Jun 7, 2011

New Spy DVDs Out Today: Burn Notice, Leverage and Bond

It's quite a day for fun retro cable spy (or spy-ish) shows!  Today sees new season releases for both USA's Saint-like Burn Notice and TNT's Mission: Impossible-like Leverage

First up, from Fox Home Entertainment comes Burn Notice: Season Four... in which the great Bruce Campbell (Sam Axe) finally makes the front cover for the first time!  (Along with the also-deserving Sharon Gless.)  Like Season Three, this release is DVD-only; there's no Blu-ray.  (Likely this decision is due to the abysmal reviews received by the high-def BD transfer of the second season, the only one issued on that format.)  Bonus features on this set include "never-before-seen bonus footage such as 'Sam Axe's Guide to Ladies and Libations,' 'Burn Notice Roasts White Collar', 'White Collar Roasts Burn Notice,' audio commentaries, a behind-the-scenes stunt featurette, a gag reel and tons of deleted scenes!" Retail for the 4-disc set is $49.98, but of course it's much less than that right now on Amazon: just $29.99. The spin-off telefilm starring Campbell that followed the fourth season, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, is not included on this set, but will be available on its own on DVD and Blu-ray on July 26.

Read my review of Burn Notice: Season One here.

Also out today, from Paramount, is TNT's very entertaining Leverage: The 3rd Season. The four-disc set of this lighthearted, latter-day Mission: Impossible includes audio commentaries on all 16 episodes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and the behind-the-scenes featurettes "On Set with Colton & Aboud: The New Writers of Leverage," "Inside the Leverage Writers' Room" and "Leverage: What Does a Producer Do?" I'm surprised last year's Comic-Con panel isn't included, but that's a pretty generous batch of extras nonetheless. SRP is $39.99, but Amazon's got it for $26.99 at the moment.

Read my review of Leverage: The 1st Season here.

In addition to those shows, Fox and MGM are also slipping in another James Bond release today.  The Sean Connery Collection: Volume 2 assembles Connery's fourth, fifth and sixth Bond films together in one slim, convenient and attractive DVD-size case. It's not a 3-disc set, though; this is a 6-disc set, as it includes both discs of each of the Special Edition DVDs of Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever.  So you get those three movies (in breathtaking Lowery restorations), plus all the bonus material from the original Special Edition releases in one low-priced set.  Retail is $24.98, but Amazon has The Sean Connery Collection: Volume 2 for just $19.99.  It seems highly unlikely that anyone reading this blog wouldn't have these movies yet, but if you don't (and you haven't made the Blu-ray plunge), then this is a good way to buy them.  I wonder why it took them this long to release Region 1 Bond collections by actor?  It just makes sense!  (Except that such a release strategy would presumably end up excluding some of the very best films in the series, those starring George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton.)  I have no idea if there are any plans for Roger Moore collections, but as the "Volume 2" would seem to signify, this Connery set is a follow-up to The Sean Connery Collection: Volume 1, which snuck out under the radar (unnoticed by me, anyway) back in January and includes (naturally) Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Now if only MGM would get around to putting out the rest of the Bond titles on Blu-ray...  I want On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me in high-def!  (And all the others, too, of course.)

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