On the box: Wimbledon
In the player: Comical Ali The Best of the Iraqi Information Minister
Heavy rotation: CKY
Sore thumbs: Viewtiful Joe
Well, it’s been and gone the final date of Bon Jovi’s Bounce Tour at Hyde Park, London. And there I was, one of the 92,000 standing on my creakyass knees for three and a half hours while JBJ wailed his little heart out.
The most surprising thing about the concert was the amount of dudes there. Seriously, I thought that Jovi were a pussy band, but there were SOOOOOO many guys there who were totally into it. Skinheads, bikers, even goths maybe I’m missing out on something. I mean, it’s not like I dislike the band at all they’ve done some really fucking good songs, and fair play to the dude, he can sing his ass off live, which a lot of performers just can’t manage. But I don’t know can you really feel all that manly listening to their stuff? Slipknot or System of A Down or something, yeah, that gets the testosterone pumping. But Bon Jovi? Jesus, there were guys MOSHING to songs like It’s My Life, which just totally freaked me out. And when everyone started flashing the Slayer Salute at him, I just had to laugh. I was wearing a HIM shirt, and I saw a guy with a Heartagram on his back and figured I could go talk to someone with decent taste, but he turned around and it was a fucking Bam Element shirt, so that went down the shitter pretty quick.
Still, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I still don’t get the appeal of big outdoor concerts/festivals though. I know I’m a cripple, but having to stand for three hours amidst a crowd of stank-ass people, unable to see the frigging stage, and unable to hear the singer because the damn crowd is singing along with every word? That’s not fun, that’s a bad karaoke with thousands of people. I’d sooner watch it on TV (since all anyone could see was the jumbotron anyway) and actually be able to hear the guy sing. A friend of mine went to see The Coral (best fucking UK band in years, BTW) at a small indoor show and bitched that it felt too confined. Well shit, I’d much sooner go to indie shows with a few hundred people and be able to enjoy the band I’m there to see. But it wasn’t for me, it was for the missus, and she enjoyed it so that’s all that matters.
London’s always an experience too. Good Lord, I wouldn’t want to live there though. It’s just a constant, gruelling slog you’re battling against the hoards of people, you’re racing to get on the tube, you’re rushing to get from one end of town to the other… I just couldn’t live like that. The Underground really is mental, too it’s not as bad as Tokyo by any means (where they’ve got “packers” who squash people into the trains so more people can fit in), but it’s pretty damn stressful. That said, we got to try out the new Jubilee Line, and that is a sweet setup. The trains are all new, clean and air conditioned, the stations are shiny, and it’s nothing like as busy you can always get a seat. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, Mick Foley’s going to be at London’s Forbidden Planet on July 4th signing copies of Tietum Brown, so if you’d like to meet the hardcore legend, head on down and take him a can of Japanese soda.
If all goes well, I should have a review of Viewtiful Joe up soon. Needless to say, as anyone who’s played the demo will attest, it kicks all kinds of ass, and if you’ve got an import-ready machine, you should pick it up quick smart. My t.A.T.u. DVD arrived yesterday too, much to the chagrin of the missus. “You know they’re not really lesbians, right?” “Yes dear.” “You know that if they weren’t pretending to be lesbians, you wouldn’t even look at them twice, because they’re only average looking?” “Yes dear.” “You know you’re a paedophile, don’t you?” “Yes dear.” Fuck it, I don’t care I’d do them both. And I know Lena’s legal now, so I’m happy. Comical Ali arrived yesterday too boy oh boy, the Iraqi Information Minister is nothing short of a legend, so I might even do a write-up of that if I’m feeling frisky.
To be honest, there’s shag all in the way of DVD news this week, so there’s not much reason to keep reading. But if you really want to… let’s HIT THE CONTENT~!
WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK
I believe the phrase “not fucking much” is apropos.
Gangs of New York is probably high on a lot of people’s hit lists, although it’s not something I’m terribly jacked about. From what I hear the DVD is pretty loaded, including a Martin Scorcese commentary track, which is probably worth the asking price in itself.
There’s a Special Edition of La Femme Nikita, and the first four Special Edition Charlie Chaplin films that I covered here a while ago are available either individually or as a box set, and they’re REALLY loaded.
There’s music in the form of Bjork, Metallica, Motorhead and Barbara Streisand, and a bunch of TV stuff in the way of Doctor Who, Farscape, I Love Lucy, Inspector Morse, and VIP. And XPW clock in with a couple of wrestling DVDs, although as we all know by now, I don’t give them any juice here.
So all in all, a pretty shocking week for DVD releases. Not even any Digital Versatile Dick! Oh well more eBay money.
LITTLE DRAGON WHIPS HIS TAIL
Here’s some info that I’ve been meaning to post for about three weeks, but I’m a dick and I keep forgetting it.
So anyway, Bruce Lee information maestro George Tan has got a bunch of DVDs on the Little Dragon on the way, and they look pretty damn sweet.
Death By Misadventure will be a Special Edition re-release of one of the better documentaries on Bruce Lee’s death. The disc will include an audio commentary by Davis Miller and Doctor Don Langford, extended interview footage with George Lazenby, Dr. Langford, and Dr. Eugene Chiu, and the featurettes ‘Enter The Dragon Eyewitness’ with Philip Ko, ‘I Shot Bruce Lee’ and ‘My Teacher, Bruce Lee’ by camerman Charles Lowe. According to Tan, the audio commentary is truly enlightening and adds to Langford’s theory about the real cause of Lee’s death, and the Philip Ko piece is hilarious in its telling of Lee’s on-set antics (including his destroying martial arts challengers).
Young Bruce Lee will feature a commentary by Jesse Glover, Lee’s first American student, an interview with Leo Fong, a US gung fu TV demonstration, a Milton Berle piece with Bruce as Kato, and the featurettes ‘Remembering Bruce Lee A Seattle Tour’ with Jesse Glover and ‘Bruce Lee’s Ancestral Village’, a tour of his father’s village and the Bruce Lee museum by Chaplin Chang. Tan describes this as a DVD for “hard, hard core fans who can sit through the childhood films.” And if you’ve ever seen one of Bruce’s early childhood films, you’ll appreciate just how hardcore that is. The Jesse Glover stuff is said to be fascinating.
The cult classic “Bruce Lee film” Fist of Unicorn gets two versions, Mandarin Widescreen and English Fullscreen, which are different in more ways than may be immediately apparent the English version features more footage of Bruce. Both will include the original trailer, a 1972 Bruce photo gallery, and the featurettes ‘The Last Day of Bruce Lee’ hosted by the last person to see Bruce alive, Betty Ting Pei, and ‘Fight Scenes The Bruce Lee Way’ with Bruce’s stunt team. Basically the film is shocking, but the extras are great: there’s more rare Bruce footage in the trailer, and the two featurettes have got some great stuff in them. The photo gallery was put together by Tan and is subsequently excellent (George Tan has the largest collection of rare Bruce pictures in the world).
Bruce Lee True Story is a Bruce Li film, so again this is one you’ll want for the extras, which are just immense. There are two audio commentaries very similar to the two on Beyond The Mat: the first is along the lines of the Terry Funk-Barry Blaustein conversation with Tan talking to Davis Miller, Joe Lewis and Joe Hyams about Bruce and how he became the martial arts God he is. The second is like Blaustein’s solo commentary where Tan and Miller basically point out the inaccuracies of the film and use it to point out interesting Bruce facts and stories. ‘The Bruce Lee Stories’ is a history of the Bruceploitation films, ‘What Bruce Lee taught me’ is a featurette with Bruce’s student and karate protégé Joe Lewis, plus interviews with Bruce Li, director Ng See Yuen, and screenwriter Ed Khmara (of Dragon The Bruce Lee Story shame).
In addition, each DVD contains a featurette called ‘In The Footsteps of The Dragon’ narrated by Jesse Glover and featuring Tommy Carruthers, whom Tan is not shy about hailing as “Bruce Lee #2, hands down. This is the baddest man around. I don't give out props lightly, so take note. There's a new martial star, and his name is Tommy Carruthers. If you are looking for a standard of excellence, look no further than this dude.” There you have it. The DVDs are scheduled to drop on July 22nd, although George Tan projects have a habit of getting delayed for insane periods of time, so I’ll let you know as and when (as I’ll be picking up these discs myself).
Thanks, as always, to the Temple of The Unkown.
LEON C’EST SUPER
Well, in case you didn’t catch the correction last week, the Region 3 two-disc Leon: The Professional Special Edition does NOT contain the making-of featurette that was its only real extra. You still get both the 109-minute Theatrical Cut and the 133-min Director’s Cut in anamorphic widescreen and with Dolby 5.1 audio, but the disc is otherwise basically barebones.
Which means that since the only thing the set has going for it is audio-visual quality, if you want to pick up the movie, you might want to go the whole hog and get the upcoming SuperBit release, due on September 9th. It’ll be the Director’s Cut/Uncut International Version/Version Integrale with no extras whatsoever, but no doubt there are some anal folk who’ll happily substitute commentaries in favour of higher bitrates. Released on the same day are SuperBits of Hook, and a two-disc version of Lawrence of Arabia. Being as I’ve never seen the latter, I don’t know if the two-discness of the release is due to the long running time of the film, or another example of bizarre SuperBit logic whereby their philosophy of “extras don’t matter we’re all about the audio-visual quality” is contradicted by their inclusion of a discful of extras.
Thanks to the DVD Times.
SPIN ME A YARN
Yes, one of the most beloved comedies of recent times, Spin City, is finally heading for a DVD release on August 26th. Unfortunately, Universal/Dreamworks have made the truly bizarre and infuriating choice not to release season box sets, but volumes of episodes selected by members of the show’s cast and featuring introductions by them. As such, Spin City: Micheal J. Fox His All Time Favourites Volume One and Volume Two will feature 10-12 randomly-chosen episodes each.
That’s just fucking dumb. I can kind of appreciate what they’re trying to do in featuring involvement from prominent cast members, but Jesus, they could do the same thing by having the cast members in interviews and featurettes on full season sets. I mean, it’s cool to have Fox pick his favourite episodes and give a little intro as to why he likes them so much, but why the hell can’t they have a bunch of featurettes like “Fox’s Favourite Episodes”, “Heather’s Best Bits” or whatever that do the same thing?
Dumbass Universal. I can’t wait for the next three re-releases of Spin City: Tricked Out Edition.
Thanks to the DVD Times and Reuters for the lowdown.
So there you go, it looks like DVD news has gone back to its anticlimactic self. Oh well, makes my job easier. Time to go watch t.A.T.u. wriggle about on my TV.
THEY STARTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE UNDER THE WALLS OF BAGHDAD~!
Read my archives, biyatch.