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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: The Carol Burnett Show: Let’s Bump Up the Lights. It’s so refreshing when people who had it still has it…you know what I mean? Carol most definitely still has it, whether we’re talking about her ability to kick ass onstage or to just rule in front of an audience–and the latter is in evidence here. We get Carol and the cast of her old show back on stage to both handle question from the audience and also show some classic clips. This Paramount release is a must for any fan. (US)(UK)(CAN)

DVD of the Week: The Merchant of Venice. Al Pacino loves him some Shakespeare. If you haven’t seen Looking for Richard, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. However, here he’s playing Shylock with Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes along for the ride, and really…do you need to know anything else? Oh, and Michael Radford, the helmer behind Il Postino, is directing the thing. Yes, we have your attention now. This Columbia-Tristar release comes with a director’s commentary (along with actress Lynn Collins) and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Mmmmmmm. Bard. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Animation DVD of the Week: Batman: The Animated Series, Vol. 3. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm provided the best dark knight we’ve seen on any screen, small or large, for years upon years. I’m still trying to figure out where the new movie, excellent as it is, fits into this schema. But regardless, this series is what kept fans from succumbing to the weight of campy Adam West (though we love Adam, don’t get us wrong) and WTF-y Joel Schumacher (…). This Warner Brothers release comes with the series’ final twenty-eight episodes, (three of which come with creator commentaries) across four discs. You also get a featurette on Batgirl.

Adverse Video of the Week: License to Drive. Oh my stars and garters, who in the world would put out a special edition of…oh, hello, Anchor Bay! That’s right, it’s Team Corey at their zenith (um…) in a tale of two things that all guys their age could relate to: hormones and cars. This comes with an audio commentary by the director and the scribe, interviews with the Brothers Corey, and if the feature itself wasn’t enough…bonus footage! And because the DVD-ROM feature includes the screenplay, you can follow along at home. And hey, one last thing: Heather Graham, you’ve come a long way, baby. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week: Kinsey. Curious about the man that the feature film was based on but you didn’t actually see the flick? Well, you’re like most people in that regard. Why curious? Because the guy was interested in sex and documenting its many facets and how people interact with it–and face it, everybody’s interested in sex whether they like to admit it or not. This PBS docu goes into some corners that the feature film didn’t have time to (or mayhap just didn’t want to get into) and features interviews with his surviving family members. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Music DVD of the Week: Paul McCartney in Red Square. This A&E Home Video release is quite stacked and will sure to please any fan of Sir Paul’s. Not only do you get the titular concert in director’s cut form (i.e. longer), featuring Beatles tunes like “Getting Better” and “Hey Jude” but also solo bits like “Band on the Run” and “Let Em In,” but you get a complete bonus concert from Sir Paul at St. Petersburg too. Nice. If that wasn’t enough there’s featurettes–one from the History Channel on the Beatles–to boot. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week: Appleseed. Geneon brings this sucker to DVD. The military wants the technology known as Appleseed. So, for that matter, does the government. And so do our heroes, a badass soldier chick and her cyborg boyfriend. Much mayhem and hijinks ensue, but all you need to know is that much in the way of guns and mecha get involved. This sweet bit of sci-fi/anime gumbo comes with an audio commentary from the director, Shinji Aramaki, and the producer as well. There’s also staff profiles and music and scene cues. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Noir DVD of the Week: Nightmare Alley. Fox continues to rock the house with these myriad noir releases on DVD, hitting you with films and doing so with really respectful treatment. This 1947 flick starring Tyrone Power playing against type as a slimeball who masters the art of “mind reading” on a small scale and then tries to take his act to bigger and greedier heights. This comes with an audio commentary by a pair of film historians: James Ursini and Alain Silver. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:Pocahontas. Let’s face it: the movie doesn’t work. But give Disney some credit for trying to escape the trap they laid for themselves by doing something different. You didn’t have singing cute animals (well, there were animals, but they didn’t talk or sing) and you actually had dramatic moments like you would have in an actual live action drama. They get some credit, yes. This tenth anniversary edition of the film will work for kids, though, since kids like cute animals and singing (by animated humans in this case). You also get an audio commentary, a new song, featurettes, deleted scenes, and more. (US)(UK)(CAN)