Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Demko's DVD shelf

This was definitely an odd summer for documentaries here in Middle Georgia, mostly because we got any at all.

First, Al Gore's surprisingly charming global-warming horror flick "An Inconvenient Truth" turned up in Centerville for exactly one week, and then the crossword doco "Wordplay" visited Macon, also for just one week. Luckily I managed to catch them both.

The latter is my DVD pick of the week because it delves respectfully into the sometimes creepy community of folks who are way too devoted to crossword puzzles (myself, I try to do one a day, but these folks definitely put me to shame.) Along with a heated competition at the National Crossword Convention, you get funny input from Bill Clinton, Mike Mussina, the Indigo Girls and, especially, Jon Stewart.

Supplements for the DVD release include deleted scenes; an interview gallery; "The 5 Unforgettable Puzzles Ever" featurette ; "Wordplay" goes to Sundance; a Gary Louris music video: "Every Word"; "Waiting for the New York Times": A short film by Patricia Erens, and a photo gallery. Check it out if you don't mind encountering some serious geeks.

James Bond ultimate editions

With "Casino Royale" almost here, the Daniel Craig hating has seemed to slow down a bit lately. Personally, I think it's gonna be a great flick, and people will definitely grow to like him in the role.

In the meantime, you can check out his predecessors in two Bond megapacks, each featuring five flicks. Volume One features The Man with the Golden Gun, Goldfinger, The World Is Not Enough, Diamonds Are Forever and The Living Daylights, while Volume 2 has A View to a Kill, Thunderball, Die Another Day, The Spy Who Loved Me and License to Kill.

New to these new 2-disc editions are previously unseen archival forage, new featurettes and interactive supplements. The fun here, of course, is picking your favorite Bond. Call me predictable, but I'll take Connery every time in Thunderball and Goldfinger. And bring on Casino Royale! And, of course, feel free to vote for your favorite Bond.

The Sopranos Season Six, Part One

This is coming out surprisingly early, given that the concluding stretch of the show won't be back before January, but I'm not complaining.

The season begins with Tony in a coma and, unfortunately, I think the writers were for much of this season too. It's the weak link in the "Sopranos" saga thus far, but there's still plenty to like. My favorite storyline from this season was Paulie's slow meltdown after finding out his "mother" was not who she claimed to be, and it's always nice to see Julianna Margulies, here as a real estate agent who gets entangled with both Tony and Christopher.

Inside the Actor's Studio - Dave Chappelle

Personally, I just can't stand James Lipton, but I'll rent this one anyway out of love for Mr. Chappelle. This was filmed shortly after Dave walked away from a $50-million payday and returned from his sabbatical in Africa, so if he reveals anything at all it should be fascinating, and surely very funny.

All hail YouTube

I guess noone developed a cure for cancer this year. It seems that YouTube, which I'm convinced was invented just to allow me to waste more time at work, is Time magazine's "Invention of the Year for 2006."

Well, actually, it seems someone sort of did make a breakthrough on cancer, just not enough of one to beat the YouTube juggernaut. It apparently beat out a vaccine that prevents a cancer-causing sexually transmitted disease and a shirt that simulates a hug to grab top honors. Huzzah indeed.

In all seriousness, it is a fascinating contraption, and has altered the way we communicate enough to be a deserving winner.


Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated to this post--but have you caught any of HBO's Rome? I've been watching it at work lately (shh, don't tell the boss) and its pretty great.

Reel Fanatic said...

I saw some of Rome, Jeremy, and will someday catch up on the rest ... To me, the finest programs on HBO are The Sopranos and, even better, The Wire, which is simply mesmerizing

sanchapanzo said...

bond flick.. i am going with you.. i enjoyed 'thunderball' never thought it could be that brilliant..

Clive Owen was a spectacular JB candidate, wonder how he missed the Bond race. Clive Owen was really good in the 'BMW movies'. I think he could have been the best Bond-ever.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Rome a good deal, although I think The Wire is by far HBO's best programme. I must also say it is odd that you hear about it the least of any of them.

Reel Fanatic said...

If I had had a vote, Sanchapanzo, it definitely would have been for Clive Owen too .. what really sold me was his work in the criminally underrated "Croupier" ... I think Craig has a rough look, though, that will serve the role well, and Eva Green will be just an astoundingly hot Bond girl

Divinity said...

Just got the last two discs of Season 1 of The Wire. I've been told I can skip Season 2 since I have Season 3 already on the shelf ready to go. Is that true?
Both of the docs you listed this week are on my "to view" list. Yay, Jon Stewart!
Bond-wise: I enjoyed the early Brosnan work due to my infatuation with Remington Steele as a youngster but Connery's turn is called the definitive Bond for a reason. George who?

Chris said...

I'm currently reviewing every Bond I can get my hands on at nymoviereviews. I've done the six Connery Bonds already, and I've finally located On Her Majesty's Secret Service for review, then on to the Roger Moore era. I think I'll have had just about enough Bond even before I see Casino Royale.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll definitely have to stop by and check out your reviews, Chris .. I hope you don't just get Bonded out before Casino Royale!

Lori said...

Okay, I just have to grumble a little bit about the studios re-releasing the same titles over and over and over. What a ripoff. It's like, come on. I already have a special edition of every Bond flick I care to own. So why would I want to pay for them AGAIN? Personally, I don't give a crap about more extras, so they can keep the shiny new releases.

But as far as Craig goes, and being a Bond fan from way back, I'm not opposed to the guy in the role at all. I hope he kicks a**. The only thing that does concern me about CR is whether or not the writing's gonna be any good. I'm crossing my fingers for it...I'd hate to see Bond disappear.

My personal faves are 'Goldfinger' (duh), 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' (great story), 'Living Daylights' (Dalton rocked as Bond, I don't care what anybody says), and 'Die Another Day' (great writing with Bond actually getting captured and held prisoner for a while...loved that).

And on another note---I don't pay for HBO and Showtime, but I have to agree about them having some of the best dramas. 'Oz' was one of the craziest, most amazing shows I ever saw, totally worth buying the whole run.

Reel Fanatic said...

The pic that sold me on Craig, Lori, was Layer Cake ... It was a little too complicated for its own good, and those dudes often needed subtitles to be understood, but he kicked ass in it

Julia_Claudine_Deveraux said...

You Tube is the absolute truth! I've found things on that site that I thought I'd never see again.

Anonymous said...

From HBO I'm all over Big Love. Awesomeness. As for "Wordplay", I skipped this one simply because I can't STAND cross words! I noticed it on the upcoming DVD sheet and may give it a once over on rental and if you recommend it, I think I may just have to do that sooner rather than later.

Reel Fanatic said...

Even if you can't stand crosswords, Marina, it's still an interesting portrait of a really geeky American subculture that I think you will find entertaining

Jim Marquis said...

I don't get the Daniel Craig hatred. He was great in "Layercake" and fine in "Munich". It's nice to see Bond get serious.

Anonymous said...

re: "Bond" - argh! Always with the multi-pacs!! If Sony/MGM was actually curious about which Bond was the most popular, they'd sell the movies individually. For my money there are only two I don't mind seeing multiple times: From Russia With Love and The Man With The Golden Gun - the latter because it has to be the Bond film that makes the least sense and is the most delirious.

BTW, there's a theory out that a viewer is naturally drawn toward the first Bond they see. That should make me a Moore-Man, but I'm definitely in the Connery Camp.

Reel Fanatic said...

I didn't know about that theory, Whisky, but with me, maybe it's a slight alteration on that theme ... I'll take only my first two Bonds (Moore and Connery), but I'm still holding out hope for Craig

frankenslade said...

Dave Chappelle's appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio was pretty great. I can't remember all the details, but I came away from it feeling even more than usual that Chappelle is a unique, deep talent. I was moved.

Reel Fanatic said...

It's in my Netflix queue at the moment, frankenslade, so I'm glad to hear it will be worth the rental