June 3, 2009

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Also this week: Weeds: Season Four, Revolutionary Road, Fanboys, Une femme mariee

Highlight of the Week

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (New Video Group) Last year’s WGA strike was a creatively bleak period for Hollywood. Yet Buffy the Vampire Slayer conceiver Joss Whedon somehow managed to craft an out-and-out epic three-parter involving a blogging supervillain aspirant (Neil Patrick Harris: “Dr. Horrible”), his heroic nemesis (Nathan Fillion: “Captain Hammer”) and their mutual love interest, all set against a succession of toe-tapping/knee-slapping merry melodies. Initially airing online last summer, the 43-minute miniseries was later sold exclusively through Amazon. As of now, we can happily spot Whedon’s best-since-Buffy on local retail shelves. Extras: Commentary! The Musical (as superb as the feature itself), non-musical commentary, three making-of featurettes, Evil League of Evil application videos. 

Also Available

Weeds: Season Four (Maple) Not only did the fourth season nix those iconic opening credits, it also took the Botwins to a new milieu. After the previous finale saw the home and business of our drug-dealing protagonist (the impossibly attractive and talented Mary-Louise Parker) literally go up in smoke, the clan — along with a few buds (I am a pun machine!) — relocate from soccer-mom suburbia to the deceptively serene edge of the border, where mommy-mover becomes entangled in the Mexican drug cartel. Extras: cast commentaries, gag reel, featurettes. 

Revolutionary Road (Universal) Sam Mendes’ adaption of Richard Yates’ 1961 novel contains the typical stabs at disenchanted companionship in otherwise immaculate American suburbia. We’ve seen this all before (notably in Mendes’ overrated debut American Beauty), but extraordinary performances by Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and scene-stealer Michael Shannon should’ve earned the film more appreciation. Extras: solid commentary, making-of, deleted scenes. 

Fanboys (Alliance) A charming premise about a ragtag group of eager beavers  desperate to steal a pre-release print of The Phantom Menace is, by and large, washed out with predictable sight gags. Fanboys will in any case want to watch themselves immortalized by the likes of Jay Baruchel, Veronica Mars and the fat, hairy dude from Balls of Fury. Extras: commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, webisodes. 

Une femme mariée (Koch Lorber) Legendary French new waver Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 provocative meditation on adultery and consumerism arrives on home video for the first time in North America. Extras: no dice.