Media | DVD Releases | September 11, 2007: Welcome to this week's home video releases -- focused entirely upon American audiences, sorry everyone else -- prepared with the assistance of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by VsRobot | Posted September 10th, 2007

Pick of the week

We've finally reached a week in which I have to recommend a catalog title as my Pick of the Week. At least it's a good one: Face/Off is an underrated action tour-de-force from John Woo. In between playing Stranglehold, an Xbox 360 game based on John Woo's work, why not check out his finest American film to date? Of course, none of his American films hold a candle to The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, or Hard Boiled, the triumvirate of Hong Kong action masterpieces that established John Woo as one of (if not the) finest action directors on the planet, but even so enough of his style shines through in Face/Off to make it worth watching. I've heard criticism that the plot is silly -- the script was originally a sci-fi film set in the future, where switching faces might not be as outlandish, I guess -- and that both Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are overacting, but it works in context and there are enough good ideas and fantastic action sequences to make this an essential piece of John Woo's oeuvre. That in turn makes it essential viewing for any fan of great cinema.

Also out this week

Dead Or Alive
This is how the rest of the world sees video games. I guess you could watch this for the eye candy -- or you could just play some video games and try and forget that this even exists.

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
The HBO miniseries arrives on home video. Alternately, you could simply play Turtles in Time? and get the same experience from the "Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee" level. Almost.

Reissue Highlights

From Beyond
From Beyond comes to DVD in an extended cut that previously has only been shown on the niche satellite channel Monsters HD. I don't know if it's any better than previous cuts, but the fact that this is a gorier version of a Lovecraft-based movie from the director of Re-Animator should make this a must-have for horror aficionados.

Return of the Living Dead
Until Shaun of the Dead, I would have said that this was the best zombie-comedy ever made. Even with its crown taken, this is still a worthy choice for genre fans.

TV on DVD: The Flood Continues

You might have noticed that this week is pretty light for new, triple-A narrative films. Well, here's the reason why. For me, the only one of these shows worth owning is Bones, which is an above-average interpretation of the now-cliched crime procedural. I know a lot of folks will be really excited for Grey's Anatomy, and if you've a nostalgia itch to scratch, you can take your pick from I Dream of Jeannie or Fraggle Rock. If you happen to be a 13 year old girl, time to beg the 'rents for Supernatural! The PBS crowd gets Prime Suspect, with the completely terrible Two and a Half Men, Las Vegas, and Charmed rounding out the week in TV on DVD.

High-Def Alert: The World of Blu-Ray and HD DVD

Replacement Killers is a Blu-ray exclusive this week, but the other two (whatever that anime is and Nature's Journey) are available on either format. A poor week for the high definition formats, in other words. But starting next week the weekly release lists for both formats start creeping into the double digits, with some sincerely exciting titles arriving. Do not despair, early adopters! It won't be long before you'll be juggling more movies than even the most ardent cinephile could keep up with.

I won't be around this week to discuss the week's releases on the forum, but feel free to go on without me. I'll understand.

Don't be too afraid of Philliam to discuss the week's new releases on the forums!