Dvd Check

DVD CHECK

September 07, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition

[New Line] $87 for the set or $29 each

These two-disc sets of Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning versions of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasies feature both the theatrical and extended editions as well as addictively entertaining feature-length documentaries shot by Costa Botes during the mammoth production in New Zealand.

Pretty in Pink

[Paramount] $15

During the 1980s, writer-director-producer John Hughes had an uncanny ability to tap into teen angst in such movies as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. As two new sparkling editions of the latter two illustrate, his view of teenagers' problems and growing pains are timeless.

Pretty in Pink, which was produced and written by Hughes, marked the directorial debut of Howard Deutch.

Filmed in 1985 and released in 1986, this delightful cockeyed comedy revolves around a poor but brainy girl named Andie (Hughes' muse, Molly Ringwald) from the wrong side of the tracks, her geeky friend Duckie (Jon Cryer), who has a crush on her, and her rich, handsome classmate Blane (Andrew McCarthy), with whom she falls in love.

Harry Dean Stanton also stars as Andie's supportive, loving father, and Annie Potts is Andie's eccentric friend who works in a record store. Other now-familiar faces who pop up are James Spader, Dweezil Zappa and Andrew Dice Clay.

Pleasant extras include a nostalgic retrospective documentary featuring interviews then and now with the stars and Deutch -- Hughes is seen only in vintage clips.

Though Hughes wrote Pretty in Pink for Ringwald, the actress admits Paramount wanted someone with a bigger name such as Jennifer Beals, who had done Flashdance for the studio. But Hughes prevailed. There's also a look at the original ending, which found Andie and Duckie becoming a couple at the prom. It was scrapped after test audiences wanted her to end up with Blane.

Rounding out the disc are featurettes on the music, costume design, the performers' favorite scenes and sturdy commentary from Deutch.

Some Kind of Wonderful

[Paramount] $15

Released the next year -- and also directed by Deutch -- Some Kind of Wonderful is sort of the flip side of Pretty in Pink. Eric Stoltz plays a high school student from the wrong side of the tracks; Mary Stuart Masterson steals the film as his tomboy friend who secretly loves him; Lea Thompson is his crush-object; and Craig Sheffer is Thompson's wealthy bully of a boyfriend.

In the retrospective documentary, Stoltz and Deutch candidly admit their working relationship was difficult. Rounding out the disc is affectionate commentary from Deutch and Thompson.

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