Watch ''The Raiders of the Lost Ark'' (gorgeously restored, along with ''The Temple of Doom'' and ''The Last Crusade'') and you'll notice Indy doesn't spend a whole lot of time memorizing Balzac with his head half-retracted into a black turtleneck -- he's a man of pure action, back when ''action'' didn't connote deafening videogame chaos. There's a refined, nostalgic classicism to Steven Spielberg's direction, which he defines (in a superb megadocumentary spanning all three Indy films) as a blend of Preston Sturges comedy, chintzy adventure serials, and mesmerizing Judeo-Christian pseudo-spirituality: ''Raiders,'' especially, is that rare artifact, the lapidary blockbuster, and its artistry glitters all the more with the ratty shroud of VHS frizz and celluloid decay removed. Guaranteed: You will see and hear things you didn't know were there. It's an even better movie than you remember.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers -- Special Extended Edition (New Line, PG-13) We wants it, Precious, yes. We needs it. More documentarieses, more commentarieses -- especially the parts where Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan rib the fat hobbit and the elf! We likes that Precious, yes. Oh, give us hourses and hourses of featurettes we will actually watch end to end, yes, Precious, because they are so well produced and absorbing! Ahem. Sorry to go all Sméagol on you, gentle reader, but it's hard to convey the deep and utterly warranted fanlust for more, more, more Ringsiana. Incredibly, director Peter Jackson and his DVD team can actually supply it, in satisfying quantities. It was a fair question: After the giant ''Fellowship'' discs and a flotilla of news stories, could the ''Two Towers'' set offer any truly valuable ''added value,'' aside from the three-hour-plus extended cut itself? Yes, Precious, it can. (Though, for purists, it's enough to see the trees of Fangorn Forest show up to save the day at the Battle of Helm's Deep.) The masterstroke was the producers' wise decision to make characters of the actors, designers, and crew -- thanks to some sharp editing, you'll find their quest nearly as absorbing as Frodo's.
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Old 01-03-04, 11:45 PM
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LOL, I don't have any of those. Oh well.

Rob
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Old 01-03-04, 11:45 PM
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Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors: Blue, White, Red -- The Exclusive Collection (Miramax, R) The late Kieslowski's tripartite masterpiece -- a cruel and beautiful multiplanar meditation on the modern ideals of liberté, égalité, and fraternité -- resists definition. Charting the Continent's shaky march out of the Cold War and toward some sort of nebulous ''unification,'' these three films (ostensibly a requiem, a comedy, and a romance) are fractal shards of one another, linked oddly, sometimes awkwardly, and melding the personal, the political, and the universal with few verbal exchanges. Light is the language spoken here, underscoring actions as simple as dropping a sugar cube in coffee with the music of the spheres. (Be sure to sample ''Krzysztof Kieslowski's Cinema Lesson'' on every disc, if only to watch him explain how an audience will sit still for four and a half seconds of a sugar cube soaking, but not eight and a half.) It's hard to get away with positing a collective consciousness nowadays, but Kieslowski pulls it off with an epiphanic grace that sails right past naturalism and into the supernatural.
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The Singing Detective (BBC, unrated) Departed BBC visionary Dennis Potter was a deeply troubled man, and now, at long last, audiences on both sides of the Atlantic can delight in the febrile, yet astonishingly clearheaded manias that tormented him to television greatness. Filtering his own obsessions with misogyny and morality (well explicated in an accompanying documentary) through the story of a pulp-mystery writer stricken with severe psoriasis, Potter created a sui generis miniseries with a nested narrative structure: Flashback, hallucination, and musical extravaganza combine in a cogent portrait of a mind struggling to free itself from treacherous flesh. As the man imprisoned in that flesh, Michael Gambon gives a matchless performance that fully engages both heart and head.
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West Side Story (MGM, unrated) There were too many cooks in the kitchen: Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Robert Wise. And most wanted to murder each other -- or at least Robbins -- by the end. (See it all unfold in the ample supplementals.) But despite their differences (or, perhaps, because of them), they brought musical tragedy to the screen with a vividness that hasn't been equaled. Watching the visually and aurally restored version, two things become very clear: Never has stagecraft merged with cinema so seamlessly, and never have the engorged passions of Broadway been corralled into a camera frame with such discipline and focus.
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Warner Legends Collection (Warner, unrated/PG) Here's a fine idea: Re-create a period moviegoing experience in toto, from newsreel to cartoons to the feature itself. And if the feature happens to be ''The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,'' or ''The Adventures of Robin Hood,'' or ''Yankee Doodle Dandy,'' well, so much the better. Gathering Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney under one banner is reason enough for the set to exist -- we don't need no stinkin' extras! But we'll take them just the same, thank you very much.
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Disney, G) That Walt Disney sure had foresight: He was making DVD extras long before DVD existed. On a 1955 TV special (excerpts of which appear in the well-stocked, slightly over-menu'd set), he was already enticing viewers with behind-the-scenes glimpses -- he shot tons of 16mm documentary footage on the Leagues set and even had stars Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre explain the mechanics of storyboards. Disney also deserves credit for nixing an early version of the famous squid battle, here shown in its entirety; recalling the climactic scene from a high school production of ''Little Shop of Horrors,'' the misfire makes you appreciate the final product even more.
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Alien Quadrilogy (Fox, R) Nine discs. Four movies. (Five, if you count both versions of ''Alien.'') Fifty-eight hours. And a box so dense and forbidding, you're loath to open it, for fear something will jump out, affix itself to your face, and plant Easter eggs in your esophagus. But take heart: Within lies the combined wisdom of Ridley Scott and James Cameron, both of whom have contributed heartily, with commentaries and documentaries -- by themselves, ample inducements to dip into the Giger-sleek steamer trunk of digital goodies. Yes, this is indubitably the last word on all things ''Alien''
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Old 01-03-04, 11:46 PM
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BTW, this has already been posted:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=336786

Rob
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Old 01-03-04, 11:48 PM
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Here are the Five Worst. The end of Alien should have read "on all things alien..." which leads two

Alien Quadrilogy ...Or would have been, had David Fincher been coaxed into participating. Fincher has made no secret of his disdain for the final cut of ''Alien 3,'' and, frankly, neither has anyone else. Ditto ''Alien: Ryder-ection.'' Pardon my acid tongue, but isn't $100 a lot when half of your ''quadrilogy'' (was ''tetralogy'' too quotidian?) is ballast? Or is it priced per pound?

TV on DVD What we said last year: ''TV on DVD! Whee!'' Well, guess what, DVD Inc.: You've abused our trust. Yes, we're thrilled that ''Freaks and Geeks'' will finally debut next year. But seriously...''My Big Fat Greek Life''? ''The Anna Nicole Show''? ''M.A.N.T.I.S.''? Okay, that last one's a joke. But how far off could it be?

The Scheme (Artisan, R) ''Ain't nothing funny 'bout having no money,'' reads the tagline, and I believe it. Rather than describe this fine Jimmy Fallon film (made in 2000 under the name ''The Entrepreneurs''), I'll simply reprint a few chapter titles: ''Girls Are Evil,'' ''Rubber Vomit,'' and ''Orgy.'' The most promising: ''End Credits.''

Dirty Dancing: Ultimate Edition (Artisan, PG-13) Now, don't put me in the corner just yet. I'm aware that many of you owe your sexual awakening to this film. But honestly, how can you do a ''Dirty'' disc and not ask Jennifer Grey's pre-op nose for comment? If that schnoz could talk, think of what it would say! ''Notice how I take such care not to upstage Patrick Swayze. I really put myself to the grindstone for this picture. And then she tosses me aside, like yesterday's cartilage...'' Did the nose feel -- dare we say it? -- snubbed?

Grease 2 (Paramount, PG) I'm also aware that many of you owe your sexual awakening to this film. Congratulations, and may God have mercy on your souls.

It seems a little harsh to make alien one of the worst just because it didnt have everything they wanted
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Old 01-03-04, 11:50 PM
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dam sorry about that, I really need to seardh for these before I post, oh well
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Old 01-03-04, 11:52 PM
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I still can't believe they put "TV on DVD" on the worst list.

Rob
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