/Filmcast Ep. 24 – Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Dave, Devindra, and Adam fly guest-less in this episode of the /Filmcast, as they cut through the B.S. of Mark Millar’s Superman trilogy pitch, reflect on the career of Sam Mendes, and cry over the lost potential of Joaquin Phoenix’s abruptly terminated acting career.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Role Models.

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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. In regards to movies and shows the author hasn’t seen, the DVD release is placed in its respective category based on critic and audience response. Those who find that approach questionable are welcome to leave a comment stating their thoughts, and we’ll be happy to ignore it.

Buy It

FUTURAMA: BENDER’S GAME
Following Bender’s Big Score and The Beast with a Billion Backs, it’s now time for Futurama’s third direct-to-DVD feature (out of the planned four) with Bender’s Game, a spoof of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. According to David and Devindra on the /Filmcast (the discussion for which you can listen to when the Zack and Miri Make a Porno episode is released), this entry plays more like a series of comedic gags than a film with a compelling and structured story arc. Being that I absolutely love Futurama, I’m sure I’ll be able to forgive it (much like I did for the last film) but I really hope their final film is able to offer more of what made Bender’s Big Score such a satisfying viewing experience.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary, featurettes (‘Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama’, ’3D Models With Animator Discussion’, ‘How To Draw Futurama In 83 Easy Steps’), Storyboard Animatic: Bender’s Game Part One, outtakes, Bender’s Anti-Piracy Warning, a deleted scene (‘Cup or Nozzle?’), and a sneak peak at the next release (Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99
Amazon – $17.99

TRANSSIBERIAN
Now here’s a movie I’m excited to see. Taking place almost entirely on a train heading from China to Moscow, this indie thriller stars Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer as a couple who meet a mysterious pair of travelers and get pulled into a chase of deception and murder. The film is directed and co-written by Brad Anderson, previously having brought us The Machinist and Session 9. It currently holds a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: None.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$14.99 $19.99 $11.99
Amazon – $14.99

Rent It

GET SMART
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)
Held together by the saving grace that is Steve Carell, this pleasant and amusing action-comedy is a perfect rental and nothing more. It has some funny moments, a few cool bits of action, and a number of engaging performances. It’s also wholly forgettable and generic and is unlikely to warrant many repeat viewings. I don’t think it can be put any more simply than that.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc features solely a Comedy Optimization Mode. The 2-disc has that, plus featurettes (‘The Right Agent for the Right Job: Behind the Scenes Training’, ‘Max in Moscow: On Location or on a Soundstage? You Decide’, ‘Spying on Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control’, ‘Spotlight on Linguistics Master Steve Carell’) and a gag reel.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $14.99
Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 2-Disc with Shoe Phone Case ($24.99).
Where? Best Buy.

REAPER (SEASON 1)
I caught the first few episodes of this show when it aired (the pilot by Kevin Smith was a great way to kick it off), but was put off when it became apparent it was going to be another “monster of the week” series. After I eventually tuned out, I heard the storyline started to evolve a bit more, so I’m interested in giving it a second chance and seeing how well it’s progressed. I’m also psyched to see more Ray Wise, because he is absolutely hilarious as The Devil.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary (with the creators of the show, Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, and Deborah Spera), deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $29.99 $34.99 N/A
Amazon – $29.99

WATERWORLD (2-DISC EXTENDED EDITION)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Waterworld. I’m fully aware of what an awful movie it is, and yet I still find it enjoyable. That’s all the justification I have for being psyched to see the extended edition of the film, which I never caught when it aired on network television. It restores around 40 minutes of the footage that was cut out by Universal Pictures and star Kevin Costner against the will of director Kevin Reynolds, bringing back such cool scenes as Helen and Enola standing atop a cliff at the end of the film and uncovering a plaque that says they’re at the peak of Mt. Everest. Sadly though, the visual presentation on the extended cut is said to be piss-poor.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Disc one contains the theatrical cut, disc two holds the extended cut. No special features except for the theatrical trailer.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $14.99
Amazon – $13.99

Skip It

A CHRISTMAS STORY (ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION)
Not unlike last week’s so-called “30th Anniversary Edition” of Animal House, this “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” for A Christmas Story is nothing more than a re-packaging of the already released 2-disc DVD with a collection of sort of cool but ultimately useless extras: collectible retro holiday cookie tin, five collectible cookie cutters in iconic Christmas Story shapes, a 48-page cook book filled with recipes inspired by the film, photos and quotes and a custom-designed chef’s apron. However, unlike that Animal House cash-grab, this is at least being released in Blu-ray.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The extras are the same as on the previous two-disc set: commentary (with Peter Billingsley and director/co-writer Bob Clark), Original readings by Jean Shepard (author and voice narrator of A Christmas Story), 2 featurettes (‘Get a Leg Up’, ‘A History of the Daisy Red Ryder’), a Another Christmas Story documentary, Triple Dog Dare Interactive Trivia, Decoder Match Challenge, Hidden “Presents”, and the original theatrical trailer.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $29.99 $34.99 N/A
Amazon – $29.99

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Shrek the HallsPrimeval (Series 1 and 2)Batman (The Complete Animated Series)Fraggle Rock (The Complete Series Collection)Spin City (Season 1)JAG (Season 7)

Editor’s Notes: I decided not to link to the new releases of the Star Wars DVD originals/prequels trilogy sets and The Bourne Trilogy, since they’re blatant cash-grabs that simply repackage the already released DVDs with absolutely no new additional content. Also, to the Fraggle Rock fans who haven’t yet heard, HIT Entertainment has decided to be a giant gaping bunghole by making the only way for fans to complete their collections after purchasing season 1-3 to purchase the “Complete Series” box set for $140. You can email them about releasing an individual 4th season set at consumerrelations@hitentertainment.com.

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.


Exclusive Retail: Imax: Ultimate Collection ($79.99) and Superman: Doomsday (Blu-ray) ($27.99)

$19.99 – South Park (Seasons 1 – 10)

$9.99 – The Sarah Silverman Program (Season 1), The Batman (Season 3), Batman: Gotham Knight
$12.99 – Chappelle’s Show (Seasons 1 – 2), Reno 911 (Seasons 1 – 4), Drawn Together (Seasons 1 – 3)
$14.99 – Batman Beyond (Season 3)

2 for $12 OR 5 for $25 – Gangs of New York, Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Good Will Hunting, Rounders, Swingers, Equilibrium, Bridge to Terabithia, The Brothers Grimm, 10 Things I Hate About You, and more…


$6.99 – The Bourne Identity, Miami Vice, Friday Night Lights, Breach, The Good Shepherd, Cinderella Man, Ray, Seabiscuit, Field of Dreams, Alpha Dog, Meet the Parents, American Pie, American Pie 2, American Wedding, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, Fast Times and Ridgemont high, Fletch (The “Jane Doe” Edition), and more…


$3.99 – Garden State, X2, Sexy Beast, Find Me Guilty, The Abyss, Die Hard 2, The Day After Tomorrow, There’s Something About Mary, Moulin Rouge, True Lies, Master and Commander, Speed, In Her Shoes, and more…

The /Filmcast Interview – Rich Moore

/FilmCast

The /Filmcast Interviews are a series of interviews with movie stars, directors, and other key figures from the film industry. In this episode, David speaks with partner and animation director of Rough Draft Studios, Rich Moore, about the history of Futurama, the upcoming Bender’s Game, and his next project, Sit Down, Shut Up, with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993. Tune in on Monday night at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as we review Death Race with Paul Scheer from Human Giant.

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UPDATED: Here’s the photo of some Bender’s Game art (photo taken by me), possibly for use for the DVD/promotional purposes?

At the Comic Con Futurama panel, Fox showed some new footage for the forthcoming feature-length DVD, Bender’s Game. The trailer included riffs on high “dark matter” (i.e. gas) prices (with “Mom” playing the role of the evil oil companies), and some Futurama characters playing Dungeons and Dragons, then being transported to a Dungeons and Dragons-like world. There’s also a clear parody of The Lord of the Rings films.

The movie will be released on Blu-Ray (a first in Futurama history!) and DVD on November 4th, 2008. This post will be updated later with the some art for the movie, but in the meantime, mark your calendars for this series’ next great installment!

/Filmcast Episode 6: Wanted and Wall-E

/FilmCast

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Adam, and Devindra geek out about some brand new trailers, speculate on the future of The Office, and try to find some meaningful criticisms of Wall-E. Special Guests Kevin Buist from Filmcouch and Eric Vespe (AKA “Quint”) from Aint it Cool News join us today. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Want to advertise with us or sponsor us? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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/Filmcast Episode 5 – Get Smart

/FilmCast

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Adam, and Devindra get disappointed in the new Futurama movie, discuss whether the new Get Smart measures up, and mourn the passing of one of the greatest comedic geniuses of our time. Christina Warren joins us from TUAW and Download Squad, and Sean Dwyer joins us from Film Junk.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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This Week in DVD is a new column on /Film compiling all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

The Good

FUTURAMA: THE BEAST WITH A BILLION BACKS
Continuing its semi-return from the Fox cancellation grave yard, Futurama finally releases its second direct-to-DVD feature out of four with The Beast with a Billion Backs. It’s not nearly as dramatically compelling or well paced as Bender’s Big Score (that film was so good it had the potential to be made as a theatrical release), but it does up the ante on laughs, which is debatably something the former picture was lacking. Who really cares though? The important thing is that Futurama is back, and personally, I couldn’t be happier to see it return.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary from the cast and crew, ‘Futurama: The Lost Adventure’ (featuring the cut-scene footage from the Futurama video game), a joke interview with comedian David Cross, deleted scenes, a featurette detailing the history of the game Death Ball, and footage of voice recording outtakes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $19.99 $13.99 $13.99

IN BRUGES
This film marks one of those instances where the trailer prepares you for a movie so vastly different than the actual film that the film itself is harder to enjoy because of it. It’s still a solid movie though, so I’ll just warn you to avoid viewing it with the expectation of something Guy Ritchie or Tarantino-esque. Its witty and raunchy dialogue may come across as similar at times, but the movie is also very slowly paced, focusing heavily on existential and religious themes atop all the profane comedy. It’s definitely not your standard hitman film.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, four featurettes, and a gag reel.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $19.99 $19.99 $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy In Bruges with either Charlie Bartlett, Definitely Maybe, or Bonneville.
Where? Best Buy.

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Field Guide Editions)
Starring Freddie Highmore and featuring plenty of fantastical creatures, this movie may seem like it’s simply treading the same water as Arthur and the Invisibles. However, this children’s adventure (based on the popular book series of the same name) has the heart and imagination lacking in that film, and succeeds much more admirably because of it.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The 2-disc set includes deleted scenes, six making-of featurettes, and Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide (which includes reprinted pages from the book while letting you access relevant scenes from the film).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $16.99 $13.99 $13.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (excluding Fry’s, where it costs $21.99).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free Spiderwick Movie Storybook and bookmark with purchase of single-disc DVD.
Where? Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free “The Field Guide” book.
Where? Best Buy.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free Spiderwick Chronicles trading cards.
Where? Circuit City.

PERSEPOLIS
With a 95% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1 rating on IMDB, Persepolis (based on Marjane Satrapi’s bestselling graphic novel) is by far one of the year’s most celebrated animated films. Shot in black-and-white, the movie uses its inventive visuals as a way of setting the tone for the deeply compelling coming-of-age story ahead. The plot explores a young Iranian girl’s attempt at finding her place in the world during the Islamic Revolution.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Commentary on select scenes, a 30-minute documentary, a making-of featurette, and a Q&A from the film’s 2007 Cannes Film Festival Press Conference.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 $19.99 $16.99

CHARLIE BARTLETT
A mixed bag overall, Charlie Bartlett is an uneven yet oftentimes hilarious teen angst comedy about a wealthy teenager finding his place in the social hierarchy by becoming an unofficial school psychiatrist. It also stars Robert Downey Jr. in a supporting role, and as a rule I like to force myself to see every movie he’s in. You might want to consider doing the same, because with the filmmography he’s been building recently it’s really starting to pay off.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Three audio commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, and restroom confessionals.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $19.99 $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy Charlie Bartlett with either In Bruges, Definitely Maybe, or Bonneville.
Where? Best Buy.

The Bad

10,000 BC
Favoring a focus of style over substance (and logic for that matter), director Roland Emmerich’s epically stupid journey into the prehistoric era is both bland and frustrating to watch. The film doesn’t even make an attempt at being historically accurate, and the lack of effort shows. It might be so-bad-it’s-good were it actually entertaining.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: An alternate ending and 10 minutes of deleted scenes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99 $13.99 $13.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 2-Disc Special Edition ($22.99).
Where? Best Buy.

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Definitely, Maybe – The Hammer – Honeydripper – Xanadu (Magical Music Edition) – Trailer Park Boys (Season 7) – Bonneville – The Tattooist – Early Edition (Season 1)

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials


$17.99 – Arrested Development (Seasons 1, 2, or 3), The Simpsons (Seasons 7 or 8), Monk (Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5), Weeds (Seasons 1 or 2), Flight of the Conchords (Season 1), The Office (Season 1), The Boondocks (Season 1), and more…

$13.99 – The Incredibles, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Toy Story (10th Anniversary Edition), Toy Story 2 (2-Disc Special Edition), and more…


$14.99 – Da Ali G Show (Seasons 1 or 2), American Gangster (2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition), I Am Legend, Semi-Pro, Juno, The Bucket List, Be Kind Rewind, The Bourne Ultimatum, and more…


Buy one, get one free ($9.99) – Blade, Speed, Cast Away, Sideways, This is Spinal Tap, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Master and Commander, The Replacements, and more…

$6.99 – The Bourne Identity, King Kong, Jurassic Park, 300, Troy (Director’s Cut), Full Metal Jacket, Children of Men, School of Rock, Sleepy Hollow, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Shark Tale, Chicken Run, Flushed Away, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Antz, Shrek 2, and more…


$3.99 – Big Trouble in Little China, Cocoon, Great Expectations, and more…

$4.99 – Dumb and Dumber, Frequency, and more…

$6.99 – 28 Days Later, Edward Scissorhands, Alien, Aliens, True Lies, From Hell, and more…

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