There are a lot of movies rolling onto DVD this week, just none that we really care about. This is one of those weeks where you go to Blockbuster (or look at the Netflix new release page) and end up wandering to the middle of the store to get that old Woody Allen movie you’ve been meaning to see. The selection might not be that great but we’ve still got music, science fiction, and even old school TV shows to catch your eye.

Check it all out…


Michael Jackson: This Is It

Remember when this movie was first announced, and the distributors estimated that it would run for two weeks and thin disappear forever?

What happened to that?

The movie ended up running for well over a month, long after ticket demand had all but evaporated. It even moved into some second run theaters!

And now, we get it on DVD?  How can this be? The massive initial demand was stoked by the thought that it was going to be in for two weeks then out, and now it’ll be available forever on a shiny tiny disc.

So you can buy the DVD, but you may be contributing to a marketing lie.


I’d like to share a little math with you. It’s kind of a personal system of mine that I use to determine whether or not I see a movie.

It’s really just a series of questions:

1.  Is the movie being released in September or January?

2.  Does it star an actor or actress capable of making a movie bankable by his or herself?

3.  Does it have a concept worthy of a summer movie or a trailer that looks like Oscar bait?

If the answer is YES to all of these questions I will never go see the movie, because it’s probably a dud.

September and January are notorious dumping grounds for movies that are summer movie burnouts and we all know the Oscars wipe out fall and winter for awards consideration..

And when a movie comes out in one of these slots that, by all rights, should not be there, you can bet it’s a bad one.

So while I never saw Surrogates, my formula will prevent me from buying the DVD.



“Southland” – Season 1

With all the mess that NBC is in right now, the debacle of their dramatic television department has been mostly forgotten. Such as, how does a show that earned good reviews and a solid demo rating like “Southland” end up on TNT for its second season?

The reason? Awful management. Of course, saying that about NBC is a bit like calling grass green at the moment, but while everyone rails on Jeff Zucker for supposedly screwing up late night (though giving Conan $35MM to leave could hardly be seen as a mistake when firing Leno would cost $150MM) it’s largely forgotten that his jettisoning of potential hit dramas and mild hits like “Medium” potentially set NBC’s drama department back many years.

While we’re all waiting for NBC to recover, we can enjoy the only season of “Southland” the network aired on DVD.


  • “Dirty Jobs”: Collection 5 – Buy Now
  • “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”: Season 2 – Buy Now
  • “The Waltons”: Movie Collection – Buy Now


Paris, Texas: Criterion Collection

With the current success of Crazy Heart it may again be time for the southwest to take hold of cinema.

Okay, so that was a bit of a stretch, but the success of the Jeff Bridges film does coincide with the Sam Shepard-penned bit of genius that won the Palme d’Or in 1984 and stars Harry Dean Stanton of “Big Love” fame.

Because it’s a Criterion DVD, we get oodles of features, including:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders (with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Audio commentary featuring Wenders
  • Video interview with Wenders by German journalist Roger Willemsen
  • Excerpts from a 1990 documentary on Wenders, featuring interviews with Wenders, cinematographer Robby Müller, composer Ry Cooder, actors Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, Peter Falk, and Hanns Zischler, novelist Patricia Highsmith, and director Samuel Fuller
  • New video interviews with filmmakers Allison Anders and Claire Denis
  • “Wim Wenders Hollywood April ’84,” a segment from the French television program Cinéma cinémas, showing Wenders and Cooder at work on the score
  • Deleted scenes and Super 8 home movies
  • Gallery of Wenders’s location-scouting photos
  • Behind-the-scenes photos by Robin Holland
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Nick Roddick, interviews with Stanton, writer Sam Shepard, and actors Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell, and excerpts from Wenders’s book of photos Written in the West

What DVDs are you looking forward to buying this week?