Welcome to this week’s installment of DVD Tuesday, where we bring the best in nerd video headed to your local shop. It’s a good week for geeks. We’ve got just about everything you could ask for: comedy, horror, time travel and a bona fide classic finally coming to Blu-Ray. Check out the pickings:
Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean) Robert De Niro (The Godfather) and Michael Palin (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) star in this landmark cult classic that dazzles and thrills with its Academy Award® nominated groundbreaking art direction and sharply satirical original screenplay. In a future world a government clerk finds his life destroyed when he tries to correct an administrative error that caused a massive chain reaction of mistaken identity. Despite his efforts he finds himself an enemy of the state. Hailed as a modern masterpiece visionary director Terry Gilliam’s (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) pitch-black comedy takes a highly imaginative and chilling look at a “perfect” future where technology reigns supreme and bureaucracy overrules love for the sake of efficiency.
Terry Gilliam’s classic dystopian adventure about a low-level bureaucrat (Jonathan Pryce) who sets off an adventure to find the literal woman of his dreams and encounters all manner of odd machines, government agents and a quirky revolutionary (Robert DeNiro in one of his best roles) along the way is finally on Blu-Ray this week. Pick it up for a high-def Terry Gilliam weirdness at its finest.
Robot Chicken Star Wars III
The Emmy Award-winning Robot Chicken returns to DVD with its third send-up of the Star Wars universe! In this all-new hour-long special, four very different characters — Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Gary the Stormtrooper — reveal untold stories that weave and interconnect throughout all six Star Wars films! Set phasers to “fun”! Oh wait, that’s the wrong franchise.
Ah…it’s that time again, time for stop-motion animation done the way it was meant to be: with lightsabers. After two wildly popular anthology shows devoted to the Star Wars franchise, the geeks at Robot Chicken return with a third volume for your DVD viewing pleasure. Maybe we’ll finally get a sketch focusing on what would have happened if Luke and Leia had gone farther than a kiss in Empire.
Battle Beyond the Stars
Shad (Richard Thomas) must scour the cosmos to recruit mercenaries from different planets and cultures in order to save his peaceful home planet from the threat of the evil tyrant Sador (John Saxon), who’s bent on dominating and enslaving the entire universe. Joining this magnificant seven of mercenaries are the deadly Gelt (Robert Vaughn), carefree Cowboy (George Peppard) and the sexy Valkyrie Saint-Exmin (Sybil Danning).
This 1980 Roger Corman-produced cult classic, a sci-fi version of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, features the talents of a young James Cameron on visual effects and a young James Horner on music. It’s a low budget legend. Pick it up if you want to see the Corman machine at work in outer space.
It’s a simple story about a young family–Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) and their three small children–settling into a new home. Again following classical form, there’s a presence in the house that either doesn’t want them there, or needs them to stay for the evilest possible reasons. When 8-year-old Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into an unexplained coma after a spooky encounter in the attic, Renai starts seeing the above-mentioned figures lurking around the house, sometimes none too subtly. Though the goings-on are unexplainable, no one acts crazy and Josh believes that his wife’s bizarre encounters are real. Like any sensible people who believe they’ve taken up residence in a haunted house, they move. But the spookiness moves with them and the menace gets worse as months pass and Dalton remains unconscious without reasonable medical cause.
A reasonably scary haunted house film that focuses more on haunted people than haunted places, Insidious might not be the best horror film of the past few years, but it’s far from the worst. Pick it up for a quick fear-buzz.
Doctor Who: The Gunfighters
Tombstone, Arizona, 1881. The air is filled with the sounds of shooting, cussing, and toe-tapping tunes knocked out on the battered piano at the Last Chance Saloon. And then there is something less familiar: the wheezing, groaning sound of a Police Box materializing. The Doctor and his companions aren’t the only newcomers in town. The Clanton brothers have ridden in to settle a grudge with Doc Holliday, the notorious gambler, drinker, and dentist. In the Wild West, tempers are short, guns are swift, and a moment’s hesitation on the draw can mean death.
Matt Smith wasn’t the first Doctor to wear a Stetson (Stetsons are cool). The immortal William Hartnell, the First Doctor, took on the wild west in this early Who story in which The Doctor and his companions show up at the OK Corral right around the time that famous gunfight is about to break out. Now how can you resist that?
Doctor Who: The Awakening
Little Hodcombe, 1984. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough arrive in a small English village, looking forward to spending some time with Tegan’s grandfather. They soon discover that all is not well – Tegan’s grandfather is missing and the locals are reenacting dangerous war games from 1643. With the past mixed up with the present, can the Doctor stop the games before an evil entity hidden in the village church awakens?
Everybody remembers Tom Baker, the legendary Fourth Doctor, but his success, Peter Davison, was his own demented brand of awesome. Rent this bad boy and give the man a chance.
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
They were created deep within the secret island laboratories of an unscrupulous biotech corporation and grown to horrific proportions…until they both escaped. Bullets won’t stop them. Explosives only make them meaner. And their ravenous reptile appetites for scientists, tourists, S.W.A.T. teams and swimsuit models have only just begun. Now an undercover investigator, a sexy Fish & Game officer, and a cold-blooded swamp hunter known only as ‘The Cajun’ are all in pursuit of the scaly beasts that can outrun SUVs, crush buses, and snack on sleazy producers in hot tubs. But when these monster lizards ultimately meet in battle, will mankind be the defeated species? David Carradine (Kill Bill, Death Race 2000) — in one of his final performances — stars in this epic Syfy smash about the bone-crunching, body-chomping, earth-trembling smackdown of Dinocroc vs. Supergator!
The feud between alligators and crocodiles reaches its apex here. If that doesn’t sell you, listen closely: this movie is called Dinocroc vs. Supergator. This isn’t a hard decision to make.