COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Oliver Reed

Oliver Reed


By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Life” (narrated by David Attenborough) (Unrated) — Following on the heels of the award-winning BBC/Discovery Channel series “Planet Earth” is the equally spectacular “Life.” This 10-episode miniseries explores life on our planet in all its forms and what all the different kinds plants and animals need to do in order to survive. From complex (and often amusing) mating rituals, hunting techniques and offbeat defensive strategies, we are shown the natural world in all its wondrous and savage splendor.

There are two versions available: The American/Discovery Channel version (narrated by Oprah) and the original BBC production narrated by David Attenborough. I strongly suggest you buy the Attenborough version. The script he reads from is very different than the one we heard Oprah narrate here in America. Attenborough treats the viewer as an inquisitive, intelligent adult, while the Oprah version has been dumbed-down to the point where you feel she is addressing a 3-year-old. Both versions come in either DVD or Blu-Ray.

“The Three Musketeers”/“The Four Musketeers” (PG) — This is a two-DVD set containing the classic Richard Lester-directed films from the ’70s starring Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee and Fay Dunaway.

In the first film, York plays D’Artagnan, a naive country boy who travels to Paris to become a musketeer. He soon falls in with the Titular Three and becomes caught up in a mission to thwart the evil machinations of Cardinal Richelieu (Heston) and a pair of assassins (Lee and Dunaway). In the sequel, the Musketeers must protect D’Artagnan’s love Constance (Welch) from being murdered by Faye Dunaway’s character, who is still hoping to disgrace the French queen and bring scandal and shame to England’s Duke of Buckingham.

These are two great adventure films, filled with action, romance, humor and passion. You can tell the cast had a ball making them, their enthusiasm just leaps from the screen. And for a reduced price of around $13 for the pair, how could you NOT own them?

DOG OF THE WEEK
“Alice in Wonderland” (PG) — Director Tim Burton inflicts his Goth Kiddie aesthetic and Danny Elfman’s bombastic, intrusive score upon Lewis Carroll’s classic. To add insult to injury, he also drags Johnny Depp and a host of top-shelf talent (Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Anne Hathaway, to name a few) into this frantic, CGI-laden muddlefest. Without regard or respect for the original works, Burton turns Carroll’s whimsical and intelligent stories into another hackneyed blockbuster popcorn flick, devoid of wit or charm or imagination.

TV SERIES
“Drop Dead Diva” Season One
“Rescue Me” Complete Fifth Season
“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” Vol. 7
“Ghost Hunters International” Season One, Part One
“Burn Notice” Season Three
“Mister Ed” The Complete Third Season
“Foyle’s War” Set 6
“Midsomer Murders” Set 15

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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