How to Spend $20
By Eric Hughes
September 16, 2008
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.
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.