Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II

[adultswim] aired Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II this week. If you missed it, you can now watch the entire episode online at AdultSwim.com.

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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.

The Good

30 ROCK (SEASON 2)
I plan on one day marrying Tina Fey. I don’t care that she’s already married, or that she’s twice as old as me, or that she’s a Hollywood celebrity who I’ll probably never even meet, or that she would immediately reject me even if we did meet. Things like that don’t matter when you have love on your side. And when it comes to Tina Fey, what’s not to love? She’s beautiful, smart, funny as hell, and is the creator of a knockout sitcom that only got better during its second season. The show also features Alec Baldwin in one of his best roles, and has this energetic and goofy style that plays perfectly against its biting wit. …On second thought, maybe I want to marry 30 Rock. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for buying it. Season 2 consists of 15 episodes.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A commentary (with Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer), deleted scenes, bloopers, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $26.99 $34.99 N/A
Amazon – $26.99

ROBOT CHICKEN (SEASON 3)
A cavalcade of ’80s and ’90s pop culture references and parodies, Robot Chicken offers exactly what you expect season after season and does so while making you laugh your ass off. Presented in a mix of clay-mation and distorted action figures, the show buzzes through sketches so fast that even if one doesn’t exactly hit its mark, you won’t have time to complain because you’ll be busy snickering at the next one. It’s the perfect viewing material for when you’re bored and have 15 minutes to kill. Season 3 consists of 20 episodes.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Episode commentaries on all 20 episodes, video commentary, gag reel, VFX comparison, alternate audio, deleted animatics, deleted scenes, studio tour, and video blogs.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $21.99 $18.99
Amazon – $21.99

THE VISITOR
Directed by Thomas McCarthy (who’s directorial debut was The Station Agent) and starring the consistently underutilized yet always recognizable Richard Jenkins, The Visitor follows a lonely professor who befriends a young couple who are illegal immigrants and have been squatting in his New York City apartment. The film received rave reviews, with the Rotten Tomatoes ranking reaching 93%, and the consensus being that the movie is a “heartfelt, humanistic drama that deftly explores identity, immigration, and other major post-9/11 issues.”
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A commentary (with director Thomas McCarthy and star Richard Jenkins), deleted scenes, and two featurettes (‘An Inside Look at The Visito’, ‘Playing the Djembe’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$14.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $14.99

PARANOID PARK
I wish I could’ve seen Paranoid Park before the writing of this column, because despite the positive reviews the film has gotten (it holds a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes), it’s also been repeatedly referenced as being akin to some of his previous efforts, such as Gerry, Elephant, and Last Days. Now, I realize there are plenty of people who love those movies and see them as beautifully directed displays of atmosphere and artistry, but personally, I find them to be the pinnacle of pretentious filmmaking, never intending to tell a properly rounded story and always allowing shots to drag on for far too long. Because of this, I have similar reservations about Paranoid Park, although I do have to admit being intrigued by the premise (exploring a teenage skateboarder’s life after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard).
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: None.

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

The Average

THE SIMPSONS (SEASON 11)
As a major fan of The Simpsons, I have to admit I will still be buying the show’s 11th season on DVD, even though I know full well that this is where the series really began to go downhill. Thing is, even “weak” Simpsons is still better than a lot of other shows on TV, and there are enough decent episodes featured in the set to avoid making it a complete disappointment. All we can do now is wait for the rest of the lousy seasons to come out on DVD, until finally we get to the point where we’re getting the DVDs for when the show started to get good again. Sadly, I think it’s gonna be awhile.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Audio commentaries, deleted scenes, an Animation Showcase, a Line From Matt Groening featurette, and a commercial.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$29.99 $28.99
Amazon – $29.99

YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN
(Available as single disc Original Theatrical Version, single disc Extended Version and 2-Disc Extended Version)
I have a weird love-hate relationship with Adam Sandler. I like him as an actor, and thought he did great work in Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me, but in general I dislike most of the comedies he does. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan isn’t any different, and unsurprisingly, critics were equally unfavorable toward it. Clearly though, we are not the intended audience for the film. So I’ll turn to you guys: please, say what you thought of the movie in the comments. Has Sandler still got it?
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The two-disc edition includes a commentary with director Dennis Dugan, deleted scenes & alternate takes, and a ton of featurettes (‘Laughing is Contagious’, ‘Disco Break’, ‘Shooting Baja for Tel Aviv’, ‘Look Who Stopped By’, ‘All American Redneck’, ‘Dugan: The Hand’s on Director’, ‘The Stunts of Zohan’, ‘Dugan Espanol?’, ‘Zohan vs. The Phantom’, ‘From Guns to Scissors’, ‘The Robot’, ‘Zohan’s Doubles’, ‘News on 3: Breaking News Reports’, ‘Getting Sticky’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $19.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $20.99 at Fry’s and $22.99 at each of the other listed stores (and $23.99 at Amazon).

The Bad

THE HAPPENING
A smorgasbord of ill-conceived ideas, unintentionally hilarious moments and eventual dreary boredom, The Happening is a spectacular failure in every way. It’s a truly awful film, one which might’ve had a lot of promise at one point, but was quickly reduced to the expected Shyamalan trifle, further brought to the brink of awfulness courtesy of two talented actors (Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel) delivering the worst performances of their career. I blame Shyamalan for that, too.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes (with introductions from M. Night Shyamalan), a gag reel, and behind the scenes featurettes (‘The Hard Cut’, ‘A Day for Night’, ‘Elements of a Scene’, ‘Visions of The Happening: A Making of’, ‘I Hear You Whispering’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $14.99
Amazon – $19.99

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Sleeping Beauty (2-Disc Platinum Edition)How I Met Your Mother (Season 3)South Park: The Cult of CartmanPsycho (Universal Legacy Series)Vertigo (Universal Legacy Series)Rear Window (Universal Legacy Series)Touch Of Evil (50th Anniversary Edition)The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (50th Anniversary Edition)Watership Down (Deluxe Edition)Slacker UprisingHalloween (Three-Disc Unrated Collector’s Edition) (2007)Kill SwitchMartin (Season 5)Joy Ride 2: Dead AheadFeast II: Sloppy Seconds

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

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


Exclusive: Sleeping Beauty (2-Disc Platinum Edition) ($15.99) includes sampler DVD, which features highlights from the all-new Tinker Bell movie.

$10.00 – Office Space (Special Edition), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Extraordinarily Deluxe 3-Disc Edition), The Kingdom, and more…


Exclusive: South Park: The Cult of Cartman ($19.99) includes free Cartman figurine.

Exclusive: Sleeping Beauty (2-Disc Platinum Edition) ($14.99) includes Sleeping Beauty alarm clock.

Exclusive: Get a FREE Buffy Exclusive Bonus Disc featuring bonus content with the purchase of any Fox Sci-Fi show on DVD.
$19.99 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1 – 7), Angel (Seasons 1 – 5), Dark Angel (Seasons 1 – 2)


Exclusive: Sleeping Beauty (2-Disc Platinum Edition) ($14.99) includes free Sleeping Beauty iron-on decal.

$7.49 – Silence of the Lambs (Collector’s Edition), Mr. Brooks, Live Free or Die Hard, Hitman, Death Sentence, The Hills Have Eyes, 28 Weeks Later, 28 Days Later, Donnie Darko, Click, Spanglish, Punch-Drunk Love, Anger Management, Big Daddy, Fun with Dick and Jane, Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets, Stripes, and more…

$3.99 – Team America, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, War of the Worlds, Training Day, Any Given Sunday, For Love of the Game, Blade, Cellular, Empire, Natural Born Killers, City of Angels, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Bueller… Bueller… Edition), Airplane (“Don’t Call Me Shirley” Edition), Pretty in Pink (Everything’s Duckie Edition), School of Rock, Baseketball, and more…


$3.99 – Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Fish Called Wanda, Manhunter, Guys and Dolls, and more…

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.

The Good

SPACED (THE COMPLETE SERIES)
Finally being made available in the US, the 14-episode long UK sitcom Spaced proves what hilarious characters and writing can do with even the simplest of premises. The show comes from the minds of the hilarious star-director duo Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (and let’s not forget Nick Frost, who has a supporting role here), who later went on to make the instant classic hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If that isn’t enough to convince you this is a must buy, you must not have seen those films.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: New audio commentary By Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody, the original commentaries included on the VCI release, deleted scenes, raw footage, a Spaced On Stage reunion Q&A, a feature length documentary, outtakes, and a Homage-O-Meter.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$34.99 $39.99 $59.98 $44.99

ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS
Beating out Family Guy’s Star Wars special (entitled “Blue Harvest”) to the punch by a few months, Robot Chicken’s special is just now getting the treatment it deserves. Some people may not find much incentive to pick this set up, being that it’s only one 23-minute episode and you can already watch it online for free at AdultSwim.com. More diehard fans of Robot Chicken/Star Wars, however, will find justification for the splurge courtesy of the extensive amount of special features and the very low price.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Seven audio commentaries, video commentary, an animation meeting, a behind the scenes featurette, a production design featurette, deleted scenes, a panel presentation, time lapse sequences, alternate audio recordings, and on-air bumps.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$8.99 $9.99 $8.99 $7.99

HIGH AND LOW (CRITERION COLLECTION)
From Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, this two-act 1963 police procedural (based on a detective novel by Ed McBain) insightfully explores and comments on Japanese society through the tale of a wealthy industrialist who learns his son has been kidnapped. High and Low may not be one of Kurosawa’s most popular works, but quality-wise it’s definitely up there.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a retrospective documentary with Akira Kurosawa, two interviews, a trailer gallery, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

VAMPYR (CRITERION COLLECTION)
An excellent movie for art-lovers and those interested in filmmaking, Vampyr is a 1932 French-German picture that tells a nightmarish tale about a young student of the occult who visits a strange castle and starts to experience haunting dreams and supernatural visions. It doesn’t have much dialogue or plot, but is heavily admired for its innovative use of light and shadows.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by film historian Tony Rayns, a documentary about the director’s life and work, a ‘visual essay’ featurette, a 46-page booklet which features essays about the film and director Carl Theodor Dreyer, and a 200+ page book which features Dreyer’s script and the story Carmilla.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

The Bad

21
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Deluxe Editions)
While not exactly terrible, the wholly generic Hollywood fluff flick 21 falls flat due to its incessant need to remove anything that could’ve made the film even remotely original or interesting. This includes, among other things, getting rid of the important cultural aspects from the true story on which the film is inspired (they were primarily Asian males), focusing far too much energy on making everything look flashy and cool instead of actually informing the audience what it is that’s happening on the blackjack table (I still have no idea what the hell counting cards entails), and spending so little time developing the lead character’s transformation that it barely even registers as an arc (there goes any hope for a compelling character study). In the end, the only thing that resonates in the slightest is the kickass soundtrack.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A filmmaker commentary and 3 featurettes. In addition, the 2-disc set includes a digital copy of the film.

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

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

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Deluxe Edition includes The Basics of Winning Blackjack book.
Where? Target

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Deck of 21-themed cards.
Where? Best Buy

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Picture This! – The Last Winter – Bird (2-Disc Special Edition) – L.A. Ink (Season 1) – Las Vegas (Season 5) – Masters of Horror (Season 2 Box Set) – Kiss of the Spider Woman (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [Amazon.com Exclusive]

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

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


Exclusive: Free E-Movie Cash (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, plus a Sneak Peek disc, with any of the following $5.99 DVDs.
$5.99 – Miami Vice, Children of Men, The Scorpion King, Serenity, Alpha Dog, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Unrated Director’s Cut), Tremors, Land of the Dead, Cape Fear, Billy Madison, and more…

$14.99 – Robot Chicken (Season 1-2), Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Season 1-4), The Venture Bros. (Season 1-2), Metalocalypse (Season 1)

$19.99 – Dexter (Season 1), The Tudors (Season 1)
$24.99 – Jericho (Season 1), The L Word (Season 3-4)
$27.99 – Lost (Season 3), Dirt (Season 1), Desperate Housewives (Season 3)

$5.99 – Rounders, Swingers, Gangs of New York, Equilibrium, Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Grosse Point Blank, From Dusk Till Dawn, and more…


Exclusive: Free movie money (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with any of the following $9.99 and $6.99 DVDs.
$9.99 – The Mummy (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), The Mummy Returns (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), Fearless (Director’s Cut)
$6.99 – Miami Vice, Smokin’ Aces, Children of Men, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and more…

$4.99 – The Island, The Warriors (Ultimate Director’s Cut), Lucky Number Slevin, Minority Report, The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition), and more…

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