COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Peter Lorre stars in "M"
Peter Lorre stars in “M”

By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Daria: The Complete Animated Series” (Unrated) — “Smart and funny” aren’t two adjectives you normally associate with MTV programming, but “Daria” is one of the few exceptions. Debuting in 1997 as a spin-off of the popular “Beavis & Butt-Head,” “Daria” centered on the life of sardonic teenager Daria Morgendorffer, as she and her bestie Jane skewer pop culture and try to avoid the popular kids at their upper-middle-class high school.

The DVD includes all five seasons of the show, plus the pilot episode and both made-for-TV movies. Special features include interviews with the cast and crew, two Mystik Spiral music videos, Daria Day intros and a Top Ten Video Countdown hosted by Daria and Jane.

“M” (The Criterion Collection) Blu-ray (Unrated) — Iconic director Fritz Lang’s chilling story of the hunt for a child murderer finally gets the high-def, Criterion Collection treatment. Peter Lorre stars as “M,” the child-killer who is so expert at eluding the police that the criminal underworld takes it upon themselves to hunt down the psychotic monster.

Two versions of the film are included in this edition: The original German production and the long-lost English-language version. Both have been restored using a hi-def digital transfer process. Among the tons of special features are: audio commentary by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler, a one-hour conversation with Fritz Lang by “Exorcist” author William Friedkin, a commemorative booklet and a 1963 interview with Lang.

“Toy Story”/”Toy Story 2” (Special Editions) (Rated G) — Coinciding with this year’s release of “Toy Story 3,” Disney/Pixar are re-releasing the first two classic adventures featuring Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Slinky Dog, Rex and all the rest. There are no new special features on these editions (except for some “Toy Story 3” marketing stuff), so if you already own the films, there’s no need to rush out and grab these.

I have a copy of the now-discontinued three-disc “Ultimate Toybox” DVD set, which includes both films and a third disc packed with special features. What I’m hoping is that Disney will do a similar release for the holidays that will include all three films and perhaps a fourth disc of features. So yeah, wait a while. I’ll bet that’s what’ll happen.

DOG OF THE WEEK
“Legion” (Rated R) — If you were suckered by the trailers for “Legion,” you probably went in thinking it was going to be a tongue-in-cheek horror comedy, a la “Drag Me To Hell.” Sadly, it wasn’t. Instead, “Legion” is a mindless, CGI poopfest about Angels and Demons slugging it out at a remote diner because some pregnant chick might be carrying the messiah. Knock-knock. Who’s there? Armageddon. Armageddon who? Armageddon outta here and goin’ to watch a better movie.

TV SERIES
“My Wife & Kids” Season Two
“Deadliest Warrior” Season One
“Lark Rise To Candleford” Series 1
“thirtysomething” The Complete Third Season
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” The Complete Fifth Season
“Raising the Bar” The Complete Second Season

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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