NEW ON DVD...
This DVD release kind of slipped in under my "upcoming releases" radar, but the first three episodes (yeah, only three, but I's takes what I's can gets) of the terrific Canadian cartoon series, 6Teen, about six ambiguously Canadian teenagers having fun at the mall, are now available on DVD. Oh, pardon me, actually, checking the episode order listed in the 6Teen episode guide at the slick-but-unofficial 6Teen site, 6Teen.ca, it's actually the first two episodes, "Take this Job and Squeeze It" and "The Big Sickie", followed by the fifth episode, "A Lime to Party". Note to KaBoom Entertainment: Jesse Betteridge thinks random episodes are "the worst kind of evil", and says that you should only do that if you sell the boxsets separately.
I'll probably buy it regardless, but I wish this DVD would include the absolute best first season episode, "Employee of the Month", the one wherein Nikki Wong, who usually despises the conformity and business practices of Khaki Barn, the Gap-like fashion chain she works at because it was the only place that would hire her, mysteriously gets named "employee of the month" only to be brainwashed by a machine in the exclusive private employee washroom and becomes the perfect Khaki Barn salesgirl, outperforming even the "Clones". (That episode's an ideal candidate for the list of hypnosis and/or mind-control in cartoons.)
This DVD costs $12.99 Canadian from Amazon.ca; it doesn't seem to be available on the American Amazon.com site yet.
Speaking of 6Teen, Tuesday also sees a "Thinpak" re-release of the first 26 episodes of Super GALS! ("The Iron-Clad Collection"), the Japanese anime series which inspired it (just kidding; that's my completely facetious rip-off conspiracy theory, though the similarity between Caitlin Cooke and Miyu Yamazaki, not to mention, to a lesser degree, the Khaki Barn "Clones" and the Ganguro "Tan Faces" (more in terms of personality and their overall comic foil roles as trios of annoying, simple-minded girls than for their looks), does make me do a double take occasionally). Now you can see half of the adventures of Ran Kotobuki and her garishly-dressed kogal friends (and their guy pals) as they have fun, solve crises-of-the-week, deal with high school pressures, and, maybe, find love on the neon-and-pastel-coloured streets of Tokyo's fashionable Shibuya district, all for a price less than half of the old individual disks ($49.98 U.S. Suggested Retail Price, $44.98 U.S. at Amazon.com).
One thing about this set that does bother me, though, is that ADV is pushing this ridiculous idea that everyone who likes the show and who wants them to license the other half of this series should buy this set to show their "support". Maybe that logic plays well to a small minority of anime fans on the Anime On DVD board who are the ones with seemingly bottomless wallets who post lists of the 20 anime DVDs they preorder every week, but, for those of us with very limited budgets, asking us to buy something we already own just to show "support" is absurd. I've already shown my "support" for the show by buying all six of the singles at full price; as much as I love the show, which is, for my money, my favourite anime TV series made over the past decade, I'm not going to buy it twice. But, if you haven't already bought it, I heartily encourage you to buy this set.
(Fortunately, for those of us who, perhaps, are hoping that another company might pick it up if ADV's going to continue playing "silly buggers" as to whether or not they're going to bother with the other half, one small ray of hope could come in the form of Bandai Visual's new HONNEAMISE label for the North American market, as Super Gals! is distributed on DVD in Japan by Bandai Visual under the EMOTION moniker. If that happened, hopefully, they could come with some sort of arrangement with ADV to use the Industrial Smoke and Mirrors studio for a dub consistent with the first 26 episode, with the talents of Luci Christian and Chris Patton and others.)
Also new on DVD is the "Don't Call Me Shirley" edition of Airplane!, the airplane disaster movie spoof which is one of the members of my personal all-time top eight live-action films list. With this version you get a couple of interviews and a few deleted scenes (probably mostly scenes anyone who watched the heavily-edited version, like the one my parents taped off CTV in 1983, have already seen, like "Hi, Jack!", as they had to re-insert a few scenes trimmed from the theatrical cut to fill in all the gaps left when they cut out the breasts, drug references, and swearing for broadcast TV), but the commentary track, with producer Jon Davison and writer/directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, and David Zucker, seems to be the same one that was included on the 2000 DVD, and since the director's commentary track is usually the only special feature I give a rat's ass about really, I'll pass on buying this again (though, certainly, if you don't have it already, buy it).
In January, Paramount is also issuing a special edition Ferris Bueller's Day Off (the "Bueller, Bueller" edition) as part of the same special edition series, and that's an even weirder example because, while the original DVD version had a John Hughes commentary track (which I found interesting, even if it was a little too dry for a lot of people), I can't find that mentioned in the DVD specs for the new edition. So, not only is Paramount not actually adding new commentary tracks for these "special editions", they're actually taking some commentary tracks that were on the original editions away? I'm not paying good money for retrospective-type documentaries that are just navel-gazing studio fluff. Paramount should re-release some films on DVDs that got total "bare bones" treatment the first time around, like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.