Friday, November 28, 2008

Get Smart (DVD)












Get Smart

It was only a matter of time before Get Smart was made into a movie. In this age when every classic show is getting brought to life on the big screen, you had to know this one was coming. Based on the popular 60’s show, Get Smart stars Steve Carell as Agent Maxwell Smart. Along with Carell, the cast also includes Anne Hathaway (Agent 99) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Agent 23). Now I have my reservations about Steve Carell, but I thought he was convincing as Maxwell Smart. From the nasally voice to the mannerisms, he really wound up pulling off the role. The film itself is one that I wouldn’t have paid to see in the theaters. But it is a decent film to pop on for movie night at home. The combo of action/comedy was funny at times, yet seemed forced at others. Had anyone else other than Carell played the main role, it probably would have been a disaster. Like I was saying, it’s a film that is better to watch on DVD than in the theaters. The 2-disc special edition offers extra bonuses such as a digital copy of the movie, interviews with the cast and crew (some were as funny as the skits in the film), and a behind the scenes look at how the film was made (including the task of filming in Russia). So if you’re going to get the DVD, it’s worth it to get the 2-disc edition with all the extra bonuses.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Smashing Pumpkins - If All Goes Wrong (DVD)












The Smashing Pumpkins have just released a DVD set titled If All Goes Wrong. This 2-DVD set features a full concert and a revealing 105-minute documentary. Being a Pumpkins’ fan, this was one that I had to check out. After watching it, I now appreciate their work more than I did in the past. The documentary took you from Billy Corgan doing acoustic songs in his bathrobe, to fans’ thoughts on the band reuniting, to tons of interviews done with the band. On the second disc there’s The Fillmore Residency, a full concert filmed in late July and early August of 2007 over five of the 11 sold-out nights at the famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. This concert showcased seven new tracks not available anywhere else, along with new versions of fan favorites. Definitely plan on checking out If All Goes Wrong if you are a fan of this legendary rock band.

Here are the details for both discs...

Disc 1:
*"If All Goes Wrong" documentary
*"Voices Of The Ghost Children" featurette
*Interview with The Who guitarist, Pete Townshend

Disc 2:
*The Fillmore Residency
1. The Rose March*
2. Peace + Love*
3. 99 Floors*
4. Superchrist
5. Lucky 13
6. Starla
7. Death From Above
8. The Crying Tree Of Mercury
9. Winterlong
10. Heavy Metal Machine
11. Untitled
12. No Surrender*

13. Gossamer*
14. Zeitgeist

Bonus Tracks: Live From The Floor Of The Fillmore
*"99 Floors"
*”Peace + Love”
*"No Surrender"
*”Mama”*
*”Promise Me”*

*previously unreleased>



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Best of Dr. Katz (DVD)












To be able to hear your favorite comedians have a therapy session would be priceless. We can thank Dr. Katz for giving us that opportunity to eavesdrop in his animated therapy sessions! On December 2nd, the BEST of Dr. Katz will be released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment and Comedy Central. This DVD includes the funniest moments of this animated series where guests such as Conan O’Brien, Ray Romano, Dave Chappelle, Denis Leary, Sarah Silverman, and Janeane Garofalo come in for therapy. Each “session” turns out to be a hilarious time where you get to see the stars’ neurosis! It’s too bad this show isn’t on the air anymore. At least a DVD has finally been released where you can relive these classic moments! If you do watch it, be prepared to laugh a lot. I think the warning on the back of the DVD cover says it all:

WARNING: This collection of comedic confection contains quite simply the most obsessive, compulsive, and tormented patients to ever grace the good doctor’s couch.

Spin City: The Complete First Season (DVD)












Spin City finally gets its DVD debut with the release of the complete first season. One of the best series of the 90’s, this witty show took you into the life of a quirky NYC City Hall staff. Its depiction of the staff that ran the city was downright hilarious. Things never came easy for Michael J. Fox as he had to keep a bumbling Mayor from looking like an idiot, along with working with a dysfunctional staff. How dysfunctional is the staff? For starters there’s the insecure press secretary, a sexist chief of staff, a gay activist that runs minority affairs, and a man-crazy accountant. It’s the perfect oddball team that was needed to make this sitcom work. This new collection released by Shout! Factory captures all 24 episodes in a 4-DVD set. Along with the episodes there are all new interviews and commentaries with the cast and creators of the show. In case you never got to watch this smart sitcom when it was out, now is your chance. And if you’re a fan that’s been wondering when the hell the show would get put on DVD, the wait is over…

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Long Way Down (DVD)












Hearing the phrase "reality show" leaves a bad taste in my mouth. To me, "reality" TV usually equates to "bullshit" TV. Most of it is like a baaaaad soap opera where people act in front of a camera to show how "real" they are. Even though the show Long Way Down is categorized as "reality" TV, its way above the level of other shows that are in that category. In case you're not familiar, Long Way Down is epic motorcycle adventure TV series that follows Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on a motorcycle trip from Scotland to South Africa. All 10 episodes of the series are out now on a 3-DVD collection. It truly is an eye-opening series. Watching it, you see a side of Ewan McGregor other than the "celebrity". It was an amazing experience to see these guys bike over 15, 000 miles through countries like Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Namibia. For all the excitement that came along with the trip, there were also lots of setbacks and frustrations too. All of the struggles that came with such an exhausting journey were not edited out, which made it much more interesting to watch. If you haven't had the chance to see it yet, the DVD set is available now for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shrek The Halls (DVD)












SHREK the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la…

It’s getting into the Holiday season, and you know what that means. Shopping, get-togethers, and CHRISTMAS SPECIALS! For a while, Rudolph, Frosty, and A Charlie Brown Christmas were the traditional holiday favorites. Well, with Shrek The Halls, the big green Ogre has now joined the ranks of those great ones. Who would have known that Shrek would be included among the classics? Now, this holiday special is out on DVD. I’m sure after you watch it, you’ll agree that it’s one of the better holiday specials. It runs about a half hour long, and no minute is wasted in this hilarious attempt by Shrek to try and make Christmas special for his family. Of course with Shrek, you can expect some sort of chaos to occur. From Shrek getting a copy of a "Christmas for Dummies" book, to Donkey, Puss In Boots and the rest of the gang crashing his sacred family time, nothing goes right for the green guy. However, as in most holiday specials, an important lesson is learned at the end. In the midst of all the holiday madness, make sure to set aside a little time for the green Ogre to bring some laughter to your home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

30 Rock - Season 2 (DVD)












The cool thing about limiting the time you watch TV is that you don’t have to worry about spending too much time on a show. TV shows released on DVD however, feed that addiction. Speaking of addictive shows, I have been spending too much time watching 30 Rock Season 2 on DVD. I love it! It’s smart. The comedy is subtle. And I never knew Alec Baldwin could be so damn funny! Seriously, since Seinfeld went off the air, it’s been hard to find a show that can fill its shoes. Well, 30 Rock comes close to doing the job. The entire second season is out on DVD in a 2-disc set. All the hilarious episodes starring Tina Fey, Baldwin, Tracey Morgan, and Jane Krakowski are here. This season also has guest appearances by people like Jerry Seinfeld, David Schwimmer, and James Carville. If you own it, it’s easy to blow a few hours watching one episode after another. In fact, with this set you may need to detox after getting your 30 Rock “fix”.

Kung Fu Panda and Secrets of the Furious Five (DVD)









It’s been a few months since summer ended, so that means we can expect the blockbusters to be rolling in on DVD. A lot of the biggies have already been released on DVD (except for Dark Knight). This month, we have Kung Fu Panda. Actually, this one comes in a combo pack that includes the film’s follow-up short film called Secrets of the Furious Five. Having just watched these 2 DVD’s, I can say that these are well worth your time. First off, you can’t go wrong with an underdog story about a clumsy panda that is destined to become a Dragon Warrior. On top of that you have the voice talents of Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, and Lucy Liu. It’s been stated that the animation in Kung Fu Panda is more complex than anything DreamWorks had done before. I would have to agree since the animation was nothing short of amazing. As for the story, it’s your typical “unknown character becomes unlikely hero” theme. There are lots of wise quotes dropped throughout the film that are more advanced than most other animated films. You almost feel like a Zen master after watching the film. Overall, this movie is not one to be missed, whether you’re an adult or child.

The other DVD, Secrets of the Furious Five, is one that you have to watch after Kung Fu Panda to fully "get" the story. It is narrated by Po the panda (Jack Black), and goes into detail of how the Furious Five was formed. This one seemed to be targeted more for younger audiences. However, it's got enough laughs for adults to enjoy as well. The only downside is that this short film is really “short”. It’s only 24 minutes long. It could have easily been included on the Kung Fu Panda DVD as a special feature, rather than having its own disc. That might irk some viewers, especially if they expected Secrets of the Furious Five to be a lot longer than 24 minutes. For whatever reason they chose to put this one on its own disc, I have no clue. However, it still is a decent short film.

If you haven’t seen any of these yet, then what are you waiting for! Check them out for their sheer “awesomeness”…

Free DVD Giveaway!












Ch-ch-ch-check this out. I am giving away a FREE copy of the movie The Longshots, starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee). The DVD comes out on DVD December 2nd, but I have a copy available now for one lucky winner!

Based on the real life story of Pop Warner’s first female quarterback, THE LONGSHOTS follows Jasmine Plummer’s journey from misfit to football hero under the coaching of her uncle, former high school football star Curtis Plummer. Blowing away the skeptics and the competition alike with her skills on the gridiron, Jasmine takes control and leads her team to the league’s Super Bowl.

All you need to do is email me at societys.elite@gmail.com with 3 titles of any Ice Cube song that came out before the year 2000. I will notify the winner via email on Monday, November 24th. Good luck!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits












Remember the days when you thought getting the flu was more fun than learning about history? I remember in high school, I caught more naps in history class than a kid gets in pre-school. Well the new book The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits is here to change that perception of history. This book actually makes going through history fun. Both funny and informative, The Mental Floss History of the World is hard to put down once you start. Going as far back as 60,000 BCE, the guys at mental_floss compiled twelve chapters of some odd historical facts, reminding us that civilization has always been jacked up. Like it says in the book’s intro, “History is full of people who knew plenty about history, but kept on repeating the same stupid mistakes again and again anyway.

Overall, it’s a fun book that helps you brush up on your history and get some laughs along the way.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brocabulary: The New Man-i-festo of Dude Talk












Women aren’t the only ones with a secret language!

The myth that men’s vocabulary consists of one-word answers and grunting is shattered with the new book Brocabulary: The New Man-i-festo of Dude Talk. “Manthropologist” Daniel Maurer compiled this hilarious new dictionary for guy-speak. Brocabulary was written for all types of men to step up their game when talking with other “bros”. This book is not for the easily offended, as it contains terms that should only be used “amongst bros”. Maurer goes to great lengths to define “Barticulation” (articulation that occurs at a bar), “Chilloquialisms” (colloquialisms specific to the art of chilling), and a whole slew of other terms relating to dating, sex, etc. The most taboo topics you can possibly think of are probably defined here. Overall, guys (especially in their 20’s and 30’s) will probably find this book hilarious. Ladies, I’m not too sure about. Then again, it’s not written for ladies, it’s written for dudes...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dead Space: Downfall












Right away, if you see a severed arm floating in space on a DVD cover, you know the movie’s not going to be a “happy” film. Dead Space: Downfall is one of the darkest Anime films I have seen. It’s creepy as hell, and the alien creatures are extremely gruesome. To sum it up, it’s an intense horror/thriller. After a deep-space mining ship known as the USG Ishimura brings an ancient religious artifact on-board, the relic unleashes a race of killer aliens. These are some vicious, bloodthirsty creatures intent on killing every human on the ship. However, there is a small group of humans that will fight these creatures to the death. This fighting crew is led by a tough chick that makes Ripley from Aliens look like Strawberry Shortcake. The fight for survival is on, as the humans try and survive against the aliens. The only problem is that they're outnumbered and stuck in space, where no one can hear their screams...

Dead Space: Downfall is out now on DVD.

Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series












Stargate Infinity, the animated series inspired by the original Stargate film starring Kurt Russell is no longer on TV. That doesn’t mean you can’t watch it anymore though. Shout! Factory, the company that continues to feed people’s pop culture habits, has released the complete series on DVD. The set comes with 4 discs that contain all 26 episodes of this sci-fi cartoon. This series follows Major Bonner and his team of soldiers as they travel to different worlds through the Stargate. Throughout the show, Bonner’s crew has to fight off an evil alien race that is trying to take over the universe. The series is packed with lots of adventures as the team travels to different worlds and meets many races and cultures. Along with the action, there are wise one-liners dropped throughout the show that give bits of wisdom to its viewers. Did you think there wouldn’t be some type of morality lesson in an animated series like this?

Overall, Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series is an enjoyable collection for any fan of sci-fi cartoon adventures.

For more info, click here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

100 Greatest

If you ever found yourself wondering who or what shaped recent history, a good place to start would be Shout! Factory’s 100 Greatest collection. This impressive set consists the following 5 CD’s:

Disc One: 100 Greatest Speeches










Disc Two: 100 Greatest News Stories










Disc Three: 100 Greatest Personalities










Disc Four: 100 Greatest Scandals










Disc Five: 100 Greatest Sports Moments












On these 5 discs, you get a tour through history hearing sound clips of some of the world’s most influential people, notorious scandals, and defining sports moments. The clips contained are from liars and cheaters, heroes and leaders, legendary celebrities, as well as peacemakers and fighters. Think of any major event or person in the last century, and they’re probably on here. I’m not really a history buff, but this set made it quite entertaining to relive these moments.

For more info on this set, click here.


Nightmare Revisited












Even though Halloween is over, you can still enjoy some spooky tunes courtesy of Nightmare Revisited. This album is one that has gotten heavy rotation on my playlist, before and after Halloween. Nightmare Revisited is a collection of songs obviously from the film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Top artists in the music industry performed their own covers of the film’s tunes. The artists on the album include Marilyn Manson, All-American Rejects, Flyleaf, Yoshida Brothers, Amy Lee from Evanescence, and Shiny Toy Guns. The songs on here were done with creative integrity, so all you fans of the movie don’t have to worry about the songs getting sabotaged. Even though all the tracks are great, if I had to choose 3 that really stood out, they would have to be Marilyn Manson’s haunting version of “This is Halloween”, Flyleaf’s “What’s This”, and All-American Rejects “Jack’s Lament”. If you’re in the mood for a taste of the bizarre, this album will definitely satisfy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hell Ride (DVD)












Mr. Tarantino, why do you do this to us? You put your name on a film, leading us on to think it’s another one of your films, but in reality it's not a "real" Tarantino film. Sure it says your name on it, but it only says “Quentin Tarantino presents”...

I was looking forward to watching Hell Ride. Just released on DVD, this film follows a tough group of bikers seeking to avenge the death of a loved one by the hands of a sadistic, rival motorcycle gang. Hearing Tarantino’s name included in it had me expecting the next Grindhouse. I watched it with no expectation other than it being another cheesy, over-the-top action film. Even with my expectations low, I was still let down. To sum it up, Hell Ride felt like it was trying real hard to be the next Grindhouse film. Instead, a lot of parts really dragged on only to leave you disappointed. I expected some explosive biker chases, gun fights, etc. But instead there was a lot of tough guy dialogue and random shoot-outs that led to a dead-end. Even the guest appearances of people like Dennis Hopper and David Carradine didn’t help. The only character I enjoyed was Michael Madsen as “The Gent”. His portrayal of the badass biker who wears a suit was one of the high points of the film. I usually enjoy Quentin Tarantino’s style. I just wish that if he puts his name on a film, he actually has a strong influence in the making of it.