I’d like to begin this week’s Special Ed by wishing a speedy recovery to the inimitable, indomitable Jeb Delia. Thank you for everything you do, sire.
I’ve been warning of an onslaught – and now it’s upon us. There’s some must-own stuff happening this week – but it might not be what you’re thinking. Let’s have it out.
Bravo, Bava! The master’s credited debut feature – the story of a vengeful vampiric witch (played by Barbara Steele) comes to us from Kino Lorber with a brilliant new transfer.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Joss Whedon is responsible for two of this year’s best films – one of which is a flat out classic. It hits video today. Have fun pausing it to look into the backgrounds at all of the awesome design work. It’s what I did.
Tim Burton’s finest hour finds its way to Blu Ray. This might be the last time I truly loved Johnny Depp. He’s been good since, but this is greatness.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Pick your feet in High Definition with a new transfer that looks less like watercolors. Once a Best Buy exclusive, it’s everywhere now.
It’s a bullshitty biopic to be sure – but good gotdamn if it’s not a gorgeous piece of agitprop (that just happens to be spiritually true). The film shows us that the working class had to play some dirty pool to gain any sort of rights – but when you’re up against the dirtiest players in the pool – cops, politicians, and robber barons – all’s fair.
INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURE COLLECTION
Take heart, my friends – they’ll release these individually eventually.
SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
I’m just gonna’ go ahead and cut and paste my capsule for Season Six here, since my sentiment still stands:
“Kripke’s out, Gamble’s in, season’s unfocused – then Ben Edlund comes along and puts us back on the rails. Sure-sure, last season wasn’t perfect – but that just means that Supernatural’s last season was only slightly better than everything else on network TV instead of being substantially better than everything else on network TV.”
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Best of Ancient Aliens
The Brothers McMullen
The Cabin in the Woods
Chico & Rita
Children Of Paradise (Criterion)
Cyrano De Bergerac
The Encounter: Paradise Lost
Fafner: The Complete Series
The French Connection
Games of the XXX Olympiad
Hatchet For A Honeymoon
Hawaii Five-O (2010): The Second Season
Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventure Collection
Katy Perry: Part of Me The Movie
King of Thorn: Anime Movie
Les Visiteurs du Soir (Criterion)
Lisa & The Devil/House of Exorcism
The Magic of Belle Isle
Manjin: Collector’s Edition
Marvel Animated Features: 8-Film Complete Collection
Modern Family: The Complete Third Season
National Geographic: Alien Deep with Bob Ballard
Paul Simon: Live in New York City
Persona 4 Collection 1
The Queen Of The Damned
She’s The One
Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season
Thomas & Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery The Movie
The War Of The Roses
WWE: Summerslam 2012
Surgery went fine, rehab is more or less on track, though more fatiguing than I’d expected, so once more I really haven’t had a chance to do any extensive listening to this week’s new releases; that said, I can tell you briefly that the new ones from Aimee Mann and Corin Tucker are typically intelligent and tuneful, Brad Mehldau continues to be the most ridiculously fecund piano genius of his day, and Ryan Bingham is just awesome as fuck.
Hopefully, the real reviews will return next week.
THE CORIN TUCKER BAND – KILL MY BLUES
KANYE WEST – KANYE WEST PRESENTS GOOD MUSIC CRUEL SUMMER
RYAN BINGHAM – TOMORROWLAND
BRAD MEHLDAU TRIO – WHERE DO YOU START
OTHER NOTABLE 9.18 RELEASES:
alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
Becoming the Archetype – I Am
Ben Folds Five – The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky
Drivin N Cryin – Songs About Cars – Space & The Ramones
Fourplay – Espirit De Four
Go Radio – Close the Distance
Grateful Dead – Spring 1990, So Glad You Made It
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Keith Harkin – Keith Harkin
Eddie Izzard, Live At Madison Square Garden
Michael Jackson – Bad 25th Anniversary Edition (3 CD/ 1 DVD)
Carly Rae Jepsen – Kiss
Le’Andria Johnson – The Experience
Rickie Lee Jones – The Devil You Know
The Killers – Battle Born
Aimee Mann – Charmer
Menomena – Moms
Nils – City Groove
Pink – The Truth About Love
Paul Simon – Live in New York City
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat & Bone
Hans Theessink, Terry Evans and Ry Cooder – Delta Time
Devin Townsend – Epicloud
Vision of Disorder – Cursed Remain Cursed
Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears
BORDERLANDS 2 (PS3, 360, PC)
I did the math, I played the first Borderlands for over 200 hours. It was far from perfect, but the blend of Diablo and twitchy FPS action had me at the title screen (with it’s adorable dancing robot). I loved how gun manufactures gave the random loot a method to the madness. I loved the constant insanity of the world. It’s the only game I have the every achievement for. And even though I hated the driving and the repetitive quests, I could overlook those problems and put more time into than any other FPS I’ve ever played.
Borderlands 2 looks to fix all the glaring problems of the first…and then to give us more Borderlands. More guns, more detailed player characters, and – best of all – a better UI. But no make mistake, this is Borderlands: Slightly Better Edition. If you didn’t enjoy the RPG/Action hybrid of the first, Borderlands didn’t turn into a 4X Space game. But for people that put 200 hours into the first and never got bored, Borderlands 2 is the perfect kind of sequel.
F1 2012 (PC,PS3, 360)
Codemasters do racing games really well. I love all types of racing games, from sim to arcade, but F1 games are where I draw the line. F1 is the cricket of the racing world. It kind of looks like something I understand, but is actually super complicated and really European.
It’s actually going to get worse. Stay tuned.