Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season TwoWarner
Special Features A-
DVD Geek Factor 9 (out of 10)
This unbelievably strange and funny show recently kicked off its fourth season on Adult Swim (part of the Cartoon Network). Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are two of the oddest individuals to ever be handed a TV show, and they do not disappoint.
You could call this a sketch show, but it really defies categorization. They recruit the likes of Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show) and esteemed actor John C. Reilly to help out, and they contribute regularly. (Reilly's Dr. Steve Brule is absurdist comedy at its best.) There are 13 episodes here, and, perhaps, one of them is less than hilarious. The boys are as consistent as they are nuts.
This season saw the introduction of Spagett, a strange, ponytailed man who specializes in surprise scares that neither surprise nor scare anybody. There's also the return of Carol, the sad, overweight woman sexually harassed by her boss in the first season (immortalized in the tune "Poke On!").
Oh man, there's really no point in trying to describe this stuff. Just watch it. You'll love it, or you'll hate it. For those who love it ... it's a drug.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, bloopers and outtakes are all extremely funny here. There are also karaoke versions of "Sit on You" and "No Sunsets," which are sure to bring your party to a screeching halt. You also get lots of footage from their live tour, which I sadly missed. It featured an entire concert from Casey and his Brother singing such hits as "Cops and Robbers." Dammit, that had to have been a good time.
Raging Bull (Blu-Ray)20th Century Fox
Special Features A
DVD Geek Factor 10 (out of 10)
One of the greatest films ever made finally gets the Blu-Ray treatment, and that's cause for celebration. Seeing Martin Scorsese's infamous boxing movie for the first time in high definition is like losing your virginity again, except that your genitals aren't involved. Well, unless you are very deviant with your home-screening practices.
Robert De Niro won an Oscar for his portrayal of Jake La Motta, and there have been very few Oscar winners who were more deserving. Besides putting on 60 pounds for the fat scenes, he trained in the ring until his consultant (the actual La Motta) thought he was actually ready to fight professionally. Scorsese, who admittedly couldn't have cared less about boxing or sports, turned in the best film of the genre.
It's probably a good thing that Scorsese didn't follow the sport; his approach to the ring is something unique, poetic and very brutal. The bloody sponge, the exploding nose and the broken ribs are in stark contrast to the almost dancelike quality that boxing matches often take on. Joe Pesci actually broke a rib during a sparring match (you can hear him screech when De Niro lands the overly enthusiastic blow).
This re-launched the film career of Pecsi, who was responsible for the casting of Cathy Moriarty. She made her film debut here and scored a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. This is also the first film where Thelma Schoonmaker edited for Scorsese, kicking off her now-legendary run with the director; she also won her first Oscar here.
Special Features: There's nothing new if you own the special-edition standard DVD released four years ago. Scorsese's commentary is stellar, as is the chance to hear La Motta talk about the film.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Blu-Ray)Sony
Special Features B+
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)
Here's one of last year's more polarizing films. Some thought the screenplay and performances were Oscar-worthy, while others dismissed it as a hipster-wannabe flick. While I think the film falls somewhat short of Oscar glory, it was quite enjoyable.
The central story between Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) is sweet and fun. The two find themselves on an adventure looking for a mysterious band, driving around in Nick's broken-down Yugo.
As endearing as the actors are, everybody in this teen flick is outdone by Ari Graynor. Graynor plays Caroline, a hopelessly drunk young lady who refuses to discard her chewing gum, no matter where the wad might fall. There is a scene involving a toilet bowl that instantly goes on the list of the Top 10 greatest film gross-out gags of all time.
The music is great; Cera is always fun to watch, while Dennings makes for a decent counterpart. But the movie reaches higher levels whenever Graynor is on screen. I want an entire movie of her trying to get her drunk self home.
Special Features: They include deleted scenes, including a projectile-vomiting one that was perhaps too much. (It doesn't help that the puke tube is visible on the side of Graynor's face.) There are also commentaries, including one where the cast gets to write on the screen, John Madden-style.