Jun 27, 2009

Upcoming Spy DVDs

Boy, there's a lot of good stuff coming our way in the next few months. And I'm behind on covering it, so I better catch up now!

DVD Active reports that Universal will release Duplicity on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 25. Unfortunately, the only extra seems to be a commentary with writer/director Tony Gilroy and editor/co-producer John Gilroy. I never got around to reviewing Duplicity when it was in the theaters, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to the DVD release. For one thing, it's pretty much the only big, mainstream studio spy movie for 2009! I know that's hard to believe because there's so much in the pipeline for 2010 and beyond, but I think that's the case. For another, it was a very well-executed spy caper. It was also one of the best counter-intelligence procedurals I've seen, with excellent examples of tradecraft. I also liked the milieu of big business as a backdrop for espionage. Corporate espionage is huge, but rarely the subject of films and TV shows. If you missed this in the theater, definitely plan on giving it a go on DVD.

TV Shows On DVD has also had lots of reports of interest lately! According to the site, the original BBC miniseries Edge of Darkness will finally see US DVD release on November 3 on BBC Video–and with copious extras! All six episodes feature music-only tracks, showcasing the score by Michael Kamen and Eric Clapton. There's a documentary (originally made for the 2003 Region 2 DVD release) revealing "The Secrets of Edge of Darkness" including new (then, anyway) cast and crew interviews as well as several vintage interviews. Those include the late Bob Peck's appearance on UK chat show Breakfast Time. Rounding out the special features are reviews of the original broadcast and excerpts from various awards shows at which Edge of Darkness cleaned up.

TV Shows On DVD have also got the artwork and details for another forthcoming British import, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, coming domestically this September from Acorn. (As originally revealed here last fall.) In addition to all thirteen episodes of the first series (spread across four discs), we'll also get profiles of some of the detectives featured. Guest stars on this 1971 anthology series include past and future Holmeses John Neville and Robert Stephens as well as You Only Live Twice's Donald Pleasence, The Sandbaggers' Ray Lonnen and a very young Jeremy Irons making his screen debut.

Finally, TV Shows On DVD reveals that Paramount will release Leverage: The First Season on July 14. And it's a feature-laden release! All thirteen episodes include audio commentary and deleted scenes, for starters. There are also a number of featurettes on the making of the series, the fights, the stunts, the cameras, etc, as well as some short comedic features. Leverage, airing on TNT, may be an obvious attempt to copy USA's superior Burn Notice, but it's still loads of fun in its own right. Basically, it's a modern-day take on Mission: Impossible in the same way that Burn Notice ups the old Saint formula. Timothy Hutton leads a team of various experts in different fields (hacking, fighting, burgling, acting, etc.) to commit elaborate cons against myriad bad guys week after week, just like Peter Graves did all those years ago. It's actually much closer to the M:I formula than the Tom Cruise movies that officially continue the brand!

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