First up, from Warner Bros. we have the DVD debut of last summer's bigscreen remake of Get Smart, starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. Despite its impressive star power, the movie itself failed to impress me too much. Surprisingly, it turned out to largely be a rehash of a previous underwhelming Sixties TV remake, I Spy (really, it's amazing how similar the two movies are, right down to The Rock playing the Gary Cole role)... with a few dollops of Rowan Atkinson's superior spy comedy Johnny English tossed in, and just a tad of the original Get Smart. It does have its moments, though, and I would have liked to see it get a better DVD. Read my review to find out what I didn't like about this so-called "Special Edition," but it's one of the more disappointing spy DVD releases of late. However, it still might be worth picking up in the exclusive Best Buy version (pictured), which reader Delmo alerted me to below. This one comes in limited edition shoe phone packaging!
Despite the set's flaws, the bonus disc is certainly a treat. The first movie finds James West pulled out of retirement, where he's been living the Flint lifestyle with four women. His old partner Artemus Gordon quickly whips him back into shape (in one of the movie's better moments, Jim actually shaves his mustache off with a straight razor while doing sit-ups!), and the two of them hit the trail once again. (Actually, the track... and this time their train can actually be seen in aerial shots travelling through real wilderness!) The enemy is the son of their old foe Dr. Miguelito Loveless. Paul Williams steps into the shoes of the late Michael Dunn. His plot involves creating bionic people (including a "$600 man") and replacing world leaders like Queen Victoria and President Cleveland with his own doubles, Dr. Noah-style. The second reunion movie (for which Jim actually retains his mustache the whole time) features Jonathan Winters as the diabolical mastermind.
Flashbacks of a Fool
Finally, from Anchor Bay we have the Daniel Craig passion project which got wide theatrical release in Britain last spring, and a very limited, completely unadvertised run here in the U.S. a few weeks ago. I've wanted to see this for quite a while (owing both to Craig and the Roxy Music-heavy glam soundtrack) and I'm glad that Anchor Bay is capitalizing on Quantum of Solace by finally giving it a decent American release.