Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6Warner
Special Features C+
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)
The cavalcade of great cartoons continues with this sixth volume from the Warner Bros. vaults. There are plenty of military-themed cartoons here, the stuff that always surprised me when I was a kid. (I wasn't aware that the animation being shown to me on Saturday mornings was originally made for adults and troops.) One of my favorites is here, involving Daffy Duck giving Elmer Fudd hell for hunting; it ends in a classic boxing match.
The package has four discs. Disc One has "Looney Tunes All Stars," with shorts from Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn Leghorn and more. Disc Two has "Patriotic Pals," with the usual cartoon stars fighting various wars. Disc Three has "Bosko, Buddy and Merrie Melodies," and the fourth is great: "Most Requested Assorted Nuts and One-Shots."
Special Features: A documentary devoted to the great Mel Blanc, who voiced many of the classic characters. There are also four bonus shorts. This one is not as loaded as previous volumes.
The Incredible Hulk: The Complete SeriesUniversal
Special Features B-
DVD Geek Factor 8 (out of 10)
Before CGI, there was Lou Ferrigno under a whole lot of green makeup. I grew up watching this show, and it had been a long time since I'd seen it. When this set arrived, I was afraid to watch the show again, worried that perhaps it hadn't aged well. A lot of shows I liked when I was a kid (like, perhaps, Happy Days later in its run) suck upon revisiting.
Good news: This show is still badass! Bill Bixby plays David Bruce Banner (as opposed to just Bruce Banner in the comics and movies), a scientist who blasts himself with gamma rays and starts having epic temper tantrums. Bixby was the man; I always remembered the origin story of Banner before his accident, where he couldn't muster the power to lift a burning car off of his wife. That damn scene stuck with me.
I also love how Banner's first "Hulk out!" comes in a rainstorm while changing a tire. He has trouble with a socket wrench, and that's it. He turns into the Hulk and kicks the crap out of his car, walking off, seemingly dejected, after it's been destroyed.
The show made it for four full seasons and part of a fifth, when it was pulled off the air while still scoring good ratings. Bixby is no longer with us, but Ferrigno is still a big bastard, and he made cameos in the two Hulk movies. This show, CHiPs and Fantasy Island were some of my favorites. Safe to say, this was probably the best of those three.
This is a 20-disc set with all 82 episodes, including the series pilot. You won't find the reunion TV movies that showed up from time to time after the series' demise. No matter; there is plenty of green goodness for you to take in.
As for the cinematic incarnations of the character, I appreciated how this year's movie paid some nice tributes to the show. It deserved some love.
Special Features: Discs include some random features throughout, with commentaries and documentaries on the show. It's not loaded, but you'll find enough stuff in the 20 discs to keep you occupied.
Animal House: 30th Anniversary EditionUniversal
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 7.5 (out of 10)
Thirty years. It's been 30 years since John Belushi became a huge star with this John Landis flick, a movie that made food fights, horse homicide and toga parties the things of cinematic legend.
It's hard to pick one favorite moment in the film, so I have a few. I always loved Belushi's Bluto trying to cheer up Flounder (Stephen Furst) by breaking bottles over his head. I also loved the before-mentioned horse death; I still remember my mom coming home from the movie mortified that a horse was killed onscreen.
I can safely say that this movie is why I refused to pledge in college. I hung around the radio station and newspaper instead. Didn't want to get swatted in front of some bizarre frat dudes yelling at me.
It's impossible to watch this movie and not get pissed off at Belushi for taking himself out early. The man would be dead just four years after its release.
Special Features: As the documentary Animal House: The Inside Story correctly states, we wouldn't have the Farrelly Brothers, American Pie, etc. without this movie. Plenty of the film's stars and crew sit down for interviews, including Landis, Tim Matheson and Karen Allen. The movie was originally intended as a Saturday Night Live film, with Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd all wanted for parts. It was Landis' wish to cast unknowns, but Belushi did find his way onto the roster. That proved to be enough. The disc comes in a cardboard house, with a yearbook of movie photos. There's also a "Where Are They Now?" featurette and a trivia "Scene It?" section.