New on DVD

New on DVD

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season
Unrated, but meant for adults
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Twelve seasons down and still going strong, South Park is still as funny and relevant as ever.  This season saw the boys from South Park, Colorado causing trouble for Britney Spears, being held hostage by Die Hard-like terrorists, remaking High School Musical in a way that only they could, exploring the truth behind election night, and imagining unthinkable evils upon Harrison Ford.  It was yet another hysterical season that a sick mind could enjoy over and over again.  Aside from the Britney episode, the social commentary wasn’t as strong in this season, but we don’t always need to be taught a lesson to enjoy.  This is the first season available on Blu-ray and I have to admit that it looks very different.  Not necessarily better, but different.  You can really make out the different textures in the animation that you couldn’t see before and frankly, I haven’t made up my mind if the crystal clear high def version is better than the 480i TV version.  A-

The Robe: Special Edition
Not rated, but family friendly
Available on Blu-ray disc

The Robe follows a Roman centurion that wins Christ’s cloak gambling at the foot of the cross.  The powers of the cloak manage to change his life forever.  Richard Burton stars in this 1953 sword and sandals biblical epic from Twentieth Century Fox.  While the acting is pretty bad by today’s standards, and the directing lacks the intensity and power of such classics as Ben Hur and Spartacus, this film is important for one reason: it was the first film shown in theaters in a wide screen format.  Cinemascope was launched by Fox in order to bring people out of their home, away from their TVs, and into theaters. And it worked.  The movie was a huge success at the box office and even won two Oscars.  While you kind of have to watch the movie, the real treasures here are the documentaries of the picture’s rich historical significance.  One of my favorite features is the ability to watch the movie with just the score by nine-time Oscar winning composer Alfred Newman and no dialogue or sound effects.  B

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