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BY Steven D. Greydanus
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Monsoon Wedding (2001)
Peanuts: 1970’s Collection, Vol. 1
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Maybe it could go without saying, but it’s the
biggest film of the year, so let’s be clear: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, new this week on DVD, represents everything that is wrong with
Hollywood today. It’s loud, violent, trashy, chaotic, senseless, overlong, and
exists solely to extend and exploit the marketability of a line of toy robots.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Home Video follows its July release of the Peanuts 1960’s Collection with Peanuts
1970’s Collection, Vol 1.
of the six episodes are new to DVD: “Play it Again, Charlie Brown,” focusing on
Lucy’s unrequited love for piano-pounding Schroeder, and “It’s a Mystery,
Charlie Brown,” in which Snoopy investigates the riddle of Woodstock’s missing
There are two holiday episodes, “A Charlie Brown
Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown,” both previously
released in their own DVD editions, along with “You’re Not Elected, Charlie
Brown” and “There’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown.”
The set includes one extra, an all-new featurette
on Snoopy’s pal Woodstock. As with the 1960s’ set, bonus features previously
offered on earlier DVD editions are missing (completists tear your hair out).
New from Criterion, Mira Nair’s exuberant
art-house crowd-pleaser Monsoon
Wedding is one feel-good film
about family that earns its good will honestly. Rather than glossing over the
messiness of family life, Nair suggests that, however exasperating or
dysfunctional one’s family may be, family remains very close to the center of
Set in contemporary New Delhi, it’s a wedding
story that juxtaposes not only two families, but East and West, tradition and
modernity. It’s also a feast for the eyes, from miles of marigold garlands and
swirling silk to the bride’s elaborately henna-painted hands.
The disparate tones and moods include broad
comedy, sickening scandal, extravagant romanticism, culture criticism, and
rousing song and dance. The trappings may be unfamiliar, but the feelings are
include audio com-mentary by Nair, an interview with Nair and star Naseeruddin
Shah, and six short films by the director.
Gene Wilder fans take note: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is new on Blu-ray. A nostalgic favorite for
some, Willy Wonka aspires to the whimsy and fantasy of The Wizard of Oz but somehow doesn’t capture the magic.
Content advisory: Peanuts: 1970’s Collection, Vol. 1: Nothing problematic. Fine family viewing. Monsoon Wedding: An adulterous affair and a discreetly depicted
sexual encounter (nothing explicit); some crude dialogue. Mature viewing. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Brief disturbing imagery. Okay family viewing.