TALLADEGA NIGHTS - Sony
You don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to love Talladega Nights.
It is one of the funniest and smartest movies that I’ve seen
in a long time—at least since Anchorman.
NASCAR stock car racing sensation Ricky
Bobby (Will Ferrell) is the star of the track. Fans adore
him and he wins because of his “win at all costs” attitude.
His teammate and childhood friend Cal Naughton Jr. (John C.
Reilly), are like brothers. They call themselves “Shake” and
“Bake” and always work together to insure Ricky’s victories.
Disaster looms when Gay French Formula
One driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) is selected to
replace Ricky on the racing team. Yes, there are gay jokes,
but the tide turns in the end and Ricky is not quite as
redneck as you think. Ricky faces many his own demons and
has to fight Girard for the right to be known as racing’s
There are touching moments in this
film—well at least they set you up thinking it will be a
touching moment and then Whammy, they hit you with a joke.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a great
comedy that you should not miss. There are tons and tons of
extras with this DVD that are listed below. Don’t miss out
on them as they are great fun to watch. The 2.40:1
anamorphic widescreen transfer looks incredible. Bright
colors and a very vivid, clear image make this a reference
quality disc. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is up to the
task to make you feel like you are in the middle of the
WINGS: Season Three - Paramount
This is the third season of this
hilarious sitcom from the 90’s. Wings is the story of Brian
and Joe Hackett (Steven Weber and Timothy Daly), two totally
different brothers who love to fly airplanes who really get
into some wacky situations. Add Helen (Crystal Bernard) the
lunch counter girl, Antonio, the Italian taxi driver (played
excellently by Monk Star Tony Shalhoub), and eccentric
mechanic Lowell (Thomas Haden Church) and you have the
perfect ensemble to make you laugh. The brothers attempt to
run a Cape Cod-based airline while getting into every
imaginable situation. In season three we see more of Antonio
and Lowell. This season is one of the funniest—the cast
really were clicking and played off each other well. I was a
die-hard fan of wings when it was on television and I am
glad yet another season is available on DVD. This boxed set
includes 22 episodes on four discs. The video quality is
much better transfer than the season one and two set. There
are no extras on this set.
ROCKY: SE - MGM
‘Rocky’ Balboa is a past-his-prime
struggling pugilist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He exists
on being an occasional enforcer for a loan shark to support
his meager apartment. It seems his best days may be behind
him and the owner of the gym (Burgess Meredith as Mickey),
where he trains, feels likewise. Mickey, believes he
could’ve made it to the top if he only put in the effort.
Through fate and circumstance Rocky pursues and unlikely
girlfriend, painfully shy Adrian (Talia Shire), sister to
his slovenly friend Paulie and also gets his one big shot
that life has seemed to appropriately deny him. He will get
to fight the current World Champion, Apollo Creed, in a
‘set’ exhibition - chance that every boxer dream of. Both
the video and audio are outstanding. There are numerous must
see extras including a tribute to Burgess Meredith, which
makes this DVD set an absolute must own.
SUPERMAN II: Donner Cut - Warner
Once again mild-mannered reporter Clark
Kent (Christopher Reeve), hiding his identity as Superman,
must fight for law and order. This time around, a
triumvirate of nasty villains from the planet Krypton break
free of their dimensional prison and hightail it to Earth,
where they enjoy the same superpowers as Superman.
Meanwhile, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) has discovered that
Superman and Clark are the same person, so Superman debates
whether to give up his abilities to become a normal man and
share his life with Lois. Richard Lester (A HARD DAY’S
NIGHT) originally helmed this sequel, but for this version
Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON) has made significant re-edits
and taken on the mantle of director. Lester’s version
excluded Marlon Brando’s reprisal of his role as Jor-El from
the first film, but Donner has scooped these scenes up from
the cutting room floor and added them to his edit of the
film. This DVD edition contains just enough creative
material that it justifies the purchase. I recommend this
version to any fan of the series.
SUPERMAN RETURNS - Warner
For five years, Superman (Brandon Routh)
has been away from Earth, coaxed into space by a belief that
Krypton may still exist. Finding nothing, he comes back to a
changed world--not only has terrorism become rampant, but
Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has married, started a
family, and won the Pulitzer for her
piece “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman.” After a stop in
Smallville to see his adopted mother (Eva Marie Saint),
Superman is back in Metropolis, and Clark Kent has his old
job back at the Daily Planet, with everyone still incredibly
oblivious to his alter ego. But where there’s Superman,
there’s Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey), and he is likely to be
planning something dastardly--in this case, using a piece of
pilfered kryptonite to grow an entirely new continent that
he will control. Superman Returns is an incredible addition
to the Man of Steel series. The audio, video, and the extras
are truly outstanding. This is a must own DVD.
THE GREEN MILE - Warner
“The Green Mile” is told in a flashback
narrated by Paul Edgecomb to his friend Elaine Connelly.
Edgecomb is now living in an old-age home some six decades
after working as the head guard on Death Row at Cold
Mountain Penitentiary. Edgecomb’s tour of duty at Cold
Mountain in the Depression-era South included watch over a
quartet of killers awaiting their final walk down “the Green
Mile,” the stretch of green linoleum flooring that took
convicts from their jail cells to the electric chair. Over
the years, Edgecomb walked the mile with a variety of cons.
He had never before encountered someone like John Coffey, a
massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of
nine-year-old sisters. Coffey certainly had the size and
strength to kill anyone, but his demeanor starkly contrasted
with his appearance. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a
deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a
prodigious, supernatural gift. Edgecomb began to question
whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls.
As the story unfolds, Paul Edgecomb learns that, sometimes,
miracles happen in the most unexpected places. The Green
Mile was one of the best pictures of the year. An incredible
storyline with superb acting.
A FISH CALLED WANDA - MGM
In A Fish Called Wanda, veteran director
Charles Crichton and scriptwriter-star John Cleese create a
dazzling quilt from various strands of English and American
comedy. The plot, in which four disparate characters attempt
a daring heist, comes from Ealing caper comedies, such as
Crichton’s own The Lavender Hill. Cleese and Michael Palin,
as the hit man with a stutter and a love of animals, come
from the anarchic tradition of Monty Python. The movie pays
savage tribute to another Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers, as
Palin attempts to kill a witness to the gang’s getaway. The
glamorous con woman (Jamie Lee Curtis) is from Preston
Sturges’s great comedy The Lady Eve, while Kevin Kline
provides his own unique feverish comic intensity. But, in
the midst of this breathless comedy, something else happens.
The barrister, Archie Leach (Cleese), who is defending one
of the gang, is jolted out of his tight-laced British
existence by Curtis’s life force. And Curtis--like Barbara
Stanwyck in The Lady Eve -- falls into her own trap: falling
in love with the man she’s conning. The 78-year-old Crichton
never before had such rich material. He times everything in
this brilliant comedy with the precision of a Swiss watch. A
convincingly hilarious picture, the DVD is one of the best
comedies of the 1980’s.