Dvd Check


December 22, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

[Universal] $30

The raucous box-office smash The 40-Year-Old Virgin leads the pack of new and vintage comedies arriving on DVD.

Virgin, which manages to be extremely raunchy and sweet simultaneously, gives Steve Carell (The Office, Anchorman) the chance to be a comedic leading man in this tale of a shy average Joe who works at an electronics store and has yet to find true love. When his co-workers (including Paul Rudd) learn he's a virgin, they decide to rectify the situation. Catherine Keener plays the woman who wins his heart.

The film is filled with several memorable set pieces, most especially when Carell's Andy is talked into having his Sasquatch hairy chest waxed.

Virgin is being released in its theatrical R-rated version, as well as an unrated one that adds 17 minutes to the film. However, Virgin tends to drag under the weight of the extra footage. The DVD also has numerous deleted scenes, gag reels, a behind-the-scenes look at the waxing scene - Carell really endured the ordeal for the sequence - a rapid-fire montage of the actors' ad-libs and amusing (and R-rated) commentary from director/co-writer Judd Apatow, Carell and several other members of the cast.

Kronk's New Groove

[Disney] $30

This is a cut above the majority of Disney's made-for-video sequels to popular feature animated films. Kronk's is a spinoff of The Emperor's New Groove that focuses on the lovable but dimwitted henchman. Patrick Warburton supplies the voice of Kronk. Extras include two interactive games for the kiddies and an offbeat behind-the-scenes look at the film with Warburton and directors Saul Blinkoff and Elliot Bour.

The Bad News Bears

[Paramount] $30

The tasteless remake of the 1976 comedy classic The Bad News Bears should have been retitled The Bad Language Bears. Though this tale about a hapless Little League team that becomes champion under the guidance of a hard-driving, foul-mouthed exterminator (Billy Bob Thornton) is rated PG-13, it certainly isn't a family film.

The DVD is loaded with featurettes, outtakes, gag reels and decent commentary from director Richard Linklater and writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.


The Don't Call Me Shirley Edition

[Paramount] $20

The 1980 spoof of disaster films starred Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty. It changed the careers of dramatic actors Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves and Robert Stack. There's breezy commentary from writer/directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker and a trivia track. The "long-haul" version of the film is terrific fun with its gonzo new interviews with the cast and crew and deleted scenes.

King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries

[Universal] $40

These informative and often disarming 54 video diaries the Oscar-winning director made during the production of King Kong originally appeared on the film's Web site while Kong was in production in New Zealand. The set also includes a 52-page scrapbook and art prints.

The Island

[DreamWorks] $30

This futuristic sci-fi thriller starts out promisingly but quickly runs out of steam. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson star. The DVD includes a look at an elaborate car-chase sequence and passable commentary from director Michael Bay.

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