Hot Fuzz: Revisited on DVD

One of the first reviews I did for this site was for Hot Fuzz — a quirky action parody that I enjoyed a lot on the big screen.

It has now arrived on DVD, regular and HD.

I enjoyed watching it with the trivia subtitle track turned on.  What blew me away  was how much thought went into every detail and how even the most trivial of items was really a setup for the payoff in the end.  The other usual extras are on the DVD; the only downside is that the HD version is rumored to have some extras not included in the regular version.

My advice:  well if you had listened to me to begin with, you would have seen it in the theaters and now own it on DVD; if you didn’t, redeem yourself now by catching it on DVD…

The New Animated Adventures of Bat-Man

When I did my review of Looney Tunes: Back in Action, I discussed my Saturday morning ritual cartoon watching.  From 1977-1980, one of my absolute favorites was the Filmation series of Batman cartoons.  So imagine my happiness now to see them released in a box set on DVD.

I bought them the first week out and watched some of the episodes.  While the flaws are more visible to me now, there was a sense of nostalgia  that enveloped me while watching them.  Of course the biggest annoyance then and now was the introduction of Bat-Mite, a poor man’s Great Kazoo.

The key to remember is that this is the Batman of the 70’s — Frank Miller and Tim Burton had not yet created their dark versions of the Dark Knight.  In this series, the villains are shown as buffoons out for some fun.

Not a lot of extras on thise set — Warners did this set cheaply.

My advice:  If you grew up on this, let your inner child out some and catch a couple of episodes…

Superman Returns

As I have mentioned before, movies are an important part of birthdays in my family — I know, I know, you are thinking, “Umm Matt, when are movies not an important part of anything in your family…?”   I actually saw Superman Returns in the theaters during the weekend of my birthday in 06.  While I was glad to have seen it on the big screen, I remember walking away from the theater feeling apathetic about the experience.

So I popped the disc into the old DVD player to give the movie a second chance.   Unfortunately, I still had the same feelings a year later.

Kevin Spacey was the lone bright spot — great commitment, and a more convincing Luthor than Hackman was.  Kate Bosworth was made to look like Rachel McAdams playing Lois Lane and several times I was wishing that Lois was being played McAdams.  Brandon Routh nailed the Clark part, channeling Christopher Reeve’s performance; but his Superman was as wooden as any pirate’s peg leg.

The story was a basic retelling of Superman (1978) , with some minor updates.  this is probably why I wasn’t wowed with it — I had already seen it 30 years earlier.

My advice:  not bad for a Saturday afternoon — you could make worse choices…

The Amazing Story of Superman

With the release of Superman Returns on DVD, Warner Brothers decided to make up a special set, similar to what they did with the Alien series and The Matrix series.  In a nice metal tin, all of the Christopher Reeves’ Superman movies, Superman Returns, and bonus discs were included.  One of the bonus disc contained a documentary made 6 months prior to coincide with the release of Superman Returns in theaters.

The Amazing Story of Superman is not just another piece of PR fluff.  It is a fairly well-done documentary chronicling the beginnings of Superman in comics, TV, movies, and American culture.  Kevin Spacey does great job as narrator, taking us through the time periods  as easily as if he were telling us tales of his childhood.  While I knew most of the big facts, there were several nuggets that surprised me.

My advice: Look for this documentary on cable or find it on DVD.  A must-see for anyone who has enjoyed any of these movies, TV shows, or comics.

The Bourne Ultimatum

My trilogy of Bourne reviews ends with the one currently playing in theaters.

After spending the afternoon getting caught up, I popped over to the Regal around the corner from my place. I know — you are disappointed that I did not go to AMC, but I just didn’t feel like driving that far.

I got seated as the last preview finished, and it was then that I hit reason #429 as to why I hate Regal — my popcorn was stale and burnt. AMC has much better quality control (as well as better vendors). Then I opened my Buncha-Crunch — big shocker — the candy had been on the shelf for a long time.

Back to the movie….

The new one picks up towards the end of the second one — between his visit to the Russian girl and his phone call to Landy in NY. Thankfully, the director found a way to stabilize the camera more in this one. The main gist of this installment is to finally figure out who made Bourne, what Treadstone was/is, and if Bourne can truly leave that life behind.

The only disappointing part was the great use of Julia Stiles in the first part of the movie, only to be discarded for the second half. I felt that she was under-utilized in the second film, and that there was an unfulfilled promise to the audience for backstory in the third movie (the audience has to assume that something happened).

My advice: See it on the big screen. It is a satisfying end to the trilogy and is one of the more intelligent action flicks out there….