Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blu-ray Releases & Dinner Pairings: Week of August 23rd, 2010

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season [Blu-ray] Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]  The Simpsons: The 13th Season [Blu-ray]  The Square [Blu-ray]

Well, here it is folks, this week marks the release of the much-hyped, much-praised and much-maligned final television season of the "Lost" saga. This brainchild of uber-director J.J. Abrams together with Damon Lindelof, Jeffrey Lieber and Carlton Cuse made its TV debut back in 2004 and to be sure, I was one of those enthralled by the possibilities of what might lie behind the mysterious "island" (here's my glowing review of the 1st season). Alas, the next season proved that the show might be losing its way after such a great start. The plot went around the mulberry bush and never recovered (my review of Season 2), frustrating fans like myself who were seeking some (or any) answers to the many, many open-ended questions. From trying to escape the clutches of the island to the return of the Oceanic 6 to the island in Season 5, many mysteries still remained and the final season never bothered (or maybe they couldn't) to answer all of them. Yes, we had some kind of closure but so many sub-plots remained dangling. For what it was worth, the show was unique in the way that it tells its story, using creative ways like flashbacks and even flashforwards (for an entire season). For that, I must commend the show's creators for bringing such a new perspective to storytelling. Also releasing this week, is the entire 6-season collection of "Lost" for those who fans who have not already bought any of the single season sets. Other than the discs, this collection also includes various collectible items for the dedicated Losties. As can be expected, this entire collection will set you back almost $200 on Amazon.

Dinner Pairing:
As for a dinner pairing for "Lost," might I suggest a tropical Hawaiian staple of ahi tuna poke (here's a simple poke recipe), matched with a refreshing Mai-Tai cocktail (here's a list of famous Mai-Tai recipes) that must include a cocktail umbrella to complete the Polynesian theme.

Next on the list is classic TV sitcom and a favorite of many, "The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season." With the current broadcast of the show in its 21st season, "The Simpsons" have broken almost all TV show records for the longest running primetime show, longest running sitcom, longest running animated show, most episodes, etc. The only problem is, we might be able to own the entire series of the show on DVD or Blu-ray until may be the end of the decade! The home video release is crawling almost 10 years behind the current season of the show. I know the studio tries to create a great DVD package with lots of extras for each season's release and that takes time but come on! "The Simpsons" fans must be the most saintly patients fans in the world! Well, is you are a fan of the show, I don't have to tell you what you have to do this week. Every episode is a classic and the show is so up to date on what to make fun of, it isn't even funny. So get to it!

As a tribute to the show, may I present to you a list of Homer Simpson's favorite foods:
1. Duff beer (of course!)
2. Donuts (with sprinkles)
3. Burgers (flame grilled or just fried on Marge's stove)
4. Hot dogs (a great food anywhere and anytime)
5. Pizza (hot or cold, just bring it on!)
6. Chocolate (yes, the gooey stuff that you can soak in!)
7. Pancakes (flapjacks, to be precise)

Just pick one in honor of Homer and we can all enjoy the thirteenth season episodes one after another.

Another recommended movie in this week's release is "The Square," a thriller set in Australia that has the Coen brothers written all over it. It's got extra-marital affairs, stolen money, murder, deceit, a whole nasty web of entanglements that threatens to spiral completely out of control. You definitely have to check it out.

$5 a Day [Blu-ray]
One more movie released this week and it is a rental at best. It is called "$5 A Day" and it stars the great Christopher Walken together with Alessandro Nivola and Sharon Stone. It has a run-of-the-mill road trip story about estranged father-son relationships and how things get sorted out eventually. Here's my review of the DVD release at Not the best Walken movie but he kinda saves the movie from extreme mediocrity.

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