The New and Improved Johnny 5

I made the leap. I now have a DVD player sitting atop my dinosaur VCR. Now I can finally rent all those awesome and noteworthy films from the Criterion DVD Collection. But of course, old habits die hard, and on my first trip to the video store I rented a bevy of crap-tacular titles that are also... SPECIAL EDITIONS!!! A paradox presents itself here: Crappy movies... special editions. Does anyone really care about Supergirl and Johnny 5 as much as I do? Obviously so...

Supergirl (1984, dir. Jeannot Szwarc)--This two-disc special edition boasts a 140-minute version, with footage once thought lost that THANK GOD, was found in a vault in London. In fact, the DVD contains nearly 30 more minutes than the version unleashed upon teenagers and coke addicts in 1984. The young Helen Slater (yes, sister of Christian) looks pretty dang good in the old red and blue 'tards. Faye Dunaway consumes nearly every ounce of scenery as the villainess Selena, hell bent (of course) on capturing and killing this "Supergirl." Other features I'm sure you're peeing your pants to peruse are: commentary by the director Jeannot Szwarc and "Superman Expert"(?) Scott Bosco; a special "Making of..." documentary, and all the ads and teasers that ran on TV and in movie houses. Are we really worthy?

Short Circuit (1986, dir. John Badham)--Why, why, why? Okay... Johnny 5 is the cutest goddamn robot you ever did see, but do we really need to have two separate commentary tracks, one by the director and another by the writers? Can't you hear it... "Yeah, this is where Johnny 5 says something really funny... I wrote that." We are also treated to "The Making of Number Five" featurette, plus isolated music and effects tracks. Now, who the hell is gonna use that, except maybe some cutting edge hiphop artist looking for a sweet new sample? Sadly, the only thing missing from this edition is the music video of "Who's Johnny," by El Debarge and of course, who wouldn't want to see home videos of Ally Sheedy snorting coke off Steve Guttenberg's ass? Mmmm... Steve Guttenberg's ass... M. LON FREE