Monday, May 01, 2006

DVD Releases - May 2

Some classic TV shows are mixed in with this week’s releases, which also includes a special edition of one of Hollywood’s most respected stage-to-screen efforts. Here’s a look at some releases for May 2:

“The Family Stone” (PG-13) - A really good cast, including Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Claire Danes, appear in writer-director Thomas Bezucha’s comedy-drama about a boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) taking his fiancée (Parker) to meet his family. Naturally, the somewhat dysfunctional family has mixed reactions to the relationship; otherwise, a really dull movie would likely follow. Whether this version is any improvement is a matter of opinion.
Extras: Multiple commentary tracks, including one by Parker and Mulroney; deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurette and a Q&A with the cast.
Official Web site

“Hoodwinked” (PG) - The classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale gets yet another re-imagining, this time mixed together with film noir, in an computer-animated comedy. Grandma’s disappearance leads to interrogations of the key suspects, with each having varied stories to tell. Featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi and Patrick Warburton.
Extras: Commentary by writers/directors Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech, deleted scenes and a music video
Official Web site

“I Love Lucy: Season 6” - Amazingly, this marked the final season of the landmark sitcom, with Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred wrapping up their misadventures. The final season marked a change in location, as the two couples would move out of their apartments into homes, and Little Ricky would start figuring into storylines. Guest stars included George Reeves, Orson Welles and Bob Hope.
Extras: All 27 episodes are included on four discs, which also contains commentary on some of them, lost scenes, five episodes of Lucy’s radio show (“My Favorite Husband”), original cast commercials and more.
No official Web site

“Last Holiday” (PG-13) - Queen Latifah steps into the role of Alec Guinness (!) in this remake of the 1950 comedy. Naturally, you think Alec Guinness, you get Queen Latifah. At any rate, the Queen stars as a department store employee who learns she has a terminal illness and decides to live life to the fullest in her final weeks. Those around her, including a chef (Gerard Depardieu), her former boss (Timothy Hutton) and a shy co-worker (LL Cool J) take notice in her vibrant personality transformation.
Extras: Deleted scenes, multiple featurettes and two recipes. Bon appétit!
Official Web site

“Leave It to Beaver: Season 2” - Ward, June, Wally, and of course, the Beaver are back for season two of the popular ‘50s-era sitcom. All 39 episodes of the season are featured. Ah, 39 episodes, back when shows really had to work for a living. Nowadays, most shows, including sitcoms, only muster around 22 episodes a season.
Extras: Did I mention you get to see all 39 episodes. Well, that’s about all you’ll see here. Gee whiz!
No official Web site

“A Streetcar Named Desire: Special Edition” (PG) - The classic movie based on the popular Tennessee Williams play gets a deluxe two-disc collection that also serves as director Elia Kazan’s original vision, as several minutes of footage is restored. Marlon Brando made his unforgettable movie debut here, recreating the role he originated on Broadway, and is joined by Vivian Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden. Leigh, Hunter and Malden all won Oscars, yet Brando, amazingly enough, did not. He probably wouldn’t have even sent a Native American to the stage to refuse it for him if he had won.
Extras: Commentary by Malden and film historians Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young, documentary on Kazan, several featurettes and a Brando screen test.
No official Web site

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