Ah, the DVD commentary track. It can enhance the viewing experience, highlighting artistic subtleties that deserve to be appreciated. It can also just be kind of distracting. Either way, the commentary will always include soft-speaking voices recounting cute anecdotes from production and how so-and-so was such a pleasure to work with. The people over College Humor went a little farther with this and came up with a film that’s entirely DVD commentary.
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Akira Kurosawa, who directed 30 films in 50 years, is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in film history. Any student of film worth their salt knows the minutia of Kurosawa’s obsessions and the timeless grandeur of his symphonic productions. In addition to being a vital element to the film canon, Kurosawa’s films have been fundamental to the development and expansion of The Criterion Collection, as well. The Seven Samurai (1954) is the second title in the Collection, followed by other critically important works such as Yojimbo (1961) and Sanjuro (1962).
In honor of the brilliant director’s 100th birthday, Criterion recently released this prized limited edition boxset, AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa. The set includes world renowned and previously released works, such as those noted above, and films previously unavailable in the US and new to the collection: Sanshiro Sugata, The Most Beautiful, Sanshiro Sugata pt II and They Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail.
Much like another beloved MTV cult hit The State, Daria‘s absence from the DVD market frustrated fans for the eight years the show has been off the air. Fans mobilized an online petition movement and soon became one of most wanted shows on the site tvshowsondvd.com. Rumor had it that music rights complicated Daria‘s release. The show never really had an original score and used pop songs instead. VHS releases replaced or even completely removed the music in some episodes.
But the long awaited DVD release ofThe State last year was a huge victory for cult television enthusiasts, and a teaser trailer revealed that the impossible was indeed possible: Daria is finally getting its due in 2010.
The show will be released in complete series form, including it’s two straight-to-television movies, Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?. Although the exact date is yet to be confirmed, you can sign up to be notified of the release date on amazon. Some episodes will differ from the ones originally aired, however, because of the aforementioned music rights complications.
Moon, the critically-hailed Duncan Jones-directed film that had swept several of 2009’s film festivals is released on DVD and Blu-ray this week. At the end of his three-year rotation on the surface of the Moon, astronaut scientist Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), joined only by his flight-deck computer GERTY, comes face-to-face with as an astounding personal discovery. Writer-director Duncan Jones crafts one of the most original screenplays in years with Moon, depicting a lonely man in an all-encompassing dark and claustrophobic environment, 25,000 miles from Earth, and from any human contact from any kind. Moon is, without a doubt, a must-see film.
The critically acclaimed Kathryn Bigelow-directed film The Hurt Locker is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. The film depicts Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner), leader of an elite squad of specialists commissioned to disarm bombs in the midst of conflict in the war-torn Middle East. The Hurt Locker presents a new, and gritty kind of modern warfare storytelling that packs a visceral punch. A great film that should not be missed. By far, one of the best movies of 2009.