COUCH THEATER —DVD PREVIEWS
By DNA SMITH
PICK OF THE WEEK
“The Back to the Future Trilogy” — One of the biggest blockbusters of the mid-’80s is being re-released this week. Michael J. Fox plays Marty McFly, a high-school student who uses Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveling DeLorean to travel back and forth in time — from the 1980s to the 1880s to 2015. If you don’t already have the trilogy in your collection, this is as good a time as any to buy, since the discs are being sold individually at a reduced price. Don’t expect any new special features or anything. It’s just a bare-bones repackaging of each of the three films.
DOG OF THE WEEK
“W.” — Regardless of your political bent, Oliver Stone’s biopic of George W. Bush is a ponderous mish-mash of a film. The alleged comedic bits play like a stale SNL skit that’s gone on for too long, and any attempts at gravitas fall flat or are unintentionally funny. That said there are good performances by Elizabeth Banks (as Laura Bush), James Cromwell (as Bush Sr.) and Richard Dreyfus (as Dick Cheney), but they get lost in the constant jumping back-and-forth between vignettes of Bush’s past and the lead-up the invasion of Iraq.
Also, “W.” doesn’t have the same depth of character as Stone’s other presidential biopic, “Nixon,” which was an incredible piece of cinema and a balanced, sympathetic insight into one of the most controversial and despised presidents in history. Maybe if Stone had spent more time getting the script in shape, “W.” might have been a better film.
I think one of the reasons “W.” fails is because Stone rushed production so he could release it before the November 2008 election. Problem was, he should’ve released it in November of 2004 if he’d wanted to make an impact. I mean, didn’t anyone tell him that Bush wasn’t running? Seriously, what was the point of this ridiculous pop-psychology exercise of a film? The plot in a nutshell: W. has Daddy Issues. Stone should’ve called this turkey “W.: An Oedipus Wreck.”
KIDS & FAMILY
“Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out”
“Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers”
“Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave”
The first three Wallace and Gromit films are being re-released this week (for less than 10 bucks apiece), and I couldn’t be happier, as I am a huge fan. Wallace is a likable yet hapless inventor whose creations always seem to go awry. Gromit is his devoted beagle companion who thankfully has the intelligence and resourcefulness to get his master out of whatever jam he’s gotten himself into. These short films are hilarious, good clean fun for audiences of all ages. I highly recommend them.
“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” Season 2
“Dragon Ball Z” Season Eight
“Naruto” Uncut Box Set, Vol. 12
“Melrose Place” The Fifth Season Vol. 1
“Friday the 13th the Series” The Second Season
“Simon and Simon” Season Two
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.