November 01, 2007

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Hey everyone . . . I’m going to focus on “Special Edition” re-releases galore this month.  That’s right . . . re-releases of your favorite films and TV shows.  Is it really worth paying for twice?  Or should you hang onto your previous edition, and not bother with the upgrades?  These are tough questions that every cinemaphile faces, and I’m here to help.  

First up is "The Return of the Living Dead".  I know I promised to not talk about horror films, but this is "The Return of the Living Dead" --  you know, the Greatest. Zombie. Movie. Ever!  Now it's available as a two-disk special edition: everyone’s favorite punk rock zombie movie gets a slightly better treatment then it had previously.  There is a new commentary track featuring cast members that is excellent, although occasionally silly, and there is a really good feature-ette covering the making of this film.  There’s also a generic and not terribly exciting mini-documentary on 80’s horror, which is mostly forgettable.  The picture quality is the same as the previous version, and there is no new cut, or version of the film.  It’s the same one from the first DVD, and it features some of the same minor problems regarding dialogue replacement and some song synching issues that were different in the VHS/laser disk edition.  Not perfect, but slightly better.  If you don’t own the earlier DVD version, well, you’re a bad person, but you can make up for it by buying the special edition DVD right now.   If you do own it, you're probably a total fan of this movie, and it's worth getting, even if it doesn’t include some of the “holy grail” work print material, or some of the “fixes” that zombie fan purists demand.  “Send more DVDs!”

October Bestsellers

1) Halting State by Charles Stross
2) 2012 by Whitley Strieber
3) Bloodline by F. Paul Wilson
4) Making Money by Terry Pratchett
5) Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
6) Fatal Revenant by Stephen Donaldson
7) Spook Country by William Gibson
tie with A Lick of Frost by Laurell Hamilton
8) Ice, Iron and Gold by S.M. Stirling
9) The Merchant's War by Charles Stross
10) The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy tie with Postsingular by Rudy Rucker

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt
2) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
3) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
4) Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
5) Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
6) Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
7) Harbingers by F. Paul Wilson
8) Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot
9) Spellbinder by Melanie Rawn
10) Sky People by S.M. Stirling

Trade Paperbacks
1) End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
2) Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
3) Rewired: The Post Cyberpunk Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
4) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
5) Grey by Jon Armstrong

Origin of the Bookstore, Part the Thirteenth

For the last year, we've been doing a special feature each month about what Borderlands is and how it got that way.  This is the last of the special features, showcasing stories from customers about how they discovered the store.


I moved to San Francisco on November 10th, 1997 -- 3 days before my 22nd birthday, and apparently, just after Borderlands opened. I don't remember how I learned about the store, but it must have been a only few days after I arrived. I had an apartment, a small amount of money, no job, and a lot of time to wander around this new city I was already falling in love with. Somehow I found the store, and it's charming owner, and it's wonderful (if smallish, then) selection. It already felt like a great place, and I was impressed with the combination of polish and homeyness -- as much as I appreciate the "scary cave" school of used bookstores, my eyes and sinuses prefer the Borderlands approach. Alan told me to come back for the 'official' grand opening. I did. Books started their inevitable flow from Hayes Valley to the pile next to my bed (and, occasionally, the other way).

Borderlands became a regular haunt, and I proudly introduced others to it when I could -- new friends, old friends, my family when they visited, a charming & lovely woman from the east coast when she did.