This Week in Home Video: The Wolverine, Anchorman, Nashville and The Coen Brothers
This Week in Home Video previews all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and on-demand titles hitting the street this week, plus lost gems, crazed Cancon, outrageous cult titles and the best places to rent, buy, talk or see movies in Toronto.
The Wolverine (20th Century Fox)
Troubled mutant Wolverine visits Japan and battles evil, both internal and external.
Hugh Jackman's 5th go around as the titular Marvel superhero finally gets the balance right and creates the definitive loony toons version of Wolvy slicing and dicing ninjas, samurais, and various other villains informed by Eastern mysticism.
Extras wise: Along with an alternative ending, X-Men fanboys will be interested in the X-Men: Days of Future Pats set tour, along with "The Path of a Ronin", "High Jackman: The Man Behind the Mutant", and "Reflections: The Evolution of Wolverine".
Anchorman: The Rich Mahogany Edition (Paramount)
Burgundy is the new Blu, apparently. With nary a concern of over saturation, this souped-up special edition contains 3 whole different versions of Anchorman - The theatrical cut, the unrated cut, and "Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie".
With bloopers, 38 deleted scenes, commentary from the main players, and raw footage, this is about as definitive a collection of the first Anchorman you are going to find anywhere, pal. We can hardly wait for the mammoth collection of material that will accompany the Bluray/DVD release of the sequel.
Nashville (The Criterion Collection)
Robert Altman's sprawling polaroid of 1975 America shot through with a lens of paranoia and an earful of country music. With more than 24 main characters criss-crossing one another (people like David Arkin, Barbara Baxley, Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert DoQui, Shelley Duvall, Allen Garfield, Henry Gibson, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, Barbara Harris, Michael Murphy, Allan F. Nicholls, Cristina Raines, Bert Remsen, Lily Tomlin, Gwen Welles, and Keenan Wynn).
Often cited as a major work of the 1970s American film renaissance, this auteurist work feels right at home in the Criterion Collection. Extras include an audio commentary featuring director Robert Altman, a new documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with actors Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Michael Murphy, Allan Nicholls, and Lily Tomlin; screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury; assistant director Alan Rudolph; and Altman's widow, Kathryn Reed Altman, Three archival interviews with Altman, Behind-the-scenes footage , demos of Carradine performing his songs from the film, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Molly Haskell
The Simpsons - The Complete 16th Season (20th Century Fox)
The 2004-2005 series of The Simpsons, its 16th season on television arrives on DVD and Bluray. Stand out episodes include "Sleeping with the Enemy" when Nelson and Bart become best friends, "Midnight RX" which involves Homer and Grandpa smuggling prescription drugs to Springfield from Canada, "There's Something About Marrying" The Simpsons treaty on gay marriage, and "Goo Goo Gai Pan" aka The Simpsons go to China. Hard to believe it's been almost 10 years since these episodes aired. What then seemed stale and played now seem like an oasis of creativity.
Saturn 3 (Scream Factory)
Frankly bonkers Sci-Fi /horror, with old man Kirk Douglas and his young nubile girlfriend Farrah Fawcett minding a remote research facility called Saturn 3 that gets violated by a homicidal Harvey Keitel (although his voice is bizarrely dubbed by someone else) and his terrifying robot Adam. While the concept may be old hat now, rampaging murderous robots were all the rage in the '70s. We still wonder what Fawcett saw in flaccid Douglas. Once again, another ultra-obscure classic unearthed by the Scream Factory outfit - can they do no wrong?
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (20th Century Fox)
Widowed Lucy Muir moves to a quiet seaside cottage, only to fall deeply in love with the crusty sea captain who haunts it. Proper, old school Gothic romance with nary a vampire or trench coat in sight, although the bad ass Bernard Hermann score probably sent your grandma into a tizzy back in the day.
Call of the Wild (20th Century Fox)
1930s Mack daddy Clarke Gable stars as Jack Thornton, a rugged outdoorsman and adventurer on the trail of gold. Fans of There Will Be Blood might want to check this out, but while Thornton is driven like Daniel Plainview, he thankfully has a healthier outlook on humanity. Nothing at to do with anything written by Jack London (other than snow dogs and the Alaskan setting), William Wellman's 1935 version of The Call of the Wild is strait up '30s thriller and snowbound Hollywood magic.
Joel & Ethan Coen: Tall Tales at TIFF
In celebration of their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis (opening at TIFF Bell Lightbox on December 25), there is a killer Coen Brothers festival happening at the Lightbox this month. Although these films may live on Netflix and our DVD collections, their spiritual home is the big screen and they always play better with a large audience. Especially Lebowski.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5 8:45PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 8:45PM
The Big Lebowski
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 8:45 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 9:00PM