Dvd Check


March 16, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

[Warner Home Video] $29

"Family" films are not strictly for the kids. A lot of adults love to watch old Disney films from their youth and rush to theaters, with kids or not, to see the newest animated film or the latest Harry Potter saga.

The two-disc set of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire follows the pattern of the previous three Potter films -- games for younger viewers and documentaries on the elaborate production, plus interviews with the three stars for older viewers.

Howl's Moving Castle

[Disney] $30

Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) has as many adult admirers as young ones. His most recent film, the Oscar-nominated Howl's Moving Castle, is a magical romantic fantasy about a young woman turned into a 90-year-old woman by a jealous witch. The DVD features the dubbed English version and the original Japanese with subtitles, plus a documentary and the entire movie in storyboard form.

The Shaggy Dog

[Disney] $20

With the arrival last week of the new The Shaggy Dog comedy, Disney has unleashed two vintage tales: the 1959 original The Shaggy Dog and its 1976 sequel, The Shaggy D.A.

The Shaggy Dog was the first live-action comedy from Disney and marked the movie debut of Mouseketeer superstar Annette Funicello as well as Tommy Kirk, Tim Considine, Kevin Corcoran and Roberta Shore. Shaggy Dog was also the first Disney film for star Fred MacMurray.

The DVD features a shortened, colorized version for children and the original black-and-white for boomers. Extras include a nostalgic documentary with the stars and a sweet tribute to MacMurray.

The Shaggy D.A. finds Dean Jones as a lawyer running for district attorney who turns into a sheepdog whenever the inscription on an ancient ring is read aloud. Kids will probably be bored with the documentary on Jones' makeup and commentary with Jo Anne Worley, Dick Van Patten and Tim Conway.

Buster Keaton -- The 65th Anniversary Collection

[Sony] $26

Buster Keaton was one of the comedic geniuses of the silent era, but his career tumbled in the late 1920s when he was talked into leaving his own studio and signing with MGM. He made a few hit films at MGM, including the delightful The Cameraman, but the studio kept him under a tight rein. His marriage fell apart, and he began to drink heavily. But he was sober when he went to Columbia to do 10 short comedies in the late '30s and early '40s.

These comedies are broad and slapdash, but occasionally the legendary Keaton magic shines. There's decent audio commentary on each short with film historians and Keaton experts and a documentary.

Jarhead: The Collector's Edition

[Universal] $40

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) did this adaptation of former Marine Anthony Swofford's best-seller about his experiences in Desert Storm. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx star.

Documentaries on the two-disc set are above the norm, especially a lengthy look at the lives of four Marines who recently returned from Iraq.

There's also a video diary shot by the cast, strong commentary from Mendes, and a compelling track with Swofford and screenwriter William Broyles Jr.

Occupation: Dreamland

[Rumur Releasing] $25

The gritty documentary follows soldiers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Fallujah. Filmmakers Ian Olds and Garrett Scott spent six weeks with the men. The DVD includes commentary with filmmakers and an update on the soldiers and assault footage.

Scott, 37, died of a heart attack this month.

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