DVD Debut: Megatron vs Optimus Prime!!!


Don’t search for the new DVDs every week. Come here and we’ll tell you about each title – even if it’s got a smelly side.

Transformers (Two Disc Special Edition)

Thanks to the miracle of the fast forward button, most of the nonsense on this blockbusting behemoth can be skipped over in favor of what we all paid $10 to see: Megatron and Optimus Prime kicking the living diesel out of each other. Pieced together from leftover screenwriting seminars and slumming actors (Jon Voight maybe, but John Turturro is better than this), even director Michael Bay can’t quite bring this junkyard dog to life. The two-disc special edition features Bay commentary and many, many featurettes that provide a peek into the Armageddon helmer’s creative frenzy.

Grindhouse Presents Planet Terror

If Quentin Tarantino‘s half of the Grindhouse road-show subverted the genre, buddy Robert Rodriguez plays it straight — and makes one of his best movies since Desperado. Amid much surface noise and “Aw man . . .” edits, a Texas town, led by stripper-turned-stand-up comic Rose McGowan, fights off an invasion of organ-munching undead. Rodriguez’s commentary holds no bars, and adds value to the package.

A Mighty Heart

In her latest celluloid immolation, saintly Angelina Jolie is Mariane Pearl, whose real-life journalist husband Daniel was kidnapped and beheaded by Al Qaeda in 2002. The film itself was overshadowed by the hoopla of its India shoot, but this is a worthy thriller that benefits from in-your-face locations and Jolie’s excellent performance. Rent this with United 93. Then scream.
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip

A smart TV show about a smart TV show in a dumb world was always going to come off as plain insufferable. NBC’s Studio 60 did all that and more — it also came off the air. Creator Aaron Sorkin lifts his West Wing formula of rat-a-tat verbiage delivered by a handsome cast and transplants it backstage at an SNL-style revue show. 60 could have been saved by adding laughs and subtracting the stillborn romance between Matthew Perry and unfunny Sarah Paulson. But if the DVD hasn’t become a coaster by the time Sting plays his lute, it will when John Goodman huffs and puffs as a flyover state judge. 22 episodes.
AC/DC: Plug Me In

Almost everything A/V one would ever care for from rock’s answer to vegemite. Sturdiness is all in the live performances, which range from a 1975 vintage “High Voltage” at the King of Pop Awards and 1978’s Rock Goes to College tour to a 2000 charge through “Let There Be Rock.” The other ephemera include news conferences, Bon Scott interviews, and footage of the dedication of an Angus Young statue. All that’s lacking is a schoolboy cap and short pants. Watch AC/DC clips on VH1 Classic.

Check out the full edition of DVD Debut.

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