This Week On DVD/BD: Warner Archive Says U.N.C.L.E.

Plus the return of Mel Gibson, Pom Wonderful Presents Morgan Spurlock, and last year's TV hits DVD.

By , Columnist

DON’T MISS

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: 8-Movie Collection (Warner Archive) - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was THE premier spy show of the '60s, so naturally spinoffs were a must. In 1966, Stefanie Powers was cast as The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., a short-lived spinoff series that nevertheless developed a rabid cult following.

As for the original series, eight of its most popular episodes were expanded into feature films released between 1965 and 1969. Both Girl and the eight movies have been difficult to see over the years but Warner Archive has come to the rescue, releasing new collections as part of their manufactured-on-demand program. If you’re a fan of swinging '60s spy adventures, these discs are a must. They’re available exclusively at Warner Archive.

The Beaver (Summit) - For a while there, it seemed as though Mel Gibson had given up movies for a career as a tabloid freak show. But now he’s back in what has to be one of the strangest comeback vehicles of all time, playing a manically depressed man who finds his voice via a hand puppet. Jodie Foster directs and co-stars as Mel’s estranged wife. Unless you’re boycotting Mel Gibson altogether, you’ve gotta admit you’re at least curious about this.

NEW RELEASES

Win Win (20th Century Fox) - Paul Giamatti stars as a lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach who mentors the grandson of one of his elderly clients. Director Tom McCarthy hasn’t made a bad movie yet (his previous films were The Station Agent and The Visitor) and Giamatti makes pretty much any movie worth watching.

Secret Sunshine (Criterion) - Jeon Do-yeon won the Best Actress award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in this Korean drama about a widow looking to start a new life in a new town with her young son.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Sony) - Morgan Spurlock examines product placement in movies by funding his entire movie with product placement. Spurlock’s hit or miss with me but this definitely looks promising and amusing, if not exactly eye-opening.

TrollHunter (Magnet) - This Norwegian mockumentary is already a cult favorite thanks to its deft blend of laughs and scares. If nothing else, at least you can tell your friends you watched a Scandinavian monster movie about trolls.

Road To Nowhere (Monterey) - Monte Hellman, director of some of the best and most interesting movies of the '60s and '70s, including Two-Lane Blacktop, returns after far too long an absence with a moody neo-noir set in the world of filmmaking.

Henry’s Crime (20th Century Fox) - I don’t know about this…Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-con, sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. So he decides since he’s already done the time, he’d might just as well do the crime, and partners up with James Caan to rob the bank he didn’t rob before. This is one of those movies that could either be surprisingly clever or stupefyingly awful. Tough call.

Blitz (Millennium) - This Jason Statham thriller is going direct-to-video here in the States, which isn’t usually a good sign. But it’s based on a novel by the terrific crime novelist Ken Bruen and costars Paddy Considine, one of my favorite British character actors, so this might actually be worth checking out.

TV

NCIS: The Eighth Season and NCIS - Los Angeles: The Second Season (Paramount) - It must be time for the fall TV season to get underway, because lots of last year’s shows are arriving on disc today, including the latest seasons of these popular military crime procedurals.

Gossip Girl: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner Home Video) - I mention this primarily because I had no idea this show was still on the air. Fascinating.

Brothers And Sisters: The Complete Fifth And Final Season (Buena Vista/ABC) - Same with this, although apparently it’s gone now.

The Event: Season One (Universal) - The box art optimistically refers to this cancelled sci-fi series as “Season One.” I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Season Two.

WTF?

Super Hybrid (Anchor Bay) - Yes, it’s the latest in the long-but-not-so-proud tradition of killer car movies. Here’s some advice. If you’re looking for a title for a horror movie, pretty much any word in the English language is more frightening than “super,” including “the.”

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Adam Jahnke has been writing about film since age 13, when he began foisting a self-published newsletter on friends and family (copies of which are now mercifully lost to the ages). In 2000, he joined the staff of the highly respected DVD website The Digital Bits, where he continues to serve as columnist…

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