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I Want My DVD: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

by Ethan Alter August 30, 2011 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh my god you guys! Disney totally asked me to go to prom!!!

Prom
Despite an up-to-the-minute-soundtrack, a cast of appealing young stars (including ex-Friday Night Lights player Aimee Teegarden) and a prom-friendly release date, the Disney movie factory failed to make a hit out of Prom, a multi-stranded story about high-school's biggest night. But the various plot threads that make up the film are so familiar, it's no wonder the target audience stayed away -- they've already seen these tales of teen woe played out many, many times before. For example, Teegarden plays the umpteenth good girl that falls for the school's resident bad boy (Thomas McDonell), while other plotlines involve the usual mix of cheating boyfriends, never-been-kissed dorks and longtime couples about to be split up by that dreaded thing known as college. Watching Prom is a lot like watching a highlights reel of every teen movie ever made.
Extras: The standard version comes with a making-of featurette and gag reel, while the Blu-ray also sports four deleted scenes, seven music videos and an exclusive short.

The Coen Brothers Collection
Those Coen boys do have some disappointing films on their resume (Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn't There, anyone?), but you can't go wrong with any of the four titles included in this new box set. The brothers' first two films, the modern noir Blood Simple and the raucous comedy Raising Arizona, remain as fresh and fun today as they were back in the '80s, while 1996's Fargo is just a beautifully carved gem of a film that's probably their most endlessly rewatchable (yes, even more than Lebowski). But the best movie included in this set -- and quite possibly the best Coen Brothers movie of all time (though A Serious Man is a serious competitor for that title) -- is 1990's Miller's Crossing, an incredible period crime drama starring a never-better Gabriel Byrne. If you haven't seen any of these films (and even if you have) this set deserves a place in your DVD library.
Extras: Commentary tracks on Blood Simple and Fargo (the latter also includes a trivia track), featurettes on Miller's Crossing and Fargo and trailers on all four discs.

Captain America
How can you tell the difference between this 1990 feature film starring Marvel Comics' Sentinel of Liberty and the blockbuster that hit theaters this past summer? Easy, the 2011 Captain America looks like it cost upwards of $100 million, while this two-decade old outing appears to have been made for a buck-fifty. Produced on the (super) cheap by schlockmeister Menahem Golan and starring Matt Salinger (son of J.D.) as the titular hero, the movie begins with Cap battling the Red Skull in the '40s, before jumping ahead to the then-modern day to chronicle their final confrontation. Long unavailable except via bootleg DVD, the movie was recently released (legally) through MGM's manufacturing-on-demand service, the Limited Edition Collection. I can't recommend it to general audiences, but comic book movie completists and fans of Z-grade movies will get their money's worth.
Extras: Just the theatrical trailer.

Forks Over Knives
As if you weren't paranoid enough about the state of the world today, here comes a documentary that's out to show you how the food you're eating is gonna kill you. Drawing on recent research conducted by two prominent doctors, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., director Lee Fulkerson argues the importance of a whole-food, plant-based diet over a menu consisting of meat, dairy and processed foods. At times dry and tasteless, this Dr. Oz-endorsed doc does offer up a few tasty nuggets of interesting information.
Extras: Five additional featurettes and a conversation with the filmmakers.

Also on DVD:
Can't wait for that mixed martial arts-themed fight feature Warrior? Before its September 9 theatrical release date, get your Muay Thai, Capoeira and general MMA fix via BKO: Bangkok Knockout, a Thai action picture about a group of martial arts students that are attacked by a crew of assassins. David Hyde Pierce sadly doesn't throw any tiger punches and spinning bird kicks in the comedy thriller The Perfect Host, but the former Niles Crane does show off a dark side as a host who takes his dinner parties a little too seriously. Tyler Perry puts on that plus-sized muumuu once again in Madea's Big Happy Family, which also stars Loretta Devine, Lauren London and Shad "Bow Wow" Moss. Relive the movie that put Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on the map and won Robin Williams an Oscar as Good Will Hunting finally gets a Blu-ray release. Also new to Blu, the 3D version of Tim Burton and Henry Selick's marvelous stop-motion feature The Nightmare Before Christmas and that iconic slice of '80s jingoistic cheese Top Gun, in which Tom Cruise tries valiantly to convince us that he's in love with Kelly McGillis when it's clear to everyone that he and Val Kilmer are the ones jonesing for some time alone in the cockpit together.

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