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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

TV DVD of the Week: Columbo: The Complete Third Season. All fifteen hours of rumpled sleuthy goodness are here in this two-disc set from Universal. Besides the string of guest stars, like Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Donald Pleasance, Johnny Cash, and even Mickey Spillane, you also get a bonus episode from the Mrs. Columbo spinoff. Wait a second–Mrs. Columbo? Starring Kate Mulgrew? What the hell? (Buy it)

DVD of the Week: Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. Watch a half-crazed Bette Davis get pushed over the brink by a scheming Olivia DeHavilland in a southern gothic flick where everybody involved is trying to gnaw the scenery to bits? Where do we sign up? This latest Fox Studio Classics release comes complete with a film historian audio commentary along with trailers and TV spots. (Buy it)

Docu DVD of the Week: Clear the Skies: 9/11 Air Defense. This BBC documentary makes a couple of things clear: America was caught flat-footed on 9/11 (despite, as we’ve learned, the bits and pieces of intel lying about that could have helped prevent it–but that’s another story) but we managed to respond quickly to defend the country as every airline flight in the country was grounded. The entire thing was unprecedented and this docu takes you through it each step of the way. (Buy it)

Anime DVD of the Week: Sakura Diaries OVA Collection, Vol. 1: Secrets & Lies. An anime love triangle about the man who pretends to be a college student to get one woman while another woman knows his secret that he’s anything but an intellectual, six episodes of this OVA hit DVD thanks to ADV. In addition to the romance and hijinks, you get the unused closing theme, and clean opening and closing animation. (Buy it)

Boxed Set of the Week: Fright Pack: Man’s Worst Friends. Here’s a boxed set that Dindrane would especially like, since it’s her favorite kind of movie: animals turning the tables on us hairless apes. Anchor Bay provides six films along those lines–Rats: Night of Terror, Zoltan, Hound of Dracula, The Cat o’ Nine Tails, The Black Cat, Parasite and Slugs–in a novel presentation: it’s like a six pack of premium horror beverages. Some of them even come with bonus bits. But still, with Halloween coming, if you can’t find the stuff on tap, grabbing cans is sometimes the best you can do. (Buy it)

Brit DVD of the Week: Eric Idle’s Personal Best. For those that like Python and especially Idle, this disc is worthwhile just to see what Eric feels is his best stuff. And even his second best stuff is included. Beyond that, you also get him, in character of course, returning to the Hollywood Bowl in a sort of non-retrospective on Python’s performances there. This release comes from A&E Home Video. (Buy it)

Family DVD of the Week: Phil of the Future: Gadgets & Gizmos. As if being a teenager wasn’t awkward enough, Phil and his family are stuck here from the year 2121. So it’s the adventures of him and his sister Pim in our “modern” world. This Disney Channel show hits DVD with four episodes (one of which never aired here in the U.S.), plus a commentary from actor Ricky Ullman on one episode. (Buy it)

Music DVD of the Week: Bob Dylan: No Direction Home. This two-disc monster docu from Scorsese on Bob Dylan hits and it’s a must-see for the fan. Not only do you get over three hours of story on the man himself and his music, taking you from the beginning all the way up through 1966 (with retrospective interviews with everybody including Dylan) but there’s also a slew of bonuses: Dylan performances, plus an unused promo for Positively 4th Street and Dylan working up a song in his hotel room. (Buy it)

Animation DVD of the Week: Happy Tree Friends: Overkill. The best way to describe this series is that…well, imagine Shirt Tales on crystal meth. That’s probably as accurate as you’re going to get. This Mondo/Studioworks set includes all three original volumes of DVD sickness, and all the bonus bits that came with them, such as character designs, storyboard comparisons, a docu, commentaries, fan art, and a slew of bonus episodes. For God’s sake, no one let Dindrane watch these. (Buy it)