With so many collections of Warner Bros. cartoons on DVD, you might think the vaults have been exhausted. But two new collections focusing on Bugs and Daffy suggest otherwise as they lead this look at theatrical offerings released this week.
"Looney Tunes Super Stars: Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire" (Warner, 1950-64, $19.95). "Looney Tunes Super Stars: Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl" (Warner, 1944-1965, $19.95). There are several Warner Bros. collections out there that feature some of the same cartoons, but the toons on these two discs are all new to DVD.
There's a lot of talk today about how consistent the high quality of Pixar's animated features has remained over 15 years, which is true. But Warners held an astonishingly consistent level of quality with hundreds of cartoon shorts churned out over several decades.
The cartoons here all played in movie theaters during the golden age of "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies." And, among others, classic animators Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones are all represented.
Primarily from the 1950s and '60s, these are all winners and include some very funny parodies of such '50s TV series as Ralph Edwards' "This Is Your Life," Edward R. Murrow's "Person to Person" and Art Linkletter's "People Are Funny."
Extras: full frame/widescreen, 15 cartoons each
"The Good, the Bad, the Weird" (IFC, 2008; R for violence; $24.98). As the title suggests, this action-packed adventure is a "weird" amalgam of styles and genres, with a heavy emphasis on Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s. And, yes, it's a Korean film with subtitles. But trust me, you will not for a moment be bored. This one makes "Salt" look like slow motion.
Supposedly set in a fantasy version of 1930s Manchuria, the film opens with a kinetic set piece. It's a startling train chase/robbery that sets the tone for what will follow, which is all about unbelievable stunts, wild chases and shootouts, and "borrowings" from every big action star you can name, from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood to Harrison Ford.
The three characters in the title all scramble for a treasure map and go up against bandits, gangsters and the Japanese army. That's about it for plot, as they battle gangsters, the Japanese army and each other.
Extras: widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles, featurettes, trailers
"The Last Song" (Touchstone/Blu-ray, 2010, PG, two discs, $39.99). Miley Cyrus stars in this sappy Disney melodrama as a teenager estranged from her father (Greg Kinnear), forced to reconnect with him during a summer visit to his Southern beachside home. They eventually make up, and she encounters her first romance.
Co-written by Nicholas Sparks; what more needs to be said? Not bad for what it is, and Cyrus and Kinnear offer appealing performances.
Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes/alternate opening sequence, audio commentary; this combo pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions; trailers (also on single DVD, $29.99)
"Furry Vengeance" (Summit/Blu-ray, 2010, PG, $40.99). Silly slapstick aimed at children combines live action and computer animation for a man-against-the-critters environmental comedy. Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields and their son move to the woods as Dad oversees a supposedly eco-friendly housing development. It's not really green, however, so the local wildlife goes all "Home Alone" on Fraser.
Might be more palatable for parents if it contained fewer scatological gags.
This is a Blu-ray/DVD single disc, playable on both Blu-ray-compatible players and DVD players.
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers (also on DVD, $22.99)
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