[Our editor, Emily Bloom, brings you the best new releases in her "DVD / Blu Review" article. No filler, no hype, only movies and TV shows we personally buy.]
While the focus is always on the "Pick of the Week", the best thing about this week in general is the Warner Archive Collection new releases. I'm a sucker for all things old Hollywood and cowboy. We get titles from Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, and Robert Taylor and that's not even scratching the surface. An ultra-rare Jerry Lewis made-for-TV movie comes to DVD thanks to Jerry's personal collection and B-movies abound. Apparently this next particular release has been for sale for quite some time exclusively at Wal-Mart and is just now becoming widely available.
Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) is finally out of prison after fifteen long years and he's looking for his $350,000 stash from an old job. In the excitement, he loses control of his car and flies off a cliff. Witnesses rush to his aid and in his dying breath he tells them where the cash is hidden. Of course, the strangers can't agree on who gets the money and that's the beginning of the grand race in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World. Running around two and a half hours of running around, you'll be hard pressed to find another comedy this long. But with a truly star-filled cast of Milton Berle, Spencer Tracy, Sid Caeser, Mickey Roonery, Ethel Merman, Buddy Hackett and SO many more, the runtime is nothing to worry about.
With such a huge cast, you'd think SOME of them would still be alive and willing to contribute to the bonus material. There's no audio commentary but I didn't expect any of the ancient stars to sit for that amount of time discussing this one movie. If the 159 minutes of IAMMMMW isn't enough, the Blu-ray includes 59 more minutes of extended scenes! There's also a lengthy vintage featurette with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes information. The quality of the special features makes up for the lack in quantity but there should have been something newly created for this release.
Take note of the B-movies out this week that are actually fun to watch. Sometimes they can be total garbage but these are what everyone thinks of when you mention "B-movie": entertaining, low-budget, humorous horror. Disney always means quality and you can read our full Lady and the Tramp Blu-ray Review for all the details. But as I said earlier, skim through the Westerns for the good stuff with replay value rather than name recognition.
Did your pal Emily miss your favorite new release title? Are you sure you aren't the only one that likes it? Let her know at: email@example.com