THE WEEK IN DVD
This week’s top theatrical release is “Jersey Boys,” Clint Eastwood’s big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical that tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The film keys in on the true stories of the trials and tribulation of the group but it’s the music that guides the narrative: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more hits. From Warner.
Two American icons get special treatments this week: “Bing Crosby: The Silver Screen Collection” is a 13-disc set with 24 of the movie, music, radio and television superstar’s iconic films: “College Humor,” We’re Not Dressing,” “Here is My Heart,” “Mississippi,” “Rhythm on the Range,” “Waikiki Wedding,” “Double or Nothing,” “Sing You Sinners,” “East Side of Heaven,” “If I Had My Way,” “Rhythm on the River,” “Birth of the Blues,” “Holiday Inn,” “Going My Way,” “Here Come the Waves,” “Blue Skies,” “Welcome Stranger,” “Variety Girl,” “The Emperor Waltz,” “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” “Road to Singapore,” “Road to Zanzibar,” “Road to Morocco,” “Road to Utopia.” Also includes “American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered.” $199.98 from Universal … Milestone Film & Video, the Academy Film Archive and the UCLA Film & Television Archive have restored a pair of works by dancer, bride, runaway wife, radical filmmaker and documentary pioneer Shirley Clarke. “Ornette: Made in America!” (1986) captures jazz master Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades, chronicling his boyhood in segregated Texas and his subsequent emergence as an American cultural pioneer and world-class icon. The film explores the rhythms, images and myths of America seen through the eyes of an artist’s ever-expanding imagination and experience. Clarke followed Ornette and his young son Denardo starting in the late 1960s and ending with a homecoming tribute in his hometown of Fort Worth in 1983 that featured a gala concert of his seminal jazz symphony “Skies of America” alongside performances with his Prime Time band.
There’s several massive sets of classic TV series due out this week. Heading the list is “The Twilight Zone: The 5th Dimension Limited Edition Box Set.” For the first time ever, Rod Serling’s groundbreaking Original Series (1959-1964) and the classic 1980s Series (1985-1989) have been brought together in one box set. With only 7,500 sets created, this limited edition 41-DVD box set is available for $349.98. In addition to the two series (225 episodes combined), and more than 20 hours of bonus features, the set contains one of four possible collectible 1960s “Twilight Zone” comic books. From Image Entertainment.
Next comes two sets of the original “Batman” TV series (1966-68): “Batman The Complete TV Series,” an 18-disc DVD set with all 120 original broadcast episodes, remastered, $199.70 and “Batman The Complete TV Series Limited Edition Blu-ray,” a 13-disc set, $269.97. Extras include “Hanging with Batman”: A true slice of life in the words of Adam West; “Holy Memorabilia Batman!”: A journey into the most sought after collectibles through the eyes of three extraordinary collectors; ” Batmania Born! – Building the World of Batman,” which explores the art and design behind the fiction; “Bats of the Round Table”: A candid conversation with Adam West and his celebrity friends, chatting all things Bat (1966); “Na Na Na Batman!: Hollywood favorites stars and producers recount their favorite Batman memories; 32-page complete episode guide. The Blu-ray set adds some collectible premiums: a Hot Wheels replica Batmobile, “The Adam West Scrapbook,” 44 vintage trading cards. Includes UltraViolet digital copy. From Warner.
From The Criterion Collection this week comes “The Shooting/Ride in the Whirlwind”: In the mid-sixties, the maverick American director Monte Hellman (“Two-Lane Blacktop”) conceived of two Westerns at the same time. Dreamlike and gritty by turns, the two films would prove their maker’s adeptness at brilliantly deconstructing genre. As shot back-to-back for famed producer Roger Corman, they feature overlapping casts and crews, including Jack Nicholson in two of his meatiest early roles. The films -— “The Shooting” (1966) about a motley assortment of loners following a mysterious wanted man through a desolate frontier, and “Ride in the Whirlwind” (1966), about a group of cowhands pursued by vigilantes for crimes they did not commit — are rigorous, artful, and wholly unconventional journeys into the American West. New 4K digital restorations of both films, supervised by Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray.