email@example.comDVD PICK OF THE WEEK: PHANTASM II (Scream Factory/Shout! Factory)
Filmmaker Don Coscarelli waited nine years before revisiting his 1979 debut shocker, and the result is a solid, entertaining sequel that expands the scope of the original film (thanks to a larger budget) while remaining true to the Phantasm mythos.Having barely escaped the events of the first film, Mike (James LeGros) and Reggie (a returning Reggie Bannister) take the fight to the mysterious and malevolent Tall Man (Angus Scrimm again), pursuing him and his ghoulish minions across California.Rest assured, those lethal silver spheres are back in play (and slay), and an enthusiastic cast includes Paula Irvine, Samantha Phillips and Kenneth Tigar, the latter as a small-town priest who comes to a very bad end.The collector’s edition DVD retails for $19.93, the collector’s edition Blu-ray for $29.93. Both contain extensive special features for the “Phantasm phaithful.”Rated R.
ACTION-PACKED MOVIE MARATHON (Shout! Factory): The title tells all in this four-film DVD collection ($9.99 retail): Heather Thomas and Martin Landau star in Fred Olen Ray’s Cyclone (1987), Jan-Michael Vincent and John Phillip Law headline Ray’s Alienator (1990), Gary Busey and Yaphet Kotto team up in Eye of the Tiger (1986), and Robert Ginty reprises his role as Vietnam vetturned-vigilante John Eastland in Exterminator 2 (1984). All four films are rated R.
“BOARDWALK EMPIRE”: THE COM- PLETE SECOND SEASON (HBO Home Entertainment): Atlantic City in the Roaring Twenties is the setting for the acclaimed HBO drama series starring Steve Buscemi as town treasurer Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, brokering business above and below the law, in all 12 episodes from the 2011 season. The regular cast includes Michael Shannon, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Stuhlbarg, Gretchen Mol, Shea Whigham and Michael Pitt. Winner of four Emmy Awards including Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (executive producer Timothy Van Patten), with an additional eight nominations including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Buscemi). The DVD boxed set retails for $59.99, the Blu-ray boxed set for $79.98.
“FATHER DOWLING MYSTERIES”: THE FINAL SEASON (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment): Tom Bosley’s back as the crime-solving Chicago clergyman in all 22 episodes from the 1990-’91 season of the mystery series, which aired on ABC. The DVD boxed set retails for $61.99.
GEORGE LOPEZ: IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU (HBO Home Entertainment): His TBS talk-show behind him, the award-winning comedian takes to the stage in this stand-up comedy special ($19.97 retail) recorded at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (MGM Home Entertainment/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): The Blu-ray bow ($24.99 retail) of Woody Allen’s 1986 comedy depicting a year in the life of Mia Farrow as Hannah and Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest as her sisters. One of Allen’s warmest, most accessible films earned Academy Awards for Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor), Wiest (Best Supporting Actress) and Allen (Best Original Screenplay), with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. The excellent cast also includes Max Von Sydow, Sam Waterston, Carrie Fisher, Daniel Stern, Julie Kavner, John Turturro, JT Walsh, Lewis Black, Maureen O’Sullivan (Farrow’s real-life mother) and Lloyd Nolan (in his final film). Rated PG-13.
JAY AND SILENT BOB GET IRISH (Industrial Entertainment): Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes — and their Clerks alter-egos — bring their live comedy show to the Emerald Isle in this two-DVD collection ($19.95 retail) which Smith and Mewes also produced.
“LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT” — THE FINAL YEAR (Shout! Factory): A DVD collection ($29.93 retail) of all eight episodes from the 2011 (and 10th ) season of the award-winning crime series, the third spun off from “Law & Order,” first broadcast on NBC and then on USA Network. Kathryn Erbe and Vincent D’Onofrio head the cast.
“THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP”: THE COMPLETE SEASON TWO (Inception Media Group): Hugh O’Brian’s back in action as the legendary lawman in all 39 episodes from the 1956-’57 season of the popular Western series, featur ing Gloria Talbott, Douglas Fowley, Mason Alan Dinehart III (as Bat Masterson) and Lloyd Corrigan (as Ned Buntline). The five-DVD boxed set retails for $24.98.
“MATLOCK”: THE EIGHTH SEASON (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment): Mount Airy’s favorite son Andy Griffith returns as legal eagle Ben Matlock in all 20 episodes from the 1993-’94 season of the long-running, award-winning NBC courtroom drama. The DVD boxed set retails for $54.99.
MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES (Smithsonian Channel/Inception Media Group): Writer/producer/director Tom Jennings’ sobering, straightforward documentary offers an overview of events leading up to and immediately following the murder of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968.
“MURDOCH MYSTERIES”: SEASON 5 (Acorn Media Group): Yannick Bisson plays the title role in this adaptation of Maureen Jennings’ best-selling mystery novels, as a brilliant detective and pioneer of forensic science in 1890s’ Toronto, in all 13 episodes from the 2012 season of the award-winning mystery series. The DVD and Blu-ray boxed sets each retail for $59.99.
“MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: XXV” (Shout! Factory): The Satellite of Love keeps spinning and spoofing in the latest four-DVD boxed set ($59.97 retail) culled from the seemingly endless archives of the long-running, award-winning comedy series: Robot Holocaust (1986), Operation Kid Brother (1967) starring Sean Connery’s kid brother Neil, Kitten With a Whip (1964) starring Ann-Margret and John Forsythe, and Revenge of the Creature (1955).
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): The Bluray bow ($16.99 retail) of the award-winning 2006 Biblical drama starring Tiffany DuPont as the beautiful Hadassash, who would become Esther, the Queen of Persia. Sincere but overlong, although the cast helps: Luke Goss (as Xerxes), Omar Sharif, John Rhys- Davies, Tim “Tiny” Lister(!), John Noble and Peter O’Toole, who is prominently billed but makes only a fleeting cameo as the prophet Samuel. Rated PG.
SHAMAN HEALER SAGE (True Mind): A DVD documentary ($19.98 retail) that traces the life and career of scientist and author Alberto Villoldo, the founder of the Four Winds Society and author of the best-selling book Shaman Healer Sage, which examined the medicinal practices of the healers and shamans of South America.
SINS (Green Apple Entertainment): Choppy, incoherent mafia melodrama wastes time as well as the talents of Danny Glover, John Savage, Steven Bauer, Anne Jeffreys and Michael Madsen (as a shaggy-haired don). The onscreen title is Sins Expiation, but a dud by any name. No stars
SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS: BALTIMORE RAVENS (NFL Films/Gaiam Vivendi): The official sports documentary chronicling the Ravens’ championship season and ultimate 38-35 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, narrated by Josh Charles. The DVD retails for $24.99, the Blu-ray for $34.93.
TIMERIDER: THE ADVENTURE OF LYLE SWANN (Shout! Factory): The Blu-ray bow ($19.93 retail) of the award-winning, PG-rated 1982 sci-fi Western with Fred Ward in the title role, a 20th century motorcyclist hurled back through time to the wild West of the 1880s. Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, Ed Lauter, LQ Jones, Tracey Walter and Richard Masur co-star. Director William Dear co-wrote the script with producer/composer Michael Nesmith (of “The Monkees” fame). Both also make cameo appearances.
WHITTLE: THE JET PIONEER (Shelter Island): This documentary feature ($24.98 retail) explores the life and career of Sir Frank Whittle (1907-’96), the Royal Air Force engineer who masterminded the development of the jet engine.
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2013, Mark Burger.