RT on DVD: Fantastic Four 2, 1408, and The Jungle Book!
Plus, a must-have for every Trekkie out there...Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), some Stephen King suspense (1408), plenty of TV on DVD (I Love New York Season One, Metalocalpyse), and an Enterprise-sized treat for Star Trek fans!
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Unless you were living under a rock over the summer, you've probably heard of a little film called Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It's a sequel. About a quartet of superheroes. No? Well, the majority of critics passed on it (although the film's user Tomatometer is at a considerably higher 58 percent) but if you care little about such things, you're in luck: it hits DVD shelves today! The two-disc release is Marvel-ously packed with commentary tracks by filmmakers, including director Tim Story and producer Avi Arad, deleted scenes, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, and an interactive look at the Fantasticar. A documentary entitled "Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of the Silver Surfer" explores the history of the character in interviews with originator Stan Lee and other comic book notables and is the icing on the special features cake.
Modern horror films are rarely critic-approved these days, so take it as a good sign that this adaptation of the Stephen King short story not only was critically praised, but is Certified Fresh to boot. The tale of a writer (John Cusack) who checks into a haunted hotel room is light on gore, relying on good, old-fashioned suspense to scare viewers; check out the bonus disc for Mikael Hafstrom's original director's cut (with an ending that was deemed too depressing by test audiences). A handful of featurettes, deleted scenes, and commentaries round out the release.
In this moral drama from Aussie director Ray Lawrence, four buddies discover a dead girl's body floating in a river but spend a whole day fishing before reporting the discovery. When they return home, their misdeed rips a divide in their community and in their personal relationships, particularly that between Stewart (Gabriel Byrne) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney). Check out this intriguing Australian film, now out on DVD.
The War: A Ken Burns Film
Ken Burns turns his scrupulous eye towards World War II in this 14-hour PBS documentary, which aired in September. In addition to the seven-part film by Burns and co-director Lynn Novick, this DVD release includes deleted scenes, commentaries, and a companion book. Look for cameo voice appearances by actors including Adam Arkin, Sam Jackson, Tom Hanks, and narrator Keith David.
The Jungle Book Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Edition
Feral children raised by wolves never had a better champion than in the 1967 animated classic -- until now! Mowgli and Co. have been given a shiny new restoration job, four decades after kids first learned about jungle slacker life in "The Bare Necessities." Accordingly, Disney has pulled out all the stops to bring you two discs loaded with fascinating extras: A commentary track by songwriter Richard Sherman, animator Andreas Deja, and grown-up Mowgli voice actor Bruce Reitherman; Jungle Book karaoke; a 46-minute making-of documentary; and a comparison between the original Rudyard Kipling story and the Disney adaptation. Even cooler are the seven deleted songs by original composer Terry Gilkyson (whose score was replaced with the Sherman Brothers' more upbeat final songs) and a look at Rocky the Rhino, an original character excised from the film by Walt Disney himself.
More New Offerings
Day Night Day Night
Newcomer Julia Loktev's austere thriller about a young suicide bomber's final hours in New York City earned the director lots of notice on the festival circuit. If that doesn't pique your interest, consider the cinephile cred of Loktev drawing comparisons to Robert Bresson and Carl Th. Dreyer in her second directorial effort, ever.
I Love New York: The Complete First Season
Everyone here at RT was hoping that Flavor of Love's resident H.B.I.C. (Google that if you don't know what it means) New York (real, less glamorous name: Tiffany Pollard) would finally find happiness after bitterly losing the heart of reality TV hunk Flavor Flav in two straight seasons of VH1's Flavor of Love. Did she find her dream man? Do you need to (re-)watch a house full of arguably desirable men with names like Tango, Real, and Whiteboy vie for her heart all over again? Is Sister Patterson as crazy as New York's make-up is overdone? The answer to all of those questions, of course, is yes. After all, you'll need a primer for this month's premiere of I Love New York: Season Two!
Metalocalypse: Season One
Adult Swim's most popular American-Scandinavian death metal band hits home theaters this week! The frequently drunk, probably sociopathic metal superstars of the band Dethlok star in the first season's 20 11-minute episodes, with guest appearances by members of bands like Metallica, Nevermore, and other scary offshoots of the metal genre.
Sarah Silverman Program: Season One
Shocking or hilarious? The Sarah Silverman Program is sometimes one, sometimes the other, and frequently both. Written as intentionally offensive fictionalized versions of Silverman's life, the six episode collection includes bonus materials like a karaoke sing-along and additional musical numbers.
Where My Nerds At?
Star Trek: The Next Generation -- Complete Series
According to Ferengi lore, the five Stages of Acquisition are infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. Think on that as you part with $400 (that's like 40 slips of Latinum) to own the 49-disc set of the entire TNG series, which includes an entire disc of all-new featurettes and an exclusive poster. (Although DS9 was way better. We're just saying.)
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Francis Ford Coppola's Certified Fresh take on the classic bloodsucker tale is given a respectable DVD treatment here, 15 years after its theatrical debut. In addition to a newly-recorded commentary track by Coppola, you'll get a second disc with extras like deleted scenes and an extended ending, trailers, and four separate behind-the-scenes documentaries; look in particular for the Roman Coppola-hosted "In Camera" featurette highlighting the lo-fi special effects used throughout the film.
Until next week, happy renting!