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New on Disc: 'Mysterious Island' Blu-ray and more …

5 Dec, 2011 By: Mike Clark

Mysterious Island (Blu-ray)

Available at www.screenarchives.com
Twilight Time, Adventure, $34.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Michael Craig, Gary Merrill, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan.
The Jules Verne crew that constitutes the cast here encounters a crab the size of a tank — and with a body of conveniently just-discovered “hot springs” water supply. After this creature generates the kind of mayhem you’d expect from a Ray Harryhausen concoction rendered in the famed effects artist’s SuperDynamation stop-motion animation process, it is miraculously dispatched as a flying projectile into the springs for what must be the all-time crab feast anyone has ever enjoyed (well, without butter). Island came out just before the Columbia Harryhausen films with producer Charles H. Schneer started to ebb. It is amazing how frequently the team was able to churn out these fantasy-adventure favorites. The other auteur of these movies was composer Bernard Herrmann, who almost did as much for them as he did for Alfred Hitchcock‘s oeuvre from 1955-64. 
Extras: As has been the case in Twilight Time’s previous limited releases, the musical track has been isolated for pure listening pleasure. Options are the original mono or 5.1. Usually, I’m a purist, but this is Herrmann … so pump it away, I say.
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6 Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Rolling Stones

SOFA Entertainment, Music, $39.98 two-DVD set, NR.
Two months ago, the same distributor brought out a DVD devoted to 11 tunes versus these 17 (and over just four of these six shows) performed live by the Stones on the once weekly Sullivan outing — which from 1948-71 was a remarkable mix of highbrow, lowbrow and sometimes cutting-edge pop and rock. As with previous Sullivan volumes devoted to the three shows that featured Elvis Presley in 1956-57 and four that featured the Beatles a decade later, this set gives you the full context (e.g. comedy acts by Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield, George Fenneman Lipton Tea commercials, etc.) of what it was like to see Mick, Keith, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and (for a while) Brian Jones in your living room for free. A few of the numbers throughout are miked differently from what we’re used to hearing, which makes for a fresh experience.
Extras: The set includes some grade-A liner notes by Greil Marcus, who thinks it is their third appearance (February 1966) where they come to resemble the Stones of the ages.
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Give a Girl a Break

Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Musical, $19.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse.
If you’ve seen Bob Fosse’s heavily autobiographical All That Jazz, you know that cigarettes, sauce and women dancers with women dancers’ legs counted as his best friends. So it’s definitely snicker-bait to witness Fosse on screen in this agreeably minor Stanley Donen musical (with some major participants) pulling some substantial wool over our eyes. Running just 82 minutes and back-ended with enough pigment-happy musical numbers to make the second half notably superior to the first, the movie is actually about plural girls (as they used to be called) competing for the same Broadway role after a pending show’s huffy femme star ankles it in a dispute with the show’s director.
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