COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS
By DNA SMITH
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Murnau” — F.W. Murnau was one of Germany’s great pioneer filmmakers. This six-disc collection of Murnau’s early films represents some of the best of German cinema of the Silent Era. Included in the collection is probably Murnau’s best-known work, “Nosferatu,” the first great vampire movie. It’s certainly a hundred times better than The Other Vampire Movie being released on DVD this week.
This is the newly restored version of the classic 1922 film, featuring Hans Erdmann’s original score, two documentaries on the film, newly translated intertitles and much more.
Also in this box set is the newly restored epic “Faust,” Murnau’s sweeping adaptation of Goethe’s masterpiece; “The Last Laugh;” “Tartuffe;” the ghost story “The Haunted Castle”; and finally, “The Finances of the Grand Duke,” Murnau’s departure into light comedy.
Each of the films has undergone the massive and meticulous restorative work they so richly deserve. Each film also has a goodly number of special feature documentaries to give audiences unfamiliar with Murnau’s work a deeper appreciation for the films and why they are so important to the history of cinema. For students of film and anyone curious about experiencing great movies from a bygone age, this box set is definitely worth adding to your library.
ALSO THIS WEEK
“The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 5: 1946-1948” — I wouldn’t normally mention a collection like this, except that this particular anthology should be of special interest to Stooges fans. This two-disc set featuring 25 Three Stooges shorts marks the transition between Curly and Shemp. Because of failing health, Curly had to retire in 1946 (at the age of 43), so Shemp Howard (at the behest of Moe) rejoined the slapstick troupe.
The 10 short films featuring Curly are particularly bittersweet for fans, as his deteriorating health is very much in evidence. In fact, in some of the films, Curly’s health was so bad that the directors had to substitute old footage because Curly couldn’t physically perform the stunts.
DOG OF THE WEEK
“Twilight” — The god-awful film adaptation of that horribly written Mormon Abstinence Allegory featuring (what else?) sullen foo-foo boy vampires finally gets released on DVD. If you are a 12-year-old girl, you already pre-ordered the two-disc special edition from Amazon three months ago. It should arrive tomorrow. Knock yerself out, Sugar Britches. I’ll be watching “Nosferatu.”
“JAG” The Eighth Season
“Barney Miller” The Complete Third Season
“The Nanny” The Complete Third Season
“Married With Children” The Complete Tenth Season
“Mr. Belvedere” Seasons 1 and 2
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” Season 7
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.