CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
DVD Review: ‘Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Comedy’
CHICAGO – The “Best of Warner Bros.” series of DVD box sets increased by one last week with the 4th edition (following Best Pictures, Musicals, and Romance) of the 20 Film Collection versions of this series (one can also buy a massive 100 Film Collection set on DVD and a 50 Film Collection on Blu-ray). The new release centers on comedies released by the legendary studio from 1935 (“A Night at the Opera”) to 2009 (“The Hangover”).
Sold at most for $100 (and some outlets mark it down significantly from that), these 20 Film Collection releases work out to less than $5 a film. So, yes, they’re little more than repackagings given that they literally contain just the DVDs from the standalone releases of each of these films (with all special features intact) but they’re remarkably cheap repackagings, thematically arranged, and space-saving. Few studios have the history to produce box sets like this, ones that really do have a little something for everyone.
What are the highlights here? “Blazing Saddles” might be the best comedy ever made while WB includes a nice selection of early comedies (the first quarter of the set only gets one up to 1944 in the hilarious “Arsenic and Old Lace”). I may be showing my age but I would have actually preferred more pre-1990 comedies and they could have kept “Ace Ventura,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “The Hangover.” Whatever films in this collection are your favorites, there are no real stinkers in here. No absolute disasters. And a few undeniable classics (“Vacation” and “Caddyshack” should make ’80s comedy fans incredibly happy).
Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Comedy was released on DVD on July 2, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Stage Door (1937)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
The Great Race (1965)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
The In-Laws (1979)
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Risky Business (1983)
The Goonies (1985)
Spies Like Us (1985)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Ace Ventura Pet Detective (1994)
Analyze This (1999)
Wedding Crashers: Uncorked Edition (2005)
The Hangover (2009)
o All Bonus Material From Individual Previous Releases
o 24-Page Booklet