Saturday, April 02, 2005

DVD Release Roundup

This blog is always in danger of becoming a series of "Hey, I just watched this on DVD" posts. So, as an alternative, I'll do a "Hey, this is coming out on DVD soon..." post. Here are some upcoming DVD releases of interest to those with an interest in Something Old and/or Nothing New:

- May 24 brings the first DVD release of Baa Baa Black Sheep, aka Black Sheep Squadron. This is sort of the ultimate Stephen J. Cannell show, with all his strong points -- fast, funny, action-packed, great dialogue -- and weak points, like repetitive plotting and the almost total nonexistence of women. Also like most Cannell shows, it started as an attempt to latch onto a formula popularized by something else, in this case M*A*S*H and its combination of service comedy and wartime drama. You could say that Black Sheep was like M*A*S*H except with the preaching replaced by action scenes. The DVD release includes the first 10 episodes, and it's probably worth a rental at least.

- Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait is on its way from Criterion in June. I want to write more about this one, but I'll just say that this is not only a great Lubitsch movie, it is one of the great Fox Technicolor movies -- no studio ever made color movies as beautiful-looking as Fox in the '40s. The VHS version didn't do justice to Heaven Can Wait, Lubitsch's only completed color movie, so the DVD should be eye-popping.

- A post on a message board also mentioned that Criterion's releases for July will include Louis Malle's Goodbye, Children -- or Au Revoir Les Enfants if you think it's in bad taste to call French movies by English titles -- and Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours. I'm still a little disappointed that Criterion's distribution deal with Fox hasn't led to any releases of Frank Tashlin movies (somebody should release Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and Fox probably isn't going to do it), but they've got a lot of worthwhile stuff coming as a result of the deal.

- Clueless, the best Jane Austen adaptation ever and a movie about which I have made my feelings known, will apparently be coming out in a 10th-anniversary special edition DVD this summer.

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