Armchair Cinephile: The Cine-Mini (09-13-06)

PICK OF THE WEEK: The Proposition (2006) (First Look): Nick Cave's stark screenplay is only part of the appeal of this gory, mean Australian Western. Strong performances by Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone and Emily Watson put the dialogue across, while little-known director John Hillcoat does so well with the material that Cave is reportedly working with him on a follow-up.

My Name Is Earl (Season One) (Fox): How did it take the world so long to warm to the immensely charismatic and always funny Jason Lee? And why didn't it happen back when Kevin Smith was trying to get funding to make him the star of a Fletch movie?!

The Boris Karloff Collection (The Black Castle, The Climax, Night Key, The Strange Door, Tower of London) and Inner Sanctum Mysteries (Calling Dr. Death, Dead Man's Eyes, The Frozen Ghost, Pillow of Death, Strange Confession, Weird Woman) (Universal): Get a head start on Halloween with the classic monster world's biggest star and a Lon Cheney Jr.-hosted anthology series — both packing a serious movies-to-dollars value.

Playtime, Jikogu, The Spirit of the Beehive (Criterion): The first is a much-needed reissue of Jacques Tati's masterpiece, the other two are underexposed gems from Japan and Spain, respectively.

The Devil & Daniel Johnston (Sony): See this week's column.
Henry Fonda: Signature Edition (The Wrong Man, Mister Roberts, Battle of the Bulge, Advise & Consent) (Warner Bros.): Nothing new in this box, but collectors who don't have them already will get a bargain buying them together.

Elvira's Movie Macabre (Shout! Factory): For those who like their cheesy horror movies with a side of sarcasm, Shout Factory offers six titles hosted by Elvira, that Vampira-styled cornball whose cleavage was about as subtle as her jokes.

TV-on-DVD: Battlestar Galactica (Season 2.5) (Universal); Bob Newhart: Button Down Concert (Fox); Gilmore Girls (Season Six) (Warner Bros.); The Tomorrow Show: Tom Snyder's Electric Kool-Aid Talk Show (Shout! Factory)