Dvd Check

November 15, 2007|By [THE LOS ANGELES TIMES]

Ratatouille

[Disney, $30]

The movie received only six negative notices out of 192 on the Web site Rotten Tomatoes to rank as one of the year's best-reviewed films.

Filled with beautiful animation, wonderful characters and inventive slapstick comedy, and overflowing with heart and humanity, it is a gem.

Written and directed by Brad Bird, who won an Oscar for 2004's The Incredibles, Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille revolves around a rat named Remy (voice of Patton Oswalt) who dreams of becoming a chef at a famous restaurant in Paris. He gets his chance by becoming partners in cuisine with a klutzy young man named Linguini (Lou Romano), who performs menial tasks in the kitchen.

Extras on the DVD include the Oscar-nominated Pixar short Lifted, which appeared before Ratatouille in theaters; a funny new short, Your Friend the Rat, hosted by Remy and his brother Emile, which looks at the history of rats; three deleted scenes and a pleasant conversation with Bird and master chef Thomas Keller, who was the consultant on the film.

Pixar Short Films Collection -- Vol. 1

[Disney, $30]

This collection traces the history of the company's acclaimed animated shorts from 1984 to this year. Among the films are "Luxo Jr.," "Red's Dream," "One Man Band" and the Oscar-winning "Tin Toy" and "For the Birds."

The shorts feature commentary with Pixar kingpin John Lasseter, as well as the shorts' directors and even the children of the directors. There is also a concise retrospective documentary.

Deck the Halls

[Fox, $30]

This features a lively cast -- Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito, Kristin Davis and Kristin Chenoweth -- but this tale of two neighbors trying to outdo each other in their Christmas decorations is witless.

Included on the disc are short but sweet documentaries on the lighting, the design of the houses and the problems with shooting a holiday movie in July, along with commentary from director John Whitsell and DeVito.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

[Universal, $30]

Adam Sandler plays a Brooklyn fireman who agrees to "marry" his friend and co-worker (Kevin James), a widower with two kids, so the latter can keep his insurance benefits.

Extras include gag reels, mini-documentaries and frat boy-style commentary with Sandler, James and director Dennis Dugan.

Sicko

[Weinstein, $30]

This is Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore's take on the health insurance industry. Despite its downbeat subject matter, the film has plenty of humor and irony.

The DVD includes extra interviews and Moore's visit to Norway.

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