This Week on DVD: September 16

Let’s see if I can revive the DVD New Release posts. Now that I’ve had time to actually catch up on what’s being released.

New Release Picks

Speed RacerSpeed Racer
Okay, so I didn’t actually see this in theatres. And it got trounced by most critics. On the other hand, I’ve seen a few glowing reviews from bloggers I trust, so I went ahead and popped it to the top of my Netflix queue this week. Even if I don’t end up liking it, I’m pretty sure it’s going to look awesome, and sometimes that’s worth it in and of itself.

The Rape of EuropaThe Rape of Europa
The interest in Nazi Germany continues with this documentary about Allied attempts to save Europe’s artistic masterworks from the all-consuming hand of Hitler. Again, I haven’t seen it, but it takes a lot to make me want to watch a documentary (a bias I’m trying to overcome), and I’m quite excited about this one.

Also releasing: Young@Heart, Snow Angels, Made of Honor, 88 Minutes, The Love Guru

Classic Picks

The Earrings of Madame de… / La Ronde / Le Plaisir
The Earrings of Madame de...La RondeLe Plaisir
And Region 1 cinephiles hyperventilate. Yay, Criterion! These three Max Ophuls films have never been released on DVD in the United States to my knowledge, which is a cinematic travesty. [Correction: La Ronde has.] I haven’t seen Le Plaisir, but I guarantee the other two are among the most exquisite, sophisticated films ever. I’m looking forward to seeing them again so much. David Hudson gathers some quotes on the set from around the web over at GreenCine Daily.

An American in Paris / Gigi
New 2-disc special editions of two great Vincente Minnelli musicals. Not as exciting as the Ophuls set, but still.

Also releasing: J’Accuse (Abel Gance); special editions of Beetlejuice, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Risky Business; box sets: Busby Berkeley Collection 2, British Cinema Classic B Film Collection, Charlie Chan Collection 5

Television Picks

Pushing Daisies S1Pushing Daisies Season One
Best new show last year. No question. It’s quirky, it’s endearing, it’s adorable, it’s gorgeous. What more do you need? Not to mention the ever-looming possibility of supporting cast member (and Broadway star) Kristin Chenoweth randomly bursting into song. The new season starts on October 1st, so you’ve got a few weeks to catch up.

Chuck S1Chuck Season One
Possibly the second best new show last year. Geek Squad employee Chuck gets a staggering amount of national secrets downloaded into his brain, making him essential to the CIA, NSA, and who knows who else. Geeks + espionage. It’s like giving Alias‘s Marshall his own show. :)

Torchwood S2Torchwood Season Two
Torchwood is the spin-off of Britain’s new Doctor Who series, following the exploits of an off-grid government agency (Torchwood) investigating alien activity on Earth. I actually think it’s better than Who in several ways. For one thing, it’s set in Cardiff, which opens up a whole wealth of underused Welsh accents. But start with Season One.

Also releasing: Dirty Sexy Money Season One, Criminal Minds Season Three, Private Practice Season One, Will & Grace Season Eight