Dvd Check

DVD CHECK

December 21, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

[Sony] $29

Will Ferrell shines as the good ol' country boy No.1 NASCAR racer who finds his status challenged in the hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Ferrell co-wrote the raucous script with director Adam McKay - the two previously collaborated on Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

John C. Reilly plays Bobby's best friend and teammate Cal Naughton Jr., who always lets Bobby win, and a pre-Borat Sacha Baron Cohen plays his nemesis, Jean Girard, the gay French Formula One champion.

The perfectly cast supporting players include Jane Lynch as Bobby's mom, Gary Cole as his rascally daddy and Andy Richter as Girard's husband.

Lively extras include several deleted and extended scenes, alternate lines not used in the film, a side-splitting gag reel, riotous interviews with several of the characters and alternate takes of Ricky and Cal's commercials and public service announcements. But the piece de resistance is the clever, wickedly funny faux pompous commentary with McKay and "friends."

World Trade Center

[Paramount] $35

The highlight of the two-disc special collectors' edition of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center is the clear-eyed, compelling commentary track with real-life survivor former Port Authority policeman Will Jimeno and the men who rescued him from the rubble at Ground Zero: Scott Strauss, John Busching and Paddy McGee.

Jimeno and his commander, John McLoughlin, who was also trapped inside an elevator shaft at the World Trade Center, are also profiled in a moving documentary that explores their lives after their recovery - McLoughlin was put into a medically induced coma because he required some 27 surgeries.

Rounding out the extras are a lengthy production documentary, an interview with Stone on the streets of New York, nine deleted or extended scenes and edifying commentary from Stone.

Barnyard

[Paramount] $30

Though it seems strange that the male cows have udders, the computer-generated animated comedy Barnyard is generally fun, though the coyote characters may scare small fries. The King of Queens star Kevin James supplies the voice of a carefree bovine named Otis who learns the meaning of responsibility. Extras include two music videos, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a tongue-in-cheek look at James' research for his role, and rollicking commentary with writer-director Steve Oedekerk and members of his crew.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete First Season

[Paramount] $39

Jim Nabors' sweetly naive Mayberry resident on The Andy Griffith Show proved to be so popular that CBS gave him his own series in 1964. In this spinoff, Gomer is a Marine stationed at a base near Los Angeles whose wide-eyed innocence often gets him trouble with the by-the-book Sgt. Carter (Frank Sutton). The five-disc set includes all 30 episodes from the premiere year - with nostalgic, sentimental commentary with Nabors on the first episode, his audio introductions on several episodes, the pilot of Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show, a vintage interview with Nabors on The David Frost Show and a clip of the singer-actor's musical variety series, The Jim Nabors Hour.

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