COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Eyes on The Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965” (Not Rated) — Fans of this groundbreaking, six-hour PBS documentary have been waiting for years for it to be released on home video at a reasonable price. This epic production chronicles the post-war struggle for civil rights by blending historical footage with interviews with many of the major movers and shakers of the struggle. “Eyes on the Prize” is an unflinching look at one of the most turbulent eras in our country’s history, and one of the greatest PBS productions ever made.

“The Lord of the Rings: Remastered Deluxe Edition” (Rated PG) — This isn’t the award-winning Peter Jackson production beloved by Tolkien fans around the world. No sir. This is the 1978 cult animated film by Ralph Bakshi, director of “Fritz the Cat,” “Wizards,” “Cool World” and “American Pop.” What makes this film notable is that it was the first attempt to bring “The Lord of the Rings” to the big screen, and it is more faithful to the books than Jackson’s was.

That said, Bakshi’s production is a mixed bag. The project ran out of money before the entire saga could be finished, which means the film ends abruptly after the Battle at Helm’s Deep — or about halfway through the saga. Also, Bakshi’s rotoscoping style of animation is a real embarrassment in places — specifically in the rendering of the orcs. Basically what he did was film a bunch of guys in fright masks and robes and then draw the cartoon versions over what he filmed. The result was a cartoony version of a bunch of guys in frumpy robes and Halloween masks.

I think the people who would be interested in this version are those of us who saw the film when we were younger and will buy it just for the nostalgia factor; Tolkien completists who want to add the disc to their collections; or Bakshi fans. If you aren’t one of those people listed, you might want to give this one a pass.

“Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series” (Not Rated) — All four seasons, 25 discs and about 16 tons worth of special features, including commentaries, deleted scenes, Webisodes, featurettes and more. There’s even a special boxed set that comes with a big-old Cylon action figure. Fans of SyFy’s reboot of the classic 1970s sci-fi fantasy television show will gobble this up. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

TV SERIES
“Mythbusters” Collection 5
“Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami”
“Simon & Simon” Season Four
“Mary Tyler Moore” Season 4
“New Adventures of Black Beauty” Season Two

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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