COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Elvis” — If this don’t make you All Shook Up, I don’t know what will. The classic 1979 made-for-TV movie starring Kurt Russell is finally being released on DVD. The film chronicles Presley’s life from a child to his rise to superstardom and ends with his triumphant Vegas comeback. The solid supporting cast includes: Pat Hingle as Col. Tom Parker, Ed Begley Jr. as drummer D.J. Fontana and, as Gladys Presley, the incomparable Shelley Winters — who chews up the scenery with atomic gusto.

“Where the Wild Things Are” — Director Spike Jonze’s glorious adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book is one of the great family films of 2009. Max (Max Records) is a 9-year-old boy who is sent to bed without supper. Angry at his mother, Max runs away to a faraway island populated by monsters — and that’s when the Wild Rumpus begins. Max is crowned king, but soon needs to make a decision: Does he stay forever amongst the Wild Things, or does he return home?

“My Neighbor Totoro” (Two-Disc Special Edition) — Another great children’s fantasy film also is being released this week. “My Neighbor Totoro” is Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 animated film about two sisters who befriend a giant, rabbit-like forest spirit named Totoro, who introduces them to many magical creatures (including the Cat Bus!) and the wonders of Nature. Although “Totoro” is a Japanese film, this Disney edition is dubbed in English. Dakota Fanning and her sister Elle provide the voices of the two sisters.

“2012” — Director Roland Emmerich has made a career of destroying the planet, whether it’s at the hands of aliens in “Independence Day” or a new Ice Age in “The Day After Tomorrow.” This time around, Mother Gaia gets pimp-slapped by a Mayan Prophesy and solar flares that trigger a global barrage of natural disasters. It takes about 30 minutes to introduce the characters and explain the ridiculous premise, but after that “2012” is nothing but an onslaught of CGI mayhem, destruction and the occasional sappy homily about Family or Humanity. It’s not as bad as critics would have you believe. It’s just the same old mindless “let’s blow stuff up real good” fare that we expect from Emmerich. And he delivers.

TV SERIES
“Alice” (2009 miniseries)
“Doctor Who Dalek War: Frontier in Space & Planet of the Daleks”
“Degrassi: Next Generation” Seasons 7 & 8
“Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” Season 4, Vol. 1
“Designing Women” Season Three
“Have Gun Will Travel” Season Four, Vol. 1
“Matlock” The Complete Fourth Season

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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