By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (PG-13) — Despite losing one of his major players (Heath Ledger), director Terry Gilliam has managed to create another magical film to add to his impressive list of modern classics (“Brazil,” “12 Monkeys,” “Time Bandits” and “The Fisher King”).
The film tells the story of Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) who, thousands of years ago, makes a deal with the Devil/Mr. Nick (Tom Waits in a stellar performance) to gain immortality. Flash-forward a few hundred years and Dr. P meets a woman, falls in love and makes another deal with Mr. Nick: He will give up being immortal in exchange for youth (so he can woo his one true love). In exchange for youth, Mr. Nick demands that when Parnassus’ daughter Valentina (the scrumptious Lily Cole) turns 16, she will become the property of Mr. Nick.
When Mr. Nick arrives on the eve of Valentina’s 16th birthday, Parnassus makes another deal with the devil in the hopes of saving his daughter from a dark fate: The first man to seduce five souls will gain possession of the girl.
“It’s Complicated” (R) — Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin star in this romcom for the middle-agers. Like most romantic comedies, the plot is a bit thin, but the performances of the actors elevate the film to something better than it could’ve been. Streep plays Jane, a divorcee who becomes engulfed in a love triangle between herself, her current beau (Steve Martin) and her ex (the always awesome Alec Baldwin).
“Pride & Prejudice” (The Restored Edition) (Unrated) — Considered by many to be the definitive adaptation of Jane Austin’s Regency Era romance, this 1995 BBC miniseries starring Colin Firth as the mysterious Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet is finally receiving the proper DVD release it deserves.
“Why We Laugh” (Unrated) — This is one of those documentaries that sort of flew under the radar, but is definitely worth a look. From minstrel shows to Stepin Fetchit, Amos & Andy to Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock, “Why We Laugh” is a celebration of the evolution of black comedy in America as told by black comedians. Definitely worth a look.
“Survivors” Complete Original Series 1975-1977
“Rita Rocks” The Complete Season One
“Ghost Hunters” Season Five, Part Two
“Last of the Summer Wine” Vintage 1982-1983
“Tales From the Darkside” Season Three
“The Hills” Season Five, Vol. 2
“G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” Season Two
“Murphy’s Law” Series 2
© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.