Tuesday, October 30, 2007

DVDs: Spidey, Stanwyck, And A Slice Of Cherry Pie

Howdy folks! JA from MNPP here, bringing you the dish on what DVDs are arriving today at the local Stop 'N Shop for that most All-American of pastimes: the pursuit of unfettered consumerism.

Spider-Man 3 - I wasn't as derisive towards this third installment of the web-slinging series as most - for one, I enjoyed the goofiness of Peter Parker's emo-slide into the evils of hair-dye and musical sequences - but I'll certainly admit it's the sloppiest and least satisfying of the trio. What worried us fans beforehand - too many villains! - turned out to be the case, and the film feels rushed like a shoddy superhero suit, bursting its seams. Edna Mode would have had none of this nonsense.

Talk To Me - Don Cheadle and 'Chewie' Ejiofor (he lets me call him 'Chewie', by the way) spar as real-life D.C. radio personality "Petey" Green and his producer Dewey Hughes, respectively. Directed by the terrific Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou).

El Cantante - I had nothing to say about this when it came out in theaters; I have nothing to say about this now that it's on DVD. I just hope it means I'll never have to watch J-Lo shake her behind in my face ever again. It does, right? Right???

Boob Tube Box-sets - Big day for TV-on-DVD lovers!
Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Box Edition - I've been waiting for this entire series to come onto DVD for years. I've never seen a single episode, nor Fire Walks With Me; I've been waiting for the entire run to become available. So I'm tinkled pink that the day's finally arrived that I can now know what the hell a Log Lady is.

My So-Called Life: The Complete Series - This came out in a super-expensive box-set a few years back that's been basically impossible to get one's hands on for about as many years, so this lower-priced re-release (of sorts - it looks like there are new extras added on, including an audio commentary by Angela Chase herself!) will mark the first time I'll see the episodes since their initial run, wherein I fell hopelessly in love with Jordan "So you, like, read and stuff?" Catalano... I fear the power of that old flame could consume me once again.

From The Vaults
Barbara Stanwyck: The Signature Collection - How crucified will I be for admitting on this site that I'm fairly certain I've only seen a single Barbara Stanwyck film (that being Double Indemnity)? I know for certain that I've seen none of the films on this set, which includes Annie Oakley, East Side, West Side, My Reputation, Executive Suite, Jeopardy and To Please A Lady.

So tell me about her in the comments. What should I see? What am I missing here?


.rs said...

You're missing Twin Peaks, everything else can and must wait. It does get weaker as the season 2 progresses, but it's certainly one of the most enjoyable and most suspenseful television shows I've ever watched.

Is El Cantante really that bad? It's not like I'm crazy or enthusiastic about it, I'd just like to see it eventually. Or should I just stay away from it, remain faithfull to the good old Selena and check out the recently released extended version?

Anonymous said...

Talk to Me is great, hopefully more people will see it on DVD.

John T said...

Okay, you need to start with The Lady Eve, which is absolutely a delight (if you like screwball comedies, which really, who doesn't?). Otherwise, I'd jump into the fun melodrama duo of Sorry Wrong Number and Stella Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Stanwyck was a presence in a movie... not a great actress but strong and commanding of the screen. I loved Sorry, Wrong Number, Lady Eve and Executive Suite... she also had a TV series.. The Big Valley, which I believe, is shown on cable.

Unknown said...

1. the Lady Eve
2. the Miracle Woman
3. Forty Guns
4. Baby Face
5. Remember the Night

Anonymous said...

You should Ball of Fire. It's a great screwball comedy that also stars Gary Cooper and very prestige supporting actors


careful anon. Lots of people think that Stanwyck is one of the greatest actors ever

I've actually starting investigating her BECAUSE of comments on the blog and her strong showing in a long ago "favorite actress ever" poll on the site.


oh and also: i can't wait to revisit both TWIN PEAKS and MY SO CALLED LIFE which are up there with BUFFY as greatest series ever. my top three essentially...

there's a great essay on my so called life in this past Sunday's NYT which i highly recommend reading if you're a devotee of the series.

Anonymous said...

honestly, i'm SHOCKED you haven't seen twin peaks. it's absolutely must-watch, even as we're getting third-generation copycats like LOST. and i really REALLY hope they haven't spoiled who the killer is for you, but about half the online reviews do, so there goes that!

Jason Adams said...

I do not know who the killer is!!! I know I've been told before, but I keep wiping it from my memory. So when I watch the episodes and find out it'll probably hit me that, oh yeah, I knew that, but for now I am blissfully unaware.

That is, until the next comment, probably. :(

gabrieloak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gabrieloak said...

Twin Peaks' first season was great and the pilot is phenomenal. But as the series progressed, it got almost too scary for words and definitely too creepy in its violence toward women.

I think Stanwyck is wonderful in most everything she's in. Definitely start with Ball of Fire and The Lady Eve. According to the NY Times today, that Signature Collection is worth checking out. And it would be worth seeing her in a film in which she played opposite William Holden because I think she loved him. I remember Stanwyck saying something like that on the Oscars.


i personally don't think it's any less creepy if you know who the killer is going in... love that show.

as for Stanwyck I heartily recommend Executive Suite to all who will listen. Fine underseen gem with just one terrific performance after another.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

I also recommend "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." You liked Agnes Moorehead in "The Magnificent Ambersons" right? She has a great supporting role here, maybe less than five minutes but it is so crucial to Stanwyck's character's development.

Glenn Dunks said...

Twin Peaks is perhaps my favourite media (tv, film, music) thing ever. It encompasses everything that is amazing. It has filmic feel but the length of tv and has some of the finest music ever recorded.

I watched it back in 2002 after seeing my first Lynch movie Mulholland Drive. I borrowed the VHS tapes from a friend of my mother and watched them all. Fascinating. And I've since watched the first season on DVD way too many times to mention.

I have seen the second season up until the killer is revealed (was watching it with a friend who didn't know, she guessed who it was but only during the reveal episode). I need to sit down and watch the rest. Even thought there are stupid things in season 2 like the superstrength plotline, there is also the Windom Earle storyline and... well, that's amazing.

Also, a "log lady" is fascinating.

PIPER said...


I'm a little pissed about the Twin Peaks Boxed Set since I own both seasons individually and it seems a bit un-lynch like that there would be so many versions floating around. But I have read that the documentary is fascinating and a good look into why this show failed.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel from anon

I still stick by my guns that Stanwyck was not a GREAT actress... she was very good and was extremely popular in the 40's and 50's... but see some of the suggested movies and decide for yourself!!!