Monday, August 06, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I just picked up my copies of the 300 DVD and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Friday and (gasp!) haven’t cracked open either of them. I know, I know… And now I find myself in a new bind, because a bunch my favorite movies have new DVD releases that are out.

The Monster Squad – 20th Anniversary Edition

I already covered this way back when. It was released on July 24, but I was in Iowa at the time and didn’t have time to pick it up. I’m sure it’ll be just like a lot of movies I’ve watched again since I was a kid – a little less cool – but it’ll still be fun to watch.

Hard Boiled – Ultimate Edition (August 7)

I covered Hard Boiled on John Woo’s birthday, but it IS Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo’s greatest (and last) collaboration together. Of course, I have a copy of the original DVD release, but who can resist owning another one, especially in the non-anamorphic 1.85:1 aspect ratio? Actually, I guess that the earlier Criterion Collection set has a great commentary, but it’s been discontinued, and from what I understand, there are a number of international releases of the film that have better extras (but obviously aren’t encoded for region 1). Out of these three releases, it’s probably in third place on my wish list. Still…

Flash Gordon – Saviour of the Universe Edition (August 7)

This release really flew under my DVD radar to say the least. I didn’t find out about it until this morning when reading a story on the Hard Boiled DVD set. With the new Sci-Fi channel Flash Gordon series premiering on Friday, August 10, this is obviously a ploy to drive the fanboy interest up. And it’s working.

This was my first “cult” movie. It was cheesy and had crappy special effects, but I remember watching it as a kid in TAIWAN of all places. I think I was with my mom and one of my cousins (though I can’t remember who, of course), and I remember (and this is a child’s memory) the theater being HUGE –sort of like an IMAX theater. I’m fairly sure it wasn’t, but who knows? I loved it, and it did help that the movie was in English with Chinese subtitles. I have a vague memory of that being the second time I saw the movie, but I’m not sure.

There was an original DVD release of this when DVD first started to get really popular around ten years ago, but I never got my hands on it. I found a VHS copy at a swap meet a few years back, which I gladly shelled out $5 for. But now there’s this, with the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but apparently lacking in extras. I guess I’ll have to live with this one. Oh well, at least it’s got an Alex Ross cover. For those of you not in the know (or not a giant, geeky fanboy like myself), Alex Ross is a very popular comic illustrator who loves the movie and supplies a featurette on the DVD.

Fortunately, since the movie came out in 1980 and they missed the 25th Anniversary, he next target time to release an edition is 2010 for the 30th Anniversary. I can’t wait to hear Queen belt out the theme song: “Flash! Ah-ahhhhhhhh!!!!! He’ll save every one of us!”

Also, though I’m not as big a fan of these movies, both The Dark Crystal (25th Anniversary) and Labyrinth have new-release DVD sets as well (both August 14). As a side note, the Labyrinth release is the “Anniversary Edition,” though it’s the 21st anniversary this year. The movie came out in 1986. Hmm…

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Oh, and I just saw Remember the Titans again on TNT over the weekend and finally realized that three of the bit players in the movie have gone on to have terrific film and television careers: Kate Bosworth, Ryan Gosling, and (a very young) Hayden Panettiere.

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