DVD PICK OF THE WEEK: THE SURE THING (Shout! Factory)
Director Rob Reiner’s second feature (after the brilliant This is Spinal Tap) remains one of the best teen comedies and most sparkling romantic comedies of its time. Three decades later, The Sure Thing is still a sure thing.Echoing Frank Capra’s Oscar-winning 1934 classic It Happened One Night, the story follows college students Walter “Gib” Gibson (John Cusack) and Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga) on a cross-country trip – he to meet a gorgeous blonde (Nicollette Sheridan in her screen debut), she to reunite with her fiancee (Boyd Gaines). Along the way, they bicker, banter … and find themselves drawn to each other.Cusack and Zuniga head a delightful cast including Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, Lisa Jane Persky and screen veteran Viveca Lindfors. The situations are humorous without turning raunchy, the characters engaging and believably drawn (even Sheridan’s “sure thing” isn’t merely a bimbo), and the end result utterly charming.The 30th-anniversary Blu-ray ($24.97 retail) includes audio commentary and retrospective documentaries. Rated PG-13.
“THE BOB NEWHART SHOW” (Shout! Factory): Comedian Bob Newhart
scored with this much-beloved CBS sitcom casting him as Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley, with Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily, Peter Bonerz and Marcia Wallace rounding out the regular cast. “Season 5” includes all 24 episodes from the 1976-’77 season, in which the series received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series and Pleshette as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series; “The Final Season” all 22 episodes from the 1977- ’78 season, for which Pleshette received another Emmy nomination and also one for Outstanding Film Editing in a Comedy Series. Each DVD collection retails for 24.97.
“CARE BEARS: SHARE YOUR CARE” (LionsGate): A DVD selection ($14.98 retail) of three “beary special” episodes from the award-winning children’s series “Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot.”
CYBER-SENIORS (Cyber-Seniors): Actress-turned-editor/director Saffron Cassaday’s award-winning documentary debut offers a heart-warming look at a program that brings senior citizens together with young mentors to learn about the internet, culminating in the formation of their own Youtube channel. Even the most hard-hearted technophobe will likely be charmed. The DVD retails for $34.95 and can be ordered directly from the distributor: http://cyberseniordocumentary.com/.
THE DOG WHO SAVED EASTER (LionsGate): Having saved Christmas (in 2010) and Halloween (in 2011), the courageous canine Zeus (again voiced by Mario Lopez) has his paws full in this familyfriendly, PG-rated comedy, with Dean Cain, Elisa Donovan and Mindy Sterling also encoring, joined by “7 th Heaven” co-stars Catherine Hicks and Beverley Mitchell, Patrick Muldoon, Matthew Lawrence and the voice of Nicole Eggert. The DVD retails for $14.98.
“HART TO HART”: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (Shout! Factory): Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers are back as the wealthy, glamorous, jetsetting sleuths Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, in all 22 episodes from the 1982-’83 season of the award-winning ABC mystery series created by Sidney Sheldon. The DVD collection retails for $39.97.
JASPER: JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE WORLD (Shout! Factory Kids): A perceptive penguin tries to rescue a rare bird’s eggs from a mad scientist in this family-friendly 2008 animated adventure, now available on DVD ($9.99 retail).
“LALALOOPSY: FESTIVAL OF SUGARY SWEETS” (LionsGate): Hello, dollies! The title tells all in this animated feature spun off from the popular animated children’s series and brand of dolls. The DVD retails for $14.98.
“LILIES” (RLJ Entertainment/Acorn): A three-DVD collection ($49.99 retail) of all eight episodes from the 2007 (and only) season of the award-winning BBC drama series created by Heidi Thomas, focusing on the struggles of three sisters (Catherine Tyldesley, Leanne Rowe and Kerrie Hayes) in post-World War I Liverpool.
“MAX & RUBY: SWEET SIBLINGS” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A DVD compilation ($14.99 retail) of 12 episodes from the long-running animated Nickelodeon children’s series based on the best-selling books by Rosemary Wells, boasting the adventures of two young bunnies, with Billy Rosemberg voicing Max and Rebecca Peters voicing Ruby.
A MOUSE TALE (LionsGate): Nice mice try to save their mystical kingdom from rotten rodents in this PG-rated animated feature boasting a star-studded voiceover cast: Miranda Cosgrove, Drake Bell, Cary Elwes, Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Dallas Lovato and Tom Arnold. The DVD retails for $19.98.
“MY LITTLE PONY – FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: ADVENTURES OF THE CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS” (Hasbro Studios/Shout! Kids Factory): A selfexplanatory DVD collection ($14.97 retail) of five episodes from the award-winning, animated children’s series based on the popular toy line and currently broadcast on Discovery Family Channel.
“NICKELODEON FAVORITES: SPRINGTIME ADVENTURES” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A self-explanatory DVD collection ($14.99 retail) of episodes from such popular animated Nickelodeon children’s series’ as “Blue’s Clues,” “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Wonder Boys,” “Team Umizoomi” and “Wallykazam.”
“PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE”: SEA- SONS 3, 4 & 5 (Shout! Factory): A selfexplanatory collection of all 23 episodes from the final three seasons (1988-’91) of the popular CBS Saturday-morning children’s series (which won 22 Emmy Awards!) showcasing Paul Reubens’s signature character Pee-wee Herman, with Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman, William Marshall and S. Epatha Merkerson also aboard. This four-DVD collection ($29.93 retail) also includes plus Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special and additional bonus features.
“PETER & THE MAGIC EGG” (CBS DVD/Paramount): In one of his last projects, Ray Bolger lends his voice to this animated 1983 Easter special about a young boy’s efforts to save the holiday, now available on DVD ($9.99 retail).
“THE RED SKELTON SHOW: THE EARLY YEARS 1951-1955” (Timeless Media Group): A self-explanatory, 11-DVD boxed set ($59.97 retail) featuring 90 episodes, many unseen since their original broadcasts, from the long-running, awardwinning variety series starring comedy legend Red Skelton, with guest appearances by Jackie Gleason, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Peter Lorre, Milton Berle, Ann Sothern, Ed Sullivan and even Charles Bronson (then billed as Charlies Buchinski).
“REGULAR SHOW: MORDECAI PACK” (Cartoon Network/Warner Home Video): A DVD compilation ($19.82 retail) of 16 episodes from creator J.G. Quintel’s Emmy-winning, animated Cartoon Network comedy series following the misadventures of park rangers Mordecai (a blue jay) and Rigby (a raccoon). As the title implies, these episodes put Mordecai front and center.
THE SONG (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): The Song of Solomon inspired writer/director Richard Ramsey’s debut feature, a PG-13-rated, faith-based drama starring Alan Powell as an aspiring singer/songwriter trying to hold onto his life and his faith when he is thrust into stardom after writing a hit song. The DVD retails for $26.99.
TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST (Disney): Mae Whitman provides the voice for the title character in this G-rated animated feature spun off from J.M. Barrie’s classic character in Peter Pan, also featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Rosario Dawson, Lucy Liu, Raven-Symone and Anjelica Huston. The DVD retails for $29.99, the DVD/ Blu-ray combo for $36.99. Both include multiple special features.
ZOEY TO THE MAX (Cinedigm): Flimsy, forgettable family comedy with Cassidy Mack (she’s Zoey) as a teen on the trail of the abducted dog belonging to her new foster parents (Amy Smart and Grant Bowler). Appealing Mack is the best thing in this padded film.
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2015, Mark Burger.