The Best of Soul Cinema DVD Collection
It's deeply unfortunate that the best film in this box, COOLEY HIGH, is an old-fashioned Pan & Scan edition but it seems heartbreakingly unlikely that the movie will see a fancy, proper release any time soon. As much as I like all of them, it's baffling that such an unassuming coming-of-age comedy as COOLEY has been packaged with three straight-up blaxpoitation punch 'em ups [COFFY, FOXY BROWN and HELL UP IN HARLEM] and a next-generation homage to/parody of the genre's punchiest [I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA], but that's just The Man fucking with us, I guess.
The Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection
This fine set has all of Lee's prime feature films -- THE BIG BOSS, FIST OF FURY, WAY OF THE DRAGON, GAME OF DEATH, and GAME OF DEATH II -- but not ENTER THE DRAGON, which has its own swanky 2-disk release. The best films in this set -- either FISTS OF FURY or WAY OF THE DRAGON, depending on if you prefer a bulk-lot of canned whupass or merely want to watch Chuck Norris get his ass kicked for your movie's climax -- are worth the price of the entire box.
Futurama - Volume 1
Futurama - Volume 2
Futurama - Volume 3
Futurama - Volume 4
I prefer FUTURAMA to THE SIMPSONS; yeah, I'm that guy. I just like that it's more mature, smarter, visually prettier and that it doesn't pussy out and shoehorn some moral lesson and/or happy ending into every episode's last segment as much as SIMPSONS. The news of the OVA deal [BENDER'S BIG SCORE having just been released] and the new launch on Adult Swim were the best entertainment news I heard in years.
Ingmar Bergman Special Edition DVD Collection
Contains the Special Editions HOUR OF THE WOLF, THE PASSION OF ANNA, PERSONA, THE SERPENT'S EGG and SHAME as well as an extra featurettes disc. PERSONA and ANNA and the almost-Criterion amount and quality of the extras are worth the price [less the cost of whatever other set you pick up] of admission here, even though MGM still hasn't gotten the films' aspect ratio right.
The Man with No Name Trilogy Gift Set
The Sergio Leone Anthology
Contains Sergio Leone's classics A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Someone once described these as Westerns for people who hate Westerns; I think post-Cinemascope Westerns that aren't presented in butchered pan & scan transfers are for people who hate Westerns. I thought the genre was imbecilic and boring until I saw UGLY in a revival-house theatre, which was also when I discovered how much TV mitigates the power of even the greatest movies filmed wider than 1.33.1. The Trilogy Gift Set contains the single-disk editions of the films whereas the Leone Anthology has the 2-disk Collectors editions of the No Name films and A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE [aka DUCK YOU SUCKER].
Mel Brooks Boxset Collection
What I said about the Bergman box above, only replace PERSONA and PASSION OF ANNA with BLAZING SADDLES and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Also includes HIGH ANXIETY, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS, SILENT MOVIE, TO BE OR NOT TO BE and THE TWELVE CHAIRS.
Planet of the Apes - Legacy Box Set
Planet of the Apes TV Series
I would have rebought these Saturday-afternoon-mental-junk-food movies in the Ultimate Collection set but for two dealbreakers; the inclusion of the Burton remake [ew] and I didn't trust myself to not style and restyle Caesar's hair every time I saw it. The Legacy box spares us all those horrors with just the original five movies and a bonus featurettes disk. Now, if the Ultimate set had been packaged in the Lawgiver statue's head, I would have bought it and thrown the Burton away immediately. I don't remember the TV show much -- it was very FUGITIVE/ALIAS SMITH AND JONES-like, with two more star-crossed humans on the run from the damn, dirty apes? -- but I'm including it here for convenience's sake.
I love the first one -- everyone loves the first one -- but I remember the sequels not being good, even as junk. I am curious to see them again anyway -- a wonk [whose taste in movies I respect anyway] included ROBOCOP 2 in his short list of best movies about artists [in one way or the other]. Hmm, I should post my Top 10 list of those movies too.
Roger Corman Collection
What I wrote about the Bergman and Brooks boxes, only replace PERSONA/BLAZING SADDLES and PASSION OF ANNA/YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN with X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES and THE TRIP. Also includes BLOODY MAMA, THE YOUNG RACERS, THE WILD ANGELS, THE PREMATURE BURIAL, GAS-S-S and A BUCKET OF BLOOD.
The Shield - Complete First Season
The Shield - Complete Second Season
The Shield - Complete Third Season
The Shield - Complete Fourth Season
The Shield - Complete Fifth Season
Yeah, the show suffers from Actor-as-Executive-Producer-itis -- but then again, I've known far uglier cops who have reeled in far more attractive women; I think being a state-licensed sociopath is more appealing than we'd care to admit. It's a solid TV cop show, nothing major, although I admire how organically the transitions in A, B and C plots are juggled and how remarkably well-balanced an ensemble piece it is. I especially enjoyed Season Five: Forest Whitaker vs. Chiklis in the ultimate battle of pseudo-Method acting! Who will be the twitchiest? Who will steal the most scenes?? Will any of the scenery survive unchewed??? I sometimes think that Whitaker is the last true movie star, despite being such an asymmetrical man, and I really enjoyed his scenery chewing as the slowly disintegrating Internal Affairs guy.
The Simpsons - The Complete First Season
The Simpsons - The Complete Second Season
The Simpsons - The Complete Third Season
The Simpsons - The Complete Fourth Season
The Simpsons - The Complete Fifth Season
The Simpsons - The Complete Sixth Season
Glorious. I don't understand the move to the character-head packaging with season 6 [which are limited-edition deals for season 7 and on? Lame.] -- and you just know that the show's hardcore fans are sure to be screwed by an extra-special all-in-one megaset of the entire show sooner of later -- but six sets for the price of a deeply discounted three is nothing to sneeze at.
Steve McQueen Giftset - 4 Pack
Contains the single-disk editions of THE GREAT ESCAPE, JUNIOR BONNER, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR -- there are so few hardcore McQueen fans left these days that this box and the 2-disk BULLITT set will suffice, I think. I admire that McQueen was almost undoubtedly the only actor-turned-producer who actually had his roles/lines reduced instead of expanded.
That 70s Show - Season 1
That 70s Show - Season 2
That 70s Show - Season 3
That 70s Show - Season 4
That 70s Show - Season 5
That 70s Show - Season 6
The dearth of special features on these sets almost guarantees that the show will be repackaged in a Complete set with real extras, but these editions would be fine Xmas presents until then. I watch the show waiting, perhaps sometimes praying that Red Foreman will walk in on the kids in the basement and say "BITCHES LEAVE."
Tyrone Power - Swashbuckler Boxset
You don't have to be Alex Toth to love Tyrone Power. Contains THE BLACK ROSE, BLOOD AND SAND, CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE, PRINCE OF FOXES and SON OF FURY: THE STORY OF BENJAMIN BLAKE.
World War II Collection
Contains the single-disk editions of Darryl F. Zanuck's THE LONGEST DAY and Richard Fleischer's TORA! TORA! TORA!, the earlier two-disk version of Coppola & Schaffner's PATTON, and Terence Malick's THE THIN RED LINE -- Fox has released new Special Editions of at least the first three movies, but I'm quite content with my copy of this older box.