Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP's look at the latest DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: Tim Burton celebrates another milestone, Lee Pace helps dead people and New York's most famous platonic couple says goodbye.
How to Spend $20
By Eric Hughes
September 16, 2008
Pick of the Week
For people who know not to say his name three times: Beetlejuice (Deluxe Edition)
Just a few weeks ago, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas celebrated its 15th anniversary with a special 2-disc special edition DVD. This week, the Burton celebration continues with a rerelease of Beetlejuice, which turns 20 this year.
Referred by some as a comedy classic and achieving a high 82 percent approval rating over at Rotten Tomatoes, Beetlejuice stars Michael Keaton as the obnoxious title character, a "bio-exorcist" who is called into action by a recently deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis). They then ask him to do whatever it takes to remove the new metropolitan owners (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O'Hara) from their New England house. The flick also stars a young Winona Ryder (just 16 here) as Jones' Goth daughter.
Disc includes: Music-only audio track, three episodes from the Beetlejuice animated television series.
For people who just can't quite die: Pushing Daisies: The Complete First Season
Like just about every TV series of the 2007-2008 season, ABC's Pushing Daisies had its freshman season cut short by the WGA writers strike. Instead of 22 episodes, the series only was allotted space for nine installments. However, unlike most series, especially among the newbies, Pushing Daisies earned itself a total of 12 Emmy nominations for September 21st's upcoming ceremony, including nods for Outstanding Lead Actor (Lee Pace), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Kristin Chenoweth), Outstanding Writing (Bryan Fuller) and Outstanding Direction (Barry Sonnenfeld).
The fantasy comedy series, from creator Fuller, revolves around the life of Ned (Pace), a pie-maker with the mysterious ability to bring things back to life through touch. However, with great power comes great responsibility (think Spider-Man). If something is brought back to life, another being of comparable "life value" dies, to balance out the reborn. Also, if Ned decides to touch a revived thing for a second time, it dies (but permanently this time). The series, which averaged almost 9.5 million viewers per episode in its first season, begins anew on October 1st.
Disc includes: Pie Time: Time for Pie interactive featurette.
For people who'd rather watch another Matrix movie: Speed Racer
Having been in development since 1992, a live-action film adaptation of the 1960s Japanese anime series Speed Racer finally got off the ground when producer Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta) began production on a new kind of Speed Racer: as a family film. And hey, it's the Wachowski brothers, so all is well, no? Well, not exactly. Just 37% of critics enjoyed the adaptation, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and the movie earned back just 75% of its $120 million budget when all was said and done.
Even so, Speed Racer is the story of a young man (Emile Hirsch) whose personal goal is to win The Crucible, a cross-country race rally that claimed the life of his older brother, Rex. Eventually Speed gains support from his parents (John Goodman and Susan Sarandon) and girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), to enter the competition to help rescue his family's business and the racing world itself.
Disc includes: Spritle in the Big Leagues: Movie Set Tour featurette, Speed Racer: Supercharged! - Meet the Drivers of the WRL featurette, Incredible Cars and Unbelievable Racetracks featurette.
For people who can guess this film's runtime: 88 Minutes
A film starring Al Pacino as a college professor who moonlights as a forensic psychiatrist for the FBI wrapped production in December 2005, yet it took more than two years for 88 Minutes to see the light of day at the domestic box office (and in turn, another few months to get released on DVD).
In the film, Pacino plays Jack Gramm, a professor who receives a death threat informing him that he has just 88 minutes to live on the eve of the execution of a serial killer (Neal McDonough), who Gramm helped to put on death row. For the rest of the film's runtime - which totals 88 minutes, including credits - Gramm frantically narrows down the list of possible suspects, putting the professor in communication with a number of people from his past, including an ex-girlfriend, a problem student and the alleged serial killer awaiting execution.
In addition to Pacino and McDonough, 88 Minutes also stars Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski and Amy Brenneman. Creator of NBC's Las Vegas, Gary Scott Thompson, penned the screenplay. His other writing credits include Hollow Man in 2000 and The Fast and the Furious in 2001.
Disc includes: Alternative ending, audio commentary, Director's Point of View: Director Jon Avnet on the Making of 88 Minutes featurette, The Character Within: Al Pacino Discusses What it Takes to Create the Perfect Character featurette.
For people who think Will and Jack should just together already: Will & Grace: Season Eight
NBC's hugely popular Will & Grace ended its eight-year run in 2006, yet fans of the series can finally relive the comedy's ending moments with the release of its final season. Like Will & Grace's latter series run, the eighth season is littered with a number of stunts to draw viewers' eyeballs, including a Sound of Music sing-a-long episode, guest spots by Britney Spears and Hall & Oates and two completely live episodes, which the cast ultimately performed twice (those Californians surely couldn't stand a Will & Grace tape delay!)
Disc includes: Gag reel, themed featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage from the final episode, cast interviews.
September 16, 2008
101 Dalmatians (Special Edition)
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (Special Edition)
102 Dalmatians (Special Edition)
An American In Paris (Special Edition)
Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 3
Before the Rains (Widescreen)
Beyond The Door
The Big Hit (Widescreen)
Blood Simple (Director's Cut)
The Breakfast Club (Flashback Edition)
Chuck: The Complete First Season (Widescreen)
Criminal Minds: Season 3
Criminal Minds: Seasons 1-3 (Set)
Cybill: The Collector's Edition Volume 1
The Devil's Own (Widescreen)
Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season (Special Edition)
Donnie Brasco (Widescreen)
Duckman: Seasons One and Two
Finding Rin Tin Tin
Frank Caliendo: Al Over The Place
Gigi (Special Edition)
IMAX: Great North
It Ain't Easy
The Love Guru (Special Edition)
Made of Honor
The Mist (Collector's Edition)
Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy
Private Practice: The Complete First Season (Extended Edition)
The Red Green Show: 2000 Season
The Replacement Killers (Widescreen)
Risky Business (Deluxe Edition)
Sixteen Candles (Flashback Edition)
Speed & Angels
Star Trek: Alternate Realities
Steve-O: The Early Years
Surrender Hell (Set)
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World (Set)
Torchwood: The Complete First Season
Torchwood: The Complete Second Season (Widescreen)
The Valley of Tears
Weird Science (Flashback Edition)
Who Bombed Birmingham?
Wind At My Back: Complete Fifth Season
Wind At My Back: Complete Fourth Season
Wind At My Back: Complete Third Season