With Christmas right around the corner, DVD "special edition" re-releases of blockbuster movies are way up. Just this week we've got "Kermit's 50th Anniversary Editions" of a few classic Muppet movies, and the Jurassic Park Adventure Pack. A few good docs get their disc-day, too.
- March of the Penguins - They mate for life, wear little tuxedos, and live in the Antarctic. They're also unbearably cute, especially when they do the Emperor Penguin waddle. The DVD version of Luc Jacquet's documentary features a "crittercam," a Bugs Bunny short (?), and "Of Penguins and Men," a mini-doc about the making of the film. Go forth and whimper before the beauty of nature.
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith - Angelina Jolie + Brad Pitt + big guns + witty banter + sexual tension + rampant rumors = immensely enjoyable skin-deep guilty pleasure flick perfect for watching some night when you're home alone with nothing but a six-pack and a package of ramen. Which is exactly how I spent most of my grade-school weekends (neglectful, partying parents), except James Bond was my babysitter.
- The Muppet Feature Films Series (Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition) - Sold separately. The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Muppet Movie, and The Great Muppet Caper each get a "Kermit" make-over. Director Brian Henson does voice-over commentary on The Muppet Christmas Carol, and there are "profiles" of individual Muppets ("Miss Piggy: The Diva Who Would Not Be Denied") on each disc. I wish they'd done commentary for each film, and I also wish that Muppet Treasure Island had been included (personal favorite), but, alas, no.
- Jurassic Park Adventure Pack - Pretty self-explanatory: Jurassic Park parts I, II, and II wrapped up in a shiny package with a bonanza of bonus features intended to plump up the "collector value." Just remember folks, quantity vs. quality: featurettes like "Location Scouting" and "Early Pre-Production Meetings" might not be the awesome extras you were expecting.
- Murderball - Team USA plays full-contact quadriplegic rugby, and they play it well. This doc (from new-comer directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro) follows the team all the way to the Paralypmic Games in Athens, Greece. There's no weepy, sentimental heart-to-hearts here. These are tough-as-nails guys playing a tough-ass sport, and frankly, they make you look like a bipedal wuss. Extras include Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O doing godknowswhat, filmmaker commentary, and player commentary.