COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

By DNA Smith
NEW RELEASES
“Michael Jackson: This Is It” — “This Is It” isn’t much of anything. It isn’t a concert film, nor is it really a documentary. What it is, to be blunt, is a way for Sony to recoup some of its losses from the O2 Arena show that never was, by cobbling together some rehearsal footage and gushing testimonials from dancers and musicians who were blissfully unaware that in a few short weeks they’d all be out of work.

Sure, you get to see Jackson half-step it through productions of his greatest hits, and you get an idea of how massive the scale of what the actual concert would’ve been like, but there’s no real payoff. Except for Sony, that is.

“Whip It” — Ellen “Juno” Page stars in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut film about a small-town Texas girl who defies her overbearing mom’s wishes to be a beauty pageant star by sneaking away to compete in roller derby competitions. The film is a train wreck of sports-film and coming-of-age movie cliches that we’ve seen a hundred times before: Plucky newcomer inspires a losing team to pull together to win the Big Game; teenager struggles to become independent and in the process learns Valuable Lessons About Life, Love & Family, blah blah blah. However, the roller derby scenes are great fun and Marcia Gay Harden’s performance as Page’s mom is outstanding.

“RiffTrax: Plan 9 From Outer Space LIVE! Nashville 2009 from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000!” — Man, that is one long title; you’d think this was a Peter Jackson film. But no, instead it is the DVD of the nerdiest live show of last year. Not only do the MST3K crew hilariously rip on the worst movie ever made, there is a musical set by Internet sensation Jonathan “Still Alive” Coulton, and a couple funny short films.

TV SERIES
“Dirty Jobs” Collection 5
“Pawn Stars” The Complete Season 1
“Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” The Complete Second Season
“The Red Green Show: The Infantile Years” Seasons 1991-1993
“The Whitest Kids U’Know” The Complete Second Season
“British Rail Journeys: Around the Lake District”
“MI-5” Vol. 7
“Inspector Lewis Complete Set” Pilot, Series 1 & 2

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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