Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor – Come to wish the “eleventh” Doctor a “fuckity-bye” as he morphs into Peter Capaldi, stay for the Christmas drama that involves a wooden cyberman, multiple silly jokes about nudity in church, and Matt Smith donning a ton of latex as the man who thinks he’s the last regeneration settles down into space retirement, to protect Planet Trenzalore from pretty much every foe he’s ever had. Though it was an inevitable comedown from “The Day of the Doctor,” which ended in a Tom Baker cameo that couldn’t be beat, this episode invariably sets the stage for what’s to follow – the quest to restore Gallifrey.
Honestly, though, the episode’s just an hour long and there are hardly any extras. Wait for it to appear again on a future set if you’re that determined to own it.
The Visitor – Just watch the trailer above, because words fail me on this one. You’ll see why.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – I saw this one twice in the theaters because the wife wanted – nay, needed – to go, and I have to say, second time around it dragged, hard. Once you know where the game is going, you lose some investment in that part of the story and its easily solvable central puzzle, and once you leave the Capital for the arena, there’s less satire to keep you going through the duller action beats. Seeing it now, however, would bring a new poignancy with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays a character risking death here. I don’t know if his Plutarch Heavensbee survives the final book, but knowing the actor doesn’t will surely have an effect upon the savvy viewer.
The Venture Bros.: The Fifth Season – Occasionally I’ll say something in this column like, “I need to catch up on this some day.” I’ve seen enough of, say, Adventure Time or Sherlock to know that I’m often right about that when I finally do get a decent look…and then there’s The Venture Bros. I tried to get into this, and frankly I never have any god-damned idea what is going on. I sense five years of insane convolutions at work, and also that I might have liked this better back in college when it amused me to no end to laugh at bad ’70s superhero cartoons. I’m sure it has merits, but they miss me at the moment, and I don’t know if I’m motivated enough to start from square one.
Ancient Aliens, Season 5 Volume 2 – Okay, somebody just post that picture of the Londo Mollari-looking mofo already.
Oldboy (the remake) – While this isn’t as big a travesty as it ought to be, thanks mainly to Josh Brolin essentially auditioning for a future superhero role, and an ironic ending that actually makes a bit more sense than the Korean version’s final scene, I suggest not buying this one. Rent as a curiosity, but know this – Spike Lee has made vocal the fact that a three-hour director’s cut exists, and the fact that extras are reasonably scant on today’s release suggests to me that something bigger may be in the works.
The Grandmaster – Wong Kar Wai claims he’s just fine with the Harvey Weinstein-mandated edit of his movie for western audiences, which is about twenty minutes shorter and presumably assumes that American audiences wanting a martial arts movie can’t handle slow spots that enhance such details as plot and character. So again, you might want to wait to buy until you can be clear which one you’re getting – websites differ as to which version this actually is, though it seems most likely to be the U.S. cut.
Harry and the Hendersons – John Lithgow adopts Bigfoot. I remember hating this movie as a kid for the way it featured not one but TWO gratuitously tear-jerking finales.
The Last Days on Mars – Let me put it this way: when a movie’s positive review blurb on the cover comes from Examiner.com, a user-submitted content-site, you know there’s a problem. That’s all I got to say about that.