If it's crap ... We'll tell you
LEGENDS OF THE SUPERHEROES (DVD)
One from the vaults, this collection of the two live-action Hannah Barbara television specials based on the success of their seventies "Super Friends" cartoon is even more embarrassing than you're probably imagining. But, therein, lies at least some charm. This was a staple of the bootleg videos table at comic conventions for 20 years and now WB makes it officially available to 'must own everything' fans. Adam West and Burt Ward appear as Batman and Robin, of course, but the real stars are Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, who looks to be having more fun than he ever did on the original Batman show, and Howard Morris as Dr Sivana, who actually made me laugh out loud more than once, doing classic shtick here only mildly in character. Don't get me wrong: this is absolute garbage. I mean, geez, the second episode is a roast of the superheroes emceed by Ed McMahon, so you can only imagine how terrible it gets. But there's certainly a nostalgia appeal for those who remember when this sort of thing was about as good as we ever expected it to get. If only I could show the 8-year old Cyrus, "The Dark Knight". I woulda wasted a lot less time in front of the tube.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (Blu-Ray)
Even though it is completely besides the point to watch this 1975 defining cult film in your own living room, I suppose you could project it at a party and it would look damn fine with this new HD upgrade. Certainly, one should never, ever, EVER try to experience this for the first time without a large, loud, appreciative audience, but for serious fans of the Richard O'Brian directed classic, picking this up on blu-ray is a no-brainer. Hell, the Library of Congress actually added it to the as being National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". I gotta admit, I never saw that one coming. Even so, Tim Curry will always be the definitive transvestite to me (sorry, Eddie). There's an awful lot of cool new bonus features here, and you can always watch it with the 1983 audience audio track added in, if no theater near you has midnight showings (what, do you live in Utah or something?).
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Rocky Horror Picture Show (35th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
ROMEO + JULIET (Blu-Ray)
Just like "Moulin Rouge!" did, this new blu release of Baz Luhrman's 1996 re-imagining of the Shakespeare tragic romance, got a spectacular remastering under his own watchful eye (Luhrman's not Shakespeare...at least not until Dr. Who starts his own distribution company). Much like "Rouge", R+J is colorful, musical, whimsical, and drenched in chaotic, almost insane, beauty. Taking the story and adapting it to a sort of alternate universe modern day, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are perfectly cast as the doomed young lovers from rival gangs/business corporations in the big city of "Verona Beach". I'm kinda surprised no one has spun that off into a television show on the C-dub. The new upgrade is well worth it just to see how it sparkles, but it also gathers the best of the extras from the two previous DVD editions that were released and adds a few new things. There's no better way to indulge in The Bard's classic play for a newcomer than with Luhrman's pop-culture fantasy version. Now, we just need to get David Fincher to do his own version of the Scottish play...
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Romeo + Juliet [Blu-ray]
THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS/BARBARIAN QUEEN (DVD)
I've got a lot of enjoyment out of these Shout! Factory re-releases of classic Roger Corman films on DVD (and a few on blu-ray) but I'm the first to admit that the swords and sorcery films of the seventies and eighties weren't really on my pull list. Still, for shits, tits, and grins, "The Warrior and the Sorceress" is one of the better examples of the post-"Conan the Barbarian" rip-offs that were flooding the home video market in the eighties. David Carradine is playing the Toshirō Mifune/Clint Eastwood role from Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars here, as a lone warrior who protects the poor residents of a village beleaguered by two rival and equally evil factions, by setting the clans against each other. It certainly doesn't hurt that the sorceress spends the entire film topless. Not quite as good (relatively speaking) is the second feature "Barbarian Queen". Even though it's about kick-ass chicks who wear scanty leathers and furs and beat up dudes, a "Xena" marathon is going to be a significant lesser waste of time than this clunker, if 'warrior woman' is what you're shopping for, although you'll certainly get more untethered boobs in BQ. Lana Clarkson as the primary ass-kicker/hottie, is about the only reason to check this out, if only for the historical novelty (Clarkson was the actress murdered by Phil Spector in 2003).
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Warrior And The Sorceress/Barbarian Queen - NEW DVD