Laserblast: No Country, Bee Movie, Tin Man

The DVD drought seems to be ending, with lots of cinefantastique making its way onto disc this week. Some of these are new titles making their debut; others are old titles re-released on the relatively new Blu-ray format. However, even with the the abundance of material, we start by highlighting a non-genre film, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, because it has a certain relevance to the horror genre and because…well, it was only selected as the Best Picture of 2007. As I’ve written before,  the story takes place in an alternate universe wherein horrible events have no ripple effect on society at large, and it features a villain Anton Chigurh  (Javier Bardem, in an Oscar-winning performance) who is figuratively likened to a ghost even if the film quite carefully prevents the analogy from becoming literal. The DVD and Blu-ray disc come equipped with a few bonus features: “Working with the Coens,” which provides the perspective of the cast and crew on working with the writing-directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen; “The Making of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN;” and “Diary of a Country Sheriff,” which explores the contrast between the compassionate Sheriff Bell and the brutal Chigurh .

Another big release this week is BEE MOVIE, which did not earn the accolades of NO COUNTRY but certainly earned some big bucks. Unfortunately, the film is quite a disappointment, despite borrowing much of the creative talent from the excellent SEINFELD sit-com. There are three versions: widescreen, full screen, and two-disc special edition. The  first two contain eleven simple bonus features (such as a music video and a featurette called ”Inside the Hive: The Cast of Bee Movie”). The latter contains all those and more, including audio commentary from Jerry Seinfeld and other filmmakers, alternate endings, lost scenes, and the hilarious live-action trailers, based on the premise that the film was originally to be shot in live action, with Seinfeld in a cheesy bee costume.

TIN MAN, the Sci Fi Channel spin-off of the classic THE WIZARD OF OZ, becomes available in a two-disc collector’s edition. The set contains a 30-minute making-of featurette, cast interviews, gag reels, and more.

The other exciting new DVD release is “Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema,” which I previously discussed here. This is a massive set, 13 hours of silent short subjects from the father of movie special effects and fantasy. Anime fans may be excited to see APPLESEED EX MACHINA on DVD and Blu-ray.  Also out on Blu-ray are such familiar titles as INDEPENDENCE DAY; I, ROBOT; GATTACA; and DOGMA. BATS: HUMAN HARVEST, the Sci Fi Channel’s sequel to the underwhelming BATS, also hits home video store shelves. All this, plus the usual direct-to-video obscurities, should keep you, glues to your screens until next week.

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About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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