COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

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Elton John in “Tommy, the Movie”

By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Tommy, the Movie” [Blu-ray] (PG) — Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret and Roger Daltrey star in Ken Russell’s trippy production of The Who’s legendary rock opera about a boy who becomes deaf, dumb and blind after catching his mother having an affair. Despite failed attempts by doctors and drug dealers to cure him and frequent episodes of physical abuse, Tommy grows up to become a Pinball Wizard and leader of a religious cult. With over-the-top performances from Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson, Keith Moon and Elton John, this 1975 rockstravaganza (yeah, I said it!) shifts frantically between high camp, low art and electric mayhem. Fans of Ann-Margret will also enjoy the musical number where she wears a crocheted catsuit and writhes seductively amongst a tsunami of chocolate and baked beans. Mee-ow!

“Playing For Time” (Unrated) — Based on the autobiography of Fania FŽnelon, this Arthur Miller-penned 1980 production about the musicians of Auschwitz is possibly the best Holocaust film made for television. Vanessa Redgrave won an Emmy for her portrayal of FŽnelon, a reknowned Jewish pianist who is spared from hard labor and placed in the death camp’s female orchestra, where she and the other musicians are forced to play for their captors. “Playing For Time” is a heart-wrenching and powerful drama you simply must experience.

And last but not least, two classic Peanuts TV specials are being released on Blu-Ray this week: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

DOG OF THE WEEK:
“MacGruber” Unrated Edition — Comedy is subjective. One person’s laugh-riot can be a dreadful, tedious bore to another. So how can you know if “MacGruber” is the comedy film for you? Easy, just take this simple quiz: 1. Are you a boy between the ages of 10 and 10-and-a-half? 2. Do you have the IQ of a small sack of soggy, dead field mice? 3. Are you a resident of Idaho and are a potato or some species of weevil? If you answered “Yes” to any of the previous questions, then “MacGruber” is just your comedy speed.

“MacGruber” is based on a series of tired, one-gag “SNL” sketches parodying the old “MacGyver” TV show, and the latest in a 30-year parade of horrible films based on “SNL” sketches (“It’s Pat!” anyone?). Will Forte stars as MacGruber, an ex-special forces guy who comes out of retirement to thwart the evil machinations of Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), a mercenary who has stolen a nuclear bomb and is trying to retrieve the launch codes. The fact that the villain of the film is named Cunth pretty much sums up the high comedic standards of this film. Seriously, it’s not even worth a rental.

TV SERIES
“The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles”
“The Office” Season Six
“The Colony”
“Prime Suspect” Complete Collection
“Chuck” The Complete Third Season
“Clatterford” Season 3
“Smallville” The Complete Ninth Season
“Boy Meets World” Season 1
“Boy Meets World” Season 2
“Criminal Minds” Fifth Season
“Pie in the Sky” Series 3
“Supernatural” The Complete Fifth Season

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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