New on DVD and Blu-ray Disc: October 20, 2009

10/18/2009 Posted by Admin

Hawaii Five-O: Seventh Season
The challenge is obvious--how to make each episode as energetic as Morton Stevens' iconic theme song? For this seventh season of the long-running series, the good news is that most episodes are. Set in Hawaii, the show finds Jack Lord bringing back the heat and the cool as Steve McGarrett, the pompadoured leader of an elite four-man police team that finds Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and Danny "Danno" Williams (James McArthur) working to bring down the evil Chinese agent Wo Fat. Among others. Highlights include “The Two-Faced Corpse,” “Right Grave, Wrong Body” and “I’ll Kill ‘Em Again.” With any luck, look for the show to reprise its run--with an all new cast--should a new pilot currently in production pass muster with CBS. Grade: B+

Monsoon Wedding: Criteron Collection
An arranged marriage in Dehli causes a whirlwind of hysteria that rivals that of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” With the bride already involved with a married man and the groom wanting to date before he rushes down the aisle, what ensues is a monsoon of emotions--Bollywood style. In this special Criterion Collection, look for many extras, including a restored high-definition digital transfer, audio commentary from director Mira Nair, three short documentaries from Nair, as well as four fictional short film, the best of which is 2007’s “Migration.” Rated: R. Grade: A-.

The William Castle Film Collection
B-movie bumps in the night. This excellent collection from Sony sets the mood to camp, arrives just in time for Halloween, and features several stand-out horror movies from the 1960s, such as an ax-wielding Joan Crawford as poor Lucy Barbin in the incomparable “Strait-Jacket,” as well as “13 Frightened Girls,” “13 Ghosts,” “Homicidal,” “The Old Dark House,” the hilarious “Mr. Sardonicus,” Vincent Price in “The Tingler” and “Zoltz!” It’s unfortunate that “Macabre” and “The Night Walker” weren’t included, but this otherwise impressive set does include an insightful documentary on Castle in “Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story.” Grade: B+

Also on DVD and Blu-ray disc

Several television are available, the best of which is the seventh season of Girlfriends, a fine option for those seeking an alternative to Sex and the City. The show isn’t as daring or as baring (it didn’t, after all, appear on HBO), but its humor is cheeky and it does tackle similar issues, with its four female leads fighting to make it in Los Angeles. Also available is the fine final season of The L Word, the first season of the action-drama Flashpoint, and the fifth season of the FBI drama Numb3rs, which solves crimes with the help of…algebra!

On Blu-ray, beware three colossal wrecks--the horror movie Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead, which is suitably titled; the horror movie The Craft, which ironially lacks a trace of craft itself; and Kevin Costner’s triumphant flop, Waterworld.

Savin,g the week is the terrific Blu-ray release of Stop Making Sense which focuses on the Talking Heads in concert at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in 1983 (David Byrne was in his prime--and it shows); the DVD and Blu-ray release of Red Dwarf: Back to Earth; Tracy Morgan hosting the amusing Scare Tactics: Season Three; and Warner’s boxed set of Peanuts 1970s Collection, Vol. 1, which includes such memorable shorts as “It’s a Mystery, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Easter Beagle,” among others.

Finally, don’t miss TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams Collection, Vol. 2, as it features six Williams films, including “Fiesta,” “Pagan Love Song,” “Easy to Love,” “This Time for Keeps,” “Thrill of Romance” and the best of the lot, “Million Dollar Mermaid.”

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