The weekend’s here. You’ve just been paid, and it’s burning a hole in your pocket. What’s a pop culture geek to do? In hopes of steering you in the right direction to blow some of that hard-earned cash, it’s time for the FRED Weekend Shopping Guide - your spotlight on the things you didn’t even know you wanted…
(Please support FRED by using the links below to make any impulse purchases - it helps to keep us going…)
Hot on the heels of their various must-have droids, the fine folks at Sideshow have decided to grace fans with Tatooine’s favorite droid merchants with their brand new 1/6-scale Jawas (Sideshow Collectibles, $219.99). Their release comes as a two-pack, one slightly taller and featuring different accessories and costuming (vest/rifle). What’s really great about these guys, though, is the light feature, allowing you to re-create the screen accurate glowing eyes. So, unless you’ve got a bad motivator, snap up these guys right quick.
Over 30 sets in, Shout Factory has proven itself to be a miracle worker when it comes to sorting out the ridiculously tangled web of rights-holders that make releasing episodes to home video a daunting task, so they should be praised mightily for getting us to Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXVI (Shout Factory, Not Rated, DVD-$59.97 SRP). The 4-episode set contains Stranded In Space, City Limits, The Incredible Melting Man, and Riding With Death, plus a handful of bonus features. And, if you order directly from ShoutFactory.com, you’ll get an exclusive bonus disc containing the 1st And 2nd MST3K Summer Blockbuster Review specials from the Sci-Fi Channel Era. If that weren’t enough, they’re continuing to re-release the long out-of-print Rhino sets with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume II (Shout Factory, Not Rated, DVD-$44.99 SRP), which adds MST Hour wraps for Cave Dwellers and Pod People. Shout, you are doing an incredible job. KEEP IT UP.
I’ve never been keen on the Olympics, but I do love a solid comedy, and so what alternative to Rio could I possibly get than that solidly funny comedy The Bronze (Sony, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$25.99 SRP), starring Melissa Rauch as a washed-up Olympic Bonze Medal winner who risks losing her hometown hero status when she’s asked to mentor a promising young gymnast. Bonus materials include deleted scenes.
Over the course of 7 years after the film’s release, a trio of 11-year-olds in Mississippi attempted to film a shot-for-shot re-creation of Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure Raiders Of The Lost Ark. For years, their production remained unfinished. The documentary Raiders: The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (Drafthouse Films, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$34.95 SRP) chronicles the story behind their film, as well as their attempts to reunite and finish the scene they were never able to film. It’s a touching love letter to friendship and the pop culture ties that bind us together. Bonus materials include audio commentaries, deleted scenes, a Q&A, and trailers.
Certainly Disney has tried to develop their theme park IP in feature films over the years, but they’ve recently begun to exploit their iconic rides in publishing. For fans of the Haunted Mansion that want a beautifully illustrated, straightforward presentation of the tale as told within the ride, check out The Haunted Mansion storybook (Disney Press, $17.99 SRP), which comes with a bonus CD featuring the ride’s song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts”. For a deeper dive, though, there’s Tales From The Haunted Mansion Volume 1: The Fearsome Foursome (Disney Press, $14.99 SRP), a chapter book series which attempts to tell the story of one of the attraction’s 999 ghosts.
I don’t think Danny DeVito gets nearly the praise he should as a director. As a performer, he’s like a focus magnet, and then when you combine the two, as in the little-seen gem The Ratings Game (Olive, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP) - newly available in high definition - you get a sly, sharp satire about a New Jersey trucking magnate who wants to be a bigtime Hollywood producer. Also on the disc are a collection of rare short films directed by DeVito, a featurette, and deleted scenes.
Finn & Jake get swept up in Adventure Time: Card Wars (Cartoon Network, Not Rated, DVD-$18.98 SRP), with 16 episodes of the ever-deepening mythology including the titular tale of flooping the pig. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for the eventual Blu-Ray season release for bonus features, but this will tide you over until then.
Be sure to pack your lunch for the post-apocalypse with your very own Fallout Lunch Box (Thinkgeek, $14.99), featuring the retro iconography of the game and a classic metal construction sure to keep your lunch safe from robots.
How would you like 50 comedies from the first half of the 20th century, starring everyone from W.C. Fields and Laurel & Hardy to Buster Keaton & The 3 Stooges? You’ll get them and more in the ridiculously affordable Icons Of Comedy: 50 Movie Collection (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$17.99 SRP). Included with purchase is the ability to stream the entire collection via watch.millcreekent.com. So, affordable and convenient.
If nothing, the 5th season of Once Upon A Time (ABC Studios, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$79.99 SRP) has fully embraced its crazy, and has decided to dump every Disney character it possibly can into its crazy, so if you’re a fan of the more is more school of storytelling, than this is the season for you. Bonus materials include audio commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, and bloopers.
Shailene Woodley blank-facedly ambles her way over the wall in Allegiant (Summit, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP), the latest chapter in the Divergent Series of dystopian future fic. Bonus features include an audio commentary and a clutch of featurettes.
The 9th volume of Fantagraphics fab collections of Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse (Fantagraphics, $34.99 SRP) have reached the post-WWII years, with this edition covering the period between mid-1946 to mid-1948, as well as introducing the charmingly bizarre character Eega Beeva. Full of the usual bevy of insightful contextual essays and information, this is another great installment in a wonderful archival series.
The theme song is still an earworm in my brain, and now you can dive into both the first and second season of The Rockford Files (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$14.98 SRP each), which still holds up as a great detective show largely to the charisma of star James Garner, thanks to the economy-priced re-release from the folks at Mill Creek.
It’s not often you see Kevin Costner in full-on action mode, and that’s what we get in Criminal (Summit, Rated R, 4K-$42.99 SRP), which finds the memories and skills of a deceased CIA agent placed into the body of Costner’s death-row inmate, in the hopes that the Franken-personality that emerges will be able to complete the operative’s mission. Bonus materials include featurettes, deleted scenes, and a music video.
Though it’s unfortunate that they decided to end the show, at least we can deep dive back into modern comedy gold with a marathon re-watch of Key & Peele: The Complete Series (Comedy Central, Not Rated, DVD-$55.98 SRP), which contains all 5 seasons plus “The Van and Mike Show”, “The Super Episode” best of Seasons 1 & 2, and outtakes.
While it’s enjoyable enough, I was really hoping that Key & Peele’s debut feature, Keanu (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$19.96 SRP) would well and truly hit it out of the park. Sadly, it’s just a collection of scenes that vary wildly in how well the comedy hits, largely from how strong the improvisation on display wound up being. It’s a fun film, but could have been so much more. Bonus features include a featurette, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.
If you’re a fan of deep diving into all corners of the Disney creative process (as I most assuredly am), you’ll probably dig Disney Villains: Delightfully Evil (Disney Editions, $40.00 SRP), a lavish hardcover book that catalogues the foul antagonists of Disney’s animated canon, with trivia, behind-the-scenes info, and copious amounts of rare development and production art.
Let’s just all collectively ignore Zack Snyder’s grimdark universe and embrace a far more inviting feature for the DC Comics pantheon courtesy of LEGO Justice League: Gotham City Breakout (Warner Bros., Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$24.95 SRP), which finds the JL policing Gotham when Batman decides to take a vacation. And even better? It comes with a Nightwing Minifig.
Ten years on from the last installment, Barber Shop: The Next Cut (Warner Bros., Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$29.98 SRP) retains the franchise’s fresh, funny, and decidedly relevant strengths without in any way succumbing to fatigue. Maybe that’s because it manages to stay topical with a cast you enjoy visiting again. Bonus materials include a featurette, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.
I don’t want to ruin Sing Street (Anchor Bay, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$34.99 SRP) for you, because I’m hoping you’ll just go ahead and watch it cold like I did, so you can be just as swept up in its tale. Do you love music? Does it define the moments of your life? Then watch this. Bonus materials include featurettes and cast auditions.
It’s a great show, sure, but we all know the reason you absolutely must watch The Blacklist (Sony, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$75.99 SRP) is for the absolutely mesmerizing performance from James Spader. The rest is all fine and dandy, but he’s the gravy that makes the potatoes truly spectacular. As for bonus features, the 3rd season set contains audio commentaries, featurettes, and deleted scenes.
LEGO cartoons are usually fun romps, and that’s true of their new show, Nexo Knights (Warner Bros., Not Rated, DVD-$18.98 SRP), the first season set of which contains all 10 episodes of this medieval sci-fi mash-up.
I’m a sucker for a political thriller, and the mini-series The Tunnel (PBS, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$59.99 SRP) certainly delivers with its tale of the murder of a prominent French politician along the UK/France border, and the resulting joint investigation by a pair of detectives (Stephen Dillane & Clemence Poesy). Bonus materials include behind-the-scenes footage, cast interviews, and more.
I’m really struggling to say something nice about Batman V Superman (Warner Bros., Rated R, 3D Blu-Ray-$44.95 SRP), a film I well and truly loathed. A dark, depressing affair that managed to suck excitement, heroism, and even sense out of what should have been a slam-dunk big-screen pairing of two cultural icons. But, no. No, it wasn’t a slam-dunk, unless that slam-dunk was into a garbage pail full of fetid slop. But hey, the rain looks pretty in 3D. But then you also get an expanded director’s cut that adds in more. Just more. Bonus materials include a massive clutch of featurettes, and more.
Summer’s great for a great many things, but sometimes you just want to escape the ridiculously overwhelming heat by retreating into the AC and watching TV. That’s probably why I spend my summer cool-down time indulging in my love of documentaries, including a new batch hitting DVD from the fine folks at PBS. There’s history, with The White House: Inside Story (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP and Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings (PBS, Not Rated, DVD- $24.99 SRP). How about history and architecture, with Operation Lighthouse Rescue (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP). Or nature, with The Great Polar Bear Feast (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP), Nature’s Perfect Partners (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP), and Wild Ways (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP). Maybe just watch food being made in season 16 of America’s Test Kitchen (PBS, Not Rated, DVD-$39.99 SRP). It’s all great.
With all of the drama that swirls around the Supreme Court, particularly in this heated election year, the story behind Anita Hill’s testimony and the confirmation hearings of Judge Clarence Thomas, as depicted in Confirmation (HBO, Not Rated, DVD-$24.98 SRP), is both timely and fascinating. Bonus features include featurettes and character spots.
All the late Garry Marshall sought to deliver with his Day films were an amiable, heartwarming time, and Mother’s Day (Universal, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$34.98 SRP) certainly delivers on that remit, with a cast including Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts, and Kate Hudson delivering a schmaltzy, affectionate, inoffensive good time. Bonus materials include deleted scenes and outtakes.
Everyone is vacationing this summer, including Mummy, Daddy, George, and Peppa in Peppa Pig: Sunny Vacation (E1, Not Rated, DVD-$14.98 SRP), and kiddies can join them in this 4-part special. The disc also includes 8 bonus episodes that will keep them entertained.
Director Volker Schaner’s documentary about reggae godfather and the innovator of dub, Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision Of Paradise (Cadiz Music, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP) is as unique an exploration of the man and his music as it is a piece of filmmaking, blending animation within its footage. The DVD comes packaged in a 24-page hardcover book featuring photos and writings.
So there you have it… my humble suggestions for what to watch, listen to, play with, or waste money on this coming weekend. See ya next week…
Leave a Reply