Classics and contemporary favorites combine in this week’s new DVD releases. Amongst the latest DVD and Blu-ray offerings are stylish showbiz classics, schlocky horror picture shows, a recent CGI fave, TV shows old and new, and much, much more. Here’s what’s new and notable for this week!
Ten-disc boxed set includes “42nd Street,” “Gold Diggers of 1933,” “Footlight Parade,” “Dames,” “Gold Diggers of 1935,” “Gold Diggers of 1937,” “Varsity Show,” “Hollywood Hotel,” “Gold Diggers in Paris,” and “The Busby Berkeley Disc,” a toe-tapping compilation of 21 of the choreographer/filmmaker’s greatest dance numbers. Fun, fashionable and timeless, these films are well worth your time.
The William Castle Film Collection
Gimmick king William Castle added a “Fear Break” before the climax of “Homicidal” (1961), a gender-bending horror tale about a woman who pays a hotel bellhop to marry her, then murders the justice of the peace before plotting to gain a family inheritance. Jean Arless (aka actress Joan Marshall), Glenn Corbett star. Next, “Mr. Sardonicus” (1961) tells of a greedy 19th-century count whose face froze in a grimace after he defiled his father’s grave to retrieve a winning lottery ticket. Guy Rolfe, Audrey Dalton star. A mild-mannered college professor finds an ancient amulet that can make people move in slow motion, in “Zotz!” (1962). Tom Poston, Julia Meade, Jim Backus, Margaret Dumont star. And, “The Old Dark House” (1963), Castle’s spin on the J.B. Priestley novel, follows a car salesman to a spooky old estate where the members of an eccentric family begin to get picked off one by one. Poston, Robert Morley star. Five-disc set also includes “The Tingler,” “13 Ghosts” (1960), “13 Frightened Girls!,” and “Strait-Jacket” (1964).
In this hit animated adventure for the whole family, Hiccup, a young Viking who dreams of being a brave dragon killer, strikes up an unlikely friendship with one of the flying beasts after wounding it in battle. Together, Hiccup and his new friend–whom he dubs Toothless–must unite their cultures in a fight against a giant evil dragon known as the Red Death. Features the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, and Superbad co-stars Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
ABC’s popular medical drama ran from 1969-76 and starred Robert Young as Dr. Marcus Welby, a family practitioner who dealt with all manner of heath crises and social problems including everything from depression and breast cancer to rape and drug addiction. James Brolin also starred as Welby’s young associate Dr. Steven Kiley, and Elena Verdugo was trusted nurse and secretary Consuelo Lopez. All 24 episodes from the second season–including “A Very Special Sailfish,” “The Labyrinth,” “The Passing of Torches,” “The Contract,” and “The House of Alquist”–are featured in a six-disc set.
This supernatural-themed western based on the DC Comics’ anti-hero focuses on Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), a severely scarred drifter/bounty hunter who lost everything he once had at the hands of terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). When the U.S. government offers to remove the price from his head if he can stop his old foe for them, Hex teams with tough prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox) to bring Turnbull down. With Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett. This movie tanked at the box office, but is it really as bad as it reputation suggests? Find out…if you dare.
The setting may have changed, but the emphasis remains on crime and detection in the first “CSI” spin-off. David Caruso stars as Lt. Horatio Caine, a former homicide detective who now heads an elite forensics unit which includes ballistics expert Emily Procter, underwater specialist Adam Rodriguez, streetwise investigator Rory Cochrane, and Khandi Alexander. All 24 episodes from season eight–including “Out of Time,” “Point of Impact,” “Getting Axed,” “Mommie Deadest,” and “All Fall Down”–are featured in a seven-disc set.
Another day, another cancelled Joss Whedon Fox series. All 13 episodes from the second season–including “Vows,” “The Public Eye,” “The Attic,” “Getting Closer,” and “Epitaph 2: Return”–are featured in a four-disc set.
Blessed–or cursed–with the ability to communicate with the dead, newlywed antique store owner Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) uses her gift to help wayward spirits reconcile unfinished business with the living, allowing them to rest in peace. Debuting on CBS in 2005, this unique mix of emotional drama and supernatural chills also stars Aisha Tyler and David Conrad. All 22 episodes from season five–including “Birthday Presence,” “Head Over Heels,” “Dead to Me,” “Blood Money,” and “The Children’s Parade”–are featured in a six-disc set.
Adapted from a popular Israeli program, this HBO drama follows the trials and tribulations of psychotherapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) as he treats five sets of challenging patients while struggling with his own insecurities. Realizing one of the pillars of successful human understanding is to “know thyself,” Paul recruits a counselor (Dianne Wiest) to help him through his own personal troubles. All 35 episodes from the series’s second season are featured in this set.
What’s up, doc? Some of the greatest cartoons ever! Only ultramaroons would miss adding this two-disc collection of Bugs Bunny classics to their home video library! Features 17 shorts with everyone’s favorite wascally wabbit–including “The Wild Hare,” “8 Ball Bunny,” “Rabbit Fire,” and “What’s Opera, Doc?” (possibly the funniest cartoon ever)–plus an episode of Bugs’ ’60s TV show, the TV specials “How Bugs Bunny Won the West” and “Bugs Bunny’s Wild World of Sports,” the uncut original version of “Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers,” and more.
Here’s a look at last week’s New DVD Releases.