DVD RELEASES 2009/6/2

Though it is very unlike us to begin this week’s breakdown of new DVD releases by ordering you to most certainly never rent, buy, or watch a particular movie, in this case, it has to be done (no, we are not talking about Monsturd). The offending motion picture is, in fact, a far more high profile one: Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road. From this moment forth, you are hereby ordered to pretend that cinematic castration never happened—or, if you feel you must acknowledge it, read “A Post-Viewing Open Letter to Sam Mendes” before flushing it back into the septic tank where it belongs. Rather than suffering through yet another adaptation gone misguidedly pompous and wrong, it would be much more healthy and advantageous to embrace both of these alternatives:

1) Go straight to the source and read Richard Yates’ devastating, brilliant book—or better yet, buy the recently published Everyman’s Library edition, which contains the masterpiece trifecta of Revolutionary Road, The Easter Parade, and Eleven Kinds of Loneliness.

2) Watch Mad Men (so far Season 1 and Season 2), which captures the tormented, tragic, and piercingly honest spirit of Yates with more grace and understanding than Mendes’ pathetic stab at Oscardom.

Alrighty, then. Now that we’ve gotten that nasty business out of the way, it’s time to get to this week’s indisputable main event:

Neil Young Archives Volume 1 (1963-1972) — Even the most devoted follower of Neil Young has to acknowledge that this mammoth 10-disc set borders on the excessive. That is, until you actually stop to consider all the comprehensive goodness inside. A huge 236-page hardbound book, stills, rare recordings, rare video clips, it really does seem like Young’s personal archivist Joel Bernstein has unearthed any- and everything relevant from Young’s first decade on the scene. If this trailer doesn’t get you at least somewhat excited, then this major media event probably isn’t for you. If it does, you can buy the DVD set at Amazon, or if you want to obey the master full throttle style, buy it on his format of choice, Blu-ray.

On pretty much every level, it’s hard to muster up the energy to write about any other new releases this week, so we’ll simply give you a list of some more affordable titles and let you take it from there:

Stomp! Shout! Scream! (Indican Pictures)

Une Femme Mariee (Koch Lorber)

Spring Breakdown (Warner Home Video)

Tender Mercies (Lionsgate)

— Michael Tully

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