SPECIAL FEATURES A+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 10
(OUT OF 10)
It's been a big year for the Titanic, 100 years after it sunk and paved the way for a whole lot of Hollywood types to make a whole lot of money. The year brought us the very nice 3-D release, and now we get this, the even-nicer Blu-ray.
I'm a sucker for this movie. I insist that the beautiful Celine Dion song is a hymn sung by angels drinking fairy shakes while nestling upon fluffy clouds made of my favorite candy. I love this movie unconditionally.
It truly is grand filmmaking, the likes of which we may never see again, especially when you consider that director James Cameron has become obsessed with blue people having sex with their pets via their hair. Until that movie, Cameron was my hero. Aw, hell, he's still my hero, even if he is preoccupied with Sigourney Weaver dead and naked and lying in psychedelic grass.
Titanic looks as good as it has ever looked on a home-video screen, and it has lost none of its emotional punch. I still cry every time the ship goes down. Shit, I cry when the opening credits roll, and I see all of the happy people waving, because I know that their socks are going to get really wet while they are still upon their feet.
You can buy this as a four-disc combo with a Blu-ray, a 3-D Blu-ray and digital copy, or in a package with a DVD replacing the 3-D Blu-ray. I find that the DVD versions make for great coasters these days.
SPECIAL FEATURES: You get a lot of deleted scenes and 60 featurettes from the prior releases, along with multiple commentaries featuring Cameron, cast members and crew members. On top of all this, you get two nice new documentaries, one of them being Final Word, which aired on the National Geographic Channel a few months ago. In it, Cameron admits that the stern of the Titanic may have tilted far less before it sank. His movie got it all wrong, and I don't care. It still rules.
30 Rock: Season 6
SPECIAL FEATURES B-
DVD GEEK FACTOR 5.75
(OUT OF 10)
As 30 Rock heads into its seventh and final season, the show gets crazier by the minute. The sixth season was consistently nuts—and perhaps not quite as funny as previous seasons.
It's gone from being one of TV's funniest shows to being a modestly funny show that is just bizarre. While the spoof of America's Got Talent is hilarious, the Leap Day episode featuring Jim Carrey is odd on many levels. The Leap Day guy changing into a monster at the end was actually scary.
Alec Baldwin, no matter how outlandish the show gets, maintains a cool comic energy unrivaled anywhere else on TV. He's a god on this show, and he's the reason to keep watching, even if Tina Fey is starting to lose her marbles.
I still laugh, but 30 Rock is getting a little long in the tooth. Here's hoping the last season returns the show to its wittier, classier days. I don't mind weird, but constant weirdness can get a bit exhausting.
The seventh and final season commences Thursday, Oct. 4, on NBC.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentaries with cast and crew, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Holy Flying Circus (Blu-ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES D
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 6
(OUT OF 10)
This is an interesting approach to a real-life drama.
Back in 1979, Monty Python released Life of Brian, a film that satirized organized religion and politics. A lot of religious leaders, many of whom didn't even see the movie, lobbied against the film and targeted the Pythons as blasphemers.
Director Owen Harris, rather than doing a straightforward drama about the controversy, took the novel approach of depicting John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones as the "Python" versions of themselves: The actors don't play the Python members as real guys, but as variations of the characters they depicted during their time together. For instance, Darren Boyd portrays John Cleese as a variation of his Basil Fawlty character from Fawlty Towers, and while that was something Cleese did outside of Python, he's easily identified with that persona. Only Michael Palin, played by Charles Edwards, comes off as semi-normal, even if he is married to a man playing a woman.
The result captures the absurdity of the condemnation the Pythons faced, while eerily capturing the essence and vibe of their group. The men all do dead-on impressions of the Pythons. It's fun, albeit strange, to watch.
The film ends with the infamous TV chat show in which Palin and Cleese faced off against bizarre religious leaders. Fans of Python will find this to be an interesting watch, while those unfamiliar with the Brit comedy legends will be totally lost.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Just a brief feature about the making of the opening credits, some deleted scenes and outtakes.