Dvd Check


August 10, 2006

V for Vendetta

[Warner] $35

This spring's moderate box office hit V for Vendetta arrives in a two-disc set. Based on the popular graphic novel of the same title, the action-thriller stars Natalie Portman as a young woman who becomes embroiled with a charismatic freedom fighter (Hugo Weaving), who wears a Guy Fawkes mask. The special-features disc includes better-than-average documentaries on production design, Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to destroy the British monarchy and the new wave in comics.

The Shaggy Dog

[Disney] $30

The bearded collie named Cole that plays The Shaggy Dog is the only reason to watch this limp remake to the 1959 Disney hit comedy. Tim Allen plays a workaholic attorney who neglects his wife (Kristin Davis) and two children until he turns into a pooch after he is bitten by the mystical collie. Extras are by-the-book: a lame gag reel, deleted scenes and perfunctory commentary with director Brian Robbins and producer David Hoberman.

Hazel -- Season 1

[Sony] $30

Although Shirley Booth had been a mainstay on Broadway since the 1930s and won the best actress Academy Award for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952), she really didn't achieve star status until she played the title character in the comedy series Hazel, which ran from 1961 to 1966. Sony is releasing the first season of the show for which Booth received two Emmys for her performance as the cheerful, endearing maid and housekeeper of George Baxter (Don DeFore), his wife (Whitney Blake) and their young son (Bobby Buntrock). Based on the comic strip by Ted Key, the series has become dated over the decades, but Booth is still a joy.

The Comeback

[HBO] $40

It lasted only one season on HBO, but offbeat comedy series The Comeback, received three Emmy nominations last month including best actress for Lisa Kudrow and best director for Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City). The 13-part series co-created by Kudrow and King focuses on a terminally perky actress named Valerie Cherish who scored a minor hit on a sitcom that ended a decade ago and is obsessed with reviving her career. The two-disc DVD set includes droll commentary from King and Kudrow on the pilot episode and a very amusing commentary on another installment with Valerie. Rounding out the set is "Valerie After the Laughter," a new interview with the actress in which everything that could go wrong does, and a visit with Valerie backstage at Dancing With the Stars.

Mrs. Harris

[HBO] $27

Also in contention for several Emmys, including best made-for-TV movie, actress (Annette Bening), actor (Ben Kingsley) and director (Phyllis Nagy), is HBO's Mrs. Harris. Bening plays Jean Harris, the divorced woman with two sons who was accused in 1980 of murdering her lover of 14 years, Dr. Herman Tarnower (Kingsley), author of the best-selling Scarsdale Diet book. The digital edition includes the documentary Mrs. Harris for the Record: First Hand Accounts, surprisingly mundane commentary from the two stars and fascinating commentary from first-time director Nagy.

Coming Tuesday

Scary Movie 4, RV, L'Enfant and Hoot

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