By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Avatar” — Three-Disc Extended Collector’s Edition (PG-13 ) — Fans of James Cameron’s bajillion-dollar-grossing sci-fi epic finally are getting the mega-release they’ve been waiting for. This three-disc set contains more than three hours of special features; 45 minutes of deleted scenes and three versions of the film: The original theatrical release, the special edition re-release and an extended cut of the film featuring an alternate opening sequence that is exclusive to this DVD set. Also worth noting: Both the original and special edition edits come with a family-friendly soundtrack where all objectionable language has been removed.
“RoboGeisha” (NR) — From the makers of “Tokyo Gore Police” and “The Machine Girl” comes the latest swell in Japan’s new wave of gory, low-budget, gonzo grindhouse flicks. The plots are ridiculous, the violence and gore is so over-the-top that it ceases to be shocking and becomes hilarious. Add to the mix some bad acting and laughable effects, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for good ol’ cheesy fun.
“RoboGeisha” has all of those elements in spades. This story of two sisters recruited by a shadowy corporation that transforms the girls into cybernetic assassins features a duel fought with butt-blades, machine-gun boobs, a chick with a sawblade face, and in the finale, a skyscraper that morphs into a killer robot. Seriously, who needs drugs when we have Japan?
“Modern Times” (Criterion Collection) (NR) — Made in 1936, well after sound had been established as the industry standard, “Modern Times” is considered the last, best silent film — and one of Charlie Chaplin’s finest motion pictures. Set during the Great Depression, this romantic comedy about a factory worker driven mad by the soul-crushing tedium of his job and his infatuation with a beautiful homeless girl (Paulette Goddard) is notable for two pop-culture classics: The sequence of Chaplin being fed through a threading machine and his timeless song, “Smile.” As this is a Criterion release, rest assured that the soundtrack and picture quality are top-shelf, as are the commentary tracks, special features and accompanying booklet.
“Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection” (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)
“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas Giftset”
“The Office: Digital Shorts Collection”
“Glee” Season 1 Giftset
“The Twilight Zone” Season 2
“Heroes” Complete Series
“Hoarders” Season Two: Part One
“Ancient Aliens” Season One
“SpongeBob SquarePants: Legends of Bikini Bottom”
“Gangland” Complete Season Six
“Perry Mason” Season Five, Volume 2
“Wycliffe” Series 4
© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.