Sunday, April 5
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Tag: DVD

GFS home movies: Michael McDonald’s This Christmas: Live in Chicago

GFS home movies: Michael McDonald’s This Christmas: Live in Chicago

Music
Having already cultivated a sizable fan base through his work with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, as well as from his solo work, Michael McDonald has spent the better part of the last decade following two different muses - classic Motown/soul and holiday music.  In 2009 he added another entry to the latter with This Christmas, pulled from a concert featuring McDonald and his band in a holiday performance on the PBS concert series Soundstage.  It's available on CD, but it's the DVD edition I'm reviewing here. I'll just say right up front that if you are already a fan of McDonald and his trademark soulful baritone, you will not be disappointed with This Christmas.  But even if you only have a passing interest in the man and his work, it's still a good addition to any holiday music co
‘Tis the season to win Michael McDonald’s new Christmas DVD!

‘Tis the season to win Michael McDonald’s new Christmas DVD!

Music
That's right kids, don't say I never give you anything.  Thanks to the generous folks over at Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music, I have a copy of Michael McDonald's latest DVD, This Christmas: Live in Chicago, to give to one lucky reader.  It features McDonald and his band in a holiday performance on the PBS concert series Soundstage. This DVD showcases a bunch of McDonald yuletide originals and covers, and even features some of his best-known solo and Doobie Brothers hits.  If you're a McDonald or latter-era Doobie fan, you will want this disc (my review is forthcoming).  But even if you just like good Christmas music, you still can't lose.  And best of all, it's free! To win your very own DVD of This Christmas, simply do any one of the following by 11:59pm (New Jersey ti
GFS home movies: Batman: Gotham Knight

GFS home movies: Batman: Gotham Knight

Movies
This is shaping up to be a banner year for Batman.  The Dark Knight comes out next week, and I can't see any way it won't kick ass.  So to whet the appetite of the hardcore Bat-fan, this week marks the release of Batman: Gotham Knight, a direct-to-DVD animated adventure. But rather than being just another animated Bat-film, Gotham Knight is actually an anthology of six short films, all presented with different styles of animation.  Those six short films, and my take on them, are: "Have I Got a Story For You" - A group of young skaters each has seen Batman at various points during the same fight with a criminal that day.  They share their accounts, and with each one Batman takes on a vastly different appearance based on the storyteller's perspective. Of all Bat's incarnations, the
GFS home movies: The Queen

GFS home movies: The Queen

Movies
I've never been much of a Royal Watcher, that devoted group of people who follow the affairs of the British royal family like others follow the characters and plot of Lost or The Godfather. While the notion of a monarchy appeals to my sense of order and love of history, I know that in almost all cases the idea looks better on paper than in reality. As an American, I suppose that anti-monarchist sentiment is ingrained in my DNA. But still, there is something fascinating about watching the institution function in our so-called modern times. The troublesome duality of the British crown is exemplified brilliantly in The Queen, starring Helen Mirren as...the queen. Mirren deservedly won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, who at the age of 25 ascended to t...
Gordon’s alive!

Gordon’s alive!

Movies
Flash Gordon fans rejoice! After being out of print for years, this classic of cinema returns to DVD on August 7 with the Saviour of the Universe Edition. And you know it'll be good, because they put the "u" in Savior! European fans (aka Region 2) already got what I hear was a pretty sweet Silver Anniversary Edition release in 2005, but we Region 1 suckers got left out in the cold. The Saviour edition does lack some of the neat extras of the Silver edition, but there's enough improvements over the original DVD release that make it appealing even if you own another copy. Most importantly, the soundtrack has been remixed for 5.1 Dolby Surround, which should be a vast improvement over the piss-poor mono on the original. A full review is forthcoming, so stay tuned. And watch out for h...
It’s not as if Columbia House doesn’t try

It’s not as if Columbia House doesn’t try

Funny Stuff
Although the days of mailing an order form with a penny taped to it and getting a bunch of 8-tracks or records are long gone, Columbia House still thrives. I joined their DVD club a few years ago so I could score some cheap DVDs, and it worked out well. I can't bring myself to quit however, so I have to remain ever-vigilant lest I be saddled with one of their unappealing, overpriced monthly DVDs (now called the Director's Selection, which makes it sound so much more important. Hey ma, I'm a director now! Where's my megaphone and riding boots?). Once a month I get an email reminding me that I have to opt out of receiving the Director's Selection or else be ready to pony up more than twenty bucks for some movie I'd be lucky to sell for half that. I love the oh-so-crafty way they try ...
GFS Home Movies: For Your Consideration

GFS Home Movies: For Your Consideration

Movies
Prior to the theatrical release of Christopher Guest's latest movie, For Your Consideration, he stated that he was done with the mockumentary genre that he perfected with films like This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind. After watching the DVD last night, that became abundantly clear. The problem is he seems to have given up while making the movie. On the surface, all the ingredients are there - there is the brilliant cast (led by Catherine O'Hara and Harry Shearer, with superlative supporting work by Fred Willard, Parker Posey, and newcomer Ricky Gervais among others) and a great setup (a handful of washed-up actors believe the unbelievable Oscar buzz surrounding the hokey WWII-era Jewish melodrama, Home for Purim, they are filming). FYC doesn't follow the exact format...
Venture Bros. Season 2 DVD teaser promo!

Venture Bros. Season 2 DVD teaser promo!

TV & Radio
Courtesy Jackson Publick's blog, there is now a viewable teaser trailer for the upcoming DVD set of The Venture Bros., Season 2. It debuted at the recent New York Comic-Con, but is now available for our viewing pleasure. I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into the 2nd season when it started. The whole "Hank/Dean as clones" plot device didn't sit well with me, but I got over it and enjoyed the rest of the season. One thing I loved -- lots of Dr. Orpheus! It's probably a good thing I ended up digging the season, because it looks like Season 3 won't hit the airwaves until next Spring. Bummer.
Fare thee well, Everwood

Fare thee well, Everwood

TV & Radio
Just my luck - I start watching a show that's already been established, get completely involved in it and then it goes away. Such has happened with the superlative WB drama Everwood, which aired its final episode last night. I got sucked into the show last year thanks to my wife, and I am saddened to see it go. Everwood had that rare blend of quality acting, writing and storytelling. It was light when it needed to be, and the moments of drama were indeed powerful. I was going to go off on a rant about how unfair it is that Everwood didn't make it to the new "CW" network while crap like One Tree Hill will live on. But that would miss the point, which is to offer a brief testimonial to one of the best TV shows I've seen in years. I can't offer a comprehensive review of the series, mai