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Fresh Fodder: New DVD Releases - 07/24/07

All we can say is - it's about time! The summer sure has given us a drought, and we're not talking about rain shortages, our friends! Hollywood has sent us the deluge this week (even in the 'Best of the Rest' section), so much so that we're gonna get right down to it! Scroll away!

As always, leave us your mini-reviews in the comments!

The Stuff We Care About

RenaissanceRenaissance

We've been looking forward to this release for some time now, ever since Ain't It Cool dropped the link to the trailer. Its blend of scifi, computer animation, and stylistic art direction had our geeky pants soiled from get-go.

You see, "Renaissance" takes place in Paris - in the year 2054. Ilona Tasuiev, a scientist for Avalon (who conducts genetic research on eternal youth), is kidnapped by an unknown figure at the start of the film. Avalon employs Inspector Barthelemy Karas (voiced by Daniel Craig), hard-boiled leader of the Section K police task force, to find Ilona. So the mystery begins, playing out like film-noir scifi movies of the past, but like nothing you've ever seen before.

It is unfortunate that at an initial glance, "Renaissance" will draw comparisons to "Sin City." Although the two films share a similar CG style, "Renaissance" is entirely motion-captured animation with a  pure black-and-white filter thrown over the top - and to stunning effect. Like "Sin City," this lends to the film noir aspects of the plot, but the CG allows for a much wider directorial range than Robert Rodriguez had in "Sin City" with his real actors on a green-screen set.  While this makes for some mind-blowing scenes, the movie does suffer from that videogame cut-scene feel, where the emotional impact of the characters is robbed by our inability to perfectly mimic the human face in CG. It's close - damned close - but sometimes the characters feel like cardboard cut-outs.

In the end, the story suffers from a script that seems to ache to be an excellent old-fashioned detective yarn set in the future, but can't overcome its convoluted nature to deliver an engaging plot.  Is the movie worth watching? Absolutely! "Renaissance" is a landmark in artistic story-telling, and you can't help but pull for it. Is it going to blow you out of the water, like the first "Matrix" did? Parts of it will, which in the end helps you overlook a story muddied with flaws.

Features
  • Rating: Rated R for some violent images, sexuality, nudity and language.
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Format: Widescreen Anamorphic, 2.35:1, Closed Captioned, Color
  • DVD Features: Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Audio Track 1: English, Dolby Digital 5.1, Audio Track 2: French, Dolby Digital 5.1
Special Features
  • "The Making of Renaissance" featurette

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


Zodiac
Zodiac

Synopsis: Based on the Robert Graysmith books about the real life notorious Zodiac, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco with a string of seemingly random murders during the 1960s and 1970s.

Features
  • Rating: Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images.
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
Special Features
  • None listed

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


The Number 23The Number 23
(Unrated Infinifilm Edition)

Synopsis: "Carrey becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise."

Features
  • Rating: Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
Special Features
  • Commentary Track with Joel Schumacher
  • 15 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • "The Making of The Number 23" Featurette
  • "The Number 23 Enigma" Featurette
  • "How To Do Your Numbers" Featurette
  • "Beyond the Movie" Branching Featurette

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


The HostThe Host
(2-disc Collector's Edition)

Synopsis: "A mutant emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people."

Features
  • Rating: Rated R for creature violence and language.
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean, English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Magnolia Pictures
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
Special Features
  • Making-Of Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • Featurettes

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


PerfumePerfume -
The Story of a Murderer

Synopsis: "Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent."

Features
  • Rating: Rated R for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images.
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
Special Features
  • "The Story of Perfume" Featurette

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


Monster SquadThe Monster Squad
(2-Disc 20th Anniversary Edition)

Synopsis: "Dracula is alive. In fact, he plans to rule the world and that is why he seeks the help of other legendary monsters. However, a bunch of kids regarded by their peers as losers uncover the devious plan and prepare for a counter strike."

Features
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
Special Features
  • Audio commentary by Fred Dekker and actors Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert and Ashley Bank
  • Audio commentary by Fred Dekker and director of photography Bradford May
  • Monster Squad Forever!-a five-part retrospective featuring new interviews with Dekker, actors Gower, Lambert, Bank, Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan and more!
  • A Conversation with Frankenstein-a never-before-seen classic interview with the Monster himself (Tom Noonan in makeup)
  • Deleted scenes
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • TV spot
  • Still gallery

Wikipedia entry  IMDB details  Amazon details  Add to Netflix Queue

Preview:


Looking Forward to Next Week?
 
300 (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

Hot Fuzz

Pathfinder (Unrated Edition)  


The Best of the Rest

Stargate SG-1 - Season 10   4.5/5 stars
Weeds - Season Two   5/5 stars
The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection   5/5 stars
Hard Boiled (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)   4/5 stars
Garbage: Absolute Garbage   5/5 stars
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Vol. 3   5/5 stars
The Contract   3/5 stars
The Secrets of Isis - The Complete Series   5/5 stars
Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 (The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)   4.5/5 stars
Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Sixth Season   4/5 stars
The Ultimate Underdog Collection Volume 1
The Bourne Files 3-Disc Collection (The Bourne Identity / The Bourne Supremacy)
The Ultimate Underdog Collection Volume 2
Star Trek Fan Collective - Captain's Log   4.5/5 stars
Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (MGM World Films)   5/5 stars
Raise the Red Lantern (MGM World Films)   3.5/5 stars
A Bit of Fry and Laurie - The Complete Collection... Every Bit!   5/5 stars
The Pirate   4.5/5 stars
Ivan's Childhood: Criterion Collection   4/5 stars
Benson - The Complete First Season   4.5/5 stars
The Ultimate Underdog Collection Volume 3
Pet Shop Boys: Cubism in Concert   5/5 stars
Les Enfants Terribles: Criterion Collection
Land of the Giants - The Full Series (The Giant Collection)   3.5/5 stars
Tan Lines   5/5 stars
Cashback   4/5 stars
The Real McCoys: Complete Season 1   5/5 stars
Never Say Die: The Complete Final Concert (W/ 2 Audio CDs)   5/5 stars
Posted by on July 24, 2007 12:09 PM
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