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Insights from home entertainment industry experts. Home Media blogs give you the inside scoop on entertainment news, DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, and the happenings at key studios and entertainment retailers. “TK's Take” analyzes and comments on home entertainment news and trends, “Agent DVD Insider” talks fanboy entertainment, “IndieFile” delivers independent film news, “Steph Sums It Up” offers pithy opinions on the state of the industry, and “Mike’s Picks” offers bite-sized recommendations of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.

August 27, 2009
Head’s Up: ‘Futurama’ Set Due Oct. 13

Futurama Bender

“Futurama” fans rejoice. Not only is your favorite show coming back on the air, but a complete collection of all the episodes is coming to stores Oct. 13 (prebook Sept. 2).

(I guess it won’t be “complete” once the new episodes hit on Comedy Central next year, but that’s just how this game is played, isn’t it?).

The 19-DVD Futurama: The Complete Collection — 1999-2009 includes all 72 episodes that aired on Fox, plus the four made-for-disc movies commissioned by Comedy Central once the cabler picked up the broadcast rights.

The set was previewed at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International in July, when 500 copies were available for online purchase. The discs come in packaging that resembles Bender’s head. He’s the show’s main robot character, for those who don’t know. Pretty sweet.

The set is being offered at $199.98.

According to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, only 25,000 copies of the new set are being produced. It looks like the box contains all the discs that are already available, so many collectors who already picked up the seasons sets and the movies won’t miss out, unless they really want the new packaging.  However, it looks like Fox will make available limited numbers of empty Bender heads for collectors who already have everything. More details on this aspect to come.

By: John Latchem

August 20, 2009
The Long, Strange Trip of Andy Richter

Andy Richter as Andy Barker

There once was a time when sidekick extraordinaire Andy Richter hoped for a solo career.

You’ll remember Richter as the pudgy second banana to Conan O’Brien on the latter’s “Lane Night” talk show starting in 1993. Richter left the show in 2000 to take on television as a leading man, starring in three short-lived sitcoms before returning to the sidekick gig with Conan on “The Tonight Show.” I’ve always enjoyed Conan’s brand of off-the-wall humor, and seeing Richter re-join him on “The Tonight Show” was a pleasant surprise. (He even serves as the announcer this time around, too … shades of Ed McMahon).


So Andy’s back where he belongs, but what a fun trip he took to get there.

After leaving “Late Night,” Richter landed the cult hit “Andy Richter Controls the Universe,” which lasted for 19 episodes on Fox from 2002-03 before being canceled (it was released on DVD by Paramount/CBS earlier this year).

Next up was the family sitcom “Quintuplets,” which lasted 22 episodes on Fox from 2004-05, featuring Richter as a husband and father to five children. Richter’s role on this show always seemed weird to me, probably because I never thought of him in the context of a traditional sitcom.

After that went away, Richter ended up as the title character in “Andy Barker, P.I.,” which was co-created by his old pal Conan O’Brien. The series ran for six episodes on NBC in 2007, with Richter as a CPA who is confused for the private detective who used to occupy his storefront office. Shout! Factory releases Andy Barker, P.I. — The Complete Series Nov. 17, with several featurettes and commentaries for $24.99.

Among the übergeek crowd, the show is known for an obscure crossover with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” thanks to writer Jane Espenson (who has moved on to produce “Caprica”), making one of Andy’s cases involve the murdered founder of a fast food chain where the famed vampire slayer once worked.


By: John Latchem

January 20, 2008
Top 5 Star Wars Parodies


Fox's “Family Guy” and Warner's “Robot Chicken” both made waves in 2007 with popular “Star Wars” episodes (the Robot Chicken: Star Wars DVD hits May 20 from Warner Home Video at $14.97). Even “The Simpsons” and “South Park” have jumped on board from time to time. But here are a few of the all-time classic movies and short films that poke fun at the holy trilogy, all available on DVD.

  • 1. Hardware Wars (MWP) 1977. The original parody, filmed with household objects as ships, is the epitome of low budget, but still great.
  • 2. George Lucas in Love (MediaTrip) 1999. This hilarious short, based on Shakespeare in Love, imagines Lucas finding inspiration for “Star Wars” at USC.
  • 3. Spaceballs (MGM) 1987. Mel Brooks' space epic is probably the best-known parody. It's hammy and obvious at times but filled with great visual gags.
  • 4. R2-D2: Beneath the Dome (Fox) 2001. While making Episode II, Lucasfilm commissioned this “True Hollywood Story”-style special about cinema's favorite droid.
  • 5. Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle (Image) 1999. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls director Steve Oedekerk proved he's all thumbs with the first in his “Thumbation” series of parodies.


By: John Latchem


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