WF DVD Report takes a quick look at The Illusionist, Idiocracy, Borat, The Tick Versus Season One, and the double-dip editions of The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe.
• The Illusionist – A visually spellbinding movie. The tone and atmosphere help raise this movie above your typical fare to create a truly unforgettable film. Some may scoff at the predictable story, but the movie’s look and feel help the viewer look past that to become truly engrossed in a fascinating movie. The DVD itself is well handled with a nice, if small, collection of extras. It does get a bit “Jessica Biel”-heavy at times, but the extras do a good job at giving us a glimpse into the making of this movie. Definitely worth the rental and, if it’s up your alley, worthy of a purchase. Recommended!
• Idiocracy – While this movie will undoubtedly become a cult classic, I found it underwhelming and ultimately disappointing. It does, however, give a somewhat frightening look at where we, as a culture, could be heading to in the next few centuries. It seems entirely plausible and I, personally, wouldn’t be surprised. The DVD itself is sparse with just five deleted scenes and that’s all. Fans of Office Space might want to give this a spin, but I wouldn’t worry about missing out on the film. It’s ultimately skippable, in my books, though still deserved better than how Fox treated the film. I can’t recommend it completely, but if you’re looking for a light comedy, this could be what you’re looking for.
• The Tick Versus Season One – Despite the lack of any extras, I still think The Tick Versus Season One is a very worthy addition to any fan’s DVD collection. The audio and video are pretty good given the source material, and the disc themselves are well handled. I do find it odd that while there are eight episodes on the first disc, there are only four episodes on the second. Buena Vista has a history of doing some really lopsided multi-disc sets.
Regardless, this series is as fun as I remember it. Offbeat, bizarre, and just plain out there, I’m surprised how this series remains relevant even today with the big “Superhero Boom” in Hollywood right now. It hits all the right notes, as far as I’m concerned. Some episodes are weaker than others, but the series kicks off great and is able to retain its’ zany humor for the entire twelve episode collection. And with news that the episode dropped from this set will be included in the next (or future) release, it’s refreshing to know we will not be getting an incomplete set. It would have been nice to get some extras outside of a few trailers and a lithograph, but I’m happy with the collection. Hopefully in the future we’ll receive some nice extras to round out the package, but The Tick Versus Season One comes Highly Recommend.
• The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe – Extended Edition – Disney has revisited one of their major recent hits with this double-dip. I can’t say this is a necessary buy for fans of the movie, though. The extra footage is barely noticeable and actually not important in the slightest. In fact, it’d hardly noticeable. What will draw fans to this set though is the massive amounts of bonus feature on the collection. A solid four disc set, the extras cover just about every aspect of the movie’s production. If you have a few spare days, dive right into this set and you won’t be let down. While the extra footage is rather pointless, the bonus material is worth it. If you have the money, and you’re a huge Narnia fan, this set comes Recommended.
• Borat – How surprising was the hysteria this movie caused? It broke box office records and a true surprise hit. It created a cultural phenomenon that hasn’t been seen in years. Plus, it’s pretty funny. So, Fox must have gone all out for the DVD, right? Not so. Fox has released a rather small collection of extras, merely deleted scenes and PR footage, making for a not-all-that-exciting DVD. While the deleted scenes and PR footage is funny, don’t get me wrong, I was hoping to see more substance in the extras. But have no fear, I sense a double-dip for this film in the very near future. Until then, if you’re a huge Borat fan, I Recommend you give this disc at least a rental until a more substantial collection comes along.
• The Passion of the Christ: Definitive Edition – Well, the “definitive edition” tag is dead-on for this release. Fox has stacked this DVD with not only a host of special features, but two versions of the movie. Included is the original cut of the feature, as well as slightly tamer version (in short, less gore). Fox truly went all out for this release. Not only does the movie look and sound great, but the extras are staggering. The film is approached from a myriad of different angles, all offering their own take on the film and what it means to American culture. It’s a fascinating collection that any fan of the movie should truly own. It’s a DVD definitely worth picking up for either casual viewers of the movie wanting a second look or those looking to explore the meaning behind the movie and the events depicted. This release, one of Fox’s best, comes Highly Recommend.