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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Time for Part 2. Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: Kojak: Season One. For those of you who didn’t grow up watching this Telly Savalas-starring cop show, you might not understand why the new Ving Rhames version doesn’t do it for those who did. The main reason is that the kindler, gentler Kojak thing is just kinda hard to deal with. If you grab this three-disc set and check out the twenty-two episodes within, you might get an inkling of why. This is the season that won Savalas the Emmy, so get up to speed on your TV history, all right? This is available courtesy of your buddies at Universal. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD of the Week: Star Trek: First Contact. Consider this release from Paramount the last hurrah of the Trek franchise before it started to slide into oblivion. Hell, we enjoyed it. It was even a good time travel story before that got done to death. But enough kvetching. This two disc set is stacked as all the films have been, this time around with two commentaries, one with the scribes and one with director Jonathan Frakes, text commentary chocked to the gills with info by the Clan Okuda, and a cornucopia of featurettes dealing with effects, artwork, production and the Trek history expanded upon in the film. There’s also scene desconstruction performed on three key sequences. Don’t pine for Enterprise. Regain your dignity with this. Well, a little. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Animation DVD of the Week: Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Vol. 3. What’s that smell? Hell yes, of course: this must be Outlaw Country! Fans of this early bit of Cartoon Network sickness will want to grab this on DVD: not only does this Warner Brothers release come with twenty-four episodes, but there’s healthy bonus stuff as well. Commentary is provided on five episodes, a featurette, an alternate ending for one episode, extra fun with Jon Stewart, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, and more. Spread across two discs. Check out the show’s info here. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Foreign DVD of the Week: Devils on the Doorstep. This Chinese film from 2000 is critically acclaimed, but wound up getting the director, co-scribe and star Wen Jiang, blacklisted in his native land. He cannot helm another film at present. All the more reason to check out this dark dramedy, taking place during the Japanese occupation of China in World War II, where two Japanese soldiers are left with peasants in a village for safekeeping and interrogation. However, things go awry when the peasant left in charge of them (and the rest of the village) have other plans. This Home Vision release comes with an intro by Steven Soderbergh and a text interview with the director. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:The Sandlot 2. I bet you didn’t know you were craving a sequel to the original mostly charming baseball kidflick. Neither did we. But if your kids are young enough, they won’t care that this is basically a clone of the first film, set ten years later, with all new kids–but pretty much everything is exactly the same. Except there’s girls on the team. Ewww. Nice “Where are they now?” bit with the kids from the original film, though. It’s from Fox and it’s relatively cute, what can you do? (US)(CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week: Decisions That Shook the World. Anchor Bay releases this miniseries (a little over two hours worth of content) that covers three U.S. presidents and their difficult decisions: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, who’d we listen to as he read a cereal box’s ingredients, you also get insight on events from a slew of folks like Bill Clinton, Walter Cronkite, and others. Also comes with outtakes as its only bonus bit. (US)(CAN)