Video Views and News: Christmas in a Box, Dirty Apes from Fox, and Where the Hell Are My Socks?

I'm a day late with this week's Video News & Views because something big happened Tuesday night. But the details are fuzzy. All I remember is, I went to a party, had both red wine and Blue Curacao, then woke up this morning in a strange bedroom in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, naked except for nine judiciously applied "I Voted" stickers and a "Know Hope" bumper sticker across my crotch. (It's still there. I mean, a too hasty removal and it's -- yow! -- instant Brazilian!)

So what the hell happened on Tuesday?

Let's see. Alvin and the Chipmunks got a Special Edition DVD re-release. Was that the cool thing? No, I'm not feeling it. In fact, I think it's making my hangover even worse.

Maybe it's the new influx of TV on DVD. Tim Apello reports that this week's highlights include Spin City, some vintage Popeye the Sailor: 1941-1943, and (one of my faves) Batman: The Complete Animated Series series.

Fans of Westerns (a group that frequently includes me) now have Sony's new five-disc boxed set of vintage oaters from "B" maestro Budd Boetticher. It's a set that includes The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome, and Comanche Station. They all star Randolph Scott, who for me will always be associated with the citizens of Rock Ridge, hats over their hearts, choraling his name like a heavenly choir in Blazing Saddles.

Speaking of boxed sets, Fox has repackaged again the original Star Wars Trilogy in a new DVD set (is there a potential buyer who doesn't yet have those, and what's the word on an eventual Blu-ray edition?). Next to it on the shelves is the boxed set of those three abominable prequels, so once again hard reality reminds me that they weren't just some bad college drug flashback or a Blue Curacao delirium dream from last night.

Oh, this is cool. My Favorite Christmas Movie of All Time, A Christmas Story, is out this week on both DVD and, yes!, Blu-ray. Among the purchase options is an "Ulitimate Edition" tin box that doesn't just hold the movie, it also adds all kinds of related goodies along with it -- movie-themed cookie cutters, a recipe book (which Laremy borrowed and has yet to return, by the way), and more. Glenn opens the lid on this new release of A Christmas Story right here.

Other why-so-early? seasonal titles available for home viewing this week are The Perfect Holiday and This Christmas.

Also here at, C. Robert "Missed it by that much" Cargill gives us his thoughts on the new DVD of Get Smart.

Timed for the theatrical release of its sequel, the animated fave Madagascar now has a Holiday Edition on DVD and Blu-ray from Paramount.

Speaking of Blu-ray, Fox's Planet of the Apes (the good one) gets a welcome new Blu 40th Anniversary Edition this week. In fact, the entire time-twisting simian series -- including Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and the U.S. unrated version of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes -- is out on Blu-ray individually and in a super-apey 40 Year Evolution Blu-ray Collection boxed set that we'll be giving away here at It's supposed to be on my desk soon, so stay tuned for the big Damn Dirty Ape giveaway prize!

Also new to Blu this week:

The Dale Earnhardt Story (Collector's Edition)

Tenacious D (The Complete Master Works 2)

Universal Soldier

NBA Champions 2007-2008 (Boston Celtics)

Monster's Ball

• and (toga! toga! toga!) the scandalous Bob Guccione-produced Caligula, "an irresistible mix of art and genitals" as fully, frontally exposed co-star Helen Mirren calls it. But do we really want Malcolm McDowell's art and genitals all naked in high-def? McDowell himself provides the easily listenable audio commentary track.

Fellow Futurama fans! This week also gifts us with the latest installment of our beloved show's recent resurrection -- Futurama: Bender's Game, on DVD and Blu-ray. I announced this one coming a year ago in my interview with the series' "Top Nerd," David X. Cohen.

"A movie every father and son should be required to see together. Jim Broadbent's towering performance should be remembered at awards time, and Colin Firth is perfect in this touching drama of memory and transition." That's what our review page says about When Did You Last See Your Father?, a title that's new to me but I do like to catch Jim Broadbent in anything he does -- oooh, it's got Juliet Stevenson too, sweet -- so its new DVD is now on my personal check-it-out list.

Another outlier that piques my curiosity is Transsiberian, with Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer. (Years ago I would not have imagined a time I'd consider Ben Kingsley overexposed.)

Then there's Henry Poole Is Here, with Luke Wilson, and Swiss director Andrea Staka's intriguing Fraulein. (That's something I love about DVD. It can bring home international experiences.)

I don't know. Whatever happened Tuesday, I'm stuck here on the couch with an ice pack on my head and the weird feeling that comes from a hundred nude Jack Blacks running around inside my skull. It's time I put down this laptop, take some more Tylenol, and do something about this bumper sticker.

I'll also turn on the TV and see what's happened since I left for that party.