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Weekend Recommendations: DVDs

Here’s yer DVD goodness…

DVD of the Week: The Frighteners. Long before Peter Jackson had a blank check in Hollywood, he was making films like this: a horror-comedy quirkfest starring Michael J. Fox as the guy who works with some ghosts to further his own career as a ghostbuster. While investigating a mystery, he comes face to face with lots of death and evil on a large scale. So hijinks ensue. This Universal release sports the “director’s cut” of the film, plus a Peter Jackson commentary, a making-of bit and storyboards. (Buy it)

TV DVD of the Week: Three’s Company: Season Five. Come on knock on their door. Why? So you can watch John Ritter pratfall, that’s why. It’s amazing how this series worked off of basically one script for its entire run…and somehow we never got tired of it. Because of Ritter, of course. This season sees Suzanne Somers fall to the wayside in favor of “cousin” (read: less expensive to cast) Jenilee Harrison. Here you get twenty-two episodes from Anchor Bay across four discs, plus an interview with Harrison and some other members of the crew. (Buy it)

Anime DVD of the Week: Shadow Skill, Vol. 1: Fight For the Ones You Love. Welcome to Kuruda. Meet Elle Ragu (she’s in there!) who is the 59th in a line of great warriors. Of course, she’s not the most orthodox of butt kickers, indulging in destruction and drink a little more than she might need to. But here we get to see her and her comrades come together as their kingdom looks to be about to headed into a major conflict. This hits with four episodes from ADV. (Buy it)

Animation DVD of the Week: The Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season. Long before he was a defendant on Harvey Birdman or being mashed to bits in live action versions, Fred Flintstone was the man. We grew up watching Fred and friends long before we had any context to realize it was The Honeymooners with dinosaurs. This set comes with all twenty-six fourth season episodes from Warner Brothers, and has a decent array of bonus bits to make the fans want to plonk coin: two commentaries, two featurettes and a limited edition animation cel. Very sweet. (Buy it)

Docu of the Week: A Time For Burning. An amazing film about the civil rights movement, it shows what happens when a pastor of an all-white Lutheran church in Nebraska calls for his congregation to reach out to black Lutherans in their community. The cameras are there to capture all of the moments that could be considered incendiary, and I’m not talking about actual open flame here. It’s powerful stuff. The Oscar-nommed flick hits from New Video with an audio commentary and an update. (Buy it)

Comedy DVD of the Week: Greg Behrendt is Uncool. Who? It’s okay, this is the guy who co-wrote He’s Just Not That Into You, which made him a lot of female fans, considering the crowd shown on this live stand-up DVD from Warner Brothers Records. It’s a fairly amusing set, he talks about fighting the urge to lick Oprah’s face, his concept for an adult rock show (I’m there), and a tutorial for how to properly play air guitar (fan the genitals). (Buy it)

DVD Boxed Set of the Week: Tremors Attack Pack. The B-movie horror franchise that could. That’s the only way to describe it. Any film that can turn the dad from Family Ties into a gun nut extraordinaire is hereby granted full rights. And here Universal brings all four films together in one pack for your convenience. Along with that you’ve got a making-of featurette for the first film, outtakes (including the original ending for the first film they should have used), and more. (Buy it)

Cult DVD of the Week: Death Race 2000. This movie is the answer to the question that Socrates once pondered, “What would happen if Roger Corman took Mad Max, Wacky Races and Cannonball Run and slapped them all together in a gumbo?” Then Plato looked at Socrates and asked, “What the hell is gumbo?” Regardless, this Mother of All B-Flicks comes with a decent special edition from Buena Vista. Here you’ve got all the cheesy death and destruction, plus a commentary with Corman and actress Mary Woronov, a retrospective featurette, and the trailer. (Buy it)

Foreign DVD of the Week: Austeria. It’s the dawn of World War I in Poland, and the Cossacks are inbound. An inn in the countryside is the scene as people pass through on their way to anywhere but there, hiding from the pogrom in progress, all witnessed by the innkeeper. Director Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1983 film is fascinating and powerful. It hits DVD from Facets Video. (Buy it)

UMD of the Week: Children of the Corn. I know, it’s a startling concept: that one day, long in the past, there was an original film. What are they up to now, Part XVIII or something? Ugh. Anyway, if you want to refresh your memory about the one decent flick in the entire forced franchise, Anchor Bay is giving you the opportunity to do so at your convenience, while watching it between games on your PSP. How kind of them. (Buy it)