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There’s a holiday in just a couple of days, which means this week is a good week for hotdogs, fireworks, picnics, beaches, boats, tanning, swimming, barbecuing, and otherwise relaxing. Unfortunately, it’s not the best week for some epic Blu-ray and DVD releases, but there are a few new things out this week that may pique your interest. Read on to learn about some of July 2nd’s best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.
Last Resort DVD
ABC’s Last Resort opened with a unique premise following a submarine crew running from a corrupt U.S. government after questioning an order to fire nukes. The series started off with plenty of promise, engaging viewers and introducing them to a dynamic crew and group of islanders learning to work together after the Navy men and women go on the lam. While Last Resort started with a decent-sized audience, the drama slowly lost viewers each week, leading ABC to cancel the program partially through its Season 1 run. Which leads us to Last Resort: The Complete Series, a self-contained DVD set that really could have used a few more episodes.
Last Resort is a high-octane, fast-paced thriller from its first moments. When commanding officer Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) receives orders that make little sense, he and his crew, which includes second commanding officer Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), boat chief Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick), and navigator Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), take refuge on a fictional island located in the Indian Ocean, where many of the events throughout the series take place.
Taking over the island proves to be difficult, first and foremost, because there are residents living there that reject the military presence. One of these is a tough drug lord named Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah) who attempts to circumvent and otherwise mess with the military’s plans—frequently while looking for personal gain or profit, of course. All of these ideas are unique for a thriller and actually read within the realm of possibility during the first few episodes. However, after the cancellation, the show was given the opportunity to wrap up plotlines, and the stories become too extraordinary to fully invest in or identify with.
As much as I like explosions and assassinations, there are parts of Last Resort I wish I could erase from my memory in order to just keep the moments that made the show’s characters likeable and human. Last Resort offers an abundance of these, but the series was eventually overshadowed by the cancellation axe.
You can order Last Resort over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: The disc offers thirteen short features, one for each of the episodes. For the most part, each segment highlights a specific character and his or her motivations within the series. The best extra was probably “Epilogue,” the final short feature that looked into the finale episode, and why the producers and writers made the choices they did in order to wrap up the series.
Other Special Features:
13 Short featurettes
Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection-Comedy DVD
Warner Bros. has spent the last year putting out Best of Warner Bros. collections, and the Comedy collection is the nicest, yet. Beginning with the 1935 film A Night at the Opera and running through 2009’s The Hangover, the new 20-film set offers some of Warner Bros. boldest and brightest funny films throughout the ages. Additionally, it’s among the most consistent of the sets put out by the company, so far.
A few months ago, we wrote about the 20 Film Collection-Romance, a similar set that offered iconic classics, but also more than a few duds like The Lake House. Unlike the romance collection, most of the movies with this set are old classics or new favorites. Warner Bros. has put out some greats over the years, and many of them are available in the collection, including Caddyshack, Blazing Saddles, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story, Risky Business, National Lampoon’s Vacation (which was recently released on Blu-ray for its 30th anniversary), and Wedding Crashers. The biggest dud is probably Spies Like Us, but I’ll take a 19/20 in a broad collection aimed at reaching a wide audience.
The packaging with the set is nice, with two large DVD cases inside a large blue outer shell. The information for each of the films is located on the back of the DVD cases, which is particularly good to have in the case of comedies, which run the gamut from PG to R-rated in this set. Buyers who have kids around the house will probably find this feature to be an added bonus. However, the best collections offer disc uniformity and some new, never-before-seen bonus features. While extras are available on most of the discs, it looks like the set is made up of old DVD releases that were stripped and put into new packaging. It’s still a stacked set for fans of any of these beloved movies, but if potential purchasers already own copies of some or any of these movies, buyers won’t be getting anything new.
You can check out the full list of films and order the set via the WB Shop.
Other July 2 Releases:
An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky
The Producers Collector’s Edition Blu-ray
Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace: Hampton Court DVD
Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero