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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: ER: The Complete Third Season. Rather than wince along with me for each “very special episode of ER,” which is just like every other “very special episode of ER,” abandon the status of the latest season and go back towards the beginning, before it started to suck. Warner Brothers hits all of the third season’s twenty-two episodes onto six discs in this set. It comes with plenty of bonus bits as well, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, a nurse-ocentric featurette, a featurette on the episode “Fear of Flying,” and more. Be sure and check out the official site here. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD of the Week: The Longest Yard. As I’ve stated elsewhere on the site, I’m not a big fan of sports, but I do appreciate sports movies. And football is probably one of the sports I appreciate the least, but man, are there some good football flicks. Wildcats probably comes in at #2, but this is the top one by a mile. Shame about the remake. Anyway, this football/prison film features Burt “Does Burt Reynolds have to slap a reporter?” Reynolds as a former pro player who, now in the big house, needs to put together a team of inmates to get their asses kicked. Right. Remakes sometimes mean tasty special editions, which is the case with this Paramount release. You get an audio commentary by Burt Reynolds and scribe Albert S. Ruddy, two featurettes and a look at the aforementioned remake. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Animation DVD of the Week: Classic Cartoon Adventures, Vol. 7: Extreme Adventure Fun. For the kiddies, Disney takes time off from plundering their vaults to release these hour-long collections of classic animated shorts. We are grateful for the reprieve. This time around, the theme is apparent in the name, as eight cartoons are presented around this adventuring idea. Some of those included are 1938’s classic “Good Scouts” featuring Donald bumbling his way through a camping outing and 1938’s “Mickey’s Trailer,” which is the one where Goofy abandons the driver’s seat to come back into the trailer and hijinks ensue. Give your rugrats some cel animated culture, why don’t you? (US)(UK)(CAN)

Adverse Video of the Week: Leonard Part 6. We like Bill Cosby a lot. But anytime he gets near the big screen, we shudder in fear. Partly because he hasn’t had a really kickass film, in our humble opinion, since 1978’s California Suite, for God’s sake. But for those people who are completists, masochists, or those who just don’t know how bad a film can get–Columbia-Tristar has graciously put this super-spy flick gone bad out on DVD for all to see. No features, but really, are you surprised? Dindrane might like it, though, as it features the animals of the world turning on us. Wait, what do I mean “might”? (US)(CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week: The American Revolution. Around here, we have a great appreciation for bigass documentaries. And nobody consistently churns out bigass docus like The History Channel. Here, just in time for digestion before July 4th (for our American readers and those elsewhere curious about such things, natch) is eight hours of goodness spread across five discs. The entire story is played out here, with plenty of talking heads, not to mention bits read by the likes of Charles Durning, Kelsey Grammer, Cliff Robertson, Rick Schroder, David Warner and William Daniels. No bonus features, but this is plenty to have to take in. (US)(CAN)

Music DVD of the Week: A Song’s Best Friend: John Denver Remembered. Say what you want about John Denver. Most people, at least most people that frequent a site like this one, probably remember him best for his work with the Muppets, since we’re all Old School Henson Freaks around here. But beyond that, I remember him for how he was a constant companion of my father’s while we were out snow skiing. Of course “Rocky Mountain High” is a natural soundtrack for snow skiing. Of course it is. With this Sony Legacy/BMG release, you get a docu on the man himself, plus four bonus live performances. Any fan will want to check this out. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week: Shadow Star Narutaru, Vol. 2. The next three episodes of this series hit from Central Park Media. Based on a manga title, it concerns our heroine, Shiina, and the star-shaped creature she finds while out swimming. Now, in our experience, when you encounter a cute alien, one of two things happen: you either wind up accosted by government-types in hazmat suits and fly away on a bicycle or you find yourself in the midst of a plot to take over the world. Guess which one this series deals with? New characters show up to do their thing and Shinna’s pilot father runs into some serious situations. Bonus bits include storyboards and art galleries, plus bios of the Japanese vocal cast. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD Boxed Set of the Week: Gary Cooper Collection. Bargain DVD sets consisting of lots of films of a particular actor for a reasonable price–those are our friends. Rather than bitch and moan that there isn’t a buffer of special features, some films just make people happy to be in the format. That’s the case with this Universal release, which will please Cooper fans to no end. For $26 ($20 on Amazon), you get five flicks on two discs: Beau Geste, Design for Living, The General Died at Dawn, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, and Peter Ibbetson. Three of the films come with theatrical trailers and from what I can tell, none of these were previously available on DVD–or if they were, they’re out of print now. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Comedy DVD of the Week: Graham Chapman: Looks Like a Brown Trouser Job. If there’s one thing we love the DVD format for, it’s the fact that every now and then, stuff pops up on radar that we didn’t even freaking now existed. Like this, which is essentially home movies of Python’s Chapman going on a tour of U.S. colleges and giving lectures on his life and recollections. This was the last speaking tour he gave before his death, so this stuff is priceless. Not only do you get the lectures themselves, but there are video outtakes, audio interviews, a “Chapmanography,” and more. God bless Rykodisc for throwing this bone to Python fans everywhere. (US)(UK)(CAN)